Keywords for Bands and Musicians

Keywords for Bands & Musicians

Beginner Intermediate Level — This section on Keyword Research is currently open to the public. However, when Video So Go officially Launches it will only accessible to members.
Keyword Research for Bands Featured Image of Keyhole

Keyword Research for Bands, Musicians and Music Videos is off-beat and a different breed.

If you were into Dry Cleaning, Restaurants or something similarly mercantile, your Keywords would be all about location. But location is a passing thought for bands. The only time you need to think about location is when your promoting a gig or going on tour.

Getting your name out there is the ‘name of the game' for a band and that's Branded Keyword territory.

Besides a heavier focus on branded keywords, music also lays on another layer of complexity. I'm talking about the ill formed litany of mixed up music genres.

These are damn important, but it'll take an entire post to sort them out, and put them into a useful context. In this post we'll be concentrating on establishing your name, your Branded Keywords.

The Youtube Music Video Revolution
Youtube Music Videos — Image of Youtube Logo and Gramophone

Youtube Music Videos have turned the music industry on its head. Music labels use to spend millions to produce videos, and then jump through hoops to get them featured on MTV. Not anymore!

“Though MTV continues to show videos on some of its channels, like MTV Jams and MTV Hits, it is now the YouTube hit that labels covet: hundreds of millions of views translates into a steady surge in album sales.” NY Times

It's not like it used to be, you don't even need a record label to make it big. Yet, if you want to get discovered by hordes of online fans you need the right mix of keywords.

Keywords are the conceptualfabric of your image

Keywords are the word on the street, the phrases that people relate to, talk about and use to describe you.

Your fans don't know you, they know your image. It's shaped by the keywords of your fans Your image is how you're recognized, understood and adored by your fans.

Nobody likes being put in boxes, especially artists, but isn't your image just a fancy name for a box?

Keywords are sound bites that sculpt your image. They're talking points that are easy to digest and remember by both the populace and the Search Engine.

Branded Keywords and Image illustrated by stylized Musician silhouettes

Keywords are the clothes you wear in the mind of your fans. They're absolutely vital to exposure, publicity and selling music.

Keywords & Youtube Ranking for Musicians

Do know where your Music Videos rank on Youtube, Bing and Google? Are they buried at the back of the line, beneath billions of tons of digital refuse?

If you don't know how your videos are ranking, check out Tube Tracker. They make it easy to tabs on your videos.

Don't you want your videos to be one of Youtube's Top 10? Of course, you do!

But ranking number one for Pop Music isn't quite the same as ranking for a keyword like, electric martian mental grunge. Is it?

Even if you rank number one, what good would it do you? No one will find you because no one is looking for electric martian mental grunge. That's why you've got to choose keywords that count.

Ranking at the top of Youtube, Bing and Google for popular Keywords is like headlining at Madison Square Garden, or maybe even better. With 4 Billion daily views and growing, Youtube is the hottest place in cyber space?

The problem is that millions of music videos are going after the top spots. You don't want to start out competing with Beyonce for keywords like Pop Music. No, you want to start out with keywords that are popular but not too competitive, like Soft Pop Live in London.

Before we size up the competitiveness of unbranded keywords and Genres, we need to backtrack to take a look at the power of your name!

Branded Keywords for Bands

You might not realize it, but your stage name, the name of your Band is your most important Keyword. It's your brand, your branded keyword. It might irk you to think of your Band as a brand, but we live in a branded world.

Where ever your Band Name appears in the Media, in Music Video Titles, Tags, on Websites or Social Media, your Band is promoted as a brand. Of course, this is great because it boosts your name and your popularity.

The more your name appears in public, the more people will recognize it. This leads to more searches, traffic generation and social sharing.

If you already have a good size Fan Base, then each time you make a splash, release a new track or music video, your numbers will shoot up and more people will come into the fold.

But what if you're not famous? The problem is that if people haven't heard of you, they won't search for you and it is unlikely they'll find you on Youtube, Bing or Google.

The idea is to get the best of both worlds, to get your name recognition boosted and to get found by the people who have heard of you.

Your Branded Keywords are a bit broader that what you may expect. You see, all the plausible variations of your stage name, the official name of your band fall in the category of Branded Keywords.

In fact, anything that is directly associated with your Band, like, your albums, tracks and tours should also branded keywords.

Take the Rolling Stones for instance. The Rolling Stones and the shortened version, ‘The Stones' are the primary Branded Keywords of their Band.

“The Rolling Stones on Fire”, their current 2014 tour, is a good example how they build on the power of their primary branded Keyword, “The Rolling Stones”.

Even though albums like, ‘Bridges to Babylon', Emotional Rescue and ‘Exile on Main St', are Branded Keywords in their own right, the Rolling Stones is prominently splashed across the covers.

How about Keith Richards and Mick Jagger? Wouldn't they also be Branded Keywords? You bet! I'm sure you've heard of vocalist that gained massive notoriety. It's common for big name performers to branch out on their own, like e Phil Collins and Paul McCartney.

What's in a name? These days, big bucks and a staggering amount of market research goes into a name. The Naming conventions for the Branding of Bands, Hollywood Stars, Companies and Products aren't left to chance. From wiring people to measure their reaction on a Functional MRI Scans to focus groups, naming is serious business.

Even without the Nero-Research behind them, over at the Brand Names Site contextual Band Name Keywords are being sold for crazy prices. There not even that good; Tune fork is listed at $3,995 and Sonixer for $4,850. Would you want to be known as the Tune Forks?

Most Bands who are just starting out can barely make ends meet, let alone drop a load of cash down to get a search friendly name. You're also not going to have a million dollar ad agency working on your behalf.

So, here's some guidelines for you to keep in mind.

You'll want to pick a name that is flexible enough to fit into a broad range of content. Stick to one or two syllable words if possible.

Make sure that you're aware of the cultural associations of your name. What does it imply? Does it have baggage or is it a relatively clean term? You probably wouldn't want to call yoursevles the F'ck Heads!

If the contextual relevance somehow relates to music, that would be a big bonus. Of course, you'll also want to consider the competitive ‘searchability' of your name. You wouldn't want to call yourself the Stones, but maybe the Jazz Brothers would work.

I'm just pointing this out to reiterate how important it is to make sure that your Band name, that your primary keyword…

  1. is catchy, easy for people to pronounce and remember
  2. is contextually relevant to music
  3. is unique and search friendly
  4. is an integral part of your story
  5. is able to fit into a wide variety of semantic structures without sounding forced

Ok, lets say that my Band Name is ‘Blank'. From what you've picked up thus far, can you tell if Blank is a good name for a Band?

On its own, Blank doesn't have anything to do with music. At first glance it doesn't suggest that I'm a musician whose in the Blank Band? Besides, I wouldn't only be competing with other musicians and songs that use the word Blank, I'd also be competing on the Search Engines with every other Blank in the world.

Your Branded Keyword is what you want to be known for. It's what you want to pop when people hear your name. So wouldn't it be better if it popped with a beat, with some music?

As my Band Name, wouldn't the Blank Band be much better than simply, Blank? Everyone would immediately know that I'm a Band and not just a Blank.

You do want your primary branded keyword to appear everywhere that it can naturally fit into the context.

Being a fairly neutral term, the Blank Band is flexible enough to suite a full range of different usages. It can easily be woven into your content in all sorts of ways. So, it's easy to mix and match with popular non-branded Keywords.

For example, I could have The Blank Band (Official) Youtube Channel, which would feature Music Videos like:

  • The Blank Band Unplugged
  • The Blank Band Live in New York City
  • Soft Rock Ballads with the Blank Band
  • Hey Jude by the Blank Band
  • Top 40's by the Blank Band

By the way, I haven't registered the Blank Band, so if you act fast you can give it a go. Seriously though, do you see what I'm getting at?

Keyword Research Part 1 — Keywords MEME’s and Monikers

Keywords MEMEs and Monikers

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Level — This section on Keyword Research is currently open to the public. However, when Video So Go officially Launches it will only accessible to members.

You've heard about keywords. You know that they're the key to search engine ranking. Yet have you really thought about what keywords are or how to get the most out of them?

If you're trying to figure out how to find the most relevant keywords for your Video SEO Campaigns then you've come to the right place.

But this post isn't about the mechanics of Keyword Research. What you'll discover here is an extremely valuable asset, a keyword knowledge base, a conceptual framework that will enrich nearly everything that you do.

Some people over complicate Keywords, others confuse them and some folks are just clueless. Keywords aren't inherently evil, but they are apt to be misunderstood.

The term Keyword itself is somewhat misleading, because it suggests a single word. Yet, a keyword usually refers to short descriptive phrases.

Like a bad cop, keywords have a tendency to intimidate people and bludgeon creativity. Have your eyes ever glazed over trying to see through the keyword haze?

The problem with keywords, isn't because of the thousands of words you have to sieve through to find the best ones. It's not because Keywords have a threefold context that overlap and intertwine like a Persian carpet.

  • Keyword Research

    You have to use the most effective Keyword Research methods to discover the perfect mix of the right words.

  • Keyword Implementation

    Now that you've found your Keywords, you need to know how to use them to get high quality traffic. This requires framing them in a manner that is both orientated to your audience as well as the search engines. SEO copywriters, a rare breed, are paid a fortune to weave into creative content with relevant appeal.

  • Keyword Performance

    Now you're ready to track and study your keyword analytic data. Measuring the performance of your keywords in the search engines is essential. Keyword analytic data helps you increase performance and leads to the discovery of new keywords.

The reason that you might get brain freeze from Keywords isn't because search engines don't want you to be too clued in.

Search Engines make billions from selling Keywords in manicured ad packs. They want you to know a little, but not too much.

These are certainly contributing factors that raise the keyword difficulty index. Yet, I believe the trouble with keywords goes much deeper.

You see, Keywords are tied up with how you think. They are so closely related to thought that they're hard to think about.

Keywords are bundles of habitual association that determine the tendencies of your searches and define the things that you search for.

Recognizing the key concepts hinted at by your Keywords will help you get into the mind of the searcher. When you understand where the searcher is coming from you can develop laser focused content especially for them.

Lets follow this train of thought a little deeper into the perplexing world of…

Mind MEME's and the Keyword Multi-Verse

Can you think without words? Aren't these inner words of yours actually keys that unlock ideas?

As elements of thought, keywords represent ideas, impressions, opinions, concepts and beliefs.

Keywords aren't just sitting on some forelorn list that's frozen in time, they're alive in the social mind. When a keyword hits a popular chord, it goes viral and trends with hypnotic buzz.

Have you come across the moniker, Memes? Do you know what a meme is? On the surface, Memes like; Cringeworthy, Rickrolling and Twearking, suggest that memes are in the same league as slang. But hold on, wasn't Rock and Roll just a 1950's Meme?

It may have been slang back then but what about now? Rock and Roll has pumped trillions into the economy, has it's own Museum and wrecked language barriers. People in China, Russia and Thailand are just as likely to know what Rock and Roll is as any red blooded American.

Keywords are seed of thought!

Ok, so what the heck does all this meme'ing have to do with your keyword research. Everything! Isn't the social context of your keywords, their popularity and trend potential, important?

Choosing your keywords requires intuition, experience and thinking outside of the box. You see, keyword research is more of an art than a science. Keyword research is the art of tracing words back to thoughts. In other words, understanding what goes on in the searchers mind by the keywords that they use.

Now, there's a reason that Memes rhymes with Genes. Memes aren't just verbal dribble-dribble drabble gone wild. The term Meme was first coined by Richard Dawkins in his book the Selfish Gene.

“A Meme is an idea that functions in a mind the same way a gene or virus functions in the body. And an infectious idea (call it a “viral meme”) may leap from mind to mind, much as viruses leap from body to body” Discovery News

Keyword Memes are hot topics and fashionable concepts that capture our attention. You might not realize it, but when your Sharing, Tweeting and Linking you're potentially helping to ignite a Meme.

The Media specializes in parroting political sound bytes, Memes. So Memes are often manufactured to manipulate public opinion.

For example, the American Republicans in Congress tried to rally support to abolish the inheritance tax. They failed. So they hired a wordsmith who changed the Keyword, “inheritance Tax” to “Death Tax”? What do you think happened? You guessed it, they passed the bill and got rid of the Death Tax.

It's not just the Keywords that you use it's the connotation they convey and emotional impact that they are likely to incite.

The study of Keywords as Memes and the Science of Mimetics would lead us to the fascinating realm of neuroscience. Yet, as tempting as it, this would take us to far out of context.

However, when time permits, I will pick this theme back up on my Subliminal Blog.

Keywords from Mindshare to Marketshare

Keywords have been around long before search engines. I remember digging through the library card catalog drawers, searching out lost knowledge in obscure book indexes, and studying references in concordances. All of which could not have been done without our dear old friend, Keywords.

Image of a Library Card Catalog.

When you think about it, aren't Search Engines just super massive dynamic digital encyclopedias? Without keywords, the internet would be utterly useless.

On one hand, Keywords represent mind-share and the other, they represent mini or micro-market segments.

Mind-share is what's at the top of your mind. Taking over mind-share is the dream of branding.

Mind-share is what comes to mind without thinking. It's like Freud's Free Association Method. I say a word and you say the first thing you think of. When I say ‘cola', would you say, ‘coke'?

How about if I say ‘Search'. What pops into your mind, Bing? Or was it Google?

This is a great place to draw a significant Keyword distinction, between Branded and Unbranded.

You see, Google is a ‘branded keyword' that holds the largest chunk of mind-share associated with the ‘unbranded keyword', Search. For Google, this translates into a massive majority of the global search market share.

Ok, now let's try it again. What comes to mind if I say: Apple? Did you think of the fruit or the company? How about Beetles? Did you think of the bugs, the band or the car?

With enough muscle, money and know how, brands can highjack mind-share. How about Madonna? If you did a search for Madonna, what results do you think would show up at the top of the page? Mother Mary or the Pop Star?

Unless your a Richard Branson with a Virgin Idea, your brand probably won't come to dominate the mind-share of something else.

Now if I say: “horned beetle”, I bet you didn't think of the ‘Hey Jude', did you? They're many different kinds of beetles and many ways to describe the nasty little creatures.

What would happen if you combined all the descriptive phrases, nouns, similes and semantic structures related to Beetles? If you were careful enough to include the Band, the Car and any other relevant Meme, you'd end up with the entire Beetle mind-share.

That might sound silly because we're talking about Beetles. Surprising as it may seem, Beetles did prove to be an extremely profitable Keyword to monetize. Yet, what if we're talking about other mind-share keywords that hold enormous market potential, like Solar Electricity, Video or Travel?

Google became synonymous with Search, and with Youtube it's pretty much has done the same thing with video. It is possible to catch a major Keyword Meme and ride out your market domination as long as it will hold.

Most of us aren't a Google, Apple of Nike, but we can still capture a small segment of mind-share that's relevant to what we do and whom we are. This brings us to Keyword-Mini and Keyword-Micro Market Shares.

In marketing parlance, these are called Niches. But, they really are Keyword based. So there's no need to confuse the issue by calling theme something else.

I want to illustrate this for you graphically, but I also want to get this post done before next year. I tend to go overboard, and my illustrations seem to take forever to get done. So for now the best I can do is come up with some colorful examples.

In fact, color is a great example: If the keyword ‘color' is the over-arching market term, then each of the primary colors, the Keywords; Red, Blue and Yellow would be secondary main-market terms.

So all the shades of Red, like, Rose, Vermilion, Crimson and all it's splendid variations, are each a Keyword mini-market of Red.

Following the same logic, a keyword micro-market of the color red, would be more specialized than its mini-market, like Light Vermilion, Dark Tiles, or Psychedelic Vermillion.

We can do the same thing with any main market keyword, but you'll find it's not nearly as simple. Take Music for instance. It's a particularly convoluted example. Music represents an amalgamation of many main-markets.

Keep in mind that everything that is associated with music has a share of the music's main market. Apple did tackled the music market with their iTunes, and the industry will never be the same again.

If you're a musician, the first thing that you'd want to do is break music down into several of the largest relevant categories. Identify your main market keywords. How about, Recorded Music, Live Music, Online Music or Music Compositions.

Then you can get more specific with something like Live Piano Music? If you play the Piano, then Piano Music would certainly be one of your main Market Keyword choices. Always start from the most general and work towards the specific.

Then you'll want to break it down into even smaller categories by perhaps including music genres, like, Live Classical Piano Music.

Now you can add another layer of specificity by including a location, like Live Classical Piano Music in London. You get the idea, don't you?

When you rank number one in the search engines for a keyword like, Classical Piano Lessons in South West London, you hold the majority of that keyword mini-market share.

Here's none-musical example that's close to home. When you search for “Video SEO Marketing” on Youtube, you'll find that one of my videos ranks first.

Video Seo Marketing SERP Proof Powerbook Mock-up

While it doesn't have the mini-market majority for the keyword Video SEO, it does have the majority of the micro-market for the keyword, Video SEO Marketing.

The next installment in this series on Keyword Research we'll cover Search Intent and much more.