Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

December 12, 2007

5 Music Web Site Design Tips

There are millions of music web pages across the Internet. Most are poorly designed (and that's being kind), many are serviceable at best, and a rare handful are truly attractive and effective. How does your site stack up?

Use these five music web site design tips to make your pages more appealing and profitable.

  1. Focus on the upper left. Eye tracking research reveals that web users look first at the upper left corner of a web page, then work their way down and to the right. So place your artist name or an eye-catching image in this powerful upper left-hand corner.

  2. Give visitors "eye anchors" lower on the page. People generally scan lower portions of a web page. So don't place lots of long, scrolling text on your pages. Instead, use short paragraphs, bullet points and bold sub headlines to draw attention to the things you want people to read, know about, and click on.

  3. Place navigation links along the top. You probably already know that it's a good idea to place your navigation (links to other sections of your site) in the same place on every page. But where? On the top, right side, left side, or bottom? The verdict is in: Visitors respond best to navigation links placed along the top of the page.

  4. Spell out your "call to action." On each page of your music web site, you should have a goal -- something you want a visitor to DO while on that page. It might be hit the play button, subscribe to your ezine, read your bio, purchase a CD, etc. Whatever it is, make that clear and include a "call to action" -- clear instructions to do that thing now.

  5. Watch someone surf your web site. Corporate types might call this usability research. You can call it whatever you want, but you'll learn a ton by simply watching different people go to your web site for the first time. Don't interrupt or make suggestions. Just observe. Then ask and answer questions. This exercise will prove invaluable when it comes to making your music web site better.

December 2008 Update: Want more music web site design tips? Check out the brand new Killer Music Web Sites special report and audio. On it I critique 19 artist and record label web sites and point out in detail what's working, what isn't working, and what needs to be changed. Don't promote yourself online without these music web site design essentials.

For even more web page design tips, visit

10 Landing Page Optimization Tactics

9 Common Mistakes in Landing Page Design

Creating Effective Landing Pages

10-Point Checklist for Landing Page Design

The Best of Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes


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Make the most of the world's biggest social networking web site with this great primer on MySpace Music Marketing. Available in paperback or ebook format. Get more details here.

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posted by Unknown @ 3:53 PM   6 comments


At Dec 12, 2007, 5:56:00 PM, Blogger Dwayne said...

This was a great post to read. You made a few interesting points there and you are correct about how a user looks at the top left first and then works their way down.

I am very interested to see what else you post.

Visit my blog sometime if you like I've got some design tips on their myself plus a bit of ranting too. ;)

At Dec 12, 2007, 6:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someoone who's been designing websites for nearly 9 years now, I would like to point out that these "rules" are ALWAYS changing. Viewing habits as users grow with the internet are always in stasis and a good web designer will know what the current trends are and design towards those.

I also think it's important that a band establish a brand through logos, other images, fonts and colors and use it throughout the site, but again a good designer knows how to make this happen and keep the site usable and current.

For me, something that isn't mentioned and is the #1 don't at the top of my list is this:

Don't put up a website and then forget all about. Update content and images often and keep your content fresh. A blog is a really simple way to do that, as well.

At Dec 13, 2007, 2:28:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I'm curious about the research that says that links across the top are the most effective.

At Dec 13, 2007, 2:49:00 PM, Blogger Bob Baker said...

Mark, the top nav reference came from results listed . (Admittedly from 2004.)

Here's the nugget:

"Navigation placed at the top of a homepage performed best -- that is, it was seen by the highest percentage of test subjects and looked at for the longest duration. In a survey of 25 top news sites, we found 11 that used top position navigation. The other 14 used left navigation. Seven of the 25 used left and top navigation elements. None of the 25 sites we surveyed used right side navigation. It's rare, but you can find right navigation in the news website world."


At May 18, 2008, 7:19:00 PM, Anonymous Hip-Hop said...

Great post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At Dec 27, 2011, 9:17:00 PM, Anonymous web design manila said...

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