In early 2010 my son Jesse, with his cousin Brian Deyo and I (myself, me??) launched a wedding music website, and I was thrown into a world wide web of confusion – that of SEO, SERPS, Page Rank, Keyword Stuffing, Gray Hat SEO Practices, No-followed Links, and much much more. (SEO = search engine optimization, the attempt to create/develop your website in a way as to achieve the highest search results; the individual practitioner may also be called an SEO).
Never having considered music commerce on the web during my career as a music producer, arranger, songwriter, orchestrator, and studio keyboard guy, it was as though I was traveling aboard the Martian Rover, and had landed on an unknown and hostile planet.
After 2 1/2 years, I still just barely know enough to be dangerous, like many who make their living in SEO world. You see, SEO companies and practitioners are like televangelists. There are some honest ones somewhere, but you’re most likely to find one of the masses of traveling salesman and self-appointed experts who peddle their snake oil and thereafter skip town, metaphorically speaking.
Luckily, we had our own snake handler (Brian), and although by his own admission he had a lot to learn when we pushed out from shore in our little rowboat, as least he knew enough not to throw large sums of money at the ostensibly savvy and ‘can’t miss’ purveyors of practically guaranteed interweb success.
Ah, too much talking about that which I do not know. BUT, what I have figured out is how to maximize the little bits of knowledge I can grasp, and which I can affect. And that, combined with some good planning and execution from my partners, has led to a modicum of success.
Back to Googling WEDDING MUSIC SAMPLES, and finding us in the top ten results twice. We rank once for a page on our website, and again for a page on the Bandcamp website, through which we sell our music. We rank very near the top with the samples album that is on our site – and it’s possible we’ll be the #1 result, which I promise you is no easy feat.
Keeping it honest, this is not a major win. We are not retiring on the strength of this one ranking win. According to Google, it’s a term that is searched for a mere 720 times/month worldwide.
To win the search for “wedding music” would be a ‘game over’ kind of win – but as you might imagine, there are thousands of websites that would love to just make the top 10 for such an important search term; we’re not there yet. Still, it is nice to have won this lesser term, and it does translate to website visits, hence sales. (author’s note – I’ve always liked the word hence).
On a related note, at about the same time as we began work on our wedding music site, I bought some additional domain names (website names, as it were), with the idea that in the future they might be developed into successful music sites. So if you search for baby lullaby music, you’ll find that I have the #1 ranking site. I like lullabies, and so decided to prepare for the future by purchasing this domain name. Again, this is not a hugely searched term, but in combination with those who search for “baby lullaby” or “lullaby music”, it could lead to some nice search wins down the road.
I just realized that many of my dear readers (may I call you dear?) may not have connected the dots yet on an important but (until now unknown to you) SEO concept: the domain name (that’s what shows up at the top of the page when you’re on a site) matters to the search engines, so if your domain name closely matches a search term or terms you’re looking to “win”, you have increased your chances of moving up in the search engine results pages (SERPS). That’s why your domain name matters.
Enough of this folderol. You could have bailed after the first couple paragraphs… but you bravely persevered, and are rewarded by having read the final sentence of this riveting post. This is it. No, this is. This.