to Get Targeted Traffic To Your Music Website
(with no money down!)
by Chris Standring
now knows that if you are an artist or you play in
a band that it is imperative you have a website.
It is now considered the norm and a nice place to
refer existing and potential fans. However, an artist
website that sits in cyberspace and gets visited
only after bands mention their web address on stage
is a website that is not utilizing the Internet's
full potential. A poorly promoted website can be
like a tree falling in the forest. It may look stunning,
have all the bells and whistles but if nobody can
find it then it is a waste of time in my view. I
want to tell you how you can get a good steady flow
of regular targeted traffic to your artist website
without spending a dime. Of course there is some
work to do but it will be your time and not your
dollars that you will be giving up.
You have no doubt heard about reciprocal link trading. This is something that
has existed since the dawn of the Internet. Essentially this is where one website
links to another. All very simple. However, most webmasters don't utilize the
full benefit of link trading and for the most part the trade is a waste of time.
Let's talk about how to do it right. There are two reasons you should trade links
with other websites:
1) To get a stream of targeted traffic to your site from external links.
2) To fuel the search engines and rank your site higher.
You should only trade links with websites that are relevant to your website.
For instance, if your music is categorized in the punk genre then you should
of course target websites that are common to that theme. If you are a new age
artist there may be many more sites you might target; spiritual bookstores, yoga
and so on. Get creative and ask yourself "Who out there in cyberspace would
like my music and where do they hang out?". Use keywords in Google or any
other search engine to find sites to trade with. Not all sites will trade, especially
corporate commercial sites, ezines etc. Many will however and you should propose
a trade via e-mail if a site invites link exchanges. The easiest sites to trade
links with will be other band sites, so you should do that first. You must make
sure that the websites that you trade links with have a clearly viewable link
from their home page to their links page. It should say "links" or "resources" or "sites
we like" and so on. You shouldn't link with any site that has a links page that
can't be found. After all what good is it to you?
To really get the benefit of this marketing tool you should start a simple link
directory. Think of your links directory as a mini-yahoo portal, of course the
links will only be relevant to your visitors. Write down a list of categories,
and add new categories as you build your directory. For example, let's say your
music is "classic rock". Your categories might be:
1) Classic rock bands 2) Classic rock ezines 3) Classic rock heroes 4) Reviews
5) Music biz resources 6) Other cool links, and so on.
Whatever genre your music is in you can customize your categories to fit. Get
creative. OK, Now I want to explain something of huge importance and will make
ALL the difference when you trade links with other sites. You must tell webmasters
exactly how to display your link. Let me give you an example. Let's now assume
you are part of a progressive rock group called "Motormouth". Here is
the right way and wrong way to display the link:
Progressive rock from four piece band out of Denver, Colorado
Motormouth - the coolest of all progressive rock bands
Based out of Denver Colorado, this four piece band are taking the US by storm
Example #2 is the preferred way to display your link. Not all websites will allow
this (especially directories) but you should push for this where possible. Let
me explain why. Search engines are now giving more relevance to websites based
on how their link is displayed on external sites, compared to any text residing
on their own domain. If for example your band plays progressive rock then you
should take advantage of your biggest keyword and include it as part of your
link title. As a surfer, if I was interested in progressive rock I might go to
Google and type "Progressive rock bands". Now if you look at example two
above the keyword "progressive rock bands" is part of the link title.
Keep in mind that it will not help so much to include the singular "progressive
rock band" in the link title. The singular keyword "band" is different
from "bands" you understand? Web surfers would probably not type "progressive
rock band" in Google because
they might be looking for more than one. Results will vary so think about your
strongest keyword and how surfers might find you - then get that keyword somehow
in your link title.
After trading a good amount of links search engines will warm to your site and
start returning your results extremely high in its results, depending on keyword
competition. This should give you a nice flow of traffic from those websites
you have traded links with and many many more from search engines when surfers
enter your keyword. Please believe me when I tell you that artists and groups
are NOT doing this right now and it is a simple procedure that will take
just a little discipline and some time on your part. As I mentioned before, make
sure that the website you are trading with displays your link the way you need
it displayed. The best way to do this is to give them html code that they can
copy and paste. Using example two above your html code might look like this:
<b><a href="http://www.aandronline.com" target="_blank">Motormouth
- the coolest of all progressive rock bands</a></b> <br> Based
out of Denver Colorado, this four piece band are taking the US by storm.
When requesting a link trade be courteous and professional. Remember that you
must target relevant sites only (otherwise search engines will penalize you).
If you want to get into this a little deeper you might download the free google toolbar which will
display a pagerank (from 1 to 10) every time you visit a web page. When you trade
a link with a website that has a high pagerank (IE: 4 or 5 and above) this will
serve you better in return. The page that displays your link should in itself
be pageranked (not just the site's home page) in a perfect world. However, I
do think that user relevance should take precedence over pagerank in this instance.
Lastly, if you want to go even deeper and manage your links directory in a highly
effective way I suggest you buy some incredible software called Arelis. I use this and it has tripled my traffic and therefore
product sales. I created the A&R Online band directory using this as well as four other
website link directories. It allows you to check on a regular basis whether other
sites are still linking back to you, enabling you to remove any broken links
or contact those sites to repair etc. etc. It manages your link database brilliantly
and will even generate the html web pages at the click of a button. It makes
a pretty dull chore actually quite fun. Costs around 100 bucks. Money well spent
if you want to really drive targeted traffic to your band site. If you are serious
about your music career I can't recommend this software highly enough.
Oh, one more thing. Make sure you capitalize on the traffic that you start receiving!
Rather than expect visitors to come sailing through and buy your CD, make sure
that on your home page there is an incentive for them to subscribe to your band
newsletter. You must get their e-mail address and build your mailing list
as you can market direct to them later on. Give them a huge incentive. Again
get creative. If they have come to you from a "progressive rock bands" keyword
typed in a search engine, give them what they want! Perhaps offer them a free
eBook with articles, news and photos of your 10 favorite progressive rock heroes
when they subscribe to your list. Of course your band is on the front
page of the eBook right? You should be marketing yourself first but if you are
unknown you should piggy back off established stars.
If you are looking to learn how to optimize your website and take this strategy
to the next level I have a new eBook that discusses everything you need to know.
You can get more info at http://www.website-promotion-secrets.com
For more info on link trading etiquette read this article.
Take care and happy link trading!
Standring is the CEO and founder of A&R Online (www.aandronline.com).
He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed
to Mesa/Bluemoon Records. The music is marketed at NAC
and Urban AC radio. For more info on Chris' recording
career go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com