10 Mistakes to Avoid That Annoy Your Visitors

Any successful website, whether it’s for a radio station or not, needs to do all it can to keep visitors coming back regularly… multiple times per day is ideal, but at least once per day.

If you’ve listened to our other episodes, you know that great content is the number one reason for visitors to return often. Let’s say you have great content covered whether it be local news, events, etc. There could be some mistakes you’re making that can leave a bad taste in your visitor’s mouth that forces them to leave and not return – ever.

Here are 10 mistakes to avoid that could be annoying your website visitors.

1. Disregarding page load times. It’s important that all your content (most importantly your images) is optimized for mobile visitors first. Loading time is extremely important for any user experience. Visitors have become more impatient if pages take too long to load. Run load tests occasionally and if your site is slow, do everything you can to decrease load times.

2. A website that is not responsive to all devices. We shouldn’t even be mentioning this in modern times, but there are still some radio station websites out there that simply look horrible on mobile devices. They are still displaying the desktop site where you must zoom in to read anything. Most traffic is mobile traffic now – whether that be on an iPad, cell phone, or other mobile devices. So, your website should adapt to any device it can be viewed on. If it’s not, the visitor will simply go elsewhere.

3. Overlooking outdated text/content. If your site has “Copyright 2005” at the bottom of your last news post was a few months ago or more, then it’s past time to ensure the dates are correct and to add new content. If your website isn’t current, then it isn’t relative to your visitors or even search engines. They will push links to your site lower in search results.

4. Overlooking spelling and grammar mistakes. Spelling and grammar mistakes will cause visitors to lose trust in your information. Install the free “Grammarly” plugin inside your browser to check your copy for mistakes or write your copy inside Word or another word processor first.

5. Not ensuring links open properly. For example, opening an internal link (on the same site) in a new tab is a no-no. This means the visitor can’t use the back button. Ensure that external links (links off your website) open in new tabs. This ensures the visitors can come back to your site without having to hit “back” several times.

Side notes:
– Ensure your links are color-coded so that visitors know which text are links and they can tell which links they’ve visited (different color).
– Ensure that your online stream opens in a new tab or popup so that the visitor can continue visiting pages on your site.

6. Overusing stock photos. If the images you’re using in your pages and news posts look staged or from a free stock photo website, they will appear inauthentic and leave visitors with a sense of distrust. The best photos you can add to your radio station website are the ones you take yourself.  Have a team member take a day and travel your community taking images of major intersections, schools, town buildings, etc. These will connect your visitors with you much better.

7. Showing “Under Construction” pages. Delete these right now. We highly advise against websites having pages posted that are simply not ready for prime time. Visitors simply do not return to under construction pages. It’s better to not have the pages active now and then create a buzz about them later once they are published.

8. Overusing banner ads. Generating revenue from your station website is crucial, but visitors don’t come looking for ads. They come for the content. If your content isn’t immediately consumable by the visitor, then expect your bounce rates to skyrocket. (Bounce rates are when visitors come to a page and immediately leave without doing anything – like clicking a link). If your homepage has more banner ads than content, then it’s time to cut back on the inventory for that page and offer other, smarter options to your clients (takeovers, etc). It’s better to keep visitors coming back and grow page numbers than have lots of ads on the page that fewer and fewer visitors will see over time.

9. Overusing popup boxes or modal windows. Everyone wants more subscribers or to ensure visitors know about the big contest happening right now. But try not to be so over the top with these. Ensure these appear every so often rather than every visit. Visitors can quickly tire of clicking the close button and they simply will not return.

10. Auto-playing audio/video. This is a big personal pet peeve of mine. Unexpected audio can annoy your visitors and potentially cause problems. The visitor might be visiting your site in a public setting or workplace and the unexpected sound could send them scampering to close the page very quickly. This will certainly leave a very bad taste in their mouth for your website and radio station.

Those are 10 mistakes to avoid turning visitors off to your radio station website. Examine your website often to see if you are guilty of any of these. There are more we could have covered, but those are for another time.

Have an awesome week online making your radio website better.  See you next time!

Jim Sherwood serves as the chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects. Jim is a 30+ year radio veteran with a resume spanning several small, medium, and large markets including roles as Digital Content Manager, Program Director, Production Manager, and Morning Show Host.