Ever hear how the About Page is “one of the most visited pages on your website”? I’ve done some digging, and it turns out, that statement is not just an exaggeration.
Out of slightly over 2 million total pageviews Distilled.net got in 2013, the About Section had 96 thousand of those views, coming in as the 4th most viewed section on our site. Our About Page itself was listed as the 14th most viewed page, and our People Page came in at a close 15th most viewed page in 2013.
I also randomly examined 10 small-to-medium size client sites, and the About Page was listed within the top 16 most viewed page in 2013 for all of them. So despite the fact that pageviews aren’t exactly a foolproof metric for determining how popular certain pages are on a site, these numbers still show that the About Page, and even the About Section, is in fact viewed a lot.
With that in mind, I’d like to take a closer look at what makes About Pages work in terms of getting people to view them.
What Makes About Pages Viewed
As an Outreacher, I’m constantly looking at About Pages. My job is to help leverage coverage for our clients. So naturally, before I reach out to someone about one of our campaigns, I first make sure that what I’m pitching will be well received.
The About Page is a springboard for me. When I look at blogs to see if they could be a good fit for our campaigns, I first opt to learn more about the blog’s purpose and the person (or people) behind it. What better way to get a feel for someone (before actually contacting them) than viewing his or her About Page?
But since I can follow many bloggers and companies on their social media channels (which also serves to tell me about themselves), do I really learn anything different on an About Page? To answer this I’ve highlighted inspiring About Pages from four bloggers I’ve networked with and admire.
Why it works: Encourages a connection with the people behind the blog
Jess Abbott expertly showcases her creative team with her Meet The Team Page. Each team member is highlighted with not only a personal bio, but with a collaged picture of her favorite sewing projects.
She even takes meeting her team a step further by hosting a monthly “Getting Connected” series where she and her team members share personal experiences with their readers.
This team member profile page works so well because it makes Jess’ blog personal, whereby she and all her team members are made more approachable to readers. And as a note on the views of Jess’ About section, her “About Me” Page itself was listed as the 11th most viewed page on her website in 2013.
When asked her motives, she said:
With the impacting success Social Media has had on our sites, we found that a lot of viewers were clicking through to see the content and then clicking away. There was no CONNECTION. No matter how great your content is, everyone wants to feel a connection with something or someone. They like to know the people behind the screen, to make it personal. And once you have established that connection, they will continue to return to your site because you have formed a 'friendship' with that reader. A good 'About Me' page is vital in forming that friendship, it allows the reader to see the person behind the screen. Forming a connection with the heart. THAT connection is what keeps readers engaged, and returning for more.
Why it works: Skips the corporate lingo and establishes a unique brand voice
Brand Camp founder and bloggess Kristen Kalp excels at telling her story on her About Page. Through her punchy writing and casual tone, she shows who she really is and offers her readers content that conveys her unique brand voice.
The personal story Kristen shares also works so well because it humanizes her as well as helps build trust with her readers that she’s transparent about her mistakes and what she’s learned from them.
When asked her thoughts, she said:
About pages are your one shot to tell your story to the reader at a time when they actually want to hear it -- it's all about you. Where you've come from, where you're going, and what makes you tick.
And on what readers get from them, she said:
With any luck, they get a sense of your overarching reasons for being in business and for doing what you do. About pages are for featuring your life's work, writ large, and also for giving us a real sense of who you are as a human being.
Why it works: Captures attention with interactive history and milestones
Delia Randall shines in featuring a picture timeline of her blog’s history and key milestones. She even includes image mapping links for some of those milestones to better help her readers immerse themselves in her story.
When asked her motives for the clickable timeline design, she said:
I chose this design for my about me page because I wrote it with my most ADD reader in mind. As in, I wrote it in a way what would capture even my attention. As a mom, I only have so much time to read blogs everyday. If the top of a post is slammed with a huge chunk of words, I will likely lose focus and click out. Pictures can tell a much more compelling story at a glance. I made sure to make my about me page picture heavy at the top to grab readers. Once they get to the bottom, they are more likely to be invested in what I'm saying, so I get more wordy at that point, while still incorporating some pictures.
And on what the reader outcome is, she said:
I want new readers to click around, hopefully stay awhile, and be converted into a follower….I believe that visitors become followers when they make a personal connection with you. Your About Me page is an important catalyst in helping that happen. If they are taking the time to click on your page and get to know you, you want to make sure that your About Me page is ready to turn a visitor into a friend.
Why it works: Entertains with multimedia content for playful storytelling
Jenny Ingram exceeds at incorporating multimedia content. By layering goofy images with her comical copy, as well as adding a playful video to the mix, her About Page entertains her readers in multiple ways while showcasing her true personality.
And as a note on the views of Jenny’s About Page, it was listed as the 11th most viewed page on her website in 2013. Her “About Jenny On the Spot” featured video on her YouTube channel is ranked as the 4th most viewed video out of her 210 total videos.
When asked why this video is the featured one on her page, she said:
There are a couple of reasons!
1) It's a crowd favorite! By far, I get the most positive feedback from that video. If it is positive for my dearly devoted, I hope it is positive for new visitors :)
2) I want to let folks know I am a video blogger. No, it is not my most produced, but it is an accurate reflection of my personality and humor, and I believe that part of my video work is more important than highly-produced content.
3) It makes people laugh. Or so I've been told. It also gives a good take-away. It cracks me up to hear when folks have been working my suggested strategy. And I just feel if folks haven't seen any of my videos yet, this one gives an accurate read on who I am when it comes to video.
On what readers get from her page, she said:
I HOPE my readers get a good feel for who I am and what they can expect to find. My hope is they will find a gal whose content they can connect with, and if I am lucky, they will choose to click further or subscribe and come back again. I am also a blog reader, so I created the content around the stuff that I love to find when I'm discovering new blogs.
I have also worked on the other side, as a representative for brands. I know what it's like to spend hours and hours looking for a specific someone and just wishing I knew a little bit more... wishing I didn't have to search and dig through archives. I didn't want to send an ill-fitting email, but truly wanted to find just the right person. I hope my About Page is helpful to those who may want to work with me.
In terms of learning from these four inspiring blogger About Pages, even if you already have a detailed About Page for your company--highlighting things like your team members, vision and purpose, and even your company’s timeline--you can improve the reader experience with different creative approaches.
This might be updating your People Page to include personal touches, refining your About Page copy to show more brand personality, retouching your company’s timeline to display more visuals, or even mixing in multimedia content. Regardless of your area of focus, give your About Page another edit. People do view it.
What are some About Pages you admire? Tell me in the comments below!