I’ve looked through hundreds 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 several simple techniques to designing an internet site that serves its purpose. You can find 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 are selling yourself short. So let’s get started with 12 hot tips on tips on how to turn your website into a money maker.
1. KIS. Keep it simple. Websites shouldn’t be flashy. You can try to impress people who have killer graphics and dazzling animation, but whatever you are doing is limiting the number of fans who will visit your website. I can’t tell you how many times I stopped attempting to surf a website that opened up with some fancy FLASH or gave you a blank page with a pop-up. That’s popular with the Major Labels, but more surfers find it essential to use pop-up stoppers because way 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. Place 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 website, and 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 niche. In the event that you play death metal music, cater each page to that style of music. Submit your site to those websites that connect to that market. Exchange links with bands in your niche 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 phone number, a mailing address, fax number when 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 your site, along with your email. Offer the substitute for send from a 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 planet does not. Most of those that don’t, don’t want to have to wait two minutes for the graphics to load. Optimize your graphics so they are under 30k, and your visitors will be even happier together with your band when they reach the music and information in an acceptable amount of time.
6. Add a newsletter. If you don’t 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 join 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 excited about learning more about YOU. Use RSS feeds to easily enable subscription to your latest news.
7. Regularly Add content. People need 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 which means that your visitors will want to keep coming back again and again.
8. Get a domain name. I know you don’t desire 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 these days.
9. Use META Tags. It appears that more and more people are forgetting to utilize META tags on their webpages. Despite the fact that search engines no more weigh them heavily within their algorithms, they are still used to determine how well your website will rank.
10. Make it an easy task to accept payment. If you don’t take credit cards on your own website, you’re losing sales! You may still find a lot of great methods to accept payment through credit cards. Paypal, for example, permits you to setup a simple customizable store on your website, and best of all they only take a very minuscule little bit of the sale. Customers need not have a Paypal account to order.
11. Content, Content, Content. If you have 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 since it as ever was. Good content on your website will sell your music products. This might mean streaming or downloadable MP3s, articles about your style of music, reviews of bands playing your style of music, or great ad copy which will sell your products. Great content is why is a great website. If you have information or resources that are useful, you’ll develop repeat visitors. This can ultimately result in more sales.
12. Put in a Links page. Many websites require you to add a reciprocal link from your website to become added to theirs. Make sure you setup a links page to trade links with other websites.