Ranking of corporate websites finds improvement in the US

The latest IQ ranking of the corporate websites and wider digital presence of the S&P 100, the NYSE US 100 and the NASDAQ 100 shows that these indices have continued to improve steadily. The S&P 100 saw the greatest improvement while growth in the NYSE US 100 has slowed. However, the NASDAQ 100 still lags some way behind both indices.

About Us content – which explains what a company does and why – remains weak and relatively uninformative for all US indices when compared to global norms. This needs serious attention.

S&P 100 – Download below
The index is now above global averages in all categories we record, and particularly when it comes to the use of mobile, social media and multimedia and when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and careers content. About Us and Investor Relations (IR) content could be much improved.

Aside from improvements in the use of mobile (which has been a key driver of change globally for the past few years), the index saw improvement across all the categories we measure, and notably so in the use of multimedia.

There has been encouraging improvement across all categories while 63% of the index recorded an improvement to their overall score. However, with the arguable exception of social media, there is still room for further improvement in all other areas.

• Nearly all companies provide basic profile information but less than a third of companies explain their strategy and only 11 companies explain their business model or investment proposition.

• Over a quarter of the index do not even present their key financial data and fundamentals. Information about share ownership is generally weak and only 41% give contact details for a named IR contact.

• 95% of the S&P 100 webcast their results – however, not one company offers video webcasting. This is worth considering as, while more expensive, video webcasting can double the size of a webcast audience. Recent Investis research also shows that 46% of buy-side professionals consider video webcasting to be more useful than audio webcasting.

NYSE US 100 – Download Below
Along with the S&P 100, the NYSE US 100 is also above global averages in all categories we record. Standout areas are in social media and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

About Us content is again weak and more could be done while Investor Relations (IR) and corporate governance content also merit more attention.

The index saw modest improvement in the use of social media, careers content and the About Us section – but little change elsewhere.

• Less than a quarter of the index provide context around their market environment and only five companies offer quantification of this – useful information for investors to assess growth opportunities.

• Ten companies make no use of video and seven companies do not use social media for any form of corporate communications.

• 51% of the index have fully responsive websites while eight companies have a dedicated mobile site. Even excusing those companies who have responsive or dedicated site sections, this still means that 15% of the index is failing to cater for their mobile audience at all – an error when a quarter of all corporate site visits come from mobile devices.

NASDAQ 100 – Download Below
The average overall NASDAQ 100 score is 49%, marginally up since the index was last fully scored in Q1 2015.

However, while this score is 9% ahead of the global average of nearly 1,800 companies scored in the past year, the NASDAQ 100 is 13% behind the NYSE US 100 and 17% behind the S&P 100.

The index is below global averages for About Us and corporate governance content but there is huge room for improvement everywhere apart from social media. However, it is encouraging that 59% of the index recorded an improvement to their overall score, with some companies making significant changes.

Companies should look hard at their About Us content and compare their performance to companies who do well here, such as Coca-Cola. They should also ask themselves whether they could do more when it comes to IR, governance and media provision.

• Only two companies fail to provide basic profile information but only nine companies discuss strategy and just three explain their business model or investment proposition.

• 93% of the NASDAQ 100 webcast their results – however only three companies offer video webcasting.

• 11 companies make no use of video and 16 companies do not use social media for any form of corporate communications. However, 75% of the index link to a Twitter account, 69% use LinkedIn and 66% use Facebook for corporate communications.

More detail can be found in our individual index reports, where we also offer a case study of a leading light within each index.

• S&P 100 – Download the index report
• NYSE US 100 – Download the index report
• NASDAQ 100 – Download the index report

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