Almost every blog and website has one, odds are you probably have one yourself – the ‘About’ page has become standard protocol with any personal or professional web design. But, is your ‘About’ page effective? What should be included there? How can the ‘About’ page make (or break) your site? It’s all about being informative, personable, and approachable.
You may (or may not) know this – Your About page is more than likely one of the most visited pages on your blog/website. One pass through my Google Analytics told me that the About page here is the second most viewed page on Life Without Pants. Why? Because before we get invested into a blog, before we give someone a chance, we want to know who they are, we want to establish a connection from day one – an effective about page provides information and engages your audience, encouraging them to go the next step (digging through your archives, subscribing via email, buying your product, and so on).
Tell the world who you are (and more importantly why they should care)
The About page is where you get to tell everyone who you are/what your company does. Writing about yourself is no easy task. Keep in mind that most people don’t really care about you, they care about what you can do/will provide for them. When developing your page, take a look at your life from the outside looking in. Write as if the person knows absolutely nothing about you. Your goal is to establish a connection with the reader based on your own background. They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but newcomers are inevitably going to draw quick conclusions (let’s face it, you do it too).
An effective strategy (for those who end up writing a short autobiography) is to break things up into sections, and/or summarizing the main points separately – as I am doing in this very post. You should feel free to tell you story, but you never want to scare away first timers with the dreaded ‘wall of text’. Yeah, it’s intimidating. Too much text is a major turn off. Writing easy digestible content translates into a much more memorable (not to mention enjoyable) experience for your readers.
Leave a lasting impression
Whether your sharing your love of old school Nickelodeon, preaching the benefits of relationship marketing, or summarizing your life’s journey, you always want to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Tell a story, incorporate some images, share a quote, be witty and charming, highlight your skills and talents, talk about the networks and organizations you belong to. When I read someone’s ‘about’ page I’m looking for something tangible I can walk away with – a certain ‘wow’ factor that makes you stand out from everyone else. What’s your background? What makes you unique? What can I expect from you?
Start a conversation / Promote a call to action
One of the most critical components of an effective ‘About’ page is providing the tools for your readers to take the ‘next step’. Whether it’s following you on Twitter or filling out a contact form for more information about your services. When done well, an about page should summarize who you are, what you do, but above all, what you can do for others. You want to open up the lines of communication, providing links to your social media identities, email, phone number, etc. Encourage your readers to take things to the next level by providing them with the tools to conveniently do so. Contact Form 7 is an outstanding WordPress plugin for those who may not be comfortable with sharing private information on the web.
An About Us/About Me page, when presented with honesty, humor, and relevant information, will bring you that much closer to your audience.
Feel free to share links in the comments below to your own (about) pages. Are there any particular ‘about’ pages that have impressed you? How important is a quality about page to you? What should/shouldn’t be included?