Top 5 Tips for Getting Your Music Discovered Online
A Musician’s Guide to SEO
1. Pick a unique band name
Usually, I’d say the name of a band doesn’t matter; but in the cyber world, this can make all the difference. Picking a name that is easy to rank for on Google is essential for new fans to be able to find you! Ranking for keyword searches on Google is very easy when the keyword or long tail keyword (combination of words) isn’t something many people search for. Let’s take the band “Real Estate” for example. This band has over 1 million monthly listeners, and over forty thousand Instagram followers. With a quick google search of their name, they rank…nowhere on the first five pages. Now let’s look at my high school band “Olympic Formal” (this isn’t me trying to plug my music I swear). With just over 50 followers on SoundCloud and less than 700 followers on Instagram, all our sites pop up at the top of the first page. You think anyone is searching for “Olympic Formal” and not looking for us? PICK A GOOD BAND NAME!
2. Stop using hashtag music
When people are searching for new music, a lot of times it happens on Instagram or Twitter, but #music has over 180 million posts. You are not going to rank for that hashtag. I promise. Instagram’s new algorithm discourages people from using a ton of hashtags, and doing so can lead to you even being “shadow banned.” So pick five or six relevant hashtags that are more niche than the umbrella terms people usually use. It’s a lot easier to rank for something like #bostonhiphop than #hiphop.
3. Make a WordPress
Many people think Blogs are a thing of the past…and they’re kind of right. The likelihood of getting people to engage with a website that’s not a major social media platform isn’t nearly as high as it was in the early 2000s. However, using a site like WordPress allows you to repost all your pictures and videos from Instagram and Facebook and add “alt text.” Alt Text is the description that is behind the photo that no one sees. Having the name of your band or other keywords in the alt text of your WordPress allows you to show up for searches on Google Images.
4. Links are key
Google uses things called “spiders” to search every page for anything that is relevant to your search. One of the things that these spiders look for is internal links to relevant content. So if you want your Bandcamp page at the top of a Google search, be sure to post links to all your social media pages and websites, as well as have other sites (personal accounts/blogs and professional blogs) link your sites within their posts.
5. Content is king
The days of just putting out music are over! Musicians have to realize they are not in the music business, but also the entertainment business! The single best way to get your music discovered is by having something that lots of people engage with. It’s a hell of a lot easier to have 1000 people watch a one minute Instagram video of a jam session than it is to get 1000 Spotify streams. It’s all about that content baby!