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January 4, 2009

New Micro-Site For Color Theory

Filed under: SEO, Band Sponsorship, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:55 pm

Depeche Mode by Color Theory - electronic piano pop band Huntington Beach, CaliforniaI first discovered Color Theory when I stumbled into Brian Hazard’s erudite blog Passive Promotion. Brian is Color Theory, and the Passive Promotion blog is Brian’s narrative of his efforts to promote "The Thought Chapter", his latest and seventh album. Funnily enough though, it was the artwork for The Thought Chapter by Maya Klein that first caught my attention in: The Thought Chapter has left the building, it made me read on, and I soon realized what a thoughtful, talented and intelligent man Brian Hazard is.

It was my wholehearted pleasure to make Color Theory a Micro-Site and crank up their Internet presence a few more notches. Great music may promote itself! But Websites don’t ;)

December 14, 2008

Band Support?

Filed under: SEO, Band Sponsorship, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:32 pm

MenendezFollowing my Buddhist beliefs, Unsigned Band Promotion is not a business and is not seeking to make profits from bands using this website. I help 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 and I do it for FREE. There are some costs to be covered, and I try to meet these costs by users donations and by promoting affiliate links. But, I’m still way, way out-of-pocket!

It’s always tough trying to keep a free service going, especially when it is so very hands-on. Please show your support and make a small donation. I am not asking for much, as little as £1 or $2 would be greatly appreciated.

Very many thanks for your support
Donations are fast, free and secure when made with PayPal

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 ~

October 16, 2008

I love Alexis Thompson

Filed under: SEO — ian @ 10:52 pm

Alexis Thompson - oh, alexisI was just checking and tweeking some Micro-Sites and was reading through Alexis Thompson’s when I suddenly thought Oh my God, I hate Alexis Thompson!. Of course I don’t, silly. But she has an album called “I Hate Money”, her name is “Alexis Thompson”, remove “Money”, and type I Hate Alexis Thompson into Google (I already did it for you - click the link). Bingo! Up pops Alexis Thompson’s Micro-Site. All part of the long tail! –sorry Alexis. And sorry for using your photo without asking you :s

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 ~

October 15, 2008

The MySpace Matrix on Metal Music Promotions

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:35 pm

Want to know how I feel about MySace? Read this: The MySpace Matrix by Metal Music Promotions, it hits the spot.

Calling all bands, GET A REAL WEBSITE

September 27, 2008

No News Is Good News!

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:15 pm

British Pathe News Logo - no news is NOT good newsNo news is good news. Err, no.

When a person visits your band’s website they’re probably just looking for a free download of your music. But, they will also discover your credibility! If your band’s website has a NEWS page that contains No News or Very Old News, the visitor will think, “no action”, and wonder if your band is going down the pan. Why support an ex-indie band? - so many bands break up. Give your visitor what she’s looking for. Band News!

No news is not good news

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 ~

September 9, 2008

New Micro-Site For Sweet City Action

Filed under: SEO, Band Sponsorship, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 2:10 pm

Sweet City Action indie rock band Gainesville Florida | 1982 BAR GainesvilleI’ve just finished a Micro-Site for the beautiful and amazing indie rock band from Gainesville, Florida Sweet City Action. Vilma and Christina are brilliant. I want the Micro-Site to help promote the band as they don’t have a Website just various profiles - watch this space as I may change the design. I wish them well and send my love. Sweet City Action’s favourite local spot to play is the 1982 Bar, Gainesville, which is just down the road from the University - so, if you fancy a fun-filled night out go and see them.

August 4, 2008

UBP’s Response To Me-Nets Blog Post

Filed under: SEO — ian @ 11:07 pm

Dear Matt (Bnudd),

Here is UBP’s response to me-nets’ nonsensical post - Splash Bang Codswallop. Your main criticism seems to be of my definition of what I call a splash page, you quote me “a 500×400 image saying ‘Click to Enter’” in my post Search Engine Optimization SEO For Bands. This is what I actually say, “A splash page is an introductory page to your band’s website, it often contains just a link to the band’s home page and an extravagant attention grabbing logo or some flash abomination“, and I think that that is a fair description, not too prejudice ;) I could have said that a splash page is a website’s default opening page (index.html) that precedes the main home page! The point is, most (if not all) bands’ websites are a billion miles away from the BBC’s opening page, which is full of interesting content and has a Page Rank of 8. A lot of bands’ websites really do just have an image and a link, and it is these bands I’m writing for - as you said, “There is totally no point in having a splash page if it is just a logo image with a CLICK TO ENTER“.

Matt, the point of the SEO blog post was to help bands and encourage them to think about their website’s content. Yeah, splash pages can work for those who know what they are doing, but I’m writing for those who need help. SEO and band promotion is about being found for something else other than your band’s name, for instance, wouldn’t The Malloys like to be number one in Google for: Punk Bands South East London or even: Punk Bands London and South East? The Contortionists’ Micro-site is #1 in Google for Punk Rock Bands South East London & #2 in Google for Punk Rock Bands London and South East just because of a little content!

I don’t know why you couldn’t leave your comment here Matt? Gremlins? One does have to register though!

Out for kicks,
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 ~

June 27, 2008

Promoting Gigs From Your Website

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:03 pm

menendez gig guernseyPromoting gigs from your band’s website may seem pretty pointless to a lot of bands who only use Social Networking sites. But, I bet it’s better than only promoting your gigs from your band’s "Profile" - you have got a website, haven’t you? Promoting gigs from your band’s website will have a positive knock-on effect, it will increase the number of fans who roll up to support you, and that in turn will get you more repeat gigs - venues like to book bands who can bring a (thirsty) crowd - and help you sell more albums and merchandise.

It’s Very Easy

The wrong way: post the gig information on your website, direct everyone to your website at every opportunity, they see the information and about 0.01% of the visitors will come to the gig - if you’re very, very, very, very, very lucky (0.01% would be ultra, extremely good)! Caveat: unless you’re Coldplay or any other well known band, but then again, you’re not reading this are you!?

The correct way: post the gig information on your website, direct a targeted local audience to your website, offer a freebie, they see the information, pick-up the freebie and about 1%-3% of the targeted ‘local’ visitors will come to the gig - not much luck required, just hard work!

Unless you have a hard core of about 500 fans who will support you what ever the weather, you should keep your promotion efforts local to the venue - meaning: within about 25 miles. It might be odd thinking local with a World Wide Website, especially when you have fans from every corner of the globe downloading your music! - but it’s usually only locals who are going to turn up and support you.

Note: don’t leave it all to the last minute, there can be long lead-in times for online promotion, it should be continual and ongoing even if you haven’t got a gig booked!
don’t just rely on your website for gig promotion, you must take the holistic approach and you must exploit every avenue, otherwise you will probably fail.

The Website
You could fit all the required information onto one page, but I’d go for three: Home Page, Gigs Page and a Venue Page. Each page needs to contain: full contact inf., a mailing list sign-up form, how to book your band inf. and a couple of short, recent gig reviews (maybe in the sidebar?).

What’s On The Home Page [file name example: index.html]
If you run a blog on your home page (which is a good idea for lots of reasons), you can give a running commentary of the build-up to the gig, but, you only need to keep listing the basic details.

  • Date & time of gig, inc. hypertext link to Gig Page.
  • Venue name, inc. hypertext link to the Venue Page.
  • Description of the freebie.

What’s On The Gigs Page? [file name example: flying-footstools-gigs.html]
Keep the presentation and the information, incredibly clean, simple and uniform.

  • Date & time of gig, plus: doors open @… first band on @… etc…
  • Venue name & town, inc. hypertext link to the Venue Page.
  • Hypertext & image links to the "one off - pre-release - special edition" freebie. The freebie must be easy to find, if it’s an MP3 (which it normally is), then make it very available. There should be a pay-off with a free gift, meaning, you give a free gift :: they sign your guestbook/read your blurb. Or, you give a voucher from the website and they get a free gift at the gig.
  • The line-up - with hypertext link to other bands’ websites (use: target="_blank" attribute).
  • Ticket price.
  • Age restrictions of venue &/or your performance.
  • Your available merchandise list - that you are taking to the gig.
  • Free gift (if you’ve got one) @ gig information.

What’s On The Venue Page
I keep going on about being found for something else other than your band’s name, well, being found for a venue’s name is one of the options. When you promote a gig from your website you are actually promoting the venue as well, so make the most of it.

  • Venue’s name inc. hypertext & image links to the venue’s official website.
  • Hypertext link to venue’s MySpace.
  • Venue’s Full address.
  • Box office details (link to box office &/or online ticket agency).
  • Normal ticket (admission) price.
  • Usual doors times.
  • Age restriction details.
  • Full travel information and directions inc., how to get there: on foot, by rail, by bus, by car with parking inf., and hypertext links to Google maps.
  • Video link to your band playing the venue.
  • House DJ details.
  • Open mic. details.
  • Local information might inc., independent record shops, fashion shops, cool coffee houses and pubs etc. that reflect or complement your genre.

Direct A Targeted Local Audience To Your Website
The people who want to come to your gigs are the people who like your sound, genre and lifestyle. They probably hang out in the same colleges & universities, independent record shops, fashion shops, cool coffee houses, pubs and nightclubs that you do, they live next door, they listen to the same music and they want to dance like you, or maybe you want to dance like them! They’re your friends, or they could be. You know who these people are, where they are, what they want and how to approach them. I don’t. I can only generalize.

Real World Stuff: get a map, find the venue, draw a circle with a radius of about 20 miles (about 32 kilometres) around the venue, hit those streets with your flyer. Go to all the places where your potential fans are, then (legally) hand out, post, pin up, stick and drop your stickers, flyers & business cards - they should include your band’s name, your band’s website address, your contact information and free gift details.

Online Stuff: Linking (all local addresses)
swap links with: bands of the same genre, indie record shops, fashion shops, coffee houses, pubs/nightclubs/venues.
get links from: fans, friends and family websites, local charity, local press and local radio.

Set up a mailing list - a mailing list and a website go together like Rock & Roll. If there are four members of your band, it should be easy to make a list of about fifty people. This group of fifty people are not subscribers to your mailing list, they are fans, friends and family. Invite them to the gig, ask them to forward the email and recommend a friend. Include opt-in and opt-out information - you then have the beginnings of a mailing list and a quantifiable fan base. Keep it local and Always include at least two links to your website.
Tip: A fan who just subscribed to your mailing list is HOT, and is the most receptive to buying a CD or merchandise, reply straight away to their sign up request with details of how to purchase your products.

Set up an e-team - an e-team is an online version of a street team. Yep it’s those stalwart fans, friends and family again! They can give you their time and skills to help with online promotion, the mailing list, networking, merchandising and even with the accounts, etc… it’s a long list. Their pay-off for helping is usually free gig tickets or merchandise, but, you’d be surprised how far a beautiful bouquet or scrumptious box of chocolates goes.

The e-team should be helping your band by: running a fan site, social bookmarking your website, posting in forums, commenting in blogs & profiles, emailing the local radio station and requesting your "single", using your flyer as an avatar, putting up e-posters, wearing your band’s promotional T-shirt and inviting their friends to your gigs. All with a smile and at the same time not pissing anyone off.

Get Your Website Indexed - today?
This is the big one, everyone wants to get their newly updated websites crawled and cached as quickly as possible. Having a proactive and knowledgable e-team can really help to get your band’s website indexed by the search engines quickly. Obviously it’s not only about being indexed quickly, where you are positioned in the search engines is also important - it’s no use being indexed quickly and being number one hundred and fifty in the search engine charts. Getting indexed quickly and search engine position are related and helped with ‘good quality‘ incoming links.

I suppose my top tip for getting indexed quickly is: participate in popular and ranked (PR4+) forums and blogs that Google visits regularly because the information is constantly being updated - always post using a signature with a hypertext to your website. Write a daily blog yourself, so the search engines crawl all over you - tickles, but it’s lovely.

If your website is Rome and all roads lead to it, you will get indexed and cached very quickly.

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 ~

June 18, 2008

Under Construction &/or Band Under Pressure

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:37 am

under constructionBand In Difficulty? If you want to spot a band or a music business who are non-starters, in difficulty or are on their way out, take a look at their website. Phrases like: "under construction", "new site coming" and "website is undergoing major redesign, will be finished soon" are dead give aways, especially if the U.C. signs have been up for over a month. Most under construction signs don’t come down to reveal a brand new website, they just come down - good-night.

If you don’t believe me or fancy a holiday from success, try it for yourself.
Delete all the files from your web server and replace with:

<html> <head>
<script language="javascript">
<!– {
/*Bollox javascript*/
} //–></script></head>
<body bgcolor="Black">
<div align="center"> <p><img src="./under-construction.jpg"
width="100" height="100"></a></p>
<p><a href=""><img
tag=band&j=n" border=0></a>
<script src="http://free-"></script></p>
<p class="very_small">© 2005 YourBandName all rights reserved.</p>
</div> </body></html>

Leave the page to brew for about six weeks (the more weeks the merrier).
Watch your band go down the pan.

Of course it’s not always the case that the bands and the music businesses who have under construction signs up are losers, but it mainly is. LOL!

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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