What Is SEO For Spotify
Spotify since its inception back 2008, has grown into a massive streaming platform for music and podcasts. Currently, Spotify boasts 130 million subscribers and 286 million monthly active users, has over 50 million songs, and is available in 92 markets worldwide.
As a discovery platform, the optimization part in SEO for Spotify circles around optimizing your Spotify For Artists account and the profile that goes with it.
Spotify SEO increases your chances of being picked up by the algorithm and shown to listeners who might be interested in your music.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and in this context, the search engine would be Spotify, the streaming platform.
Similarly, how YouTube SEO works on that platform, we see many similarities in what the algorithm wants to push at any given time and how to optimize for it.
Through Spotify SEO, you’re defining your perfect audience for the streaming service to promote your music to those interested, making your music searchable with the keywords in the platform for the audience looking for you or similar artists.
There are no methods to “hack” your way to the top on the platform as most users discover songs through algorithms. But with these tips, you can increase your chances of being seen and find growth in listenership.
Primarily through using the right words (keywords and search terms) across your Spotify For Artists profile, playlists and songs can get you much-needed initial streams to your songs that can launch your career.
This SEO For Spotify Guide Is Made For:
- Independent artists, bands and labels
- Major labels, artists, and bands.
- Music managers and talent agencies
- Podcasters looking to grow on the platform
- Anyone interested in how Spotify works
How Does Spotify Works?
As a music discovery platform, Spotify’s algorithm emphasizes users’ key interests and user behavior in building playlists that match their users with music and podcasts they like.
In fact, since 2015, Spotify users spent more than 2.3 billion hours through their Discover Weekly playlists.
A Discover weekly playlist is simply an individual playlist that gets updated weekly with the fresh music that Spotify thinks a user might enjoy.
The algorithm’s discovery features help users find new music that matches their behavior, and keeping this in mind when optimizing Spotify profiles is crucial.
For smaller artists that don’t have the brand recognition of the larger artists, music discoverability is one way to increase your overall streams.
The many analytics startups Spotify acquired since 2014 have made their algorithm even more robust and even better for recognizing user behavior to make better song suggestions.
For example, if we look into more into the Truffle Pig, an internal tool of Spotify created by their earlier acquisitions of The Echo Nest. We can see how music expert employees can use it to create mood, feelings, and occasion-based playlists through a searchable database of songs categorized with these attributes of quality and themes of songs.
Spotify recognized that music listeners had changed their core music engagement behavior from listening to songs from massive libraries to enjoying more bite-sized occasional and action-based playlists.
But What Are The Key Takeaways From All This?
Optimize your music attributes to fit your audience’s behavior as best as possible.
You should note that all of your music categories aren’t’ for the same occasions, moments, and emotions.
While some songs you created are perfect for workouts and others would be better enjoyed for relaxation, for instance.
You want to tell Spotify which of your songs match what type of taste profiles of users.
Understanding the key differences within your song library is one of the critical points you can do to improve the discoverability of music with Spotify SEO.
Breakdown of every song or album into its core attributes, and use these attributes to your benefit.
The Three Ways of How To Be Found On Spotify?
As a music discovery platform, users can find your music on Spotify in the following three main ways:
- Found on playlists
- Featured by Spotify (Home Page, and Playlists)
- Found on search
And the search will probably be the least significant for a starting artist because the search in Spotify emphasizes your previous recognition most.
For larger bands and artists, search traffic can be the most significant part of their statistics, on the other hand.
By optimizing your songs’ attributes, you can increase your chances of being found on search, which will lead to increased visibility for your songs.
To optimize your visibility in Spotify, you need to have a clear brand image around your music. Every URL, social media profiles, have to have the same brand across.
Increase your overall brand awareness by learning more about social media marketing, and digital marketing strategies.
When users first interact with Spotify Search, the first thing they’ll see is a search bar and extensive selection of playlist below it.
Using a search term in the search bar will show you related music in these categories:
- Top Results
- Three Related Songs
- Related Artists
- And lastly, genres.
What you will see is that most of the relevant listings will have the search term present in the titles of the listing if such listing is available when using a generic search term.
Here’s a couple of examples of how the search serves you its results when using specific search terms:
What we can see here is that as of now, there is still opportunity in the way you use keywords and search phrases in your titles.
You can also see a bias towards more established artists or songs with more streams.
As we can see, the difference between the words “working out” and “workout” gives completely different results while being mostly the same thing.
The workout example:
The working out example:
Same goes for the image below, where we use the word “drums” in the search, all results show the words “drums” in the titles.
And if we modify the word for being just “drum,” the results change again.
What we can learn is:
- Use common keywords and search terms in titles when possible (If you can add a keyword without breaking artistic style, do it)
- But at least use the keywords in playlist titles when creating mood or moment-based playlists that would include your songs.
- Have a bold cover image to make your listings popout and increase your clickthrough rates (CTR)
We feel that the way we see the search results today might change in the future and again emphasize the personal discovery that leans more on user behavior than anything else.
Within Spotify, a playlist plays a huge part in music engagement, enjoyment, and discovery. As we went through earlier, how we listen to music has changed to favor mood-based consumption.
And as we found playlists through search terms on the Spotify Search, playlists can be noteworthy drivers to increase your stream counts.
There are currently three types of playlists in Spotify:
- User-generated (In SEO for Spotify, the user-generated playlist will become a tool for you)
- Curated by Spotify
- Personalized playlists created by algorithms
Every user on Spotify can create their playlists, which are searchable, discoverable, and shareable.
Use the following tips to use user-generated playlists to boost your stream counts from Spotify SEO:
You can use the keyword optimization on these playlists you create yourself to make it more searchable on the platform.
You can also search with the keywords you’re trying to rank for and see what playlists rank. Then you can try to connect the users who run these playlists, and simply ask to get your song featured on their playlists.
The same method applies if you see your favorite influencers using Spotify playlists, you can try to connect with them and try to get on their playlists.
Learn more about influencer marketing and the different influencer types. Find if they have any Spotify playlists lying around.
You can also try to connect with your fans directly and get them to share your songs on their playlists.
Editorial Playlists By Spotify:
Spotify themselves handcrafts the editorial playlists, and you can see them by a logo on the top left corner.
A cool feature regarding editorial playlists is that when your track gets featured in one, you get a unique link to the playlist, which would place your track on the top for the next 24 hours.
Getting featured on Spotify playlist isn’t’ easy, but the rewards of gaining that recognition can bump your stream counts massively.
You can only pitch a song at a time to the editorial team, and making a great pitch every time for each song, can drastically increase your chances of getting featured.
The pitching process is something every artist should take time to do, every time a new song is about to launch.
You can find the pitch opportunity from your home page within Spotify For Artists. Keep in mind that you need to pitch before launch.
These playlists heavily revolve on the previous listening habits of the users. The algorithm tries to match the user’s interest with the best and relevant music for each user.
The playlist uses data-points such as users’ plays, skips, likes, and add-to playlists as core metrics to determine a taste profile.
The most common algorithm-based playlist are:
- Discover Weekly
- Release Radar
- Your Daily Mix
Then there are seasonal playlists as well, for example, Summer Rewind.
Home Page and Spotify Features
The home page and tab is where the most recommendations by the algorithm happen for the users.
Playlists aren’t the only place where Spotify can feature your music. Your music can be promoted on the Homepage of Spotify as well.
The home tab can feature sections such as announcements (ads), trending now, popular new releases, playlists, popular artists, podcasts, etc.
As we have now looked at how the Spotify algorithm works and how a user finds a song on the platform, let’s start looking at how to optimize for increased streams.
First, we need to understand what is the primary optimization tool: Spotify For Artists.
What Is Spotify For Artists
Spotify For Artists is the management tool provided by Spotify to help artists better manage their profiles on Spotify.
The benefits of Spotify For Artists:
- Manage your profile completely
- Update images
- Write a bio
- Create playlist
- Feature your best songs
- Add concerts
- Get verification
- Spotify Analytics and Audience statistics
- A mobile app to manage your profile on the go.
Getting Spotify For Artists
To get access, you need to claim your profile on Spotify. You need to have music on Spotify through a label or distributor before getting a Spotify For Artists account.
Two main ways of getting access to Spotify For Artists account:
- Claim An Artist’s profile (Click here to start)
- Or get access instantly from a distributor
Alternatively, if a team member has claimed the profile earlier, you can ask them to invite you to the account.
After claiming your profile, you will access Spotify For Artists and ready you’re ready to implement SEO for Spotify across your profile.
Optimizing Spotify For Artists Profile
The profile consists of three main sections: Overview, about, and concerts. Each of these should be optimized accordingly to gain the benefits of Spotify SEO.
Optimizing About Page
In your about page, tell who you are and what your music is all about.
Include all the genres your music matches naturally within your bio text. You might want to explore setting up moments and occasions where your music might be a good companion.
In your unique description, you can also include instruments, influences, similar artists any other factors that define your music.
In your descriptions include call-to-actions for whatever you’re promoting at the time, new songs, concerts, etc. A call-to-action can drastically increase user engagement for the thing you want the most.
While keywords can be hard to find for music, you can think about words that your fans and audience might define you.
For example, you can try adding the emotions that you try to achieve with your music. Especially sad, happy, fast, that type of thing.
These types of attributes are crucial for the Spotify algorithm to find your music.
Optimizing your music attributes to match user behaviors that match the intentions and activities of users, such as running, workouts, dining, etc.)
Another great way to see related keywords for your music is by searching the available playlists from Spotify to match your music. Include these words around your profile as well.
Keep Images And Content Fresh
Add an image gallery with relevant and new images and keep it updated frequently, to keep your profile fresh. You should also keep your header images clean and updated regularly.
Images in an image gallery need to be 690 x 500px and avoid any logos, text, and busy backgrounds. The header image must be at least 2660 x 1140px, and avoid the same things as in the image gallery images.
Remember to promote your latest music in the Artists Pick section in the overview. While the latest music can be the best idea to advertise here, you can also try with promoting songs that have gotten the most streams.
When you promote songs with the traction, you increase the chances of people streaming other songs when they start from the most listened song.
Before Launching A Song On Spotify
If you’re going to publish songs via the keyword method listed above, you need to change this information via the distributor.
As you can’t change song metadata afterward on Spotify itself, therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that every aspect of your song is right before publishing to have the best chance of being discovered on Spotify.
Before you publish any new songs, remember to pitch the song to Spotify playlist editors.
Using Playlists To Gain Streams
When creating playlists of your own to promote your music, combine other artists that match the similarity and mood.
Artists have the incentive to create awesome playlists as playlists themselves can get a following that you can later use to promote your material.
Remember to feature the playlists in your Spotify For Artists Profile to get all benefits from them. Playlists are also a great way to connect with fans and to share tracks from other similar artists you want to share as well.
For example, let’s go back to how you can use keywords in playlists to gain traction from the Spotify Search further.
Gaining a following through the search and then engaging with playlist followers frequently by updating and keeping the playlist worth listening to, you essentially created your channel to promote yourself, and the artists similar to you.
Using playlists to your advantage in Spotify SEO is crucial, as it’s one of the best ways to promote your music on the platform.
If you have a hard time getting started with a playlist on Spotify, you can start by looking for top playlists from your genre or the occasions your music fits in. The method is a reliable way to discover new playlist ideas to grow a following and later gain more streams to your music.
Spotify For Artists Analytics
One of the key benefits of using Spotify For Artists is analytics, (Audience in Spotify For Artists) and the audience data you can extract.
Spotify Audience allows you to see exactly how many:
- Listeners you have
- Stream count the listeners generated
- And how many followers you have
You can see how your stats have developed during the last seven days, the previous 28 days, or from the beginning.
The compare feature lets you compare listeners, streams, and follower data with any artist you desire. It can give you an accurate reading of where you stand against similar artists.
Remember to compare yourself to relevant and similar artists, if you compare with different genres or with artists with huge followings, you can’t learn as much.
So what can you learn by comparing to similar artists? The main point would be to learn similar artists and see what they are doing to promote their music, and then you can use the same promotion techniques.
In the Audience, you can also see the Source Of Streams – Report, which tells you where the stream came within Spotify.
You will learn the following:
- Do your streams come from your profile?
- Does your stream come from your listeners or other users playlists
- Do you get streams from Editorial playlists or algorithmic playlists
- Do you get streams from Spotify’s smart speaker, tv, or wearable apps?
You can extract and download the Source Of Streams-data into a CSV for more in-depth analysis.
Audience Demographics In Spotify
Spotify gives you basic demographic data you can use. For example, for better future marketing, understanding your core fans, and even to plan where to play concerts optimally.
Compared to social media platforms, Spotify data is a bit lackluster, and you can’t build a sufficient profile of your fans.
But let’s look at what Spotify audience demographic data it gives you.
- Listeners’ gender
- Not Specified
- Listeners’ age
- You’ll also see ages broken down by the listeners’ gender
- Listeners also like
- Here you’ll see what artists your listeners also like.
- Top countries and individual cities
Key Metrics In Spotify Audience
Important to note that Spotify Audience updates only once a day. Live streams updates every two seconds, but is only available for the first seven days of release.
The stream count is the most critical metric within Spotify, and it’s counted for every time a song streams for 30 seconds or more.
You should keep a lookout on how many monthly listeners you have at any given time. A monthly listener is someone who listened to a song in a range of 28 days, and the listener is always unique.
For example, if a user listens more than once, the user is counted only once in the monthly listeners.
A follower is someone who clicks ❤ or follows in your profile.
Saves are, on the other hand, songs added to playlists or saved to the users’ library through the ❤ button.
Additionally, you want to track how many streams you get per listener at any given time. Understanding this helps you optimize your profile for the better and to keep listeners engaged with your music.
Using Landing Pages To Collect More Audience Data
If you want to understand your fanbase in-depth, you need to expand your audience data sources.
You should use the audience data you can extract from social media platforms if you have them available. To use your audience data based on your fans and listeners for marketing, here’s a tip you make that happen.
You can use your website or landing pages to collect such data to create advertising for your music, which fits your existing listeners’ profile.
You can use the Facebook Pixel combined with Google Analytics to gain a better understanding of your listeners and your general target audience.
The data you can achieve with these methods are highly valuable, whether you want to grow your streams on Spotify, increase social following, or use it in your music marketing strategy.
We hope you better understand how SEO for Spotify and its underlying algorithm running its discovery search engine works to grow your success on Spotify to gain more streams, followers, and recognition.
Spotify is evolving more towards helping its users discover music they would be more likely to enjoy, and optimizing that in mind keeps you ahead of times and keeps you growing your fanbase.
No matter how you engage with Spotify in the end, remember to be engaging and to produce more quality songs regularly to your fans and for the discovery search engine to find your songs. Eventually, Spotify might feature your songs.