In 2006, I extensively studied record labels and very famous artists to view what works and doesnt work in their websites. I subscribed to most fan clubs and stayed registered to each one for at least a few months as I saw how they worked and what worked. As its the record labels that operate these websites, I learnt about the strategies that they are using right now in todays world to create success. Here are seven things I found that will make or break your music website.
* Provide easy navigation for your end user. Make sure that the user can click easily to navigate onto other pages. Most websites are not easily readable. Choose easy navigation over stylish fonts. Allow your website to drive usage from one page to the next, while your telling the reader what to do. Dont make them guess.
* Copy is extremely important. Your websites copy is really important. Copy is the text throughout the website that continuously entices your reader to sign up to the mailing list. Record labels are only starting to place a big emphasis on mailing lists as the world is moving fast to an all-internet age. You must use copy to get peoples email addresses as this is more important than making the sale right away.
* Release features early and often. Start with a core set of features and always know your end goals. Small increments show visible progress. If you stay personable and honest and set expectations, fans will be a lot more receptive when things break.
* Make sure you are blogging. Most musicians are not. Every musician needs one thing on the web and that is for people to visit their websites. Websites are static. Blogs are always changing. Start a free blog at WordPress and post short comments regularly. Regular comments keep your blog refreshed all the time and this allows big search engines like Google to raise the ranking, thus getting your blog and ultimately website more traffic. You may need to consider Podcasting instead or as an addition. My friend David Jackson runs the Musicians Cooler Podcasts, check it out and start your own!
* Headlines. Your website must now incorporate a catchy headline that will draw the reader to your site. A reader generally has just less than 3 seconds to decide whether to stay at your website or not. When you use a headline, you dramatically increase the 3 seconds barrier as reader eyes are drawn to the headline. When its catchy, people will stay. You have past the first hurdle. Create a powerful headline.
* Testing, testing, testing. Always test your stats. If you have a headline, test it every few weeks by changing it and seeing which one produced the better result, then make a note of it. Change it again and view which produced the better result. A perfect headline can get you an increase of up to 400% in your sales. Its worth testing.
* Have passion. If your website doesnt show your passion through its sound, feeling and words, then your user will not stay. Passion is of paramount importance. If you believe it, do it. Dont let anyone else tell you otherwise. Do it against the odds and with little startup money. If I can do it, so can you.
Start implementing them in your websites and increase your results!