MSI9W - Week 3: Optimize Your Website

 On to week 3! This week is all about optimizing my website. I'm pretty familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) from my internet marketing experience, and I've optimized many sites selling everything from web hosting to baby strollers, but I never really applied my SEO knowledge to my music website. Ariel covers 5 golden rules for band/artist website optimization. I'll go through each one and make sure I'm covered.

1. Add Your Pitch to Your Homepage
This is a great idea. I've added my pitch, both as my home page "title" and also above the fold, right below my social media buttons.

2. Your Site Must Load in LESS than 3.5 Seconds
On my Mac at home, it loads in about 4.5 seconds, but I have a Reverbnation Flash based Press Widget, that adds another second or so to loading time.  Still, I think it's important to include. So it's a bit of a trade off. Almost everyone is using some type of broadband connection these days, so I think the difference is negligible. It still feels fast loading enough to me, and I've had others confirm that it loads quickly, so I'm sticking with it!

3. NO Flash Intros
Again, I do have the flash based Reverbnation widget, but I think Ariel is referring to Intro pages comprised entirely of Flash. These may look cool and high tech, but they take forever to load and the search engines can't read them. I try to avoid Flash whenever possible, but again I make exception for the Reverbnation Press Widget as part of an already optimized page.

4. Have a Consistent Look and Feel and Name All Over the Net
This is another great suggestion. I've tried to create a consistent look and feel across my website, as well as through all off my social media sites. Check it out:

Atomic Skunk Website

 5. Give Away an Exclusive, Free MP3 / Video to Satisfy the WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? (your fan’s little voice)
I used to give away a free track in exchange for an email address. then I upped the ante a bit and created a little "Atomic Skunk Sampler EP." This has been a very successful promotion for me and is my primary method of driving fans to sign up for my mailing list. It's also very clearly and prominently displayed on my home page.

I think there some more advanced SEO techniques that could probably be used to drive targeted traffic to my music website, including some more in-depth, niche based keyword research and building of backlinks, but this is a good start!

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