How Musicians Can Benefit From SEO
If you have any hope of being found via a Google search, Search Engine Optimization is key. That said, SEO works differently for bands and artists than it does for other organizations like businesses and bloggers. Here we look at how.
Guest Post by Eric Brantner
If you want to be found in Google results, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential. But does SEO work for bands like it works for small businesses and bloggers?
The short answers is yes, bands can definitely benefit from SEO, but they have to formulate their keywords differently than most SEO practitioners would.
Do people search for bands on Google?
Usually when people look for a service or product on Google, they type something like "best car repair" or “car repair reviews." Businesses create content around those keywords.
But when people search for music, they don’t type in “best ska bands,” unless they’re trying really hard to impress someone who’s into ska music (is anyone into ska anymore?). People usually discover a band via word of mouth or social media, and then Google the name of the band to learn more about them or find out if they have any upcoming concerts in the area.
How musicians should approach keyword research
When bands are deciding what keywords they should use in their SEO strategy, they need to think about what people would realistically type into a Google search. For example, if the name of your band is Mashed Potatoes, a person might type in “mashed potatoes tour dates.” If one of your songs is called “Gravy,” a fan might type in “gravy lyrics.”
Once you decide on keywords that will work for your band, you can build content around those keywords just like any other business or blogger would. Check out this beginner’s guide to SEO, if you’re not sure how to get started.
You also might want to think about keywords when you choose a name for your band. The more unique your band name is, the more likely it is that your website will appear in the top search results. For instance, if your band name really is Mashed Potatoes, your website might get washed out by food bloggers and recipe websites in a Google search. But if your band name is something unusual like, Mr. MacGee and the Potato Mashers, you have a better chance of coming up as the top search result. That means people looking for your band will have an easier time finding you.
Link building for musicians
Link building is another SEO technique that involves getting other websites to link to your website. The more websites link to your content, the higher you will rank in Google’s search results, and the more traffic you’ll receive.
As a musician, you can build links by reaching out to music bloggers and asking if they will give you a shout-out and include a link to your website. You also might want to try doing interviews with music websites, and asking the interviewer to include a link to your website in the write-up.
Is a website even necessary if a band is active on social media?
Let’s back up for just a minute and talk about why websites are necessary for bands. Many musicians think if they have a Facebook page, a YouTube account, and an active Instagram, they don’t actually need a website. But if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
One of those opportunities is the whole point of this article: SEO. Although Facebook pages and YouTube videos can come up in Google searches, these sites really don’t give you the opportunity to build SEO content around your branded keywords. Having your own website will greatly increase the chances that you will get more traffic via Google searches.
Having your own website also makes you look professional and helps you attract more business. A website serves as a centralized location for concert schedules and new music releases, so your fans can more easily keep up with you and continue to purchase your music and concert tickets. Venues will also be more likely to book you for a gig if they can visit your website to get all the information they might want to know about you.
Bands and blogging
So you know you need a website, and you know you need to search engine optimize it, but what about adding a blog? Is a blog really necessary for a band?
Well, you might not need a so-called “traditional” blog, in which you write a narrative about what happened at your last show, or present your esoteric thoughts on a particular music genre, but some kind of blog can be extremely helpful for a musician’s website.
Blogging helps your SEO because Google gives preference to websites that regularly post new content. You can use your blog to add new keywords people might be searching for. For example, people might do a Google search for “Mr. MacGee and the Potato Mashers show in Houston TX,” if they want to get tickets for your Houston show. You can easily write a short post announcing that show and including all the necessary information. When this blog post comes up in a Google search, it will direct more traffic to your website.
A blog is also a great way to post in-depth band news, as opposed to social media, which is made for short snippets. With a blog you can go into detail about a new tour, a new album, or even a new member of your band. These types of blog posts make fans feel more connected with you, so they will continue to follow you and purchase your music.
It’s a business
As a musician, you probably think of yourself primarily as an artist. But in order to succeed, you have to be a businessperson too. SEO is a necessary part of today’s business environment, even if not everyone does it the same way. Personalize your SEO to suit your needs, and you’ll be able to grow your audience like never before.
Eric Brantner has been a digital marketer and blogger for over a decade. He shares what he has learned along the way on Scribblrs.com. In his free time, he plays his Gibson SG through a Marshall JCM 900.