The importance (or not) of the About page

I recently completed an online course about positioning and specialisation. I have great respect for the tutor, but disagree quite vehemently on one of his points, discussed under the heading ‘Site Creation Mistakes’. In this module he stresses that not only is an About page pointless… it could even be be damaging.  He describes the About page as his nemesis.

His thoughts on the About page

  • It does not directly and productively contribute to the goal of your site.
  • If you start writing about yourself it moves your site away from the goal of being all about your client’s needs.
  • Your website needs to be all about your client’s world, their problems, their needs and proof that you can help them.
  • Wherever possible you should use your client’s words to describe what you do. Instead of an About page, use their words to that convey that you’re a safe, low risk high-value bet. Proof elements in the form of portfolio items, testimonials and case studies can also eliminate the need for an About page.
  • Get rid of it!

My thoughts on the About page

  • An About page is central to establish your identity and visitor trust. If done right, the About page can be one of the main vehicles for building trust and connecting with your audience.
  • Especially for smaller enterprises and personal sites, visitors like to know the people, story, and values behind them.
  • The less of a faceless entity they encounter and the more they can identify with what you do, the easier building trust online with your customers will be.
  • You can tell your story and relate how and why you started your website or business. Who are you as company/person? What makes you tick?
  • This page is a great place to display qualifications and social proof.
  • When visitors come to your blog through an article they find interesting, it’s natural to want to know more about the person behind it. That’s just basic human behavior.
  • Keep it!

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