Many of you have already answered the question “how do I get my music on iTunes”, and your music is available everywhere online, from iTunes to Spotify to Soundcloud. You might even have a website and a presence on social media. These are important steps in distributing your music, but what actually happens when people search for your music online? It might be the first result to pop up, but it also might be hard to find. Keep reading to find out what happens when someone searches for your music online.
What you will find when you search for your music online all depends on something called Search Engine Optimization. When you Google something, there are billions of potential pages you could find. However, not many of them are very relevant to what you’re looking for. Search engines developed algorithms, or formulas, that determine which pages show up when certain words or phrases are searched. And your music could be in these results – if your webpages meet certain criteria.
There are over 200 factors that go into the formula that ranks search results, which will affect what happens when you search for your music online. Obviously, having a website is the first step. Even if you don’t know anything about programming or computer technology, there are a lot of sites, like BandPage or WordPress, that make it easy to create your own site.
Engaging with fans over social media is incredibly important for any band, and it will help you show up in search results as well. Websites become more popular when links to them are shared over Facebook, Twitter, etc. Videos are a great way to garner buzz, so upload your best content to YouTube as well.
Sites that are easy for Google to read are also more likely to show up when they are searched for. Include a site map, write everything in HTML, don’t post content that requires outside programs (like Flashplayer or Java) to access, and make it mobile friendly. Mobile friendly sites are a great resource to have, because most people these days use smart phones to look things up.
Including keywords throughout your band’s website is also important. Keywords are terms that are searched for often, like, for example, ‘Indie Music’ or ‘Indie Rock’, and by including them in your website content, you are creating relevant content for the user. Our tip is to only include keywords where there come up naturally, because stuffing keywords on your website could actually get you penalized by search engines. One important note – if your band name is a very common word, it will probably be very hard to find. So creating a more unique band name, if possible, might help people find your music.
Creating relevant content (and a lot of it) is the most important part of creating a website that will show up when people search for it online. This, again, should happen naturally, because you as a musician and artist are constantly creating things that people will want to see. The hard part is getting that content out to the public – but with all the tips you just learned, you should now be able to ensure people will find your music when they search for it online.