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  • Get Your Story Straight

Must-Read “About” Pages

A well-written, tightly focused About page is one of your most effective strategies for driving traffic to your brand. It’s been well documented that customers tend to buy from brands that share their values; your About page is the place to attract them.

You might even want to start with a more creative, revealing title than plain, homely old “About.” Think about using something a little more intriguing or compelling, like “Our Story,” “Heritage” or just “Who We Are.” Sure, people want to know about you, but there are so many boring About pages out there, I imagine someone thinking they’re not going to find anything very useful there so they’ll click on it only reluctantly. Calling this feature “Our Story” or “Heritage” suggests something interesting could be found there — the fact that you took the time to name it differently is a good indicator.

There are two approaches to the story itself: one that tells the history of the brand and one that explores how the products or services are created. You can combine two, of course; these are just the primary types.

For a history, tell us when and by whom the brand was founded. What was the business like then? How has it changed over the years — or stayed the same? Who’s running it now? Extra points if you’re the latest generation in a long line directly descended from the founder.

For the second approach, share your brand philosophy. Whom do you serve and why? What do you love about your products and services? What do your customers say? If you can, talk about materials and manufacturing processes — especially if they’re sustainable and/or eco-friendly.

But please — don’t just throw around words like “sustainable” without explaining how they meet that standard. Eco-jargon has become much overused and much exaggerated, full of empty promises with little real meaning.

The same can be said of many websites’ About pages. Too many brands waste this valuable space with unfocused verbiage filled with empty fluff. Don’t fall for the temptation to puff yourself up, but take a lesson from these three well-done samples:

Alan Paine

The U.K.-based clothing brand calls this page “Heritage,” which is perfect for a backgrounder that speaks to customers who love a sense of history with their haberdashery. Here’s the first paragraph, which takes you back, almost literally, to the days when fashion was as slow as slow gets:

The Alan Paine brand was established in the historic market town of Godalming in Surrey, England in 1907. Wool and knitting industries were important sources of income in the area over a number of centuries. Evidence of this survives in the town’s emblem – a woolsack – which is still in official use today and was included in the Alan Paine crest through the years.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

This fast-casual chain is all about gathering around the table to share meals and memories. Here’s how “two Sicilian boys from Texas” wrap up their story about food and family:

Food is part of us because that’s how we were raised; food was present at births, christenings, weddings, graduations and funerals. Food is what reminded us we were family. To this day, whenever one family member meets another and starts talking about something or someplace, the first question has to be, “Whadya eat?”

Dos Hombres Mezcal

Want a brand that gets right to the point? Savor the storytelling of Dos Hombres, an artisanal brand of Mezcal (like tequila, only smoother and more interesting) founded by Breaking Bad co-stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul:

We found the best Mezcal we’ve ever tasted.

We started Dos Hombres to create a Mezcal that we thought was perfect. A unique blend of the finest Espadin agave, hand-selected from the hillsides of a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I admit it: As a Breaking Bad fan (and just about anything else Cranston does), I may have been prepared to give these dos hombres a few extra points, but this is legit. I love the simplicity of their storytelling. In only 40 words, they give you the essence of their brand – “the best Mezcal we ever tasted” – and spin a fascinating tale of their product’s origins. Their copywriter knows just what notes to hit for the audience they seek: “a unique blend . . . hand-selected . . . a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico.”

So, what are you all About?

Let the world know.