I’ve looked through a huge selection of band websites, from the professional sites created by high-tech designers to the free sites you will discover 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 sell 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 with 12 hot tips on ways to turn your website 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 all you are doing is limiting the number of fans who will visit your site. I can’t tell you 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 popular with the Major Labels, but more surfers think it is necessary to use pop-up stoppers because too many people use pop-ups to deliver SPAM.
2. Use consistent navigation. It doesn’t ultimately matter where you put your navigation bar, but be consistent. Stick it at the side or top 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 internet 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. In the event that you play death metal music, cater each page to that style of music. Submit your site to those websites that link 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 your band, including a booking contact 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 at the bottom of every page of one’s site, along with your email. Offer the substitute for send from a form AND a hot linked email address easily entirely on your pages.
5. Keep graphics to reasonable size. I’ve high-speed internet access, however the vast majority of the world does not. Most of those who don’t, don’t want to wait two minutes for the graphics to load. Optimize your graphics so that they are under 30k, as well as your visitors will be even happier with your band when they reach the music and information in an acceptable 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 until the 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 regularly to get your visitors worked up about learning more about YOU. Use RSS feeds to easily allow for subscription to your latest news.
7. Regularly Add content. People need 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 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 desire to spend big money on a website, but a domain name is essential for any professional band, and you could purchase one as for as little as $10 per year nowadays.
9. Use META Tags. It seems that more and more people 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. If you don’t take credit http://mp3paw.iocards on your website, you are losing sales! You may still find a lot of great ways to accept payment through bank cards. Paypal, for example, lets you setup a straightforward customizable store on your own website, and on top of that 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 been to any marketing websites, you will have heard how important relevant content is for your 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 look of music, reviews of bands playing your look of music, or great ad copy that may sell your products. Great content is what makes a great website. If there is information or resources which are useful, you will develop repeat visitors. This will ultimately result in more sales.
12. Put in a Links page. Many websites require you to add a reciprocal link from your own website to become added to theirs. Be sure to set up a links page to trade links with other websites.