Google is by far the king of search engines across any platform (desktop, mobile + tablet, console). With that being said, you’ll want your SoundCloud profile’s URL to be fully optimized for Google’s search engine to allow people to discover your profile higher in the results.
If you are just starting out as an artist or finally decided to put your music on SoundCloud, you’ll want to utilize all the help you can get to make sure your fans can find your profile when they type your name into Google.
Although this post is written with artists in mind, if you are a curator, media outlet, or a respected user with a good sense of musical taste, you can apply these tactics to ensure people easily find your profiles as well.
Your SoundCloud URL should reflect your artist name as accurately as possible. Simplify your artist name down to the basics and don’t add anything that doesn’t need to be there.
Some artist names contain more than one word, e.g. “the creativv”. If there are spaces in your artist name, it’s a great idea to keep those spaces in your SoundCloud URL. However, as you probably already know, spaces aren’t allowed in a URL. So how do you make it work? Keep reading.
Using hyphens as spaces in your URL
If your artist name contains spaces, make sure that each of your words is separated with a hyphen (-) in the URL. When you use a hyphen, this translates as a word separator to Google when accessing your page. If someone on Google is almost always going to be searching “how to eat a pizza” including the spaces, a SoundCloud URL ending in /how-to-eat-a-pizza will be much more useful to Google than one ending with /howtoeatapizza. Clear?
How about underscores instead of hyphens?
Please note that underscores will not have the same effect as a hyphen. An underscore translates as a word joiner to Google, meaning that it will simply join the two words and take you back to square one. So try not to use them.
Even more clarification
Artist name: The Taco Trucks
Best URL: ends with /the-taco-trucks
What to do if your ideal artist name is taken
With hundreds of millions of SoundCloud users, chances are high that your name might already be taken if you are creating a new profile. If you tried typing in your artist name with and without hyphens and everything is taken, you might need to get a little creative.
You don’t want to deviate too far from your artist name, so try adding things like “official”, “music”, or “sounds” to the end of your username (the closer your artist name is to the beginning of the URL, the better).
As long as your URL contains your artist name, it will show up when people are searching.
Does it really matter? / Is it worth changing if I already have a profile?
Although it probably doesn’t matter too much, a properly optimized URL is good practice and might just be the difference between you showing up on the first page of Google and not the second or third.
If you already have a SoundCloud profile and your URL doesn’t contain hyphens as word separators, it probably isn’t worth you changing at this point. This is especially true if you’ve gone public with that URL and given it out to your friends, family, or fans.
In the end, if fans really want to find you, they will. However, an optimized URL will make things easier for you and them in the long run. There are some other things you can do to ensure that your entire profile is optimized, but we’ll save those for more posts in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you have questions/comments/concerns about optimizing your SoundCloud URL, leave me a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!