Music Websites- A Crash course in SEO 

by Andrew Hughes

 


 

This article is mainly aimed at music websites, but I do also feel that it can be incorporated into other sites with different themes.

 

In this article I am going to cover some basic ideas about developing your websites language and content. Including how to guide your content, tools to check your competition, and how and what type of links to build. These tips will hopefully give you a confident approach to some of the things you should include when thinking about getting to the top of search engines.

 

Getting Started

 

One of the main problems in writing for a website is what on earth do you write, and if you want to rank high on searches then your probably going to have to do a number of hours serious research.

 

I guess the first thing you'll need to do is look at the competition. I wanted to base my website on my own music, and include photos, lyrics, gig listings, news and a biog about myself. So I checked up on some of my favourite bands to see what they were doing and and wrote down some ideas regarding how I ranked these websites, in terms of what information they gave, how much detail there was, and an overall impression of the style and design.

 

From this it seems a simple navigation is best, with a front page upon entering the site. From the topics I’ve already mentioned, I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine setup a template which would act as the foundation for my site, Home/About/Gigs/News/Music/Photos/Lyrics/Contacts, (i cant take cerdit for the design)

 

Basically once I had the basic site sorted and ready for content, I realized that, in order to generate hits or visitors, I would need to be appearing on the radar for certain searches; it seems obvious to me now, but at the time it wasn’t that obvious, I was guessing at what people would search for, and what content would work best. Then I stumbled across a tool which would change my view on content for ever.

 

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ 

 

If you put the main keyword for your site into this online program, then it will generate all the other key words associated. I would strongly suggest this forms the basics for your contents.  

NB: use the main key word specific to your website, ie, it could be "food" "consultancy" etc

 

If you key in "music" you get the following result

 

6374397

 music download

 3974815

 music

 1095695

 free music downloads

 927988

 music video

 559262

 yahoo music

 470195

 free music

 340798

 music code

 318043

 download music

 296965

 music site myspace.com

 

The list above shows the top 8 terms for music, and how often they were searched in the last month. By utilizing this list to develop my content, I could ensure that search terms that were actually being keyed into the top engines, i.e. Google/msn/yahoo would actually appear on my website. Further to this, more specific content aligned with myself and my music would form the rest.

 

So taking this list, I developed a brief for what each section of my web page would include, and then made a grid, aligning each search term into the relevant section of my site.

 

e.g.

 

Home:  "Free music downloads"

Music: "download Music"

Contact: "music site myspace"

 

(Use as much of the list generated as possible, and assign the terms to each section of you website)

 

I used as many of the terms thrown up by overture as I could in each relevant part of my site. Then I began to write the rest of the content around these key searched terms.

 

After  a bit of revision, I was really pleased with the results, how the site read, and most of the top searched terms around music were in utilised, divided across the various pages, i.e. home, music, etc etc, (I would say at this point what you want to include in the various sections of your site is really up to you). In the end, using this method, your content is much more like a well marketed free music website. This is what is going to get you to the top of search engines, and get your site visited by the demographic of people who are searching for what in this case is music.

 

The most important point is that your content is guided by the overture keywords

 

Links

 

It’s a really good idea to have as many links as you can,

 

For music this comes in a number of forms,

 

Firstly, there are free band sites, i.e. soundclick.com (where I currently host my music) and garageband.com etc etc, there are really alot, register with as many as you can. As a start point these are a really great source of "non-reciprocal" links to your site, the more of these you have the better, I spent allot of time, registering, with these, perhaps posting one song, and a short biog.

 

The next step I would suggest, is too check out the competition again www.freewebsubmission.com has a link popularity checker, you can go on here, and see who or where is linking to you and other bands websites that are similar to the music/website you are making. Spend time trailing these, and visit the sites linking to your competition and see if you can get a free nonreciprocal link. You need as many as you can. Also enter band directories (or directories that are relevant) and try to build up your link popularity, again, for the description of your website, you can use reviews, a short biog, or general quotes that seem appropriate. One of the best places to try and register your site is http://dmoz.org/ 

 

I do have some links out from my website, I mainly use links to venues I’ve played which seems to work well. Other links from my site are purely just text, and are not hyperlinks, as I’ve discovered, its only really a benefit to have inbound and a few out bound.

 

Also I think it’s a good idea to link to people you may have worked with, this helps build a community within your social circle on online. 

 

SEO submission, 

 

There are plenty of places to submit your site for crawling, I recon that Google eventually will crawl your site once you build the links up, but basically using the seo submission on  www.freewebsubmission.com works pretty well, I generally stick to submission that works automatically, some will require verification from your email address.

 

Finally

 

 

Finally the last thing that you can do to increase your traffic, is probably the most time consuming but, also pretty useful

 

Become an active member of a message board that is relevant to your site, basically read up, see what others have to say, keep up to speed with latest developments from here, and enjoy sharing knowledge.

 

Further things you would like to know, like how do I write a biog, are subjective, but tips can be found through Google.

 

I have basically told you in this article

 

How to guide your content

Tools to check your competition

How and what type of links to build

And a general view on developing your website

 

 

A final point

 

I hope you enjoyed this article and it gave you some guidance and tools to develop your site further and hopefully get it on the search engine radar.