While social media remains to be one of the most effective ways for you to build a following for your brand online, there’s still a case to be made for creating a band website. Social media attracts an audience but it’s easy to get lost in a sea of cute baby videos and politically-charged discussions.
A website brings back the focus to your band and your music. Band websites can serve a lot of purposes, from introducing your music to the world, to being a source of information on upcoming gigs and tours and as a way for your followers to stay updated on everything that has to do with your group. With that said, you want to create a website that is effective in doing what it is meant to do. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Make a good first impression with your homepage
Your homepage is the first thing that people will see when they visit the band website so you want it to make a good first impression about the rest of your site. It has to be designed in a way that encourages visitors to stay and look around.
Use strong images or a full-width header image to attract visitors into your site. Using Strikingly’s band website templates, you can also use video backgrounds to engage users. Upload your latest music video or footage of your most recent gig. Get your visitors to feel like they’re in one of your roadshows by adding your Soundcloud playlist.
Powered by Strikingly’s band website builder, Answer the Muse is a good example of how you can keep visitors engaged with video and music on your website.
Tell your story
One of the best things about having a band website is that you get to have your very own space for you to tell your story to the rest of the world. You wouldn’t be limited to the character limits on social media pages. You can create band website content that is all about you. This is not to say, however, that you should make your text content awfully long. Have a dedicated bio page but keep the story brief and creative. It would be good to write in the third person perspective so that media outlets can easily pick it up for introductions or interview material.
In the Strikingly website of Benny Walker, the bio talks about the musician’s background, his style, recognitions he has got, and his band. This gives a comprehensive history of the artist and helps both his fans and media to get authentic information about him.
Add your songs and an EPK
It seems quite obvious that when you create a free band website, your music should naturally be up there. Fans enjoy listening to behind-the-scenes snippets or rough tracks of upcoming songs. Keep them updated by regularly posting music on your website.
An electronic press kit (EPK) is another file that you want to add to your site. In the past, you’re probably more familiar with press kits that are mailed out to music reps and agents. Make it easy for record labels to know more about you through a downloadable EPK readily available on your site. This can just be a one-page document that tells the industry about your band and contains your best photos or the kind of music you play.
Customize the template
Strikingly’s band website templates can be customized according to the color scheme and font type that best expresses your band image. Play around with different section layouts and background visuals.
Check out how the Hathaways customized one of Strikingly’s templates to create a unique site that represents their group effectively. They used video backgrounds and grid-style layouts for showcasing their latest music videos and images so visitors can easily see what they have been up to. The band also added links to different music sites on the internet where you might be able to listen to their music.
Keep in touch with newsletter opt-ins
Give your fans an option of signing up for your newsletter. This is an excellent way of keeping in touch with your fans, even if they don’t have the time to check your website regularly. People may skip social media and other platforms for a few days of digital detox, but they can not afford to ignore their email inbox. Send regular updates of your new album releases, your next gig, your tours and so on directly to your followers’ inbox.
Strikingly provides you 2 ways of email opt-ins. One is through a custom form that you can place in your website to capture the user’s email address. The other option is to get it through a pop-up page as soon as the user enters your website.
Use a Call-To-Action
Call-To-Action (CTA) is the button/link that will ask the user to do a particular action on your website, to convert your website visitors into customers/followers. In band website design, it is important to place the CTAs in a prominent and accessible place. Some examples of CTA placements are -
‘Buy Tickets’ should be in the center, such that users cannot miss it.
Other CTAs like ‘Contact me’, or ‘Sign Up for Newsletter’ can be at the bottom or at the top right corner, so that it is easily accessible, but at the same time doesn’t distract the user from doing what they came to the website for.
Sell digital products
You can make your website an online retail store for your music tracks and albums. You can even sell tickets for your upcoming shows through your website. Strikingly makes it really simple to sell digital products and receive payment through its payment gateway integration.
The list of digital products that you can sell on your website doesn't end with albums and tickets. Try making a band logo, and selling your branded merchandise such as t-shirts and mugs, with your logo printed on them. Sister Ivy is one of the popular Strikingly websites for bands that includes a shopping cart. You can get numerous ideas and inspirations from their website, for launching your own.
Optimize for mobile
The current generation doesn't have the patience to sit in front of a desktop or laptop computer and listen to music. Most users of your music band website are going to be through mobile. Not just because the new generation is tech-savvy, but it also serves an important purpose. It is convenient for people to listen to music from their mobile phones while traveling or even during their daily commute to their offices. Making a variety of albums and music accessible through mobile phones is key to grow your website traffic organically.
Strikingly takes care of your website’s mobile optimization automatically. In fact, our founders launched the platform with a ‘mobile-first’ motto. You can simply create your music band website using our interactive site editor, and rendering it responsively on different screens like phone, tablet, etc. will happen behind the screens without your intervention. In the most unlikely case of any issue in mobile responsiveness, our support team is always ready to fix it for you.
Take care of SEO
It is crucial for any website to attract visitors. You need to make sure it is easily searchable. For example, if you are a rock band, when a user looks for rock band websites on a search engine, they should be able to easily find you.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of making your website appear at the top of the list on search engines like Google. While there are ways to get your website on top through paid advertisements (SEM), it will only be a short-term solution. The best way to drive traffic to your website is through organic SEO.
Strikingly makes your website SEO friendly, through its advanced features such as providing suitable subdomain names, and using the right URL format.
Load your website fast
Slow websites are big turn-offs. Research shows that bounce rate (the proportion of users who quickly leave a website, without performing any action) is very high when the website takes longer than a few seconds to load. Strikingly optimizes your website speed using its cutting-edge cloud computing architecture. In addition to that, you need to take care of a few minor things, too. For example, don’t put up all your videos and music files on your website. Such websites take a long time to load. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, it is good to have great images, but not at the cost of website speed. So, make sure you compress your image using good image editing software before using it on your website.
With these tips and band website examples, we hope that you would have got enough inspiration to launch your band website. Take the leap and Strikingly, the best website builder for bands, is there to guide you.