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Value of an about page


#1

I haven’t seen this discussed before –
do you think that having an “about” page is a must have on a site that is intended to sell products?

I often see new small ventures that don’t include any “about” information whatsoever and yet they ask for people’s credit card info to make purchases.

I feel that an about page is part of building trust/rapport, provides social signals, etc.

What do you think? Is an about page valuable, for people who are thinking about purchasing?


#2

On https://pokercopilot.com/ I removed our About page for a couple of years, in an attempt to reduce our website to a sleek, conversion-obsessed landing page, with no unnecessary distractions or leaks. (“Conversion” here means getting a website visitor to download our 30-day trial.)

Then, per advice from Dave Collins (from Software Promotions) at last year’s Microconf Europe, I re-added an About page.

There was no measurable difference in conversions or sales with or without an About page.


#3

I will always check an about page out of interest and if I am a purchaser then either no about page or an about page with few details (who’s behind this, real names, addresses etc) would make me wary.

I don’t get why you wouldn’t have one - it won’t cause any problems for people who don’t care but will for people who do.


#4

We, too, have gone to a more spartan website.

However, I think the key is not to FORCE the user into a limited set of pages, but rather to make the critical (“limited set of”) pages more prominent.

So, there should be a clear path down your funnel, but still have detours available for those who want them.
So, you don’t want things like an About page to distract the user. But, as Rhino suggest below,


#5

Steve, out of curiosity, do you track how often people check our About Page prior to purchase vs those that do not?

I just checked out your site (and btw, cool product, I’m very curious) and felt that a lot of the social indicators necessary for purchase were already there: multiple reviews with names, prominent support link, information and screenshots so I know how the product will work. All very clear.

But when I looked at your about page I found it lacking or rather very neutral to purchase. I discovered you’re in Barcelona, some core beliefs, but nothing that really showed who’s behind the product, passion about poker, or address/contact info (but that didn’t matter as much since you do have a prominent support page).

So given that you’ve done a great job with describing your product & providing social proof on your main page, combined with a fairly neutral About page somewhat lacking in further social proof, I’d be surprised if it did have an impact on sales.


#6

Leon, I think a more important question to ask concerning an about page is “What about an about page builds trust/rapport?” followed up by “Does it have to be on the About page?” I think the answers to the questions are: social proof you’re not a crook (real names, pics, history, address, etc) and no it doesn’t have to be on a single about page.

I believe that’s why Steve’s site has shown no difference w/ or without. He’s already done a good job providing information elsewhere on his site.

So yes, the details of an about page are valuable. No they don’t have to be on an about page, but the heart of that content should be integrated naturally elsewhere in your funnel.

For example, on your primary landing page, integrate components into your sales copy. Make prominent guarantees, support links, contact page, etc. Provide ample proof this isn’t a scam and the about page becomes redundant.


#7

I don’t but I’d like to check. I suspect Google Analytics will allow me to compare this, but I don’t really know how!


#8

Yes, I think you’ve nailed it here Bryan.

What matters is the social proof, not so much the page on which it is delivered.

(The site that got me thinking about this was https://www.mockaroo.com/ – a really nice utility but so totally lacking in “social proof” or other trust signals that I can’t see anyone getting out their credit card.)


#9

You probably can if you define a funnel. But I haven’t used Google Analytics like this for a while, the product has changed a lot in the past two years and I believe they’ve moved some of the valuable funnel statistics to paid levels. It’s definitely not super intuitive or easy.

There are some other great funnel/conversion tools out there like KissMetrics (which always seems to be recommended for this subject).


#10

Creator of Mockaroo here. I guess I hadn’t really given much thought to an about page, and certainly not from the angle of building trust. Mockaroo is a solo project. My prior work was in startups targeting the enterprise market. The companies I worked for always tried to make themselves seem bigger than they were out of fear that large companies would think it too risky to buy from a fledgling startup. Maybe that contributed to me downplaying my background and the nature of the product as the work of one developer. Seems kinda silly in retrospect. I’m definitely going to add an about page now. Just got to find the right format. Any suggestions?


#11

Welcome Mockaroodev. I totally get where you’re coming from regarding companies playing it up big. As I said previously in this thread, it’s less to do with an about page, and more to do with providing proof you’re not a scam. You don’t have to have an about page, but indicators that you are safe to work with are a must.

Looks like you already added an about page, here are some other recommendations (based on some brain storming I did this afternoon as I thought about this thread and then decided to write a blog about this).

In two meaningful ways: show your future customers that you’re one of them and you’ll take care of them. Here’s a list of things you can do.

Provide ample social proof on primary landing pages in the form of:

  • Pain articulation – Don’t just explain how your product works with a feature list. Tell the reader what pains and problems it will fix. Connect with the reader as if you’re the same person living with the same pains.
  • Real names with real reviews – People trust others more than they’ll trust you.
  • Your real name and picture – Don’t let your site belong to some nebulous entity.
  • Logos of prominent customers – Again people trust others more than they’ll trust you.

Show them you’ll help after the sale:

  • Prominent Support Link – Don’t hide it. People will need help, get your manual online [link to own site], provide support details (such as your hours and typical response times), provide common answers to questions. Double down on being obvious you’ll take care of them.
  • Prominent Contact Information – Don’t be coy. Give them at minimum an email. It could be an alias to your real email like support@yourdomain.com. But don’t try to hide everything behind a form. If you’re really not comfortable with a full address, give them the city at least. Got a phone number? Give them them that! Don’t have one? Get a cheap one that’s online only.

It looks like you’ve got a few of these pieces in place, but they need tweaking to make them more obvious.


#12

BTW, thanks for this compliment.

I find marketing really frustrating due to the lack of immediate feedback. When I code, a test will show me if the code is wrong or right. But when I do marketing (which for me, often means working on my website content), I have no way to check if I’ve done things well or not. Any improvement in traffic and sales often comes months after I’ve made changes. So your words make me feel more confident about recent changes I’ve made.


#13

Steve have you considered A/B testing your site? There are some great tools out there like Optimizely and Unbounce that let you do tests, so you can see before/after metrics as visitors come in. They also can assist in letting you know when you have a significant enough sample to say for sure if it helped. Often you’re talking small percentage changes (say 2-3% at a time), but in aggregate seeing that over the course of the year you moved the needle by 20% can feel pretty powerful, especially for you and I where we see the outcome of new code so quickly. :slight_smile:


#14

Yeah, I did some A/B testing. Every time I tried, the result was that I needed more data… :slight_smile:


#15

Yes, that has been my experience as well. Unless you are getting hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, the results you get can be dismissed as statistical fluke.

I never got any concrete results from A/B testing, but then maybe, I’m just stupid. :slight_smile:


#16

Having enough data is definitely a consideration and I’ve been there and it sure is frustrating to wait a month or two to have solid results for just one test.


#17

I got some useful results from A/B testing of the PerfectTablePlan website a while back (must restart) and I have decent, but not huge, levels of traffic. You need to set-up the test and let it run for a month or two. Also, if it wasn’t related to the buy page, I tended to test the number of installed downloads as a conversion goal, rather than sales. I get 10x the number of downloads and a download mostly shows that the website has done its job.

Make sure you test significant changes, not just button colours. If I didn’t get 95% confidence after a month or two I abandoned that test.

BTW the most successful things I tested were related to social proof, e.g.:
-adding company logos to the home page
-adding the text “more than 40,000 copies sold” to the buy page

Also you have to get comfortable with the fact an A/B test will never give you an absolute result. 95% statistical confidence is still much better than a pure guess.


#18

Depends on the audience you target and the price range you’re in.

We have a B2C product used mostly by teenagers. About/shmabout… no difference, they don’t care.

We also have a B2B product for several $k - about page with faces and client logos works magic.


#19

Good point. I thnk the emoji.cool site @donny_k_ posted on here recently would probably not see much difference with or without an about type information. In those cases, though, some kind of social indicators are still very valuable.


#20

Yeah, I am not sure whether an about page is necessary for a t-shirt web shop.

In the above case, I think Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy pages make more sense.
And probably active Instagram / Twitter accounts (external indicators) to make the shop looks “lively” :slight_smile: