You’ve got your website up, signed up for the important social networks, built your online shop and are filling it all with exciting and relevant content but is it working?
Google analytics is a must have. You can register for a free google account and then register your URL with analytics. In its simplest form Google analytics allows you to track usage of your website from the big figures like how may people visit your site to specific page views on particular days. This site for instance gets about 20,000 page views a month. You can tell what browsers people are using and especially usefully from what country and town visiters come from. This is handy if you want to know where to focus your marketing and gigging efforts. You can also see which sites are referring you, what your best landing pages are, what your top exit pages are and much much more.
Sign up here
Another free product from Google. Rather than trawl through pages of Google looking for mentions of your band, you can get Google alerts to do this for you. You just set up your search terms, choose how often you want to be told and hey presto, all the hard work taken out. This is great when you’re in a campaign as it enables you to pick up blog posts about you and repost them.
Sign up here
Social Media Analytics
Nearly all the social networks offer some sort of analytical data from the very obvious ‘how many plays/likes/friends’ to the more subtle age and gender demographic. The latter is useful if you are running an AdSense account alongside your YouTube channel and want to choose which type of ad to incorporate for instance. Facebook and Google depend on this data because this is what drives their advertising business. That bit I said earlier about ‘nothing being for free’, well your data is why Facebook can float on the Stock Exchange for billions of dollars.
A Final Word
I set up numerous digital platforms and constantly keep abreast of what is happening online and how it can help bands but I must say again THE MUSIC IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. No amount of technical wizardry will make up for bollocks songs and a boring artist. Online, although very useful, is not the be all and end all, it is merely an extension of our life. That’s the real one, where you talk to real people and they maybe come to your gig – not because you dazzled them with html but because they like your music and you. Beware of spending too much time surfing your social media at the expense of writing songs. Why not turn the wifi, phone and computer off from time to time and concentrate on you, your songs and the relationships that hold all of it together.
Read New Artist Digital Set Up part 1 and 2 and other useful artist advice here.