Link trees come handy when you share only one link. A click on the link will get you to a page where you can choose between different options. Many people use link trees on Instagram or other social media networks. If you haven’t used them yet, I bet you’ve seen other musicians sharing them.
For example, if you promote a song, a link tree offers you a list of streaming platforms. You can choose between Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Bandcamp or any other option that’s listed there. And, of course, like everything, there are third party solutions for this. But you can do it yourself, too.
Here I have four reasons against the use of third party link trees.
- You get no traffic to your website. Without traffic, search engines won’t consider your page as active and rank you lower. Imagine someone is looking for your music on Google, and all they find is your Facebook page and some blogs or news pages talking about you. They will not visit your website (because it’s not there) and you cannot convert them to become a mailing list subscriber. Also, Google owns Youtube. So if your website ranks well on Google, the algorithms might push your videos, too.
- Kind of related to this first issue is the next: backlinks. Backlinks are links that send people to your website. There’s a whole multi-billion market behind this where people pay hundreds of thousands of bucks to get more backlinks. The more backlinks you have, the better your webpage will rank on search engines. (If you ever heard about SEO, this is a small part of it.) So if a blog features your latest release, and they use your own link tree, you have one more source pointing to your website.
- Next up are pixels and retargeting campaigns. Once you know who visited your site – thus: showed interest in your brand – you can build a retargeting campaign for these people. And you can do it for each network, be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook… With a third part link tree, you have no control over your data. Unless…
- You pay for it. Once you want more features, like custom branding, tracking integration, or other fancy stuff, you have to pay for it. And costs rocket upwards. Six bucks per month here, ten bucks per month there, twenty, thirty, fifty… and your music career soon is unprofitable! Better use your money on things that actually have no simple DIY alternative.
But, the services offer some unique features. For example, some of them save user behavior in cookies. This way they know your fan’s preferenced streaming platform and can redirect them to it. I also saw one third party link tree that was sending your Spotify email address to the artist upon clicking on the link. There was no opt-out (meaning I couldn’t say no). As far as I know, this is against the European GDPR law. Even though GDPR is a joke so far, be careful about which service you use.
Link trees and other social media management apps look fancy. And, most often, they also work exactly as advertised. Always consider if it’s worth the money. Find a balance between what you can do yourself and where to outsource. I want you to make profits. High running costs need a high income. With a little bit of work, you can build your own solution.
Here’s how: Create a plain and simple new page. Add your logo. Insert all the links. Setup up your pixels and Google Analytics. Remove all unnecessary stuff (menu bars, sidebars, footer, etc.). Maximize for speed. Et voilà. You have built your first own link tree in no time – and you are in full control 🙂
And next time, use your latest link tree page as a template.