There’s no denying that social media is an integral part of any musician’s success.
Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, and more are efficient ways to share music with fans and receive feedback. Not to mention, boost an artist’s online presence.The weakness in many musicians’ marketing strategies is that it often starts and ends here.
A website that is well-optimized for SEO brings unique value to musicians in two core ways:
- It serves as a universal ‘artist headquarters’ where fans, press, and booking agents can learn more about and connect with the artist – rather than relying on third parties.
- It offers unmatched customization in presenting his or her image, and is more stable than third party social channels and music streaming apps.
To perform well in Google Search, musician sites need strong content. Looking for content ideas? Check out my top five tips below. Yes, I will be illustrating my points using my favorite Chicago rappers’ websites.
Content Strategy 1: Shows & Events
As straightforward as it sounds, a ‘shows and events page’ is where artists can showcase their upcoming performances and direct fans to where they can buy tickets. From a business standpoint, the more fans that know about an upcoming concert, the more that can come. From an SEO standpoint, this page serves as a linkable asset. Meaning, it’s information likely to be shared on social media platforms and music publication sites – which also helps further promote the event.
Chicago rapper Kanye West promotes his shows directly on his homepage – breaking event information down clearly by event date, city, venue, and ticket-sale site. If you’re a Chicago native as well, you just missed him (or maybe you didn’t!). He performed last week, October 7, as a part of his 2016 Saint Pablo Tour.
Content Strategy 2: Merchandise
Artists’ merchandise pages are where fans can find and buy ‘official’ artist swag, such as hats, hoodies, posters, albums and more. For artists, this means having your own store right on your website, as well as analytics to what type of products are most popular. For fans, it is a way to feel more directly connected an artist they enjoy.
In May 2016, Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper offered 10-packs of posters on his merchandise page. Done to promote his new album, Coloring Book, he encouraged his fans to buy and hang the posters across their city. Not only did these posters sell out, the promotion drove tons more traffic and backlinks to the site.
Content Strategy 3: Links To Other Relevant, Digital Channels
Music fans have limitless channels for following news on their favorite artists and listening to their favorite songs. To appeal to all media consumption and music listening preferences, artists should share their off-site media presences on their official site.
Another benefit? It helps drive traffic to and from these outlets, earn ‘likes’, ‘follows’, and backlinks, and perhaps even increase a site’s domain authority. All this goes to improve an artist’s SEO footprint.
Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco promotes his Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple music presences right at the top of his homepage.
Content Strategy 4: Media Gallery
Media galleries are invaluable elements to artists’ websites. They give artists the ability to flaunt their unique stage presence and personality, build up linkable assets, and begin ranking in SERPs for video and photo content that presents them well.
Chicago Rapper Vic Mensa has a page on his site dedicated to his official music videos which help garner an impressive quantity of traffic and backlinks to his site. He also includes images from his latest concerts in the blog section of his site, with an option for fans to “leave a note” or “like” the post. By continually adding fresh content in these places, Mensa is able to build further rapport with fans, as well as amplify his SEO footprint.
Content Strategy 5: Philanthropy Section
Musical artists are powerful vehicles of change in society. When artists choose to endorse a charitable foundation on their site for a cause they are passionate about, it offers several benefits:
- Most important (and obvious) it is helpful to those who need it.
- It is a great image booster and rapport builder between an artist and his/her fans.
- It is also a unique opportunity to get recognition (and backlinks) from sites outside of the music industry.
Chicago rapper Common links to his self-created Common Foundation on his website and urges fans to get involved or donate. Founded in 2014, the foundation’s mission is to “to use creative arts to expose youth to new opportunities.”
A Final Tip
Page content can be marked up with structured data, which makes it easier for search engines to identify and showcase the most important elements on a website.
Structured data also enables rich snippets to appear in SERP pages themselves – ranging from music playlists, images, contact pages and more (see a full list here).
What’s your opinion on maintaining an official musician website? Let us know in the comments!