Sometimes websites can take on a life of their own, developing human-like syndromes that can drive potential customers away. In this article, I share some business website tips and show you how to cure three common website syndromes.
Conglomerate Personality Disorder (CPD)
This is where a website thinks that it’s a conglomerate rather than just a one person show. Common symptoms include:
- Excessive use of the word ‘we’.
- No mention of any human names, just the company name.
- Generalised language that could be applied to anything, anywhere.
- Speaking in jargon-based tongues for no apparent reason.
If you meet this website at a networking function, the conversation will probably go like this:
You: Hi, it’s nice to meet you.
Website: We value your feedback.
You: Err…so, how are you today?
Website: Our customer service representatives will respond to your query within 24 hours.
You: I’d rather just speak to you. And who are you, exactly?
Website: We pick low hanging fruit while thinking outside the box in the value-added creation network that is synergistically aligned for quality and coaching purposes.
CPD usually rectifies itself when the website realises that very few website visitors contact them, because these visitors have absolutely no idea who they are or what they’re saying.
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Really Annoying Repetition Syndrome (RARS)
Websites with RARS have an insatiable desire to be on page one of everyone’s consciousness. In a social setting, these websites would introduce themselves like this: ‘Hi, I’m a plumber in Sydney. As a plumber in Sydney I like to do plumbing…in Sydney. Plumbing in Sydney is fun, so who wouldn’t want to be a plumber in Sydney?’
Google may favour repetitive phrasing, but real life readability suffers big time.
If you’re stuck on a RARS-afflicted website, you’ll start fantasising about eating your own eyes in order to survive.
I’d like to say to sites like this: ‘Website, being number one isn’t everything. Sure, everyone can see you, and heck, they might even click with you, but if you incessantly repeat specific words and phrases you’ll just drive people nuts. If you want people to like you and to engage with you, reduce the amount of times you repeat the words ‘plumber in Sydney’. Try saying this phrase twice in every hundred words, or at least so that it sounds natural. Can you do that?’
Most of the RARS-afflicted websites can do that, though some need intensive rehab time in the Content Management System.
Teenage Apparel Syndrome (TAS)
Some websites are so cluttered with graphics, words and widgets that the website’s pants fall down, exposing their boxer shorts. To deal with TAS, remove any superfluous words, graphics or widgets from the site, and ensure that the wording is tight, so that its holds the website together, and up.
Although the above website syndromes are rare, early intervention is vital. If symptoms persist, see your copywriter.
Have you ever met websites that suffer from similar syndromes? Or different syndromes altogether?Share your business website tips below.