Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 Keyword Research Tips

Brand-Topic Awareness image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Keywords are an extremely important tool for being found on the Web. Regardless of whether you're talking about a website, video, blog or a tweet, the right keywords can make a difference in being found or not when someone does a Google, Bing or Yahoo search.

Here's an excerpt of a great article from that I numbered, and added a few comments to. It outlines 7 tips for better keyword research.

"Keywords are the foundation of search engine optimization. It is all about getting traffic from relevant search queries, the keywords people use to find our products or services or whatever we offer that our target market is looking for.
1. Placing a handful of words into the Google Keyword Tool, exporting the results, then calling it a keyword chart is skimming; it is not keyword research. Quality keyword research takes time and investment.
2. Before you open one keyword tool, study the topic you are researching, at least to the point that you can explain it intelligently to someone else and answer basic questions. This means to put some thought into exactly what your brand is, and exactly what your offering to a potential viewer.
3. Study your marketplace competitors. These are basic sources for seed words and phrases to put into keyword tools. This means look at other artists, bands, studios, engineers or producers to see what they're using.
4. Seeds are the words and phrases you enter into the keyword tools. Track these and use the same ones in every keyword research tool.
5. Use multiple keyword research tools. Every service has its strengths and weaknesses. Using different keyword tools is like seeking differing points of view. You want to be certain you have the best information possible.
6. When you have some good keyword candidates, begin studying the search engine results for rankings competition and additional keywords. In SEO, the real competitors are the websites that rank for your keyword targets, not just your marketplace competitors. This means to look at competitors and similar acts that rank high during a search, then see what keywords they using, and how they're using them. Are the keywords only in the title, in the description, or in the text of the page, or in all three?
7. Revisit the keyword tools. Look up additional seed keywords you may have added along the way. Create a complete dataset for every keyword research tool you use."
 You can read the entire article here.


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Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Improve Your YouTube SEO

YouTube logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
It's time for another excerpt from the second edition of Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age. This time it's all about YouTube SEO, or search engine optimization. If you want people to find your videos via Google or YouTube searches, but better you optimize your video, the more chance you'll have at it showing up higher in the search rankings.
"YouTube can be used as an effective marketing tool, but you must observe the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques outlined later in this book. Before you go live on a video, make sure that you do the following:

1. Name your video something descriptive. “Emerald at the Lone Star Club video 1/9/09” is good. “” is not descriptive at all so your video will never get added by the search engines and your fans won’t find it. 

2. Choose your keywords based on your title. In the above case, the keywords phrases would be “Emerald” (you might want to say "Emerald band" to be more descriptive) and “Lone Star Club.” Keep your number of keyword phrases to four or five, since anything more could be construed as “keyword stuffing” (that means using every keyword you can think of in hopes of getting ranked by a search engine), and you might get penalized with a lower search engine rank as a result. Make sure that your keywords (like your band name) come first in the title.

3. Make sure that your description contains the same phrase as your title. For example, “This video features Emerald at the Lone Star Club on January 9, 2011.” Something like “Here’s our band at the Lone Star Club” wouldn’t be as effective, because it omits the keyword “Emerald.”

There are other ways of using YouTube promotionally. You can:
  • Find people making creative videos on YouTube and offer them some original music to pair with their video.
  • Run a contest to see who comes up with the best music video for one of your songs.
  • Run a contest to see who can do the best mash-up of your existing videos.
Also, the more text the body of your description has, the more likely it will be found by a search engine. A hundred words works well but so could five hundred.

These are just other ways to get not only your current fans involved, but also potential new fans."

You can read additional excerpts from this and my other books at


You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 Ideas Of What Digital Music Will Look Like

New Music image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
The famous J.Walter Thompson advertising agency recently created a report called "Things To Watch: Music Edition" that outlines what to expect in the music space during the next decade. Here are a few of the things that they determined:

1. Access Over Ownership: The tide has turned on subscription music and we will all soon prefer to stream our music from a subscription service rather than buy it and download it.

2. Capturing Over Collecting: Instead of collecting records, CDs and digital downloads of our favorite music as we did in the past, we'll now capture where we can find the music online instead.

3. The Celestial Jukebox Is Here: Services like Spotify and MOG have captured our musical imaginations thanks to instant access to millions of songs and a new way to discover new music.

4. The Battle Of Personalized Radio: We're at a tipping point of how we consume music, especially via the radio. Personalization of what we listen to is the key to the future of music consumption.

5. The MP3 Player- RIP: With the massive shift to streaming subscription music, the days of the MP3 player are numbered.

6. Coming Soon To A Device Near You: Internet music access will soon be commonplace in the car and home entertainment gear.

7. Sharing Your Playlists Will Reach A Tipping Point: While personalization from a service like Pandora is getting better, it still can't beat what a human can come up with. Soon all companies will make available our playlists so that we can see what our friends are listening to.

8. The Facebook Effect: Listeners connected via Facebook have initially been found to be a lot more engaged, therefore Facebook can actually amplify the effects and popularity of a song or artist, becoming a new avenue for breaking an artist or for promo.

9. They'll Be A New Set Of Influencers: Bloggers have held sway over the popularity of an artist or blog until now, but that influence will be decreased thanks to a new set of music experts, thanks in part to Google's new "Magnifier."

10. Aggregators Help Music Discovery: New aggregator services like or will collect data from around the web to help consumers discover what's new.

These are only about half of the insights for the future of music that the report sited. You can check out the entire slide show on Slideshare.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

YouTube Introduces The Merch Store

YouTube online store image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
It was only a matter of time for this to happen, but YouTube has launched a store for selling songs, concert tickets and merchandise. Named "The Merch Store," it features some very strong 3rd party partners who will supply the infrastructure:
  • Topspin allows artists to sell merchandise, concert tickets and experiences
  • Songkick provides the concert listings
  • iTunes and Amazon provide the music downloads.

YouTube has also made a few changes to make it easier for indie labels to become YouTube partners and share revenue when their music is played, even with user generated content. You can get the signup form here.

I think this will be a great boon to artists and bands at all levels. Why? Because you can never have too many ways to distribute your product. Since so many fans use YouTube every day (they say 800 million!), your fans can now find your products within the YouTube infrastructure instead of having to navigate out to another site. It's much the same as with digital music. You don't trust your product only to iTunes, right? You spread it all around to any distributor that will have you. Same thing with merch, which is why The Merch Store should be a no-brainer for every artist and band.

One of the unknowns yet is the financial deal between YouTube, the affiliate partners, and artists. Hopefully we'll get more details soon.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Cloud Service Comparison

Now that iCloud has been launched, we can now take a good hard look at what it offers, as well as some alternatives. Below is a chart that looks at the three major cloud services for data storage only.

Cloud Services costs image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog

Below is a comparison chart for the three major cloud music services.

Cloud Services Comparison image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog

As you can see, in both data and music storage, iCloud looks like it's a pretty good deal. iTunes match is particularly cool in that it automatically transfer the songs you bought on iTunes to your cloud partition, as well as any other songs it can identify. That feature hasn't launched yet, but we're told it should be available soon.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.


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