There are a number of technical things one can still do to have a higher presence in Google and other search engines. But, unless you're really into playing search engine games, most of the time it's better to set up your site correctly and then focus on creating and sharing content, such as pics and blog posts, in addition to your musical activities. Jennifer Ha recently shared 7 tips from SearchEngineLand's Matt McGee to improve your search presence without chasing the constantly shifting details of Google's math. One in particular, "strive to be the authority in your space," sounds a bit odd for a musician but may actually provide a way to create a Google-worthy site that your fans will enjoy.
Don't Chase The Algorithm
The title to Jennifer Ha's Post at Federated Media, "Don't Chase the Algorithm," is an ideal mantra both for those just getting into search engine optimization (SEO) for music sites and for those with more experience. To me it speaks of avoiding the ongoing obsession with every tweak of Google's algorithm to focus on the bigger picture of what you're trying to create.
I really believe you could get by on the technical side by digging in once a month at Search Engine Land, identifying trends via headlines and then digging into the stuff that seems to be getting everybody worked up. If your site keeps up with basic best practices, you really don't have to do a lot of technical stuff to stay current.
Your main focus should be communicating with your fans. However you do that, you should include sharing meaningful news updates and content like behind-the-scenes pics that your fans will want to check out and share.
As it turns out, organizing your site to suit your visitors and giving them meaningful content in addition to music and music videos, is the kind of thing that Google wants to see and so does Facebook.
Be The Authority On Your Own Act
In Jennifer Ha's interview with Matt McGee she closes with "7 Tactical Steps" for improving your site's SEO. They're all good, basic technical tips worth checking out.
But the first, "Strive to be the authority in your space, and publish consistently," sounds like the kind of thing that a business person or wannabe thought leader might be more concerned with than would a musician.
However, I think the idea of making your official website the "authority" on your act is actually a great way to get yourself organized. When you look at it that way, then all the various components of a site make more sense and the possibility of content beyond the everyday becomes easier to imagine.
Becoming the authority on your own act can mean a number of things. For example, if your site is well-organized with multiple sections of content, news and events, it may mean that not only will your official site come up first in searches for your band's name but that Google will do that nice mini-directory to internal pages that they do for sites like Search Engine Land.
Add a Wikipedia entry, which Google will put in the sidebar of results, and you're dominating the section of initial results folks will first encounter.
Becoming the authority on your own act can also mean taking content to another level. For example, one could include song lyrics and stories behind the songs. Perhaps you have visual material that relates to those lyrics or stories. This could make for a meaningful addition to your site that is also quite unique.
So, rather than chasing that algorithm, try becoming the authority on your own act instead and see what it does not only for your search presence but for your relationship with your fans.
[Thumbnail image courtesy John Trainor.]
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.