What The Television Industry Needs To Do

  • Register a good domain name with SEO in mind. Better yet would be to setup a subdomains based on city.
  • Hire staff that can know the web. People that know not to make images 250k or flash files that are 500k. People that know what SEO is and how it can help.
  • Give prominence to weather and local news. These are the two reasons anyone goes to a local television website.
  • Put up your videos. The local television has the advantage in this area, but they are not concerning themselves with it.
  • Many local stations are owned by a big corporation. They should have the corporation create templates of a web site to push down to the local stations. The local stations can then hire people that know the web and maintain the site. They might not have full control over the site, but they could create ads, graphics, and modify any scripts or HTML needed. This would lessen the amount of staff for each station to hire, while big changes could happen with the developers at the corporate headquarters.

I think the main reason local television stations are not putting more importance on their web site is because they don’t see it as a threat. With sites like YouTube, people are starting to get used to watching video on the internet. Advertising is moving to the web. Newspapers understand that video and the web is their only saving grace in coming years, so they have the advantage over any local television station now and in the coming years.

Another reason is the fact the stations prefer to put out there news 3 times a day, once in the morning, 5/6pm and 9/10pm at night. Occasionally they will interrupt a show or insert a quick news brief throughout the day, but live in a 24-hour news world. They are going to have to learn that putting news on their web site is not competing with themselves but giving people another method to access it.

The last reason would have to be staffing, but it really doesn’t take that big of a staff to maintain a site. Many local newspaper sites get by with about 2 or 3 people dedicated to creating ads, html, css, javascript, minor coding and graphics. Most television web sites look like they should be hosted on fortunecity.com so it’s no wonder not many people are not using their sites. They are ugly, take forever to load, have too many graphics, blink all over the place and lack any kind of interactivity. In a day and age when throwing up a free open source PHP forum, CMS, blog, wiki is so cheap, you would think they would.

Unfortunately I think they will continue to ignore the web, similar to how the newspapers saw the web several years back.

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