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SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search

SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search
February 7, 2023
Search Engine Optimisation - or SEO - has become a key part of nearly every business’s online marketing strategy, helping place content in front of more people and rank higher in Google’s internet searches. 

Musicians and bands can apply the same SEO steps to their music marketing strategy and push their music higher up search listings on Google. To help you increase your site ranking, we’ve compiled a list of some useful SEO tips that you can apply to help your music appear higher and more often in internet searches. 

How to get music to appear on Google search

Standing out online as a musician is harder than ever in 2023, but there are marketing strategies that you can use to enhance your music’s popularity and impact your Google search ranking. Despite the tough competition, researching similar artists and outlining your music’s goals can really help you get the most out of your SEO efforts.

Before we get started with tips on how to best optimise your music and website content, it’s useful to break down the 2 main types of SEO you’ll likely need to know about to boost your music. First up is on-page SEO.

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO involves optimising your website directly from within your content. On-page marketing tactics usually include:

- Adding your chosen keywords within your pages

- Having a better page than existing competitors

- Making your site relevant and trustworthy

What is off-page SEO?

Opposite on-page SEO sits off-page SEO. You might have already guessed, but off-site SEO is all about what you do away from your website that directs people to your brand and site. 

This aspect of SEO is essentially based around how you market your music as a whole, and can include engaging with your fans on Discord or Reddit forums, social media posts, and linking back to your website - think ticket or merch links. All of this will help you increase site traffic and over time, your Google ranking.

SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search - off-page SEO

How to set SEO goals

Before optimising your website for Google searches, it’s important to take some time to decide exactly what your SEO goals are. Is your main aim to reach existing fans who are specifically searching for your band name or are you trying to build your fanbase with people who might just happen to stumble across your site when searching for general music topics? 

New fans may have come across your music on a Spotify playlist or seen you perform at a summer festival and now want to find out a bit more about you. This is where having a strong search ranking will come in handy and help them find you. 

SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search - music fans at a festival

How to choose your SEO keywords

Once you’ve set your goals, you can then decide on exactly what SEO keywords you should aim to rank for. It might sound obvious, but a good starting point is to target your own band name. 

After deciding on the right keywords to target, include them in all of the metadata on your website and content. Also try to include synonyms of your keywords to cover the variety of search terms your fans might use to find you.

When searching for your favourite bands on Google, you’ve probably noticed that many have a panel dedicated to their music on the right-hand side of the first results page. This is called a Google Knowledge Graph and is something that can also really help your music site stand out.

Create your content

Your keywords and metadata are of course essential in helping you rank higher in Google searches, but the most important factor when it comes to SEO is the content that you create and post. 

If you don’t have any visible content, you won’t have any chance of a decent search ranking, so just by even setting up a really basic website with your Electronic Press Kit, some of your contact info and Spotify links will help you start your SEO journey.

Here’s a list of what you should be including on your website:

- Your artist bio and any press descriptions

- Links to your music

- Any merch you are selling

- Any videos and images

- Your touring calendar

To really stand out from your competition, you need to be creating and sharing engaging content for your fans. Your website needs to be full of great content that your fans will appreciate. 

A mix of different types of content is a solid start, making sure to include a good amount of text where it makes sense. Make sure you have a well-written musician bio and add in your pictures and videos, making sure to title them with alt text. You’ll also want to add in all of your shows and events - providing your fans with as much detail as possible. 

Remember, your website should be the ultimate resource hub for your music so keep it updated and informative. Wet Leg's landing page makes sure fans see links to everything they need right away - linking to all socials, tour dates, merch and a link to their mailing list.

SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search - Wetleg website homepage

Most fans look for new ways of interacting with their favourite artist or music content. Because of this, your marketing strategy should involve creating content that enhances this fan engagement. 

For the best results, you should create new pages for each event and every new music release. The page should be optimised for all searches related to the event or music.

Note: Google's algorithm favours content that is accessible on mobile. Make sure that all your content loads quickly on mobile devices. 

How to choose a good domain name

Choosing a good domain name is vital to helping your fans, and Google, find your site. You’ll want to make sure that your domain name has an official feel to it - making it the definitive home for all of your content. 

In most cases, a domain like yourbandname.com or bandnameofficial.com will work well for your website. It goes without saying that this will be a lot simpler if you have a unique band name!

If your band name is also the name of something else, you might struggle to rank for that keyword on its own. For example, Dublin band Inhaler’s site name is www.inhaler.band.comhelping differentiate their page from others that are listing information about actual inhalers. Slightly different target audiences you'd imagine.

How to optimise your content

Optimising your page tags is a simple but highly effective way to boost your SEO ranking. 

One of the most important page tags to concentrate on is your title tag. This content is what people will see when your website shows up in a search engine result. A good title will be clear and concise - up to 60 or so characters. Each page of your site should have a unique title tag and include your chosen keywords.

Next up is the meta description tag. This one is also used by search engines in results pages. What you want here is a clear and concise description of your page content, in about 120 characters length as a basic rule of thumb.

Take a look through our SEO checklist below to see what you should be ticking off:

-Add custom title tags and meta descriptions to every page of your site

- Add some written content to every page

- Organise each page with h1 and h2 header tags

- Add alt text to your images

- Give each page a descriptive URL name

It is advisable to use analysis tools such as Google analytics and Spotify for Artists to help prime your content. Make sure that you update your website frequently because Google crawlers (tools that review all of your content) prioritise unique content when ranking web pages.

How to get backlinks to your website

Google ranks sites based on their trustworthiness. To increase this, you need to have secure and relevant sites linking back towards your content. The more sites linking back to yours, the higher up it’ll show on internet searches. 

This doesn’t just mean any link is good though. You need to have authentic backlinks from great content on great websites that are  relevant to your band. 

A great example of a trustworthy music backlink is a review from NME or Vice. This mention from a reputable name is a really powerful tool which can help improve your ranking as well as get your music in front of new listeners.

You don’t need to sit around waiting for the perfect backlink though. Make sure all of your socials and any platform you have a presence on are all linking to your website. Try to make sure, as much as you can and where it makes sense, that any time your band is mentioned online, there’s a link to your website. 

Make sure to link out to your website wherever you can. Add it to these places to help drive traffic to your site:

- Your Instagram bio and relevant stories

- Your Facebook page 

- Any YouTube video descriptions

- Your Twitter profile

- Your TikTok bio 

- Spotify and Apple Music bios

- Your Bandsintown and Bandcamp pages

If you haven’t already, think about setting up a linktree or linkfire that can house all your music’s links and add it to all of your social bios. You’ll be able to add this to all of your social bios and add a slick look to your brand.

Create a YouTube channel

Sitting behind Google, YouTube is the world's second most popular search engine. Having an active presence and promoting your music on YouTube is something we'd highly recommend. Having a YouTube channel that you regularly update will attract fans to your content and allow you to direct them towards your website and other links.

YouTube's search tools allow you to optimise your channel and understand what fans are looking for, helping you update it to provide relevant content. Make sure to add playlists to your channel as Google favours such lists in their search rankings.

You'll also be able to access artist exclusive insights when you create an Official Artist Channel.

SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search - utilise YouTube

SEO is a key part of music marketing and requires up-to-date and relevant content management. This can be a big task, but if you're able to keep up with the latest trends and SEO tricks, you'll put yourself at an advantage over other acts who might not be as on top of their marketing strategy.

SEO for Musicians: How to Rank Higher in Google Search

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