I’ve looked through a huge selection of band websites, from the professional sites designed by high-tech designers to the free sites you’ll find at MySpace or Facebook. From this research, I’ve learned a few simple techniques to designing a website that serves its purpose. There are two purposes to every band website: first, to market your band; and second, to market your CDs or digital downloads. If your website does any less, you’re selling yourself short. So let’s get started with 12 hot tips on how one can turn your website into a money maker.
1. KIS. Keep it simple. Websites should not be flashy. You can try to impress people with killer graphics and dazzling animation, but whatever you are doing is limiting the amount of fans who will visit your site. I can’t tell you just how many times I stopped trying to surf a website that opened up with some fancy FLASH or gave you a blank page with a pop-up. That’s favored by the Major Labels, but more surfers think it is essential to use pop-up stoppers because too many people use pop-ups to deliver SPAM.
2. Use consistent navigation. It generally does not ultimately matter where you put your navigation bar, but be consistent. Stick it at the side or the surface of the page and give it fast and simple access. Also realize that search engines need clear and easy paths if they’re going to navigate your website, and search engine traffic is something every website should make an effort to gain.
3. Know your market. You can’t be all things to all people, so focus on a niche. If you play death metal music, cater each page compared to that style of music. Submit your site to those websites that connect to that market. Exchange links with bands in your market.
4. Include your contact information. Exactly like with regular press kits, your website should be packed filled with contact information for your band, including a booking phone number, a mailing address, fax number when possible, and an email address. There is nothing more frustrating than having to search a website merely to find the owner’s email. Post your contact info in the bottom of every page of one’s site, along with your email address. Offer the substitute for send from a form AND a hot linked email address easily found on your pages.
5. Keep graphics to reasonable size. I’ve high-speed internet access, but the vast majority of the world does not. Most of those that don’t, don’t want to have to wait two minutes for your graphics to load. Optimize your graphics so that they are under 30k, and your visitors will be even happier together with your band when they get to the music and information in a reasonable amount of time.
6. Add a newsletter. Unless you have a newsletter, you’re selling yourself short. Many people don’t buy immediately. They wait before time is right. Encourage your visitors to join up by offering incentives like free MP3s, discounts on a CD, free ringtones or notification of upcoming gigs. Distribute your newsletter regularly to get your visitors worked up about learning more about YOU. Use RSS feeds to easily enable subscription to your latest news.
7. Regularly Add content. People require a reason to come back to go to you, or they may forget about you. Include regular news updates on your own site, a journal, chat room, or online community. Build a sense of community so that your visitors will want to come back again and again.
8. Get a domain name. I know you don’t want to spend a lot of money on an internet site, but a domain name is essential for any professional band, and you can purchase one as for as little as $10 per year nowadays.
9. Use META Tags. It appears that more and more people are forgetting to use META tags on their webpages. Despite the fact that search engines no more weigh them heavily in their algorithms, they’re still used to determine how well your site will rank.
10. Make it easy to accept payment. Unless you take credit cards on your own website, you are losing sales! You may still find a lot of great methods to accept payment through bank cards. Paypal, for example, lets you setup a simple customizable store on your website, and best of all they only have a very minuscule piece of the sale. Customers do not need to have a Paypal account to order.
11. Content, Content, Content. If you’ve gone http://mp3paw.io to any marketing websites, you should have heard how important relevant content is for the website. This remains as important now as it as ever was. Good content on your website will sell your music products. This may mean streaming or downloadable MP3s, articles about your style of music, reviews of bands playing your look of music, or great ad copy which will sell your products. Great content is why is a great website. When there is information or resources which are useful, you’ll develop repeat visitors. This will ultimately result in more sales.
12. Add a Links page. Many websites require you to add a reciprocal link from your website to become added to theirs. Ensure you setup a links page to trade links with other websites.