Keyword research for musicians

Do you want to be a musician and do your SEO? It’s important to understand your keywords before you begin optimizing your site.

SEO is a great way to start your SEO strategy. It all begins with your fans’ journey.

Keywords are the foundation of search engines. Keywords are the way humans communicate directly with search engines.

Google’s homepage is nothing but a text box where you can enter your keywords.

SEO is not just about ranking higher in search engines. It’s about ranking higher in search engines with relevant keywords that people are searching for.

You and your music will only be able to benefit from a tiny fraction of the Google searches conducted worldwide. Within that slice, more keywords will be searched for than others.

Keyword research involves identifying which keywords are most important for you. You can then focus your SEO efforts on the keywords most likely to promote your music.

No two keywords are the same: this is a basic law of SEO

Let’s take a look at an example to see why this matters.

You’re a pianist teacher in Albany, NY. You might think that a high ranking for “piano teacher in albany” would drive traffic to your site without doing any keyword research.

In fact, more people search for “piano lesson albany” than ever before. They’re more likely to search “piano classes albany ny.”

Google has provided us with a useful tool that allows us to find the answers.

We’ll show you how to obtain this information yourself in just a moment.

This data shows that “piano lessons in albany, ny” is searched for about 30 times per month. The search for “piano teacher Albany” is almost non-existent.

It is pretty obvious which keywords would bring you the most visitors if they were high on search engine results. Prioritize “piano classes albany ny”.

It is important to note that this example is very simplistic, but it illustrates the fact that you should do your research before focusing your efforts on keywords that will yield results.

What are the most important keywords to use for your band?

Now that we’ve discussed how certain keywords are searched more than others, let’s talk about relevancy. That is, selecting target keywords that are relevant to your offering or promotion.

It’s important to musicians that we focus first on the “brand” and “non-branding” keywords.

A “brand” keyword for musicians is any keyword that includes the name of your band or artist. You can also use the names of your band members, track titles, or album names. You could use lines from your lyrics.

A good example of a keyword for Bandzoogle’s member Elephant Stone is “elephantstone discography.”

As a musician or band, you should focus on the keywords that are most important to your brand.

You may recall that in the first article in this series, SEO For Musicians: It Starts With The Fan Journey, the search engines played a major role in Your Music Marketing. You may find that people search for you on a search engine after they have found you. Brand keywords are a great way to do this.

A “non-brand keyword” is any keyword that does not include specific words about you, your music, or your band.

This non-brand term would be used to describe the Discovery stage in the Fan Journey. And as we mentioned in the article before, people don’t find new music by using search engines.

The basic idea is that brand terms are the most relevant for you because people will not find you on search engines unless they have heard about you. At this point, they might look for you specifically.

With one exception, non-brand keywords are not relevant or useful to musicians. Your SEO strategy will be similar to that of a business offering a service or product, such as local lessons in music. Non-brand keywords are your primary focus.

What keywords should you use to find your band?

Before they begin any SEO work, every SEO expert starts with keyword research. You’ll be working unthinkingly without it. You can do the research yourself.

Here’s how you can do your research on keywords using the Google Ads Keyword Planner.

Step 1: Open the Google Keyword Tool

Many SEO experts use the Google Ads Keyword Planner to research keywords. The tool is free but only accessible from a Google Ads account.

Other keyword research tools are available, but either they are expensive or very limited. Google Ads Keyword Planner can be a bit of a pain to use, but it offers the most accurate keyword data and is free as long as your campaign doesn’t go live.

You can find the “Keyword Planner,” as shown below, in the Tools menu after you have created and logged into your Google Ads account. You should see something similar when you click it.

Select “Discover New Keywords”

Step #2: Enter seed keywords

On the next screen, we can enter some keywords. To start, we need to feed the tool some ideas.

You can enter any band name you like. We used the Bandzoogle member Wolfmother for our example.

Click the “Get Results” button.

Step 3: Find your keyword

The tool gives us data about how many people search for our seed keyword. It also provides a list of related keywords.

In this image, Google tells us that there are, on average, 40,500 searches per month worldwide for the keyword “Wolfmother.”

The keyword suggestions are also available, along with the monthly average searches for each one. We’ll sort through them and organize them later. Try downloading your keyword suggestions to a spreadsheet by clicking the “Download Keyword Ideas’ link.

Making your band keywords list

Next, we need to create more seed keywords. We brainstormed ideas for what people may search for:

People looking for tour dates (tour, live, tickets, concerts, etc.)

Merch such as vinyl, T-shirts, and posters

Downloading (to listen to music, legally or illicitly), streaming, and YouTube

You can also use hooky lyrics to draw attention to your song.

This list can be applied to any band. Think like a music lover. Imagine how your fans might find you and your songs.

Check out what Wolfmother fans want to know.

We entered all sorts of seed keyword ideas in the Google Ads Keyword Planner, one at a time. For example: “Wolfmother tickets,” Wolfmother vinyl,” Wolfmother songs, etc. Each time, we downloaded the results into a spreadsheet. We then began again with a different seed keyword. We sorted through the data and manually organized it in the spreadsheet once we were satisfied that we had done everything possible.

It can take a lot of time and patience to do the “research” portion of keyword research. The result was this.

It’s not a complete list, and we could find many other keywords that are worth focusing on. But it will give you a good idea.

We have grouped keywords based on the goals we believe the searcher wants to achieve (and the place they may be in the Fan Journey).

We grouped them because, for example, someone who searches “wolfmother tour” is likely to be doing something similar to someone searching for “Wolfmother Tickets.”

The average number of searches per month also sorted the keywords. This helps us prioritize keywords so we can concentrate on those that people are searching for more frequently.

Try it with your band’s name. You may want to group the items differently if you know what your fans like.

You can enter any keywords you think are relevant while keeping in mind what you have learned about your audience and their journey. Check out the results.

List all the keywords that you have found to be relevant and which are searched monthly in a spreadsheet. As shown in the screenshot, record the keyword and the monthly searches and then sort and organize the data.

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