Your poor neglected About page. It was likely the first page you wrote when you had your website redesigned, and I bet you haven't looked at it since then. Raise your hand if you've made any changes to your About page in the past year — Bueller? Anyone?
Not to brag, but I updated mine on Friday. Before that, it had been at least a year since I looked at it. (P.S. All my advice falls under the “Do as I say, not as I do” category. We manage a lot of websites here at Surelutions and of course my own website is always the last one the to do list.)
Here's the thing. Even if you've forgotten about your About page, your visitors have not. Before they spend their hard earned money or precious spare time, they want to find out who you are, why you exist, who's in charge, whether or not you're trustworthy, and see if your values align with theirs.
So, let's make it better. Here are some suggestions for making improvements to your website's About page. If you don't have one, now is a great time to add it!
10 quick and easy updates for your About page
Before you scrap it all and start over, start with a few small updates to get your About page up-to-date and easy to find. Here are 10 quick fixes you can make to your About page right away:
- Make your About page easy to find in your website navigation. Whether or not it's in your main menu, it's a good idea to add it to your footer menu links.
- Proofread and fix any typos or grammatical errors. Better yet, have someone else check it for you. We all miss our own writing mistakes.
- Check that all the content is accurate and represents your current focus. You may be highlighting projects or events that are outdated or no longer relevant.
- Review your mission statement to make sure it's up to date. If you're a nonprofit, your mission should be front and center on your About page.
- Revise any date references to be the actual year to avoid giving visitors the opportunity to catch a match error. For example, “founded in 1998” rather than “founded 22 years ago.”
- Include your location and service area. You may serve clients in the larger community or nationwide, but adding where you're based (e.g., “Ann Arbor, Michigan”) gives you authenticity and something folks can connect with.
- Add your social media links and email sign up. If people like your About page, they are more likely to want to follow you in other places, even if they are not quite ready to invest dollars.
- Make your contact info easy to find. Your about page may very well be the page that convinces someone to connect with you, so make it easy for them!
- Add a testimonial or review. Personalize your About page by featuring how you've helped others in their own words.
- Share any significant partnerships or organizations you support. This can increase your credibility, and give visitors another opportunity to see if your values align with their own.
When you're limited on time and budget, work with what you have and make it better. If it's completely off track, then consider starting over.
Consider a rewrite
If you have the bandwidth to give your About page an overhaul, consider these suggestions:
- Keep it simple. Your About page is not the place for an autobiographical novel (it's more like the book jacket). Tell your story, but keep it concise and easy to read.
- Spell out your core values. Your About page is the ideal place to share your diversity and inclusion statement and any other statements that are important to who you are as an organization.
- Consider your ideal visitor and write for them. This an opportunity to for people to see if you're a good match for what they need, so write it with them in mind.
- Add your credentials, certifications, awards — what will reassure visitors that you're the real deal and position yourself as an expert.
- Include information about your key players — founder, president, etc. If you have a larger organization, you might also have separate pages for staff, partnerships, sponsors, and board of directors.
- Add a photo so we can relate to you. If you have a team, put a photo of the group. Don't have a photo? Skip it rather than using stock photography. Make sure the photo matches the tone of the writing. A photo of you in a tux will not make sense if you're talking about your organic farm.
- Drop the brochure jargon and keep it real — your About page can be a page that is more conversational. “Hey, we're glad you're here.” Keep it authentic to who you are as an organization.
- Add a video introduction for a more personal experience. But also keep in mind that some people can't or won't play a video, so make sure the content is written as well.
BONUS TIP: If you're a performer, speaker, educator, writer, or consultant with clients who are sharing your bio with their audiences, make it easy for them to copy and paste a shortened version of your About info. You can either provide it to them via email when you book your gig, or add a special Resources page to your website with bio, photos, and other important info they'll need.
More advice and ideas
Here's more advice, and fun and inspiring collections of About pages we liked from around the web:
What about you?
What do you look for on an About page? Did you find anything that needs updating on your own About page?