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Tap into the Power of the About Page

Tap into the Power of the About Page

The About page on a company website is perhaps the single most overlooked and underutilized marketing opportunity.

One of the easiest ways to connect with customers is by humanizing your company. So many businesses miss this chance to gain customer loyalty because they don’t provide enough information—or they provide the wrong kind of information—on their website’s About page. These six tips will help you take advantage of this simple marketing platform and endear yourself to customers.

Provide Emotional Value

As with any piece of marketing content, there has to be a story, and that story has to matter to your audience. Without fail, every company has a story. It is often the story of a frustrated consumer who can’t find a product they need, like the story expertly (and simply) outlined on Bulldog Skincare’s About page.

Think about how your company came to be and what challenges it faced in its growth. Tension and struggle should take center stage. Perhaps the founder experienced some money-tight times while trying to realize his entrepreneurial dream. Or maybe the endless search for the perfect product left the business owner with no other choice than to just create it. Whatever the plot, explain why your company exists and make it clear why it matters to consumers.

There were probably some hiccups along the way in your company’s journey. Did you forget to budget for packaging expenses in your business plan and have to pay for them out of pocket? Was the team working out of someone’s apartment for a few months before things took off? Include these little details—they humanize your business and make you more approachable to potential customers.

Remember that Humans Make Companies

A photograph of the business owner and his or her bio are integral parts of your website. While companies don’t always include this as a feature of their About page, it should at least include a link for readers looking to learn more about the founder and team.

When you arrive at the About page for comedy company Cultivated Wit, the first thing you see is an image of four casual, normal-looking guys. This is the dominant feature of the About page because Cultivated Wit is a product of its staff.

Cultivated Wit includes some clean, simple text about their work on the About page, then breaks down into staff bios at the bottom. Presenting your company as person-centric makes it far easier for customers to identify with your business, care about it, and ultimately support it. A staff focus demonstrates that the company values its people, which is appealing to readers.

Talk Straight

Business jargon is great if you’re crafting a white paper or writing an op-ed for the New Yorker, but it’s downright wrong on a company About page.

As you get embedded in your business and your industry, your language changes. Certain words and phrases might carry meaning for you, but be completely lost on your customers. Ever read a paragraph about someone’s business and felt more confused about what they do than you were before? Don’t let this happen—it’s an immediate turnoff.

Instead, tell your story in simple, relatable terms. Web designer Joe Payton keeps his story simple rather than talking about backend development and CSS framework.

Supply Visual Stimulation

Not to go full cliché on you, but a picture is seriously worth… so much more than a thousand words. Words simply aren’t enough, especially on the web. Your customers want visual stimulation. Give it to them.

While images of the founder and staff are always an excellent choice, the options for visual additions to your About page are endless. Pictures of your office space and product images or screenshots make compelling visual additions to an About page.

In addition to real-world images that apply to your company, graphics can really up your About-page game. The often-referenced About page for Moz has a little bit of all these elements combined to create a sleek, fun-to-read page.

Update, Update, Update

Your company is constantly changing, so your About page should be, too. While your fundamental purpose might stay the same, it’s unacceptable for your About page to provide readers with any outdated information. Even the smallest details, such as team size and company age, should be updated every time there is a change.

If you have a content manager, make an “About page check-up” part of their monthly duties. With that level of consistency, your About page should never get stale.

Take Risks

Your About page is a place where you can take some chances. You want it to be a little weird and quirky, just like your company—because things like that stick with people. Your About page shouldn’t look or sound like everyone else’s.

Your About page is a powerful tool. Use it.

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by Simon Slade // Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training community; SaleHoo, an online dropship and wholesale directory; co-founder of Smtp2Go, an email delivery service and investor in SwiftMed, a virtual GP clinic. Through these companies, Simon provides the education and resources for ecommerce professionals to start their own businesses and achieve occupational independence. Simon can be followed on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.