Landing on an unfamiliar website is like beaming down from the Starship Enterprise. You experience a few moments of disorientation while you work out what this new place is and whether you’re about to be attacked by a salt vampire.
If there’s nothing that grabs your attention, or if it’s clear that the website isn’t relevant, you click away.
If, however, you see something that’s of interest, you set your phaser to stun and have a cautious look around.
From the second visitors arrive on your website, they’re looking to get their bearings. The biggest question on their minds is “Where am I?” followed swiftly by “Is this place worth my attention?”
The faster you answer those questions, the more likely they are to stick around.
The longer they stick around, the more chance you have of eventually turning those visitors into buyers.
And the more buyers you have, the sooner you’ll be about to buy that beach house in Hawaii.
Let’s assume your visitor chooses to stay on your site and explore. After your home page, the first stop for many people is likely to be your store. Even if they don’t intend to buy anything right now, they’ll look at your product photographs, descriptions and prices.
As they click around, they’re soaking up information about you from these value markers.
If they like what they see, they’ll eventually say to themselves “So who made this cool place, anyway?” and click on your About page.
Have you ever seen birds of paradise do a mating dance?
Imagine you’re the brightly coloured male bird.
You’ve made yourself a little clearing in the jungle and now you’re dancing your ass off trying to get a female bird to give you the time of day.
You go through all your best moves – the tail waggling, the head bobbing, the wing flapping – and you’re making a weeble-weeble sound which is supposed to drive the lady birds wild.
Short of drenching yourself in Brut, there’s not much else you can do.
The female bird is your website visitor. She’s sitting in the bushes with an unreadable look on her face. You have no idea how your show is going over.
Was it a mistake to start with the tail-waggling?
Is there dust on your feathers?
Does she hate the weebling?
WHAT IS SHE THINKING?
Hang on, something’s happening. She’s hopping closer!
When a website visitor clicks to see your About page, they’re doing the same thing.
Now, to be sure, the female bird isn’t signing up for a long-term relationship – not yet. She’s still undecided. The male bird would be crazy to kick back with some dry-roasted caterpillar larvae at this point.
But her little hop forward does signify something. It means that, having seen the show, she’s sufficiently interested to want a closer look at its creator.
Sustaining and rewarding that interest is what your About page is for.
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