The about page is one of the most important, but least considered, pages on a website. Often, it’s thrown together as an afterthought and is a boring page of ‘me me me’.
In fact, the about page is probably one of the most-visited pages on any given site, so it needs to earn its crust.
How to write your about page
If the thought of writing your about page brings you out in a cold sweat – you’re not alone. Although we all love talking about ourselves, it’s a different matter when it comes to putting words on paper. (Or, in this case, a screen.)
Writing a great about page is simple. The worst mistake most people make is overcomplicating it. Keep the page simple, straightforward and make sure it communicates your key messages.
1. Make sure you actually have an about page
It’s one of the first places people will go, and if you don’t have one your visitors will wonder why. What are you hiding? We deal with businesses every day, but we want to feel like we’re dealing with real people.
Remember the good old days when you could make an appointment to see your bank manager face to face? We’re social animals, and we do better with people than we do with faceless corporations. Which leads me to my second point…
2. Include your name!
Your full name. It doesn’t even have to be your real name; there’s nothing wrong with using a pseudonym.
Please don’t use a spammy-sounding name though. For example, were I to introduce myself as ‘The Queen of Copy’, you’d be fully justified in challenging me to a duel.
If you don’t include a name, you run the risk of being a faceless entity. Which allows me to segue neatly into point number 3:
3. Show me your face
Your writing voice and your picture allows people to form some sense of who you are. If I’m torn between your product and a competitor’s product, I’m more likely to go for the company with a real person behind it.
Plus, if I can put a face to a name, I’m more likely to remember who you are.
4. Don’t panic – keep it simple
Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.
A good rule for any writing, this one. But in the context of your about page, you need to communicate your key message to your visitor. By showing people you understand their problems and needs, then explaining how you can help, you can’t go wrong.
5. Don’t be boring
Nobody likes to think of themselves as boring, but be honest with yourself. It’s easy to simply list the things that you do, and the things that you like, in a corporate tone of voice. But please don’t. You have your own tone of voice; use it.
If you’re funny: be funny, but run it by someone who will be honest with you. If you miss ‘funny’ and cruise right into ‘cringeworthy’, you’ll turn people off.
Be yourself. But perhaps not COMPLETELY yourself. Tell a story, but make it interesting, short and snappy.
Finally: for the love of all that is holy, do not use jargon or corporate nonsense.
6. Use a video
If you’re comfortable talking in front of a camera, include a short video about your business, your customers, and what you can do for them. Multimedia is dynamic and adds a little interest.
Make sure that it’s not the only thing on your about page though; not everyone loves video, and people in shared offices will thank you for it.
7. Tell me how to contact you
Yes, you have a contact page – but it won’t hurt to provide an email address or phone number here. It’s also a good place to point people to your other online domains.
Your about page is not about you. It’s about how you can help your customers. Remember that, and you’ll be fine. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at the Blog Tyrant’s 12 best about pages. There are some corkers there.