How to Get Targeted Traffic To Your Music Website
With No Money Down
By Chris Standring,
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.
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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 links.
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;
5) Music biz resources;
6) Other cool links, and so on.
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 rock
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 link title.
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:
- the coolest of all progressive rock bands
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 called Arelis. 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
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 piggyback off established stars.
You Think You Want A Record Deal?"
A&R Online Guide to Landing a Recording Contract
by Chris Standring
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