“Radio websites are precious.” They are the gateway to more listenership. They are a tool for disseminating important info like your upcoming shows, news, etc.
Websites visually showcase your station, because most of the time, listeners interact with you by ear. We can’t downplay their importance—we must play it up.
In this blog post, we take a deeper peek into radio websites beyond the fancy graphics, gradients, and layouts. Let’s reveal their core components. Let’s see what makes them tick, tick & tick.
Most importantly, let’s learn how to design radio websites that serve the visitor.
Radio station website design: What’s important to the user
Why does someone visit your website? “To fulfill a need.”
So to design a truly effective radio website, we must try and decipher the users’ intents.
Some of the scenarios include:
1. “I’ just listened to a very exciting show. And I want to find out more about the radio presenter.”
How should your radio website respond? What about having a page for each presenter, with a short bio and list of their interests.
Why not go further and include links to their social media pages. You’ll make it easier for users to engage with their heroes.
2. “I’m looking for some interesting radio stations from my city?”
How should the website respond?
With an “About page.” Include the type of content/format your radio plays. Lists the radio’s location. And don’t just have a wall of text.
Use pictures of your studio, presenters, and events to engross the visitor.
Also, include your mission statement and vision. It illustrates that you have an ideal image of what your station ought to be and that you’re working towards it.
3. “I want to listen to the radio online.”
When someone learns about your radio station perhaps from a friend or promotional campaign, they will search for you online.
So when they land on your website, the first thing that should grab their attention is a visible play button or the words, “LISTEN LIVE.”
It seems like good common sense, but I found it missing on some radio websites.
4. “I want to know what’s coming up?
That’s the job of the “Schedule page.” For most radios, there will be a weekday schedule and a weekend schedule.
Each show will need a name e.g. “Morning Drive with Jane Doe.” Make it so, that when the visitor clicks on a show, they go to a page dedicated to it.
5. “I missed today’s morning drive and I want to listen to it.”
Your station should respond with a radio archive’s section. An archive is a recording of content that already aired.
6. “I want to stay updated with top stories in the world of entertainment.”
Most radio stations produce articles in-house or display third-party RSS feeds on their sites.
7. “I want to participate in a contest.”
Create a page specifically for the visitor who wants to find out which promotions the station is running, how they can participate, and how to win.
8. “I want to follow the radio on social media.”
You’ll find social media icons on any website you visit nowadays. But I have a question for you: Which is the best place to place your follow buttons?
In the footer section like it’s common on most sites, or at the top where they are spotted easily?
9. “I need to request a song.”
It’s a pleasure to have active listeners requesting songs.
Some websites automate this process using custom code so that when the listener places a song request, it gets logged by the station’s playout system.
If you need a simple alternative, you can ask listeners to request songs on social media. Or implement a live chat, and talk to your listeners in real time.
Best Radio Websites – examples I liked.
1. BBC Radio Websites
You can check out how BBC Radio websites provide past episodes of their shows.
2. WNYC (Because of the menu)
They have that big Listen Live Button on the homepage. The primary menu is equally good with Schedule, Shows, Topics, Discover and Search menu items. Also check out the items in their footer. They encompass all we’ve talked about.
3. Sunshine Radio (Use of Facebook and Twitter feeds)
It’s another stellar site to learn from; they have an elaborate menu, and on the homepage, you’ll find their live Facebook and Twitter feeds. The listen live button is prominently displayed.
4. JR Country (Check out how they position their contacts & social media links)
JR Country’s website makes it so easy to follow them on social media or call. See it for yourself:
5. Bay Radio (Because of their presenters’ bios)
Trust me, I struggled to find a radio website that does a nice job of showcasing their presenters. Till I found Bay Radio.
The presenters’ bios are a bit funny, a little bit unconventional, and certainly not formal nor boring. Check them out here:
Till next time…keep it CloudRadio
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