June 24, 2021 Websites | Content | Digital communications

What the capital market want from corporate websites

By Helena Wennergren

Understanding what your audiences want from your corporate website is essential. In our annual Webranking research we map the needs and the most important information according to the stakeholders that we call the capital market - analysts, investors and business journalists.

Many companies carry out extensive research on their customers' needs and wants, in order to increase conversions or meet other goals they have set for their website and business. However, the capital market is researched less often. As it is a smaller audience, it can be easy to think that it is of less importance. But the actions of this audience can have a huge impact on the company's value. This is one of the reasons that we do Webranking by Comprend - to help companies understand what this particular audience want and expect from companies' websites.

In our research, we ask questions about behaviour and we ask the respondents to rank the importance of information. The questions cover areas such as information about financials, sustainability, share, press, as well as the company itself. These are some of the findings from this year's research, which is the foundation for the Webranking 2021-2022 criteria.

Brief info first - and the possibility to dig deeper

One finding this year is that audiences want to be able to read a summarised introduction, for example facts about the company or their business segments, with the possibility to dig deeper for further information. See for example Sandvik who present an overview of their business areas with links to more facts and information. It could also apply to financial figures where key figures would be readily available, and where the user could continue to dig deeper to learn more.

Screenshot of Sandvik's presentation of their business areas

Sandvik present an overview of their business areas with links to more facts and information about each.

Archives

The corporate website is where stakeholders expect to find the company's archive of anything from financial reports to press releases and images. This is a basic need. The more content that is available the better, but it requires that it is easy to find the right document. As website visitors, we are getting used to being able to filter information to find what we are looking for. This also goes for corporate archives. Two examples:

  • Press release archives - minimum filter function is by year and month, but there should also be options for categories. Vattenfall offer good filtering options in their newsroom.
  • Annual and interim reports - make it easy to find the type of report (annual/interim) as well as presentations and webcasts that are related to each report. Swedish Match provide an easy to use archive, with all information succinctly presented.

Screenshot of Vattenfall's press release archive

Vattenfall offer good filtering options in their newsroom.

Screenshot of Swedish Match's financial report archive

Swedish Match provide an easy to use archive,

The most sought-after information

The respondents in our Capital Market survey 2021 were asked to rate the importance of a number of topics. These are the 10 most important pieces of information according to them:

  1. Corporate reports archive (annual, quarterly/interim, sustainability reports)
  2. Key financial figures
  3. Summary of facts about the company
  4. Press release archive - possible to filter by date and category
  5. Financial targets achievements
  6. Investor contact
  7. Information about business areas
  8. Financial outlook
  9. Key performance indicators
  10. Financial risk

Sustainability and ESG

Sustainability and ESG topics didn't make it to the top 10 list, but continue to steadily increase in importance. Confirmation that the company is compliant with government regulations is essential, as is the company's approach to climate change. A policy on diversity and equal opportunities also falls into the top requested information.

As in previous years, stakeholders value data that supports the company's environmental (and social) targets. This year we have seen an increase in areas related to ethics, such as anti-corruption policy, code of conduct and supply chain standards.

Don't make your visitors work too hard

In addition to the content that is requested by the capital market, the website needs to be easy to navigate, and fast loading. 86% of the respondents say that it is very important that the website is easy to navigate, and 83% find it very important that the website is fast. So what does easy to navigate mean? This is where user research can be a valuable tool for any company, to ensure that the design and navigation of the entire website is easy to use. There are, however, a couple of standard conventions that should be followed in order for visitors to be able to easily find what they are looking for. Sticking to the same labels and names of pages as most other companies do for corporate information is one such convention. Don't go overly creative to push your message in the navigation by calling the sustainability section "fighting climate change" - users will be more likely to find it if it is called "sustainability".

Another guideline is to limit the number of levels and pages within each level. This might be hard when you have a lot of information and want to meet the needs of all your stakeholders. It is also easy to add page after page to a content structure that once was well-thought-out, and all of a sudden the content structure consists of 10-20 subpages in a section. Remember to review your content structure on a regular basis and use the feedback from both user research and analytics.

Webranking by Comprend is the tool that identifies the gaps between the corporate audiences' expectations and what the companies actually provide. See also our recent article about jobseekers expectations. The review of all companies included in Webranking by Comprend 2021-2022 has recently started - find out more here.


Helena Wennergren

Helena Wennergren

Head of Research

helena.wennergren@comprend.com

+46 70 971 12 10

James Handslip

James Handslip

Managing Director (UK)

james.handslip@comprend.com

+44 (0)20 8609 4908

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