You really can’t repeat some of these tips enough. Want to make some money, don’t make fans dig for how to buy something. Strategically place buy links throughout your entire website. Keep your site updated, repeat that… keep your site updated! If your site was last updated August 2010 (let alone in 2003) I am gone. This also applies to your Twitter and Facebook page. You don’t have any news, I say BS! Get creative and create your own news. Stop playing your video or audio the moment I land on your website. And finally, enough with Flash. I had a client that had 16% of their traffic coming from Apple mobile devices and they had a Flash buy button…. you read that right, a Flash buy button! I told them it needed to be changed ASAP as 16% of their traffic had no way to make a purchase. They didn’t think it was a priority and that was reflected in the poor sales. Apple is not going to change their ways and adopt Flash support on their mobile devices. Don’t give up that traffic just because you wanted a cool animation.
Your website should be a place where visitors can easily listen to your music, buy your album, and check up on news and concert dates. Your site usability will influence whether a website visit ends in an album sale or the loss of a potential fan. Is your musician website user-friendly?
1. Put the Important Stuff on Your Homepage
Decide what you want your fans to do first. Should they sign up to your email list? Listen to your music? Read your blog? Buy your album? Make sure that your highest priority actions are represented on your homepage. Also, make sure that your homepage is not cluttered with too many options.
2. Make it Easy to Buy Your Music and Merch
Give your fans purchase options. Not everybody wants to use PayPal. Not everybody wants to use iTunes. Give your visitors 2 or 3 common purchase options so they can buy your music the way they are most comfortable doing.
3. Make it Easy to Read
No fancy fonts. No tiny text. No dark colored text on a dark background or light text on a light background.
Be mindful of grammar and spelling.
Try to avoid large blocks of text. Readers tend to skim website content. Short paragraphs separated by a space will be easier for most readers.
4. Use Simple Navigation
You’re a musician not a department store. You don’t need 100 links in your navigation bar. Keep things simple and focus on your goals. Use simple wording that people understand. Use “Store” not “Tunes Shop” and “Contact” rather than “”Hollar at Us.”
5. Keep it Updated
A website with out-of-date content can be confusing. If the last time you updated your concert calendar was 2003, some people will assume you are no longer playing music. If your last blog post was over 2 years ago, people will be hesitant to enter their credit card info on your site–because who knows if there’s anyone on the other end to ship out the CD.
6. No Auto-play
Let your fans hit the play button. Music that automatically plays can be startling and annoying. Often people are already listening to music on their computer (there’s almost nothing worse than two songs playing at once). Give auto-play a rest and let your website visitors control the remote.
7. No Flash Animation
Flash animations are not supported by all computers and mobile devices and they can function poorly on slow internet connections. Animations can take a while to load and many folks would rather point their browser elsewhere then wait 20 seconds for a band website to load. Don’t risk losing sales just because you have a programmer buddy that knows how to make your logo spin around and catch fire. Keep it simple.