This is a post on content search engine optimization (SEO) for a song lyrics website, or any site with time-sensitive content, like a news website. This article only shows the workflow for writing lyrics so they rank high and quickly on search engine results pages (SERPs). I may touch on other aspects on SEO but they will be mostly out of scope for this topic. While the tips shared here are for a lyrics website, you can use them for any website that has time-sensitive content.
1. Setup A Watch For New Songs
Have a system in place to get notified of the latest songs so that you are ready to post lyrics as soon as an artist releases a song. Lyrics are a highly competitive niche and only the first few to post get ranked. Subscribe to artists’ Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and especially YouTube are the prime locations to stay informed. On YouTube, music channels often set a premiere date and time for a new song to be released. You could also subscribe to artists’ channels streaming sites like Apple Music and Spotify.
I also use Google Alerts to get notified any breaking news on topics I follow. Google alerts sends notifications whenever there’s a new post on a topic you follow. For example, a can create an alert to send me an email whenever the keyword “Baba Harare” pops up on the internet from sources within Zimbabwe. I can set emails to come a maximum of once a day and show only the best results in my gmail inbox.
Pro tip: Google Alerts also doubles as a tool to keep tabs on your competitors (among other things). Just create alerts for their domains and brand names and you have a 24hr watch on them.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research for lyrics doesn’t have to be as in-depth as other forms of content. Music creators set the keywords for you in song details like song title, Album name, their previous popular tracks, or any news or controversy surrounding the current or previous tracks. The keywords don’t play a significant role in the lyrics themselves, but in helping choose the best content to recommend to visitors once they’re done with your lyrics. Artist’s popular songs, their profiles, interviews or recent news stories are an excellent source of keywords.
Once you have a set of keywords, refine them in a tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner or SEMRush. These keyword research tools let you enter keywords you’ve found and spit out exact related terms that most people search for online, this allows you to choose more accurate keywords for what visitors are looking for. The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress now comes with SEMRush built in so you can do your keyword research as you write your lyrics!
3. Transcribe and Publish Fast!
Once a new song is release there’s no time to dawdle. write those lyrics fast and publish as soon as possible. Google doesn’t like duplicate content which is impossible to avoid with lyrics so the first sites to publish are usually the most trusted. Google seems to be a bit more lenient on lyrics website with their duplicate content policy. However, if you’re too slow to the bat, you’ll only get leftovers.
An alternative strategy would be to go for artists or genres with small but significant audiences that don’t have lyrics online.
4. Request indexing ASAP
Once you’ve published request indexing from search engines as soon as possible. With Google you’ll need to have your site connected to Search Console. In the Search Console dashboard paste in the URL of the new lyrics in the URL inspection bar at the top of the page. The first time you use the URL inspector, you need to click the “TEST LIVE URL” button. This runs a bunch of checks to make sure there are no technical issues that might prevent the ne URL from being indexed. If there are any issues you’ll get advice on how to go about fixing them. Once your page is ready to be indexed, click “REQUEST INDEXING”. It will take anywhere from a few hours to some days for Google to crawl and index the URL.
5. Watch Your Stats
You’ve taken all the steps to have a rock solid chance of ranking high for new lyrics. Use your stats to gain insights for future use. If the new lyrics are performing really well, update older lyrics or other pages to link to them to get the most out of the trending song. Watch out for search engine algorithm changes, which are announced with ample time for you to change your process.
While the workflow described above is for a lyrics website, the same concepts can apply to other types of content like news or entertainment. There are probably many workflows which achieve similar results and this is just a guide to get started. What is important above all else is that your site create relevant content that your audience wants to consume.