Online & Digital

Make Your Radio Station Website Dominate And Rock Listeners Worlds

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6 minutes read

It’s a slightly over the top headline, I’ll admit. Having said that, a decent radio station website can make a huge difference to the overall ecosystem of a radio station.

I’ll be taking you through my thoughts on a solid site. At the end, I’ll also be giving you some great companies to turn to if you need help.

Looking After Your Station Ecosystem

Your radio station is a bit like a well-functioning mind. It has lots of needs and goals and if all of them are met, you’re happy.

If sales are making money, they’re happy. Has RAJAR gone up? Congratulations, you’re programming team are off to party. Are you marketing team getting the budget they want and your S&P team getting competition entries through the roof? Well, then you have a happy ecosystem.

If everyone is happy, the station works, much like a car with a flat tire. Yes, you’ll get from A to B, but it’ll be a real slog.

A great radio station website can help tie all of these needs and goals together. If there’s traffic to your site then everybody wins too. Your site holds something for everyone…

  • Programming get listeners online
  • Sales have adverts for clients (or at least some revenue from Google Adsense)
  • News have their reports and hard work on their
  • S&P have their competitions and clever mechanics they’ve been working on too.

As you can see, a station website can really hold a place for every department. This is because your site is now considered an extension of your on-air output. You can have an audience who listen to the radio. At the same time, an audience who solely interact with your brand online. They keep up with local news or travel, enter competitions, check out job listings etc. If you haven’t got the proper infrastructure in place you’re leaving money and listeners on the table.

Extend Your Programming

When all is said and done, you’re a radio station. What comes out of those speakers should be the absolute number one priority. Your website needs to reflect your on-air station too.

Let’s say you play nothing but the biggest stadium rock classics. If your news section has something about Dua Lipa reuniting with her ex then you’ve gone off course.

Everything on your radio station website should compliment what your brand says and does on-air. When all is said and done, you're a radio station. What comes out of those speakers should be the absolute number one priority. Click To Tweet

Aid Listeners Without Losing Focus

It’s no secret that the traditional ‘local radio station website’ is losing its market share, and modern content is taking its place. If you’d have said 10 years ago that a Facebook page called ‘LADBible’ would be one of the largest digital content brands in the world people would have laughed.

Listeners are more concerned with being entertained than gaining information like travel, weather, and local news. If your brand is still the true local radio, then you do you, but the rise of content powerhouses like LADBible, Buzzfeed and Mashable can’t be ignored.

Make sure you’ve got something to keep visitors on your site other than items they can get on an app on their iPhone faster. If I want the weather I don’t go to my local radio station website, I go to the weather app on my phone. That’s fine though, my iPhone can’t just magic up entertainment unless I specifically tell it to follow/like/go to brands that will show me that.

If you'd have said 10 years ago that a Facebook page called 'LADBible' would be one of the largest digital content brands in the world people would have laughed. Click To Tweet

Get Clever With Your Commercial Side

Nobody likes to be sold to nowadays, and people aren’t idiots. They know when something is there because you need to make some cash.

I’ve seen so many radio station sites offer clients the world. The client is happy because they’ve been promised a full homepage takeover, a massive logo at the top of the page, five paragraphs about their business. When it comes to tally-up-time and you need to send them how many people entered, they’re always shocked to find it’s in single figures.

Just because you’ve filled your sidebar with client logos front and center, it does not mean they’ll get more clicks. You need to be smart, and nothing screams smart commercial like the vouchers system on most Aiir websites. It’s an easy way to position your station as getting the listeners an exclusive deal with a business in the local area, as opposed to ‘come click this so we get some commission’. Nobody likes to be sold to nowadays, and people aren't idiots. They know when something is there because you need to make some cash. Click To Tweet

Keep It Simple, Keep It Tidy

There is nothing that makes my skin crawl more than a busy website. The best example of this I can find is the KIIS 1065 website.

They’ve tried to cram so much content and headlines onto the one homepage that it’s actually very hard work finding something to click on.

I have always been a big fan of the Jazz FM website. It’s simple and hasn’t been filled with as much content as can possibly be stomached. Due to the brand guidelines, the colours are a little heavy, but in terms of layout, spot on in my books.

Update With The Times

Something that always shocks me is the number of sites that look like they’ve been made in 2007 when someone was told “we need a website”, and has done nothing since. If you’re going to treat your website as a serious extension of not only your on-air brand but your commercial side too, then you need to keep up with the times.

A couple of years back Google said they would stop showing sites (or places them far lower down in search engines) if they were not mobile responsive. A lot of stations got a lot of new sites that year, knowing full well if they didn’t then they would see a decline in website traffic.

The digital age is constantly evolving, and if you’re not keeping up with it you may as well not bother in the first place. Make it your personal mission to follow some blogs and twitter accounts, and keep in the know about changes to the digital landscape. The digital age is constantly evolving, and if you're not keeping up with it you may as well not bother in the first place. Click To Tweet

Need Some Help Getting A Radio Station Website?

Below is a list of companies deemed most favorable with the larger radio industry. If you feel you want to tackle the mission of making the site on your own, I chatted to the Cheif Technical Officer at Aiir a while back about designing and making a great site.

If you’ve got any more I can add to the list, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Jamie Boyd Ratcliff
Jamie has worked in almost every role within the commercial radio industry. He's been a music scheduler, website content editor + designer, the head of social media and more recently breakfast show producer.
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