In the middle of trying to develop a product, produce effective marketing, build the business and all other aspects which are involved with creating a successful company, it isn't uncommon that the company website becomes less of a priority. Unfortunately, what is misunderstood is the key role that websites play in many aspects of your company's success. If you are looking to become a successful public company that attracts people (ideally investors and users), and one that others strive to replicate, than you need a very effective website - modern, engaging and easily navigated.
The objective of your website is to engage the reader and funnel them through to a call to action (CTA). Simply put, when I visit your website, you want me to act on something before I leave. That could mean I enquire for more information, or I subscribe to your newsletter or for company news updates, or I download the investor presentation. Whatever my action, it should lead me to wanting more and increasing my interest in buying your product/service or investing. For this reason alone, a first class website is very important.
Here are 10 things to consider when it comes to making sure your website stands the test of time, and the scrutiny of potential investors:
1. Be sure the site is professionally designed and visually appealing to hook viewers. Remember that there are different investor audiences, so tailor the message to each investor segment.
2. Keep it short and to the point.
3. Use only the essential tabs to tell your story and invite interest: Home, About Us, Products/Projects, News, Research, and a separate tab for Investors.
4. Consider including testimonials that appeal to the heart and not the head.
5. Investors want to know about the size of the opportunity, the risks, the benefits and the management team.
6. Be sure the information you give conforms to local and national private money raising rules and regulations.
7. Be sure to make an appropriate call to action and respond in a timely fashion.
8. Include a one-page executive summary to download as well as a longer, more detailed investor presentation with no more than 10-15 slides which describes your opportunity (problem you're solving, technology, property/resource you're exploring, product you're selling, whatever it may be) that a 6th-grader could understand. The use of images and animation is encouraged!
9. On the Home page, include a video that is no longer than 3 minutes to tell your story.
10. Get a story teller on your startup team to do this right.
The pages within your website can also be essential to providing investors with the correct information in a succinct and informational manner. The following is not a comprehensive list however would be a great start to achieving a first class website:
Dedicated Investor’s Page
Having an investor page is common practice for most public companies. It is also just as important to include if you are a private company who is looking to take on new investors or has the goal of going public in the future. This page should be set up in order to provide the essential details to current and potential investors alike. It acts as a source of information, but also an advertising platform.
Investor FAQ Page
Many investors will have a wide range of questions and queries which come up time and again. As such, it is wise to create a 'Frequently Asked Questions' page on the website where potential and current investors can find answers to common questions quickly. A good FAQ page should address the most commonly addressed questions in an easy manner.
The world revolves around video in this day and age. Having video content for current and potential investors is a medium which they will likely appreciate, as many visitors to a website would prefer to watch a video than read a wall of text. It also allows the viewer to get to know key leadership (voice, appearance, etc.) without actually getting to know them. The viewer feels closer to the company and it's people even though they may not have actually met them.
Press Releases & News
Investors often like to have a one-stop-shop for all important news related to the business. This allows them to keep on top of everything without having to surf all over the internet. Providing a page which can easily be filtered to find specific news releases for each investor would be a great addition to any website looking to future-proof themselves. Additionally, including a free subscription to email readers the latest news releases and updates not only keeps them informed but also allows you to link the reader back to your website.