5 Tips for Creating or Improving an Awesome About Page—Can You Guess What They Are?

5 Tips for Creating or Improving an Awesome About Page—Can You Guess What They Are?

5 Tips for Creating or Improving an Awesome About Page—Can You Guess What They Are?

So you want to make an excellent About page?

When you Google articles on the “how to” of About pages, there are so many ideas—many of these contradicting—and now you are frustrated and more confused than ever as to how to begin or improve an existing About page.

This confusion can lead to a poor page—one where it meanders and rambles in such a way that your customer loses respect for your product/service—or worse, loses interest and leaves your site entirely.

One of the best reasons for an About page on your website is the opportunity to showcase your product/service and the culture/feel of your company.

Here is your chance to engage with your customers in such a way that causes them to want to pursue you more. And this pursuit can then develop into brand loyalty and revenue. When people feel like they can connect to you on your About page, something magical happens: they begin to think of you as a friend.

RELATED: How to StoryBrand Your Website

Here are five ideas—four do’s and one don’t that will make your About page both clear and stand out and help your customers fall in love with your company.

1. DO give the information that will help your customers see you are a real company made up of real people.  

“Users seek reassurance … Subconsciously, they’re asking:

Who are you?

Where are you?

What do you do?

How are you doing it?

When did you start?

A good About page answers these questions directly by providing contact information (including a physical address), displaying photos of real people, and explaining what the organization is currently doing.” (UX Booth)

Answering these questions creates a real difference— like the difference between hearing about someone, versus actually meeting them. The About page gives other people the opportunity to meet you. And your job is to provide enough information so they can tell if they like you and can see you in a position to help them.

2. DO Share stories of how your company helped someone else.

It is all too easy to use your About page to brag on your company and its people.  A little of this is okay, however, too much of it, and it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. Instead of spending too much time talking about you, you, you, you, brag on your customers that you have helped.

“When you have a great story about how your product or service was built to change lives, share it. The ‘About Us’ page is an excellent place for it to live, too. Good stories humanize your brand, providing context and meaning for your product. What’s more, good stories are sticky — which means people are more likely to connect with them and pass them on.” (Hubspot)

If you look at MailChimp’s About page (listed as “Why MailChimp”) they start with a quote about who they are and what they do—in service of YOU.

At ClearBrand, we will wholeheartedly agree that your customer always needs to be the hero, not you—even on your About page.

3. DON’T drown us in graphics and information.  

We are all overwhelmed.

In a world where we are overrun with visual noise (digital and actual), sometimes the way to get someone’s attention is by doing less. Look at this website called Alfred:

 

They do a great job of introducing themselves, keeping it clean and simple and clearly telling you how they help you, without being braggy. This isn’t on their main page—this is their “Our Story” page. You can never say too often, “We are around to help you.”

4. DO pay attention to your graphics, typeface and color palate—Make sure they are consistent with your overall website.

Don’t get so excited about your About page that you start introducing cool graphics and typefaces which don’t show up anywhere else in your website. It will give your site a disjointed look and distress (at an unconscious level) your potential customers.

As I looked at numerous posts on typeface, graphics and color schemes,  it seems clear the real issue is in keeping consistent with your overall look and being thoughtful about what this graphic communicates and what that typeface symbolizes.

Maybe this is common sense, but then again, we all get excited with new and novel colors and graphics.

5. DO use your “About page” to tell a story.

Shopify has an excellent post on creating your About page. They state, “The best About Us pages accomplish their goals by telling a story about a brand.”

Here is an opportunity to share where you came from, how working with the people you love (your team and your customers) has brought you to this place where you are even better at serving your people.

I’m sure there were struggles along the way—it’s okay to share those. Just don’t let it get too wordy and cumbersome.

Some About pages make me want to leave the site immediately due to the sheer amount of words. I feel like if they say this much on the page, they’re probably not interested in me and my concerns. It’s like being at a party where someone monopolizes the conversation—we all get anxious when we feel trapped. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it can feel that way sometimes.

However, when people tell a story, I can get caught up in it. And, strangely, if it is written well, I feel like I can become part of it.

In Conclusion

Of course, these five items are not an exhaustive list. However, I do think a good About page engages with these five ideas.

I think it is a bit like cooking. There’s an art to it! There are many different ways to make an apple pie, but it does actually require apples. There are many different ways to construct an About page, however, if you make sure you include…

  1. Answers to the basic questions of who, what, where, how, & when
  2. How your customer was helped
  3. Minimal elements
  4. Consistency with your graphics and colors on your website
  5. Elements of story

…well, then you are on your way to a great About page.

Do this correctly, and you have added a powerful asset to your website.

Do a poor About page, and you may end up having people leave without really giving your product or service a fair chance.

And this would be a shame, now, wouldn’t it—because you have something really great to bring to the world, don’t you?

To your success,

Miriam

Make more money with a website that sells

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– 6 things every website should include
– the first thing your website should display
– 3 ways to boost your ranking on Google

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Say More with Less (How to Write Engaging Website Copy)

Say More with Less (How to Write Engaging Website Copy)

Say More With Less (How to Write Engaging Website Copy)

man reading a guide to seo for storybrand websites on his phone

If you are like most business owners, you own a product you love and you are proud of it.

You know people will become loyal customers for life—if they will only try your product. And so you talk it up and down and give lots of testimonials and 150 reasons why this product or service is the next best thing since sliced bread.

Blogs, email sequences, website copy (FYI, “copy” is another way of saying “content” or “words”). Words, words, words. —All in an effort to get your potential customer to realize their need for your product or service.

Meanwhile, people are leaving your site in droves. Leaving your emails unopened. Leaving your blogs unread.

Why?

As someone who is both a therapist and an Executive Coach, I listen to a lot of people. Do you know what the vast majority of them do in terms of their communication?

They ramble.

They use 1000 words, where 100 would do.

And, honestly, when I’m listening to a client in a therapy session, this is just fine. Even in a coaching session, it’s not a problem, other than time = money. But in advertising and communication about your product? Not good.

Instead of reading 100 words, your web viewers have to wade through 1000 while they try to figure out what you’re saying. This requires your readers’ brains to burn more calories to get your meaning.

The problem is, our brains don’t want to burn calories. So they check out.

Which means those 1000 words you wrote aren’t getting through to your readers and aren’t helping you sell your product.

My question to you is this: Can you say more in your website copy with less?

Keep what you need, get rid of the rest

I think the “say more with less” idea can take a lesson from simple minimalism. Basically, it says: keep what you need, get rid of what you don’t.

Erik Deckers, in his blog post Fewer Words, Greater Impact: How to Write Like a Minimalist, wrote:

“One myth people have about minimalism is that it means going without. A minimalist washes dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher. A minimalist owns four dishes, instead of 12 full place settings, plus a set of China. A minimalist has very little furniture, and their rooms are nearly empty.

“That’s not minimalism. That’s spartan living. There’s a difference.

“A minimalist doesn’t have very much stuff, but they make sure that what they have does the most and is the best they get.

“Just like a minimalist chooses the things that mean the most to him or her, minimalist writers choose the best words laden with the deepest, richest meaning they can find.”

What I am encouraging you to do here in reference to your business, website copy and email sequences is to use the best words (and fewest) you can find.

For a website, we can narrow that down to three things:

1. What is the problem your product or service solves?

2. How does it solve that problem?

3. How does it make your customers’ lives better?

I feel like (perhaps due to SEO) everyone has created so much blah, blah blah in their marketing. We are tired of it. This is what has created (or at least contributed to) skimming.

According to High-Level Marketing: “A popular rumor floating around is that blog posts & web pages need to be at least 300 words long to appeal to search engines. This is not true.”

High-Level Marketing gives a list of 14 things which are important for SEO, but excessive word length is not one of them.

When my kids were little, I used to play this game with them (which drove them CRAZY). I used to ask them to tell me about the movie they had just seen or a dream they had in 2-3 sentences.

I think this came about because years prior to me having children, I was trapped once by a 12-year-old who spent forty-five minutes telling me the plot of a movie. He never took a breath, but just kept talking. I was miserable and felt trapped.

I would never listen that long for a product.

There is this rude, impatient person inside me who is saying: Get to the point!

I don’t think I’m so different from most people.

So how do we get to the “less”?

Edit. Trim. Remove.

Stephen King, in his book On Writing, says between draft one and two, you should remove about 10% of your writing. This is a good rule for copy-writing as well.

With your website copy, you should remove close to 50%.

Remove (and replace) long gangly sentences with shorter ones. Get rid of larger words. Remove extemporaneous “that’s,” “very’s,” “like’s.”

If I were to go back and edit the previous sentence, I’d get rid of “extemporaneous.” I can say exactly the same thing by just saying “remove the …” It doesn’t change the meaning and it makes the sentence more readable. Just because you may possess a good vocabulary, doesn’t mean your reader does.

Having a good vocabulary or proving your intelligence has nothing to do with purchasing your product or service. It doesn’t make people more likely to buy. It makes them more likely to check out.

Here’s another tip: When you read through your writing, whether website copy, an email sequence or blog, look for superfluous and verbose words to remove.

Again, if I were to trim the last sentence I would get rid of both “superfluous” and “verbose” and I would replace them with ”extra.” I don’t need to be redundant—both words mean “extra.”

Another way to remove copy is to get rid of “weak” words.

Neil Patel, in his article Words You Need to Edit Out of Your Blogpost, says there are some weak words, such as “very/really”, “Think/believe/feel” “better/ almost” “amazing”, “maybe/perhaps/always” and “just/ literally” He also advises against the passive voice of “is/am/are/was.”

I literally struggle with this all the time. I think it is almost (well, perhaps always) a way to get really cumbersome in your efforts to be awesome. In the end, using these words just maybe takes your message from better to bad.  : )

Rambling is a copywriting sin

A couple of days ago, I was in a company working with one of the employees who spent an hour telling me something which could have been expressed in 15 minutes.

I let him ramble, partly, because I needed to be able to use his own behavior to illustrate to him how he talks on and on and on. I know most people would not be able to follow his train of thought without a huge effort on their part. Even I was pretty tired listening to all this.

This is what we do in our marketing efforts and in our website copy. We get lost in what we’re saying and go on and on. And, in the process, we lose our readers (and their business).

In one sentence, what does your product do?

In my therapy practice: I help people overcome trauma.

In my coaching practice: I help executives/companies realize their greatness.

At ClearBrand: we help people implement StoryBrand correctly so they make more money.

What does your company do? In one sentence.

It’s difficult to get it trimmed down, but the clarity is enormously useful to your clients.

It is important to be brief.

Our businesses are too important to risk losing people with our boring monologues. Your customers will leave your website without buying. They’ll put your emails in the trash. They won’t buy from you.

But when you say more with less, people stick with you and understand what you do. They give you the opportunity to talk to them. And they buy from you.

In Brief

If you look at the word count of this blog, I’ve already topped well over 1000 words.

How could I say this in less than 100?

People’s time and attention are valuable. If you truly want to serve them:

  • Be clear
  • Be concise
  • Show them how you can serve them in your website copy and email sequences
  • Make it easy for them to buy from you

 

Keep them engaged, but don’t blah blah blah them. That’s it.

To your success,

Miriam

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