Best Practices for Your “About” Page

Ah, the About page—a quinessential part of every website, but perhaps the most difficult page to write for several reasons. Companies, especially smaller startups, live and die by their about page. Customers want to know the face(s) behind the company, their story, and why they should spend money there. Google wants to know what kind of keywords the page has and the value of the content for SEO purposes. And finally, no one likes writing about themselves. Just ask any novelist: the three lines of their bio are the hardest three lines of the book.

The good news is that writing about About page doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow a few basic rules and you’ll end up with an About page that does exactly what it’s meant to do: tell your customers your story and create trust in the company. Here’s how.

Rule 1: Use Your Name

Too many About pages tell the story of the company without once mentioning the name of the founder or the person running the company. You don’t have to use your name in every paragraph, but it shouldn’t be tucked away in some forgotten sentence at the bottom of the page.

It doesn’t have to be your real name, either. If your name is common, you can add your middle name to the mix to set yourself apart. Just make sure it’s a name and not a title like “The Word Guy.” If you use a pseudonym, be consistent. Make that pseudonym present any time your name comes up.

Rule 2: Add a Photo

An About page doesn’t have to be long. Two or three paragraphs about yourself and the company will do. A good way to pad the length a bit is to include a photo. Customers want to know what you look like. As the Internet grows and spreads, the world becomes smaller. Think of starting a business on the web as starting a business in a medium-sized town. Everyone might not know who you are, but it should be easy for them to find out. A professional, smiling, camera-focused headshot is all you need.

Rule 3: Be Personable

It’s okay to write the About page in third person, especially if your company has a lot of employees. If it’s just you, however, writing in first person can work to your advantage. It’s a more personal style of writing that creates a better connection to the reader. The main problem with a lot of About pages is that they lack any personality. To be blunt, the writing sucks.

That can be a hard critique to hear, but if you aren’t the best writer, consider outsourcing the work. Come up with a list of talking points and pay a professional to create a professional-yet-relatable About page for your site. Your customers will appreciate it more.

Rule 4: Be Succinct

The About page is a balancing act. You don’t want to include too-little information, but you also don’t want to ramble on like your great uncle at a family reunion. Say what needs to be said and move on. If there is more information you’d like to share, make it available on other pages of your site. Keep the About page strictly for telling the customer what they’ve come to find out.

Rule 5: The About Page Isn’t About You

The main thing to keep in mind is a bit counter-intuitive. The customer comes to the About page to learn about your company, but more than that, they come to the page to find out if you can help them. If you can solve their problem. Tell the customer how you can help.

That’s why making it relatable is so important. Form a bond with the reader and then tell them how you can solve the problem that brought them to your site in the first place.

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