How thin is your website?
My blood pressure rises a little bit around this time each year.
April and May is when I do a lot of the heavy-lifting for our annual Top 100 special report. Part of the work includes verifying company information.
And it never ceases to amaze me how difficult it can be to verify basic information. Company websites can be infuriating.
Here is my list of basic information that you should have readily available on your website, under perhaps the "About Us" tab in sites navigation bar.
- Headquarters: What town are you in? The street address might not be needed but at least say the city and state.
- Leadership: At least give the basics: Chairman, CEO, President, CFO, and COO if you have one. I also like when available a breakdown of leaders of operating units such as defense, civilian, health, intelligence, etc.
- Lines of business: If you don’t want to list the leaders, at least list your distinct lines of business.
- Media contacts: This should be a separate page, but at the very least include a name and contact info on company press releases.
- History: So few companies do this. Be proud of your roots. Like the fact that Bill Anders, a former CEO of General Dynamics, orbited the moon as an Apollo 8 astronaut. That’s pretty cool. But did I learn that from the company website? Nope. I was researching an angle on the GD-CSRA deal and was slogging through past annual reports that aren’t even stored on the GD website.
One trend I have seen in recent years and like is that many companies now have pages dedicated to listing their major contracts. That’s great information to have as you gather background on a company.
More companies also list major customers, but even this is a little inconsistent.
I also like case studies and other specific work examples some companies include on their sites.
My advice is to think of your website as one of your best opportunities to tell your story. So think about what makes a good story. What do you want prospective employees, customers and partners to know about you.
On the back end, you need someone paying attention to your analytics -- how do people find the site, how long do they stay, what pages are the most popular, etc.
If you do these things, maybe I won’t repeat this rant next year.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 04, 2018 at 8:33 AM