A version of this article originally appeared on Bandzoogle.
When fans visit your band's website, you don't want them to have the same reaction as the gentleman in the video at the bottom of this post. Your website should be a place fans enjoy visiting to get your latest news, hear your latest music, watch your videos, and shop from your online store. Here are eight things to avoid that could be turning fans away from your site for good.
1. It doesn't work well on mobile
More and more fans are accessing the web from mobile devices, so it's extremely important to make sure that your website and all of the features work on mobile. If fans visit your site from their phones and they have to zoom in to read content, your events calendar doesn't load, or your online store doesn't work, you could be losing sales.
2. You have a useless intro page
Intro pages should serve a specific purpose and not just be an extra step for fans to access your website. So unless you're promoting something temporarily like a new album, new video, or crowdfunding campaign, don't make fans click through an intro page that simply has your photo each time they visit your site.
3. Your navigation is unclear
When creating your navigation, remember to keep it simple. People have very short attention spans, and not a lot of time. If they have to think about what content might be in a certain section of your site because the name is fancy/cute/artsy, chances are, they're going to skip it.
4. You have too much content
Often, bands try to do too much on their websites. There are so many tools, features, and widgets out there, but you don't have to use them all. Simple really is better. Make it easy for people to find the content that they're looking for, and don't clutter up pages with every social media feed possible.
5. You never update it
If a fan visits your site and doesn't see any news, new music, or videos, he or she might not come back again. Be sure to update your website to keep fans coming back. If you have a blog or a news page on your site, make sure to keep it up to date with the latest news from your career.
6. Your music auto-starts
Some musicians love the auto-start function on music players, but many fans do not. Countless people have no doubt startled their co-workers with blaring music that suddenly auto-started with the speakers on full blast, or created an unwanted mix with whatever they were already listening to. Have a clear play button on your website, and give fans the option to press it.
7. The text is unreadable
There isn't much point in having information on your website if fans can't read it. Avoid using color fonts for your content, which are harder to read (although fine for highlights and links), and stick to white text on dark backgrounds or black text on light backgrounds to be safe. Also, be sure to use a reasonable font size for your content. Don't use any sizes below 14 points, and DO NOT USE ALL CAPS FOR ENTIRE PARAGRAPHS.
8. It has tons of ads
Your website should be focused on your music and your career. Don't put a bunch of ads that aren't related to your music. They probably won't match the look of your site, are a distraction for visitors, and chances are, you're not going to make much money from them. Focus instead on selling your music and merch to generate revenue from your website.
This guy did not enjoy the website he was visiting. Hopefully it wasn't yours!
Learn more about how to make your band's website awesome:
- How to Optimize Your Band's Website in 7 Steps
- 5 Things You Should Have Readily Available on Your Band's Website
- 4 Common Website Intro Page Mistakes That Musicians Should Avoid
Dave Cool (yes, that's his real name) is the Director of Artist Relations for Bandzoogle, a website and marketing platform for musicians.