Looking for a name for your new band? Read this first.

Coming up with a name for your band is hard. It has to (a) be something everyone in the group can agree on; (b) say something about your image; (c) hint towards your attitude and sound; (d) lend itself to good graphic design (important for the t-shirt!); (e) not be in use by anyone else; and (f) available as a domain.

We can also dig a little deeper into point (f). How can you be sure that when someone Googles your band that it comes up high in the search results? This wasn’t a problem that long ago, but such are today’s digital realities. Now, though, you have to worry about being your name being unspellable, unpronounceable or one that uses characters Google doesn’t recognize in its search.

Before you commit to any name for your band, read this from Hypebot first.

Musicians: Don’t be “UnGooglable!”

Is it “unGooglable?” Is it “unGoogle-able?” Whatever, I think you get the point:

You need your music, your website, your videos, your social presence to be found FIRST when someone searches for your artist name online.

Whether you’re a young garage band about to play your first gig, a YouTuber reconsidering your channel name, or a musician who’s about to be signed, when it comes to SEO (search-ability) considerations around your artist name, there are some common rules that apply no matter how you’re releasing music.

Your name should be… unique.

Duh. There are probably a thousand “Accordion Girl” videos on YouTube, but what about “Subsonic Accordion Banshee?” Stand out!

GOOGLE IT FIRST!

This is the most important thing, and the easiest way to ensure your name IS unique: search for whatever artist name you’re considering BEFORE you settle on something. You don’t want to find out later that you’ve got competition, plus a Trademark lawsuit on the horizon.

Don’t call yourself the thing that you DO.

It’s implied in the first example above, but don’t name yourself “Piano Covers” or “Video Game Classics.”

Let your name be bigger (and more searchable) than the kind of music you make. If anything, try mashing up your name with your genre, like Subsonic Accordion Banshee, Samurai Guitarist, Piano Mangler Bob, or Banjo Guy Ollie.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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