Your website should be the first result when a potential fan searches online for you, with concise and easy to navigate pages for everything you do, including your merch for sale, tour and ticket information as well as your band biography and any potential band updates of tours, music releases and music videos. Your website should be the destination you drive all of your fans to through social media, not the other way around.
With the rise of social media and the seemingly easy connection with fans, websites have fallen off to the wayside. Whether it’s because you might think it’s too much to deal with, maybe you’re intimidated by even thinking of building a site, upkeep and cost or you just don’t think you need a website since you have a facebook page.
Well…. You’re wrong. There are a lot of benefits to having a website separate from just your social accounts and it’s not nearly as costly or confusing as you might think.
Very first thing you need to understand is… not everyone uses facebook, and yes, there’s hundreds of millions of users but you need to be accessible to everyone. With the rapidly decreasing album sales (yay streaming services!), you need to think about how to make money, get fans and sell tickets in every way possible.
The first step is the easiest, even if you’re not ready to build it right away. Go buy your band’s domain! Most domains only cost $7.99 to $12.99 a year. That’s a dollar or less a month. Cheap enough just to buy and sit on if and when you need to use it. Simply owning your band’s domain can help get some fans access to your music and shows.
Say you’re the opening band out of state. A few people in the crowd take to you. What’s the first thing they will do after the show? Well look you up on Facebook and like your page hopefully. What about the people that don’t use facebook? Maybe they will find your bandcamp page? If you have one?
It will come down to a whole lot of not much for non facebookers.
Maybe your band just started up and you haven’t even recorded a song. That’s cool. You can at least buy your domain or as close to it as is available. Why? Because someone like us might come along and buy it before you can…
Take our friends Witch Ripper. As of the writing of this post, 7/10/2020, we own their domain. Witchripper.com. Why you ask? Because they are so badass, one day they will be selling out arenas and festivals and on that day we will sell their domain back to them for millions!! BWAHAHAHA…..
Seriously though, we picked it up since it was not taken and a two word domain like witchripper.com is almost unheard of for sale. So we jumped on it and currently use it to show you some examples and different things you can use it for outside of a website.
There are much more expensive domains, known as premium domains. These usually consist of 1 to 2 word domains that are very common like dating.com or meat.com. If your name/domain is something like this then think (real hard) about what you can add to your name that will go well. Take Mastodon for example. They use mastodonrocks.com. You will probably have to add something as well if your domain name is already taken.
Some ideas would be to add “live”, “rocks”, “band”, “music”, “metal” etc….
Another thing you can do if your domain.COM is taken is look at other domain extensions (the .COM part of the domain). Today there are hundreds, over 395 different extensions like .mobi, .us .singles etc.. and weirdly enough .hiv… not sure who’s using that one…. Word of warning though, .COM is still the best one you can buy (search engine ranking wise). Most of the other extensions are junk. The only other extension that’s worth buying other then .COM is .NET SEO wise.
So say witchripper.com was taken but witchripper.net was open or you have the choice between witchripperrocks.com and witchripper.net. If you can get your direct name.net I’d probably go with that but if it’s between witchripperrocks.com and witchripperrocks.net. .COM all the way.
Honestly the only reason to get a domain with one of the other extensions is if it fits your name. Let’s take the widely popular band “You Love Us”. Youlove.us is kinda cool to own and looks nice but just isn’t viable in the world of search engines and SEO. I’d suggest still buying the .com or .net version as well and simply do a redirect (we’ll discuss this a bit later).
So you own your domain but still don’t have a reason to put money into a website yet, what can you use it for? First off you can set up your “official” email addresses for your band members. You know Peter@bandname.com firstname.lastname@example.org etc… and you will want to have an address you communicate to your fans with like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be mainly for your email blasts…. If you are not doing weekly/bi weekly or even monthly emails then you are also REALLY losing out. Read more on email and email marketing here.
Now you can also set an easy redirect on your domain to something that is useful. I set up a simple smart URL on witchripper.com as used in this example. This way anyone that goes directly to your site (we call this type-in traffic) gets a menu to choose where they want to go, whether it’s your YouTube channel, Bandcamp, Facebook etc…
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