What do the best about pages all have in common?
In this post, we will show you.
The reality is that your “About” page is one of the best ways to promote your brand online. It offers a great opportunity to reel in new customers.
To do that, though, you need to put some high-quality marketing into it. Here’s how to do that.
Best About Pages – The Importance of an “About” Page
Before we get into the specifics of what it takes to make a great “About” page, let’s first look at why it’s so important to create one.
You’ve probably noticed “About” pages on other websites around cyberspace. Sometimes they’re labeled “About Me” or “About Us.”
There’s a reason why they’re so popular. People want to know who they’re doing business with.
You’ve probably browsed online for a product or service once or twice. During those times, you might have found something that looked great, but you weren’t sure about the company behind it.
So what did you do? You did what most other people do: you clicked on the “About” link at the top of the page to learn more about the company.
Your customers are no different. They want to know who you are.
Make sure that you give them plenty of reasons to do business with you on your “About” page.
Also, “About” pages frequently show up towards the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) when people Google your brand name. In fact, it might be the first link that people click on in the results list, even if it isn’t at the very top.
When that happens, then you’ve got the proverbial single chance to make a good first impression. You’d better knock their socks off with that “About” page, or they might check out a competitor’s website.
Let’s take a look at an example. First, we can take a look at the Ignite Visibility about page.
While the page could have a better design (and will soon), notice we don’t waste any time. We tell you all the best things about the company fast.
We also have a compelling vision statement and a photo of company. This about page leaves people with a positive feel about the company.
Let’s look at another example.
Google “Brian Dean.”
As of this writing, Brian’s “About” page is the third result in the list. If you click on it, you’ll see a web page with this heading in bold letters: “Want higher rankings and more traffic? You’ve come to the right place.”
Next to that text is Brian’s picture. Below that is a bunch of social proof, followed by short and sweet marketing copy and an opportunity to subscribe to his newsletter.
Brian’s page is a textbook example of how to market your brand with an “About” page. It builds brand-name awareness, improves his image, and ranks well in the search results.
Best About Pages Start With a Headline
We hear a lot about clickbait headlines on blog articles these days. Your “About” page needs a clickbait headline as well.
Why? For the same reason that you should add a compelling headline to an article: it keeps people reading.
Take a look at the “About” page for Yellow Leaf Hammocks. The headline appears in front of a great video and reads as follows: “Ridiculously Comfy Hammocks/Impeccable Craftsmanship/Transformative Impact.”
Most people shopping for hammocks online are probably sold at “Ridiculously Comfy Hammocks,” but the headline goes on to further describe additional benefits.
In short: the headline keeps readers scrolling.
The Brian Dean “About” page, which we’ve already seen, also includes a great headline.
So here’s the takeaway: come up with a headline that not only accurately describes your brand, but also how your product or service benefits customers.
Answer the WIIFM Question
Ask yourself this question: what is an “About” page really supposed to do?
Answer: it’s designed to market you.
That’s why you should put your marketing hat on when you create an “About” page. Make sure that it answers the WIIFM Question.
In case you’re unaware of that acronym, WIIFM stands for “What’s in it for me?” Your page should answer that question for readers.
Here’s the best kept secret in America: your “About” page shouldn’t be entirely about you. It should be about your readers.
Specifically, it should tell your readers what you can do for them.
Hosting provider Rackspace has a multi-layered “About” section, but the “Why Rackspace?” page clearly answers the WIIFM question. Here’s how it starts: “If you’re struggling to scale and secure your apps and data in the cloud, you’re not alone. A recent survey of 1,000 companies using the cloud showed that a ‘lack of expertise and resources’ was a major hurdle.”
Do you see what Rackspace marketers are doing there? They agitate readers (with the word “struggling”) right out of the gate. They frame the problem in a way that potential customers can relate to.
Then, two paragraphs later, they offer the solution: “Thousands of organizations, including global enterprises and more than half of the Fortune 100, have found the answer in Rackspace.”
That’s more great marketing. The copy includes social proof with a link to existing customers.
Note specifically, though, how the brand name (“Rackspace”) appears as the very last word of the very last paragraph of the entire section. That’s not a coincidence. Marketers do that so the brand name is easier to remember.
The important takeaway here is that the first Rackspace “About” page begins with an emphasis on what the company can do for the customer. Follow that example with your own “About” page.
Best About Pages Use a Photo
This is an especially important point if you’re marketing a personal brand rather than a company. Include a photo of yourself in the “About” page.
In this digital age, people are fully aware that you’re more than capable of adding an image to your web page. If you don’t include a photo of yourself, they’re going to wonder why.
On the other hand, if you put your mug on the “About” page, you’ll build a layer of trust. That’s important when trying to gain some new business.
Keep in mind, though, that you should hire a professional photographer to take your profile photo. It’s difficult to leave a great first impression with a photo taken from your digital camera or (ugh) your smartphone.
Feel free to have fun with your photo. It doesn’t just have to be the standard headshot.
Take another look at Brian Dean’s “About” page. His photo takes up half the screen and includes his whole upper body.
Best About Pages Break It Up
Here’s another principle about blogging that you should apply to your “About” page: break it up into sections.
The last thing you want to do is cram a ton of text into your “About” page so that it looks like something that belongs in a peer-reviewed journal.
People aren’t going to read that. It’s tedious and boring.
Instead, break it up into sections. Make your marketing copy short and sweet, with just a few (short) paragraphs at most in each section.
Also, make sure you use a larger font size for people who don’t have very good eyesight. Surround your text with plenty of whitespace so that it doesn’t appear constrained.
Use images early and often. They can break up the monotony of the text and make your page much more appealing.
Take a look at the “About” page for Bulldog Skincare. Below the headline and top picture, you’ll see some “About Us” text.
It’s easy to read, isn’t it? It’s just 4 paragraphs and 3 of them are only one sentence.
The font is large enough that most people can read it without assistance. There’s plenty of space between paragraphs and surrounding the text.
Follow that example when you design your own “About” page.
Best About Pages Tell a Story
“All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them.”
So says Seth Godin in his great book All Marketers are Liars. That’s a book worth reading if you haven’t already done so, by the way.
If you want to create a compelling “About” page, tell a story.
Keep in mind, though, the story on your page should not be a simple history of your company. It should be a story that adds value to your brand.
As an example, consider the story of Georg Riedel. He makes wine glasses.
Here’s his marketing message: “The delivery of the wine’s ‘message,’ it’s bouquet and taste, depends on the form of the glass. It’s the responsibility of a glass to convey the wine’s messages in the best manner to the human senses.”
You’re reading that right. Georg Riedel is basically saying that wine tastes better when you drink it from one of his glasses.
Does it? Of course not.
He’s telling a story that promotes his brand. Or, as Seth Godin puts it: “Georg Riedel is a liar.”
Tell a story that convinces people that your brand is valuable. You might start a narrative that earns you an endless supply of business.
It worked for Georg Riedel.
Put the Feels Into It
Zig Ziglar used to say that selling is a transference of feeling. If you want to successfully market your brand, you’ll need to get an emotional response from people who read your “About” page.
Start by whipping out your thesaurus and substituting academic-sounding words for more emotional alternatives.
For example: instead of using “donate,” use “give.” Instead of using “assist,” use “help.”
Also, sprinkle emotional words throughout your copy. Just be careful you don’t overdo it so your “About” page sounds like a romance novel.
Remember the example of Rackspace from above? That company elicited an emotional response by agitating readers (with the word “struggle”) in the very first paragraph.
Then, the company portrayed itself as a way to resolve that agitation.
Web designer Leah Kalamakis follows that same pattern in her “About” page. It starts by defining the problem, then it promotes Leah as the solution to that problem.
All throughout the page, you can find emotionally charged words and phrases: “nervous,” “personality-packed digital design,” “fantastic,” and “take care of you.”
Follow her pattern and you’ll do well.
Put the Good Stuff Above the Fold
If you thought the phrase “above the fold” only applied to old-fashioned newspapers, you’re mistaken. It applies to web pages as well.
How? The text that users can see on a web page without scrolling down at all is considered “above the fold.”
That also happens to be where you should put all of the best marketing on your “About” page.
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, cybernauts spend 80% of their time reading content above the fold. They only spend 20% of their time reading content below the fold.
So think about it: what’s the one impression you want to leave people with when they visit your page? Whatever that is, make sure you get that message across above the fold.
Take a look at the Forty-One Twenty “About” page. Right above the fold you’ll see this message: “Artists, who just happen to use video equipment.”
That’s it. That’s the message that the company wants to convey before readers even touch the scroll bar.
What’s the message you want to convey? Put it above the fold.
Best About Pages Use Social Proof
Most digital marketers are pretty good about adding social proof to a website’s home page. However, many of them fall short when it comes to adding social proof to an “About” page.
It belongs there as well.
Remember, the “About” page is another way for you to promote your brand. And what better way to promote your brand than by letting someone else promote it for you with social proof?
Also, you can get the jump ahead of the competition by putting social proof on your “About” page because not too many other brands do that. Take a look around and see for yourself.
Brian Dean, as we’ve seen, is an exception. Take another look at his “About” page and you’ll see plenty of positive statements from high-profile companies.
Wrapping It Up Best About Pages
Don’t let a great opportunity to market your brand slip away because you blew off your “About” page. Instead, invest some time and effort into it so that it leaves a great first impression and earns you lots of new business.