Creating an About page for your small business website

Shine through storytelling

When a potential customer browses your website, you can build a connection, gain a lead and perhaps even make a sale. But, first, your website needs to inspire the customer’s trust and spark their interest.

This is where your About page can make a big difference for your business. It’s the place where you can tell your story and showcase your values.

Your About page should provide a story that humanises your brand. It must show how your business started, what inspires and motivates you, and why you’re passionate about what you do. Every business has a story to tell, and this page is where you should be telling yours. The About page is another place on your website where you can share what makes your business unique.

Why create an About page?

Storytelling has been used for hundreds of years to build connections between people. It’s even more important now that transactions happen faster with technology like GoDaddy’s Website Builder. Customers relate best when they can see themselves in the story. This is particularly true when they can identify that you’re solving the problem they have.

How to create an About page

Here are the four key components you need to share in your business story. We’ll use the example of a catering business providing healthy, homecooked meals for busy young professionals. The same principles could apply to a deli, a personal trainer, a tax practitioner, a law firm, maths tuition for matric students, or an online pet store.

Identification: “There’s a problem here”

“When I first started working as a designer at a busy advertising agency, I didn’t have the time to shop for food and cook healthy meals when we were on deadline. This was pretty much all the time. I was spending too much money on takeaways, found the selection of healthy options lacking, and worried about how a poor diet would affect my health long-term.”

Realisation: “I could fix this”

“I love cooking and I have thousands of recipes saved on my hard drive. I realised that I could take control of my diet by making and freezing my meals for the week on a Saturday morning. Soon, my friends at work were asking and paying me to do the same for them.”

Expansion: “I can help others with this problem”

“I realised there are many other people in the same boat as my colleagues. I decided to market my home-cooking through a Facebook page. The positive feedback from my first customers persuaded me to take a leap of faith and I started a fully-fledged catering business.”

Mission: “Helping others connects me with the world”

“Three years later, this business has grown into my full-time job. I couldn’t be happier. Every day, I take great pleasure in knowing that I am helping many people with busy lives and crazy deadlines to maintain a healthy lifestyle, despite the pace of their jobs. I’m also helping the community by donating one in every ten meals I make to a local shelter for the homeless.”

As an established business owner, your story is even more powerful. You can include details about how many years you’ve been serving your customers, or how many customers you’ve helped achieve their goals.

What to avoid on your About page

There are also a few things that you shouldn’t do as you figure out how to create an About page.

Don’t turn off customers with industry jargon

People like straight talk about who you are and what you do. Industry jargon doesn’t make you sound smart. In fact, it often makes you sound unapproachable. If someone can’t figure out what you do, they won’t know if they need your product or service.

Don’t include boring, off-brand images

Carefully choose images for your About page. They should align with your brand and encourage visitors to make a connection. Candid headshots of your team, photos of customers with your products, or even historical photos of your products can work well. Generic, stock photos do not.

Don’t create laundry lists of bland commercial values

Let some warmth seep into your website rather than trying to copy the corporate “blah-blah-blah” of your larger competitors. The first rule of good storytelling is ‘show, don’t tell’. In other words, provide real-life examples of how you go the extra mile for your customers or how you think differently rather than listing generic values such as ‘customer service excellence’ or ‘innovation’.

Don’t overshare

There’s a fine line between being engaging and oversharing, so tread carefully. When they’re done reading, visitors should be able to share what you do clearly and succinctly and understand your brand values. Remember, you’re sharing a short, relatable story, not your autobiography.

Don’t forget the call-to-action

Let your reader know how to continue the conversation with you. Whether that’s signing up for your e-mail newsletter, writing a review, or placing another order. Don’t make them think about it. Just make it easy for them to say yes.

Don’t skip SEO

Your About page has the opportunity to be a powerhouse of SEO links, especially as you establish your brand. Well-crafted About pages generate thousands of organic page views if they are well optimised. Plus, many of those page views turn into e-mail subscribers and leads because the pages had appropriate calls-to-action and conversion-optimised forms.

Wrapping up

Learning how to create an About page can help to set your website and business on the road to success. Remember, your customers choose to buy from you repeatedly because they’re connecting with and supporting a real person and not just a nameless, faceless conglomerate.

This article has been adapted from an original piece by Brandi Johnson.

Image by: Mockup photo created by yanalya - www.freepik.com