We see it all the time when clients ask us to send them SEO evaluation reports, when we analyze marketing campaign results or prepare monthly SEO reports: the About Us page is almost constantly in the top three most visited pages of a website. Given its importance, you will find a lot of ink (of the digital kind) has been spilt on the subject of how to make the best ever About page. Since I am not nearly up to the monumental task of reviewing it, I would like to focus on one single aspect: how to make the About page actually be about you.
Several examples of good About pages
What is the first thing when you want inspiration with something like About page design? Search for good examples, of course. "Top ten" or "the best" or something along these lines in a several search engines (and I really mean the plural) is bound to give lists and examples of great About pages. Your will soon discover, though, that that is less helpful (for a number of reasons) than you might have thought: technical complexity, time resources, lack of knowhow.
Take the example of the Kickstarter equivalent of the About page - Who we are. A large wallpaper that turns video shows the whole team in various postures along a wooden bench - objects, clothes and posture providing an insight into the personality of each team member. You can scroll horizontally along the image and gradually discover the whole team. An instant human connection you (and many others) would find pleasant and reassuring.
Of course, the Who we are page is not (and neither could it be) the whole story: if you look you will see that the footer was designed as the gateway towards a series of pages dedicated to information about them: What is Kickstarter? Who they are? Projects they love, etc.
But the problem for you is that it is something that you wouldn’t do if you are a more or less average small-to-medium business. It is time consuming and it requires some close coordination of people on the team that are otherwise busy with their own tasks.
Perhaps another often cited example of good design is Moz’s About page. In their case it is a long scroll page three quarters of which are dedicated to a their timeline, as you can see from the caption below. Great design, uncluttered, delivers the whole story very fast for an audience that is, the experts assure us, attention-impaired.
The design part is not that difficult to implement, but what to do if your web page has no history to speak of (yet)? Or, if the company in question has the requisite number of years (Moz breezes through more than a decade!), but embarrassingly lacks what they perceive as memorable achievements - as some of webpage owners I spoke to privately maintained. One possibility, is to convince them otherwise; in most cases owners are too timid and/or compare themselves to online giants such as Moz and become unwitting (albeit collateral) victims to aggressive publicity. Once you manage to drive this home, you are in the clear and you can copy successfully the timeline template model.
However, if it doesn’t work, there is an even simple way you can steer a client toward a good About page. Read on.
A simple alternative to fancy About pages: short interviews
Another simple method that we "discovered" at keSolutions: publishing short interviews with the owner(s) / administrator(s) of the the website or business. Now, "discovered" is a strong word; what I mean is that we discovered it works, it is effective in terms of SEO and it is very easy. Provided you can get past the initial reluctance of the client.
A good example of such an approach is Neil Patel’s equivalent of About page on quicksprout.com. To cut it short, Neil simply relates his life story and makes you understand the human being behind the slightly goofy (sorry Neil, this is how I see it) photo: his roots, formative experiences, setbacks, hard work, motivation and track record. The style is very simple, even dry at some points, but it does the work.
How can you tell?, someone might ask. Look at the Comments section below: it longer than a long-scroll page and managed to attract interest year after year!
Is it difficult to implement? Not at all.
If your client is unwilling to test her/ his writing skills or tells you they simply can’t spare their time, prepare a short questionnaire with key points of interest covered. It can be a life story, it can be a business startup story, it can be daily challenges.
If YOU are the client in question and you think it difficult to do go and find a good listener and tell him conversationally your story; record it; transcribe it (or get someone to do it); read it and polish it a bit. Voila. MInd you, you would still need a SEO specialist to go other the content, but that is another story altogether.
Remember, above all, the About page has to convey something about the person (or persons) behind the company or website facade. Humans interact best with humans.
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