Many small cap company websites leave much to be desired….
In these opening paragraphs I describe an, “Old School” corporate website. It looks like it was made 10 years ago because it was. No one knows much about website design or how to place information in desired locations. Therefore, the homepage is a tragic mess of unorganized, dated material. Articles from 2012-13 are linked, but the links don’t work. “Analyst coverage” by analysts who no longer cover the company or by firms that no longer exist. Recent, critically important industry events are not referenced. The latest presentation is from Feb 2014, and capital structure from Sept 2013. Several management changes have transpired and the company’s name has changed, twice. Why would anyone invest in a company like this?
Trading volume in small cap stocks has collapsed, allowing retail investors to buy oversold stocks that bigger investors would never look at. Several sell-side research firms have departed, leaving hundreds of small cap companies unfollowed. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Corporate websites can serve to bridge the gap in a very positive way, or be an embarrassment. A company’s website is extraordinarily important as a tool for engagement, attracting serious visitors to seek more information.
I divide sites into two camps, “Old School” and “Dynamic Modern.” Even though I’m an Old School person, Dynamic Modern sites are clearly superior. Serving a visitor’s needs AND anticipating information that a visitor might seek, these are prerequisites. Dynamic Modern’s new features and functionality are completely within my Old School grasp. Dynamic Modern sites are robust, idiot proof. With junior miners, grade is king, sometimes cash is king. On Dynamic Modern sites, Fast is king. By fast, I’m not referring to the speed at which a web page loads, but the speed that information is posted. Websites need to evolve week by week. That means that they must also be Smart. Too much information scares readers away. Bare bones sites require extra navigation, causing viewers to bolt.
In a fast paced world, a Dynamic Modern website stands out
Even Fast and Smart are not enough to be at the very top of the heap. The best sites are relentlessly Relevant. Websites that aggregate industry news and press releases are Fast, but lack focus. FAST IS EASY. Smart and Relevant much less so. Fast, Smart and Relevant. This is where things get interesting. A knowledgeable person has to be in charge of Fast, Smart and Relevant.
That person has to filter relevant information coming through the gigantic Internet pipe. Fancy algorithms aren’t the answer. A single person can routinely update a website and presentation. When it comes to incorporating social media, all hands on deck. Social media for Old Schoolers is not intuitive or easy to grasp, it’s NOT idiot proof. Therefore, help on the social media side may be required. However, once the social media stuff is bolted on, it usually doesn’t need to be changed.
Description of a Dynamic Modern Website
What does a dynamic modern website look like? It opens instantly, landing on an engaging homepage. First impressions are important. Key information is easy to find. No wasted space allows room for multiple links. The corporate presentation is front and center. Just as sites need to be monitored and updated with live stock quotes, pictures, video clips, project descriptions etc., presentations require current capital structures, media links, pictures, video clips, project descriptions, corporate bios and progress reports. When selling a home, does one advertise with anything less than the best, most flattering pictures?
In order for a site to truly stand out, it must pass a difficult but achievable test. Is the first place that an existing or prospective shareholder wants to visit the company’s website? If yes, that website passes and is likely a Dynamic Modern one. Readers / Investors have alternatives; message boards, SeekingAlpha, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Google, etc. Making the rounds, at best one gets a lot of information, but not a balanced understanding. The best Dynamic modern sites invite visitors to click on the presentation, but also to navigate the entire site.
Only the best, recent images appear on the website and corporate presentation. Not dozens of pictures dating back years. A Dynamic Modern site should not have outside media and research older than 12-18 months. Dated material suggests that the site, and by extension the company, is in chaos. Websites should be easy and comfortable to look at. That means no sounds, scrolling pictures, videos clips or pop ups that pounce. Instead, clicking through to more and more information, data that the visitor didn’t even think to look for, but is glad he found.
Yes, it’s true less really is more
Moving even deeper into a Dynamic Modern site, there are more ways to grab attention without dropping a ton of bricks (Old School expression) on a visitor’s head. Once the proper balance of information, interesting and entertaining content, recent multi-media, etc are conquered, what makes a site more dynamic is changing it around to see what works. Upgrading and enhancing the homepage comes first, but while tinkering on the site, dated material must be purged. I imagine that Old School websites are monitored by non-investment minded people who presume that MORE is desirable.
Sometimes less is more. (you knew that line was coming!) An easy way to practice, “less is more” is by looking at each bullet point, sentence, paragraph, chart, image, graph and asking, what would be lost by taking it out? The goal of less is more is to weed out repetitive, vague material, TO MAKE ROOM for New & Improved content! Think of it like adhering to Twitter’s 140 character rule, without using abbreviations or poor grammar. Less is more, until less grows into more by virtue of new material that hits the mark.
Small companies are cutting costs, but updating info, pictures, press releases, presentations, etc, does not cost much. As mentioned, high net worth investors and their high net worth brokers are visiting corporate websites as other avenues fall by the wayside. So, at minimal cost, companies have the viewers they most need, high net worth investors. A crime scene of a website is just that, a crime. Companies are receiving live leads and squandering them.
Websites such as the one maintained by Dajin Resources set the example
Please consider an example of a Dynamic Modern website: Dajin Resources. Even the website’s URL is easy find and remember, http://dajin.ca. The homepage is clean, informative, easy on the eyes, with no pop-up SURPRISES. It can instantly be translated into German, French or Spanish. A map gives the location of key assets. One learns that Dajin is an energy metals company and 6 sentences explain that it explores for lithium brines in Argentina & Nevada. A live stock quote, twitter feed, link to Dajin’s unique quarterly updates, and infographics, (my favorite) and information about lithium is there for the choosing. All of this and more on the homepage alone.
A link to an updated corporate presentation is in plain view, the presentation is neither too complex nor oversimplified. An up-to-date, meaningful, review of the lithium market, key information on Dajin’s assets, a detailed capital structure and corporate bios are easy to find. The bios are near the back, suggesting correctly that the assets and the company’s management team and Board are equally important. Simply put, everything one wants to see is on the homepage, linked to the homepage or in the corporate presentation. The menu on top of the homepage links to 100% of the site’s contents. The menu headings and drop down choices are intuitive, perfectly clear, even for an Old Schooler like me. 95% of small cap corporate websites pale in comparison to this one.
Dajin Resources is a small cap stock and highly speculative, not suitable for all investors. I, Peter Epstein, own shares of DJIFF. Mr. Epstein, CFA, MBA is not a licensed financial advisor. Readers should take that fact into careful consideration before buying or selling any stock mentioned. Readers are encouraged to consult with their own investment advisors before buying or selling any stock, especially speculative ones such as Dajin Resources. At the time that this article was posted, Dajin Resources was a sponsor of: http://EpsteinResearch.com. Please consider visiting: http://EpsteinResearch.com for free updates on Dajin Resources, across a range of sectors. While at http://EpsteinResearch.com, please enter an email for instant delivery of all my work. Thank you for supporting my articles & interviews.
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