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Five common mistakes firms make when building a VC website

Mistakes firms make when building a VC website | Edgar Allan

We’ve spent a lot of time creating brands and building venture capital websites for clients ranging from startup-focused Spark Capital to behemoth Accel. Over the years, we’ve learned the ins and outs of creating great experiences for our VC clients — and have discovered a few mistakes that firms often make. 

Let’s talk about a few of the big ones.

Side note: if you want our advice on what you should do, check out our list of the ten things the best VC websites have in common.

Mistake #1: Not being authentic.

We’ve covered it at length — authenticity is a venture capital website’s best asset. Founders, entrepreneurs and partners look to your website more than anything to learn who you are, and if you’re not giving them a real glimpse, it’s a miss. Choosing an investment partner is a huge deal. So users should leave your site feeling like they understand what you stand for, your values and priorities, and what it’s like to partner with you, whether it’s through a differentiated message, original content (more on that later), in-depth partner profiles, or fleshed-out team bios (or all of it).

Mistake #2: Skipping brand strategy.

The venture capital space is crowded, and standing out is a must. But without taking a step back to dig into and define the story of your brand, that narrative is at best a guess. Investing in brand strategy at the beginning of your web project means investing in a strategic foundation that should carry through to your web experience. Done right, it’ll be undeniable to outsiders what makes you different, special, and worth the risk.  

At Edgar Allan, we’ve worked with over a dozen VC firms, helping them hone their brands and messaging to build sites that tell their stories and communicate their value to visitors. Here’s a great example: our recent work for Premji Invest.

Mistake #3: Ignoring content.

At EA we like to say “no one goes to the gallery to see the frames.” That means that great design can get you pretty far, but if you don’t have content that visitors value and want to engage with, the opportunity to connect and engage is wasted. Once you have your brand strategy and messaging, it’s crucial that you extract it from that beautiful PowerPoint deck and bring it into your site. Put it to work through interviews with partners, timely blog articles, or even a monthly newsletter.

Content production is a great way to keep your site up to date — but it’s also a big investment. Before you start sending out a weekly newsletter or advertising a monthly report, make sure that you can actually devote time to it, or work with a partner that can. 

Mistake #4: Hiding your team.

Visitors aren’t just coming to your website to see the latest company you’ve invested in—they also want to learn about your rockstar team. Personal connection is so valuable, so make sure to give your team a prominent place on your site and really invest in their bio pages. And visitors don’t just want stats—they want a real idea of who your team members are. So, we recommend finding ways to showcase their individual personalities and approaches to investing. 

If you have the time (and budget), consider investing in high-quality video of your team. It’s one of the best ways to make sure their personalities come through. Another good option: spinning up a regular podcast. They’re one of the latest trends in VC websites and a fantastic way to show off your team and how you think about the business.

Mistake #5: Letting SEO fall by the wayside.

SEO is so important, but it’s often left as an afterthought. Maybe your audience pool is small and targeted, and organic SEO doesn’t seem important? Wait: before you throw away your legacy site, check out your analytics and see which pages are bringing in the most traffic, then capitalize on it. If a site redesign would involve slimming down your site, it’s important to make sure you aren’t trashing your highest-ranking pages and that all your redirects are on-point at the very least.

In addition to ensuring that a new site will not harm your rankings, a good SEO strategy can also help you build a strong keyword strategy for your new site and set the foundation for all that good content you’re going to consider creating. (See mistake #3.)

Looking for a partner who can help you build a better venture capital website?

Edgar Allan has years of experience working with VCs. Check out a few of our past venture capital projects, like our recent work for Felicis or our brand to build engagements with Pacific Lake and General Catalyst.

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