10 Reasons to Refresh your Radio Station Website Design

Your radio station website should go leaps and bounds beyond a place to display the “Listen Live” button.  It has the potential to be your most valuable marketing asset and a revenue-generating machine.  The design of your website, in particular, has a significant impact on user experience and the metrics needed to pitch your website to potential advertisers.  Slow page load times, confusing navigation, and missing or inadequate functionality will only exacerbate your problems.  If your website design is standing in the way of marketing results or generating more revenue, then it may be time to refresh your design.

If you have a decent website with content that is updated on a regular basis, then a complete redesign might not make sense.  Perhaps your team simply needs some training to use it properly.  or, your station should examine how well it’s promoted on-air and on social media.  So, take the time to determine whether you need a full redesign or just a few updates.  Here are some signs to look for that point to a new design.

1. You have slow-loading web pages.
Studies show that every one-second delay in page load time can reduce customer satisfaction by 16 percent. Free speed testing tools like PageSpeedInsights and Pingdom Tools can reveal underlying design issues.  The most common culprits we’ve seen come from stations uploading large images to their websites. Ensuring your images are optimized for online will make your website faster.

2. You’re unable to perform content updates.
Are you struggling to add new pages or change existing ones? Your search engine optimization (SEO) and site traffic could be suffering if your site lacks fresh content. Not only that, there’s quite a bit of psychology involved with how visitors perceive brochure-type websites and studies show very small return rates.  If you’re bound by one person making your website updates, then it’s time to give more people access in case of emergencies.  If that is not an option, then it’s definitely time to look elsewhere.

3. Your design doesn’t match your station brand.
When a visitor comes to your station website they should see a visual representation of the radio station vibe, message, and format.  Everything plays a role in this from colors, typography, logo, and images.  The visitor should immediately know that this is a rock station, country station, etc.  Does your website design reflect your brand, communicate the station’s values, and leave a lasting impression?  If not, it’s time for some changes.

4. You have a high bounce rate.
“Bounce rate” is defined as the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.  Typical websites have a bounce rate between 26 percent and 70 percent.  A high bounce rate, meaning above 40 percent, can indicate several issues like confusing navigation, low-quality content, or poor page load times.  Check your Google Analytics data on regular intervals to ensure your content is working for you and that visitors are capable of staying longer than just one page.  Ask the question, “what would make me want to click elsewhere once I get done with this page” and act on those answers.

5. You have confusing navigation.
A high bounce rate or low crawl rate can be indicators that your navigation menu doesn’t make sense to your viewers. You may need to refresh your menu structure to make it easier for visitors to get where they need to go.

6. Your site is not optimized for mobile.
According to many studies, over half of the global internet traffic now originates from a mobile device. If your website isn’t responsive to mobile visitors, then you could be alienating a huge percentage of your visitors. Does your website change to a mobile version on your mobile device?  If not, you’re late for a re-design.

7. You have SEO issues.
Major search engines use hundreds of factors to rank websites, including usability, content, and design.  All of these factors determine whether your website or a competitor appears higher in the search results.  There are many things you can do to ensure that you appear higher in search results that do not require a full redesign like properly tagging images, ensuring your site is tagged for your local area, news posts are created to take advantage of keywording, etc.  If your website doesn’t offer ways for you to make these changes, then it’s time for an upgrade.

8. Your homepage isn’t working to keep visitors engaged.
Your home page is often the first impression for your online visitor.  A lackluster home page can decrease your crawl rate or the average number of pages that visitors view. The key is properly conveying everything about the radio station without it becoming overwhelming with many too options.

9. You have poor conversion rates.
The latest news post or event listing might get a visitor to your website, but what would you like them to do next?  Sign up for the station newsletter?  Open the stream?  Enter the latest contest?  If your visitors are not doing these next step things, then your conversion rates are low.  Consider how easy it is to do these things on each of your station pages.

10. Your site is not secure.
If your website isn’t secured with the HTTPS protocol, it may be harming your search engine ranking.  All search engines now give preference to websites with HTTPS over those without it.  So, if the competing station across town has HTTPS in their website URL and your website URL starts with HTTP, you’re trailing them online.

Is it time for a few tweaks or a complete re-design?  There are many reasons your station website may be struggling, and it doesn’t always call for a total redesign.  Reach out to us.  We’ll be glad to examine your website and offer some suggestions.

Jim Sherwood serves as chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects.