Apocalypse Cow Recording
Gear at Apocalypse Cow Why record at the Apocalypse Cow Where is Apocalypse Cow located? Shop @ Apocalypse Cow Services at Apocalypse Cow Clients of Apocalypse Cow Rates at Apocalypse Cow Tour of Apocalypse Cow Contact Apocalypse Cow info@callthecow Site map of Apocalypse Cow
Tips for recording at Apocalypse Cow link and partners Credit cards accepted for recording studio time Order Cow Bucks Label Pack

Promoting your Website

So you’ve got your band together, picked out a band name and have told all your friends. Now how do you get people other than your friends to find out about your band? There are a plethora of different ways to promote you and your band, but today I’m going to talk about everyone’s favorite, the World Wide Web.

This is an age where everyone has a website and expects everyone else to have one too. If I’m an indication of the general public, I go directly to the web before I look anywhere else for information. If a band contacts us, I know I can find out more about them at their website, and if they don’t have a website, I figure they’re either not serious about their music, or they’re over 70 years old.

The first rule is to make your site name easy to remember. I know it’s tempting to go with the free Geocities site, but if you’re at all serious about your band, go ahead and spend the money to get your own domain. You want something that even the drunk people at your show will remember. Obviously if you can get www.yourbandname.com that’s ideal, but that might not be possible with the many domains already taken. A few ways to work around that is to try .net or .biz or other common postfixes. You can also add hyphens between words or use your band initials instead. If those are all taken find something related to your name. Our www.callthecow.com works on several levels: not only was www.apocalypsecow.com already taken, but many people can’t spell “apocalypse” on the first try, which is something else to keep in mind. We chose “call the cow” because it was catchy and memorable and a call to action. (For all you non-marketing folks, “a call to action” means you’re suggesting the next step a fan should take.)

Advertise your site in traditional ways.
There are, of course, the traditional methods of advertising to get people to come to your site. Anything you hand out or sell should have your website address printed on it, as well as the usual band name and contact info. This can include your albums or demos, posters for shows, newsletters or postcards, every page of your press kit, stickers, buttons, etc.

Search engines are a huge resource and where you should make sure your name comes up. Your goal with search engines is to be on the first page of results. Most people don’t go beyond the first page and certainly not past the 3rd page of results. So I’ll concentrate on giving you a few pointers on how to make sure your page comes up high in the results so you can get more hits.

With any search engine, there are usually ways to add your site URL to their index. Some of them you have to pay (Yahoo), others you don’t (Google). One to check out for sure is the Open Directory Project, which you can find at dmoz.org. To submit your site to a search engine, either look for a link that says “add url,” or start going through their categories and picking the best category you fit into. When you can no longer go further, you should be able to find the “add url” link and add your website here.

I’m going to concentrate mostly on Google since that’s probably the most popular search engine. Google uses what’s called web crawlers, which search the entire World Wide Web for a number of certain parameters in your site and come back with the most relevant search results. They use a complex algorithm to get your page rank, such as site content and links, as well as others they don’t tell you. They do give out a few pointers for your website to get your rank up. You can find these at their site under the webmaster link and read about a few of them right now.

Links are one of the most important aspects of your page rank. You want to get as many other people to link to your site as possible. The more links pointing to you, the better. It helps if the links come from related websites, such as other band’s websites or a recording studio.

How do you get links from other people? The number one way is to just ask! If you’re friends with another band, ask them to exchange links. Exchanging links is great because it helps you both out. There are also a lot of reference websites such as purevolume.com where you can submit your band page free of charge, and you’ll be added to their directory and sometimes they’ll even post your music. These websites usually have genre, location, and other categories that will help people find you as well.
We link to every band we record. If you’ve worked with us and don’t see your name or a link under our “clients” page, let us know and we’ll be sure to update it. And in return it’d be great to get a link back to us on your website.

Content not only gets people to spend time at your website and learn about you, but also helps you with search engines. Google uses the search terms entered and will search the content on your site to see if the terms match. So for search engine optimization, it’s wise to include into your content words people would search for to find your site.

Search engines like Google can only search text, not images or some Flash-type sites. Keep this in mind when designing your site. Try to use mainly text links and keep image links to a minimum. If you have something in your text that’s important, make sure it stays in text instead of rendering it out to be an image. Some sites made in Flash or a similar graphic web developer, while looking very cool, may not be picked up by search engines. Also, dynamic pages (i.e. URL contains ‘?’) are not found by all web crawlers either. To test how your site looks to web crawlers check out a text-based viewer such as Lynx. If you don’t see your site in Lynx, Google’s web crawlers can’t either.

Make sure important words people would search for to find you are displayed prominently on your site, such as headings of paragraphs or links. Your title and alt tags should be descriptive yet accurate, since Google searches these. It’s also a good idea to include a site map of your site. The site map includes links to every page, or main page, on your site, hence giving you more important headings the web crawlers can search for.

As mentioned earlier, avoid starting or being a part of any link schemes used only to boost ratings. If you are found out or related with these sites you could be banned from Google. Avoid hidden text or hidden links on your sites. Also, don’t employ cloaking or sneaky redirects to fool Google. Avoid link schemes where people have websites full of just links. This could hurt you if Google deems the site unsuitable for their search engine. When adding links to your site, try to limit them to less than 100 per page.

Ways to get people to come to your site:

Putting up new content on your site on a regular basis will help people come to your site more. People have no reason to visit your site more than once if it never changes. A great way to keep your site changing is updating your news. I’ve seen that most bands do this, which is fantastic. Just remember to keep it updated. If you want to, take a cue from us and start putting out newsletters to your mailing list. This not only keeps you in your fans minds but also is something new for your fans to check out at your site.

A good way to get people involved in your site is to create a forum or message board. The forum can have topics ranging from your band and show dates to other bands, car clubs and your plastic-molding hobby. Anything that you think people would want to talk about. This is also a great way to get feedback from your fans and find out about new fans. You can also join in on other people’s forums to meet new people who might be interested in your music. Always have a signature line with your web address so people can check out your page.

Include fun web games on your site to keep people coming back just for the entertainment. While they’re there, they can look around to see what’s new at your site as well. If you have a game that you created, try to get other people to add it to their site, and make sure the game links back to you. The same link idea can be added for any web applications that you might develop if you’re computer savvy.

Adding some of your songs to your site is a good way to get people hyped up about you. It can get people to check out more of your site while listening to the songs. And to bring people back to your site, you can rotate the songs on a monthly basis. And with any luck it will peak your fan’s interest enough to buy your album.

While these are not all the ways to help get traffic to your site, it should point you in the right direction. And even if you do all of this, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll make it big on the ‘net. But since today there is so much competition in the music industry, every little thing you can do will help you get ahead of the others. So get out there and create a great looking website that’ll help bring those music execs shoving contracts in your face.

Not all bands are the same; Apocalypse Cow, a recording studio that's different.

To contact Apocalypse Cow Recording - info@callthecow.com - 630-897-9023