CHOOSING THE PERFECT BAND NAME
Choosing a band or artist name that is search engine optimized can help your career down the road. Yes, many bands have managed to achieve success in spite of unsearchable band names , but why not make it easy on your fans and choose a name that is easy to search for and find?
Many musicians have discovered (the hard way) that an unsearchable band name can hurt sales, reduce concert attendance, and frustrate fans.
And it’s not just major search engines like Google and Bing that you should be concerned about. A poorly chosen band name can make it hard for fans to find your music on iTunes, your videos on YouTube, and your band profiles on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Below is a list of things to avoid when choosing your band name, as it relates to search engines. They are only suggestions. Not even a great searchable band name can replace hard work and great music when it comes to whether a band is going to have a successful career.
Don’t piggyback your name off the success of another artist - If you name your band The Steven Tyler Experiment you may get some traffic from Steven Tyler fans who stumble upon your site, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to buy your music. Collateral traffic isn’t always the best quality. Also, popular news about Steven Tyler may often supplant your good rankings and there’s always the possibility you get sued.
Don’t get too creative with the spelling - Using creative spelling will actually increase your search engine ranking, but only if your fans spell your name correctly. Take the band Gorillaz. Gorillaz fans know how the band name is spelled and therefore don’t have a problem finding the band online. But if I heard of Gorillaz from a friend, and didn’t know they used an “z” instead of an “s,” I might search for “gorillas” with an “s” and find myself knee-deep in articles about big hairy apes.
Don’t use common names, words or phrases - Unsurprisingly, common names and phrases are searched for online quite often. So it’s difficult to place at the top of search results for these terms. Avoid band names like Molly, gluten, or Obamacare. These sorts of everyday names and phrases present an uphill battle for good search results.
Don’t use special symbols - Do you know how to put an umlaut over a ü when you type it into a search engine? Chances are, a good portion of your fans don’t. Many special characters will be unrecognized or ignored by search engines. Also some special characters can be misinterpreted by computer programs as code and it can cause errors. Keep this in mind before you name your band:<Bl@st%>
A good band name goes a long way in helping your band stands out from the rest, so do your homework. Make sure you check for the availability of domain names when doing your research. You want your website name to be the same as your band name (or as close as humanly possible). Last, but certainly not least, once you’ve found the perfect search engine optimized band name, make sure to have it trademarked so no one else can lay claim to your name.