Some folks accuse me of being too negative in some of my posts. For you, this will be your “I told you so” moment.
Are you like me? Do you browse to your local radio station site only to find yourself asking the cosmic question: Why in the world did I bother to come here?
As a test, and to make sure I wasn’t limiting my critique to those stations in markets where the resources are less than zero, I toured the list of station websites in Los Angeles. I hear there’s lots of ad revenue there, and that means lots of investment in the digital platform, right?
I came, I saw, and my tentative optimism was conquered.
Here are the things I hate about radio station websites, thanks to my random sampling of LA station sites:
- 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 this question: Would Coke do this? Would Nike? No. They don’t need to. You do it for them.
- Weather forecasts at the top of the website. Thanks, but I have an app for that.
- Invitations to listener clubs with virtually no benefits explained. The last time I joined a club that had no benefits…um, wait. That never happened.
- Multiple thumbnail ads on the home page – all of which are identical. I know repetition is important in advertising – but on the same page at the same time?
- Millions of items to click on suggesting that the phrase “user experience” must be from some lost language like Latin or something.
- Blogs that don’t enable comments
- Blogs that enable comments but have none, suggesting there’s nothing there worth commenting on.
- An obsession with sharing, but no obsession with content worth sharing
- “Sharing? Why would I want to do that? Let’s just pimp Facebook and Twitter.”
- Tiny pictures and tiny text. The trend in things online is towards LARGER pictures and LARGER text.
- Sites that look like crap on mobile devices, suggesting nobody at the station has ever tried to view their own site on one.
- Little or no attention given to podcasts, or podcasts which are only slightly less difficult to find than Jimmy Hoffa’s remains.
- Podcasts which work fine on PC’s – the things that are vanishing – but not at all on mobile devices – the things that are replacing PC’s.
- Online streams which are more than one simple click away.
- 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
- Any pictures of Kei$ha. Especially if they’re on multiple station sites at the same time.
- 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 fairies. All logos go on the left. It says that in the Geocities design manual somewhere.
- 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, too
- A page so cluttered with ads it makes one yearn for the editorial stylings of the Pennysaver
- An invitation to download the mobile app. Whoops, sorry, I didn’t see any of those.
- No way to personalize my experience of your brand, and thus no reason to sign in (like I do to virtually every online destination that matters to me).
So there you have it.
What things do YOU hate about radio station websites?