I’ve looked through hundreds of band websites, from the professional sites created by high-tech designers to the free sites you’ll find at MySpace or Facebook. Out of 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 sell your CDs or digital downloads. If your site does any less, you’re selling yourself short. So let’s get started doing 12 hot tips on how one can turn your website right into a money maker.
1. KIS. Keep it simple. Websites should not be flashy. You can test to impress people with killer graphics and dazzling animation, but whatever you are doing is limiting the quantity of fans who will visit your site. I can’t tell you just how many times I stopped trying to surf a website that exposed 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 necessary to use pop-up stoppers because way too many people use pop-ups to provide 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 top of the page and give it quick and easy access. Also realize that search engines need clear and easy paths if they are going to navigate your site, and internet search engine traffic is something every website should try to gain.
3. Know your market. You can’t be all things to all or any people, so focus on a distinct segment. In the event that 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. Just like with regular press kits, your website should be packed full of contact information for the band, including a booking contact number, a mailing address, fax number if possible, and an email address. There is nothing more frustrating than needing to search a website just to find the owner’s email. Post your contact info at the bottom of every page of one’s site, along with your email. Offer the substitute for send from the form AND a hot linked email 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 who don’t, don’t want to have to wait two minutes for the graphics to load. Optimize your graphics so that they are under 30k, and your visitors will undoubtedly be even happier together with your band when they reach 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 folks don’t buy immediately. They wait before time is right. Encourage these potential customers to sign up by offering incentives like free MP3s, discounts on a CD, free ringtones or notification of upcoming gigs. Send out your newsletter on a regular basis 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 visit you, or they may just forget about you. Include regular news updates on your own site, a journal, chat room, or discussion board. Create 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 big money on an internet site, but a domain name is vital for any professional band, and you can purchase one as for less than $10 per year these days.
9. Use META Tags. It appears that increasing numbers of people http://mp3paw.io are forgetting to use META tags on their web pages. Despite the fact that search engines no longer weigh them heavily within their algorithms, they’re still used to find out how well your website 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 ways to accept payment through credit cards. Paypal, for example, lets you setup a straightforward customizable store on your website, and on top of that they only have a very minuscule piece of the sale. Customers need not have a Paypal account to order.
11. Content, Content, Content. If you’ve gone to any marketing websites, you will have heard how important relevant content is for your website. This remains as important now as it as ever was. Good content on your website will sell your music products. This might mean streaming or downloadable MP3s, articles about your look of music, reviews of bands playing your style of music, or great ad copy which will sell your products. Great content is what makes a great website. If you have information or resources which are useful, you’ll develop repeat visitors. This will ultimately result in increased sales.
12. Put in a Links page. Many websites need you to add a reciprocal link from your own website to become added to theirs. Be sure to setup a links page to trade links with other websites.