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Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

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Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby skipper01 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:16 pm

Hi, just wondered if anybody could advise?
I've a website that promotes my part time musician services for ie pubs, clubs, weddings etc that I've had active for around 7 years.
A chap built it for me using using hand written code and made content/structural changes for me ad-hoc. He regretably can no longer maintain it for me. In his words - the code for the site had been hand-written due to its bespoke nature – there is no specific software used apart from a modern text editor such as Sublime Text, VS Code, Atom. The site is composed of relatively old code and standards now, as it’s 7+ years old. It is hosted on heartinternet.
A little while back I also paid to get a little bit of SEO work on the site which to be fair worked pretty well for what I was looking to realistically improve and achieve.
I have a bit of a dilemma as I can't justify spending some of the figures i've been quoted to get a company to redesign me and manage a new site.
I regrettably have no experience of coding and cant see myself attempting to learn this.
In theory, I really like the idea of taking control of the design part by using the services such as squarespace, wix or wordpress..?
I believe I'd be more than capable of dealing with the process of structure, linking of youtube videos, uploading audio content etc looking at the way these sites appear to make this aspect easy.
However, I am concerned about the true effectiveness of the built in SEO and advice that I've been given that it is apparently very hard for any SEO experts to externally improve the SEO if working in ie Wix or Squarespace.
I also do not want to ruin my current SEO if I move my domain name to ie Wix if it doesn't work without caviates for any reason. Equally i'm stuck if I cant find somebody to be able to make content changes on the site as is.
I totally appreciate that SEO and web design is a massive, massive area and big companies spend huge money to be number 1 on google etc.
Equally, if im not on the first page of Google (that i currently am for my localised focused searches) part of the reason for the site is negated.
Could anybody advise what may be best to do (particularly in relation to my SEO concerns/queries with Wix or Squarespace) as I do not wish to make a mistake but do need to act fairly quickly.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:45 pm

There's nothing to stop you using Wordpress or a similar content management system with your existing provider although Heart Internet seems more oriented towards those who want to use their own software so I'm not sure how easy it would be for the average person to install Wordpress. With my hosting provider (TSO Host) it is almost a one click operation to install Wordpress though I've not actually done it yet.

Don't get too hung up on SEO as the search engines refine their algorithms all the time and last year's SEO attempts are probably out of date by now. Good content and good design are the most important factors - and make sure you are registered as a business with Google as I'm finding more and more people finding me that way.
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby skipper01 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:50 pm

Hi, thanks for your reply and info although I’m still not sure though what to actually do.
Sorry- Can I ask what you use for the creation and management of your website? If the SEO thing isn’t something to worry about then I assume you mean the Seo offered within ie wix or Squarespace is satisfactory to achieve page 1 on google for local searches without needing to use external Seo experts? I’ve been told this is tricky anyway.
Or do you mean something else. As mentioned, I want to avoid any mistakes If possible.
Many thanks again

Regards
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby desmond » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:26 am

Squarespace will give you a nicely structured site that Google can spider easily.

You can put in code manually if you need to, but the SS admin tools should be plenty.

The bulk of "SEO" just means doing good content, updating it regularly, and making it easily spidered by crawlers.

SEO is a rather confusing catch-all term that means different things to different people. In terms of site code, it basically means not messing up modern standards so crawlers like Google etc will not penalise you for instance by having the same page name for all pages.

This is pretty small fry in terms of how Google ranks your site. One technical thing that *does* help is to be mobile-friendly/responsive. Google now uses the mobile view for *all* websites it indexes, so if you have a non-mobile-friendly site, that will definitely noticeably penalise your rankings. Again, you don't need to worry about all this with something like SquareSpace - it's all done for you, nicely.

Next up, SEO is about content - plenty of nice indexable content, updated regularly, not copied from other places, content related to typical search terms that your users will be searching on.

Lastly, SEO is about marketing - getting links to your site from other places, linking in your social media, twitter, youtube, instagram accounts, and keeping those updated and active too.

No one is going to be able to jiggle a few H1 tags on your site to send your site to the top of the search results, but with a bit of work on content (which you've probably already done and can just move forward onto the new platform), then you should be certainly no worse off with a new site, and if it's easier to update, then it will have benefits in the long run.

The only real downside with "platforms" like SquareSpace is that you are building on top of their technology - which means, you are tied to them, and you cannot change webhost, or move your site elsewhere - in a sense, your site is only really yours while you're paying the subscription. If you had to move elsewhere in the future (say, you didn't like their pricing, or their policies or something) you would have to start again building a new site from scratch...
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby skipper01 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:39 am

Many thanks for this info in addition to James.
I appreciate it’s a complex area so again your knowledge and advise really helps.

Regards
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:59 am

I only have a very basic website at the moment but I keep meaning to install a proper content management system so that I can separate the content from the style of the website and hopefully keep up with newer technology more easily.

My inclination is to avoid things like Wix and Squarespace - as Desmond says, you are tied to their technology and you are relying on them not going the way of Geocities (that'll date me ;) ) or MySpace. I'd look at a hosting company that makes it easy to set up industry standard software (like Wordpress, Drupal etc) and create your own (or hire in someone to create it for you).

However, that's just an opinion of someone who has just dabbled in websites for the last 25 years and who likes a challenge from time to time. You may well feel that the flexibility isn't worthwhile and happily go for a ready made option. Desmond knows far more than I do about current web technology so I'd heed his advice rather than mine.
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby manhattan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:41 am

skipper01 wrote:Hi, just wondered if anybody could advise?
I've a website that promotes my part time musician services for ie pubs, clubs, weddings etc that I've had active for around 7 years.
A chap built it for me using using hand written code and made content/structural changes for me ad-hoc. He regretably can no longer maintain it for me. In his words - the code for the site had been hand-written due to its bespoke nature – there is no specific software used apart from a modern text editor such as Sublime Text, VS Code, Atom. The site is composed of relatively old code and standards now, as it’s 7+ years old. It is hosted on heartinternet.
A little while back I also paid to get a little bit of SEO work on the site which to be fair worked pretty well for what I was looking to realistically improve and achieve.
I have a bit of a dilemma as I can't justify spending some of the figures i've been quoted to get a company to redesign me and manage a new site.
I regrettably have no experience of coding and cant see myself attempting to learn this.
In theory, I really like the idea of taking control of the design part by using the services such as squarespace, wix or wordpress..?
I believe I'd be more than capable of dealing with the process of structure, linking of youtube videos, uploading audio content etc looking at the way these sites appear to make this aspect easy.
However, I am concerned about the true effectiveness of the built in SEO and advice that I've been given that it is apparently very hard for any SEO experts to externally improve the SEO if working in ie Wix or Squarespace.
I also do not want to ruin my current SEO if I move my domain name to ie Wix if it doesn't work without caviates for any reason. Equally i'm stuck if I cant find somebody to be able to make content changes on the site as is.
I totally appreciate that SEO and web design is a massive, massive area and big companies spend huge money to be number 1 on google etc.
Equally, if im not on the first page of Google (that i currently am for my localised focused searches) part of the reason for the site is negated.
Could anybody advise what may be best to do (particularly in relation to my SEO concerns/queries with Wix or Squarespace) as I do not wish to make a mistake but do need to act fairly quickly.

Thanks in advance

Would you be against someone, some company, redesigning your website if the quote was reasonable?

I would always avoid Wix and Squarespace for more reasons than just SEO. Monthly payments, lack of ownership, lack of flexibility, tied to their company indefinitely etc.

May I ask what you have been quoted and what you pay for monthly hosting?

With paying someone to make updates you are going to eventually spend more anyways, while still not having an updated website.

Are you able to make updates on something with a nice visual backend like Wordpress?

Send me a PM, I can help you one way or another.
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby Still Vibrations » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:05 am

James Perrett wrote:
Don't get too hung up on SEO as the search engines refine their algorithms all the time and last year's SEO attempts are probably out of date by now. Good content and good design are the most important factors -

I went from 5th on Google's first page to the 4th page in a few days. Whereas my wife, who has an unusual name, is the 2nd entry on Google, even though her website is just an information page. The first entry is her biography on the website of a professional she works for freelance.
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Re: Musician promotion - Squarespace etc - SEO built in effectiveness?

Postby seanmichaels » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:49 am

Whatever you do, don't go on Fiverr and purchase 'backlink packages' or SEO services from sketchy sellers. This is a surefire way to get yourself slapped off of Google entirely with a penalty.
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