5 Features Every Band Website Should Have - Guest Blog
July 8, 2015
As an independent musician, there are a few things you need to have in your toolbox. One of the main tools you should have is a good website that shows potential fans and industry professionals that you are committed and dedicated to what you do.
As someone who works with artists on a daily basis, I see a lot of websites that are underselling the artists in question, and also answer a lot of questions about what a website should include. Here are 5 of the features I think every artist website should include.
Your Website Needs a Purpose!
Okay, so this might sound a little philosophical, but hear me out. When I say that a band website should have a purpose, I mean that it needs to have some kind of function. Whether that is to sell more music, book more shows, get more people to sign up to your mailing list (or all three) - you need to know what you ultimately want from it.
For example, if you want to sell more music, you’re going to need to allow people to hear what you do, and also give them a clear route to purchase it. If you want to book more shows, you need to make sure your booking information is easy to find. If you want people to sign up to your mailing list, then you need to make sure people know you HAVE one, and think about offering them something in exchange for signing up.
Show People Who You Are
Your website should be your home on the web. It should be the place that people can go to find out more about you, hear your music and get everything they could possibly need when it comes to what you do. I believe that your design should clearly indicate who you are straight away. It should accurately reflect your music and give people an instant idea of what you’re all about. Often this is done with photography, font choices and colour scheme. A professional looking website goes a long way - and believe me, first impressions really do count.
Nassau Royal's site showcases a really clean navigation menu
Get them signed up!
With Facebook reach on the decline, and Twitter being really crowded, it’s important to have a direct way of reaching your fans. And many would argue that email is still the best way to do that.
While it may not be perfect - people don’t always check their email, they might have inbox overwhelm, or your newsletters may be moved into a promotions folder - it still has a far higher conversion rate than most social platforms.
Make sure you’re collecting email addresses from people who visit your website. If all of the social networks you use close down or become less active, at least you’ll still have a way to reach the people who want to hear from you.
Marcio Novelli's email signup is ever-present at the top of his website
A way for people to hear or see what you do
This may seem like an obvious one, but I have come across artist websites that don’t have any audio or videos. As a potential fan, I want to hear what you’re all about. People are increasingly looking for video content. If you don’t have either of these, you’re making a huge mistake. How are people going to buy your music or come to your shows if they can’t even sample what you have to offer?
Showcase your music like Sinead McNally
How do I get in Touch?!
I see a lot of artist websites, and it never fails to amaze me when I can’t find any contact information.
If someone has visited your website, you want them to do something that is going to benefit you as an artist. And a lot of the time, it’s going to involve them contacting you in some capacity.
Whether it’s to book a show, schedule an interview, write a feature about you, or request to license one of your songs - they need a way to get in touch with you! It’s so important to have a contact page (even just a simple email address or a contact form) so that people can reach you. Without one, you could be missing out on more opportunities than you know!
This article was written by Ross Barber, founder of Electric Kiwi, a web and graphic design company specialising in design for musicians and music businesses. From designing websites to creating artwork for album covers, Ross has worked with independent artists from all over the world and his marketing strategies have been featured on top websites including Cyber PR Music, Hypebot, and Musicians Unleashed. He also co-hosts his own video podcast, Bridge the Atlantic, with singer/songwriter Marcio Novelli.
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