Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 2, 2009

What Website Visitors Need to Know First

What Website Visitors Need to Know First- computerintro-a2d“Who the heck ARE you?”

 Why an Effective “About Me” Page Is Your Best Marketing Tool

©2008 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 An “About Me” section of a website is a separate page where you introduce the visitor to yourself, your work, and what you stand for.  Market research reveals that this is usually the first page web users click on and the one they spend the most time reading. If you don’t have one yet-or if yours lacks impact-you miss an important opportunity to develop a relationship with a potential client. When visitors don’t have a clear picture of the person they’re dealing with and don’t feel a connection, they’re far less likely to become clients.

Researchers also found that to be effective, this introduction needs to be warm, personal, open, and honest. A sense of accessibility was crucial for the corporate sites these studies focused on, and it’s even more true for professionals in private practice. What you’re marketing isn’t a product but yourself and your life work.

The text should paint a vivid picture of who you are, what you stand for, and what drives you to offer your services. It humanizes what could otherwise be a dry, impersonal sales pitch.  A professional-quality photograph is one way of establishing a connection. A well-written, compact, and engaging summary of your life work and values is another. The average visitor doesn’t want to know your entire life history, just that you’re qualified and have something they need.

Where do you get material for your About Me page? A resume is one place to start, but I’d advise against posting yours on your site. Resumes are too impersonal–and frankly too boring. Internet visitors respond to presentations that are livelier and more personable.  You do need to portray the background you bring to the work. However, don’t choke the text in the About Me section with jargon from your field.  Newcomers won’t understand technical details about your profession or method or even bother to read them.  Cover those details in your Services Page or in educational articles on the site and create links to them on the About Me page. We’ll go through a step-by-step process of creating a good bio in a later article.internetmeetppl-a2d

Make sure the text is conversational in tone. Good internet writing is very different from print media. It needs to be clear, simple, and readable. Researchers discovered, using eye tracking cameras, that visitors scan pages rapidly rather than reading them word for word. Words, sentences, and paragraphs should be short and clean, with no chance of confusion. The language needs to be concise, powerful, proactive, client-centered and real.

 MORE TIPS FOR BLOGGERS ON THIS SITE:  

FREE EBOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS ONLY:  a 50-page excerpt from my out-of-print book, The Moon in your Life, also known as Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World.  Read more about it here: NEW: FREE BOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS!   If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at moonmave@spiritone.com. To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post.

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