Your About page is one of the most important web pages on your blog. Why? Because, if you get your About page right, it will help you build a strong brand and position yourself as the go-to expert in your industry.
Just look at my About page. It’s so well -written that it helps me connect with you… and don’t just take my word for it. Look at how many people have commented on it… that’s right, over 1000 people have left comments on my About page.
So, how do you write the perfect About page? I’m going to share with you four tips for creating an About page that captures attention and drives leads. This blog post will cover:
- An overview of About pages
- The key elements of a successful About page
- Conversion rate optimization for your About page
- How to eliminate objections on your About page
Learn how I used the same techniques described in this blog post to also create the perfect consulting page.
#1: Overview of About Pages
If you really want to position your site as the authority in your industry, you have to set up an About page. An About page is a special web page on a site where your readers/visitors learn more about you and what you do. Writing this page isn’t the easiest thing to master, but it’s possible, once you understand the essential elements that must be included.
Often, this web page tells the story of the site owner’s journey from struggling to finally achieving success (or vice versa).
Google’s About page on their main menu gives an overview of what the company is about, introduces the founders and provides other information you need to know:
Having an About page can be beneficial to your overall blogging success. For instance, when you search for ‘Pat Flynn,’ the owner of Smart Passive Income, you will see that the blog’s About page ranks #2:
Let’s try to work out how many visitors Pat Flynn’s About page generates from this search result entry. To do this, we need to know how many people search for “pat flynn” each month. We can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find out:
There are 4,000 average monthly searches. Since Search Engine Watch reveals that the top three search results have a click-through rate of up to 58.4%, we can deduce that a search term with 4,000 average monthly searches will generate 1000+ organic visitors every month.
When people search for you, they will probably find your About page. That’s why it’s worth getting it right.
Here are a few reasons why you need to have an About page on your site…
Organic traffic: An About page sends free organic traffic to your site. For example, when you search for ‘social triggers,’ the About page is the first snippet shown under the main site listing.
You can tell prospects about your products/services: It’s much easier to sell to prospects whom you’ve educated, informed and persuaded prior to recommending the product. On his About page, James Chartrand has subtly included key phrases relating to the main services he offers:
It improves brand image: An About page can inspire your target audience to trust you, by showing that you’re reliable and have a proven track record. Chris Brogan’s About page is a perfect example. See how he includes references to books, speaking engagements and working with trusted brands.
You can use your About page capture email leads: Aweber revealed that when QualityStocks added an opt-in form on their About page, it resulted in a 158% increase in subscriber growth.
When people visit your About page, you can use that opportunity to lead them to your opt-in form, where they can subscribe to receive updates. See how Jeff Goins does it on his blog:
There are a lot of myths around about how to create About pages. For example, I once thought the About page was just a page where you talked about yourself, but it can be so much more. It’s important to know these myths so that you can avoid them:
Myth #1: Write only about yourself – Your About page doesn’t have to focus completely on you. Sure, it can include your personal story, but it’s wise to focus on how you solve a problem for your readers.
For example, Stefan Pylarinos starts his About page by talking about himself. But, in the second paragraph, he introduces a hook, saying he wants to be a: “source of inspiration for those who refuse to settle for anything less than an extraordinary life.” That’s a great way to get his audience engaged – and that’s what a well written About page can do.
Myth #2: Always use your own personal photo – This rule isn’t set in stone. A personal photo can help people know who you are and trust you. But, on a multi-author blog, it would make more sense to use a logo or a relevant image.
A typical example is what Marcus Sheridan, of the Sales Lion, did on his page. Instead of using his photo, which is present in the header, he uses a picture of a lion to make his brand stronger.
Myth #3: Use minimal design – I agree with this, to an extent, for some professions. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, most of your target audience will be more interested in your words than whatever WordPress theme you’ve opted for.
On the other hand, If you’re a web developer or graphics professional, you really have to make your About page attractive.
For example, Two Arms Inc used their About page to showcase their artwork. I love it, because it instantly tells the prospect what to expect:
The point is, don’t let these About page myths stop you from designing a page that’s right for your target market. Focus on people’s pain points and the solution that you can offer them. To get some inspiration, see the best About pages from around the web. You can even submit yours!
In the next section, I’ll look at the elements that will make your About page great.
#2: The Key Elements of a Successful About Page
In 2012, Hubspot shared the 12 essential elements of a homepage. Although the blog post you’re reading now isn’t about creating the perfect homepage, I believe an About page needs the same elements. There’s just one major difference…
Unlike the homepage, the About page should be directed at using your own personal story and unique selling point (USP) to create a strong impact that drives leads.
Using Hubspot’s template as inspiration, here’s a run-down of the elements that should be present in your About page:
Headline: Every web page needs a headline, and your About page is no exception. Use guidance on writing headlines that work to make your headline simple, clear and benefit-driven. Gini Dietrich does this well in the example below:
You can also include a sub-headline that further explains the benefit of your site to your readers. Help Scout’s About page does that with a headline that delivers the core mission, which is also the benefit for its customers:
Benefits: People who visit your About page usually have a specific challenge that requires attention. Your About page has to promise the solution to that challenge and show the benefit to readers. That must be a part of all the content on the page, from the headline to the call-to-action.
If you use personal stories, make sure that your readers can relate to them and learn from them. I love the way Craig Mcbreen does this on his About page, highlighting benefits in three places:
Supporting image: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” No matter how attractive and well-written your page is, if it’s nothing but text, you will lose a lot of potential customers. Don’t let that happen to you.
Add an image to your About page that shows who you are and what you offer. It could be your own photo, a custom logo, a short video – you choose. I did something a bit different on my About page, with a custom image showcasing key characteristics of me:
Storytelling: Every successful About page is centered around the author’s story. After all, a lot has happened in their lives before they get to the current point in their online business.Chris Haddad increased the conversion rate on a landing page from 2% to 8%, by sharing the story of how his wife hooked him with sales tactics.
Use your About page to tell your story. Avoid excessive self-praise and don’t be boring. On his page, Steve, of Nerd Fitness, shares how he made mistakes before starting the site. His honesty and great storytelling help drive leads:
By the end of this article, you will also know how to tell your own story in a way that people can relate to personally.
Call-to-action: Where do you send people after they have read your About page? Don’t leave it to chance; guide them with a call-to-action. The call-to-action is an indispensable element of your homepage, landing page or About page. Whether you choose an opt-in form, a link to your best blog posts or something else, make sure that it provides value to your readers.
Color choice: Colors have a significant effect on people’s behavior and buying decisions. The chart below, from In4mNation, shows how different colors affect consumer decisions to buy or ignore your message:
Even though you may not sell directly on your About page, it’s vital that you use the right colors for the background, text, links – and even supporting images. Two Virginia Tech researchers found that red and blue backgrounds on a website can influence purchases.
When using colors, make sure that your About page is consistent with the rest of your branding, so readers will identify with your site. Commission Junction has managed to change its design, while keeping their color choices consistent.
Here’s how the site looked in August 2009:
Fast forward to November 2014, and their homepage looks like this:
The site now looks more professional and is easier to navigate, but Commission Junction has stayed with green as a highlight color. That’s branding.
Navigation and fonts: If you want your About page to be successful, people need to be able to find it and read it. Make sure that it’s an easy menu item to find in the navigation main menu. A good place to put it is right after the “Home” menu item:
You can call your About page anything you like. The most popular page titles are: “About us”, “About me”, and “Who is [name of site owner]”. But, you can also be creative, like Ryan Lee:
Next, use clear, legible fonts for the content. According to Signal Tower, Futura, Helvetica, and Georgia are among the 9 legible fonts that you need to use for your web page.Marketing360 puts it, “replace rational words with emotional words.”
For example, instead of using “assist,” use “help,” because it’s more emotionally driven.
Instead of using the word “donate,” use “give,” because, again, it connects emotionally. There’s a huge list of emotional words that you can use for your About page copy right here.
Look at the screenshot to see how Leah Kalamakis uses emotional words on her About page to capture attention and engage potential clients:
Above-the-fold positioning: according to SAP Business Innovation, “our attention span is now 8 seconds, which is 1 second less than a goldfish.” That’s why the most important information on your About page must appear above-the-fold. That’s the portion of your page that’s viewable in a browser window before scrolling and it’s where people look first.
Research from Nielsen Norman Group shows that web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above-the-fold and only 20% of their time on information that requires scrolling down the page.
A lot of bloggers talk about unimportant stuff at the start of their page and build up to the most important information at the end of the page. That’s just a waste of time. Nobody is going to read it. Grab your audience at the top of the About page with the key information that they need. Use the page to show value, usefulness and enthusiasm and you’ll improve your conversion rate.
Now you know how to create your About page. In the next section I’ll show you how to improve conversion rates on your About page.
#3: Conversion Rate Optimization for Your About Page
Your About page is a point of contact for starting a relationship with future customers. It’s not meant to sell your product. In fact, using the hard sell could actually drive customers away.
However, you can use your About page to get leads with an opt-in form, because email marketing is the best way to reach a loyal audience, nurture that audience and gradually convert them into buyers.
The chart below, from Marketing Profs, shows how email beats search and lead generation sources from social media:
I’ve written a guide to conversion rate optimization on Quick Sprout. It’s worth reading when you have the time. In the meantime, here are some areas that you must address to improve conversions on your About page.
Every second counts: A year ago, I discovered that for every 1 second delay in the loading time of a webpage, there was a 7% decrease in conversion rate.
That’s why your About page needs to load fast. Reduce sidebar clutter and keep your image size down to help with this. No one will wait for images to load; they will just move on.
Writing benefit-driven headlines: For many site owners, the headline for their About page isn’t necessary. But, as we saw in earlier examples, a headline that highlights benefits for readers can help your About page to convert better.
Let me be clear… your About page headline shouldn’t be pushy. As Inscribd shows, this headline type actually reduces engagement:
Instead, use your personal story to build a strong bond with the right audience. Just be yourself and focus on why people should care – the rest will follow.
Here’s how to do it right. Ana Hoffman is the founder of Traffic Generation Cafe and her About page has a benefit-driven headline that has helped her to build a loyal audience:
Most bloggers don’t take the time on their About page to highlight how readers will benefit. Those who do enjoy success.
Here’s another example from Chris Ducker’s site:
And, here’s another example from Steve Scott:
How to write a benefit-driven headline for your ‘About page’: Do you know what you’re good at? What is that one thing that differentiates you from the crowd? It’s time to identify and understand it, because you’re going to use it to engage your audience.
For example, if you’re skilled at creating information products that sell well and you want to sell that service, here’s how to make your About page sticky:
Typical/common about page headline:
About (your name)
body: My name is Kenneth Lennard and I want to thank you for visiting my About page. I’m from Texas and have a beautiful wife.
The key issue here is that the About page copy above is all about the author, not the target audience. If you don’t focus on your audience’s needs, you might as well throw in the towel.
Alternative benefit-driven headline (recommended):
Learn How To Create Information Products That Sell
body: I’m Kenneth Lennard. Since 2011, I’ve successfully created and launched information products that buyers want. I can teach you step-by-step how to do exactly the same thing. But first, I’m sure you’d like to hear my story – I’ll make it brief.
This About page is clearly about the reader/prospect. It’s obvious that it will convert visitors into leads, if the author adds an opt-in form somewhere strategic.
To summarize, spend time crafting your About page headline so it gives a definite benefit, without being pushy or hyped-up.
Sometimes, you can make the benefits obvious in other ways. For example, the Twitter About page is simple, but tells you just what you need to know about how you can get started and what to expect.
The National Geographic About page takes a different approach and highlights resources for the reader.
What this shows is that there is no one perfect way of writing an About page. What really matters is the message, the motive behind the information and the value that it will bring to your target audience.
Improving your personal brand: The About page can be the pivot where your personal brand takes a new shape. Chris Brogan is a master at improving personal brands, so you would expect his About page to offer some insight. The list of people and brands he has worked with really makes him stand out among internet marketers:
Think about what you can add to your About page to enhance your personal brand and connect with your audience.
Optimizing your About page for Google: If you want to optimize conversions on your About page, you will need to optimize the content, so that it shows up in search listings when people search for you.
There are several areas you could optimize your About page: your name, your domain, your target keyword. Any of these will help you build a personal brand. Here’s how it could work.
If your target keyword is “SEO consultant,” then include that in your benefit-driven headline, like this:
About Me: The SEO Consultant Who Will Lead You To Google’s Top 10
You also have to keep in mind that backlinks are still one of the Google Ranking Factors that are proven to boost your rankings. So, don’t just target your primary keywords and relax; work on building authority links and relevant links to your About page.
Unique selling proposition: Your USP differentiates you from your competitors and your About page needs to make it clear.
Let’s assume that you’re a freelance writer. You and I both know that there are gazillion writers out there, so how do you showcase your advantage? To show your USP, get creative. When you pitch companies, tell them that you can:
- research the topic from 3 sources (e.g. books, journals and market studies).
- back up personal claims and opinions with accurate data, statistics and success stories.
- persuade the readers to take definite action that will bring them closer to meeting their goals.
- promote the content, once it’s live, to your social media profiles and your email lists.
All of the above benefits that you bring to the table are your Unique Selling Proposition. They’re your edge in this competitive business world. When writing your About page, choose the most striking of these benefits and position it above-the-fold.
Call-to-action: As I mentioned earlier, a call-to-action helps your page to convert. Whether you use an opt-in form or link to your best blog posts, the rule thumb is to keep it simple. As Oli Gardner of Unbounce correctly said, “One Page, One Purpose. Period.”
In other words, if you want people to read your About page and sign up, then focus on that. If you want them to click a link and read your blog posts, keep it at that.
Don’t combine both activities in one place, because more options will decrease your conversion rate, just like more social media share buttons decreased mine by 29%.
Once you have optimized your page for conversions, there’s one more area you have to handle… eliminating objections.
#4: How to Eliminate Objections on your About Page
Remember that your About page can turn readers into leads. But often, people are looking for reasons to avoid reading your About page or taking the next step to see what you have to offer. Some of the obvious objections could include:
- I don’t have enough time to read this page.
- You may not be the right person for me.
- Is your product really right for me?
- Maybe another blog would be more helpful.
How do you address and eliminate objections, so that your About page can help you improve relationships with potential customers and build your brand?
Before you can successfully eliminate these objections, you have to understand the solution you provide, because prospects want to know whether it can solve their problem or not. Then, you can be specific about eliminating objections.
Here are the best ways to do just that…
Use testimonials: Adding testimonials to your page will quickly boost its conversion rate. For example, Conversion Rate Experts made $1 million for Moz, by simply adding a long section of testimonials from professional SEO specialists.
Carol Tice, of Make a Living Writing, uses testimonials from readers, forum members and clients to eliminate objections and increase trust. Even better, she uses real pictures and website links to help anyone verify the claims. You can do this, too.
Make sure that you don’t use false testimonials. Not only can these damage your reputation, but they could get you into trouble with consumer protection agencies, like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Give away valuable materials: Everyone loves a freebie. So, when you give away something valuable on your About page, people will connect with you.
And, here’s a suggestion… try your giveaway without an opt-in form. If you do that, you will change your prospects’ thinking. They will assume that you’re invested in their success.
Include a video: According to Eye View Digital, using video on landing pages (like your About page) can increase conversions by 80%. Why? Because it builds trust and helps to eliminate objections.
Ramsey Taplin, the founder of BlogTyrant, uses a video on his About page to engage his audience. Watch it, if you have the time.
Focus on teaching: The most engaging About pages are anchored on teaching. I’ve built a successful software company, because I’m a teacher to the core. Over the years, I’ve replicated this strategy (teaching) on several of my businesses and it works.
It works for other people, too. Rand Fishkin is a great teacher who has helped make Moz a huge success in the software and SEO industry. His Whiteboard Friday video tutorial series is extremely popular.
Brian Clark and the team at Copyblogger uses teaching as well. Not only do they teach people how to write great content that can generate qualified leads, increase sales and boost Google rankings, but they also practice it wholeheartedly.
If you can teach your target audience on your About page, you are much more likely to be successful.
Put these tips to work and you can write the perfect About page for your blog.
Remember that there are no limitations. The more creative you are, the better your About page will work to drive leads.
How does your About page currently convert? Does it generate visitors and leads for you?