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Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 5 - Master the web !

Finally, here is the last part (follow up of this article) of the article about how to achieve a successful digital music strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing.

By Virginie Berger (@virberg,, former head of marketing at Mypace France and now music marketer.

Let’s see how you can make your music visible and spread it throughout the web…

The complete article is available in PDF and on Slideshare


6 - SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

What is SEO? It’s a positioning and rating technique for websites on Google, Yahoo and MSN research engines: a crucial tactic for online marketing.

The real stake relies on the SEO optimisation since it can increase significantly your site visitor numbers. Appearing on Google first page for a strong request (like MP3) ensures you a bulky traffic in volume. As a matter of fact 2/3 of users click on the first page results, and most of them don’t go beyond the third page.

2 searches out of 10 on Google are music related. The rate of transformation on these results is the most important Google results: 40%.

It is of prime importance to build your site according to the SEO guidelines in order to come up fast.

I.e.: > Having some text (blog, content association, reviews) in order to incorporate “meta tags” that will get you listed on research engines.

> Using relevant key words in your reviews.

> No Flash.

SEO evolves rapidly. Its techniques are more and more innovating. So, if you are not a pro, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. A poor SEO might lead you to the wrong effect. Have a look to this simple article explaining how an artist can use SEO: (Plugola)


7 - Adwords and Pay Per Plick (PPC)

What is an Adword. They are keywords or key expressions related to your activity. When Internet users carry out a search on Google with one of your key words (I.e.: gig, your name, merch or album), your ad or website will come up next to the search results. Your ad reaches a public with an interest in your activity.  

You are targeting a specific audience (national, regional or local). You only pay when a user click on your ad and goes to your website. Adwords gives you the choice for the amount you pay, so it sends an Internet user on your site (Cost Per Click). If you are a beginner, will quickly help you to create key words and write your ad, and chose your “Cost Per Click).


8 - Viral Marketing

> Do use viral marketing as to promote your contents and website. Its great advantage: it spreads by itself.

> Launch a contest on your site about musicians (who is your support act?)

> Launch a contest about customizing a CD, T. Shirt. Or on iTunes by creating your own Playlists.

> On Youtube, offer Internet users to participate on your video making.

In one word, INTERACT to create a vibe, a buzz, and “diffuse the virus”.


We agree it requires a lot of work, but you can’t avoid it.Your promotion and income depend on it. We also agree that it is not your job. You have to be surrounded. A DIY artist doing it all alone is a myth. If you can’t do it all, ask your fans to help, your manager, your record company…

Other artists’ experiences will help you to get inspired. I.e.: Trent Reznor, Amanda Palmer, Weezer, Paramore, Tara Bush, Imogen Heap, Corey Smith, Fanfarlo, Exsonvaldes, Cyril Paulus (…) they will feed your creativity.  

Let’s sum it up:  

> Collecting your fans emails (with authorisation)


> Data Analyses, data analysis…

> Your website is your house and your base. The most precious thing.  

> Connect with Fans + Reason to Buy = monetisation  

> Added Value. Why buying when it’s possible to get it for free? Think of value.

I agree there is far much more to talk about. I’ll come back… quickly to give you more info…


The complete article is also available in PDF and on Slideshare

Thank you for havind read this article. Make sure you check out the four first parts of it ! ;) If you have any question…

Email : virberg at

Twitter : @virberg


References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Source
    Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.
  • Source
    Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.

Reader Comments (9)

Pretty cookie-cutter post on SEO. I wonder if the author could explain WHY an artist should care about SEO.

For ex.,

1. How are search terms really going to help out an independent artist?

2. "1 out of 2" Google searches are music related? I have yet to see data which suggests people are using Google to discover new music. That's what Pandora, music sharing sites, and social media is for. Unless you share the same exact name with another band or musician, I don't think buying adWords and such is really a good investment for the independent artist. Simple meta data in an official website will work fine in turning up results for people looking for you specifically. And linking to Facebook, mySpace pages, etc. (and PS. Flash has been indexable for some time. Not as good as html, but do-able.)

I guess if an artist wishes to exploit search terms to get SEO "attention", that's another thing, but I don't think a strategy of misdirection or what-not is going to win over any new fans. People try new music based on recommendations from friends, not Google hits.

June 9 | Unregistered CommenterJP

A good SEO strategy would be linking to the Part 1-4 at the bottom of this post ;)

June 9 | Unregistered CommenterRoman

And your link in the beginning of the post is broken too. There were broken links in previous posts too.

June 9 | Unregistered CommenterRoman

I already knew about all this.

June 10 | Unregistered CommenterFebreze

When was the last time you discovered a new artist by Googling another? And I'm not talking about Wikipedia, either.

Leave the SEO to the professionals. I know of one professional SEO musician - and he does it well. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else unless they were using professional SEO at a certain b2b market.

June 11 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I think another good thing in terms of SEO, is to post under your the name of the artists/company your promoting. Whether I'm on MusicThinkTank, NYTimes, CNET, Mashable, etc... I always post under the name "Universal Indie Records" if possible.

I tend to get a lot of direct hits to the my site this way and my company's name shows up in search based on the multitude of topics I commented on.

I'm not spamming because I sincerely contribute to whatever posts I reply too and I'm not trying to comment on everything just to have my name there.

For Google Adwords, you don't simply buy stuff for your band name, but for sound alike artists. In my experience it can generate some traffic (after all it's pay per click, so not too much risk), but doesn't really seem to generate sales.

I agree with JP, this part of your PDF seemed like it was kind of half-assed. Nothing very useful here :/

Also, I hate when people say "use viral marketing" ... how the hell does somebody do that? It's not like a thing you can use....content going viral online is a freak phenomenon that happens because the content you post and share with your network is something so great that thousands of people want to share it with their networks.

June 12 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

Why should an artist care about SEO? Because SEO is a part of branding, and branding is a part of the 'big idea', has your band got a big idea, an aim, a goal, a commitment? I bet it hasn't, it's why most bands fail (apart from the fact they can't stay toghether for more than ten minutes), they don't have a plan, strategy or any ideas, they don't even know the difference between a Myspace page and a website.

Helping musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans and search engines is what I love doing :) Actually, most bands aren't interested in SEO at all, they are more interested in branding, which is OK by me, I wish I had a pound for every time a band has asked me to help them get their name out there, however, many bands don't have a website, they only have a MySpace, Facebook and a few of the other usual networking suspects like ReverNation, and when I do visit their profile pages, they've got the same egotistical self-indulgent mind numbing content daubed everywhere and this isn't helped by the social networking sites who actively encourage synchronization and therefore taedium vitae big time, tip: use different content on different social networking sites so when people 'click around' they don't feel the need to stick a vacuum up their nose and suck out their spongy brains out of frustration, anyway, bands shouldn't be getting bogged down with worrying about SEO, it's not that difficult and employing an SEO professional will not make that much of a difference to your band's website - only to your pocket, and if you do go for an SEO consultation it won't be long before the consultant is trying to blind you with science and talking about 'the long tail' and 'pay per click advertising management' and 'conversion ratios' and 'channelising traffic for transactional websites' and 'integrated search marketing strategy' and 'brand exposure' and 'keyword science linguistics research relevancy & themed saturation' and 'consumer business fan base profiling' and 'web analytics' and bloody 'bounce rates' until you're holding your hands up in defeat and saying "It's OK, you do it for me", and if you don't, the clever highwayman will still find a way of lifting your wallet. Don't be lazy by leaving SEO to the professionals, do-it-yourself, most band's websites would only take two or three hours to sort out once you know what to do and if you don't know what to do, visit my website or why not ask me.

I'll help you for free.

And then your band's website will appear in the first ten search results, for your band's name and 'something else', I'm not talking about misdirection and being found for bollocks keywords like 'sex', 'mp3' or 'MySpace Rock Bands', I'm talking about targeting people who don't know you, but who share your band's lifestyle choices, potential fans. SEO can be about second guessing, attempting to predict or anticipate what people are going search for to find your website, it's an odd topic with loads of scope for error and success! And yes, forget about going viral, the tantalizing teasing lure that draws in hundreds of thousands of bands to overloaded social networking sites (like: YouTube), with its promise of fame and fortune, it's a dream, it ain't gonna happen.

Blow SEO, spend your time getting to know your fans.

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