According to the Search Engine Journal, your about page is one of the first places people will click when visiting your site, and if you’re not taking the time to optimize it you’ll be losing an incredible potential.
For instance, some experiments have demonstrated that on average people who visit “about us” pages on Ecommerce websites spend 22.5% more on their purchases.
That’s HUGE, right?
Well, in today’s post I’m going to show you EXACTLY how you can easily optimize your about page to boost your newsletter subscribers, sign-ups and sales, and building a better and stronger community in the process.
Let’s get rolling:
There are a lot of misconceptions about the topic, so I think is important to give you a clear definition of what an about page is and its real purpose.
First, an about page is NOT:
- A 10-paragraph essay about you or your company
- A blog post
- Something boring
- A media kit
- A tool to manipulate your visitors
- A page where people can learn more from you
That being said, it’s time to talk about what an “about us” page REALLY is:
Contrary to popular belief, your “about us” page should not be about you.
Neither about your company or products.
It’s not about even your team.
Have you guessed it?
It’s about your CUSTOMERS, and the benefits they get when interacting with your products. The story behind your company, why are you here in the first place? What motivates you and your team to work every day?
In other words, your about page is a CONCEPT that defines WHO you are as organization and HOW your customers will benefit from you.
Here’s where “branding” and “brand storytelling” come in handy (more on that later).
For example, some companies don’t even call it “about page”. If you take a look at kissmetrics you won’t find any about page on their website. However, they’ve a page called “customers” where they explain how some renowned brands have succeeded after using kissmetrics.
That’s a perfect way to communicate kissmetrics’ audience the value they’ll receive if they decide to engage with their products.
Another great example is Neil Patel.com. You won’t find any “about” page on the website, but there is a page called “Consulting”. If you take a look at that page you’ll find all the information about who Neil Patel is, but more important, how Neil can help you.
You might be wondering:
Well, I understand, but what’s the benefit of creating an about page?
I’m glad you asked!
Now that you know what an about page is, it’s time to talk about conversions and sales.
How “about us” pages can help you increase your conversions
There are two main reasons why you should spend enough time optimizing your about page:
# 1: People are more likely to convert after visiting your about page
As I said earlier, your “about” page is one of the first interactions your audience have with your brand, and when using it wisely, you can leverage an incredible engaging power that ultimately will drive leads and profit to your bottom line.
But don’t just take my word for it…
According to a recent study, when someone visits your about page they are five times more likely to convert into a lead or sale than a normal visitor.
That’s HUGE, right?
Think about it:
When someone takes the time to read your about page you know one that that person is interested in YOU, and for that reason is much more likely to convert into a subscriber or a lead.
# 2: Your about page is probably one of the most popular pages on your site
But Derek is not alone, just check out your Google Analytics account and you’ll something very similar.
Remember that people who visit your about page are much more likely to convert? Well, why not take advantage of that and add a call-to-action directly on it?
That simple tweak could dramatically increase your newsletter and free trial subscribers.
Are you skeptical?
Let’s see some real-world examples:
Brian Dean (founder of Backlinko) made an experiment last year. As Derek Halpern, he found that his about page is one of the most popular pages on the site, so he decided to incorporate two sign-up forms on it.
One in the middle of the page:
And another one at the very bottom:
Want to know the results?
Backlinko.com’s about page converts at 5.81%.
That’s just AMAZING, right? Well, it gets better…
Do you know that a single tweak on your about page can increase conversions up to 158%?
Incredible, but it’s totally true.
Aweber revealed that Quality Stocks was able to dramatically grow their subscriber base (158%) after made some experiments on their about page.
They decided to add a pop-up box that invited people to subscribe to their newsletter, and after six months they saw a 99% increase in subscriber growth compared to the prior six months.
Take a look at this chart:
What’s the bottom line?
About pages are incredible assets to convert ice-cold traffic into loyal subscribers, and when using them properly, you can strengthen your brand image and communicate value to your audience in a better way.
With that in mind, it’s time to talk about the key elements that make “about pages” more converting.
Elements of a successful “about” page
At this time probably you’re thinking about your next move:
Should I add a sign-up form in the middle of the page or at the bottom?
158% increase in conversions, humm that could buy me a new car…
What if I add not two, but three sign-up forms? Wow, that would be awesome.
Wait a moment, I’m sorry to say that not all about pages work equal. If you’re too pushy, your results could actually drop.
In fact, when Blue Corn analysed Google Analytics’ visitor flow from weak “about us” pages they found that visitors dropped off immediately after reading those pages.
That’s why you should spend enough time creating a strong one, and although there is no “secret sauce” to build a highly converting about page, there are certain elements that can help you build a better one.
Here they are:
# 1: Benefit-driven headline
Like every page on your site, your “about page” needs a headline, but a headline that directly communicates your unique value proposition. For instance, instead of title it just “About us” or “Meet the team” you could write a headline that directly communicates specific benefits.
Just take a look at chrisducker.com and you’ll find an amazing example:
It’s amazing because it tells you immediately what you can expect.
According to Nielsen Norman Group, on average people who understand what a company does after reading their about page has dropped 98% since 2008.
Adding a benefit-driven headline can help you beat the averages and communicate to your customers and readers the value that they’ll receive.
# 2: Benefits
In addition to having a great headline, you can explain people (in a couple sentences) exactly what you do and how can help them solve their specific problems.
# 3: Storytelling
Marketers know it:
As a matter of fact, some researchers in Spain found that when you’re hearing a story your brain activates all the processing parts that would activate if you actually were experiencing that story.
That’s just incredible!
Ana Hoffman did an excellent job with storytelling on Trafficgenerationcafe.com. If you take the time to read her about page you’ll find the story of how she went from professional modeling to blogging.
That page have racked up 185 comments:
# 4: Visual content
According to Ian Lloyd, director of digital operations at Web Marketing Group, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
Also, images are great storytellers. That’s why you should include visual content like images, pictures and/or graphics to your about page.
Just take a look at Quicksprout.com:
That simple image tells you a lot about who Neil Patel is and immediately create a connection with you.
# 5: Call-to-action
Once people have read your about page, you need to tell them exactly what to do next. If you don’t, they could leave forever, and remember, people are MUCH more likely to convert once they trust you, so don’t leave this opportunity.
For example, if you visit Bidsketch´s about page you’ll find that they offer a free trial:
On the other side, Chris Brogan invites you to visit his LinkedIn profile:
Whether you offer them a free trial, promote your popular posts or invite them to subscribe to your newsletter, tell them EXACTLY what to do.
How to A/B test your about page to maximize conversions
First of all, what’s A/B test?
In words of Mark McDonald (Shopify’s writer): “It’s a method for measuring two versions of one element so you can determine which one is more successful”.
As simple as that.
(Image source: Optimizely)
For example, DMIX was able to increase conversions from 14.5% to 18.6% by adding three words to their call-to-action:
Technically, you can perform a test on every element on your page. As Cameron Chapman said “If you can change it, you can test it”. However, that’s probably not the best approach. Instead, you should only test elements that are directly related to user behavior.
For instance, call-to-actions, colors, headlines, imagery and even copy, based on their priority to your business goals.
Before we get deeper into further explanations, I’d like you to learn the two rules for any A/B test you want to perform:
First, you need to know the exact results you’re currently getting. That way you’ll be able to know whether the change performed better or not.
And second, you need to start small.
Small tweaks can make huge improvements. In addition, if you start making small changes, tracking results will be much easier and accurate.
With that in mind, it’s time to show you exactly which areas you need to focus on to maximize your conversions:
Several studies have demonstrated that colours affect conversions.
It really depends on your niche and country. For example, a red call-to-action might perform very well in some niches while in others could scare people and drop conversions. The best way to figure it out is testing, but you can start by following some of the best practices.
As I said earlier, your about page is a CONCEPT that defines your company as a whole. Therefore, you need to choose colors that directly communicate your core message and evoke the right emotions.
For example, in 2013 Virginia Tech made an experiment that revealed how certain background colours (like blue and red) can directly influence conversions.
Here are some of the best guides about this topic:
- How Colors Affect Conversions
- Which Color Converts The Best?
- Understanding The Psychology of Colour
# 2: CTA
Let’s face it. If visitors don’t click, they don’t convert.
As simple as that.
That’s why you need to spend time testing your CTAs.
For example, CareLogger was able to increase conversion rate by 34% just by changing the color of their CTA’ button from green to red.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, DMIX increased their conversion rate after adding “It’s free!” to their call-to-action. Although that doesn’t mean all red buttons work better, it’s a matter of testing in your specific ‘About Us’ page
Small tweaks CAN lead to an incredible growth, especially on call-to-actions.
# 3: Headlines
No matter how good your copy, imagery and even call-to-action are, if nobody sees them you’re screwed. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the remainder of the page.
Can you see the importance of optimizing your about page headline?
For example, LKR Social Media increased their conversions by 24.31% after converting their headline into a testimonial.
That kind of result can only be achieved with A/B testing.
# 4: Imagery
When your images communicate the right message, your conversions can go through the roof.
When HighRise replaced their white background with a picture of one of their customers, their conversions increased by 102.5%.
Remember, although you can basically test anything on your page, I highly recommend that you start with the elements I mentioned above. Why? Because it’s proven that those elements directly influence user behavior and buying decisions.
How to implement tests
At this point you’ve learned the perfect structure of a high-converting about page, but also the elements that are worth to test. Now the million-dollar question is:
How the heck can I implement tests on my about page?
Don’t worry, it’s simpler than you think.
#1 Develop a hypothesis
“OK, today I’m going to change CTA’s color because I haven’t changed it in a long time”
If you try to implement testing that way, you’ll only lose money and time. Instead, you should look for points of friction that are causing people to leave your website without completing your goal and then develop a hypothesis.
In order to do that, you need to answer four simple questions:
- What’s my goal?
- What’s the problem?
- What is my priority?
- How can I solve it?
For example, Michael Aagaard (from contentverve.com) decided to optimize a landing page where he offers a free ebook.
After some research, customer interviews and surveys he found that their average reader is very busy and don’t have free time to read ebooks, so that could be stopping them from download it.
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that Michael have answered the first two questions now:
- What’s my goal? Ebook downloads
- What’s the problem? Visitors don’t have time to read ebooks
With that in mind Michael was able to develop a hypothesis:
So Michael decided to tweak the copy of the first bullet point and add that visitors could read the ebook in only 25 minutes:
The results are just awesome: 18.59% more people started to download the ebook. That clearly shows us that Michael’s hypothesis was successful.
What’s the bottom line?
The better your data, the better your results!
Here are three high-level techniques that will help you develop a successful hypothesis:
# 1: Heat map testing
Heat maps work incredibly well to learn how visitors behave and interact with your website. For example, some heat mapping software allow you to see which elements people click more, how visitors scroll down and even the sources where they came from.
That’s very useful to find points of friction and develop well-thought hypothesis. For instance, you could find that people are spending more time looking at the left side of your page, but your sign-up form is at the right side, so that can lead you to a hypothesis:
“If I change my sign-up form to the left side of the page, I could improve the number of people who subscribe”
It’s very straightforward. You just need to sign up to your favorite heat mapping software, install the tracking code and start analyzing.
- Crazy Egg’s Training Center
- 3 Ways to Increase Conversions Using Heatmaps
- What We Learned From 1,000,000+ Heat Map Clicks
#2: In-site search data
If you’ve a custom search bar on your website, you can find useful words and insights that ultimately can lead to a successful hypothesis.
In order to find these insights, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to your Google Analytics account
Step 2: Click on behavior
Step 3: Click on “Site Search”
Step 4: Click on “Search terms”
Now you’ll find the exact words your visitors are using to find things on your website. If you incorporate those words into your copy, headlines and call-to-actions, you could improve your conversions.
Do you know what’s the BEST way to find a successful hypothesis?
ASKING your customers!
Remember, that’s exactly how Michael Aagaard was able to find why their visitors weren’t downloading his free ebook. If you ask the right questions to your customers and visitors you’ll find the most accurate insights that finally will lead you to a successful hypothesis.
This technique might be the most time-consuming, and even expensive in some cases, but believe, is the most effective.
But don’t take my word for it, just take a look at these case studies Google did put together and you’ll see the real power of surveying your customers.
- 10 Essential Tactics for Creating Valuable Customer Surveys
- How to Write a Customer Survey
- 5 Steps to Creating Effective Customer Surveys
#2 Start testing
Once you’ve developed your hypothesis, it’s time to start testing.
Don’t worry, it’s very simple.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Use the right tool
The old school days marketers had to manually replace elements and use hard code to use a/b testing. Nowadays is much simpler, there are many tools that can help you automate the testing process.
You only need to create the different variation of the element you want to test, install the conversion code and then the tool will automatically replace the original with the variation before the page loads.
Here are some of the best a/b testing tools:
Step 2: Run your test for enough time
If you want accurate results, you need to wait until a good amount of visitors test your variation. For example, instead of make your conclusions with 1000 visitors, it would be much better to wait until you’ve 10,000. That way, you’ll get better data. Try to use a sample size calculator for this.
In words of Cameron Chapman: “Giving a test insufficient time can mean skewed results, as you don’t get a large enough group of visitors to be statistically accurate”
Taking into account the incredible value this kind of testing can bring to your business, I highly recommend that you run your tests for a few weeks (depending on the traffic you get).
When your test is finished, you only need to analyze results and see whether your hypothesis performed better than your original variable or not.
Remember, there is no “perfect” way to do anything. You can always learn better ways to test and improve your about page. However, the techniques you learned today are good enough to start and see results.
Also, if your hypothesis is not successful, don’t get stressed, you can learn a lot from losing test results. Just remember the words of the Dr. Flint McGlaughlin:
What other techniques do you know to test your about page?