I was surprised when I first noticed that and I suspect it surprises you as well. Next, let’s combine the popularity of about pages with one other web page fact: A very high percentage of website owners put little or no thought into their about pages.
After all, most people believe – mistakenly – that they aren’t selling their product or service from their about pages, so why should they bother. Doesn’t it make sense to invest more time and effort into product pages and landing pages?
Grade your about page
Let’s put that assumption to a quick test. I would guess that many of you are working hard to build your email lists. A healthy email list is critical to virtually every business model today, so savvy business owners work like crazy getting quality email addresses.
So here’s a simple question that will illustrate the power of an about page and also get you started in the process of grading yours: Does your about page generate a lot of signups for your email list?
Here’s how you should be considering the context of this question. Your about page should sell visitors on your authority, the quality of your product, or the quality of your service. People reading your about page should say to themselves, “This site/person/product/service has a lot to offer. I want to be included!”
If the copy and graphics on your about page fail to make the case for your business in a way that will bring people on board, then you need to rethink what you’re doing. Let’s start by going back to my original question: Are you adding names to your email list via your about page?
Many websites fail to do this for the simple reason that they don’t ask for email addresses on their about pages. If that’s you, this is the first problem you need to correct. Further, because you have some freedom in your about page copy, you can do a great job with your email signup call to action. In other words, you can really sell the benefits of hooking up with your business via email.
Think like your prospects
You always need to consider the psychology of your prospects and what would motivate them to do business with you. When they click your “About Us” link, they expect to “meet” you and your company. If they are greeted by four boxed heads, each accompanied by copy that is little more than an abbreviated curriculum vitae, you aren’t really accomplishing anything – and I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that kind of layout on an about page!
The elements on your about page are very similar to what normally appears on a home page:
- Great headline.
- Excellent image(s)
- Copy that sells
- Call to action
About pages differ more in style than in content. For example, you may not be directly selling your product or service here; you are selling yourself or your company as the best provider of the product or service. What are your personal unique selling points (USPs)?
While you’ll tend to bullet point list USPs on a product page, you’ll take more of a storytelling approach to relate the USPs of yourself or your company on an about page. You’ll want to take your visitors by the hand and lead them on a journey that pulls them straight into your call to action.
Align your CTA to your purpose
As I said earlier, this call to action may be getting a signup for an email list. It might also be to send the visitor to a product page where a purchase can be made. Exactly what you want to accomplish via your about page CTA is up to you, but it should service some real purpose within the framework of your website.
With these thoughts in mind, how would you now grade your about page? If it’s not kicking butt and taking names, work on it. In fact, consider some A/B tests with different copy, images and layouts. Attack its design optimization just as you would a landing page or product page.
With just a little bit of effort this highly-trafficked and often-overlooked step child of a page can blossom into your website’s Cinderella.