There’s a weird little contradiction happening all over the web: tour companies are building websites with the express goal of telling visitors all about themselves and their business, but consistently fail when it comes to the About page. Common mistakes pop up over and over: too short, too long, too sales-y, too vague. The About page shouldn’t be a last-minute addition to your tourism website design; it’s a very important part of selling your brand. Here’s how to craft an exceptional, impressive About page.
You do have an about page, right?
First things first: if you don’t have an About page, you need to make one—soon. Don’t write them off as a cliché, or assume that customers will learn all they need to know from your homepage. As a tour operator, telling stories is second nature. So, you need to ask yourself “what’s our story?”.
Every site needs an About section; don’t conceal it or make it difficult to find. It should be part of your main navigation and accessible from every other page; it’s often one of the most-visited areas of a website.
Go back to the 5 W’s
When you are crafting the perfect tour, you probably take time to examine the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. They spell out all the necessary details of any story, no matter the length or subject matter. Your About page should, at its core, address each of the five W’s clearly; if you’re having trouble with writing the copy, it’s a really good place to start.
The Internet has made anonymity easier than ever, and has made customers value honesty in business—otherwise they risk being scammed. Don’t hide behind a cutesy nickname or try to be coy about who you are; post photographs and names of your key staff, because it fosters credibility and trust. Provide a short overview of each person’s role in the tour company and list relevant degrees or credentials they may have. This is especially important for tour companies where staff are certified or professionally trained tour operators.
This is one of the tougher W’s to tackle, because it cuts straight to the core of your entire business—what is it that you do, exactly? What do you provide, and what makes you special? The key here is to avoid creating a sales pitch; you have the rest of your website to do that. Provide an overview of your tour services, but don’t explain them in too much detail; that’s what your other pages are for.
While you might be very proud of your tour company’s history—and so you should—the fact is that no one wants to read a detailed year-by-year chronology; it will bog down the page and bore your readers. Feel free to acknowledge the year of your founding and a short statement about your background, but customers care a lot more about your story—how you turned your passion for where you live into a business, or overcame challenges to get to where you are today.
It’s good to briefly acknowledge where you’re established, especially because your surroundings figure heavily into your values, story, or services; for example, a whale-watching tour depends on the local environment. However, it’s important to include your mailing/storefront address on either your About page or your Contact page, and include a map to indicate where people can find you. Putting yourself in a physical location establishes trust with your customers.
This W is perhaps the most important, because your About page should tell your story in a compelling way. What are your values and visions of the future? Why should they pick you over competing tour operators? Talk about yourself in the context of how you can help your customers; in the end, it’s about the reader more than it is about you.
Keep it short
Many tour businesses make the mistake of laying out their entire chronology on their About pages, resulting in hundreds and hundreds of words which inevitably end up boring potential customers. However, there’s such a thing as being too succinct—saying almost nothing is just as bad as saying too much. If your About page were to be an athlete, it should be a runner rather than a bodybuilder—impactful, but lean rather than bulky.
The About page is a vital part of your website; it is the place where you get to pitch yourself as a tour operator and convince the customer that your values overlap with theirs. Put some thought into this, and keep it updated; you will find that it’s a commonly visited page (along with your booking page) which will help customers get to know you—and impress them enough to fork over their hard-earned dollars.