To Get Targetted Traffic To Your Music Website (With No Money
Everyone now knows that if you are an artist
or you play in a band that it is imperative you have a website.
It is now considered the norm and a nice place to refer existing
and potential fans. However, an artist website that sits in cyberspace
and gets visited only after bands mention their web address on
stage is a website that is not utilizing the Internet's full potential.
A poorly promoted website can be like a tree falling in the forest.
It may look stunning, have all the bells and whistles but if nobody
can find it then it is a waste of time in my view. I want to tell
you how you can get a good steady flow of regular targeted traffic
to your artist website without spending a dime. Of course there
is some work to do but it will be your time and not your dollars
that you will be giving up.
You have no doubt heard about reciprocal link trading. This is
something that has existed since the dawn of the Internet. Essentially
this is where one website links to another. All very simple. However,
most webmasters don't utilize the full benefit of link trading
and for the most part the trade is a waste of time. Let's talk
about how to do it right. There are two reasons you should trade
links with other websites:
1) To get a stream of targeted traffic to your site from external
2) To fuel the search engines and rank your site higher.
You should only trade links with websites that are relevant to
your website. For instance, if your music is categorized in the
punk genre then you should of course target websites that are
common to that theme. If you are a new age artist there may be
many more sites you might target; spiritual bookstores, yoga and
so on. Get creative and ask yourself "Who out there in
cyberspace would like my music and where do they hang out?".
Use keywords in Google or any other search engine to find sites
to trade with. Not all sites will trade, especially corporate
commercial sites, ezines etc. Many will however and you should
propose a trade via e-mail if a site invites link exchanges. The
easiest sites to trade links with will be other band sites, so
you should do that first. You must make sure that the websites
that you trade links with have a clearly viewable link from their
home page to their links page. It should say "links"
or "resources" or "sites we like" and so on.
You shouldn't link with any site that has a links page that can't
be found. After all what good is it to you?
To really get the benefit of this marketing tool you should start
a simple link directory. Think of your links directory as a mini-yahoo
portal, of course the links will only be relevant to your visitors.
Write down a list of categories, and add new categories as you
build your directory. For example, let's say your music is "classic
rock". Your categories might be:
1) Classic rock bands 2) Classic rock ezines 3) Classic rock heroes
4) Reviews 5) Music biz resources 6) Other cool links, and so
Whatever genre your music is in you can customize your categories
to fit. Get creative. OK, Now I want to explain something of huge
importance and will make ALL the difference when you trade links
with other sites. You must tell webmasters exactly how to display
your link. Let me give you an example. Let's now assume you
are part of a progressive rock group called "Motormouth".
Here is the right way and wrong way to display the link:
Progressive rock from four piece band out of Denver, Colorado
Motormouth - the coolest of all progressive
Based out of Denver Colorado, this four piece band are taking
the US by storm
Example #2 is the preferred way to display your link. Not all
websites will allow this (especially directories) but you should
push for this where possible. Let me explain why. Search engines
are now giving more relevance to websites based on how their link
is displayed on external sites, compared to any text residing
on their own domain. If for example your band plays progressive
rock then you should take advantage of your biggest keyword and
include it as part of your link title. As a surfer, if I was interested
in progressive rock I might go to Google and type "Progressive
rock bands". Now if you look at example two above the
keyword "progressive rock bands" is part of the
link title. Keep in mind that it will not help so much to include
the singular "progressive rock band" in the link
title. The singular keyword "band" is different
from "bands" you understand? Web surfers would
probably not type "progressive rock band" in
Google because they might be looking for more than one.
Results will vary so think about your strongest keyword and how
surfers might find you - then get that keyword somehow in your
After trading a good amount of links search engines will warm
to your site and start returning your results extremely high in
its results, depending on keyword competition. This should give
you a nice flow of traffic from those websites you have traded
links with and many many more from search engines when surfers
enter your keyword. Please believe me when I tell you that
artists and groups are NOT doing this right now and it is
a simple procedure that will take just a little discipline and
some time on your part. As I mentioned before, make sure that
the website you are trading with displays your link the way you
need it displayed. The best way to do this is to give them html
code that they can copy and paste. Using example two above your
html code might look like this:
target="_blank">Motormouth - the coolest of all progressive
rock bands</a></b> <br> Based out of Denver
Colorado, this four piece band are taking the US by storm.
When requesting a link trade be courteous and professional. Remember
that you must target relevant sites only (otherwise search engines
will penalize you). If you want to get into this a little deeper
you might download the free google
toolbar which will display a pagerank (from 1 to 10) every
time you visit a web page. When you trade a link with a website
that has a high pagerank (IE: 4 or 5 and above) this will serve
you better in return. The page that displays your link should
in itself be pageranked (not just the site's home page) in a perfect
world. However, I do think that user relevance should take precedence
over pagerank in this instance.
Lastly, if you want to go even deeper and manage your links directory
in a highly effective way I suggest you buy some incredible software
(now called IBP). I use this and it has tripled my traffic
and therefore product sales. I created the A&R
Online band directory using this as well as four other website
link directories. It allows you to check on a regular basis whether
other sites are still linking back to you, enabling you to remove
any broken links or contact those sites to repair etc. etc. It
manages your link database brilliantly and will even generate
the html web pages at the click of a button. It makes a pretty
dull chore actually quite fun. Costs around 100 bucks. Money well
spent if you want to really drive targeted traffic to your band
site. If you are serious about your music career I can't recommend
this software highly enough.
Oh, one more thing. Make sure you capitalize on the traffic that
you start receiving! Rather than expect visitors to come sailing
through and buy your CD, make sure that on your home page there
is an incentive for them to subscribe to your band newsletter.
You must get their e-mail address and build your mailing
list as you can market direct to them later on. Give them a huge
incentive. Again get creative. If they have come to you from a
"progressive rock bands" keyword typed in a search
engine, give them what they want! Perhaps offer them a free eBook
with articles, news and photos of your 10 favorite progressive
rock heroes when they subscribe to your list. Of course your
band is on the front page of the eBook right? You should be marketing
yourself first but if you are unknown you should piggy back off
| Chris Standring
is the CEO and founder of A&R Online (www.aandronline.com).
He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed to
Ultimate Vibe Recordings. For more info on Chris' recording
career go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com
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