Today I was struggling to write the home page for a successful sign manufacturing company.

Doing my due diligence I googled “signage” to see how other companies in the same marketplace described themselves and their services.  On the very first page of the unpaid search results I found a company in Swansea that looked pretty big:  Clients included 3M, GE Security, Amazon, Talis, AAH, Swansea University and a number of other big organisations.

So far so average

The message on their home page was “A world of signage, exhibition, large format and CNC, all under one roof”.  Sounds promising…let’s see how they describe those services in more detail.

I clicked through the pages for flat cut letters, built up letters, banners and flex face signs – text was pretty uninspiring, but OK.

Spot the typo

Then I clicked on the “Illuminated Signage” tab and got this headline:

Signs for use in nigh time or dark spaces – now with ultra low energy LED lighting systems

Things went rapidly downhill from here – the content person had obviously lost interest at this point, as you’ll see.

What’s the Latin for “nobody is going to read it anyway, so why bother”?

The text explaining the features and benefits of illuminated signage was as follows:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi ac risus suscipit ligula porttitor dapibus non vel lectus. Duis convallis cursus lobortis. Nunc sed vehicula nulla, sed ornare purus. Cras viverra, enim id semper laoreet, risus dui sodales odio, vitae pellentesque leo massa eu tellus. In eget est dapibus, sodales neque eget, commodo libero. Quisque sed justo dolor. Aliquam rhoncus, nibh nec bibendum dapibus, ex nulla commodo nibh, vitae molestie ligula felis id magna. Pellentesque ut mollis justo. Sed pharetra pharetra erat, vitae condimentum est rhoncus vel. Donec tempus sapien ultrices est ultricies, et venenatis quam rutrum. Phasellus consectetur, enim.

Twenty seven more pages of Latin or blank space

I click on the Monolyths & Totems page – the same Lorem ipsum text.

Pavement signs page – the same.

Plaques page – the same.

Post signs page – the same.

Projecting signage page – the same.

Sign trays page – ditto.

I went through another 5 pages, each describing a different type of signage…in the same placeholder latin text.

Next I went to the Large Format section, with 9 separate pages: retail graphics, digital wallpaper, exhibition print…   All 9 pages in the same Lorem ipsum.

Then I went to the CNC section, with five different pages: furniture, joinery…   No text at all, just the heading, then nothing, not even latin.

Engraving services section, 7 separate pages:  awards, badges…again a heading, then nothing.

Finally, I clicked on the contact tab and got “Oops! Something went wrong.  This page didn’t load Google Maps correctly. See the JavaScript console for technical details.”

None of the quick links at the bottom of the page worked either.

It beggars belief

Beneath the quick links there was a line that read © 2016 Website by Moving Pixels.

Blimey, it had been like this for a year or more – and they’d just left it like that?  WTF?!

Who puts a website up with most of the pages containing placeholder Latin text, or no text at all, and leaves it there for over 12 months?  A company that puts no value on words whatsoever.

Sadly, this is not the only example I’ve stumbled across in recent months.  Amazingly I even found those in the creative industries, including copywriters, with pages of Lorem ipsum on their websites.  Like this page on the Chaytor Dewey website, a consultancy that promises “intelligent communications”  but whose WORK page has four projects listed, three of which are Lorem ipsum.

Want some help with what to say?

If you are not sure about what to say about your business then my book will be a big help.  “The Authority Guide to Creating Brand Stories That Sell” gives you a simple proven process for achieving just this.  Click here for more details and a sample chapter.

Photo credit:  Nathan Rupert