I owe iHeartMedia some gratitude for the increased traffic and revenue RadioInsight has received since Friday’s format change of 92.3 KHHT Los Angeles to Urban “Real 92.3“. While any major market format change will bring a traffic boost to the site, thanks to some strange web strategy at iHeart we’ve seen an over 300% increase over the weekend.
Normally when iHeart launches a new format the old site is repurposed with the new domain and content. That wasn’t the case with KHHT on Friday. Hot923.com was swiftly pulled and now redirects to the iHeartRadio home page, while Real923LA.com points to the station’s streaming page on iHeart. This leaves the new station without its own online presence and as such a Google search for “Real 92.3” brings up the current results:
While I take pride in the fact that I have built RadioInsight to have great SEO results, there is NO reason why ours or any industry news site should be the top result for any station. Any other iHeart station’s search results will bring up the station’s site first followed by Twitter, Facebook, iHeartRadio’s streaming, and Wikipedia in some order. And quite frankly I could do without all the hate mail about the new format from listeners of the old. I don’t know why KHHT didn’t have a proper website setup at launch (I have heard some interesting rumors as to why they went with the “Real” brand as opposed to “The Beat” at pretty much the last minute, but whether that ties into to the site I don’t know).
This isn’t an issue facing just new launches either. While an entire case study can be done with companies not having a splash page to direct listeners to the proper Nash, Amp Radio, or Kiss-FM in a market, there are many stations making it impossible for listeners to find them or their personalities.
Lars Larson is a syndicated talk personality that has been based at Alpha Media’s KXL Portland since 1997 and a stalwart in the Portland market for decades. You wouldn’t know it from Googling his name. It took until Page 6 to find a link to KXL. The first station to come up at all was at the bottom of the second page: Bicoastal Media’s 1120 KPNW Eugene.
The key of any radio station website is to bring potential listeners to your brand. How can you consider that a successful endeavor when the content isn’t easily found?