How to craft an irresistible “About” page: Lessons from Tumblr, Mailchimp, Moz, and more
Putting together a great About page requires more than just writing your life story and finding a nice photo of yourself on Facebook.
Your About page is where new users will learn more about you and what you offer and why they should stick around your website to find out more.
But before you start writing your bio, there are a few things to think about before you put pen to paper, so to speak. So in this post, I’m going to walk you through some tips along with examples of websites that have nailed their About page.
Who is your site for?
On Copyblogger’s About page, the introduction reads:
“Since January 2006, Copyblogger has been teaching people how to create killer online content. Not bland corporate crap created to fill up a company webpage. Valuable information that attracts attention, drives traffic, and builds your business… Today we’re a profitable company with 8 figures in annual revenue that’s growing fast. But our mission has never changed: We’ll help you create the kind of audience-focused content that helps you reach your business goals.”
See what they did there? Copyblogger introduces itself, but at the same time, it’s all about YOU. Why? Because when when the right people visit your About page you want them to know it, i.e. you want them to think right away, “OMG this is the site I was looking for!” In Copyblogger’s case, their readers are predominantly content creators and copywriters. While doctors or accountants might land on the site and think, “Ergh… words?”, content creators will feel an instant connection and be right at home.
What value do you offer visitors?
Sorry to break it to you, but your About page isn’t about you — it’s about your visitors and the value you’re offering them (if you hadn’t already gathered that!). People who land on your website want to learn about you, of course, but they also want to know what’s in it for them, i.e. how you’re going to help them solve a particular problem. So when planning your About page, think about what your website offers your target audience and how it might be useful for them.
Straight off the bat, Tumblr tells visitors on its About page that:“Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything.”
“Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything.”
A broad statement! But it’s followed up with a snappy paragraph that details the kinds of things you can share, along with examples of real life Tumblr blogs. There’s also social proof at the top of the page in the form of stats that tell you how many people are using the platform. What’s great about this About page is that it brings together the value Tumblr offers, important details about the company and social proof in one hit.
What your website is all about
So we’ve established that About pages aren’t all about you and that your visitors are more interested in learning about how your site is going to benefit them. Once you’ve nailed your target audience, you need to explain what your site is about and why visitors should stick around and click through to other pages. Here are a few things to think about:
- Why should people check out your site? What do you offer?
- How will visitors benefit from your content? Are they going to get blog writing tips? Web design inspiration? Let your visitors know what they can expect.
- Why should visitors trust your content? Why are you credible? This is where it’s important to display social proof, like testimonials and logos of businesses or websites you work or collaborate with. If you’re just starting out, just say so! Let visitors know you’re still learning and you’re sharing your’s experiences as they happen.
Tell your story
Great stories are powerful. They can humanize a brand and provide context and meaning for a product or service. And if your story is particularly good — and even if it’s not amazing, you know how to write the heck out of it — people are more likely to connect with it and share it around.
Everyone has a story to tell, so put the creative writing skills you learned back in high school English class to good use — or hire a fantastic copywriter. Be descriptive in your storytelling, use emotive copy and great imagery, and your About page will shine brighter than your competitors’.
Here are a couple of questions to get you started:
- What is your unique story? Who are you?
- How did your website get started? Don’t be afraid to be honest here about how your site came to be. Maybe you feel inspired after a few wines or it was something you threw together during a rainy weekend. Whatever your story, there will be readers who will identify with you.
Moz tells its story via a timeline, which sits outside the norm but works really well.
It starts with how Rand Fishkin founded Moz with him mother and details some of the company’s challenges and achievements up until 2016 when the SEO company secured $10 million in Series C funding. What’s great about Moz’s About page is that it’s honest, professional without being too formal, and gives a sense of history and stability — that Moz will be around for a long time to come.
Cut the buzzwords and be real
Most people tend to think that About pages have to be formal and corporate. But you know what? Most people find it easier to trust actual real people. Trying to sound too professional will not only make your page safe and boring, but you might come across as fake. So avoid buzzwords and industry jargon and instead just be authentic, friendly and real.
People who click through to your About page want to know about you (and what’s in it for them), so try writing in a conversational style. Give a sense of what it’s like to work with you or use your products or services, and show people why they can trust you. Even better, add testimonials and stories to your About page for added social proof.
One of my favorite About pages is MailChimp’s. The header image is fun and colorful, giving a sense that the company is friendly and easy to deal with. Like Tumbler, the text explains what the email marketing service is all about and what it offers.
When you scroll down, there are photos of the company’s leadership team, and a bit more scrolling will take you funny photos of MailChimp employees that link to interviews on Instagram. It’s a great About page that mixes corporate leadership info with fun and colorful graphics.
Don’t forget a call to action!
It’s amazing how many people forget the most important thing an About pages needs: a call to action. Visitors might land on your About page after clicking through for Google and you want them to stick around and click around your site, not immediately exit and head elsewhere. So you need to encourage visitors to take action.
What kind of action? You might want visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, check out your services, or get in touch for a free quote. Consider what you want new users to do on your site and that’s the CTA you want to put on your About page.
A click example of how to use a CTA on an About page is Twitter. The social service’s About page is short and sweet, featuring a large header image, a brief mission statement, stats for social proof, leadership information, and last, but not least, a clear CTA that encourages you to sign up to Twitter.
Now, go write an amazing About page!
So there you have it, six tips to help you write an amazing About page. While most people think About pages are easy to put together, they do take some time and consideration to get right. Hopefully these tips will help get you started.
Browse WordPress themes with great About Page templates.
A version of this article was originally published at envato.com on August 15, 2017.