TYPES OF LINKS
Basically there are three types of links:
- OUTGOING, *important* this is what they look like -
<a href="http://AnotherBand.com/">AnotherBand</a> these are links that lead away from your website. They are important partly because the hypertext becomes a keyword. See: promotion using links trick.
- INCOMING (backward links), *very important* this is what they look like -
target="_top">YourBandName</a> links that point to your website are the most important esp., for a band, as it's one of the ways future fans will find you. A link to your website is like a vote for your website. Getting unsolicited incoming links is very difficult, normally you have to ask and/or trade.
- INTERNAL, *important* this is what they look like -
target="_top">PageName</a> links that point within your website. Use easily identifiable and understandable textual links that are consistent and show how your website is organised. When linking from an internal webpage to the main (index.html) home page always use an absolute link, i.e. http://www.YourBandName.com/index.html
To get links you have to give links, it's called reciprocal linking. Reciprocal linking with like minded websites (other bands) is a great way to start promoting your band's website and should be a matter of course. It's a good idea to create some link code to make linking to you easier. Develop an out of the way links page. You link to their index.html page from your links.html page, they link to your index.html page from their links.html page. If they link to any other page on your website, ask them to change it, if they don't, remove your link to them.
The Best Link In The World
The best link in the World is from your fan's Favorites list (MSIE and Bookmark in NN). You may need to remind the visitor to add you to their list. Of course, it's best when they want to add you to their Favorites because they like your site. Here's a bit of code that should do the job:
<a onclick="window.external.AddFavorite(location.href,document.title)" href="http://www.YourBandName.com/"><b>Add BandName to your Favorites!</b></a>
The Worst Link In The World
The worst link in the world is within the visitor's browser, the back button! They'll click it within five seconds if they don't like what they see or your page is taking to long to load.
WHERE TO GET LINKS
- BBC! the BBC's Onemusic is overall a very good resource for unsigned bands, if you approach correctly and have talent you will get a link - somewhere!
- Directories: DMOZ and yahoo are the most well known, but there are many specialist music directories and "lists", Quanta Webdesign (see below) is a good resource.
- Forums, Weblogs, Guestbooks & Message Boards: there are many thousands of these. You will get the best results if you become part of the "community", spend some time reading before posting, don't just blatantly plug your band, it's bad for business. Create a very short signature that includes a link to your website.
- General Websites: take a look at your genre, your music and the people who listen to it, then target websites that fit-in with the "lifestyle", e.g. you are a Heavy Metal band, try approaching Custom Motorcycle websites?! Sorry about the obvious example, but you know what I mean.
- Build a Network of Websites: this is taking internal linking to the extreme. You create, say, twenty totally independent websites with their own domain names, and they all link to your main website. It works, but it's very time consuming (you would need help) and if you are on a budget it's quite expensive.
- Reciprocal Linking With Other Bands: is the best linking method for bands to employ. Each time you come into contact with a another band start networking and swap website addresses (get some business cards). Try to be prompt with adding the link.
- Unsigned Band Promotion: ask via email firstname.lastname@example.org, here is some code:
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target="_top">Unsigned Band Promotion</a></p>
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Avoid... In My Opinion
Free For All Links Pages, Automated Link Exchanges & Webrings: they could bring a massive surge of traffic to your website, but not through genuine inquisitiveness. They almost always increase spam email to beyond the limit and only really benefit the website that set up the scheme in the first place. Handle with kid gloves.
Simply, don't do it, in the end it will cost you dear.
Enlist Some Help
Ask fans, friends and family to help with promoting your band's website online. They too, can spend some time contributing to forums, weblogs, guestbooks & message boards, the more the merrier! remember, no spamming. See: Get your fans, friends and family to invest in you.
Keep your website up-to-date, don't let it get stale and do your best to come up with original ideas. Content is always the keyword in website promotion. Good content means other websites will want to link to you.
There is no need to worry about PR, unless it stays at 0 for a long period - e.g. four months. PR will improve with the quality and quantity of Content, in combination with the quality and quantity of Backward Links, and Time.
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