Every year at this time it’s customary to look back on the previous year and examine things you could be doing better, and this should include your station website. Here are eight website resolutions that we think are worth considering.
1) Devote More Resources to Your Station Website
The importance of your station website across all departments should be equal to the importance of programming your radio station. There are still small market stations that think simply having a website shows that they are “modern and relevant”. Unfortunately, they are mistaken. Your website should entertain and generate its own revenue. It won’t do that if it’s not being consistently maintained.
Our station clients that excel with the most visitors have at least one person whose primary or secondary job function is to keep the website updated with relevant listener content (news/events/scores). A few stations have two or three people tasked with adding at least one thing daily. Fresh traffic = more visitors = (just like ratings) more revenue.
When your station website is being updated with consistently fresh content, your sales team should be aware of the importance of selling it. Each seller should be ready to offer the station website in addition to or separately from the on-air buy. A client with only $20/month to spend may be open to trying online rather than not advertising with your station at all.
If you haven’t heard it, listen to our first podcast episode: Adjusting Your Mindset and Programming Your Content.
2) Add New/Different Content
Remember the old adage, “if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward”? While it’s great to have a familiar website that your audience knows what they can expect, it’s also good to expand your offerings each year. Take a look at your market and find areas that are not being addressed online. This could be high school sports news, garage sales, restaurant reviews, local rodeos, racing schedule, and so on. Every market is different. Your station website has unlimited potential for new feature content and that means new opportunities for sponsorships.
Adding video to your site is a great example of new content. Rather than a written blog, have your morning show or news person upload a daily “what’s happening in our town” video. This doesn’t have to be professionally made in order to be shared online.
Of course, be sure to build in sponsorship opportunities for every new content feature you create.
3) Try a Different Color/Layout
Change is evolution. As with content, the same thing year after year can become mundane and complacent. Try adding a subtle design change to your website. This can be a font or layout change that complements your existing brand. Smaller tweaks to your website design made gradually over time can be better than a complete makeover for some visitors because they don’t have to re-learn your website from scratch.
4) Examine Your Stats and Adjust Accordingly
If you have a personal resolution to lose weight in the new year, you’ll likely look at a scale along the way to determine your progress. You might even adjust your habits if you’re not happy with the results each time. So, take a look back at your website analytics from last year and use that as a base for improvement moving forward. See what content worked best. Try beating your monthly numbers from last year by adding more of what worked during that month, or overall.
If you are finding that you’re “too busy” to check your website stats, then you’re missing out on valuable information to push your site forward. This would be like your station being in a rated market and never looking at the ratings. Google Analytics was created to provide you with valuable information that will help your website perform better each month/year.
5) Be More Social
Whether we like it or not, social media is a huge part of our daily routine. Without thinking, we check our Facebook, post pictures to Instagram, send messages on Snapchat and Tweet and Retweet without hesitation.
We advocate that all station members should actively participate in the station’s social media channels. Link back to the website as much as possible and engage listeners when appropriate.
Research and invest in a plugin or service that allows you to auto-post to your social media channels on a consistent basis so that new content has a higher chance of being seen in follower feeds.
Have a social media strategy. Many stations will spend time and money on social media without determining what their goals are. Likes and comments on your page are great, but the goal should be converting those into better-engaged listeners or new advertisers. Identify meaningful, measurable goals for your social media campaign, and plan for how to achieve your goals.
6) Build a Local Photo Library
Even though there are ample warnings out there, it seems that more and more radio stations are still being sued for photo copyright claims. As technologies for catching illegal image posting advances, this will only get worse. So, it’s extremely important that any website has the proper copyrights in place when posting images online. Never grab something from a search engine image search.
We suggest that every station capture important images around your town and state. Since you own the images you take, they can never be used in a copyright claim. The kind of photos you should have in your database is that of a local police car, police lights, fire truck/station, state flag, courthouse, intersections, street names, etc.
Inventory these so that they can be found and posted easily when news stories break. Don’t wait until you need them. Once they are in your website media library, you can use them again and again without uploading the same image more than once.
7) Write a Blog That Targets Advertisers
We’ve had several clients reach out to us to handle their station website simply because they found the free information we’ve posted in our blog. We want stations to feel comfortable in our knowledge. When you offer free insight to your clients, no matter where they choose to buy, you instill trust in them. You have now become the expert they need.
Put this new blog on a new website or a section of your existing site that is specifically created for advertisers to learn more about advertising with your station. As search engines crawl your site, this great information will show up to those searching for local advertising opportunities.
8) Take Inventory of Your Online Assets
I mean everything. Domains, websites, review site entries, social media pages, and anything else with a URL or a login. It’s not unusual for these types of accounts to be disorganized over time. This recently came up with a new station client where one employee created an account for the company. The account was needed again long after the employee left the company, but nobody knew how to access it.
Put a list together of everything including usernames and passwords, so that you know what’s out there and how to get to it. It’s also a good idea to put together a company policy regarding account creation so that you’ll always know where to find the information for any online account. For example, never let an employee create a station account with their own e-mail address.
Be open and actively searching for everything your station can do online to grow your online audience, discover things that can separate your station from any competition you have, make a bigger difference in your community and generate more income. Unlike your radio signal with only 24 hours of possible content per day, your station website has unlimited content and sponsorship potential that can last many years.
We hope you have a wonderful and prosperous new year online. If you’re looking into a new website experience for your station, please reach out to us.