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Is Moss Growing on your Website?

| March 29, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The midday host at a station I work with asks: “Should I move from Facebook to Twitter?”

Wisely, stations and personalities are prioritizing Twitter, a darn opportune tool which listeners have adopted as-fervently as they did Facebook…and MySpace, in its day.

If you’re thinking that “The Next Shiny Object” is your very own iPhone app, STOP.  Save the money, for reasons I will explain on June 6 in my Talkers/New York presentation “Resourceful + Remarkable.”

But first, to answer her question, I sure would NOT:

a)    bother with MySpace,

b)    abandon Facebook, or

c)    under-utilize Twitter.

ICYMI, these recent Talkers/RadioInfo columns:

“Check out our website.”

I cringe whenever I hear that phrase, still too often, for reasons I’ve also outlined here previously: Do You Sound “CompuServe” to Smartphone Users?

But we sure do want listeners to bookmark the web site, for two reasons:

  • The people who own your station are barking for more-more-more digital revenue; and
  • The transmitter only does real-time audio.  The internet transmits EVERYTHING.

In-addition-to what I’ve outlined in the above-referenced articles, this advice, based on experience:

Make it easy for listeners to listen, both ways:

  1. Make your “Listen Live” button conspicuous.  Best placement seems to be upper left or right corner, of every page.  Much of stations’ streaming consumption is still on computers.
  2. Because listeners live their lives in on-demand mode, archive aircheck excerpts of non-time-sensitive content, what we used to call “podcasts.”  Rather than whole shows, archive excerpts, single-topic/interview episodes.  Think “snack-size” lengths that match the podcast consumption environment, i.e., how long it takes to walk the dog, do Stairmaster, drive to work, etc.  Don’t index ‘em by airdate.  Index by topic.

Best way to Google well: Lots of content. 

You can’t fool Google; and if they catch you trying they’ll banish you.  Google spiders constantly crawl-around indexing pages, and will feast on your site if there’s lots of topical text there.  Or they’ll scamper-off, bored, if your site is simply a brochure about the station.  So reckon what someone-you-want-reading-your-stuff would enter in the Google Search box, and use those keywords early in online copy.

Other tips:

  • Treat your domain name like your dial position, not fine print.  Say ‘em side-by-side, i.e., “NEWSRADIO 600 WSJS AND WSJS DOT COM.”  Put your domain name everywhere: on the van, on the polo shirts, your Email signature block, everywhere.
  • Look live.  When your team wins the championship, or there’s big news, change the look of your home page, similar to the way tabloid newspapers “change format” for the day on page one.
  • To turn visitors into evangelists, put “Email to a friend” on every piece of content.
  • Offer, in on-air promos, and online, to “Swap links” with other web sites.  Inbound links will improve your, and their, Google results; and it’s a good way to warm-up local retailers with web sites.
  • Like great talk radio, feature lots of “UGC” (User-Generated Content).  What can you invite listeners to submit?  I’ll have some good show-N-tells at Talkers New York 2013.

Listeners won’t bookmark your site because you ask them to.  They’ll bookmark it because they’d feel left-out not-doing-so.

tbugkSee, hear, read more from consultant Holland Cooke at and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke.  Meet Holland Cooke at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday June 6.


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Category: Advice, Digital