Guest post by Damian Burke, web developer and editor of The Doughnut.
In part one of this intro SEO guide for musicians, we talked about what techniques you can use on your website to maximize your online impact. In this article, we're going to delve into off-page SEO tactics – which means learning how you can use external links to improve your website's search rankings and help people find your band.
Link building, content marketing, spamming (don’t do this)… all you need to know today is that not all links are equal, but generally the more natural (non-spam) links are, the better.
Internal links on your site are important, but what we’re talking about is external links (also known as inbound links) that point to your URL.
So how can you use inbound links to your benefit? Here's the breakdown:
Optimize Your Own Links
Start by optimizing what links you already have. Add your website to your social profiles like Twitter or Instagram, and don’t forget your Sonicbids profile.
Always keep your links consistent and consider “deep linking” to a specific page (for example, yourband.com/press-kit/), especially if your homepage is relatively unexciting.
The anchor text (the text displayed to the reader) can help you rank for the term, so this is a good place to use any keywords you’ve highlighted before – but only if it makes sense to the user.
Optimize Historic Links
Finding a list of past links or mentions should be easy enough with Google Analytics, YouTube analytics, Google searches, Twitter search and tools like Open Site Explorer.
Using your buzz list, identify blogs or websites that that may have reviewed your music or posted your video, but haven’t linked to your website. Simply drop them a polite email and ask for a link.
Build New Links
How do you get new links? Do something! There’s plenty on information out there about building relationships with music bloggers, but thinking laterally is the best way to generate some outside interest, and it largely depends on your end goal.
If you’re a live performer, hold a competition for the best fan photo. If you’re involved in a music charity, organize an event and invite local journalists. Collaborate on projects with other musicians and share your fanbases with each other.
Like music, there is no one formula for SEO. There are some initial basics, but it’s more of a way of thinking to maximize what you’re already doing, rather than a set of rules or tricks.
There’s a lot of misinformation about SEO out there, and a lot of scammers too. If you’d like to learn more, the best resources to learn more about the nuts and bolts are the Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO and Google’s own Webmaster Guidelines.
Feel free to ask me questions on Google+ or Twitter via @DoughnutMag.
Want more SEO tips for musicians? Read part three for expert tips to make your website even faster and better than it already is!