How important is the “About” page for brands, individuals, and business owners? For website developers and administrators, About pages are simply standard elements of common web structures; in other words, they are no more crucial than .htaccess files. For search engine optimization professionals and internet marketing specialists, the About page is the first step toward establishing authority and branding.
If we rank web pages in terms of importance, About is right between the homepage and “Contact Us.” Some of the content and intent of the homepage will be included and explained in the About page; plus, this is a good place to either include contact information or link to Contact Us. Quite a few About pages are written in a merely descriptive fashion when they should be telling stories with a branding angle.
The first step towards crafting an About page that serves your personal or business interests is to steer away from the following mistakes:
Do Not Make It All About You
Keep in mind that most of us are looking for meaning or solutions; to this end, you should mention something along the line of what you or your company can do to solve problems. The key is to acknowledge the type of individuals who visit your website and are interested in learning more about it.
Do Not Make It Too Minimal
While you want to keep things simple, you should also strive to tell a short story and guide visitors towards related content. As seen in Aaravindha Himadra’s About page, for example, there are a few links to online spots where visitors can get podcasts. If you have a descriptive video or a YouTube channel, this would be a good place to showcase it.
With the above in mind, let’s go through some established practices to make your About page more effective:
You really want to make an impact in the very first paragraph; to this effect, you want to restate the most likely reason visitors landed on your website. Remember that you are trying to offer solutions, so this would be a good time to include specifics. A contract janitorial service can mention that the company is bonded and insured for the convenience of clients who are concerned about potential liability issues. A film production label that has earned a couple of awards despite being relatively unknown should flaunt that recognition from the beginning.
Some About pages start off with incisive or inspirational quotes. This is always a good idea as long as the message can be related to your profession or industry. A tax accountant who specializes in estate management can start off with that famous Benjamin Franklin quote about the inevitability of death and taxes.
Think Carefully About the Story You Wish to Tell
Everyone loves stories. If you are the proud owner of a family business that started off printing t-shirts from a garage before opening two fashion boutiques, you will want to tell a brief story about your success and expansion. Don’t forget to include photos or videos that can serve to illustrate and enhance the story.
Should you truly believe that communicating your personal or business story needs more than just a few paragraphs, you can always link to a separate PDF document, a long-form video, or another web page. The idea is to filter the most relevant information so that it fits your About page without visitors having to scroll down too much.
Keep Things on a Conversational Level
Even if your business or line of work happens to be very technical, you should refrain from including excessive jargon on your About page. The writing style should be casual and devoid of ambiguity; the last thing you want is to make visitors reach for the dictionary. There is no need to give a fancy title to the About page; if you want to write about a professional or business journey in depth, link to another section or document in your website that presents all that information.
A little bit of humor can be used sparingly. Even if you are a stand-up comedian, you do not want to overdo it by writing too many jokes. When writing a story for your About page, you will want to apply the type of tone you would use at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. You can certainly include your company’s mission, vision, and values, but make sure that they only take up one or two paragraphs.