Entrepreneur by Nick Wolny
Nearly every website you visit these days has an “About” page, and for good reason: 64% of consumers report they have a strong relationship with a given brand because of shared values.
The “About” page of your site is a great place to share your origin story and company outlook. Too often, though, founders and authors use the “About” page to talk too much about themselves — and miss out on potential sales and inquiries as a result.
It’s important to be human, but let’s not kid ourselves: People visit your website to determine if you can help them solve their problems. Make your “About” page about them instead of yourself, and that will put you miles ahead of the competition.
When written well, your “About” page can play a powerful role in getting you more clicks, subscribers, and sales. Here are 5 steps to ensure you’re doing it right.
#1: Share a compact, relevant story
It’s true that sharing your personal story will humanize your brand or business. But we don’t need to know what your favorite ice cream flavor was when you were ten years old. Sharing your origin story sets the stage for why you should be trusted to do the job.
Search Engine Optimisation company Moz has a compelling About page because they outline their origin story and company timeline in a clear, compact way. They also share why they shifted their positioning in 2013 and then actually shifted back three years later. It’s vulnerable to admit you were wrong, but the intelligent business decisions that guided them to and through these transitions actually create more authority. They stand behind their approach 100%, because they know what it feels like on the other side of the fence. Story is critical and adds a touch of personality to your company, but make sure the aspects of story that you share show why you’re qualified to help solve the user’s problems.
#2: Make it clear who you can help
It’s important to identify who you serve. This attracts your ideal client, and just as importantly, it turns off prospects that are the wrong fit. But it’s best to let readers decide for themselves. A good rule of thumb is to structure your “About” page as a series of questions or statements that make the reader say “yes” or “no” in their head. This self-identifying validation helps increase brand affinity.
Consider the “Our Story” page for Trader Joe’s. After a brief history, a list of bullets appear that explainhow the company’s decisions result in the best products at the best prices for you.
Four out of the five bullets reinforce their low prices, which is music to their target market’s ears. But they also stress the importance of having a few higher-quality products. And if you actually want to know their entire history, they link to a separate timeline page for your viewing pleasure. This method stacks page visits and strengthens SEO while saving time for those who are just skimming.
Trader Joe’s gets that consumers who visit the “Our Story” page might be interested in the brand, but not more interested than getting a great deal. This laser focus on features and benefits explains why the private grocer has becomean $8 billion company.
#3: Show proof that you’re the real deal
The psychological reason prospects visit an “About” page is to determine if you’re legitimate. Testimonials, media placements, past speaking engagements, and other social proof are all critical to include on an “About” page.
If you have longevity or expertise in your field, don’t be afraid to show that off, too. “15 years of experience” or, “More than 1,300 clients served” will cement trust in the mind of your reader, and up to 90% of B2B consumers say examples of past successes influence their decision.
It also helps to reiterate statistics not just about your own company, but about your industry in general. Industry trends and compelling numbers can remind users of the problem they’ve come to you for in first place, and heightens their desire for you to remedy the issue.
#4: Give details on your process
Another great way to inform your reader about your company while making it applicable to them is by explaining how your services work. This can help mitigate fear and hesitation from conservative buyers or consumers who like to know how things will happen before they hand over their email address or credit card.
#5: Direct readers to take action
A cornerstone of good direct-response marketing is that every page or post leads somewhere. In an age where attention spans are eroding, every second counts.
Too often, the “About” page is a dead end. If a consumer has taken the time to get to know you, consider embedding a call to action somewhere in your copy, with a link to next steps. Or at the bottom of the page, remind readers to join your email list or redeem a free gift. It can feel pushy, but if your call to action is linear to what you just communicated in your “About” page, taking that action becomes the logical next step.
Implement these small tweaks to your website’s “About” page and leave out the fluff. You’ll communicate about your company more clearly while inspiring action in prospective clients and consumers.
This article was first published in Entrepreneur.