With plenty of other alternatives to getting your brand noticed on the internet today, a website still stands to be the most important piece to your digital presence. Yes there’s other options like Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter, and Spotify to get people interested in your band, but they are all only pieces to the puzzle.
No doubt, getting your bandmates together and agreeing to invest some of your hard-earned money into a website is a tough task but it’s not nearly as expensive as it seems. But even if it sucks, here’s why your band needs a website…
1. The Control is All Yours
Everything from the layout of the individual sections to the color scheme is all up to you to decide. With thousands of pre-made themes available on the market nowadays for several different website builders, you can purchase one for as little as $20 that only requires a little bit of changes. You’re only as limited as your coding ability.
With Facebook and other options, you don’t have this control. You’re left with a limited number of customizable sections on your page and if branding is a top priority, then a website should be too.
2. Sell Your Band’s Merch and Keep More Profits
Everybody’s got something to sell, but you’ve got something that everybody actually needs: your talent and your merch!
If you’re fortunate enough to be using WordPress (Yes, I’m very biased towards WordPress, get over it), simply install WooCommerce and get to work adding products. To be quite honest, it is a bit of a learning curve but if you’re able to memorize the circle of fifths, then setting up an eCommerce cart should be a walk in the park.
The easiest-to-start solution for payment processing is PayPal. But if you think you’ll be adding hundreds of products and generating thousands of dollars of revenue per month, I’d suggest something a bit more enterprise-level like Stripe.
In any case, you can create your own customer’s experience from scratch and design it for optimal conversions. If sales aren’t really a part of your brand’s strategy, it’s at least good to know that you’ve set yourself up for success in the future!
3. Convey a Sense of Professionalism
To be honest, that feeling of being able to say, “Visit our website at _________.com” is pretty cool. When you tell people to visit your Facebook page, it’s still much more work for them to remember the name of your band, let alone the URL. Plus, Facebook gives you the default ugly URL that people definitely aren’t going to remember.
Even if someone doesn’t remember your band name 100%, if they give it a quick Google, your website should pop up near the top. If not, you may need a little help with your SEO, but I’ll leave that for another section.
When it comes to making show posters or distributing content, your URL will undoubtedly be simpler than using any of the other applications. When space becomes a factor, those fewer characters come in handy.
4. Help With Your SEO
Search engine optimization is an entire field of study that constantly evolves, but you don’t really need much SEO knowledge to make an impact. As long as you generate pages on your website of VALUABLE CONTENT that people want to engage with, the rankings will come.
You might be thinking, “Why do I need SEO if I’m in a band?” which is a fair question. I’m not saying to go out an hire an SEO freelancer, but optimize your meta information and make your website easy for users to find what they’re looking for and you’ll make an impact.
But if you ask the same question to another band, they might really need SEO. Some bands thrive on playing local bar shows on a consistent basis, and bars are looking for bands! Where do you think the first place a bar or venue owner will go to search? Google! Let’s say you’re a cover band in Bucks County, then include that phrase a couple times throughout your site and create valuable content around that phrase and the rankins will come.
Below is my band’s search engine results. Despite only have the site for about 6 months, we were able to outrank our Bandcamp, Facebook, and Twitter page. Plus, in the knowledge graph on the right side, we were able to get our music listed. Pretty cool, right?!
5. Central Hub for All Marketing Efforts
One of the most overlooked aspects of any digital presence is a good list of emails. Throw a “Sign Up For Our Newsletter” contact form on your website to begin collecting emails automatically. Bonus points if you create a pup-up for it. My band’s site doesn’t have anything fancy, but it does yield us a few signups per month (see screenshot). Even when you’re playing a show, keep a clip board at your merch table and use some of your fine salesmanship to get people to sign up.
In addition to email marketing and SEO, your content marketing will be made far easier. Since music is your primary content, I recommend choosing your favorite platform and embedding it onto your site. My band uses Bandcamp but another popular one is Spotify. Whether or not you want to share your music for free is up to you, but if you’re a newer band I’d definitely recommend it.
If you’re not sure how to design a sign, just KEEP IT SIMPLE!
If there’s nothing else you take from this blog, let it be that your website doesn’t need to be the absolute best on the market. As long as there are some photos, contact information, embedded music (or at least links to them), and information on upcoming shows, you’re off to a great start.
Bands in the Philadelphia area are encouraged to reach out to me if you’re in need of a new or redesigned website. Please shoot me a Tweet or leave a comment on this blog and I’ll try to help as best I can!