Nine Resolutions to Boost Your Radio Station Website in 2023

Happy new year!  Do you have any goals to kick off the new year?  Today we want to cover some recommended new years resolutions that you should have for your radio station website.

1. Devote More Resources to Your Station Website

Your station website should equal the importance of programming your radio station.  Some stations still think that simply having a website shows they are “modern and relevant.”  Unfortunately, they don’t invest time in their website enough so that it brings visitors back consistently and generates revenue.

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).  Typically, this person is called a “Digital Content Director.”  A few stations have two or three people tasked with adding at least one thing daily.  Like higher ratings on your on-air signal, more traffic to your online content equals greater revenue opportunities.

When your station website is updated with consistently fresh content, your sales team should know 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.

2. Add New/Different Content

Remember the 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. Examine 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 schedules, etc.  Every market is different.  Your station website has unlimited potential for new feature content, which means new sponsorship opportunities.

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 to be shared online.

Of course, build sponsorship opportunities for every new content feature you create.

3. Try a Different Color/Layout

Change is evolution.  As with content, the same thing can become mundane and complacent year after year.  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.

We’ve seen radio stations receive negative comments from regular visitors that did not like their updated designs, even though the content was easier to find and consume.

4. Examine Your Analytics and Adjust Accordingly

If you have a personal resolution to lose weight in the new year, you’ll likely look at a scale often to determine your progress.  You might even adjust your habits if you’re not happy with the results each time.  So, 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’re “too busy” to check your website stats, you’re missing valuable information to push your website forward.  Google Analytics is a FREE tool that can provide valuable information to help your website perform better each month/year.

5. Start a Podcast

Podcasting is the evolution of blogging and increased content creation.  A podcast can be made of your news stories of the day, a weekly recap of news and events in your area, the best show bit from your air personalities, or a local sports interview show.  There are so many possibilities in any market size to start and promote a podcast.  Some station owners I’ve talked to feel that podcasts take listeners away from their radio signals.  My answer to that is, “only if someone else is doing the podcast.”

Podcasters are generating lots of revenue by attaching sponsorship ads that would sound like “live spots” to us radio people. Studies have shown that podcast listeners are less likely to act on sponsorships that sound like produced commercials.  They prefer it when the host they trust endorses a product.

6. 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 recommend that all station members should actively participate in the station’s social media channels. Link back to the station website as much as possible and engage listeners when appropriate.

Research and invest in a plugin or service that allows you to auto-post content to your social media channels consistently so that new content is more likely to be seen in follower feeds.

Have a social media strategy. Many stations spend time and money on social media without determining their goals.  Increasing followers and getting 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.

7. Build a Local Photo Library

Even though there are ample warnings, it seems that radio stations are still being sued for photo copyright claims. As technologies for catching illegal image posting advance, this will only worsen. So, any website must have the proper copyrights when posting images online.  Ensure your teams 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 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 repeatedly without uploading the same image more than once.

8. 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 with 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 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.

9. 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 accounts to be disorganized over time. This recently came up with a new station client, where an employee created a social media account for the company.  The employee subsequently left, and nobody knew how to access the account.  The station had to start over.

Inventory everything, including usernames and passwords, so 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 e-mail address.

Wrapping up

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 for a new website experience for your station in the new year or know of someone who is, we would love to help.

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.