So you built your beautiful website about your band. You have some MP3s uploaded, you have your show date calendar, and maybe some biographies and photos posted.
Operating under the assumption that you are in local garage band that plays a gig or two every few months, you are going to have a daunting task. Since you are a “no-namer” no one is going to be looking for you. You’ll have to get a supply of fresh traffic who would be interested in your music, but that has not yet heard of you. Prepare yourself, building your site was only the first step. The hard work has yet to begin.
First off, let’s take a look at your website – Is it graphically heavy? Is your website primarily using flash? Loading content in frames or pop ups? Do you have graphical splash screens, or indecipherable or hard to find navigation?
If so, scrap it – It will be one of the most difficult websites to promote.
Instead, use clean HTML, text based links, and HTML text where ever possible. If you are trying to promote yourself, it is best to not block search engine spiders and users with slower machines. This is not to say you can’t doll-up your site a bit, after all, you are an artist, but tone it down. Wait until you are a bigger name to do the fancy stuff.
Now, you have rebuilt your site, right? Okay, your are using clean HTML, going lighter on the graphics and tighter on the text.
Now take a look at your content. Make sure your pages include
Okay – now it’s time to get to work.
Trade links with other websites
Trading links is a valuable tool when it comes to website promotion. Build a links page and place a link to it in your current navigation. Include links to sites you like, and bands you like, naturally. Here is the kicker. Send and email to the webmaster of the sites you are linking too. Ask them if they will put a link back to your website in exchange. Trading with musicians of a similar niche can generate a new stream of surfers who have an interest in the type of music you play.
Link trades also are valuable for scoring points in the search engines. Google and Yahoo both use links as factors in determining how relevant a site is to a search query. Having many websites of similar style pointing back at you can help boost your rankings.
If you make it a goal to get one new quality reciprocal link a day, you should be getting a steady stream of traffic from interested surfers within months.
Submit to Directories
Submit your website to categorized directories. One of the largest directories that can positively influence your rankings is DMOZ. It’s worthwhile to submit to the appropriate category. If your website meets their guidelines, and human editor makes a decision of whether to include it or not. Sometimes this can take up to 6 monthes to get reviewed, and timespans of over 2 years are not uncommon. In one case, the band Shamelady was listed 5 days after submission, but this is a rarity.
Submitting to specialized local and niche directories are also a valuable source of linkbacks and traffic.
Write a press release about your newest band news. Include it both on your websites, and submit it to other news oriented sites such as Music Industry News Network . These often get re-published by other outlets and help spread your name.
Persistence and Consistence
Promoting your website is much like getting gigs. You must maintain a level of persistency and consistency. Your hard work will pay off in the long run, there is no such thing as a short cut to success