We’ve written many times about website essentials for musicians. More often than not, though, those articles have focused on what’s essential for YOU, the artist, in order to turn web visits into sales, subscribes, and shares: things like email capture widgets, clear calls-to-action, a music store, etc.
But web traffic is more than just a stat; it’s people!!! And people expect to find what they’re looking for when they visit your website.
So what ARE your fans looking for from your band website?
1. Your best music — Don’t make people have to work for it, or hunt around on other music sites, or guess at what tracks are your “hit singles.” There should be an obvious music player on your site that streams a handful of your best songs. Oh, and shut the auto-play function OFF! Continue Reading . . .
Your band website shouldn’t be a point of departure
I visited a band’s website the other day to see what they’d been up to this summer. I didn’t really NEED any specific info; I was just curious and figured I’d pay a visit. After no more than ten seconds on their site I closed the tab in frustration. Why?
I’m glad you asked. Here’s why: the website consisted almost entirely of a landing page with a background image and the band name — and then the only other “content” was a handful of icons that linked me to Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitter, and Tumblr.
If you don’t see anything wrong with that, walk with me a minute down Analogy Lane
Imagine you’re interviewing for a job, and I’ve done you the courtesy of showing up at YOUR house to do the interview. Continue Reading . . .
You don’t have to be a Google Analytics wizard in order to put your web traffic data to good use. In fact, by looking at three fairly basic areas of Analytics, you’ll be able to create better content that resonates with more viewers.
Just ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. What are the most popular pages or articles on my site?
Google changes things pretty often, so specific terms and placement within the Analytics dashboard may change, but currently you’d find the answer to this question by clicking “Behavior” in the left-hand sidebar, then clicking “Site Content,” then clicking “All Pages.”
From there you can see what sections of your website are performing the best in terms of attracting viewers within a certain date-range (which you can customize at the top of the dashboard). Continue Reading . . .
CD Baby has announced a brand new music player widget (and store) that can be easily embedded on any website (including your HostBaby website). And it’s FREE to use for CD Baby artists. Yay! The new music player is built in HTML5 so it works on mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers. You can build playlists from your CD Baby music and create and save as many players as you like. The player comes in 4 designs that will automatically resize to fit the space you put them, in. You can easily drop the new music player into any page on your HostBaby website, or add it to your sidebar using the code widget in your widget section. Watch the video below to see everything the new player can do. Create your own CD Baby music player in your CD Baby account, here.
I’ve said it many times before: your band website is the most important online marketing tool you have. In fact, your band website matters almost more than anything else. But . . . how do you use your band website to convert casual visitors into fans? Well, people don’t (usually) become fans overnight. (Yes, it’s possible. Someone might experience “love at first website,” but chances are you will need to wine-and-dine your visitors before they start taking you out to lunch and buying everything you release. In order to do this, you’ll need to make sure that your website is modern and intuitive, has easy email capture features, displays fresh content, and connects with your audience. Here’s a quick checklist that will help.
1. Make sure your website is modern and intuitive
Your website should be a website. Seems obvious right? But many artists get this wrong. A Facebook or Bandcamp page is not a website. Any 4rth grader can set up a Facebook profile and abandon it two days later. You need your own domain name (www.YOU.com) and your own multi-page site. A professional music website (like the ones we offer at HostBaby) is the very first step to impressing potential fans and letting people know that you’re serious about your music.
Continue Reading . . .
“Repurpose” is a bit of a business-y term, but when it comes to the pictures you post online, repurposing can be your best friend — especially if don’t have time to generate more lengthy web content (such as when you’re on tour, in the middle of a creative project, or indisposed).
I bet you’re already in the habit of taking photos and posting them on Facebook and/or Instagram, right? That’s great, but you should be using your best photos in other places on the web too.
Here’s how to make a picture worth more than just a thousand words
1. A good picture can make a great blog post
Often the easiest kind of blog post to publish consists of a single image with just a few sentences of context below it. Luckily for you, intrepid content creator, your fans will love these picture posts. They’re easy to digest and easy to share.
If you’re using a HostBaby or WordPress theme, you can easily upload your photo into the post. If you want to repurpose an image you’ve already shared on Instagram (but have since deleted from your smartphone’s memory), you can either install a WordPress plugin on your site that lets you share Instagram photos simply by pasting the URL into the body of the blog post, or take a good old fashioned screenshot. Continue Reading . . .
Let’s face it. The first time most people encounter your music is going to be online. They could be surfing Spotify, watching YouTube, or shopping on iTunes. They might see your band mentioned on Facebook or Twitter. They might see an event invite, a blog review, an article, an ad. There are infinite ways to encounter new music online. Even if a person first encounters your music, by chance, in the real world–on a show poster, or at a concert or a club–chances are they wont hesitate to pull out their smartphones to find out more about your music. This is why your web presence is more important than almost any other aspect of your career. And at the center of your web presence, is your website.
Your website is what people look for after they’ve heard your catchy tune, seen a concert poster, or stumbled across a raving review on a blog or social media website. Your website is the absolute best place for a new or potential fan to learn about you and your music. Your website is the place where the magic happens. It’s where potential fans make the decision to go to your next concert or write you off, listen to your newest album or listen to something else instead. Your website has the power to make a huge difference in your music career.
Continue Reading . . .
The art of website photography
Often the secret recipe for an awesome artist website is a perfect background or banner photo. But most photos aren’t really suited for the purpose of being a website backdrop. Most photos have a lot going on in them: dozens of colors, patterns, textures, animals, people, etc. These things can be distracting from your website content. And trying to crop, stretch, or photoshop a photo so it works with your website is a lot of work that may-or-may-not turn out very well.
That’s why it’s important to start taking photos with your website in mind. Start composing with your eyes before you hit the shutter button. Or if you’re not taking the photo, let your photographer know that you need pictures that leave lots of room for website content. Explain exactly what you need. When taking website photos, think about where your band name or logo is going to be. Think about where your content is going to be positioned. And think about what colors are going to work best with your website. Then start taking photos that accommodate your website needs.
Here are ten tips for taking photos with your website in mind:
Continue Reading . . .