Paste the sentence below into Google and you’ll find the exact text on tens of thousands of US accountancy firms’ websites.
We take pride in giving you the assurance that the personal assistance you receive comes from years of advanced training, technical experience and financial acumen.
So, what do you think? It’s quite hard to take in at first, and clearly they are doing themselves no favours with search engines, who will eventually throw out what they see as plagiarism. And from our point of view, it obviously says they don’t give a hoot about having a professional writer (or a designer, for that matter) help with their marketing collateral.
It’s not plagiarism though. It’s just the work of one of those enormous conglomerates who provide services to professional firms, including an identikit off-the-shelf or build-your-own website. There are English firms offering this service too, one of which quite hilariously describes its ‘How to choose an accountant’ page template as a ‘competition buster’, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it’s offering the same text to every accountancy firm in the land.
But what does it mean? Does it anger you? Does it amuse you? Let us know below. Personally, and I don’t think my views are representative of my colleagues at Writers, I find it quite quaint. We spend our lives trying to help differentiate firms through language, while our colleagues in design and branding are trying to do the same with their particular skills, as are SEO experts, social media specialists, communications consultants et al.
Yet there’s still a whole world out there where the office on main street, a listing in the local paper, the occasional networking event – and, presumably, satisfied customers – is enough to keep a provincial business on its feet. The company website is a “well, I suppose we’d better get one” decision. I find it oddly comforting, but I can’t quite work out why?