How to Design Your Investor Relations WebsiteDecember 3, 2021 1:52 pm
Every successful corporation knows the power of a sharp investor relations website. Not only is the website a vessel for communicating the company’s story, but it’s also a tool for inspiring investor confidence. In fact, potential investors expect a public company to have one.
Without an excellent investors website, your company’s like a rowboat missing its paddles: the brand’s there, but it just can’t reach the shores of potential investors.
That said, successful investor relation design can be more complex than it seems. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
Read on to discover tips to make your company’s investor relations website design more impressive than your company’s third-quarter earning’s report.
What’s an IR Website?
Before we dive into IR website design principles that make investor relations (IR) websites stand out, let’s go over what an IR website is.
Put simply, an IR website is the place where the relationship between a company and its investors is developed.
Successful IR websites communicate the company’s story to both existing shareholders and potential investors, as well as crucial information such as newsletters, earnings reports or financial information, and marketing campaigns.
In addition, an IR website is beneficial because it does the following:
- Generates leads
- Helps meet SEC documentation requirements
- Keeps shareholders apprised of important information
- Helps demonstrate transparency
As you can see, an IR website’s a powerful tool. However, the website’s design can either decrease its efficacy—or make it that much more powerful.
Tips for Successful IR Website Design
When designing your IR website, it’s helpful to think about the following two parameters:
Let’s break down each parameter further.
Usability refers to how easy it is for investors to navigate your website. The last thing you want is a cluttered website or, worse—broken links. Here are a few tips to ensure optimal usability.
Group Headings Together
Your IR website should never look like the Minotaur’s labyrinth. If it takes investors more than a few seconds to find what they’re looking for, you’ll likely need to group your headings together.
Whether you place all of your headings at the top of the website or left justify them, they all need to be in the same place. This will enable investors to find the heading they need quickly.
You may also want to place the most important heading first. For instance, if you want investors to especially hone in on “Annual Reports,” put this heading first, followed by other headings such as “FAQs” and “Press Releases.”
Let Your Website “Breathe”
Few things are more distracting than a cluttered website. Instead of piling as much information as possible onto your website, create as much white space as possible.
Not only will this allow your website to “breathe,” but it’ll also make investors much more comfortable perusing your information.
In short, a cluttered website may lead investors to think all aspects of your company are disorganized.
To declutter your website, consider doing the following:
- Lump similar information under one heading or subheading
- Use a “mega menu”
- Shift less important information to a “blog” or “resources” section
- Keep text brief and poignant
Decluttering your website will make a world of difference when it comes to strengthening investor relations.
Make Website Mobile-Friendly
Chances are, your investors will occasionally access your IR website from their mobile devices. But if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your investors will have a difficult time accessing the information they need. This may inspire annoyance, not confidence, in your company.
Make your website mobile-friendly by doing the following:
- Limit drop-down navigation to only the most important headers.
- Avoid animation that relies on Flash.
- Make sure content is static, minimal, and responsive.
A mobile-friendly website means your investors will have access to all the information they need regardless of whether they’re in their homes or riding the train.
If usability is the way a meal’s plated, content is the meal itself. Without the right content creation strategy, your website won’t give investors the important information they’re looking for.
Make your website is as informative as possible by heeding the following tips:
Include Important Shareholder Information First
While some investors come to your IR website looking for SEC filings, most come for your IR website’s “meat and potatoes:” your company’s shareholder information.
As a result, place this information first in a headings list and be sure to include the following:
- Annual report – The annual report outlines a company’s current finances and future projections. Annual reports typically include an overview of the company’s finances, a shareholder letter, financial data and graphs, and an auditor’s report.
- Proxy statement – If the annual report details a company’s finances, the proxy statement gives investors an inside look at the company’s management and payment structure over the past fiscal year.
Proxy statements typically divulge important operational information, such as business executives’ compensation, company voting procedures, and perks—such as aircraft and travel allowances—used by executives.
Including this important shareholder information in an easily-accessible location will help keep your shareholders happy.
Inspire With ESG Strategies
While financial information functions as the cornerstone of a good IR website, no modern IR site is complete without a section detailing your company’s ESG initiatives.
A record of your company’s environmental, social, and governing behaviors, ESG initiatives give shareholders an inside scoop on your company’s ethics. In some cases, this information can be more beneficial than pure fiscal information—especially if your company has a large socio-political and economic footprint.
Let’s break down these three categories further:
- Environmental – When deciding whether to invest in your company, many investors consider your corporation’s environmental impact. Some questions shareholders may want answered include: what is the company doing to enable or counteract climate change? Deforestation? Pollution? Furthermore, shareholders may want to know what your company will do to help the environment in the future.
- Social – How your company treats its workers and the general public is usually a major shareholder concern. Your IR website should thus include a section detailing your company’s social initiatives.
Questions to consider: how does the company treat its employees? Is the company doing its part to combat unfair working conditions worldwide? Is the company doing its part to fund local and global initiatives to combat inequality? Many investors want to invest in companies that are socially responsible and ethically driven.
- Governance – Similar to the proxy statement, a governance statement details the inner workings of your company’s management and operational structure. This section’s important because investors want to fund companies they know are ethically structured.
When writing your governance section, include information about executive pay, lobbyist information, and tax strategy. You may also want to include information pertaining to what the company’s doing to fight unethical business practices such as political bribery and corruption.
A thorough ESG section is just as crucial as a good financial data section. Good IR corporate websites usually include an ESG section with dropdown subheaders for each letter.
Be Resourceful With Resources
Your website could have the strongest financial and ESG sections, but if it doesn’t include a section for resources and contact information, how will shareholders know how to stay in touch?
A section devoted to resource and contact information is thus incredibly beneficial. Let investors know you’re always willing to carry on a conversation by including the following:
- FAQs – Although some investors come to an IR website with their questions already answered, many others come with questions relating to dividends, company history, brokerage information, and company policy. Put your investors’ minds at ease by placing all of this information beneath one subheading labeled “FAQs.”
- Contact Information – One of your IR website’s most important sections, the contact information section should not only list address and email information, but should also include a way to easily request materials such as annual reports and proxy statements. Your contact section should also have a CTA urging shareholders to subscribe to an email list to receive the most up-to-date financial reports.
Push Ahead With Press Releases
Including a section for press releases is a surefire way to keep your shareholders apprised of your company’s newsworthy information.
Types of press releases to include on your IR website include:
- New hire
- Product release
- New deals and promotions
Keeping your investors “in the know” is definitely crucial when it comes to maintaining shareholder confidence.
That said, delivering the most pertinent information in a timely manner can be challenging. This is where Issuer Direct steals the spotlight.
A business communication service unlike any other, Issuer Direct makes it possible to get press releases in front of the right eyes quickly and hassle-free. Take advantage of our IR websites and feeds and feel confident knowing that your investors are always up-to-date with your company’s news.
Build Investor Relations The Right Way With Issuer Direct
One of the most important pieces of any publicly traded company, the IR website gives investors crucial information regarding finances, ESG initiatives, contact information, and press releases.
It’s thus important that your IR website’s in tip-top shape.
To design the best IR website possible, focus on usability and content. That way, your shareholders can access the right information every time they need it.
But why stop at a sleek IR website when you could also benefit from Issuer Direct, one of the industry’s premier cloud-based communications platforms?
From streamlining press releases to facilitating annual shareholder meetings, Issuer Direct greatly enhances investor relations.
Contact us today and see how we can improve your financial and business communication.
MBN. What is ESG? Definition and meaning.
Sutton Integrated Solutions. Why Every Public Company Needs an IR Website.