Arriving on a new website can be quite daunting. Will it sell what I’m looking for? Where do I go to find that information? How does the menu work? All completely normal questions. So where do you usually look for help. The About page. Finding out who is behind the business name and understanding a bit more about what they are trying to achieve can really help.
This episode explores what information you may like to include in your About page and walks you through some key sections to help you structure it more effectively. I also offer my honest opinion about whether you should include a photo of yourself or not. Hint: go to my website and see what I did!
INTRO: This is the Help! My Website Sucks podcast – your bitesize guide to web design. I’m Amy Gumbrell, a freelance WordPress web designer and when I’m not building udderly functional and beautiful websites, I love talking about them. In fact I’m on a mission to make websites next level easy and to make sure that your website doesn’t suck.
Today we are talking about the page that after the homepage is the most important page on any website – the About page. This may come as a surprise to you or you may be slightly perplexed why in my opinion (and many other web people’s opinion) this is a powerful weapon to have in your website armoury.
Let’s have a look at what we actually mean by an About page first. Of course this may seem like I’m being a tad on the old patronising side but after years of going through this in depth with clients and seeing the results please do bear with me. An About page is where you showcase you and your business. The information you give will depend on what your business is offering and what your brand is all about. You may choose to talk about the origins, the provenance, the raison d’être of where it all began. You may decide that a visual timeline of where you started as a person to where you are now is more appropriate. For your business it might be all about the business wins and showing them off and shouting about them. Your decision must align with your brand values and must align with what you want people to do once they’ve read the page i.e. what is the goal of sharing the backstory with potential customers? What is the goal? Remember as emotional as it may be to share information about yourself, the about page is like all your website pages – it’s a sales page for your business services and products. Often people new to your brand will be curious and simply want to find out who they’re dealing with – this is when a description and image of you and your team is sometimes useful.
Now I have an ultimate checklist of what to include on an about page. Of course I do I’m a web designer! But do you know what? as always I do like to add a little disclaimer to say that it will depend on you and your business model and brand. Also you may decide to combine some of these elements which I think is absolutely fine. You may want to miss some out. Why not. As long as it is consistent with your brand…ok I’ve said that a lot I think you get the picture.
Number 1 – Mission statement – it doesn’t have to be too wordy or too floaty and flowery but it does need to state where you and your business fit in your industry. What is your goal? What is your vision? Make it memorable.
Number 2 – Company story. Where did it all start? If you’re a start-up, you may keep this super short but it does need to be there. In fact this is a great place to talk about your core values as well as what turned your business from idea to right now.
Number 3- How have you grown/developed/changed- This will link nicely with number 2 but you may want this as a separate section particularly if you’ve established yourself in your industry already and can show how you’ve adapted to the changing needs of your customer and industry.
Number 4 – Ideal new customers – this takes the form of who your business is aimed at and who you work with. You may have niched into a specific industry or you may work with certain age groups or your products are obviously aimed at a certain group of people. Talking about what services and/ or products you are offering will help potential customers decide if you are for them.
Number 5 – Previous customers – People love a good review and their purchasing decision may well be influenced by reading what others think about you and your business. Adding testimonials from your previous/current customers is such a wonderful thing to add – you may even consider creating case studies and linking to them from these testimonials. Some people like to include partner logos and accreditations on the about page to further back up their brand reputation. Social proof is a powerful phenomenon – you know the thing that makes you think that if you haven’t tried something or experienced it, others around you who have done tried it or experienced must know what they are talking about? So why not make use of it on your website!
My checklist is a great starting point when thinking about writing the content for your About page but where do you go next? If you aren’t hiring a copywriter to help you with your content or your web designer doesn’t offer that service, you may be wondering what is going to work for you. Sometimes we just need a bit of inspiration and with a quick Google, you can find umpteen blog posts with examples of About Pages. They often link directly to them and describe why the about page works for that particular company. A word of warning though – just like you are putting together your website to sell your product or service, the blog post you land on is part of a website also selling a service or product. Be aware of the bias people!
Before I finish up this episode one question I am always asked is – does my About page really need a photo of me? Honestly I would say yes. Although it doesn’t need to be a professional shot unless that is the look you are going for. Some people like a good illustration. Some like a casual shot of them. Some even like to do a little video short too. Whatever you decide it is a really nice way to allow people to relate to you and personally it is an easy win. Life’s too short to be wondering if you should or shouldn’t so go for it!
OUTRO: If you’re hearing this message, you’ve reached the end of another Help! My Website Sucks podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening – I really appreciate it. If you need help with your website, get in touch at twocowsweb.co.uk and until next time bye bye for now!