5 Steps to Optimize Your Website for Investors

Startups often strive to acquire funding, but how can you attract investors to your business? While it may not be obvious, your company website can play a vital role in attracting investors and partners.

In today’s digital market, most networking and customer interactions happen online, making your website the first impression potential investors have of your business. It can either enhance your credibility or raise concerns.

So, how can you ensure that your website reflects the value of your business? Here are the four key elements that potential investors and customers will look for:

1. Invest in professional design

A quality web design that represents your business professionally is the foundation for attracting investors. Quality doesn’t have to be expensive; many startups start with a simple site that expands as they grow.

Whether it’s a "coming soon" page or a one-page website, focusing on high-quality without a massive upfront investment is key.

Avoid templates

Even with a one-page site, it’s best to avoid using templates. Templates are often overused, and using one may make it harder for your business to stand out against competitors.

Low-quality website design and templated options can give investors the impression that you lack funding or aren’t taking the venture seriously. Opting for a custom WordPress design or another personalized solution offers more flexibility and showcases your commitment to quality.

Build trust with visual elements

Visual trust is crucial for engaging web visitors, both customers and investors. Visual trust stems from the imagery, font, and colors used on your site and influences visitors’ perception of your business.

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Professional designers can effectively convey trust using the latest design trends, something that a template or DIY option may not achieve.

2. Establish industry and social trust

In addition to making a professional first impression, your small business website should also build industry trust. Industry trust is based on your business’s recognition and accomplishments.

Showcasing industry awards or affiliations can demonstrate your credibility. If your business has secured a patent or started the application process, highlight it on your site with a US Patent badge and accompanying information.

Highlight press recognitions, industry news mentions, or content sites to further establish credibility. Feature these logos or awards prominently on your website’s homepage, such as using a "as seen in" banner, like Bestow does below their hero section.

If you already have investors and are seeking additional funds, display the amount secured in a prominent banner or notification on your website. For example, Mutiny promotes their Series B round of funding with a notification in the footer, linking to learn more and read the press release.

5 Steps to Optimize Your Website to Attract Investors

Using social proof to build trust

Social trust, built through the use of social proof, demonstrates that other businesses and customers have successfully worked with your business. This can be achieved by displaying the number of clients you’ve served, the number of years in business, or positive client reviews.

For startups, highlighting logos of prominent clients or partners, as well as showcasing positive reviews from publishers, can help establish social proof even if you don’t have many customers or reviews yet.

3. Craft a strong value proposition

A strong value proposition and clear messaging are crucial for establishing a connection with visitors. Studies show that visitors typically spend about 10 seconds on a webpage, so capturing their attention quickly is essential.

For startups, the value proposition should be treated as an elevator pitch, conveying who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart from competitors in a concise and compelling way. Slack, for example, does a great job of this with their value proposition prominently displayed on their homepage.

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5 Steps to Optimize Your Website to Attract Investors

Using long, dense paragraphs on your homepage and including excessive text can distract readers and make it difficult to keep them engaged. Instead, focus on high-level messaging and use headlines, subheadings, and bullet points to allow visitors to quickly scan the content. A web designer can assist in creating a visually appealing hierarchy that highlights the important messaging and calls to action.

Create an investor relations or partner page to cater to the different types of visitors you may attract, such as existing clients, new customers, investors, or potential employees. These visitors have unique goals and are searching for specific information. A dedicated page can provide relevant information, such as press releases, funding opportunities, and the benefits of supporting your business. For inspiration, you can check out Total Technology’s partners’ page, which showcases current partners and identifies potential fits for their company.

5 Steps to Optimize Your Website to Attract Investors

The content can include the company’s mission and vision to give potential investors a sense of the brand’s direction. Adding an email sign-up form allows interested visitors to receive updates about the business or be placed on a waiting list for upcoming products, creating a small commitment that could lead to a bigger one as they get to know the brand better.

Highlighting your team’s expertise builds trust and credibility. The About or Team page on the website is the best place to showcase your people. It can feature bios for each team member or board member, highlighting their experience, certifications, and qualifications. Adding headshots helps investors and customers to better identify with the individuals they’re reading about. Biographies can be placed next to photos or set up as a lightbox feature. An introductory video for key staff members can also be included, as done on the Suburban K9s team page.

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5 Steps to Optimize Your Website to Attract Investors

The About page is where you convey your startup’s brand personality and culture. Some companies use fun headshot photos or personal facts about team members. You can choose elements that encapsulate your brand’s personality, whether it’s playful, modern, or conservative.

Additionally, you can display a timeline of product developments or company milestones. This shows your company’s growth without requiring investors or customers to do extra research. Swiftmile’s website includes a timeline that highlights product launches since the company’s founding in 2015.

5 Steps to Optimize Your Website to Attract Investors

Make a Good Impression with Your Website

Having an impressive website is crucial for attracting investors to your startup. By having a professionally designed site that conveys industry and social trust, a strong value proposition, investor-focused content, and a dedicated team page, you can truly impress potential investors.

While designing your own website is an option, hiring a professional designer is the easiest way to ensure that your website meets all these goals. It also allows you to devote more time to running and growing your business.

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