I was perusing some business advice groups for music teachers on social media recently. Someone posed a question looking for “GOOD” websites from music teachers, along with a list of what they perceive as a “good” website.
Here is the truth: NOBODY (including me!) can provide you with a magical checklist in a blog or podcast of what will make your website “good” or will help you magically grow your music studio. Marketing is a long game and rarely has a quick solution. Your website is a small part of a larger puzzle.
A good business website converts visitors to customers.
Most private music teachers (and larger schools) build a website to get the attention of more potential clients: your goal is probably to grow your music studio.
If your website is bringing in the clients your business needs to thrive, your website is doing its job. That’s it.
…but what if it’s not?
Then it is time to discuss some scenarios where your website is not succeeding.
A website with no traffic is a BAD website.
You can’t get attention if people aren’t finding you.
Consider the ways in which potential clients (leads) arrive to you. before you begin dreaming up a design or writing content. We do not begin writing or designing without considering HOW traffic will arrive.
How will visitors arrive to your website?
There are many ways to get your website out there, from paid advertising all the way through word of mouth.
The majority of private music teachers and schools are smaller businesses. Smaller businesses face some unique challenges when compared to larger businesses, and one of those challenges is having a smaller budget for advertising and marketing.
A good tactic for a smaller music school or private music teacher is to start with organic forms of marketing such as search engine optimization and social media. As your budget allows, expand into paid advertisement (such as Google Ads, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, etc).
Because SEO relies SO MUCH on content, it means that text content is an inescapable element.
Many marketing “gurus” are also advising to completely pare down content and combine webpages in order to facilitate clean and minimal designs. There is no other way to say this than to say it directly: removing content or having very short content on a website is a BAD idea.
If any part of your marketing strategy includes local SEO, you MUST:
- have RELEVANT content on every page of your website.
- have more than one page.
Your regular website pages (home, about, services, etc) need to answer questions that visitors have, and also tell search engines what the page is about.
When social media posts and optimization for search are combined with an organized, informative, and attractive website, marketing begins to really work.
A Website that Doesn’t Convert is a BAD website
Once people arrive to your website, it is that website’s job to convince them to contact you!
We’ve already established that a website needs to have text copy on it in order to bring in visitors from google. Once your visitors arrive, they want to see an easy to navigate, beautiful website. Having a lot of content does not mean that the design of your website is cluttered, ugly, or disorganized.
Website designers often experience a scenario where a client comes to us and asks us to create a design, but has no content or direction they want to go in at all. This never ends well, because there needs to be a relationship between content and design that has a specific meaning. Colors and fonts don’t have meaning on their own!
When does a website convert? When the messaging connects to the visitor emotionally. We accomplish this by appealing to the visitor through our content and guiding them towards a call to action of some kind. In order for this to work….
Content Needs to happen Before Design
- Craft content that will appeal to both visitors and search engines
- Create a design considering this content and UX principles
“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is decoration.”Jeffrey Zeldman
I’ve been developing and designing websites for over 20 years. I have spent a significant amount of time building websites for music schools and private music teachers. I have pored over analytics, UX design, and marketing studies. There is a lot of information out there, and it’s not something you can learn in a few months of building one or two websites.
A “good” website accomplishes two things: getting visitors to arrive, and convincing those visitors to take an action. How do we achieve this? By considering how visitors will arrive FIRST, then by creating content, and then by creating a design.
The decisions you make while building a website can affect your bottom line drastically. This is why it is important to go in with a very clear plan from the beginning. Do not rely solely on an arbitrary list from a podcaster or a singular marketing expert’s blog – including this one.