Over the past ten years, I’ve looked at a lot of websites and have written thousands of words for web pages.
After awhile, you start to know what makes for a compelling, engaging website and what has you clicking away so fast, your mouse is smoking.
Here’s a quick rundown on the common mistakes I’ve seen business owners make with their website’s About Page:
#1 No Headline
Even “About XYZ Company” is better than not having anything. On an About Page, you can have some fun. This is the place to show some personality. But think through the reason people go to your About Page.
Is it to learn about you? Your business? You want to keep all this in mind as you create your headline.
The SEO service website Moz used their passion to create a wonderful headline (“Making the Web a Better Place – And Loving Every Second of It”). They used the headline to draw in a reader to learn more about their story.
It has a very friendly, accessible tone and identifies their purpose: improving a website’s online presence.
#2 No Clarity
Why is your website visitor there? What do you want them to know about your business? If you’re helping gardeners improve their gardening skills, then you want to demonstrate that you know something about gardening.
Make your credentials clear and relevant to the purpose of your website.
Darren Rowse, founder of the popular website Pro Blogger, used his About Page to talk about his history with blogging. It’s a great story, because it shows how someone transformed a hobby into a paid profession. His visitors are interested in monetizing their blog, so it’s a relevant story.
#3 No Focus on the Real Star of the Show – Which is Your Potential Buyer (Not You)
This is what I consider the worst offense of an About Page – focusing too much on the individual. Whatever you write about yourself, try to see it from your reader’s point of view.
Would they really care about how you recovered from a broken leg to finally win the local firehouse’s Chili Cook-Off? Does it matter that once you got the kids off to school, you could finally focus on writing?
Again, think of the purpose of your website. Who is it helping? How does it help? Why is it needed? Connect the answers to these questions with your expertise.
MailChimp does a fabulous job on their About Page describing their history (briefly) but segues quickly into why this matters. They describe their culture well and their passion for empowering their customers.
The reader knows that MailChimp is focused on the customer, not just trying to hype themselves.
#4 No Connection to a Sense of Urgency
Who you are should somehow relate to a need. Why would someone need your product or service? What’s the driving force?
Reading articles and books about sales can help you determine the pain points of a business. If you’re reaching out to customers, find out what they’re struggling with or their biggest challenge in the area of your expertise.
People aren’t going to spend money on a simple whim. They are trying to fix a problem. Find the problem, add a sense of urgency to it, and you’ll have a much more compelling About Page.
#5 No Compelling Copy
Business jargon doesn’t tell anyone what you’re all about. Or why you feel so passionate about it. I’ll go out on a limb and say write how you talk. Do you really use business jargon in your conversations? Probably not.
Be real with your copy. People respond much more positively to authenticity than empty jargon. One of my favorite sales experts is Jill Konrath. Her About Page has strong, tight copy that clearly identifies her mission: to help businesses grow by improving their sales strategy.
There is no “fluff” in her copy. Every word is there for a reason.
When you write the copy for your About Page, edit it ruthlessly. Make sure it sends a strong message that your business or cause is what your reader wants.
Anyway. That’s my take.
I think a good approach is from my relationship coaching days.
Imagine being on a first date with someone who could become someone special.
Just be yourself. (Don’t pretend. You’ll eventually be found out, anyway.) And remember not to talk about yourself too much but instead, focus on the other person.
If you’re looking for a “wingman” for your website, let me know.
I write website copy but also advise businesses on what they should have on their web pages.
Sharper copy that hooks your visitor = engagement.
Engagement = conversions. And conversions = sales.
Your About Page can become an All About Sales page …if you play it right.