Did you know that a site’s About page is often the second most clicked after the Home page? It might seem like such a simple thing, but an About page is essential and has an important job to do. It needs to communicate who you are, what your business is all about and how people can get in touch. About pages are often the first page that people will visit on your site. Yet, so many people don’t have them, or, if they do, they are sadly lacking. So, how do you get yours right?
State the problem, then solve the problem. You need to say why you can help your customer with their problem (which they may have never known they had). Have a look at the Bambino Goodies About page for an example.
Keep it simple
Don’t be too clever. Call the page ‘About’ and make it easy to find. If visitors have to search to find out what they want to know, they’ll get frustrated and might not come back. Don’t bury it in the footer – put it at the top.
If you were in a bricks and mortar store, you’d meet your customers face to face. Think of your About page as a virtual introduction. Use your real name (you’d be surprised how many people don’t). Customers are more likely to trust you if they know who you are. You don’t have to document your entire family history, but snippets of personal info – where you are based, how many children/pets you have – will make you more relatable.
Include a good quality, up-to-date photo. People love to see who they are buying from and, again, it engenders trust. The element of mystery will do nothing for you here. You don’t need to pay for professional shots – a smiley, clear, in-focus headshot will do the job. If you sell childrenswear, think about including your children in the picture – wearing your label’s clothes, of course.
How did you get here?
Write a short bio. Include previous work and life highlights that are relevant to your store. Avoid going down the full cv route (your customers aren’t really interested in your GCSE Woodwork grade). Tell a story. Perhaps you used to work in a shoe shop, but while on maternity leave with your little one you were inspired to start designing children’s footwear. Did a trip to South Africa inspire you to create your colourful homewares?
Just because you’re keeping it simple, doesn’t mean you can’t be different. Too simple = bland and boring. So many people have a fantastic site, then a dull-as-ditchwater About page. Add a few fun facts about yourself. Did you win a Blue Peter badge? Did you take part in the successful Most People Dressed as Kate Bush World Record attempt? Is your favourite macaron flavour pistachio? Quirky is good. Quirky says personality. And your About page should, above all else, reflect your personality.
Me, me, me
If you don’t feel comfortable shouting about your achievements, you can write in the third person. eg., ‘Peggy lived in Japan until she was five, which might explain her love for all things sushi.’ This style can be tricky to get right, so just imagine you are interviewing yourself and write it up as you would if someone else were the interviewee.
Having said that, you mustn’t lose sight of the reason people are there in the first place – they want to buy from you. Tell them about your brand/store. What’s the story? What is the ethos? Where are products made? By whom? These are the things people want to know. Give them what they want. It’s not all about you. And don’t make it too long or wordy – no one wants to read an essay. Keep it short, pithy and to the point. How can you help your customer? What are you going to do for them? Think of it as a kind of mission statement.
Get in touch
Yes, you may have a separate Contact page, but make sure you include at least an email address and links to your social media on your About page as well.
Videos can be a great way to convey the story of your brand/store’s journey, but beware of using video in place of copy. No everyone wants to or can (if they’re at work or browsing on their mobile, for example) spend five minutes watching you talk about your love of sherbet lemons. If you include video, do so alongside the text to enhance it.
What not to include
The About page is not a blog, hire me, or press page, so keep those elements out of it, although, of course, do link to them from the text.
The eccentric chocolatiers: Choccywoccydoodah. The Brighton-based sweetie supremos have a threefold About page, featuring Our Story, Meet the Team and Meet the Dogs. All three reflect the brand’s off-the-wall, leftfield values and have bags of personality with great photography and each team member sharing their favourite chocolate delight. [Visit Site]
The print designers: Bold & Noble. Again, this is more than a single page, but it works. It tells you everything you need to know about the origins of the company, the founders, the brand values and the team behind it. There’s plenty of personality through the little details and the illustrations rather than photos of the staff are entirely appropriate given the business – check out Jim from Royal Mail. [Visit Site]
The app: Paper FiftyThree. This creative about page is a font feast with typography being at its core. Perfect for an app about design. They have managed to tell their story succinctly with focus. They’ve also used this page to tell about their team. [Visit Site]
Activity: Search the web for five About pages that inspire you. Look at your hero brands. What are they doing right? Why do you like them? Print out our About Page worksheet. Write ten facts about yourself, then have a go at compiling your About page.