Part Two: SEO the Basics
We discussed the importance of ranking high on a SERP in Part One of Increase Your Fanbase with SEO. Using SEO to rank on the top of the first page will help more people find your Christian bands website and Facebook page. Hopefully more traffic to your pages will increase the number of fans that love your music, come to concerts and buy band merchandise. The added traffic you gain by doing SEO well certainly gives you the opportunity to increase your bands ministry because it connects you to more people.
Here are the Three Basic Steps to take to make sure your band is on #1 on the SERP’s:
Web Site domain name
The most important step you can take is to make sure your keywords are in your URL. URL stands for the Uniform Resource Locator; it is your website address. This one step of choosing the best web site name will bring more people to your site than almost anything else. So, take your time and come up with a great name! My URL is ChristianBandHelp.com. I chose this name by thinking about what words bands might type into the query box to find a website that give Christian bands information about how to do their ministry better. Obviously the words “Christian” and “band” had to be included but the last word was more difficult to come up with. I talked to several people and “help” won out over “resources”, “management”, and “information”.
Most bands choose TheirBandName.com as their URL. This is usually the best choice, but not always. If your band has an unusual name or several keywords that are not usually used together YourBandName.com is a great choice. But, if you have very common words as your band name, it is possible to rank low on a SERP. Also, the URL may already be taken. For example: If your band name was Green Light, greenlight.com is probably not all that good. You may have to add other keywords to your band name such as “music”, “rocks”, or your genre of music. You will usually rank higher by adding another keyword than to switch to .net or .org., as long as your name is short. Try to use less than 4 keywords.
The next most important step you can take is to install the All-in-One SEO plug-in to your WordPress site. This FREE plug-in makes sure your site looks good to both the search engines and the people searching keywords. It gives you control over the paragraph people see when your site appears on search engine results pages. If you don’t do this Google will grab random copy from your website to use as the description of your website… it usually looks kind of weird.
Click Here for instructions to install the All-in-One SEO pack.
There are 3 things you can control with this plug-in:
● “Home Title” is what appears in bright blue letters on the SERP and at the top of your browser on your home page. Be sure to use your keywords in this title, using them twice is even better. For example, I used “Christian Band Help – Your Christian Band Resource”.
● “Home Description” is the paragraph that describes your site underneath the blue home title on the SERP. Use your keywords twice again to rank higher. I used “Resources to help manage your Christian Bands ministry. Free venue lists, money tips, & The Christian Band Handbook.” You can come back to this plug-in at any time to change the description.
● “Home Keywords” are words that you think people may search for to find your site. Type in your primary keywords first, followed by any secondary keywords. I used: Christian Band Help, Christian Band Resources, Christian Band Management, Christian Venues, and Christian Festivals.
Every time I add a post I use this same plug-in. You’ll see that most of my posts rank high, usually just under my homepage. My goal is not only to rank high, but to pretty much dominate the first page of most SERP’s.
Submit a Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. Crawlers are computer programs that gather and categorize information on the Internet. Search Engines use crawlers to go through your website and help decide where you will rank on the SERP. Sitemaps make their job easier and tells them that you have new posts (which are actually new URL’s).
This is where using a higher quality web host can make your life easier. I use Bluehost and they include free website search submissions! YEA! Free is good. FREE and EASY is even better. They use a company called Attracta to submit the website to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask. I get an e-mail every other week reminding me to click on the submit button – how hard is that? They do all the work, and then I click on the button that allows me to see where my website stands on each of the SERP’s. So, of course, I recommend Bluehost.
There are several good web hosts, and no matter which one you use look for a free SEO optimization tool on the control panel that will submit your sitemap for you.
These three steps are super easy ways to start getting more fans to your website. Every band should at least be doing this much without hiring a search optimization company. Try taking these steps and see where you rank on each of the main search engines using your keywords… hopefully you will have gotten to the first page.
Remember that the goal of your SEO is to create more opportunities to expand your bands ministry. Every fan that comes to your website is a real person with hopes and dreams, needs and hurts. They all have a desire to be encouraged and loved; and ultimately brought closer to Jesus. Endeavor to make sure your website, your band, and you are doing that ministry with excellence.
Click Here to read Part One.
Click Here to read Part Three.
Want to learn more about SEO? Here’s the book most people start with:
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