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Step 2 – What should my website include?

Written by Admin on March 11, 2008 – 6:41 am -

While you’re considering what to put on your site, browse the web and see what other bands (Major and Indies) have done. You will then discover what most people often discover themselves: almost all band web sites are awful!

Now its time for you to discover a few things which will most definitely make your band’s web site a success!

Homepage / News

Your homepage should include a brief Welcome message that explains who your band is, what type of music you play and where you’re from followed by the Latest News and Band Happenings. You will want to include upcoming shows, CD releases, Radio Interviews, etc. in blog-like entries. This keeps things fresh and up-to-date. Fans always like to know the latest and this is a way to inform them right off the bat.

Band Bio

The first paragraph should stand out in some way with a clear description of who you are and what kind of music you make. Also, include other bands that you sound like (Don’t skip this one!) I know, I know, you are so original that your band sounds like nothing I ever heard before! Well, I’ve never heard monkeys farting. Does your band sound like monkeys farting? If you do, great, tell me, I’d love to listen to your clips to hear what it sounds like.

Next, move on immediately to explain what you are current efforts include (a new CD, an upcoming tour, whatever).

Then, summarize your background by highlighting significant facts and achievements.

Lastly, you want to wrap it up with a reminder about your current activities and/or your upcoming events once again.

Band’s Mailing List

This should be on every page, but instead of asking to ”Join Our Mailing List” you might want to use “Join Our Club.” Something that makes people feel part of a special group. You should include a link that explains to the subscriber things like:

  • What to expect once they join
  • How often they will be receiving messages
  • What the benefits are
  • What information is included

***Also, think about adding a Privacy Message stating that you will not share their e- mail address.

There are several paid and unpaid mailing list services out there. Two great companies are iContact.com, which is a paid service and Bravenet.com, which is an unpaid service.

Contact / Booking Information

You would be shocked at how many sites out there forget to include an email link for visitors to use to contact you.

Your contact information (especially email) should be on every page of your Website. You should also have a page devoted entirely to your contact information. Your contact info is your:

  • Email address
  • Phone numbers
  • Booking information number
  • Street address and/or P.O. Box number

***You never know when someone important will want to contact you! Don’t make these people search your whole entire site simply to locate an email address.

Tour Dates / Performance Schedule

Most genres of music require an act to play live. So be sure to play out live as often as possible and keep your performance sections on your websites updated constantly. Nothing is more of a turn off to industry reps than visiting a site where the performance schedule lists gigs that are months or weeks old. It is a sure sign that you are not busy, unprofessional and perhaps have even broken up or called it quits. You may include some notable past gigs to spark interest.

Be sure to include:

  • Show Dates
  • Show Times (Doors and Your Set)
  • Venue Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Website Addresses
  • Ticket Prices
  • Directions
  • Drink Specials

Your Music

The issue of full songs or samples is up to you, but you must have some way for visitors to listen to your music. I would suggest a dedicated Music or Media page as opposed to a Music Player. Also, include the lyrics to the songs that can be downloaded, if not to all of your songs.

Merchandise

Clearly and Directly design this section of your site to steer your fans and customers to HOW they can buy your products. Be sure to include past, present and even future releases you have for sale.

It can be as simple as directing them to an downloadable Order Form, linking them to online retailers like www.cdbaby.com, or whoever you have established an online sales connection with. If you have your own secure server all the better, in fact mixing up all of the above would be the best way to serve the diverse buying habits of your fans. Restricting them to only one choice is not an ineffective e-commerce marketing decision.

Photos

Create a Photo Gallery of live shows, professional photos, photos of you and your band in the studio, etc…Make sure you get tons of crowd shots and shots of individual people in the audience at every show. People love to look at themselves and it gives them all the more reason to re-visit your Website.

The problem with photo galleries are the load times because of improper picture resizing. Instead of one page with 10 massive pictures, create thumbnail pages where the pictures can be 100 pixels x 75 pixels, then create links to larger pictures usually 600 pixels x 450 pixels. This will allow the page to load faster and visitors can see all the pictures and choose which ones they’d like to see larger.

Links

Adding links to other websites that your band is featured on gives your visitors room to breathe, so to speak. Your links page should have every Website that you can be found on. Preferably the link will go to that page that you are on. Plus, exchanging links with other Websites increases your link popularity and raises your ranking in the search engines.

Some other pages to make life easier for the Press and Promoters:

Press Section

This page should be designed with the Media and Press in mind and include everything one can use for articles and reviews about the band. You can include:

  • Band Bios
  • Press Releases
  • Contact information for interviews
  • One Sheets
  • Logos
  • Images (at least 300dpi)

***Files should be in HTML, PDF, and WORD formats so the writer can simply copy and paste your information into their articles.

Promoter Section

This page should be extremely organized and clear! You may want to include:

  • Press Kits
  • One Sheets
  • Quotes
  • Posters
  • Logos for use in Ads
  • A Stage Plot and Input List for all of the clubs to use once you have gotten booked

Step 3 “What Shouldn’t my website include?” tomorrow!!


Posted in Web Site Design | 2 Comments »

2 Comments to “Step 2 – What should my website include?”

  1. Step 1 Before you Build | Independent Music Roundtable Says:

    [...] Step 2 “What should my website include?” tomorrow!! [...]

  2. 4 Easy Steps to Creating a Great Artist Web Site | Independent Music Roundtable Says:

    [...] 1 – Before you Build Step 2 – What should my website include? Step 3 What Shouldn’t my website include? Step 4 Some Other [...]

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