Webranking 2020-2021 summary

Our Webranking research offers rich insights into changing audience expectations and shines a light on corporate communication best practice. This year, increasing stakeholder demands has resulted in a lower average score among the largest listed companies. The biggest content challenges for listed companies were in providing IR, share and governance information. 


This is a summary of the results and learnings from our 2020-2021 research. Learn what stakeholders are expecting from companies and how to improve your corporate website. You can also download the Webranking 2020-2021 whitepaper as a PDF

To learn more about how you can improve your corporate website, read about the Webranking Report

Here are our findings in the 10 Webranking sections - scroll down or click on one of the sections:

Homepage  |  About us  |  Press  |  Reporting  |  The Share  |  Investor Relations  |  Governance  |  Sustainability  |  Careers  |  Features and functionality

Homepage

The homepage might not always be the first entry point for visitors, but audiences expect it to be a well-curated presentation of the company’s activities. Selecting homepage content can be a tricky balancing act for companies as they will have competing internal priorities and a wide range of external audiences to cater for.

Key pieces of information should be easily accessible on a homepage. For example, a link to the latest financial report is highly important for all capital market stakeholders.

The average homepage score this year was 56%. This demonstrates that ranked companies have succeeded in including a good amount of key content, which is a useful way to provide a snapshot of the business and guide visitors to relevant information.

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Screenshot of Anglo American's homepage

Anglo American's homepage clearly communicates the company's purpose and provides helpful signposts to its sustainability agenda as well. It also presents key assets to download such as the latest annual report, and everything is contained in a neat scroll.

About us

Screenshot from Swedish Match's website

Swedish Match's 'Our company' section presents lots of relevant content that audiences are looking for. For example, they include information about their business units, including financial development 2018-2019 and interactive graphs.

The about us section is one of the most visited sections of the corporate website - capital market professionals and jobseekers alike visit this section to gain a crucial understanding of a company's operations, mission and vision. The section should be easily accessible and provide the visitor with topline information about your company. Take the opportunity to tell your company's story and capture the attention of all visitors, be it potential investors, business journalists or jobseekers.

Besides showcasing your company's story, explanations of your company's investments and work with R&D/innovation is highly sought after by stakeholders. This information communicates where a company sees future value created.

The average score for this section was 44% - a slight increase from last year's 43%. However, companies still have a lot of work to do to meet stakeholders' requirements for this section. Take this opportunity to put your best foot forward by providing plenty of content on a range of topics, from the business model to the corporate history.

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Press

The press section needs to display news in a user-friendly and accessible way. Business journalists are always short on time so being transparent and helping make their jobs easier with easy-to-access news can help a company build long-lasting relationships with this audience.

Just like last year, the press release archive with good filtering options is a sure-fire way to satisfy stakeholders. It's the cornerstone of all good press sections.

The ranked companies scored an average of 39%, as much as 10 percentage points less than last year. This drop in scores is a result of an increase in stakeholder needs that companies haven't kept up with. Making press release archives as extensive as possible and providing details about the company's crisis communications are two great starting points.

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Screenshot of Generali's press room

Generali’s press section includes nearly all the content that stakeholders are looking for, as well as helpful functionality for press releases such as filters and a search box.

Reporting

Screenshot of BASF's calendar and publications page

BASF has a comprehensive reporting section. It includes a thorough historic archive of reports, a clear company overview and an online annual report.

Online formats for financial reporting (annual and interim) are growing in importance, and companies must also aim to present operating and financial data as downloadable excel files in order to keep up with the demands of stakeholders. Keeping the financial calendar updated is also important, as website visitors regularly look for information on upcoming events.

The average score for all ranked companies was 51%, one percentage point below last year's result. This demonstrates that there are still plenty of ways to improve - investors will always be interested in annual reports from listed companies, but the format the report is presented in can be improved to enhance readability and understanding. For example, with 74% of people reading corporate reports on a screen, we believe reporting should be digital-first. PDF documents are not designed to be the optimal delivery format for reading content online.

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Share information

Presenting shareholder information in a comprehensive way lets companies develop efficient two-way financial communications with their stakeholders. Intuitive charts and interactive tools, as well as a steady flow of information, helps to facilitate this conversation.

By presenting the dividend history, stakeholders can assess how a company's payouts have changed over the years and scrutinise how the company has reacted to changes in the financial landscape, which might inform dividend decisions in the future.

Like last year, shareholder information is an area where most companies struggle. The average score was 35%, one percentage point lower than last year. This low result shows that a vast majority of the content stakeholders are looking for is missing. Considering the importance of this information not only to existing shareholders but also to prospective investors, this is an area that companies should prioritise when improving their financial communication.

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Screenshot of Sampo's share monitor

Like last year, Sampo’s share section is still one of the best out there. Providing a plethora of useful information while also delivering a good user experience is a challenge that Sampo has overcome.

Investor Relations

Screenshot of Kesko's IR section

Satisfying the capital market’s never-ending hunger for information is no small task. Kesko is up for the challenge and provides in-depth information while still offering a comprehensive overview of the company's performance.

Investor Relations (IR) of a corporate website should facilitate clear communications between a company and its financial audience in order to ensure a fair valuation of its equity and debt securities.

Financial market audiences use the information provided in the section to underpin investment recommendations or to make informed estimates about the future market value of the company’s securities. Stakeholders generally prefer IR sections that include targets and statements about the future - the more detailed, the better! IR is historically the lowest-scoring section in Webranking and this year is no different as there is a large discrepancy between what stakeholders want and what companies provide. Although the average score amongst the ranked companies is slightly higher this year at 26%, there's still plenty of areas of improvement.

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Governance

The primary goal of corporate governance is to ensure the accountability and transparency of a company’s finances for the long-term benefit of stakeholders. One way of doing this is to share information on the nature of the relationship between stakeholders, the board of directors and management.

This year, ranked companies scored an average of 35%, a drop of eight percentage points since last year. This reflects a clear gap in the governance detail that stakeholders have come to expect.

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Screenshot of Mondadori's governance section

Mondadori provides excellent governance content. The in-depth information goes far beyond just pictures of the board of directors and this section received a near perfect score.

Sustainability

Screenshot of Unilever's sustainability section

Stakeholders are increasingly demanding more data on corporate sustainability and the context behind the data and performance. Unilever clearly and holistically links how and why sustainability is important for them as a business.

As the stakeholder demand for transparent and measurable information on corporate sustainability work is increasing, so is the amount of regulations companies have to follow. In order to keep up with stakeholder expectation and stricter legislation, companies need to provide relevant and extensive information on how they work with these metrics.

This can also help attract employees, as an increasing amount of jobseekers rate sustainability initiatives as an important factor for selecting potential employers.

With an average score of 36%, a drop in 4 percentage points since last year, stakeholders are still demanding more sustainability content from most corporate websites.

As Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance is becoming a bigger factor in the investment criteria of investors, there is a compelling case for companies to strengthen their ESG website content. While there is still much uncertainty around materiality, legislation and data requirements, companies should see communicating ESG performance as an opportunity to build trust and attract investors who are prepared to reward them for creating long-term value for society. We expect to see considerably more ESG website content in our Webranking review next year, as companies look to position themselves as leaders in ESG. Offering a more ethical investment for the capital market, a more sustainable and well-managed environment for employees, and a more socially responsible product or service for consumers will increasingly be a priority to meet stakeholder demands.

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Careers

The Careers section needs to cater to a broad spectrum of potential candidates. Showcasing the voice of employees is a great starting point as information on what it's actually like to work in a company is an important consideration for jobseekers.

Ranked companies scored an average of 36%, a drop of eight percentage points since last year, meaning that there is plenty of content which jobseekers would appreciate that isn’t currently available.

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Screenshot of Deutsche Telekom's career site

Striking the balance between addressing jobseeker questions and communicating a company's unique story and employer value proposition is not an easy task. Deutsche Telekom excels at this.

Features and functionalities

Screenshot of Landsec's corporate website

LandSec's website offers a smooth user experience, with a clear navigation and site architecture. This considered user experience aids visitors in finding the information they're looking for.

An intuitive user experience, including a logical site structure and navigation, responsive design and accessible content, plays a vital role in delivering an effective website.

The speed with which a website loads is of great importance as a slow page load time is frustrating for visitors and impacts their perception of the company. Besides speed, a website should also meet accessibility standards to ensure it's accessible for all audiences, and offer a responsive design and well-structured internal search engine.

On average, the score for features and functionalities was 56%, making this section, together with the homepage, the highest-scoring area in the Webranking season of 2020-2021.

Best practice - Features and functionalities

LandSec's website offers a smooth user experience, with a clear navigation and site architecture. This considered user experience aids visitors in finding the information they're looking for.

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Do you want to know how your company is doing?

Have a look at the result list to see if your company has been ranked, or see how the Webranking Report can help you (regardless if your company has been ranked or not).

Webranking 2020-2021 result lists

The Webranking Report

And don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions!

Helena Wennergren

Head of Research

helena.wennergren@comprend.com

+46 70 971 12 10

Webranking

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