Getting your website in shape for an IPO
By Helena Wennergren
Preparing for an IPO means change - new regulations, roles, activities and processes. A corporate website is a key communication and compliance tool for a listed company - see our tips on how to get your website ready.
We have recently delivered corporate websites for several companies when they became listed on Nasdaq's OMX Nordic stock exchange. The website plays a critical compliance and communication role for listed companies. Local stock exchanges have requirements on what information to publish and when. Investors, analysts and media are important audiences and our Webranking research shows that 91 % of the capital market use corporate websites as part of their jobs.
Experience has taught us that the amount of communication work needed for a company to go public can often be underestimated. To help organisations going through this process, we have included some top-line recommendations for delivering a new corporate website below:
Planning is key
The good news with going public is that you have a hard deadline to work towards. The bad news is that you have a hard deadline. As you can't postpone things, you need to have a realistic plan and timeline. There is no room for delays - work needs to be done, and decisions need to be made on a daily basis to keep on track. Make sure the different steps of delivering a corporate website are baked into your plan, including who is responsible for what.
"We've noticed that it's challenging for companies to understand which party is responsible for which part of the process – the company, advisers, third-party providers, the stock exchange etc. The sooner all parties are involved the better."
Anne Burkart, Project Manager, Comprend
A new content structure
With new regulations and audience expectations, your website will require more content than before. To help your audiences navigate the content and to help build your reputation, it's important to create an intuitive content structure. Where websites go wrong is when content is published in bulk as a box-ticking exercise, with no consideration for the user experience.
To create a clear and easy-to-use content structure, our tip is to stick to conventional labels for navigation that your audiences will recognise. Learn more about improving the user experience of corporate websites.
New functions and features
When planning the website, you will identify new features that your audiences will expect. Examples include press release publishing, archives and subscription; share price graphs and share data, and disclaimer pages with limited access. There are lots of third-party suppliers that offer tools and features that can be implemented on your site. Let us know if you would like any advice on potential suppliers.
Populating the content
You will probably have lots of relevant content in other documents such as the prospectus or annual review. However, it's worth remembering that copy and images need to be repurposed for good digital experience. Tweaks might require internal approval rounds, which tends to take time, and images need to be in the right format. Allow plenty of time for this in your time plan, including time for the actual publishing and reviewing of the content. If the person responsible for your website has other tasks as well, consider hiring an editor during the IPO process. An experienced digital editor should have the knowledge and skills to do the job efficiently and can be a great support to you.
"In my experience, the volume of editorial work for a new website can be surprising for companies about to IPO. Producing relevant content is labour-intensive and the timeline is very tight."
Anna Dunder, Project Manager, Comprend.
A flexible platform
It can be a challenge for organisations to cater to new stakeholder requirements and content formats. This is true especially for the person responsible for the website. They might be used to marketing and communication for B2C or B2B, and may not have worked with financial tables, share graph modules or press release functions. The website often goes from being a low priority to being one of the most important channels. Make sure you have a flexible website platform that supports these needs, and get help from a team that has been through this before.
Take a look at the newly listed companies below. We have helped them build and populate their corporate websites using on our Website as a Service platform:
Readly - listed on Nasdaq Main Market 17th of September 2020
Implantica - listed on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market 21st of September 2020
Curasight - listed on Spotlight Stock Market 8th of October 2020
BoMill - listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market 20th of October 2020