Most Radio Stations Have Bad Websites

Most Radio Stations Have Bad Websites
Gary Begin/Sound Advantage Media

Are you like me? Do you surf to your local radio station website only to find yourself asking the question: Why on Earth did I bother to come here?

As a test, and to make sure I wasn’t limiting my critique to those stations in markets which have resources of less than zero, I toured the list of station websites in California. I’m told there’s lots of ad revenue there, and that means lots of investment in the digital platform, right?

I was only kidding myself.

Here are the things I dislike about radio station websites, thanks to the arbitrary sampling of California station sites:

1. Site takeovers. If I want to visit your advertiser’s website, I’ll go there directly without stopping at your landing page version first. Ask the question: Would Coke do this? Would Sears? No. They don’t need to. You do it for them.

2. Weather forecasts at the top of the website. I have an app for that, thank you.

3. Invitations to listener clubs with no benefits clarified. The last time I joined a club that had no benefits…um, wait. That never happened.

4. Multiple thumbnail ads on the home page – all of which are the same. I know repetition is important in advertising – but on the same page at the same time?

5. Millions Of items to click on suggesting that the phrase “user experience” must be from some lost civilization.

6. Blogs that don’t enable comments

7. Blogs which enable comments but have nobody, strongly suggesting there’s nothing there worth commenting on.

8. An obsession with sharing, but no preoccupation with content worth sharing.

9. “Sharing? Why do that? Let’s just prostitute Facebook and Twitter.”

10. Tiny pictures with tiny text. The trend in online is about LARGER pictures and LARGER text.

11. Sites that look like crap on mobile devices, implying that nobody at the station has ever tried to view their own site on one.

12. Little or no attention given to podcasts, or podcasts which are more difficult to find than Jimmy Hoffa’s remains.

13. Podcasts which work fine on PC’s – which are rapidly vanishing – but not at all on mobile devices – the things that are replacing PC’s.

14. Online streams which are more than one easy click away. Worse than that, NO streaming at all!

15. Streams which are preceded by the tiny message: “Streaming is limited to listeners in California,” thus defeating the purpose of a platform which, last time I checked, was global.

16. Any pictures of Katy Perry. Especially if they’re on multiple station sites at the same time.

17. Logo banners where the logo is on the right instead of the left – oops, sorry, there is no such thing. I might as well believe in Santa Clause. All logos go on the left. It states that in the Geocities design manual.

18. Logo banners showing a bunch of stock photo artist images, because nothing says your station is different like the same artists everyone else has on their logo banners.

19. A page so cluttered with ads it makes one crave for the editorial style of the Pennysaver

20. A solicitation to download the mobile app. I’m sorry; I didn’t see any of those.

21. No way to personalize the experience of your brand, therefore no reason to sign in (like I do to virtually every online destination that matters to me).

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