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Website Workout: About Face

– Posted in: Design

An About page should never be considered optional. For a large company, it may be a whole section–Amazon has a set of pages called, “Get to Know Us.” For a small or solo business, it’s critical. People want to know who they are doing business with. Even if Wood Sandpiper with Reflection - Photo by Ian N. Whiteyou have a website just for fun, people like to have an idea of who is behind it. The About page is a big way to connect with your visitors.

Still, an About page shouldn’t be about you.  Like every page, the focus needs to be on your potential client or customer.  The About page should answer the questions of why buy from you or use your services.  Rather than just be a list of your credentials or data about your background, the page should reinforce why your business is the one they should choose.  The information you do provide should clearly convey how your business meets the prospect’s needs.

For a personal website, a solo entrepreneurship, or a small partnership, you will want to have photographs and information for everyone involved.  Give the qualifications and background that apply to the business.  This may include education and work experience.  Be sure to show how every point benefits your client.

Don’t issue vague statements about your commitments or goals, such as how you do great work, or strive to satisfy your customers.  These statements don’t mean anything.  Everyone says them, and they should be a given anyway.  If you don’t strive to satisfy your customer, you shouldn’t be in business.

You may also want to include interests, hobbies, and community or volunteer service.  Giving some limited personal details can make the people seem more real.  Don’t compromise safety or privacy, but include touches that show the staff as fully dimensional people who have a life beyond work.

For a larger business, you may still want a photograph of a key person, such as the president.  People relate to people, not buildings or generic images.  A friendly face is inviting.  For such a business, you won’t be providing personal details, but more a history of the business and any distinctive elements.  Again, focus on the needs of your prospect.

Whatever else is on the page, consider what the overall message is.  Remember the purpose you have decided on for the website.  Does the About page convey a message that aligns with the site purpose?  If the site conveys dignity and order, is the About page similar?  If the attitude of the site is lighthearted, does the About page have some humor?

The About page may not matter much to most of your visitors, but some will review it thoroughly.  Keep it as interesting as possible, consistent with your purpose, and both brief yet adequate.

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