This article originally appeared on the DIY Musician blog.
All winter my backyard has looked like one of those "north of the Wall" segments from Game of Thrones. Now that I can hear the faint trickle of melting ice, I'm just going to go ahead and declare that spring has arrived. Which also means it's time to take a fresh look at your band website and make sure it's up to date. Remember, most of the people out there who encounter your music will find you online. If your website looks… neglected, your visitors won't take you as seriously as an artist. Your fans might even stop recommending your music to their friends.
To make sure that doesn't happen, take five minutes or so to clean out the cobwebs, brush off the snow, or whatever metaphor might apply to you.
1. Remove any outgoing links to websites or social platforms you don't use
Are you still linking your fans to Twitter even though you haven't tweeted in four years? Yeah, you might want to delete that link, or any other link that leads people away from your website and towards an online ghost town.
2. Update your gig calendar
Make sure to list all of your upcoming concerts, big and small, on your tour calendar. Visitors want to see that you're active in your music-making. If you've stopped playing live for a little while, be sure to mention that at the top of the calendar: "We won’t be playing shows until fall of 2015 because we're recording some new songs that we're really excited about. See you in October!"
3. Switch out your background image
By changing your background image (assuming your site has a background image), you can get a whole new look for your entire website with just one update.
4. Reassess your calls to action
A call to action is simply when you ask your website visitors to do something. Here are a few call to action examples:
- Sign up for my email list
- Buy this album
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel
- Download this free track
- Check out my gallery
- Send me your song requests
Make sure that you're guiding your visitors towards the action that will support your current goals, so update them accordingly. Also, don't confuse people with too many calls to action. For every page of your website that features a call to action, ask yourself, "What is the one thing I want someone to do on this page?"
5. Add some new details to your bio
Does your band bio reflect where you are right now? If not, add a sentence or two to the end of your existing bio about what you're up to these days. No need to do a major rewrite (unless there have been major changes). You can handle the big biographical overhaul when you release your next album, do a full site redesign, or reach some other music career milestone.
6. Double-check your contact info
One of the biggest and easiest mistakes to make when so many of us use multiple email accounts (I'm guilty, too) is having outdated contact info on your website. Don't miss out on important opportunities simply because nobody could get a hold of you. Check the phone numbers, email addresses, and contact forms on your website. Make sure they all go to the email account or phone number you answer most often.
Want even more website tips? Check out these articles:
- 8 Reasons Why Fans Hate Your Band's Website
- 4 Common Website Intro Mistakes That Musicians Should Avoid
- How to Optimize Your Band's Website in 7 Steps
- How to Create a Squeeze Page to Easily Collect Fans' Email Addresses
- 4 Things That Every Great Band Website Has in Common
Chris Robley is an indie-pop songwriter whose music has been praised by the LA Times, NPR, the Boston Globe, and more. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry magazine, Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, and others. Robley is also the editor of CD Baby's DIY Musician blog.