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July 15, 2010

New Website For Plymouth Rock Band Syruss

Filed under: website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:33 am

Syruss rock band Plymouth Devon

SYRUSS the rock band from Plymouth, Devon (Southwest England) have got themselves a shiny new website - have a gander.

They’ve got the usual profiles where you can check out the tunes and videos and help yourself to any of the free downloads - MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Micro-Site

July 5, 2010

Musicians Bands Wanted Available

Filed under: Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:03 pm

Bandonkers - Musicians Bands Wanted Available

Bandonkers is a relatively new website that gives musicians a way of searching for other musicians in their local area. It’s a good idea, a user can either post their own advert, or search through existing advertisements posted by other musicians. It’s all about connecting musicians and bands in your local area. Looking for a drummer? Or are you a drummer looking for a band? You get my drift, it’s a simple concept.

As you have probably guessed, Bandonkers is yet another one of those sites like Unsigned Band Promotion, Band Directory and London Gigs, that needs your support if you want to benefit from it - tell your friends and give them all a try.

The Bandonkers website seems very easy to use and there are no charges whatsoever - it’s free!

July 1, 2010

Music Website Is A Hit

Filed under: SEO, Band Promotion — ian @ 9:40 pm

"Like farming, gardening and vegetables, SEO and linking in my view should be organic. Organic SEO and organic linking are free and natural, it’s being found in the top ten search engine results without paying for the privilege, and linking with websites that are like minded and relevant to yours. Organic links tend to receive much more traffic than non-organic (unrelated) links…" Search Engine Optimization SEO For Bands - by UBP June 08. But what would happen if a band chose Black Hat SEO!

Black Hat SEO

The name Black Hat comes to us from the hacking community, he’s the baddy, the bad man, the villain dressed in black with a black hat like "Angel Eyes" in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, "Harry Lime" in The Third Man, he’ll send you down a blind-ally, shoot you between the running lights or fuck you up by injecting you with a virus - just for the fun of it. Black Hat SEO is using unethical methods to gain a top search engine ranking. A typical Black Hat SEO tactic is spamdexing: Keyword stuffing/spamming - filling every available URL, meta tag, tag, attribute, title, link and textual space with duplicated keywords and key phrases that maybe irrelevant and unrelated to the website’s actual topic. Using hidden or disguised text and links. Using link spamming/farms… there’s a long list of dirty little tricks, the one I hate is where the villainous bastard copies a high-performing webpage and implements a sneaky redirect on it so the visitor is sent to another webpage without their knowledge, or they hotlink to images and copy well written content to blur the boundaries between two websites, so they can gain a sort of disguised recognition and look legitimate and ply their scurrilous trade - phishing, or installing a virus, trojan or some other shitty badware onto the HD of the poor innocent victims who visit their swindling websites.

A note about inline linking (hotlinking), a while ago I was looking through my website statistics and I found that a band had hotlinked directly to one of my images - the image was only a one pixel by one pixel transparent spacer gif @ 85 bytes, odd, but not really a problem - of course there is a serious side to hotlinking as the perpetrator is steeling bandwidth - in the case of the spacer gif not much, but if the object file was large and the perpetrator’s website was popular, then it might be a different story. Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, inline linking is where webpage B links directly to a file, usually an image, video or mp3, that is hosted and owned by webpage A. Webpage B is also said to be using/stealing the bandwidth of webpage A - which is bloody annoying if the monthly bandwidth allowance is exceeded - doubly annoying because they are probably committing a copyright violation!

If a webmaster catches you stealing their content or bandwidth that they’ve paid for, without their permission, they will always think of something nasty and the sword of Damocles will soon fall upon your band! Obviously the consequences of being caught by a search engine for using black hat SEO tactics are equally harsh, websites are often blocked and/or removed.

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is the opposite to black hat, he is The Lone Ranger, a web standards hero, a content and linking star, and it is the way to go for all music and art related websites. Here are five ways to make your music website a hit using white hat SEO:

  1. Concentrate on your visitor, not the search engines, your website is for people, not some mindless computer - unique and relevant content are key words of great importance.
  2. Make each page within your website relevant to your theme, don’t go off-message or be disjointed, stay focused and keep adding value by creating more interesting content.
  3. Use textual content, actual words, not images, to deliver your message. Humans type words to find you. Web crawlers don’t see words contained within images. I know images are very important for website design and visitor experience - use descriptive title elements and img alt attributes to include some extra and much needed text. SEO is a word thing!
  4. Don’t become a slave to PageRank and go down the "I must get a link from everyone" road, it’s bollocks. Link with friendly and like-minded websites.
  5. Make sure your website loads quickly:
    • Keep HTTP/image/JavaScript requests to external websites i.e. Google and affiliate ads, free hit counters and stats. etc. to an absolute minimum.
    • Try not to use JavaScript and Style expressions within the page, create external scripts instead.
    • Don’t use frames (which could mean loading four pages) redirects or cloaking.

    How quickly your website loads can also be seen as a green, carbon sensitive issue because it helps to reduce bandwidth and costs, which is why Google is now looking kindly on speedy websites.

June 22, 2010

Why Should An Artist Care About SEO?

Filed under: SEO, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:14 am

Virginie Berger wrote Well, what is a good digital music strategy? and I replied to Part 5 - Master the web! on MTT or is it Part 6 – SEO or Search Engine Optimisation? The reason I’m posting it here as well, is because it fills a gap in how I feel about SEO in: Search Engine Optimization SEO For Bands. Promoting Gigs From Your Website. Make Money From Your Bands Website. Links And Linking The Dark Art.

Why should an artist care about SEO? Because SEO is a part of branding, and branding is a part of the ‘big idea’, has your band got a big idea, an aim, a goal, a commitment? I bet it hasn’t, it’s why most bands fail (apart from the fact they can’t stay together for more than ten minutes), they don’t have a plan, strategy or any ideas, they don’t even know the difference between a Myspace page and a website (bands attach their URL to their MySpace page, really, I’m not joking).

Helping musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry is what I love doing. Actually, most bands aren’t interested in SEO at all, they are more interested in branding, which is OK by me, I wish I had a pound for every time a band asked me to help them get their name out there, however, many bands don’t even have a website, they only have a MySpace, Facebook and a few of the other usual networking suspects like ReverNation, and when I do visit their profile pages, they’ve got the same egotistical self-indulgent mind numbing shit daubed everywhere and this isn’t helped by the social networking sites who actively encourage synchronization and therefore taedium vitae big time, tip: use different content on different social networking sites so when people ‘click around’ they don’t feel the need to stick a vacuum up their nose and suck out their spongy frustrated brains, anyway, bands shouldn’t be getting bogged down with worrying about SEO, it’s not that difficult and employing an SEO professional will not make that much of a difference to your band’s website - only to your pocket, and if you do go for an SEO consultation it won’t be long before the consultant is trying to baffle you with science and talking about ‘the long tail’ and ‘pay per click advertising management’ and ‘conversion ratios’ and ‘channelising traffic for transactional websites’ and ‘integrated search marketing strategy’ and ‘brand exposure’ and ‘keyword science linguistics research relevancy & themed saturation’ and ‘consumer business fan base profiling’ and ‘web analytics’ and bloody ‘bounce rates’ until you’re holding your hands up in defeat and saying "It’s OK, you do it for me", and if you don’t, the clever highwayman (they’re not all crooks) will still find a way of lifting your wallet. Don’t be lazy by leaving SEO to the professionals, do-it-yourself (sounds like I’m contradicting myself), most band’s websites would only take two or three hours to sort out once you know what to do and if you don’t know what to do, Ask Me.

I’ll help you for free.

And then your band’s website will appear in the first ten search results, for your band’s name and ’something else’, I’m not talking about misdirection and being found for bollocks or difficult keywords like ’sex’, ‘mp3′ or ‘MySpace Rock Bands’, I’m talking about targeting people who don’t know you, but who share your band’s lifestyle choices, potential fans. SEO can also be about second guessing, attempting to predict or anticipate what people are going search for to find your website, it’s an odd topic with loads of scope for error and success! And yes, forget about going viral, the tantalizing teasing lure that draws in hundreds of thousands of bands to overloaded social networking sites (like: YouTube and MySpace), with its promise of fame and fortune, it’s a dream, it ain’t gonna happen.

Blow SEO, spend your time with your music and getting to know your fans.

Helping Indie Bands With Website Promotion,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
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.

May 2, 2010

Band Missed Domain Name

Filed under: Copyright Issue, General Musings, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 2:04 pm

Buy Your Name Now - before I do

There have been a couple of incidents recently when I have looked for a band’s website and have discovered that they do not have one. Then I find out that they do not even own their own domain name! Odd. Buy your band’s domain name now, before I do. I like Network Solutions - use the search box above. I am an affiliate, so I will get a small commission, but don’t be put off by that as Network Solutions are excellent value for money.

April 20, 2010

Busking Cancer

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 2:50 pm

Radfax Psychedelic Rock band London

Spring has sprung the grass is ris, I wonders where the birdies is… so says Charlie Brown, Spike Milligan, Ogden Nash or was it E.E. Cummings? I suppose if you’re a fair-weather band you might be thinking of getting out into the fresh, Spring air and going busking? No? Worried about volcanic ash getting into your equipment or lungs?

Over the last week or so, I’ve noticed a GoogleAd for Busking Cancer, which is an event in aid of Cancer Research UK and sponsored by Fender® that You can get involved with. I’m interested because it is a website promotion opportunity. Your local media are often looking for ways to appear philanthropic (without actually really doing anything!), so it’s quite easy for bands to promote themselves while supporting (and on the back of) a local charity.

Out of curiosity for what bands I might find who have Busked for Cancer, I search Google Web and Google Images and the band that stands out from the crowd are Radfax. Radfax have not got a real website (but that isn’t stopping them) - they have only got profile pages: MySpace, Radfax Blog, UnsignedChart, PeacefestUK/Ning, Twitter and YouTube. Wow, They could’ve bought radfax.co.uk <joke>like I just did</joke> which was about £22 for 2 years, and could have been a focal point for all their efforts!?

Radfax are a Psychedelic Rock band from London and they Busked for Cancer in September 2009. Their music is influenced by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, early Clapton, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Black Sabbath and many more I’m sure.
The band members are: - Skullyman: rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals. Speed: vocals, rhythm guitar. Tony: bass. Flud: drums.
Go and see them play live at Lock 17 Camden Lock, London - they post their gig dates on their blog and Twitter.

How To Promote Your Website While Busking: hand out business cards or flyers (Include: band name, website URL, email address) to everyone who donates, offering them a free mp3. Put the freebie on your website and Make It Very Easy To Find And Download. Ask them to join your mailing list to get another freebie from the same web page.

Always wear T-shirts with a readable Web Address on - if you send me a T-shirt (I’m XXL and my favourite colour is black. Email for my postal address UK), I’ll use a photograph of it for my avatar.

Visit Busking Cancer on Twitter and get a little local promotion for yourselves and your bands’ websites.

April 18, 2010

Twitter Band Promotion

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 11:04 pm

image - Chris CB Photographie | BB Brunes @ Magic Mirror

Twitter and band promotion eh! Big Tip, don’t do it like me - I think I do just about everything wrong, anyway, I’m only there to find out what others are saying and doing, and I really don’t use it to promote UnsignedBandPromotion, and that sounds like a big fat lie because I mainly just post links to my blog! - and I don’t have that much to say either, but hey, I’ve been a member of a webmaster forum since 2001 and I’ve only made 30 posts! …I’m trying to improve my tweets.

Twitter is, billed as a micro-blog, but I think it falls somewhere between a Blog and a Meta Tag. It often has a ‘one side of the conversation’ feel about it, and everyone seems to be talking at you in proverbs, straplines, recommendations and disjointed waffle because of Twitter’s input limitations, so just like blogging or forum posting the true promotional value of tweeting is in what you actually have to say, your contribution, which will have a much bigger bearing on your success than anything else. If your forte is egotism, then Twitter may not be the best place for you to promote yourself or your band, bands who are so far up their own arses that they’re coming out the other side, are instantly boring and would get anyone with half a brain frenziedly scrambling to unfollow rather than RT.

Basically what you need to do is, write short, conversational sentences with minimal punctuation, of about 20 words (140 characters including spaces) that have a special magnetic appeal, charm or power that inspires loyalty and enthusiasm from your audience - not difficult then!

Following others is easy. Search out and follow - @BandPromotion (I usually retweet gig dates if I’m aware of them), @Band promoters, @Venues, @Record Labels, @Music News, @Online Radio and @DJs.

Ask your - @e-team, @fans, @friends and @family to join Twitter, then ask them to retweet your important posts i.e., Gig/Tour/Recording dates/diary.

April 9, 2010

Lead Your Fans Down The Sales Path

Filed under: Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 10:24 pm

Create a linear path that will guide your fan through your website step by step, and provide a non-linear navigational structure that is:
1/ easy to understand
2/ easily recognizable
3/ consistent

April 1, 2010

Promote Your Genre From Your Website

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:20 am

Promote Your Genre

folk rock
Folk Rock
gothic rock
Gothic Rock
indie rock
Indie Rock
punk rock
Punk Rock

“What colour is rock music?” That’s a hard one for me to visualise, nothing really comes to mind - maybe yellow & chrome? Indie rock is easy though, light blue with a little light fern green, so is Punk, pink & black, Gothic is black, purple & red, and Folk rock is browns, burgundy & moss green. I wonder if my colour perception of music is the result of looking at too may bands’ websites and album covers?

My inquisitiveness gets the better of me, I log-on and head to Google image search, and look for punk music/rock/band/s, and I repeat the search using AltaVista, nothing jumps out at me and I’m not really satisfied with the results. So I open up Photoshop and create a new image. Then I copy and paste the first three or four most relevant images (filtering out the dross) from each of the search results into the new image file. Blend a little, resize, pixelate and crop… Wow! Bingo! The image feels right. I repeat the process for folk, gothic, indie and the big one, Rock. The images have the feeling of their genre (they do for me anyway). What does your genre look like?

Before you set out to promote your genre, you need an aim and a strategy, you don’t need an elaborate and convoluted plan. Find out who your fans are and work out what is the most appropriate promotional mix to connect with them. Don’t concentrate on your website in isolation to everything else, however, it is important that your website is a part of your overall promotional strategy. Be aware of the different time scales - a lot of UnsignedBandPromotion’s tips are short term, but You also need to think about the long term and the bigger picture.

A note about branding: it’s not just about getting your name out there, it’s about getting your brand out there! You do this by creating a strong, positive and unique identity within your genre and by promoting it at every point of contact with your fans.

rock
Rock

Genre Promotion Tips

  1. Not many independent bands put much effort into identifying their niche in the marketplace, branding or promoting their genre, so it’s an easy prize for those bands that do.
  2. I think that it is important for a band to define their genre before they start promoting themselves, just like it is important not to promote your website too soon. Nail your genre as soon as possible - I wouldn’t be a trailblazer by inventing a new one, just keep it simple!
  3. Use the search engines to find out what other bands of your genre are doing and to keep an eye on the competition. The top five search engine results will normally be well-connected authority sites (as per usual). Some worthy bands are:
  4. The easiest way to promote your genre from your website is to write it into your website’s title tag i.e., “post-rock band” V.simple. Also works incredibly well when joined geographically i.e., “post-rock band farnborough”.
  5. Using Meta tags is not a secret ingredient, however, you could give the Genre Meta Tag a whirl!?
    <meta name=”Abstract” content=”(’http://www.your-url.com/’ Genre: punk rock)”>
  6. Team up and get involved with websites that fit-in with your genre and lifestyle - from a fashion house to a plant food supplier to a motorcycle dealer!
  7. Constituents that reflect and define a band’s genre: your name, your band’s name, the brand’s name, URL, logo, avatar, slogan, website design, colours, graphics and images. Your sound, techniques, styles and context. This information should be on everything and everywhere.
  8. Promoting and marketing your genre, style, image, aura and brand simultaneously through your website, can have a powerful effect.
  9. Get yourselves a Social Media & Website Co-ordinator.
  10. The most effective way to promote your genre from your website is to fill your website with relevant and spellbinding content - blogs are good for this.

[Ed. note] Just because UnsignedBandPromotion happens to be #1 in Google for MySpace Band Promotion I get a few bands asking if I can “get their name out there”. No. I do not get hands-on and help bands to promote MySpace, PureVolume and profiles in general, or FreeWebs, Yahoo! GeoCities, LYCOS.tripod and other free webhosting type of pages - You Need A Real Website.

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned Band Promotion help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own. Find UBP on and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

March 10, 2010

5 Ways Fans Can Help To Promote Your Band

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:14 pm

Et des images - Chris CB Photographie | Synopsis @ Scène Bastille, Paris
© CHRISCB PHOTOGRAPHIE

If you want to promote yourself and sell your music Online, in my view, you need to get yourself a website (not just a number social networking profiles and a blog) - that’s what UnsignedBandPromotion.com is all about! But it doesn’t stop there, once you’ve got yourself a website you will need to promote it to get visitors - your website needs "traffic".

Targeted Traffic is the Buzzword here. What I’m talking about is attracting hundreds of visitors who are interested in your genre and lifestyle to your website. And quite frankly it doesn’t matter what you are promoting online, whether it’s music or cars, if you want to be successful you need masses of targeted traffic. Most websites get the bulk of their traffic from Google! Google is the most important supplier of traffic for the typical business website, in fact, an average of 65% of visitors could come from Google - that’s a lot, but I’m not talking about search engine optimization, I’m talking about asking your fans, friends and family to help - and don’t forget to keep saying Thank You.

5 Ways Fans Can Help To Promote Your Band

  1. Ask fans, friends and family (FFF) to join you on: Facebook, Myspace, ReverbNation, Twitter, Wordpress, Youtube. Then ask FFF to spread the word by/via: Updates, Bookmarks, Bulletins, Emails, Pings, Retweets, Tagging, Comments and Posts… talking about your band, genre and lifestyle.
  2. ReverbNation almost has a plethora of widgets and a street team ‘organizer’. Ask FFF to share your widget by putting it on their websites, blogs and social networking pages. Via email, ask your FFF to join your street team, then create a street team mission. Read Brian Hazard’s excellent blog post, My first ReverbNation street team mission.
  3. Ask FFF to link to you and encourage others to do the same. Create a set of banners and links. Display the banners, provide the code… eg.,
    <!– Start of YourBandName link code - copy & paste to your website –>
    <p><a href="http://www.YourBandName.com/">YourBandName - Rock Band</a></p>
    <!– End of YourBandName code –>
  4. Set yourself up with an e-mailing list (MailChimp?). Ask FFF to include the sign-up form on their sites and ask their friends to join your mailing list. They can also include mailing list sign-up details in their email signatures as well as adding a tell a friend link.
  5. Tell your fans, friends and family not to Spam on your behalf. Tell them not to contaminate the Internet with the same mind numbing bollocks that would cause a brain seizure in even the most dim-witted music fan and come up with something new and interesting and while you’re at it tell them that if they use the phrase "This band is AWESOME they TOTALLY Rock" you will personally come around to their house and stick the rough end of your Flying V up their arse and the same goes for "Sorry about the shameless self promotion" and if they say "These guys are definitely musicians’ musicians - check ‘em out they’re totally amazing, OMG I can’t wait for the album, everything by this band is SO awesome" send the band around and stick the fully wired and throbbing Roland D-Bass-210 amplifier up their ignorant arse to block the flow of mindless crap that will have the readers and your potential future fans sticking red-hot needles into their eyes rather than read another turd fuelled fabrication about your awesome band, these stupid tossers are only going to impress the lemming-minded who will not actually buy your hard worked album, they will spend their lives exploring how they can download it for free and if you think that they will pass it on to their friends and ’spread the word’ you have got another think coming because they couldn’t pass on influenza. Feed your fans, friends and family with plenty of content and warn them about spamming and quality or it will cost you dearly - silence can be a virtue. You guys totally rock!
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