Looking back on 2023, did you have any big wins with your radio station website? A breaking news story that produced a lot of traffic? A particular banner ad campaign that did well for a client? Perhaps your station website won a prestigious award. Either way, it’s that time of year for radio stations to reassess and enhance their online presence.
Reflecting on the past and planning for the future, here are some updated website resolutions to consider for 2024:
Elevate Your Station Website’s Role
Your website should be as vital as your on-air programming. It must entertain and generate revenue, which only happens with regular maintenance and updates. Successful stations often dedicate staff solely to keeping the website fresh with engaging content, directly correlating to increased visitor traffic and revenue.
Too many stations disregard the website because it’s not something they are passionate about. They may think their audience won’t be either because they do not regularly visit station websites. If you have this mindset, look at your website as a promotional tool for bringing in new listeners. A great website is a destination for people looking for your station, but it also makes it possible to be found by people not looking for it. They search for something local and find an article you posted on your website.
Innovate with Content
Continuously evolve by adding new and diverse content. Explore untapped areas in your market, like local events, culture, or unique interests. For example, incorporating interactive features like polls or live chat can dynamically engage listeners and keep them returning more often. Remember, every new feature is a new sponsorship opportunity.
We recently talked about being hyper-local. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Super-serve your local audience and provide content relative to your area they cannot find anywhere else.
Refresh the Design
Periodically update your website’s design to keep it fresh and engaging. This could include new color schemes, layouts, or interactive elements. If your website hasn’t had a facelift in the last few years, it’s time. This doesn’t mean an expensive complete redesign. Small, incremental changes can be more user-friendly than a complete overhaul.
Analyze and Adapt
Make website analytics a regular part of your week or month. Use the data you find to understand what content resonates with your audience. Adjust your monthly strategy based on this data to surpass your previous performance metrics.
Too many radio stations miss this step because they are too busy creating content, hoping for a big win. Small wins can show in the data. Use small wins to know what your audience prefers and do more of that. You’ll see the wins increase over time.
Enhance Social Media Integration
Ensure your website and social media efforts are seamlessly integrated. Use tools for consistent content sharing across platforms and develop a strategic plan for social media that focuses on converting interactions into more engaged listeners and advertisers.
Remember that it’s all about getting people off social media and onto your website. Once listeners are on your site, please do all you can to keep them there rather than sending them offsite or back to social media.
Develop a Local Photo Repository
Build a library of local images to avoid copyright issues and enhance the authenticity of your content. This will also speed up your ability to respond to breaking news with relevant imagery.
Over the past few years, copyright claims have increased on radio station websites. Luckily, we now live in a time of AI-generated images. Be sure your team knows how to grab images from services like Midjourney, Dall-E3, Bing, and others. You can even get AI-generated images directly inside Photoshop. While local photos are preferred, AI can help in a pinch to keep your website looking professional and free from cheap-looking clipart.
Engage Advertisers with Targeted Content
Create a dedicated blog or section on your website for potential advertisers, offering insights and showcasing your expertise in local advertising. This can be a valuable resource for those looking to invest in advertising and enhance your station’s credibility.
Again, the key is for your radio station to be found everywhere. We have advertisers in our market that are hours away. And it’s no coincidence those advertisers are not on radio stations with weak or stale websites. A blog or website targeting advertisers allows them to find you among the clutter and assures them your station or group is on top of its game.
Organize Online Assets
Regularly audit and organize all your online assets, including domains, social media accounts, and digital property. Ensure all information is up-to-date and accessible to relevant team members.
In addition, take stock of all your advertiser opportunities that exist online. This can be kept in an active ”Digital Inventory List” so salespeople can always know what positions they have available at any given time.
Embrace SEO and Content Marketing
When many people hear search engine optimization (SEO), they think they need an agency for it. Not at all. SEO is simply doing the right things for your content to be found online, like using the proper heading in the correct order, writing your content with keywords or phrases in mind, and using image alt and title tags for every image. Doing these properly IS SEO.
Content marketing means that you’re creating content that your audience likes to increase your website’s visibility and attract more visitors. This includes creating fresh and valuable content and ensuring your website is search-engine friendly.
Prioritize User Experience (UX)
Enhance the user experience (UX) by ensuring your website is easy to navigate, fast-loading, and mobile-friendly. A positive UX can significantly increase visitor engagement and time spent on your site.
Some ways to prioritize user experience are…
- Keep your website free from clutter or looking too busy with too many options.
- Minimize/simplify your menu navigation, making navigating and finding things easy.
- Ensure your website loads fast by using small images.
- Ensure images are the same size/dimension for a more professional look.
- Test your site on mobile devices to ensure a seamless look.
- Use minimal but targeted ad space.
If you haven’t already, start a podcast related to your radio content. This can be an additional revenue stream and a way to reach audiences who prefer on-demand content.
Some ideas for this include the morning show breaks, segments from shows throughout the day, your public affairs show, daily newscasts, sports highlights, Friday night scoreboard show, or other shows that might work better for a podcast than be live on-air.
Keep in mind that you can still sell advertising within podcasts.
Your station’s website is a dynamic, powerful tool that can significantly impact your community presence and revenue generation. Stay ahead of the curve by continually evolving and adapting your online strategy.
Let’s add one more to the list of resolutions – “Have Goals.” Look at the numbers of how many people visit your website and create action to beat those numbers next month or next quarter. It’s just like ratings. The more numbers you can show, the more you can charge advertisers to be there.
Did you have any big “wins” with your station website in 2023? Let’s do what we can to ensure more of those in 2024. I wish you a prosperous year online! If you want to upgrade your station’s website, don’t hesitate to contact us.