With social media more popular than ever, does a band even need a website in 2021? As much as people are attracted to newsfeeds, short videos, and streaming, building a band website is a must for serious musicians.
Making your own music website means you can control the experience and brand the design so it’s truly unique. Your music may get discovered on a TikTok video or a Spotify stream, but your website will complete the picture of you as an artist. Set your band up for success by creating a professional looking website that’s a point of access for potential fans and industry alike.
Here are 5 best practices for building a band website in 2021:
1. Create clear branding
If you are just getting started building a band website, review your current branding to determine how you’d like to be portrayed online. The type of music that you play and your fan demographic might inform the design choices you make; from your logo to fonts, you’ll want to make sure it all fits together.
Make sure your main image is consistent across your website, social networks, and streaming platforms. If someone discovers your music and looks up your website, you want to be sure they know they’re in the right place. You can do this by getting professional photos of your band, then using those across all of your online channels.
Your band website should also contain a clear, consistent tone across your pages. It should match the branding you’ve set up for yourself - think about who you are speaking to, and how you would talk to them.
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One note on branding is that you can review your website’s look and feel before releasing new music, to be sure everything is cohesive. You may want to revamp your imagery, colors, and website template to match a new music release.
2. Design with your purpose in mind
What should a band website include? This depends on your purpose. Your pages will be different if you’re a record label, a music teacher, a recording artist, a performer, releasing new music, or trying to book weddings.
Once you’re settled on the purpose of your website, use appropriate navigation to make it easy for your visitors to find the content and information they’re looking for.
To help with this, create a really clear menu, with each page name simple and on point. From there, each page that you create should have a focus. Your music page will contain music, context for that music, and related information. You can name this page ‘Music’ - this may seem common and unique, but the fact is it will ensure that someone landing on your website looking for your music knows exactly where to find it. Creating an organized user experience is more important than a creative page name.
3. Make it mobile-ready
In 2021 it’s an absolute must that your website works seamlessly on mobile devices. Mobile pages are optimal for creating good band website SEO as they will rank better in Google.
Mobile digital media time is higher than ever, with many visitors to your website arriving there using a tablet or phone. In order to make a good impression, your band website needs to look as professional on mobile as it does on a computer.
In addition to making things easy, a strong mobile site will also mean that your fans can support you in the way they choose - from purchasing merch from your store, to joining your mailing list - right from their phones.
4. Offer something for everyone
With a website that’s on brand, cleanly organized, and mobile-ready, you’ll want to build out website content that offers something for everyone. There should be something for every level of fan, from a potential fan, to someone invested in your career.
If you want to make money from your music online, make sure to add a store with merch and music. If you’re promoting your latest release, all of the information needed to listen, market, and buy that music should be easily accessible on your website.
An EPK is an important piece of this website puzzle. Create a press kit to satisfy the needs of a promoter, venue, radio station, media outlet, blogger, or talent buyer. With everything in one place, it’ll reduce the need for you to be running around updating a bio right before a showcase, or scrounging up a stage plot.
A website is also an important place to build and maintain your fanbase, and the best way to do that is by using a mailing list sign-up form directly on your pages. This gives new fans an easy way to support you, and also offers your true fans a guaranteed way to find out about your new music or upcoming shows first.
5. Keep it updated
This biggest mistake bands make when building a website is letting it sit and get stale. Your website should be the main hub for your music online. Make sure it reflects you at your best, and at your most up-to-date.
This might be updating the design to be on trend, but moreover you’ll want to make sure that you’re regularly giving your website a review and updating the content. This shows that your music, and your career, has momentum which is really important for an independent artist or band.
Don’t underestimate the interest people have in knowing details about you, your life, your career, and your music. You can use updated information to engage your visitors - create videos, blogs posts, news, photos - and repurpose it across your newsletter and social channels.
Once you have built a band website, putting your best foot forward online means regularly reviewing your website to be sure that you’re following best practices.
You’ll want to maintain a sense of branding, create a clean user experience with your menu, and make pages that suit your specific purpose. Your content should offer something for every level of fan, plus industry professionals, and you’ll want to be sure to update your content on an ongoing basis.
Maintaining an on trend, mobile-ready, and informational website will show that you’re a serious musician with momentum in your career.
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