Cluttered Homepages, E-Mails, and Goals with Seth Resler

Are you providing adequate calls to action on your website homepage to get visitors to act on what you want them to?  Are you collecting e-mail addresses so you can better communicate with your listeners on a consistent basis?  This week, we’re talking homepages, e-mails, and goals with one of my marketing heroes, Seth Resler.

Seth Resler is a 25-year broadcasting and podcasting veteran who has worked on the mic and programmed radio stations in major markets like New York City, Boston & Seattle before crossing into online marketing. As the digital strategist at Jacobs Media, Seth works with radio stations across the U.S., helping them design and implement action plans that combine websites, social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, lead generation, and other online tools.  Follow Seth’s blog at https://jacobsmedia.com/category/connecting-the-dots.

In the Episode

6:25 Seth does more than just websites at Jacobs Media.

8:10 Website usability tests help your site.  Questions asked include, “What does this company do?”, “What kind of music do they play?” and “Where is this radio station located?”.

10:30 Your home page has too much crap on it.

11:12 Why we dislike home page sliders.

13:30 Other things Seth looks for on websites that need help.

14:30 Goals we want listeners to do when they come to our website.

17:00 Social media widgets take up prime real estate. Do not send visitors to social media from your website.

18:20 Why capture visitor e-mail addresses?

21:10 Using RSS Feeds to automate e-mail newsletter content.

23:40 Purpose of Calls to Action.

25:00 How JacobsMedia.com takes e-mail addresses and what they do with them.

32:03 Always work towards your website goals.

32:50 An argument for fresh content on the homepage.

Cluttered Homepages

Seth and I seem to disagree on the makeup of a proper homepage, but we wholeheartedly agree that it should never be cluttered.  The make-up of your homepage depends on your goals, how you promote your website on-air and online, and the kinds of content your radio station is creating.  No two stations will be equal in that regard, so there’s not going to be one right way of doing it.

One radio station may have several goals this month (contests and holiday promotions). In contrast, another station may only have one goal (streaming the station) because they still need an active promotion or to establish their newsletter.  This doesn’t mean that their homepage should only contain a listen live link.  Hopefully, you will agree that a homepage containing the station logo, location, pictures of the artists you play, and a “listen live” link is not exciting.  It gives little reason to dive deeper and spend more time on the site.

The amount of time a visitor spends on your website produces better search engine optimization.  Much like TSL (time spent listening) is a metric we measure on-air, “time on page” and “average engagement time” are valuable metrics in the new Google Analytics 4.  So, it’s important to your search engine optimization that you keep visitors on your site long as possible.  SEO is important if you want visitors to find your website (and your radio station) by means other than sending them there via your social media posts, newsletter links, and on-air mentions.

Sites with better SEO and can show metrics of their time on site, and better engagement will be easier to sell.  Your analytics data is vital in this regard.

Unless you create content daily and specifically promote each of those items, like a daily blog post or news item, many of your visitors are coming in via the homepage.  It’s difficult to send visitors to wkrp.com/new-content-item-for-Friday, so we’ll send them to the homepage and tell them to click on the story or menu item.

I’ve come across a few station websites where I thought, “that clutter homepage with just as many ads as content cannot work.”  But for some reason, in that market, it does.  It consistently brings in more visitors each month and ridiculous local revenue.  Like I mentioned, it depends on your specific goals, the kind of content you are creating, and how you promote it.  No one solution is going to fit every station and market audience.  That’s why it’s important to test your content to see what works.

Need help with your station website?  We’d love to help you.

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.