Increase Your Website Traffic with Real-World Techniques

Band Website on T-ShirtIt's easy to forget how connected the virtual world and the real world actually are. After all, we live in both. And that's exactly why you should never limit your online marketing to just "online." It's time to turn off your computer, roll up your sleeves, and generate some web traffic in the real world.

(Ahem. Before we begin, I mention 'QR codes' a few times in this list. QR codes are a new way to connect fans with your website and online content using a mobile phone. See this post to learn about QR codes.)

And without further adieu, here are 10 great ways to bring your offline fans to your website:

1. Create a domain name (www.YourName.com) that is easy to say, spell, and remember. Kinda a no-brainer, but a very common mistake. If your artist name is hard to say or spell, consider buying a simplified domain name. This will make it much easier for fans to remember where to find you online.

2. Put your website address on posters. You can also Include a QR code that links to a song on your site.

3. Put your address on the inside of your CD. You can also include a QR code that takes people to your site.

4.Announce a contest at your show that involves visiting your website and signing up to your email list.

5. Create branded matchbooks, lighters, stickers or buttons with your web address and give them away at shows.

6. Film or take pictures of your audience and tell them you're going to upload everything to your website that night (or the next day).

7. Offer an exclusive free single only available to people who visit your website that night.

8. Put your website address on stage. Paint it on your bass drum or put up a banner or poster. This is especially effective if your show is being televised. (I've even seen a band on a late night show use giant QR code placards, so people could put their phones right up to the TV and scan the QR codes).

9. Record your audience singing a song or doing a shout-out. Tell your audience you'll post it on your website for them to download.

10. Carry business cards or download cards in your wallet. Hand them out to anytime you get in a conversation about music. Make sure your web address and/or a QR code is included.

Have you tried bringing people offline, online? What techniques have you used? Leave your suggestions in the comments below?

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20 comments to Increase Your Website Traffic with Real-World Techniques

  • where as it’s a good idea to put your websites on t-shits and posters, this method does not bring traffic.  most people do not bother to write down your websites from off t-shirts. instead, people much rather receive a link to your website, or quite frankly have your wesite poped up in front of them on google.  hey, this is my opinion.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsVsGdItAvs&feature=related

  • I dunno, I’ve looked in the back of a CD to find a band website plenty of times. Advertising your website also tells people that you have an active web presence–which may make people more inclined to look you up.

  • Ha! You should try making your own band soap :)

    Chris B

  • Well, I’d start by putting a link to your website in this post. LOL. But seriously marketing your music is hard and music is a super saturated market. So even if you have really good music you also have to have really good marketing. Have you gotten much love on blogs or magazines? You might try getting some reviews on some tastemaker blogs and see if that creates some buzz and music buying. Check out this free eBook “How to Really Get Your Music on Blogs”

    http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2011/09/how-to-really-get-your-music-on-blogs/

  • Awesome. Smart think’n

    Chris B

  • Jon Patton

    I think Phase is suggesting that the people who don’t have any idea who you are won’t bother remembering the URL; and if they don’t know who you are, they aren’t likely to be interested and look you up later.

    Right now, I think QR codes are enough of a curiosity that some people will scan them just because they get to play with a new toy. Make sure there’s something good on the other end of the QR code to reward this curiosity… It might not last for long.

  • Jon Patton

    You can take advantage of mobile phones by giving out something in the middle of your set that encourages people to go to the web site and get something (preferably something that involves signing up for your mailing list). I’ve found that almost without exception, not matter how interested someone is, they will forget you the next morning or even by the time they get home. Even the people who come up to you afterward, ask for your card, and say they want to know where to buy your music online because they don’t have any cash – they will not remember to do it.

  • Great tips, and I use pretty much all of them except for the new QR code, which I am working on now.

    I have met tons of bands at the clubs, and they never have CDs, flyers or business cards with them….bad move. Every time I hit the clubs, I have everything with me. I give the DJs CDs (they love that), put flyers, business cards and stickers in the bathrooms or on promo counters in the club (ask for permission first or they might throw them out), and I always dress like I am onstage so that people will come up to me and ask questions or start conversations, such as “are you in a band?”. Then I pull out the business cards, flyers and stickers to give to them.

    Yes, a lot of clubbers forget everything the next day, but if they empty their pockets and see a business card with your website address on it, while they are recovering from their hangover, they might check out your website.

    One of the best promo tools I have used and gotten results from, is getting online mags to write up articles on my band. Most of the writers are freelancers and it you send them photos and a few MP3 (free) downloads, they will put together a great article and get you tons of free promo. Just find out what mags are hot in your genre, then hit them up. Practically all of them will write up an article on your for free.

    As far as putting stickers on the soap dispensers, toilets, etc…..just be careful. Some clubs frown upon that, so do it discreetly, and if asked about it, just say your fans must have put them there. Some clubs thrive on having band stickers plastered all over their walls. It gives the club a real “band” feel and they like that……but if you don’t see stickers on the walls, don’t put them up or you may be banned from the club.

    I hope some of these tips help. Feel free to check out my websites and social pages to see what Lthrboots is up to…..and if you love the music, buy/download the CDs, and/or leave feedback and comments in iTunes.

    Lthrboots (Jerry)

    Official Website – http://www.Lthrboots.com
    YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/Lthrboots?feature=mhee
    Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lthrboots/139779815579?sk=app_2405167945
    Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/Lthrboots
    iTunes – http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/domination/id457627563

  • A simple thing: TALK to people… About just anything.
    It’s up to your personality how much you would like to talk to strangers, but why not hit up a conversation with the person sitting beside you on the train, bus, flight?It happened with me that I helped a foreigner with the directions at the train station and we started to talk a bit about his visit in town etc – and ended up changing business cards. Later that day we bumped into each other somehow – and he bought a CD from me right on the spot!Or I was negotiating with someone about taking a non-music related project and he checked out my website as a reference for my English – and fell in love with my voice, now he is spreading it to his contacts who deal with bookings.The same thing: talking about another non-music related project – and the person who checked out my website for my English again, turned out to be a music producer.Simple, casual conversations while you are waiting in line, or sitting on a bench, waiting for your girl and you kill your time with talking to the person sitting next to you, etc.  Beside your own level of talkativeness and communication skills, this might or might not be easy, depending on the culture, the social climat of the country/city/village – but believe me, this works even in one of the world’s probably most closed, un-friendly  and non-communicative places, Stockholm in cold Sweden. Important: DON’T just talk with them with the intention of promoting YOURSELF! People will pick up on this and will not appreciate it. But if they perceive you as a genuinely nice person, if you are interested in THEM, if you look at what could YOU do for them, they will want to stay in contact with you. Don’t just expect them to ask for your business card with the deepest awe when they hear you are a singer/musician…Happy talking,Andrea Gerakhttp://www.andreagerak.com

  • Thanks for sharing the great tips.

  • Andy Mason

    Play Live dude……

  • As a working musician and singer/songwriter, I’ve considered ordering a custom magnetic sign or decals for my vehicle to promote myself and my website.  My fear is that this attention-getter also puts instruments and equipment potentially at risk of theft when I’m traveling and loading/unloading alone.  Obviously, the magnetic sign can be removed, which means that it too can be stolen. Any thoughts?  http://www.philkingtunes.com

  • Sounds like a cool idea Phil. Just remove the sign when your car is full of equipment. If you think of something real clever to say you might entice people to check out your site out of curiosity. i.e. ‘There’s something special at http://www.yoursite.com

    (but maybe not so cheesy though).

    Chris

  • Jen of a Kind

    Filming audience members is a great idea, but bands should get location releases and have signs posted that alert all audience members that they are being filmed.  It’s no good to have the venue owner, manager, etc. come after you because you didn’t get permission to use images of their venue on film or in photos.  Also, it only takes one “bad apple” audience member who didn’t want to be on camera to ruin your day.  Talk to an entertainment lawyer who can inform you of your obligations when filming in public and who can also set you up with standard release forms you’ll need so you don’t get into trouble while trying to promote your music.

    Check out http://www.jenkennedylaw.com  Great entertainment law firm with knowledgeable, friendly lawyers who can help you out.
     

  • I liked LthrBoots comments, especially with his sense of humor, and I agree with him: “Great tips, and I use pretty much all of them except for the new QR code, which I am working on now.”  Now I’m going to go check out the websites that a few people left with their comments!  And here’s mine :D  http://lisamonetmusic.com/

  • One of my videos is featuring on AOL.com right now, “Lisa Haley, Chicken Fiddler.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHKUzjggg4) How do I make the best use of this to promote my band, Lisa Haley & the Zydekats?

  • Does anyone have any experience in SEO as an independent artist without having to pay an extreme amount of money for an SEO Company to do it?  I am trying to get my YouTube channel to add more subscribers?
    http://www.youtube.com/leahburkey
    Thanks!

  • “Bringing people offline, online”! What a fantastic idea! Going to write this song now! :)

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