Music Solutions

Marketing a Music & Lyrics Website – Plugging Holes in a Dam

We’re taking a break today from talking directly about music and it’s lyrics to focus in on the trials and tribulations of running a lyrics-themed music website spanning from 1940 to the present.

Want to hear us whine in 500 words of text? We don’t, either. Learn from our mistakes.

No, we’re not going to sit here and lament on this website still being in the incubation stage and not making any money. We knew what we were getting into when we decided to break into the lyrics directory business during Covid-19, so we won’t trouble you with that.

Instead, we’re going look at how things could have been different at our launch if we had focused and prioritized differently while we were planning, writing and building the website.

Since this was (and still is) a venture funded by sweat equity and getting our hands dirty, we were forced to make certain marketing decisions on our own without the help of paid specialists. This included decisions on how to structure the content on Decade Lyrics and how to properly set it up for search engine optimization. We knew from the beginning that our organic traffic would be our best traffic and the only traffic we could afford to chase on a consistent and strategic basis.

What would we do differently?

If we had a time machine like Barbra Streisand or Black Sabbath or Grand Funk Railroad, we’d have made our SEO decisions a little differently. Hell, even T-Pain has a time machine and could maybe give us a shot at starting over in the beginning again from an SEO standpoint.

As of today, we have over 16,000 pages indexed by the all-mighty Google. That’s a big number, and we’re sort of proud of it. Some of those 16,000 pages bring us traffic from search every single day.  Over time, those 16,000 pages may even produce some Google Adsense income. If we’re lucky.

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With 16,000 pages indexed, why aren’t we thrilled? Those 16,000 pages contribute to producing just over 17,000 traffic per month, which is GREAT for a new-ish website.

Again, 16,000 Pages is Great, But What About The Others?

What do you mean, “The Others”? Here’s why we are always stressed about how we made our search marketing decisions two years ago.  We built a website with over 144,000 pages of Lyrics from the 1940s to the 2000s. It is all properly licensed and legally publishable lyrics text from thousands of famous US artists. We even add our own commentary to the pages to make it somewhat unique compared to other lyrics websites that we have seen.

With ONLY 16,000 pages indexed, we’re missing results on roughly 128,000 pages at!

How did we end up in this sad boat? We built a huge website like we’re supposed to, we added our own content, we actively blog, and blah blah blah. Here’s what others have told that we did not do upfront.

  1. We didn’t start with an SEO technical plan. We just made a site, then did our own basis optimization work ad-hoc after watching a few Youtube videos. Looking back, we were at the same level of expertise and used the same techniques that everyone else did who was building their first website. We just did it on a bigger scale due to the size of our website.
  2. In a sense, by just doing the basics of Do It Yourself SEO (and doing them somewhat poorly, I might add), we left a lot of opportunities on the table, and every single mistake we made in procedure or tactic was made worse when multiplied by the 144,000 pages.
  3. How could we let this happen? We got excited with making the website, watched a little too much Field of Dreams, and, like a lot of people, really thought “if we build it, they will come.”
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Going back to the time machine, if we could do it over we would follow some properly organized SEO tips and how-to resources. There’s a large number of pretty solid checklists that make sure you won’t miss anything. We found this pre-launch SEO checklist useful from up in Canada.  This list was comprehensive and simplified some of the concepts down to something we could have probably executed back then. Highlight points include creating a keyword roadmap and how to analyze content and decide how to use it.

We also found something else that made us feel better about our own results and impatience with the results of our work. While going through that meaty checklist, we found something else useful. These thoughts on how long does SEO take create visible results made us feel a little better. It makes us feel better that SEO agencies have the same level of impatience that we have.  Either way, that article explains in an easy to understand way why things are taking so long.

The morale of the story is: never be happy with the results of your work when it comes to generating traffic for your website. There’s always more to be had and always more traffic needed.  Paying attention to the details can & will get you better results. The flip side of this is: Find satisfaction in the results you did get, so you can keep your enthusiasm and drive going. We’ll take our 16,000 indexed pages and we’re going to build upon it.

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