You may be the next big thing at your local open mic night, but the reality is that until your music gets “discovered” on the Internet, you won’t be able to get any traction as a musician. Making sure you have a musical presence on the Web is a little more involved than posting a link to your YouTube channel on Facebook- you need a website, title tags and a meta description, relationships with influential bloggers, and more. Here’s your guide to SEO for musicians so that you can go from garage band to viral sensation.
- Perfect your product. Your song or video is a reflection of you as an artist, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Take the time to make sure that you’re completely satisfied with the product you’re releasing- you can’t redo a first impression.
- It’s all in a name. Once you’ve chosen your band’s name or artist moniker, stick with it. If your name has a double meaning or shares words with other common words or phrases, make sure you identify yourself on your website and social profiles (for example, “Coffee Mugs (Band)”).
- Create your website. Your website acts as your one-stop shop for fans to find everything about you in one place- your music, merch, tour dates, news, contact info, lyrics, and more. Choose a domain name that’s close to your band name so that fans can easily find you, and make sure to include your band name in your title tags, meta descriptions, and descriptive image alt text. Update your site frequently with fresh, fun content; ask yourself what you would like to see from your favorite artist for inspiration, and mix that with keyword research on the terms that are being searched in your genre, your city, your band name, and more.
- Host your music strategically. There are tons of music hosting sites out there, so make sure you’re putting your music on the sites that are best for your genre and style. Soundcloud, YourListen, and Bandcamp are good starting points. And of course, don’t forget YouTube (even if you don’t have a music video)-YouTube is the second-biggest search engine in the world, after all.
- Socialize. Create social media accounts for your band and update them regularly, using trending and relevant hashtags to gain followers. Link to and share music that you like as well as your own music, and show off your personality through image-based channels such as Instagram. Remember, offering free music is the best way to get people’s attention, and it’s best to build your fan base BEFORE asking them for money.
- Get bloggers’ attention. Music blogs are always looking for the next big thing, so reach out to influential bloggers with your music, your website, and a short bio of yourself and your sound. If you build a relationship with bloggers, you’ll have a reliable channel to promote your music in the future.
- Be local. Many musicians are synonymous with their hometowns, so make sure you’re locally relevant by spreading your music to local music blogs and promoters, using your location in your meta tags, and using local SEO to boost your local profile.
Bonus tip? Aspiring rappers may want to look for a well-known producer to sell their beats at a discount so that you can take advantage of a well-known name; similarly, up-and-coming hip hop producers should seek well-known rappers willing to hop on a track for a discount. Aspiring singers should consider recording covers of popular songs that show off your vocal talent while catching people’s eyes- or ears. When you’re trying to make it as a musician, your music is only one part of the equation. By using some digital marketing for music and SEO tips for musicians, you’ll make it much easier for your future fans to discover you online and spread the word about how awesome your new single is. Rock on.