In a world where social media profiles and activity reign supreme in terms of an online presence, it is very easy to dismiss “About Us” or “About Me” pages. There was a time when these descriptive online documents were intrinsic to the web experience; there was the About.com domain, which used to be an online encyclopedia currently managed by the Dotdash digital media company, and there is also AboutUs.com, which initially compiled “about” pages and later became a major internet directory before the decline of Web 2.0.
The first website in history, which is still hosted at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire in Switzerland, did not have a specific “about” page; however, it directed visitors to check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file if they wanted to learn more about the World Wide Web project in 1991. The word “about” is used explicitly to get the attention of visitors looking for information; from that point on, “about” pages became HTML staples of web development.
If you use a modern website template, you can count on an About Us or About Me page being included as part of the base documents. What you do with that page is entirely up to you, but not dedicating effort to it would be counterproductive. Here’s what you should know about these pages in 2021: You know how many people say that email is dead? The reality of email is that it continues to be one of the most widely used components of internet communications. Do you know who the most avid users of email are these days? More than 90% of private and public business entities in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. In other words, people who use email are serious about using it, and the same can be said of “about” pages. Website visitors who click on About Us and About Me links are serious about getting to know crucial information about who is behind the site.
Once they get past technical details, website developers are very likely to start working on the “about” page almost at the same time they figure out other elements such as layout and navigation. There are multiple strategies you can use to craft your “about” the right way; before you get started, you may want to look at good examples such as Aaravindha Himadra’s About page, which includes all the basics such as:
* Brief introductory description.
* Brief history.
* Contact information.
The elements above are essential and should not be skipped over. You don’t want to do a poor job here because you want to make that right first impression. Being straightforward is a must; exercising brevity is another must, but you want to paint a self-portrait that visitors can appreciate.
When the “about” page is being crafted for a business, there should be a bit of marketing involved, but not too much. Presenting the history of the business is more important, and this should be written in narrative format. The use of bullet points is fine, but only if the rest of the paragraphs are descriptive and almost conversational.
Some of the best “about” pages out there have interesting elements of creativity and cleverness that are often welcomed by most visitors, but they need to be on-brand. Once you have set a descriptive tone for the page, you need to start thinking about presenting a value proposition. How much do you want customers to know about the company? If you believe that it is valuable to share mission statements, principles, and goals, do not try to cram everything into a single page; a better idea would be to fit this into a media kit that you can link to from the page.
Now that we are firmly in the third decade of the 21st century, we should be catering to the digital preferences of our website visitors. If you believe your audience responds better to video, do not hesitate to include one in the “about” page. You will want to do this by means of embedding from a platform that offers plenty of bandwidth; in 2021, this means YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram.
We can’t discuss “about” page strategies without mentioning the issue of search engine optimization. Major search engines such as Google and Bing are known to favor “about” pages, which means that you should not pass up the opportunity to include relevant keywords. Make sure the page is properly formatted with headers and structured Google Schema data. Finally, do not forget to submit an updated XML site map to the Google Search Console so that your “about” page is properly formatted.