How many times have you tried to research on the Internet what a company or professional does, only to find the About page isn’t ABOUT much? In fact, sometimes the descriptions fail to tell you even basics of what a business does … what, where, why, and how someone should care. Sometimes, a company doesn’t even include “About” in the list of clicks.
Yes, much like the first graph of a news story, the About page needs to grab the viewer with some well-written, well-presented descriptions that answer basic questions without being overwhelming or leaving blanks. Even the photos and graphics presented here assume this is a first-impression, first-introduction kind of space.
Laura Bracken, owner of Design Spike, Inc. in Spokane, says relevancy is key to search engines, “so be sure everything on the About page is “ABOUT” the company, owners, etc.”
About Finding The Words
The most important words in an About page start with an introduction. Think of speed-dating — most people skim content quickly to get an idea about someone or someplace.
Describe succinctly as possible the goods or services you provide. Quickly answer: what does the company do, what solutions do you offer? What will customers gain by choosing you?
Introductions such as a bio of yourself and any employees are always good, too. Over the years, I’ve gathered other good examples in doing research:
- Build trust. Tell a story that mentions when the company started and past successes.
- Does the written message come across as real, human — do you use “we” and “you” or does the language sound stilted? An effective way to communicate a personal touch or effective reach to customers is to tell a story about how the business got started or an “aha moment.”
- A little humor can work, too, if that approach fits the business.
An About page also could have a call to action in terms of a form, such as a Contact Us, a link to Contact Us, or a simple “Call Us Now,” Bracken says. Just make sure it isn’t too cheesy of a contact message.
Bracken says three important steps keep the page relevant and to the point:
- Easy-to-read headlines
- Relevant subheads
- Bulleted items
Keep everything easy for the reader to scan quickly — short, clean, and to the point with matching graphics. Bracken says the page should also include a high-resolution (or vector) logo file. Too often online, the posted Website logos are poor representations of the company.
Here the focus is obviously on a clean design that’s easy on the eyes – avoid clutter, keep the presentation professional yet with content that reflects the owner or company vibe. Find a good mix of words with graphics and photos.
As an aside, if the business is in newspaper articles or the media a lot, it would be wise to create a “media” page, too, Bracken also suggests. After some description or intro, these would link to the original media sources. Allow a way for users to grab a high-quality logo of the company, and find a succinct way to describe the business.
Real examples: Quality “About Page” Highlights
ProBlogger is often cited for a well-done job on its About, and go figure, the owner writes. That site concisely starts with: “Welcome to ProBlogger.net – a Blog that helps bloggers to add income streams to their blogs.” It follows with bio on founder Darren Rowse.
Here’s a big company, General Electric, that gets right to the heart of what the company does with a short message: “We build appliances, lighting, power systems and other products that help millions of homes, offices, factories and retail facilities around the world work better.” Apple Bride based in Spokane, also quickly cuts to the point: “The goal of Apple Brides is to inspire and assist local brides and grooms plan the wedding of their dreams. From Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Walla Walla to Chelan, we only feature local weddings, vendors and planning tips, all in an effort to make your wedding experience a whole lot easier.”
I also went in search of a good “this is our history” story for an example, and found one at White’s Boots. A reader finds the story about a family-run business making well-crafted boots since before the Civil War for the logging industry and growing with the goal of crafting the best work boots for today’s customers. Credibility, a solid business picture come to mind here.
Perhaps more can be gleaned from other good examples. Among the About pages you’ve found, what are ones that stand out? What have you found to be essential words, tones, themes to include?