The Company Website Genre: Banking Websites
In doing a little research on website genres I came across an article about the website as a domain specific genre. According to the journal at http://www.languageatinternet.de/articles/2006/374, website genres are now coming into the focus of linguistic researchers wanting to look at the norms for language use on the internet. Specifically, this article talks about the company website genre, looking at how banks communicate with website patrons. I found this particularly interesting because I work in the real estate appraisal industry and am required to research the websites of financial institutions before we begin marketing to them.
Interestingly, the main focus of the research gathering of these websites looked at their proper use of the English language, and the results were sad. In addition, they also found that the issue of poor quality was deeply rooted within the company website genre itself, especially those of financial institutions. This is definitely something I can vouch for in my own experience. English and grammar mistakes are actually quite common on banking websites. It’s amazing to me that those financial institutions our economy relies on can’t even use correct grammar on their one window to the world, their website.
The essay I read expressed that the main theory for this insufficient display of business sense and common knowledge is attributed to the fact that the company website genre is oftentimes not developed with the same attention to detail that is paid to literature like business proposals and service agreements. I personally believe that in the banking industry this is due to the fact that these are some of the oldest and most deeply rooted traditional institutions out there. The Presidents and CEOs are so integrated with their traditional communications and traditional business roles, that they are neglecting to accept that their website actually is now their first impression on the world, and probably the most important piece of literature they have when is comes to communicating with the end consumer. Oftentimes, websites are looked at as a tool to scan for information, whereas printed documents are thoroughly read. But in actuality, the website has now become a main source for gathering company information, and the perception of that website can make or break whether a customer decides to invest with that corporation.
Another interesting point was that the amount of English and grammar mistakes on the websites directly correlated with their service ratings. I hope that the findings in this research paper will bring light to the banks that have been neglecting this window to the world. If they continue to refuse to implement the highest quality work into their websites credit unions like BECU will continue to rise in the industry because of their natural knack for connecting customers at the digital level, and these banks will continue to fail.