In this episode, Jared Judge delves into the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and its pivotal role in boosting your online presence as a musician. He emphasizes that having a music website is just the beginning and explores how SEO can help you reach a broader audience, secure more gigs, and grow your fan base. Jared provides valuable insights into on-page SEO by aligning your website's content with relevant keywords. He also touches on off-page SEO strategies such as Google My Business, link building, and citations. Jared concludes by offering a resource for musicians seeking professional website design services. Learn the basics of SEO and start optimizing your online presence to level up your music career.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. I am just getting back on my way from another venue tour. This was a Hyatt in a rural Colorado. I couldn't pronounce Colorado for a second there. But I wanted to chat with you about search engine optimization. Do you guys have a music website yet? Because if not, you are sorely missing out on a lot of gigs. And a lot of awareness, a lot of exposure, a lot of fans a lot of emails for your newsletter, et cetera. But if you've got a music website, which you totally should have won, then you know that it's not enough to just have a music website. Like I always say, it's kind of like the opposite of the Field of Dreams movie. If you ever watched that movie, Kevin Costner says, If you build it, they will come. But with music websites, that is totally not the case, which means you have to drive people to your website, you've got to literally get them from wherever they are, and get them to go to your website actively. They just won't find it on their own. I've been diving deep into the world of search engine optimization, SEO, if you build your own website, or you've been around this game for a bit, you've probably encountered that word. What does Search Engine Optimization mean? And why should you care about it as a musician? Well, you should care about it. Because as I mentioned before, it is a way to get massive amounts of people to find your website for the things that you want them to find you for. So if you want them to find you to book you for a high paying gig search engine optimization, which I'll now refer to as SEO is one of the best and cheapest ways to do this. So here's the premise behind this, you all have probably used Google or some other search engine, by this point in your lives to find what you're looking for. If you're looking for new strings for your guitar, you probably did a Google search, where can I buy strings from my guitar, and then it led you to amazon.com. Or if you're looking for a custom guitar you made might have searched for custom guitar and found a couple of luthier, who could make you a beautiful guitar the exact way that you want it to look and feel. So there's a lesson there. Google has placed certain websites closer to the top of their listings, for certain websites that have focused on search engine optimization. This is a game that you can play with Google, that the prizes, more clicks, and more sales more money. And you could do this for any service. So if you're a private lesson teacher, you want to get more clicks, for people searching for private violin lessons in depth Denver, you can absolutely play this game with Google and become the number one spot for when somebody searches violin teachers in Denver. So it's really amazing. And I hope I'm showing you the power of this. But it is not the easiest game in the world to play, there is a bit to learn. And I'm not going to go very deep on this podcast, because that honestly could become a several hour long course in and of itself. But some of the factors that determine how well you're playing the game, are both on your website, and off of your website. And we're going to go into both of those, you know, I'm not going to go too deep, as I mentioned, but on your website, one of the biggest ways to tell Google to rank you higher is by making the content on your website more relevant to the keywords that people are searching. So for example, think about your own website. When somebody is looking to hire you for a band, why are they hiring you? Are they looking to put on an amazing corporate event? Are they perhaps looking for a jazz trio for a corporate event? If so, when they're searching that exact keyword on Google, it is in your best interest to make a page, also known as a service page, that the whole title and all of the content is about jazz trio for corporate events. So by doing that, you are basically being Google's teacher's pet, doing all the right things that Google wants you to do. And you're signaling to Google and to your future person who's going to book you for their corporate event, that you are the right act to hire. And so Google will reward you by putting you closer to the top, because I can guarantee you not all jazz trios who want to play corporate events are making a page called jazz trio for corporate events. Do you see where I'm going with this? So that is one of the ways to optimize the content of your website for Google and for SEO purposes. Another way is, let's switch to OFF page because we're running out of time for this episode. There are ways As off of your website to optimize for search engines as well. You ever been on Google and you search for plumber near me. And then, in addition to all of the text results that you see, Google also shows you a map with a couple of listings AJs plumbing surveys, you know, etc. Click in a funny plumber names, but you get the idea. There's a map and their results with plumbers. Well, guess what, when somebody's searching for jazz trio near for cocktail hour, Google knows that they're searching for somebody local. Right? So what Google's gonna do is, they're going to also show the map. How do I know this, because I've searched for, you know, string quartet for wedding in, in Milwaukee. And I've come up in the map for dream city strings. And I still do, and that is called the map pack. The way you want to get in there, by the way, because in addition to the like regular text results, people are looking at that, in fact, I'd say more people are looking at the map pack, than the text base results, because that's what they're accustomed to seeing, especially if they've searched for like plumbers or house cleaners near them. So we want to show up in that map pack. And odds are you are not showing up in the map pack. Unless you have signed up for a Google My Business Profile. This is a separate profile that you can sign up on Google for free, and claim ownership of you know, whatever your jazz trio or guitar act is called. And then when somebody searches for your jazz trio for corporate event, and it's in the same city as you are, you will show up in those rankings. The other cool features about the Google Map Pack and Google My Business is that it also shows reviews. So if you've got you can get reviews on your Google My Business Profile. And those reviews will show up and it'll say like, you know, Jason's jazz trio five star review, or, you know, mere ease jazz trio, two and a half stars. And so that's another way to optimize this is by collecting reviews, and specifically getting reviews on Google My Business. There's also frequently asked questions that you can pre populate with your own questions. And the the possibilities are endless. And that the Google My Business and the Google Map Pack is one of the ways to optimize off page for SEO and get more people finding out about you to hire you. Another way, which is part of this whole, you know, Gig Vault strategy of visiting all the venues and collaborating getting a preferred vendor list is by linking, if you get links, from other websites, pointed towards your website, that is a signal to Google that, hey, this act is legit, this jazz trio, they've got 20 links, all from really cool corporate event and wedding venues, we should probably rank them higher when somebody's searching for jazz trio for corporate event. So getting links from other websites is an amazing way to build up your SEO. And that's part of why I'm doing the blogging is that if I publish a blog, people want to share the fact that I've published a blog on their website, and then I'll get a link from their website to boost my SEO. And one final way because we are running out of time is what are called citations. Citations is not you know, getting a speeding ticket, get a citation there. Now in the SEO world, a citation is when you and your website link are listed in one of the online directory websites such as Yelp, or Foursquare, or even in our cases, Thumbtack, GigSalad, Wedding Wire, TheKnot, those are all directory listings that count as citations towards your SEO. And so you can get on tons of directory websites, a lot of them you can get on for free. And then that will boost your SEO by having a lot of citations. Okay, I'm gonna take a breath there, because that was a lot. It's pretty technical. I hope you stuck with me. But if you even implemented one of those strategies, you would see a huge boost in your SEO rankings, you would be placed higher when somebody searching for blank in your city name. If you do all of them, that which is what I'm doing right now, you will see a massive improvement in your your rankings. And so that's the game that's played there. By the way, if this feels overwhelming to you, I get it. I actually just hired somebody off of fiverr.com to take care of some of these SEO tasks for me. And I'm really excited that I won't have to do all of it. But I'm more than happy to do a lot. You know, I've got that kind of tolerance. I'm willing to put up with some inconveniences to grow my musical act and I hope you are too I know you are because you're the one who's listening to this podcast. Not everybody does this. Most of them just feel like a music career will be handed to them. And then 20 years later, there's so early disappointed, why didn't that music career pan out? But you and I are, we're on the inside edge. We're making it happen for ourselves. Alright, so by the way, if you are in a spot where you feel like you don't have a website, or you want your website to be completely overhauled, and improved for SEO, then we do design websites at Fulltime Music Academy. My wife is actually an amazing web designer, we are both certified in this, she's got a better design, I do more of like the marketing, writing the text and making sure the strategy is all up to snuff and optimized for SEO. But then my wife, Emily, she's a flute player. She does all of our graphic and visual design, and she's amazing. So if you're interested in learning more about what it looks like to have us design your website for you. I want to share with you our newest resource, it's called Performing Sites. It's a pun because you know the websites perform at getting you gigs. But it's also for you as a performer. So go to PerformingSites.com There's a little video tutorial about how it all works. And then if you feel like you want to go to the next step, there's a little application to submit to make sure that you know when we can do exactly what you're hoping for. So that is at PerformingSites.com Take a look. And let me know what you think. I hope this was very helpful for you. Search engine optimization is not something they teach in music school, but it's so incredibly helpful. So hope it was valuable. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "Your music will not market itself!" Bye everybody.