There’s nothing Rock, Country, or Blue Grass about search engine optimization (SEO), and I can just see eyes glazing over as you read. But with the slow agonizing death of the Radio Star (Buggles told us it was Video who did him in, turns out it was internet… and corporate greed naturally), you need a way for people to hear you. Almost everyone finds their music online now, most steel it online, but regardless if you want to be heard by more people than can fit in your local bar, then putting yourself online is a must.
Let me guess, you already have a site, complete with cool graphics, great pics and samples of your music. It’s likely you even have an order form or link where fans impressed with your music can buy your most recent CD or MP3 and find out where you will be playing next. The problem is there are millions of sites for bands playing music in the same genre, complete with cool graphics, great pics, and samples of their music. No matter how original and cool your music is, no one is going to listen if they can’t find you. And there is a limit to how many flyers you can hand out and how far word-of-mouth will go, as most bands find out sooner or later.
This is where search engine optimization comes in. It’s boring (unless you’re me), complex, and widely misunderstood. In short, SEO is how search engines like Google find your site, and decide where to place your site when someone does a specific search. Type “Country Music” into Google, and what shows up is determined by algorithms. These algorithms can be manipulated by SEO experts, by using the correct words in the right amount and in the right place. But it’s not all about massive numbers. Most want to target a specific type of person. After all, if you don’t play country music, your site showing up when someone searches for country music isn’t very helpful.
Say you’re rock. Some believe they can just pepper their site with terms related to rock music, or even flood their site with these terms. That won’t work either. Search engines watch out for sites that spam keywords for no good reason, and in some instances a site will even be blacklisted by these search engines if it’s determined the words spammed aren’t relevant to anything on the page.
It takes knowledge of how search engines work to find the right words in the right amount to get the people who are most likely to like your music to your site in large numbers. It also takes a specific talent to achieve the kind of web presence you want without making the actual text on your page sound “lame” for lack of a better term. No one wants a site that is obviously written for Google, and obviously not written for the human fans you want reading it.
If you want to increase the number of people who get to hear your music, think about hiring an SEO expert. Today’s guest blogger, Jeffrey Gross, is an SEO consultant who lives on Long Island, New York. Jeff’s SEO Company (nPromote) helps business owners on Long Island and across the country get their businesses “found” on the search engines. In his spare time Jeff teaches SEO to small business owners and enjoys lecturing at local colleges and other venues.