SilverPlatter.info is one of the best sites for Phoenix music. The site was recently updated, so I was poking around and realized they could do a lot of things better with regards to search. I’ve outlined a few things for them here. The people who run it don’t do it for the money, they’re simply trying to foster the music community in the valley. It’s desperately needed, and appreciated by music lovers here. Hopefully they’ll implement some of the things I talk about.
First thing’s first though … INSTALL GOOGLE ANALYTICS! No excuses here people.
Use Google Analytics to figure out how people are finding your site. It’s important to know which searches people are using to find you in the first place. You can then find out where you rank for all those searches, and choose to optimize for the ones that are going to yield the most traffic. Without know any of this though, I’ve developed a list of keywords they might want to target, at least initially, using Google’s External Adwords Keyword Tool, as well as Google Insights for Search.
Using the AdWords tool we can see that most searches for SilverPlatter’s niche revolve around ‘phoenix music.’ If looks like there isn’t a terrible amount of competition for ‘phoenix music’ so we’ll go ahead and use this term. It’s logical that this is the most relevant phrase for SilverPlatter, now we just need Google to understand that. Lets take a look at what Google Insights for Search shows us …
Looks like a lot of people are searching for ‘arizona music’ as well. Lets take this for a grain of salt, but there are ways we can accommodate both. The AdWords tool shows half the amount of searches for ‘arizona music’ which is odd, and which is why we’re not taking this too seriously. Lets see what a paid keyword research service, KeywordDiscovery, has to say about these terms …
Not even close to the data Google’s giving us. It makes sense that lot of people are searching for ‘phoenix music’ so we’ll just go with that as our top level keyphrase. This is something that we can easily change as time goes on. If we find more people are finding the site from one or the other we can adjust. This is part of the optimization process. We’re also pretty confident in this phrase because the Phoenix New Times is optimizing for it, as seen here …
Lets not forget to use AuthorityLabs to check where SilverPlatter ranks currently for some of the keywords we’ll be targeting …
It looks like they’re showing up for a few venue names and few band names, but they’re not even #1 for their brand searches.
Now, anyone will tell you it’s not about optimizing for a single keyword because that won’t get you anywhere, but the point of this is to find the primary theme people are using to find SilverPlatter, and for which to base all other strategies upon. Everything we do from now on will fall under the umbrella of ‘phoenix music’ and it will keep our efforts focused as we move forward.
Figuring out where to focus our attention is important, even more important when it comes to a side project. We’re going to concentrate on Community, Venues, Artists and Shows. You’ll notice that there isn’t a Community section on SilverPlatter yet. They’ve got the beginnings of it with the ability to create an account and log in. I’m assuming they’ll develop this a little more. A full-on social networking side of SilverPlatter would be great, but things take time and should always be tackled in stages. This could be the next iteration of what the people at SilverPlatter have already started.
So lets start with the homepage. I’ve organized everything by the way the site is currently structured. This will be a good base for them to built upon. I’ve tried to define what I think they’re most important on-page factors should be based on the research above. I’ve also tried to go into a few strategies, if set up right from the get go, will help them out tremendously in the long term.
URL: Definitely not silverplatter.info … something with a .com.
.info domains are associated with spam in the eyes of Google. When .info domains were initially put on the market they were sold for very cheap, so spammers were able to buy these domains in volume cheaper than others. Because of that most .info domains are spam and Google realizes this.
Title: Phoenix Music | SilverPlatter
Description: Local Phoenix music information, concert calendar, venue and show reviews. Join the Arizona music community. Sign up with SilverPlatter.
Navigation: Navigation looks good, utilizing list code and formatted with CSS.
H1: The homepage H1 should be something else. Right now it’s “Today’s Shows a taste of the week.” What does that tell us about the content on that page, nothing.
H2: Should be “Today’s Shows…,” “Staff Picks,” “Hot Tickets,” etc.
H3: Should be the date, because that’s how the content is organized.
H4: Should be the band name.
The SilverPlatter site was recently updated, and it looks like they’re trying to build in some community features. They now allows you to create a profile, review venues, and state whether you’ve attended a certain show or not. Community sections of websites can be extremely powerful from a social aspect. Allowing people generate content on a site not only helps foster community, but it can generate massive amounts of content, which drives traffic from search, if that content and page structure is optimized.
Profiles can also drive a good amount of traffic. More and more are people using Google to search for information about others. If a site has profiles, making those optimized for community members’ names can be a great way to get more traffic. This technique becomes more powerful the more people join a community. Ranking well for individual names should be a priority for any site with member profiles.
Title: Phoenix Music Community | SilverPlatter
Description: Join the SilverPlatter arizona music community and find great music and shows in Phoenix.
Title: John Doe | SilverPlatter
Description: John Doe is using SilverPlatter to connect with the Phoenix music community, find new local band and get accurate and up-to-date Arizona concert information.
The above description can be used when a new profile is created, but the member doesn’t have any other info. You do want these descriptions to be unique to the individual though, so that when their profile is updated, the description is updated automatically. Member statistics like number of reviews, friends, shows attended, etc are all good things to include in a profile description. An important ranking factor is freshness, Google ranks pages recently updated higher than pages with older content. This is an easy way to keep profile content fresh.
Alt-Description: John Doe: 35 artist reviews, 5 venue reviews, and has attended 2 concerts since joining SilverPlatter.
H1: John Doe
H2: Shows, Artists, Venues
H3: Show Name, Artist Name, Venue Name
Title: Firstname Lastname Favorites | SilverPlatter
Description: Favorite items for Firstname Lastname on SilverPlatter
H1: Firstname Lastname Favorites
H2: Favorite Item 1, Favorite Item 2, Favorite Item 3, etc.
Title: Phoenix Concert Calendar | SilverPlatter
Description: Local Phoenix Arizona concert calendar and information from SilverPlatter.
H1: Phoenix Concert Calendar
It seems that the people running SilverPlatter are organizing concert information by date first, which makes sense. So, we’re reinforcing that structure with the heading tags, and also the URL structure of each date page individually.
H2: ‘January 30, 2008’, ‘January 31, 2008’, ‘February 1, 2008’
H3: Band Name A, Band Name B, Band Name C, etc.
H4: Venue Name A, Venue Name B, Venue Name C, etc.
Title: Phoenix Concert Information for January 30, 2009 | SilverPlatter
Description: Listing of all concerts in Phoenix, Arizona for January 30, 2009
H1: Phoenix Concert Information for January 30, 2009
H2: Band Name A, Band Name B, Band Name C, etc.
H3: Venue Name A, Venue Name B, Venue Name C, etc.
Title: Show Name Goes Here | SilverPlatter
Description: Concert information for ‘Show Name Goes Here’. Show times, venue details and maps courtesy of SilverPlatter.
H1: Show Name Goes Here
H2: Show Details, Reviews, Attending, Map
Title: Phoenix Band and Artist Information | SilverPlatter
Description: Find artists playing concerts in Phoenix, Arizona. Local band information for the greater Phoenix metro area from SilverPlatter.
H1: Bands in Phoenix
H2: Artist Name A, Artist Name B, Artist Name C, etc.
The goal here is to rank well for the artist name. A lot of artist sites aren’t search friendly whatsoever. This is actually one of the reasons MySpace became so large. Artists were using MySpace as their website. MySpace optimized their pages properly and now when you search for a band, their MySpace page will rank better than their website. SilverPlatter should attempt to take the same approach and at least rank when someone searches for the band name in the context of Phoenix, or Arizona.
Title: ‘Artist Name’ Phoenix Concert Information | SilverPlatter
Description: ‘Artist Name’ is playing in Phoenix. Get Artist Name concert, venue and band information at SilverPlatter.
H1: Artist Name
H2: About ‘Artist Name’, Shows, Vanues, Artist Info, etc.
Title: Concert Venues in Phoenix Arizona | SilverPlatter
Description: Phoenix concert venue information. Details on upcoming shows and more from SilverPlatter.
H1: Phoenix Concert Venues
H2: Venue Name A, Venue Name B, etc.
The idea behind this section of the site is to rank when people search for a venue name specifically. If SilverPlatter can collaborate with these places, and even get links from their site to the specific venue page they’ll have a decent chance of ranking well for searches for venue names. You could even use Yelp to pull in some details on venues if no one has added any yet. This will also help with an initial seed of content on these pages. Ultimately though, letting people review these places with an emphasis on concerts it will help SilverPlatter rank even better. Unique content on these venue pages is extremely important.
Title: ‘Venue Name’ Concert Information | SilverPlatter
Description: ‘Venue Name’ is a local Arizona concert venue. Find details and music related information on SilverPlatter.
H1: ‘Venue Name’
H2: Upcoming Shows, Venue Details, Photos, Reviews
Title: Staff | SilverPlatter
Description: SilverPlatter can only happen with the help of wonderful people.
H1: SilverPlatter Staff
H2: Staff Name A, Staff Name B, Staff Name C
You’ll see above in the community section that we added a favorites section to their profile. For ‘Staff Picks’ their profile information can simply be called out on the homepage. Their profile can have a special ‘Staff’ designation that will help set them apart, and filter their favorites from everyone elses. The ‘Staff’ page will also be able to be dynamically updated as different members are designated ‘Staff’.
Title: Staff Favorites | SilverPlatter
Description: Favorite shows, venues and artist from the crew at SilverPlatter
H1: SilverPlatter Staff Favorites
Title: About | SilverPlatter
Description: SilverPlatter is the #1 resource on the Internet for local Phoenix concert, band and venue information. Join the SilverPlatter community today and discover the Phoenix music scene.
H1: About SilverPlatter
Title: Contact Us | SilverPlatter
Description: Contact information for SilverPlatter | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 666-666-6666 | Address: 123 W. Street St. Phoenix, AZ 85018
H1: Contact Information for SilverPlatter
It looks as though the blog is a standar WordPress blog. They should be using an altered Thesis theme. There are plenty of resources out there on the best way to optimize a WordPress blog for search.
I’ve outlined a good amount of things SilverPlatter needs to do to get started optimizing the site better for search, but I’m sure I’ve forgot a lot. What else can they be doing?