How to craft the perfect about page
In our experience, the traffic to a company’s about page far exceeds the traffic to any other pages. At the same time, companies spend an age carefully crafting their service pages and refining their products to take them to market, and very little time on their about page. It looks like there’s a serious disconnect.
In a world where most visitors are more interested in the why than the what, at least in the early stages of the buying cycle, it makes more sense to focus more effort on your about page. How is yours looking? Here are some tips to create a hardworking about page that’ll sing for its supper, helping you drive visitors firmly yet gently to the next stage along the road to working with you.
First, why are most about pages so rubbish?
We at Mass Impressions think there are a couple of convincing reasons why so many about pages miss the mark, at least in this country. For a start, people do not really know what to say. About us is such an open-ended proposition. Do you talk about your size, history, culture, goals, mission statement or something else altogether? Second, we are British, we tend to be naturally self-effacing, and we are not entirely comfortable blowing our trumpets. We’d much rather take the mickey out of ourselves. As a result, most about pages are either short, weak, confused, unfocused or identical to the home page.
Believe in something
What motivates you to get up and go to work in the morning? What difference do you want to want to make to the world? As you know, as a consumer, it is inspiring to buy from a company that believes in something, an organisation that knows its products and services matter.
Your business does not need to be worthy in the traditional sense, saving small furry animals or rescuing children, but when you are proud of what you do, it is worth telling people. Here’s an example. In our world, we believe that one-off ‘design and run’ web design projects rarely work well. We always look to build longer-term relationships. It is at the heart of everything we do, and as such, it is crucial for us to express that on our about page.
Don’t get lost in your history
Sure, it is reassuring to work with a company that’s been around for a while and is thriving. They are obviously doing something right. However, the message is so dull it will have visitors snoring. Instead of going into fine detail about the company history, focus on what you offer to your clients now, on who you are now. Unless, of course, you have a fascinating company history on the planet: “Our business was hand-knitted by vestal virgins in the year 1437, and we have been selling candy floss to space aliens ever since”.
You make considerable efforts to sell your wares or services to visitors throughout the rest of your website. Too many people make the mistake of just repeating what the home page says on their about page. Moreover, your home page is naturally all about selling. Use your about page to explain to people who you are and what you stand for, not as another opportunity to sell to them.
Define whom you want to influence and focus on them
Whom are you hoping to influence? Do they have a specific set of problems? Can you meet those needs in a way that makes you an entirely unique and compelling partner? Can you do so in a way that is value driven and feels authentic? The chances are that you do it every day, but get paralysed with doubt when faced with the need to create an about page. Yes, it is tricky to define and articulate intangible things well, but when you focus on your audience and their desires, the way ahead becomes a whole lot clearer.
Your USPs – What makes you different?
Every company claims that they are different. However, very few communicate those differences well. The first step is to pin down your USP or USPs. You will have at least one unless you have just copied someone else’s business model wholesale and created a ‘me too’ company. Like ‘me too’ products, they exist.
Take the time to define what makes you different and communicate it well, ‘well’ meaning clearly and briefly in an entertaining fashion. It makes for a hugely powerful message when you get it right.
How to find something unique about yourselves? If you are baffled, ask your customers, colleagues, friends or even family, mainly people who can see the wood for the trees. Then place those brand values right at the heart of your ‘about’ message.
Take a look at this for inspiration. It is one of our favourites, from a branding company in the USA which presents its brand values front and centre on their site.
People vs. product
People build great companies, visit websites, and buy from their fellow humans. Don’t get bogged down in services or products. You talk about them quite enough elsewhere. It is the people side of things that matters. So, tell your visitors whom they are dealing with and don’t be scared to get personal, making it clear why your people are such a great team.
Don’t lie – own it
Are you a one man band? Offer a proper, one-on-one personalised service that larger companies cannot. If you are a remote team, you are dipping into a huge stash of global expertise, way beyond the surrounding 20 miles, and that is powerful stuff. Don’t lie or pretend to be something you are not. Own the way you work and let its strengths shine through. Also, turn those strengths into value-driven benefits.
Put the visitor first
Putting yourself in a site visitor’s shoes is vital. What would you like to hear about your business if you were them? One of the most powerful pieces of marketing wisdom applies here, just as it does everywhere else: it does not matter what you want to say. What your potential clients want to hear is the important thing, the vital thing, the thing that matters.
Putting people first involves another key marketing takeaway, and that is leading to the benefits. Who cares if the cars you sell have passenger side airbags. What matters is that those airbags save passengers’ lives. Do you see the difference?
How do you do what you do? If you have a methodology you work to, tell people about it. It helps them understand what they can expect from you at a very practical level. It also allows you to demonstrate your values and differences clearly and more efficiently.
Don’t bother dotting your about page with trendy buzzwords. Your audience can smell BS a mile off, and it will drive them away in droves. Honesty, clarity and brevity are all vital if you want to build an about page that endears you to your audience and supports them on their journey along the sales funnel.
Crap ‘about us’ page?
If your about page is as lamentable as many, maybe a fresh set of eyes can help you create something potent, then get in touch! It is just one of the things we do for our long-term clients, as part of a healthy, lucrative working partnership.