Firstly, a big thank you to all of you who have been adding your events to the database. We appreciate your time and effort, and we're sure that it will be repaid in site visitors from all over the world who get to learn about you.
We've been very busy over the summer putting the finishing touches to a brand new concert finder and it's now up and running. We listened to what people wanted and completely changed the way a site visitor selects what to see, as well as adding some new features. The new concert finder is easier and more fun to browse through. There are also lots of pictures of places, performers and especially of composers, like the one on the right which shows why Liszt was such a heartthrob, or, in the case of Donizetti, a cartoon self-portrait! We can already see the results in the patterns of use: people are spending more time and looking at more pages on the site. Do try it out! We're confident that you'll enjoy using the new site and will find out more than you could imagine about who's playing what and where.
As well as being easier and more fun to use, the concert finder is carefully optimised for search engines, so we're already coming much higher up the rankings and therefore getting more traffic, especially from visitors looking for a particular work or performer.
One new feature to highlight is the “Performer bio”. If you represent a particular performer or ensemble, you can contribute a short article about them and a picture: if a visitor clicks on the performer's name in the search results, they will be taken to your article. If you want, you can include a weblink to the performer's personal website (free of charge), and remember that Google indexes these pages, so it'll help find you!
There are more events in the database than ever before (nearly 5000, as I write this, split fairly evenly into UK, US and Europe) and the site now has over 150 registered contributors, and, of course, more page views from real people finding concerts and operas to go to. Later this month, we will be launching the site in the US (with different Amazon links and kids' events), thereby actively promoting Bachtrack to a whole new audience.
We've continued to increase and edit the catalogue of composers and works. We're now confident that we have complete work lists for Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Verdi – sufficiently so that we've closed these off for further input unless someone contacts us – and we're working to clean up the catalogue for more composers. The reason for doing this is simple: if a visitor is looking for his favourite work, we want it to appear only once in the catalogue so that he can find it most easily.
We're determined to make Bachtrack the definitive place where people go to look for classical music and opera. We're working hard on this, and it's better than ever.
So if you're putting on events that aren't yet in the Bachtrack database, please go ahead and put them in. It's free, and the more events we have in, the more we're useful to site visitors and more visitors we'll get. If you need some help remembering how to input events, just give us a call, or use the contact us page if you've lost the number!
If you want to see what we send out to site users, take a look at the latest site newsletter. And, of course, if you have anything you'd like to see on the site, or any way in which you think it should be improved, please let us know via the contact us page.
Best of luck for the coming season...