Let me ask you something: When was the last time you updated your about page? If you’re like most businesses I work with, the answer may be:
- When our website was first launched.
- It was a long time ago.
- We don’t have an About page.
Of course, the 3rd answer is the most disturbing. Whether you’re fond of talking about yourself or not, writing an About page is essential.
However, it can also be tricky. It’s meant to be about you, but it exists to serve a purpose for the reader.
So let’s go over the major guidelines, do’s and don'ts you need to write super-helpful and user-centric website About page content.
About The About Page
So you have a great looking website and some interesting content. What you may not have are the basic pages which make for a wholesome user experience.
For pages like homepage or contact page, you already know that it makes sense to have them. But when it comes to About page content, you might think of it as unnecessary, or cliche.
In fact, many webmasters initially get confused about why they even need to write an About Me page when they’re already introducing different parts of their website on the homepage.
But there’s a difference between what you put on the homepage and the content for About Me page.
The homepage is not a full introduction to your brand. It’s rather a teaser to all different types of content available on your website, only one of which is your About page content.
Your About Me page’s content tells the reader who you are, what you do and why they should bother to read your website.
Bottom line: Your website needs an about page. It’s not optional.
About Page Writing Essentials
In this section, I’ll talk about the must-have components to write an About page. In addition, we’ll take a look at how to approach each component the right way, along with an example of a brand which does it well.
Name & Credentials
Let’s say I want to mention your brand or content in one of my blog posts or social media updates. In order to do that, I’d like to know who you are.
At the very least, I need your name. And not a spammy name like “The Stock Market Wizard.” It should be your name as in when someone introduces you at a social gathering.
So depending on whether you’re a single person behind your website or a leadership team, your website About page needs real names, with both first and last names.
And while you’re at it, make sure to list credentials that let readers know that you know what you’re talking about on the website.
If you’re a registered real estate agent for instance, put that in the content of your About Me page. Also list any awards, certifications or other credibility boosters.
If I want to hire you, buy from you, partner with you or even recommend you, I’ll be more likely to do that if I have some sense of who you are.
That’s why a name is not enough. As humans, we are visual beings. Associating a photo with a name makes it easy for us to remember, recall and connect.
Once you know someone’s name and have seen their photo, the more content you read on their website, the more you’ll feel like you know them.
Think about how it works with movie stars. Technically, you only know their name and you see them performing in movies.
You have no idea of how they are in real life, except from what the media makes up and feeds you.
Yet you feel like you know them on some level. And would be willing to do them a favor if asked for. That’s the power of the visual medium.
Short Bio & Story
Your About Me page content also needs a brief introduction about you and your core team.
Briefly cover who are the people behind the website and why did you start this business. We want to forge an emotional connection right from the beginning.
In addition, you can also share a story of how you came to be where you are with this website/business.
Keep it in a separate section from the bio, because this will only be for prospects who might want to dig deeper.
A story isn’t meant to gloat, but to relate to your audience. It shows your readers that you’re one of them, and have faced similar problems or experiences.
A great example of this is the About page of Yellow Leaf Hammocks. The About page breaks down different parts of its story into easily digestible paragraphs.
Moreover, they clearly cover what makes them different. With a descriptive copy and stunning, they make sure their story works and connects with their audience.
Value Proposition & Core Benefits
I hate to break it to you, but your website’s About page isn’t about you. It’s actually for the visitor who clicks to learn more about you.
So you need to show them why they’d be reading your site instead of a thousand alternatives.
Talk about the problems you can solve for them. Tell them how your business can help. Speak to their needs and interests.
Yes, your About page content is supposed to be about you, but only in the context of how you serve your target audience.
Marc Ensign has nailed that balance on his About page, along with a confident hook, followed by a photo of himself.
When writing an About Me page, if you absolutely can’t resist the temptation to tell your audience what you feed your cat in the morning or other trivial details they don’t care about, at least put this info at the bottom.
Remember, keep it about the reader, and what’s in it for them.
Mission, Vision And Values
Your about page should contain information regarding who you are, where you aspire to be and what are your core beliefs.
The mission, vision and values trio can help you define the same. Your mission statement explains what you do, the vision statement shows your imagination of the future of your company, and the values statement conveys your priorities.
For example, Google’s about page starts with its mission statement.
Tell your visitors about the present and the future of your company. It is important to write these statements in a way that intrigues them.
You can always go through the statements by different brands for inspiration.
Reading these statements can increase their faith in your business. This can improve your branding considerably.
Call To Action
Yes. Even your About page needs a call to action (CTA). No exceptions.
Once someone has read more about you, what’s the logical next step? What action do you want them to take?
You may invite them to read your blog posts, subscribe to your newsletter or contact you. And your CTA will direct them to this action.
However, what your About Me page content doesn’t need is a bunch of different CTAs: follow me on social media, bookmark this website, buy this product, blah blah blah.
The biggest mistake you can make is to overwhelm the reader with too many things to do. As a result, the reader will end up doing nothing.
For example, see how EHD keeps the main focus on contact options on their about page. Other options like connecting on social media are also available, but they don’t take too much attention.
So stick to just one CTA. My recommendation is to ask them to join your email list. This way you’ll be able to stay in touch with them via emails and have a shot at bringing them back to your website.
About Page Mistakes To Avoid
When it comes to writing an About page, there are certain errors that I see often on several websites - errors which could have easily been avoided.
The following mistakes are pushing the very people away who you want to connect with in the first place - your websites visitors. But the good news is these are easy to fix.
Writing Boring Content
Here’s the #1 reason behind a boring website About page: fear.
It’s okay when you’re talking about your business. But your About page content requires you to put a part of yourself on the line. It makes you vulnerable.
And since you want people to like the person or team behind the website, you refrain from being real and try to play it safe.
So you hide the weirdness, dorkiness and the quirks that are part of being a unique human.
And that’s what makes your About Me page similar to a hundred other About pages on websites which are on the same subject as yours.
The result is a boring about page with a cold, corporate vibe.
So what’s the solution? Just be who you are and tell the truth.
Write in your honest, uncensored voice. And be ruthless when it comes to trimming out the corporate-speak or complicated jargon.
For example, look at Apptopia’s about page content. Their simple but refined language effectively conveys what they offer without compromising on clarity.
How did they do it? By avoiding jargon whenever possible. They are using short and punchy sentences to describe complex ideas in a way that’s easy to comprehend.
Using Clever Names
Some websites make it really hard for me to figure out where their About Me page is, or whether a particular page is their About page.
This is because they give the website About page some clever or confusing name like “What We Do” or “The Inside Scoop.”
When it comes to your website’s interface, remember the golden rule: Don’t make the user think. Just call it what everyone does and knows: About.
I don’t want to look at your “What We Do” page and wonder if that’s where you talk about your services or introduce your business and team.
Focusing Too Much On Yourself
I have read plenty of About page content over the years on different websites. Here’s what I have learned: most of them suck.
That’s because they all look the same. Here's how a typical About Me page reads:
My name is [Name]. I was born in [Location]. I went to [College]. I have 3 [kids or dogs or cats or orangutans].
When I am not working, I like to do [Activity]. I started this website in [Year] because I love [Niche].
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn
Do you see it? All these parts are focused on the website author, not the reader: “I am this”, “I like that” and so on. It’s all “me me me.”
Needless to say, it’s the wrong approach. Instead, you should tell them about the problem you solve for them, and why it’s important.
And what it is about you that relates to this problem and can help your audience.
Maybe you have faced these challenges before and solved them for yourself, or maybe you have years of formal education or experience. Talk about that.
There you go. When writing an About page, it’s easy to overcomplicate things and lose sight of your audience.
But remember - a great About Me page is simple, direct and communicates just a few key points. The objective is for the prospect to see your human side, understand how your website helps them and as a result, feel closer to your brand.
Did I miss anything? Did you like these tips? Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.