5 Crucial Tips for a Better About Page

5 Crucial Tips for a Better About Page

What’s the most-read page on your website? Chances are that it’s your About page. (Just take a look at your Google Analytics if you want to find out for sure).

And that makes sense: New readers who stop by will naturally want to check out who you are, and what your blog and your business are all about.

Here’s the problem: About pages are often done badly. When I visit a website or a blog for the first time, there’s a good chance that the About page fails the test:

It often doesn’t even exist.

If it does exist, it’s often badly out of date and seems weirdly disconnected from the rest of the site.

If it exists and it’s updated, it often only confuses me about the site’s purpose or the author, rather than enlightens me on both.

And in most cases, it rambles on about the author in a self-indulgent, useless or corporate way, rather than engaging me and telling me what I want to know.

… and so on.

About pages can be daunting to write – I get it. I’ve certainly put off writing and updating mine a fair few times in the past.

But waiting until you have an entire free day to craft the world’s most amazing and compelling About page isn’t a great strategy.

So here are 5 fast tips you can use right now to enhance your About page immediately. Why not pick one or two tips and make the changes today?

Tip #1: Focus on the Reader

Your About page should use “you” and “your” at least as often as it uses “I” and “my” (or “we”), especially in the first few paragraphs.

Take a look at the opening sentence of the Men with Pens About page – I’ve put “you” and “your” in bold:

Want to improve your online results, take your business to the next level and squeeze every ounce of success into your marketing efforts on the web? You’ve come to the right place.

In fact, the entire first section of the About page focuses firmly on the customer – not on James herself, which only comes into play later on. And in all the text, “Men with Pens” and “we” only appear once each.

Do it now:

Go to your own About page. Look at the first ten lines or so. How often do you write “I” or “we”? How often do you write “you” in comparison? Sometimes switching those pronouns around can make a huge difference.

Tip #2: Indicate Your Full Name

Have you ever read a novel or short story where you spent pages trying to work out the narrator’s name? It’s irritating and distracting – and the same goes for your About page

Let readers know who you are. Write your full name.

If you’re writing under a pseudonym, you’re in good company, but do make sure you include it. Don’t beat about the bush.

And if several people write for your blog, or your company is formed of a team, mention each of them by name. You might include a short profile for each, so that people know who’s behind your business.

Do it now:

Go to your About page. Is your full name there? Is it easy to find? If you don’t see it or just see your first name, add your full name in so that it’s clearly visible and easy to find.

Tip #3: Use Photos

A photo of you creates an instant connection with readers. It’s also a nice way to add more visual interest and break up your page to make it easier to read – which increases the chance that readers will keep reading.

Your photos don’t need to be professional shots (though that helps) and they don’t all have to be of you. If you blog about travel, you might include photos from a recent trip, for instance. If you have a more casual photo you really like, add that in.

If you do have a professional head shot on your page, it’s a good idea to use the same photo (or a very similar one) elsewhere online – on your Twitter account, for instance. This creates visual consistency and supports good branding.

Do it now:

Go to your About page. Is there a photo of you? If not, find a recent photo – it doesn’t have to be perfect – and add it into your About page. If you already have a photo on your About page, make sure it’s a recent picture and a clear shot. Blurry pictures are passé.

Tip #4: Link to Your Best Articles and Resources

Readers who land on your About page are probably new to your blog or your website, and they may not know where to go next or where to find some of your best content.

It’s usually a good idea to point them in the direction of some great beginner-friendly posts and your best resources – perhaps that free ebook you wrote a few months ago, or that in-depth piece of cornerstone content that other readers loved.

Do it now:

Choose three popular articles from your blog and link to them on your About page. You might want to include a brief excerpt or summary for each to help orient readers and encourage them to click.

You can also point people to your entry-level products or services – just make sure that you limit how many links you ask people to click on, so that you don’t overwhelm them.

Tip #5: Make What You Do Very Clear

I’m always surprised when I read an About page that has little or no information about the services or products promoted elsewhere on the website.

It might be obvious to you that you’re a freelance writer or a business coach or an app developer, and your “Services” page might have information on that – but that’s not probably not at all obvious to a first-time visitor.

Be clear and upfront about what you do. Write an About page that supports your business. After all, you’re not blogging as a public service.

If readers don’t know that you’re an experienced freelancer or an in-demand speaker or an expert coach, they can’t hire you or buy from you.

Do it now:

This one’s easy. Edit your About page and make sure you indicate what you do clearly, in the first few sentences. Add a line like I’m a freelance designer who specializes in simple yet eye-catching logos.

Bonus Tip: Update Your About Page Regularly

However carefully you craft your About page, it’s inevitably going to become dated over time, and often faster than you think. Your business may change tack (subtly or dramatically), and you may find yourself changing too.

If you’ve included anything along the lines of “ten years’ experience” or “two kids aged 6 and 4”, then this information will need updating at least once a year.

Obvious, I know – but also very easy to forget.

Do it now:

Look over the information in your About page now. Revise outdated material and add in fresh ‘about’ content.

Then put a note in your calendar three months from today, and add a reminder so that it lets you know it’s time to revisit, review, and revise your About page again.

Have you chosen which tip you’ll try today? Do it now – pick two from the choices above, and head over to your About page to freshen it up.

And if you have a great tip on how to write your about page, just pop a comment below.

Post by Ali Luke

Ali Luke is Head of Content (and Blogging Trainer) at Zen Optimise. Once you've got your About page in shape, give your blog posts a boost with her 7 Gripping Ways to Start a Blog Post. You'll thank yourself for it!