Ways to increase traffic to your band website
by Dan Coe
So. You’ve launched your new Band Theme WordPress website and you’re absolutely delighted with it. It’s chock full of all your very best imagery, embedded with your most stand-out video content, and you’ve even got a little merchandise area for your small gaggle of superfans.
But how do you best spread the word about this new digital portal to everything related to your band? Huge, city centre billboards? A banner towed through the sky by a light aircraft? Megaphone out the window? All wonderful ideas, but perhaps not offering the best ROI.
Nope, there’s better, cheaper and less shouty ways of telling people about your new website, and we’ve compiled 9 of them here (because 10 would be, like, too obvious, man….)
Link from social channels
It may seem like an obvious one but placing a link to your website in a prominent place on your social home pages and posts will encourage your followers to head on over and check out your website. It’s worth stating as not everyone remembers to do this (or they’re so embarrassed about their cruddy website that they don’t want anyone to see it). Link in your Twitter and Instagram bios, your YouTube homepage (and in a prominent position in the description of videos) and post a link to it on Facebook, Twitter, Insta or whenever you have added anything of note; don’t just spam your feeds with it though! Always provide context and something of value. For example: “Pictures from Saturday’s show in Manchester now up on our website! www.yourband.com/“
On the subject of value, incentivising your fanbase, as well as people who have simply chanced upon a video, a tweet or some other post of yours, can significantly increase the amount of traffic you get to your site. This incentive can take numerous forms, such as details of a secret gig you’re doing (or gigs / tour dates in general) that they’ll need to click through to your site to see, a video or song that’s only viewable or downloadable through your site, an image gallery, a blog post (tour diary, recording diary etc) or a good old fashioned competition.
For the uninitiated, SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. The general idea is to make appear as high as possible in the search results the search queries you wish to rank for – in this instance, this will be your band name, primarily (if you’re a wedding / party band there are other phrases you’ll want to target with SEO but we’ll cover that in another post). If someone knows your band name and wants to find out more about you, you want them to find your website easily (as your website should be a fountain of all things your band – all the things you want people to see and hear, anyway). There are millions of SEO guides online but, as a bare minimum: ensure your website has your band name in the domain, in an element called the ‘title tag’ (the top line of a search result and the text that appears in the browser tab of a page) along with “OFFICIAL SITE”, in the homepage content at least a few times, and in every image filename that you upload to the site.
Social media can be a fantastic tool in the right hands. If you’re up and coming, community engagement means jumping on post threads of bands or musicians whose fans you think would be into your sound as well as in music forums and niche music community pages. Again, don’t be overly spammy (it looks desperate and can annoy people), but there’s nothing wrong with going: “I think X fans will really like Y. Check out their website and thank me later!” if you’re using a personal account, or “Hey! Like X? We think you’ll dig our noise making too. Allow us to shamelessly plug our spangly website! www…”. That kind of thing. If you’re an established band or artist, community engagement means interacting with your fans and followers, posting specific pages of your website that are relevant to the discourse and answering any (within reason) questions they may have about your music, videos, inspiration, your shoes, gig no-shows or why your girlfriend left you for that influencer with the stupid hair.
Records & Bandcamp pages
If you’re putting out vinyl, then make sure your website is clear to see on the sleeve. Equally, if you have a Bandcamp page, make sure it’s on there. Simple.
Email lists of labels
If you’re unsigned, compile contact details for all the record labels that may be interested in your music. There are companies that give you access to such details (for a fee and sometimes for free) if you’re too busy writing future hits, or you can do it the old fashioned way, using your fingers, eyes and lots of Googling. When you contact these labels, DO NOT send them music files, hi-res images or any other attachments. Send them a few words introducing yourself, outline why they’ll want to check you out and include a link to your website, stating that they’ll find everything they need there should they be interested.
Tour posters & flyers
Another straightforward one. Posters and flyers are a fantastic way to propagate your website address. If it’s your show you can make it as big as you like. If you’re on the bill for someone else’s show, ask them politely to include your web address so that if someone likes your performance and they didn’t hear you blurt it out (SEE POINT 9) they can note it down on their way out of the venue.
If you’ve ever been in the toilets at a live music venue you’ll likely have seen thousands of stickers from bands, labels, radio stations, clothing companies and anyone else who is trying to market themselves to the hip, music-loving public. And you don’t have to just keep to music venues, though we’re not condoning wanton vandalism of street signs, bus stops and the like (well….). A cool logo and a web address can be enough to get the curious cats cyber-surfing your way.
Again, if you’re an up and coming band or solo musician, there’s absolutely no shame in dropping your website into your end of set audience spiel, especially if you’re supporting an established act (whereby the crowd numbers will probably be greater). It will certainly be quicker than spelling out your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat accounts (which they’ll be able to find easily anyway as they’re clearly marked on your website, right? RIGHT? Right.)
Now. Go forth and disseminate that Uniform Resource Locator!