There are countless benefits to creating and maintaining social media and music streaming-related pages as an artist today, but nothing compares to having a personal, official website for your fans to turn to. That’s why today we’re going to run through why it’s so essential independent artists maintain a website and provide you with some food for thought to make sure you’re getting the most out it.
1. Link All Your Profiles to One Location
As your fan base continues to grows, it may prove difficult for fans to find all your channels without a direct link. Having a web page that consolidates all your pages, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iTunes,YouTube, Spotify, Songkick, Mixcloud, or whatever else you’re using, is the best way for fans to reach all your platforms from one space.
Plus, as your career grows even further, you may even find yourself in some weird instances where there are attempts to impersonate you. Think about how many “Official Zayn Malik” or “Real Ariana Grande” profiles you see out there on social media. It can get crazy. However, having an official website linking fans to the correct pages can help avoid any confusion, or follows on the wrong pages. Bottom line — you want your website to be the first stop for fan to stalk you on because you can/should be using it to link out every possible profile you’ve got going.
2. Greater Searchability
Another major reason why every artist needs to have their own website is that it greatly helps with your searchability on the internet. In fact, Google actually tends to rank “third party” profiles on sites such as Facebook or Twitter for example a little lower than official webpages.
You can find an example of this below. Notice how the official artist page ranks ahead of the third party profiles.
Moreover, having a website, and linking to your third party profiles (like our advice in the previous tip) can actually give the sites you link to a little boost on Google’s search ranking. By placing links to your preferred content around the web on your official site it can help educate the Google spiders where your key networks are.
3. Share Your News
Relying on fans to check one specific respective social media platform for updates from you isn’t the best idea. You want to have as many available channels as possible. Believe it or not, some of your fans may not even use Twitter or Instagram, but still would like to get information about your upcoming shows or music releases, and you certainly don’t want to miss out on more fans.
Housing all your big announcements on an updated “news” section on your website is a helpful resource for fans to stay up-to-date on all your happenings. Here they can see everything in one place including event flyers, tour dates, and info about how to purchase and stream your music, without getting restricted based on any social profiles they may or may not have.
4. House Your Press Materials
As you continue to build your career, reputation and your fan base grows, more and more industry leaders will need accurate information about you: a bio, details and quotes about your recent releases, high-resolution photos or videos, links to your social media, and potentially contact information. Basically you’re going to want to have an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and the best place to display that bad boy is going to be on your website.
Jumping ahead of the curve by having all this information up-to-date and available to download via your website saves time for you and/or your publicist or manager. You’ll no longer need to pull a bunch of different files to send directly to anybody, but rather can link them to your webpage. Plus it’s just plain ol’ great marketing collateral for onlookers to see.
5. Get Hooked Up with Google Analytics
Having a website is important, but knowing who’s visiting, how many, and where they’re actually coming from is equally important. There are tons of tools that can give you insights into these type of metrics, but none more widely used than Google Analytics. It’s a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Once you get your official artist website up and running be sure that you add Google Analytics to your website, so you can see get a deeper understanding of how your fans are interacting with your content.
6. Sell Some Merch
We would need to write a whole different piece to explain how essential it is for a touring artist to sell items in order to make money in the 21st century -- so we’ll just say that a website is the best place to showcase those products, and link out to another site for customers to actually buy them. Music Glue is a one-stop-shop for artists of all levels, in over 25 countries, to sell merch, music, and concert tickets, for only a 10% commission on all sales. The platform is so flexible, artists can actually create their full website for free, with integrated ecommerce, therefore never having to link fans away.
You should be using your website to sell all your collateral. Treat it like a mini ecommerce page.
Check out how the Red Hot Chili Peppers do it.
7. Your Website is Your Domain… Own It
8. Showcase Your Professional Image
Although well-known social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for posting about current events happening in your career, a website is the one place to showcase the gestalt of who you are as an artist, without the variable of a timeline. It’s much easier for people to click through a site that highlights your best press, best photos, and most relevant things about your career, rather than having a new fan or industry leader scroll through a timeline on one of your social pages. Magnetic Magazine said it well: “[having a website] allows musicians to take full control of their professional image.” Additionally, if you ever wanted to rebrand yourself, you can easily remove any imagery or branding assets that aren’t representative of your new image -- whereas it could take hours or even days to scroll through old posts that you want to remove on a seemingly-endless timeline.
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