Corporate Eye

Give your annual report readers what they want

People browsing an annual report want to see the financial spreadsheets and find out about the dividends paid.

Investoreports recently collated some interesting data about the popularity of different areas of the annual report, based on nearly 30,000 searches of online reports …

It turns out that the most common searches are:

  • shareholders
  • dividend
  • balance sheet/ income statement

And the most popular downloads are:

  • the full report
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • the business review sections
  • proxy
  • and highlights

None of this is surprising, because people are clearly going to be interested in the dividend paid, and in the financial spreadsheets – and if the company is no longer sending out paper reports, people may well want to print it out themselves for reading later.

But heres the question: If this is what people viewing your online report want to see, what are you doing to provide it? And how easy is it for them to find?

If people mostly want to find out about dividends, have you put this information on the main site, as well as making it easy to find in the annual report? Just possibly, people are using search because the navigation is unclear, or because it is quicker. Some people prefer to navigate by search …

If they want it in the annual report – check you have it on the main site too

Have you added the capability to download your financial data in Excel to your online report? And to your main site? If this is what people want, you should consider giving it to them. Many companies do – but not all.

According to Investoreports, one of the popular pages is the compensation report. Is this information available on your main site as well as in the report?

Perhaps you could even consider doing as UBS do, and providing customisable online reports, so that visitors can select for download the areas that interest them. That way, they can save on printing costs, just as you have.

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