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Common Mistakes with Your “About” Page

You may have heard rumblings about a recent update that wreaked havoc on a lot of ?your money or your life? sites ? the ones that talk about health, fitness, finances, or happiness.

That update appeared to look at the credibility of site publishers. Are they trustworthy? Do they actually know what they?re talking about? (Google?s acronym for this authoritative trustworthiness is?EAT, which makes for some really strange sounding SEO advice.)

Some approaches to?SEO copywriting?(like, the one that Copyblogger has recommended ) will leave you in much better shape when Google goes on an EAT rampage.

One element that has folks scrambling? It?s the lowly ? but so easy to screw up ? About Page.

It seems that some website owners have an easier time proposing marriage than they do writing a solid About Page.

If that?s you, you?re probably over complicating things. A good About Page is simple, straightforward, and it communicates just a few key things.

But just because these pages are simple doesn?t mean they?re always good.

There are certain mistakes that I see again and again, on sites that deserve better. These mistakes are easy to fix and they?re pushing away the people you want to bring closer: your wonderful website readers.

Your About Page is typically one of the most visited pages on your site. So let?s make it easy for you to have a stunningly helpful, user-friendly About Page.

Take a look to see if you?re making one of these common mistakes.

Mistake : You don?t?have?an About Page

You might have some interesting content, a nice custom-designed header, a sweet-looking premium WordPress theme.

What you don?t have is an About Page.

It might be completely missing because you think ?About Pages are a clich?.?

Or because you?re freaked out about creating an About Page, you?re just hoping no one will notice it?s missing.

Or you might have called it something clever like ?Experience? or ?The Scoop? or ?But Wait, There?s More!?

When it comes to the interface on your website or blog, never forget the words of usability expert Steve Krug: Don?t Make Me Think.

I don?t want to look at your ?Resonate? Page and wonder if that?s where I find out who you are, what you do, and why I should read your site.

Every site needs an About Page. Don?t be clever. Call it About.

Mistake : I can?t find your name or credentials

Let?s say I want to link to you, or tweet about something cool on your blog.

I would really like to know who you are. That means I need your name.

Not a spammy name like ?The Real Estate King.? Your name. As in, ?What I say when I am introducing you??

Unless you are Madonna, you need a last name, too.

While you?re in there, make sure you?ve listed your credentials ? all of those things that tell us you actually know your topic. If you?re a registered dietician and you have a nutrition site ? put that on your About Page.

List any certifications, awards, or other credibility boosters.

Mistake : I don?t know what you look like

If I want to hire you, refer you, recommend you, or even pass you some readers, I?ll feel more comfortable if I have some sense of who you are. I can only get that from two things ? your writing voice and your photo.

When I have a face to put with your name, you become much easier for me to remember. That, combined with some well-written content, starts to help me feel like I know you and I?m much more likely to link to you.

Mistake : The writing is boring

For some reason, when people sit down to write an About Page, everything they know about creating interesting content suddenly flies out the window. Their usually great writing style starts to?suffer.

To help combat this :

  • Use your own voice – Be ruthless about?remove the hype and the corporate speak !
  • Don?t be afraid to have a little humour, if you can pull it off – But please no jokes !
  • Don?t be afraid to be a geek either, if that?s part of who you are.Let’s face it you are constructing a website !

Remember, along with your photo, this is where I go to figure out who you are and whether or not I like you. If you?re avoiding a photo, your writing voice is all I have to go on.

Mistake : Using video alone

Video is a great way to create quick rapport on your About Page ? for site visitors who like video.

But visitors who are coming to your site at work may not want your voice, however delightful, blasting from the speakers in their cube. They also may not have 6:23 minutes to spend figuring out who you are.Lots of web users love video ? and some hate it.

If you use video on your About Page, keep it short, make it interesting, and include some text for the readers in your audience.

Mistake : You go on (and on and on)

I?m a fan of storytelling. It pulls the reader in, it engages like nothing else, and it?s one of the few techniques that actually sometimes changes people?s minds.

Good stories are great and they do work. Long, boring stories are an imeditae buzz kill !

If you?re going to tell me the story of how you came to be here, please make it snappy relatable and interesting !

What do your readers find interesting? Themselves, and things that benefit them. Those are two good places to start.

To quote Brian Clark:

?What do you need to know? You need to know whom they admire, and what they aspire to, despise, fear, and cherish.?
??How to Craft a Marketing Story that People Embrace and Share

By the way if you are wondering about that picture its me after day 1 of my volunteer work in Africa building a school… (now hopefully that got your attention… get the idea… :o) )

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