Are you ready for a website report card? Hearing phrases like “report card” and “pop quiz” can bring a sense of dread for some. Hopefully, today’s report card will be more helpful than traumatic.
As we mention often, a compelling online presence is not just a nicety. It’s crucial for any business, not just radio, to captivate its audience and attract revenue opportunities. Your website serves as your digital storefront. Today’s test covers vital criteria to elevate your station website’s effectiveness, ensuring it resonates with your listeners and advertisers.
Feel free to keep up with the pass, fail, and extra credit scores as we cover the following eleven sections:
1. On-Brand Experience
- Your website’s color scheme, fonts, and layout align with your station’s brand identity.
- Content is organized in a way that’s intuitive for your listeners, featuring easy-to-find schedules, DJ profiles, and playlists.
- The tone of your content matches your station’s voice, enhancing your brand’s message and appeal.
- You’ve hastily applied your station logo to a generic website template.
- The color scheme seems arbitrary, lacking any connection to your station’s brand.
- The user experience on your site clashes with your station’s vibe, confusing visitors.
- Your website is finely tuned to meet both listener expectations and your station objectives, and it’s attractive to potential advertisers.
- You’ve invested in professional or locally captured images to create a unique visual library.
- Your website guidelines include specific color codes and fonts to ensure brand consistency.
2. Social Media Integration
- Listeners can easily share your content on their preferred social platforms.
- Links to your station’s social media profiles are prominently displayed.
- Your social media shares consistently drive traffic back to the website.
- Your station is absent from social media, or these platforms are barely mentioned on your website.
- Social media icons are buried at the bottom of the page or overwhelm the site’s main content.
- Social media widgets are present that entice visitors to jump over to those platforms and leave your website.
- Listeners can join fan groups or subscribe to newsletters without leaving your site.
- You leverage social media to drive traffic through discussions, contests, and promotions.
3. Cross-Platform Compatibility
- Your site performs consistently across various browsers and devices, including smartphones.
- Text is easily read on smaller screens like iPhones and Android devices.
- Your site is not optimized for mobile or specific browsers, leading to poor user experience.
- Content layout assumes that everyone has the same size display and other size monitors are not tested.
- Parts of the website are broken on certain devices or browsers.
- Your site employs responsive design, adapting to different screen sizes and devices.
- Site performs flawlessly on all devices and screen sizes.
- Certain parts of your website utilize mobile-only images so that even smaller desktop images (banner ads) appear properly on small devices.
- Your site complies with web accessibility standards, ensuring all listeners can navigate it easily.
- Text and background colors offer sufficient contrast, and critical content is keyboard accessible.
- Images include easy-to-understand “alt” and “title” tags that can be read by special software for the sighted.
- Your site uses color combinations that are difficult for colorblind users.
- Text is too small to read, and captchas offer no audio alternatives.
- Images are uploaded with no alt or title tags.
- Your site goes above and beyond, offering features like transcripts for the hearing-impaired and alternative navigation for visually impaired users.
5. SEO and Analytics
- Your site’s HTML is well-structured, with heading tags appropriately used.
- You regularly check your analytics and make content changes based on the data it provides.
- All station content creators have a basic understanding of SEO and why it’s a good practice.
- Images have proper alt and title tags so search engines can “read” the images.
- Your site’s HTML is outdated, and you don’t use web analytics tools.
- You employ “black hat” SEO tactics like keyword stuffing that could get your site penalized.
- Your content strategy is data-driven, incorporating ongoing web statistics and SEO trends analysis.
- You actively seek to increase inbound links and social shares.
- The team creates content in a way that attracts search engines and encourages listener sharing.
6. Content Management
- Your content management system (CMS) allows non-technical staff to update the site easily.
- Content creators enforce a consistent style so that all content looks connected and uniform. All featured images are the same size and dimensions.
- Basic content updates require help from a web developer.
- Inconsistent styling makes it easy for your website to appear broken/non-uniform.
- Your CMS supports advanced features like multi-language support and customized editorial workflows.
- Content creators know how their content will look on multiple devices and create/adjust accordingly.
7. Audio Streaming
- Your website offers a reliable audio streaming service with minimal buffering.
- Listeners can easily find the “Listen Live” button.
- Your stream player pops out or is persistent, allowing listeners to navigate the website while listening to the station uninterrupted.
- Your streaming service is unreliable, with frequent drops or poor audio quality.
- The “Listen Live” button is hidden or challenging to locate.
- The audio stream is embedded within a page. The stream must be restarted when the listener navigates to a different page.
- Your website offers high-definition audio streaming options, allowing listeners to customize their listening experience. For example, they can select live streaming as well as specific segments or podcasts to listen to.
8. Listener Engagement
- Your website features a comment section, listener polls, or other interactive elements.
- You have a dedicated section for listener testimonials or shout-outs.
- Your website is a one-way communication channel with no options for listener interaction.
- There is no community feel or listener involvement.
- Your website has a thriving community forum or listener club with exclusive content and rewards.
- You regularly feature listener-generated content on your website, such as song requests, shout-outs or editorials.
9. Advertising and Monetization
- Your website has a dedicated section for advertisers to learn about opportunities.
- Ads are present but not intrusive, ensuring a good listener experience.
- Your website has no information for potential advertisers.
- Ads are overly intrusive, causing annoyance and potentially driving listeners away.
- Your website offers a variety of advertising packages, complete with analytics to show ROI.
- You employ personalized smart ad placements based on user behavior, enhancing both advertiser and listener satisfaction.
10. Podcast and On-Demand Content
- Your website offers a selection of podcasts or on-demand content related to your radio shows.
- Content is easy to find and stream.
- Your website lacks on-demand content, missing out on potential listener engagement.
- Available podcasts or on-demand content are hidden or difficult to access.
- Your website offers an extensive library of podcasts, interviews, and on-demand shows, all categorized and searchable.
- You provide options for listeners to download content and listen offline.
11. Event and Concert Listings
- Your website has a calendar or listing of upcoming events or concerts your station promotes or hosts.
- Your website invites listeners to add their events.
- Your website has no information on events, concerts, or other activities that listeners might be interested in.
- Your events and concerts page is interactive, allowing listeners to RSVP, purchase tickets, or get VIP passes directly from the website.
Pass or Fail?
Did your website have extra credit, pass, or need additional homework or study time? Think of your website as your digital answer sheet, where every design choice and content strategy either fills in the right bubble or leads you to a failing grade. Hopefully, by evaluating your radio station’s website against these 11 areas, you can identify improvements and continue tuning your website for optimal performance.