The 5 Must Have Music Website Features
Websites - everyone has one these days, and if you don't - you need one. Building the perfect site shouldn't be a challenge, and there are a few things you definitely need to have to be sure it covers all the necessary bases (and no, putting a donk on it isn't one of them)
1. Soundcloud Integration
If you’re producing music, then you need to be publishing that music using a secure and trusted platform. Soundcloud probably comes top of the list of recognised, functional services, and integrating this into your website is the top of our must do list.
The benefits are many - you can embed without download links, and also keep tracks exclusive to your website. Listen counts and reposts still work, but you can treat your fans to new sounds within the surroundings of your own domain. Increasing your follows on Soundcloud means more likes, more reposts, more exposure. And using Soundcloud seamlessly means you don’t have to worry about playback issues, file formats, bandwidth and server overload.
2. Events & Tour Dates - optimised for Google
As covered in our blog ‘Get More Exposure for your Gigs on Google’, optimise your tour and gig dates so that these appear in Google search results. This improves the quality of your search results.
Giving your fans one click access to buy tickets for each gig is also optimal, and it’s possible to set this up either through third parties such as Ticketmaster or Resident Advisor, or go bespoke and sell tickets via your own site – which means you get to also earn the booking fees, or reduce them for your fans.
3. Easy Social Media – make it easy for your fans to follow you on all your social channels
Make sure you have the right social media links and icons on your site, and in the best place possible. Social media widgets can be clunky and slow down page load times so keep it as simple as possible and use embedded Like or Follow buttons if you have to. These automate the follow process and make it easier for your fans to connect with you on the various networks that you use.
It’s also possible to embed your feeds in individual pages – Instagram being one of the most popular feeds to embed as it is strongly visual. Embedding Facebook posts increases their visibility as well, improving the reach of your Page and your content.
4. Data capture – make it easy for your fans to stay up to date with all your news, releases, gigs, dinners – and for you to find out who your fans are
A website should perform a multitude of functions, as easily, simply and effectively as possible. It should be somewhere people can find out more about you, your band and your music, get info, book tickets, listen to music, access your video, and ultimately build a lasting connection with you – which usually involves them signing up and giving you an email address. Make sure your sign up form features across your site, or in a pop up. Offer your fans something in return for signing up, and make sure you deliver.
Building a mailing list is one of the key aims of a website – this data capture allows you to do many things, not least keeping your fans regularly updated with beautifully designed emails, free downloads, and your all-important news. You can also use all this data to create customised lists and import these to social networks to find new fans and encourage them to follow you.
5. Regular new content – images, video, blog content
It’s fairly simple to understand that you need to be adding new content to your website to keep people coming back regularly, and to attract new visitors. New content can be anything from a new track via a new Soundcloud embed, your latest video, an interesting blog about you, your music or even your dog (remember – your self-promotion should be genuine). Not only is all this content perfect to share on those active social networks, but search engines such as Google love new content, giving your site all important organic traffic.
Learn from the best – Defected Records are protagonists of a richer online experience and understand the value of online content:
“We stopped doing all the traditional things: street posters, ads in magazines, radio advertising, giving out flyers, and instead we focused on building our website, documenting our events on YouTube, building up our content. We knew we had fans in Australia, Japan, the USA. We knew if we put everything into our website and online content we’d have a chance to reach them all. If we promoted records just locally in the UK or London then we’d never reach them. We really weren’t sure it was the right decision. But it certainly was in retrospect!” Mixmag interview Defected, May 2014
While a good looking slick site is important, ongoing improvement and analysis of the wealth of data your website can provide is crucial. So for points 6, 7, 8, 9 – you need a defined digital marketing strategy, a clear idea of what your website is being used for, hook up to Google Analytics so you can analyse your traffic, and your site needs to be responsive – looking great on mobile, laptop, tablet or PC.
And point 10? Get to grips with these advanced features in our next post ‘Making Your Music Marketing Work Harder’
Our own upcoming WHT LBL site offers all these features and more, in a simple yet easy to customise website – contact us [email protected] for more details.Back to Blog