The popularity of podcasts has grown exponentially in recent years, with an estimated 15.6 million listeners in the UK in 2020. As a result, countless brands, influencers and just anyone with a story to tell have launched a podcast.
So the question everyone is talking about is that thousands of podcasts are now available. How do you stand out from the crowd? No matter how good your podcast is, if no one can find it, you won’t get listeners and it will soon become a waste of time and effort.
“Podcast SEO” is a term that is likely to grow in popularity over the next few years and could become a staple in digital marketing agencies around the world. In 2019, Google announced that it would show podcasts in Google SERPs. This means you can listen to them straight through the search engine or save them for later. Following Ali’s blog post, “Are Podcast Foods For SEO?” Here are some top tips on how to improve your podcast’s SEO.
1. Everything starts with the title
Just like any good blog post, message, or video, if your podcast title doesn’t grab your audience’s attention, they won’t be listening. However, having a catchy title isn’t that easy if you want your podcast to rank well. As with a blog post, make sure the podcast title includes the most important keyword so potential listeners know exactly what your podcast is about. That being said, it’s not just about the keywords. A keyword rich title that is ultimately not to be forgotten will not cross the mind of your potential listeners. It’s about finding the perfect balance between intrigue and optimization. Again like any good blog post.
2. Meta content
Based on the previous point, as with any other SEO practice, you can provide additional details about your podcast via the metadata. Use the description to provide additional information that does not fit within the title. A well-written description with keywords can help search engines understand your topic.
Adding tags to your podcast will help users find other podcasts on a related topic, just like blog content (I’m starting to feel like a broken record). Again, make sure you only include tags that are relevant to the topic of your podcast.
However, be careful not to fill all aspects of your podcast with your keywords. Of course, use them in your title, subtitle, and description if you can provide one, but don’t try to force them into your Author Tag or any other element of the podcast. Platforms like Apple Podcasts have recognized this and will be in touch to let you know that your Authoring Day is not what your show is actually about.
3. Transcribe your episodes
While Google is much better at auto-transcribing podcasts, it’s still not perfect. Make sure you provide a transcription of each episode so search engines can understand your podcast in detail and further improve findability. Focusing on the right keywords and topics in your podcast will turn your transcription into well-optimized content.
Also, transcribing your episodes will make your podcast more accessible to everyone. If someone does not have time to listen to the entire episode, breaking down your transcription into the main topics and structures will help them find the information they need.
Transcribing podcasts can take a lot of time and effort. However, if you are serious about making your podcast a success, this is a must do.
4. Make your website work harder
One of the core roles of SEO practitioners and digital marketers is to get more links to your website from trusted sources. This is often done through different content sources. A well-done podcast is just another form of content that people can link to. Of course, if what you’re covering is important and you provide a lot of useful information, people will start linking to your podcast. Hence, it is important that you host your podcast on your website as well as in places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.
Alternatively, you can turn your podcast episodes into a blog post for your website, creating even more content. Pull the key insights from each episode and write a bite-sized blog post for those who just need the important facts without listening to a lengthy podcast. Again, more keyword-rich content is created which will help improve your website’s SEO and in return get more listeners to your podcast. This also works the other way around. If you have a blog post on your website that is constantly driving traffic, consider making a podcast on the subject. There is clearly an interest, so why not access it?
5. Make some noise
While this may not be about optimizing your podcast specifically, you have to scream about it if you want it to be a success. The best way to get people to find your podcast is to talk about it. Make sure you share each episode on social media, use relevant hashtags, and tag any guests or hosts so they can share them again.
Make sure your podcast is in every possible podcast directory. A podcast directory is a place where listeners can find and consume podcasts. Two of the best examples are Apple Podcasts and Spotify. However, there are a number of smaller platforms that can be very useful. There’s no reason not to list your podcast on every possible platform. This is the best way to improve your reach. The task of getting listed in each directory can be time-consuming, but this Castos article is a good place to start and covers everything you need to know.
Alternatively, platforms like Buzzsprout are a good place to start. Just upload your podcast and they will take care of listing it on every major platform. That way, you can spend more time creating the best podcast possible.
Time to talk
Basically, SEO for a podcast isn’t all that different from SEO for a video or blog post. Treat a podcast the same as any other content and you’ll start on the right foot. If you want more info on SEO for podcast episodes or SEO for a podcast series, let us know in the comments and we’ll be back with a follow up.