Nathan Grady, Sr. Designer
Why does a website matter and why should anyone care to improve its performance or even go through a website redesign? The truth is, your website is one of your hardest working and most valuable assets. It’s working for you 24/7 by generating leads and introducing your firm to prospects. An underperforming site could obstruct traffic and cripple your ability to execute effective PR and marketing campaigns.
At Grady Campbell, we know how to help PE firms avoid website pitfalls. Here are 3 ways that PE firms can improve their website and in turn, improve their marketing.
1. Post Articles as Webpages
We often find that PE firms publish news posts and articles to their website as PDF attachments, and often without using live text. In either case, this makes it more difficult for search engines and users to find news posts organically. The user experience is also compromised as PDFs do not scale for smaller screens making it impossible to easily read them without zooming-in and zooming-out. The result is a possibly incalculable amount of lost web traffic and a frustrating reading experience for mobile users.
The fix is to create a webpage for each news entry. A webpage provides the benefits of live text, which allows search engines to scan a page to decide if it should be included in search results. Webpages allow for scalability on smaller screens so that legibility is consistent across all devices. Webpages can also be tagged, assigned SEO descriptors and keywords, and be more accurately tracked for analytics to weigh performance and content strategy.
While the labor to make this change can vary depending on the site, this can be a vital component in the long-term performance of your site. Each news entry has the capability to act as its own traffic funnel by being shared, posted and found by prospects through search engines and other sites. Short and long-term performance can vary depending on the content, marketing strategy and how content is shared in other places, such as social media. Publishing news items on your website as live webpages remains the most effective way to get the word out.
2. Add Case Studies and Testimonials
The more information you post about your firm and how you do business, the more likely it is that prospects will contact you to set up a meeting. Since your website is often the first encounter prospects will have with your firms, they’ll want as a clear of a picture as possible of what you will be like to work with and what your track record is. Prospective business owners want to know that their business will be taken care of and infused with the best ideas rather than just capital. Adding case studies will help provide the clarity needed to get that first meeting. This content can be expressed in simple terms, such as what was done for a previous company and what the outcome was when the investment was exited or where that company is currently.
Testimonials should feature real people that can act as a referral should a prospect feel inclined to follow-up to get a feel for what it’s like to work with you. We also suggest paring testimonials with photos of the people you’re quoting. The overall message should align with and reinforce the idea that your firm leaves companies in a better place than when you came into them. Adding this content will also give you the “personal” touch. If done right, prospects will feel like they know you already and that first meeting will feel more like the second.
3. Add Detail Pages for Your Portfolio Companies
Much like the news entries fix that was mentioned earlier, adding a webpage with its own URL improves SEO, tracking, reporting and sharing. Most PE sites post their current and previous investments on an index page, but don’t have these entries link anywhere. This reduces the amount of possible search traffic as prospects searching for information relating to that company may not be able to find a search result associated with your firm. If there is a unique webpage for that company, then organic SEO potential is likely to increase.
The additional benefits to having a unique webpage for each company allows for more substantive content, such as company overviews, bios and testimonials. This additional content does take more time to execute, but the result can be well worth it for both search engines and readers.
Lastly, with a unique webpage, you can also add a “descriptive” URL, which refers to a URL that contains more keywords than a generic one. For example, in addition to the company name, you can add its industry/market as a keyword. You can also add its location for more detail. See our example below.
The main benefit to adding other keywords to your webpage’s URL is that you increase the likelihood of an organic search hit. For instance, a prospect may not be interested in that specific company, but they are interested in PE funding in that industry, market or location. If your URL contains this additional information, then more prospects may come across this page and will see that you delivered results in their market or situation. In addition, this compensates for a common scenario where other search keywords are more valuable and frequently used than the company or brand itself.
A website is a crucial component to your marketing success. How a website looks does not determine how it will perform. Much like a car, it is a balance of both what is under the hood and how it is driven that wins the race. There is more to the success of a website and marketing strategy than is mentioned here. However, following these 3 points will help lay a solid foundation for your website to better serve your needs.