How to Write the Best About Page Ever
Maybe you remember that feeling from when you were a kid. The difference between playing with a friend at school versus playing with them in their home. It adds a dimension to the relationship. There is something about stepping in to a person's home that feels like a friendly invitation.
Meredith soon became the kind of friend that is part of my everyday world, and her home became an extension of my home. She has by my side through so much - job changes, boyfriend changes, moves. She introduced me to my husband of 15 years. But, had we not broken that invisible barrier between work and home none of that may have ever happened.
I like to say a website homepage makes a visitor into an acquaintance. And the About page makes an acquaintance into a friend. It is a peak into the culture and values of your company, and it inspires the next step. Just like stepping into Meredith's home broke the barrier between work friends and personal friends, your About page can break the barrier between visitor and customer.
The Homepage is your office. And the About page is where you live.
Most of us really dread creating our About page. We don't know what to say, so we rely on company history or industry jargon. Or super boring biographical information. It's not engaging, and it doesn't tell your customers anything about what it will be like to do business with you.
Remember this : Your About page will likely be the SECOND MOST VISITED PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE, (see what I did there with the bolds and the caps - this will be on the test.) If you bore your reader with long-winded company history and stuffy sounding bios of your board members it will likely be the exit page as well. So take this advice to heart. It can truly be the difference between a sale - or crickets.
People do business with businesses they know, like, and trust. So let's talk about how to make your About page feel like a safety net and an invitation so that interested acquaintances become friends.
Make it Personal
So yes, prospective customers want to know what year the company started. But do they need a full bio of company history? Usually not.
Tell a Compelling Story
Talk about who you ARE as a company. What makes customers want to work with you and employees want to come to work every day? Why does the company exist in the first place? And what common traits are shared among your raving brand advocates? The About page isn't the place to drone on about the industry or what you do. It's the place for the Why not the How.
Tell a compelling story that will help the reader understand what it will be like to work with you, or what drives the product choices you make. Give them a peak into your 'Why?' so they can more fully understand what they will get when they spend their money with you.
Demonstrate the Brand
Your homepage may showcase the logo and visual brand your team has carefully cultivated. But the About page is where you tell the story the illustrates the brand. It helps the reader understand what drives you, and why they should work with you. Your visual brand got you the first date, but the About page is where they fall in love.
Don't Try to Win them All
The information you provide should tell a story about who you are as a company. And it should also tell about who you aren't. A great About page will inspire the right customers to action. This means that not everyone is going to fall in love. Some visitors are not meant to be your customers, and that's OK. Tell your story and allow those who don't like it to fall away naturally. If you try to please everybody you will end up telling a weak story that compels noone.
Try some of these writing queues to start thinking about personality and brand instead of history. Write a paragraph or two on a selection of the following topics and have some key team members do the same. Bring the results together and use them to create the content of your About page.
Keep it Simple
Overthinking the About page can kill the momentum of a project. I have seen it happen. The content gets stuck in the approvals stage, or complex pieces of transactional data or historical information are slow to be provided.
My advice - KISS. Keep It Simple Sweetheart.
Determine the Message up FrontCombat About section scope creep this by deciding up front on a few key stories or message points you want to portray on the homepage, and stick to those. Make sure your website content writer is empowered to make the decisions here, just like they are empowered to make the decisions on other website sections.
This is especially true around the staff bios piece. Should it be a searchable directory? What happens when a staff member leaves? Do we need to get professional headshots for everyone? And for the love of all that is good and holy when is Linda going to give me her stinkin' bio already?!
The staff listing is optional. You can do a full listing of staff, just the key players, or none at all. You can put teaser bios at the bottom of the About page, or just link to bios as a separate page or section altogether. Here is the important part : If it is going to become a stumbling block then leave it off for now. You can always revisit this decision later. Don't let decisions about staff listing become a launch stopper.
Keep it ReadableThe essential elements are the story and the imagery. Stick to illustrating your company's personality using some high quality images and well-crafted stories. Sprinkle in a little history. Maybe give a brief bio on some key players.
Some other ways to keep the About page simple:
Call To Action
The About page tells your story. If someone read the whole thing they are ready for the next step. Make sure you present them with one.
For service companies this will likely be a consultation. Link to the online scheduling tool, or at the very least give your phone number or link to your contact form. Make sure that they can easily contact you so you can continue the relationship.
For product companies you may want to link to your signature product.
Don't have anything to offer right away? Invite the reader to subscribe to your email list so you can send updates.
Make sure you are funneling the interested visitors to their next step. Do everything you can to capture that interest while it is there so you are that much closer to doing business.
Your About page is a sales page. Treat it with respect. Find a compelling story that you know the right readers will resonate with and tell the heck out of it. The people who read to the end will be invested in you and more likely to do business with you, either now or in the future. So make an investment in your About page for the good of your business.