The About Page on Your Website – Errors and Lost Opportunity

by Andrew Schulkind

For many years, my wife worked in magazine production. 18 years later, it’s still impossible to read a magazine with (or near) her without her offering a running commentary on paper quality, color registration, and many other details I simply don’t understand.

So I get that as a web professional, I may notice details on websites that others don’t. That’s part of my job. And some may find the nits that I pick to be just that – inconsequential trifles that should be ignored in favor of frying bigger fish.

But before you dismiss this discussion of About Us pages – and where they live on your main menu – give me a moment to make my case. You’ll see there’s a larger point.

All About You

Let’s start with the main menu. If your About Us page is anywhere other than the last item on the right other than the Contact page*, you’re doing it wrong. The reason why is captured in one of my favorite sayings.

Your prospects don’t care about you.
Your prospects don’t care about what you do.
Your prospects care about what you can do for them.

So if you’re talking about yourself and your expertise and years of experience and fancy college degrees, you’d better have made them care about you first by making them understand that you can help them.

Making Them Care About You

In other words, they’re not going to do any more than glance at your bio and related “About Us” fluff until you’ve laid out what you do, why it’s different from other potential solutions, and how they’ll benefit from working with you. Once that’s clear, then they’ll go looking for reasons to justify the feeling they have that you may be the one.

So they’ll want to see pages about your services, your work examples, case studies and testimonials, and even articles you’ve written that paint a picture of your approach and expertise.

Then, they just might dig into pages that are all about you. And that’s your opportunity to lay out who you are and what makes you special.

About You (As in You, My Prospect)

There’s another opportunity related to “About” pages – the About You page. The best example we’ve seen of this is on Newfangled’s website. I’d still fault them on having About Us come first. (And both coming before sections I’d judge to be more important – Outcomes and Insights.)

But the page speaks in language that is clearly all about the prospect and written with their perspective in mind. It outlines what Newfangled does, but in terms that are completely and totally focused on their target audience’s needs, desires, and pain points. That’s an addition worth considering, and not only because having an About You page is likely to set you apart from your competitors. Especially if it gets you thinking about your entire site from your prospects’ perspective.

* BTW, the reason Contact is the last item on the right is convention. This is where 99 and 44/100th% of your audience is going to look for it, and in the immortal words of Steve Krug, you don’t want to make them think.