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SEO Basics: The Perfect About Page Mini-Challenge

Biannual-blogathon-bash-mini-challenge-blogging Today I’m participating in The Biannual Blogathon Bash, which runs from June 21-24, 2013.  If you’re looking to improve your blog over a weekend, this is a great way to learn about better blogging techniques and get things running better on your blog than they are now. It’s not too late to participate so be sure to follow along! Those who participate in the mini challenges like this one are entered for prizes so go sign up. For those readers who are new here, welcome! I write about SEO and blogging every Friday.

Static Pages

Last we talked about static content, we learned that static content is the most important thing for your blog to rank on search engines because your main page that populates your most current blog posts doesn’t exist to search engines the way it does to you and me. Search engines can only see static content on pages and the pages where posts actually live. Static content, for those who didn’t read the last SEO Basics post, is what doesn’t change on your page, including categories, your sidebar items, and your header and footer items.

Static pages, like a contact page or about page, are vital for your search engine rankings because they are cornerstone content for your blog. While you’re constantly writing fresh and new posts about a range of topics, your static pages are made up solely of static content. About pages are a great place to start when editing your static content because they’re one of the top places visitors look at–for both humans and machines about pages are full of important stuff.

The Perfect About Page

Your about page should do a few things:

  • Tell what readers/customers can expect from you both on your website and in real life
  • Explain why you’re the one to pay attention to by establishing your persona
  • Explain your editorial policies, if necessary
  • Call readers to action for your goal (get them to read posts, sign up for email updates, subscribe, etc)

About pages should be short and sweet. A jumbled story about how you started blogging is not a good way to attract the attention of a potential reader, sponsor, or client so something clear and concise is best for an about page. While you should show your personality in your about page and use the same tone of voice as your blog posts, it’s important to make it approachable for people who aren’t familiar with your blog or business. After all, they’re looking at the about page because they don’t know you! Selling yourself as a unique perspective they can’t afford to miss is the point of your About page.

The Mini-Challenge

Today’s challenge is to write a better About page for your blog. Follow the following steps and you’ll be well on your way to a better About page in under 30 minutes. If you’re taking more than 30 minutes, you’re not clear on what your blog is about and you need to go back for deeper reflection about what your niche is and why you blog.

  1. Gather up your target keyword list. If you don’t have one already, consider this a preliminary mini-challenge first and come back to this mini-challenge.
  2. Write a short paragraph about what you write about on your blog, using your target keywords.
  3. Write a short paragraph about your qualifications to write about what you do.
  4. Write a short paragraph about biographical information you’d like to include, such as where you live, what you’ve done in the past.
  5. Edit each of these paragraphs for consistency. Make sure each and every single word in the paragraphs are vital to display your point. If not, get rid of it. Trim the fat!
  6. Join the paragraphs together.
  7. Ensure you still have your target keywords included in your About page.
  8. Add a photo to illustrate yourself/family/blog topic.
  9. Include a call-to-action at the end such as a list of your most popular or useful posts, newsletter signup field, contact form, or a RSS subscription button.
  10. If needed, such as you accept guest posts or new contributions, sponsors, or host giveaways, outline your polices. This can always be a separate page if it’s a lengthy policy.

That’s all you really need to do to have the perfect about page. Make sure to update it periodically with new information, awards, or after a life change. Mine’s due for an update since I’m moving to another town next weekend (eek!).

Share your updated About page URL in the comments below! I’ll try to make recommendations as much as I can.

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69 Comments

  • Reply Patricia June 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Hi. I read your target keywords post with enjoyment. I still need to work on that. Here is the link to my updated Google+ profile. Appreciate any help
    https://plus.google.com/111147689360483951957/about/p/pub

    Pat

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 3:22 am

      Patricia–Do you have a blog or are you just doing a Google Plus page?

      Google Plus about sections work a bit differently than static page content on a website since it is a social network but they should still do basic things. You’re doing a great job at telling readers who you are and what’s important to you but you could certainly add a bit about what people can expect from being connected with you on Google Plus.

  • Reply Retha Groenewald June 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I have updated my About page – http://rethagroenewald.com/about/. Your recommendations will be appreciated. I realize it can be improved.

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 3:29 am

      Thanks for sharing, Retha!

      My first recommendation is to change the format of your text. Centering your text can make it difficult to read for some people because their brains have a hard time connecting the parts together. If you think about other uses for centered text, such as headlines and titles, using it for an about page text makes the reader work hard to get to the beginning of the next line. Instead of reading it with the flow of a sentence, they read it quite like a telegram. Check out this post to see what I mean: http://uxmovement.com/content/why-you-should-never-center-align-paragraph-text/

      Be sure to add a quick addition about what readers can find on your blog. What do you write about on your blog? Answering that question will help readers decide if they’re in the right place.

      • Reply Retha Groenewald June 22, 2013 at 10:58 am

        I have taken your advice and updated my About Page. http://rethagroenewald.com/about/ Eager to hear futher recommendations.
        Thank you for this challenge and your active participation!!

        • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm

          Looks much better! Love that you fleshed it out too with more information about where to find you and your book.

          • Retha Groenewald June 23, 2013 at 7:57 am

            Has it got too much on? I normally like sort and sweet. Now it feels cumbersome

  • Reply Jackie June 22, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I finally have an about me page. I’ve had the tab, but um.. well.. you know.. so I’ve taken this opportunity to actually write one. It’s not perfect and I’m sure I’ll be editing it over time (which as you say, one should) and I don’t have a contact form (I want one, it won’t work) but I did ask people to email me so I guess that’s close enough until I figure out the other. Thanks for this mini-challenge and making me get off my butt to get it done! Here it is! http://savvysuburbanmama.com/about-me

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 3:37 am

      Great start, Jackie!

      I think you might do well connecting your first paragraph and your second together with the common ideas shared between them. For instance, where you talk about household clutter, you could use the sentence where you explain you commute a long distance to show why you’re a decluttering expert (busy mom with little time in the paradox of a clutter prone world!). It might be a better use of space to get the idea across quickly to readers–after all you’ve only their attention until they hit the back button! This might help you shorten it up a bit.

  • Reply Bernadette C June 22, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I am HORRIBLE at about me stuff! I hate talking about myself and I have always been that way. :) http://aimlessmoments.blogspot.com/p/about_21.html

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 3:46 am

      Bernadette! Lordy, bless your heart for caring for that many children!

      I think the number on thing for you to do is really sit down with this and trim back a lot of it. It seems like you have a lot to say and I’d love to hear more–but it might be best to write a few regular blog posts and link to them about sections of your about page you’d like to expand on. I can tell you’re holding back some and want to write more in-depth about your life so why not do it? Instead of trying to cram it all into an about page, write more extensive posts about things you’d like to say about yourself and then link to them. Readers who think your blog appeals to them after reading a short about page will check out those links to learn about you and your life. Then they’ll be attached to you and keep reading!

      • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 3:48 am

        *one, not on!

        Sorry! Long day. We moved all our belongings today in preparation for our move across the state and I’m just plain ol’ exhausted.

  • Reply Amanda June 22, 2013 at 4:06 am

    I recently redid my about page but I’m still not thrilled with it. I’m in a bit of a career and life rut at the moment so it’s hard to not let that seep in. Any advice would be amazing! Thank you!
    http://mylifeiguess.com/about/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Hey Amanda! I think you can certainly perk up your second and third paragraphs a bit, as you said. Your unique perspective is you’ve been stuck in a position you don’t want to be in and are struggling to make a change. There’s not much more positive than that! However, it looks great! I love your use of “you may also like” as your CTA.

  • Reply Caroline June 22, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for the challenge & the tips. I’ve updated my About page for the first time in a couple of years.
    http://nightwolfsden.com/about/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      It looks GREAT! You’re doing a spectacular job doing what an about page should do and keeping it easy to read and concise.

      Only recommendations is to check your ands and & and make them match. I’d also add a line between paragraphs but that’s just a personal preference.

      (Also–totally with you on the lush greenness! I traveled around Australia when in high school and loved Cains. So absolutely gorgeous!)

  • Reply Gillian Pearce June 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I was really surprised to discover I didn’t have an about page. Duh! I do now! http://gillianpearce.com/about

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks for participating, Gillian! I’d love to see some of your artwork on your about page to give it some visual interest.

  • Reply Carin Clark June 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I would love any feedback on my About page. Thanks so much! http://clueconsultingllc.net/blog-mrscpkc/home-about-mrscpkc/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Looks great! Only thing I’m not clear on–what does mrscpkc mean? You say it’s so you can write about a bunch of things but I’m not clear on what it stands for.

  • Reply Jamie June 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I really need to work on a call to action for my readers. that’s great info. I get a lot of hits to my “about me” page… and it is SEO friendly already… but love the call to action idea. Thanks!

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      I think you’ve got some good CTAs, although you could make them a bit stinger by making it easy to subscribe with a simple button or something like that.

  • Reply April @Pixie Dust Savings June 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Here is my about page. http://pixiedustsavings.com/about/ I just updated it (my part anyways). I added a Disney themed pic rather than just the head shot I had. Other than updating some of it, I am really at a loss of what to add. Any suggestions would be wonderful.

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      I think this is great! Tells exactly what readers can find and shows a bit of your personality. I’d love to see a photo of Joanna too.

  • Reply Rebecca June 23, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Great advice!

    I’d add — remember that only about 10% of the average website’s visitors make it to the About page and don’t put essential things only on that page. Your analytics tells you if you’re the exception.

    Now I have to go read your About page!

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      My about page needs work! I’m being a little bit of a hypocrite here because mine isn’t as geared towards keywords as it should be–but as always clients tend to push updating my own about page back. Soon, hopefully!

  • Reply Cyn June 23, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Ok mine still needs some formatting and spacing work and I could probably do a bit more editing but I’ve been working on it for a few hours now so I’m going to call it complete for now – http://creativecynchronicity.com/about/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Looks great, Cyn! I love the family photos.

      And I’m from Arkansas by way of Massachusetts, although right now I’m moving from Fayetteville to Conway.

  • Reply Barb Garber June 23, 2013 at 1:41 am

    http://www.shopinseatnotonfeet.ca/p/about.html

    This is sooo much shorter than what i had

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      I think you could easily add a way to contact you to get a catalog to get more contacts. I’d also recommend adding links to some of your most popular posts at the bottom.

  • Reply Jess @ Sweet Athena June 23, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Hey Kim,
    Thanks for sharing all this great information. I updated our about page to include a few links on words we already were featuring (crafting, cooking, etc). I also added at the bottom ways in which people can follow us.
    Any other advice for us?
    Thanks!
    Jess

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Looks good, Jess! I have always loved that photo of you two.

      • Reply Jess @ Sweet Athena June 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm

        Awww, thanks Kim. This is a great post. I’m enjoying this series as a whole.

        • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

          I’m so glad to hear that, Jess! I’ll be continuing into more and more technical things so sit tight and feel free to ask questions if you get confused.

  • Reply Kelly Stilwell June 23, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Wow! I had never done any SEO on my about page! I think it is better, but I will work on it more. The problem I am having is that to have the keyword in the title, I don’t like how it looks on my main page in under the header. It’s too long. I’m thinking it should not say that, but just About. Does it matter if the keyword is not in the title? Suggestions? Thanks so much! It was hard to come up with a keyword, I used Florida Family Friendly. When you say use your target keywords, you mean the 2 or 3 you are using in your url, title, and post right? You can’t use more than that, can you? Looking forward to your thoughts!

  • Reply Lisa Marie June 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for your challenge. I took some time to clean up my about page on this blog and hopefully make it better. And suggestions to make it better? :) http://thecanadianhomeschooler.com/about/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      I love that you’re clear about your motivations for your blog–really helps you connect to readers in a similar situation! I would put your email at the place where you say they can email you too since not everyone might read to the end.

  • Reply April @Pixie Dust Savings June 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    My previous comment is still awaiting moderation??

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Sorry, April! I’m in the middle of moving this weekend, which makes it difficult to approve and reply to comments.

  • Reply Alaia June 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Here’s my page! http://alaiawilliams.com/about

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Love it! You have your voice down. You’re an accomplished woman so I’m not surprised. I’d check the lines between headings and the text above. I’m in Safari and it’s slightly mushy. You might want to add an extra line to prevent that. I’d also maybe add links to your business ventures in your “official bio” section so people can click through. Channel that desire to work with you!

      (Sidenote: I hate the word Connectedness but that’s not your fault! I forget which ones I am.)

      • Reply Alaia June 24, 2013 at 2:48 am

        Thanks for the feedback and heads up on spacing. I’ll look into it.

        Connectedness is an odd word (and I don’t even think its a real word), but the description definitely fits me!

  • Reply Audra Silva June 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I always hear how the about page should be professional, but I can’t get away from conversational. It seems too stuffy the other way.

    So for what it’s worth–here is mine: http://www.audrasilva.com/behindmeanderings/. Critique away…

    I did add a call to action section towards the end right before the “What else do I love?” part.

    • Reply Audra Silva June 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      P.S. I’m not sure if I have the keywords figured out or not. SEO confuzzles me brain. And should I link categories to my list of what I write about? Or would that be messy?

      I hope you move is going well by the way!

      • Reply Audra Silva June 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

        P.S.S. (You can shoot me know for too many comments) I will actually be using some of the phrases on my about page for blog posts, and then will link to them like i did for the phrase “intentional one”. I figured that would be a natural way to add in some good post links.

        • Reply Kim Herrington June 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm

          BANG! Just kidding. I’d never get angry at someone for participating with my blog. Comments are mana from heaven in terms of blogging, really. Wake up and there’s more food for the next day!

          In terms of professional sounding–do what feels right for you that matches the rest of your tone of voice on your blog. For instance, my about page (which needs improvement in its own right) is the same tone I use in my posts. I don’t write this way for clients because it wouldn’t make sense for what they need. So match your tone to your audience!

          I think you’re doing a fine job with using keywords and natural linking between your blog. As for linking to categories you certainly could but it might leave some without a link and might look awkward.

          • Audra Silva June 26, 2013 at 12:41 am

            Thanks so much for your feedback and the challenge. :)

  • Reply Meg June 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I updated my About Me page using your tips, thanks!
    http://iammegandsocanyou.blogspot.com/p/about.html

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Looks good, Meg! I think, unlike a lot of people, you do a good job of using centered text well. If possible, see if you can get your signature to center too to keep it cohesive.

  • Reply Tiffany June 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Finished! It’s not perfect (I do tend to ramble, but that’s part of my personality) but it is true to me. :) http://singlemommywarrior.com/about-me/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Hey Tiffany! I think your about page could use some cheering up a bit. In the bits about how you’re scared of everything and very clumsy, it seems like you don’t have much confidence in your skills. With that in mind, why would someone want to be part of the WAHM network and learn from you? Show your confidence and what skills you have that make you an expert instead.

  • Reply Susan June 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    What a fabulous article, Kim! I was totally inspired by it and have radically redesigned my ‘About’ page. This is the result. http://ripplespillers.com/about-us/ I do need a ‘contact us’ page, which I plan to do tomorrow. But, in the meantime, if the moment has not now passed, I’d value your thoughts. Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed it!

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      The two separate areas of your about page look somewhat disjointed. The top half is more formal and professional sounding and the bottom half looks childish because of the photos and font color change. I’d try to move towards something more cohesive.

      • Reply Susan June 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

        Hadn’t thought about that. Will do now, though. Thanks.

  • Reply Vanina June 24, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Hi Kim! I updated my About Page following your tips. I would love your feedback! http://mothercrafterdiy.com/about/ And good luck with the move!

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Vanina, I love the way you use both languages and alternate them! I think you’re doing a great job of introducing yourself and your blog with a strong call to action.

      • Reply Vanina June 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        Thank you! I really appreciate it :)

  • Reply Aeryn Lynne June 24, 2013 at 2:15 am

    I’ve *just* updated the image, and added a poem of all things, lol.
    http://geekwithstyle.ca/about-aeryn-lynne/

    What I really want to fix is the badges placement, but have yet to figure out a way to do that… unless maybe use the adrotate plugin to manage them, hmm…

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Aeryn!
      Be sure to think about what’s above the fold, or what is seen first by your readers. All they see is your header. Then all they see is your photo. It takes two whole window lengths to get to the words. Since both humans and search engines care about what’s close to the top, it’s important to capture them as quickly as possible with the top of your website. Take a look at this article to understand what I mean: http://www.usability.gov/articles/newsletter/pubs/032010news.html

  • Reply Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories June 24, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Just updated my About Page and still a little confused though about what my target keywords should be since I blog about a few different topics. Thanks for getting me to do this, my job status changed a couple weeks ago so I needed to change it! I would love any suggestions you and others can give! http://momssmallvictories.com/about-me/

    • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Hey Tanya! I think you’re doing a great job with your about page! I’d check to make sure the font size is the same across the board because it looks like there might be a size change near the area with your email. I’d recommend looking at the html behind it.

  • Reply Ashley Pomykala June 24, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Ok, I did it. I changed my about me even though I was reluctant. I liked all the images I had before. Lol. I feel like it is really short and that it is missing something, but I don’t know what.

    • Reply Ashley Pomykala June 24, 2013 at 7:25 am

      I forgot the link to my page. Lol. http://parsimoniouspash.com/about-me

      • Reply Kim Herrington June 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        Ashley, thanks for participating! I think the only thing you’re missing is a small snippet about giveaways. You should also include a disclosure for your giveaways and maybe a policy about them, either on your about page or contact me page. Don’t want to get in trouble with the FTC!

        • Reply Ashley Pomykala June 25, 2013 at 10:54 pm

          I do have a disclosure page and everything. I will add that into the about page and link to it. I hadn’t thought about that. :)

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