My friend, Tim, had a problem with search engine optimization (SEO).
The problem, as with most things on the internet, was with Google.
He’s in Doze, an up-and-coming band that recently released their first EP.
No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t find Doze using Google. Pages upon pages of other imposter bands with the word “Doze” showed up instead, whether you typed “Doze band” or “Doze band boston.”
So, I decided to help him out.
Here’s how we got Doze to be the first three results in “Doze band boston” and the fourth result for “Doze band” in one week:
1. A website
What we needed to do was use a few basic SEO strategies to optimize the band’s website.
I had helped Tim use WordPress to create a website for Doze a few months ago, but it didn’t have much on it. Other than an inappropriate picture of Mitt Romney.
So, we took a look at it. We thought hard about what fans would be searching for to find Doze with Google.
First off, we registered DozeBand.com. Having your own domain name really helps optimize your website for results.
Then, we put in some categories and tags with WordPress.
The big one here was “Boston bands,” which tells Google that yes, this website has content about “Boston bands” on it.
2. Active posting
The next step for SEO was to make sure that Tim started regularly posting content to the website. Google is attracted to active, fresh, unique content.
If you’re looking for “Doze band,” Google wants to make sure that it finds you the most relevant, most up-to-date website about “Doze band.”
Most importantly, we just filled the website’s posts and pages with SEO keywords for would-be Doze fans.
Like, filled it. Kind of in a cheating way, but who cares?
So, we just thought about the most common search terms and threw those in there.
We won’t do this forever, because it looks like crap and is unprofessional, but we needed quick results, since one of Doze’s songs was selected for WFNX Boston Accents’ Top 75 Standout Jams of 2012.
The future of Dozing
So, Doze is in a good position now.
With a few most posts and a few more visits and links from other websites to Doze’s website, Doze’s reign at the top of Google will be ensured.
The next steps are using keywords in a way that actually makes sense — through internal linking and naturally incorporating them into posts — to really cement Doze’s crown.
Here’s the thing to remember: if you’re an individual person or band, SEO is freaking easy.
If, on the other hand, you’re competing for terms that are used all of the time (Justin Bieber fan site, say), it’s way, way harder.
SEO for me is easy, because there aren’t many “Blaise Luceys.” Basically, I just say “Blaise Lucey” here and there and this page is going to be at the top.
If your name is John Smith, you would want to tactically approach SEO thinking about what your potential fans are looking for and use those keywords all of the time, like “author John Smith” and “John Smith book.”
And don’t cheat like we did- use phrases organically as much as possible or your site won’t look professional. Also, search engines will think it’s spammy.
I do that by linking to stuff on my website with highly-searched phrases like how to market your book without feeling guilty or how famous authors are using Facebook.
Check out a few of my other posts and you can see how I try to use SEO keywords in natural places.
Then, get to work — remember, SEO is freaking easy!
1. SEO is an important way for anyone to climb to the top of Google, so fans can find you better.
2. Facebook isn’t a sure way of getting there, either – Doze has a Facebook Page with over 200 fans, but it showed up nowhere in Google.
3. Categories, the About Page, and Not Being a Snooty Artist are all important things, too. You need to be very specific about who you are and what you do. Doze’s initial “About” description just said “Noise.” Clever and funny, but not doing the band any favors for SEO.