Most Radio Station Websites Fail This Simple Test Question. Does Yours?
January 13, 2015
Do you know what your listeners are thinking when they come to your radio station's website? There's a simple test stations can run to find out, but few do. It's called a Website Usability Test.
The concept is simple: You sit a person down in front of your station's website, ask them to perform a few basic tasks, and ask them to think out loud as they do. You'll be amazed at how much practical insight you'll get from this test.
I recently performed a website usability test on a randomly selected major market Pop station and recorded the results for you to see.
Whenever I conduct a website usability test, one of my first questions is always, "What does the company behind this website do?" Inevitably, every company (not just radio stations) fails this question on their first try.
But radio stations are more likely than most companies to fail on this question because they have to convey so much information in a few short seconds. That info includes:
- That this website is run by a radio station
- What city the radio station is in
- What the dial position of the radio station is
- What type of the music the radio station plays
Believe it or not, I have tested websites where it took people over ten minutes to figure out that they were looking at a site for a radio station. Programmers overlook the fact that while only people in their market can hear their station on the radio, anybody in the world can pull up their website, so the site needs to tell people what city the station is in. And while no station would run a billboard or television advertising campaign that did not include a sampling of their core artists, most radio stations neglect to put these artists on their homepage. So most radio stations fail the most basic question on my website usability tests.
"What does the company behind this website do?"
Do you think your radio station would pass this test question? The only way to find out is to perform your own website usability test.