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June 16, 2008

What Should Be On A Band’s Website?

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 9:15 am

circuitse7en - an industrial sex rock band from detroit I had an email last week asking me, "What should be on a band’s website?" I replied with my stock answer; which is:
"I think one of the most important aspects of a band’s website is that it should reflect the band’s image, aura, persona - call it what you will! All you need is: Biography, Contact Details, Gig Listings, Downloads and Press Pack. Don’t forget to give the visitor what she wants, her objectives are simple, she wants to: listen to how you sound. buy a CD. subscribe to the mailing list. find gig dates, etc… Each of these objectives requires a series of actions, as in, e.g: click on the mp3 Downloads link, then click on choice. click Merchandise, choose, then press the buy button. click the Join Mailing List button, fill in the form. find and click the Gigs link. She must make a conscious decision to continue through the process of getting what she wants, and she will only do that if you lead her easily through each stage one click at a time. Make it easy, think, usability."

What I didn’t say was: a band’s website could include about 16 pages (each page should include: links to all other pages (in the footer), mailing list sign-up, contact details ~ your@email.address):

  1. Home Page: the opening page could be an online version of the band’s Press Pack or a Blog.
  2. Biography: the line up, background, milestones, genre and influences, forthcoming gigs / plans, short quotes from press.
  3. Blog: a band’s online diary, showing the latest news and updates, rss is a must, so is being kept up-to-date. I think a blog is better than a forum because you control the content, and I’m a little doubtful if a forum really works on a band’s website - the same goes for a guestbook, where visitors and spammers just add links to their websites and write bollox.
  4. Contact Details: full version should include: management, band members and workers/helpers (i.e: webmaster).
  5. Gallery: have upto about 40 thumbnails that link to the full size versions.
  6. Gig Listings: dates with the gig information - ticket inf., venue inf., directions, map and travel inf. This page is great for being found for something else other than your band’s name.
  7. Links: use textual links, not banners.
  8. Multimedia Downloads & Merchandise: video, images, photos, mp3s, cds, lyrics/sheet music, postcards, t-shirts… there’s a big list of merchandising products.
  9. Press Pack: all (and more) that’s currently in the printed version, including: Biography - shortened version with link to full version. Press Release - who are you? what are you doing, when are you doing it, where are you doing it and why is it newsworthy? Photos - full colour (use a professional/student photographer). The Demo, the video - 2 or 3 songs as MP3. Copyright and contact information. How to get the printed version - maybe?
  10. Reviews: if you haven’t got any, don’t make them up. Include the good, the bad and the ugly.
  11. Site Map: essential if you have a large site, search engines quite like site maps, but for upto 16 pages I wouldn’t bother.
  12. Plus, you could also have: Contribute/Support, Lyrics, Artwork, Discography, Press Release

But then again, you could easily fit all that onto one page! Nice one circuitse7en - almost.

Ciao 4 niao,
Unsigned Band Promotion
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~

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