What Is Podcast SEO ?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the method of increasing both the quality and multiplying the traffic to your website through organic results in search engines such as Google.
Podcast SEO is a sustainable method for growing your audience and raising your profile in the online rankings. By optimizing your podcast to the fullest, you give potential listeners more opportunities to discover you and your show through search traffic.
How to Make Your Podcast SEO Friendly: Your Next Steps
So now you understand how SEO works and how to make it work for your own podcast, I bet you can’t wait to get started !
Clear audio and great content quality will be the determining factors to your podcast’s success. Promotion and SEO will only work if you have a solid foundation for your podcast.
Firstly, find a creative title, a unique topic, and pay attention to your sound’s quality. These things will help your future audience connect with you and your podcast making success much easier through digital marketing and SEO.
Bear in mind that success with SEO doesn’t happen overnight, but if you implement any or all of the tips and best practices that have been listed in this guide, you’ll surely start to see an improvement in your podcast’s performance and making your Podcast SEO friendly.
Start Podcast SEO
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Even more so if you have no previous experience in the sector. By having some key knowledge you can start working on your podcast SEO strategy. So it’s worth having some tips on hand so you can get started on your project:
1.- Select the topics for your podcast
How can you start attracting your target audience? It might be easier than you think – you just have to think about the topics you want to share . A good way is to brainstorm ideas with different themes that you think will engage users.
This is where your optimization will begin. Therefore, before recording, you need to take some time to find out the interests of the audience. Research very carefully for the things he wants to hear, just like you would in the case of creating content for a blog .
You can take advantage of search engines and keyword tools, as they will help you discover audience queries. Thanks to this aspect you will have the clearest ideas about the content that you can start recording . In fact, if you already have a blog, you can do a quick analysis of the most viewed and most interactive topics.
Note that Google now places more emphasis on the audio format, as it has noticed that its popularity is on the rise. Therefore, if you want to attract traffic, it is essential to optimize the audio to get a better position in the search engines.
2.- Define your audience
You need to know in which world to develop your strategy correctly. According to recent statistics , more than 68 million people listened to at least one podcast a week in 2020 . The numbers speak for themselves, which shows how much audience you will find.
For this reason, you need to define your target audience. Not everyone likes the same thing, so you need to find the ideal profile. Think that the growing number of podcast listeners is a reflection of the large number of podcasts available online .
So standing out is quite a challenge, but you can do it by targeting a specific group of listeners rather than trying to reach everyone. For this, you need to have determined the personality of your audience.
It goes beyond knowing the type of content your subscribers want to consume – it’s about matching their lifestyle, beliefs, and goals. With this you can optimize your podcast and its episodes based on the search terms of your users.
3.- Select the appropriate platform
Do you want to start working on publishing your podcast now? So you need to start researching the platform that will help you get your content out there. Keep in mind that technical SEO ranks based on uptime and loading speeds .
And the same goes for all podcasts, as to be well ranked they must have the proper speed when uploading to the platform. The less optimal the performance, the less likely people are to subscribe .
Some podcasters choose to host their own podcast episodes on their website . Next, they create dedicated episode pages to increase the chances of being in front of ideal subscribers using on-page SEO.
That said, it is essential to research the different podcast hosting platforms. Remember that not all web servers will be sufficiently optimized for podcasts and this may slow down your site.
4.- Place a catchy title
Your podcast cover letter will mostly be reflected in the title. Create an interesting and catchy joke to appeal to your audience. This is what will make the user decide to listen to it or just skip it .
How can you create a good title? What we recommend in this case is to include keywords so that they find you more easily. But that doesn’t just apply to that presentation line, but to the subtitles as well , which gives you the ability to choose the name more freely.
5.- Attach episodes on your blog
As you may have already guessed, there are podcasters who choose to host their episodes on dedicated pages on a website . So it’s a good idea to attach episodes of your podcast to your SEO-friendly blog posts .
Of course, Google has been working to include YouTube podcasts and videos in its search results. However, most of the time they still mostly show blog posts and pages . The idea is that you can be one step ahead of the competition.
You can start by creating a blog post about a podcast episode. Once registered, you need to turn it into a high-value publication . You can also insert it into existing written content. This will improve SEO and show yourself to potential visitors and subscribers.
6.- Do interviews with industry leaders
Do you want to have more exposure and get more podcast subscribers? So you should think about inviting the leaders of the industry in which you do business to your schedule . Those characters have a great influence on a certain audience.
This increases the likelihood of your followers listening to your podcast . This is a strategy that allows you to reach the ideal user. In some cases they will find out for the first time and will be encouraged to subscribe to continue seeing related content.
In case you are just getting started, you can contact industry experts who may have a smaller following. But, without a doubt, these specialists can also help you grow your audience. And this last point is necessary before coming into contact with well-known personalities in the sector.
7.- Submit it to trusted directories
Take advantage of the most important online podcast directories, you will see how they will help you grow your audience. You just need to post your content on Apple Podcast or Spotify . Or you can use services like Anchor.fm to submit your podcast to multiple directories at the same time .
Remember that consumers of this type of content are definitely turning to these directories. And these are the main places where listeners themselves go to look for new podcasts . Just make sure you choose the best performing apps and services and then go with the rest.
Also be aware of the new services emerging in the podcast app industry to keep up to date. Also, if you find podcast directories in your niche, take advantage of them, because there is a specific audience.
8.- Convert the episodes into micro-contents
Another alternative to optimize SEO for podcasts is to reuse your episodes, and for that you just have to convert them into micro-content . This way, you will have the possibility to share them on other platforms.
Select a segment that can immediately capture an audience and, if possible, last less than a minute. You could easily post it to your Instagram feed. You can also trade with guests so they can post on Facebook or YouTube.
It’s about creating multiple pieces of micro-content from a single podcast episode. So you can have a large amount of content for your social network profiles.
Google Podcast Manager
Google Podcast Manager is the Google podcast listening platform where you can broadcast the RSS feed for online distribution. Even if it is not yet the most used platform for listening, if the podcast is present, by typing its name in the SERP it is possible to directly listen to the individual episodes of the series.
Podcasters who distribute their content on GPM can access important information. Since May 2020, Google has completely restructured it by implementing a series of statistical data on the audio content used on it:
- Number of plays per episode
- Average playing time
- Device used.
But the differentiating element from other platforms is the indication of the search terms .
The discovery of podcasts in other listening platforms (Apple podcasts, Spotify, to name a few Spreaker) does not work like in the Google search engine. While on the web it is enough to insert a reference word (perhaps even incorrectly written) to have a series of suggestions on the same topic, in the research on other podcast distributors it is not so.
If you don’t enter the dry key or the correct term, no matching content will be found. This is a problem that will hopefully be solved in the future, but in the meantime Google also comes to our aid on podcasts.
In its platform it is possible to see with which search terms users have found your podcast on the web . This means that if you take advantage of SEO in the podcast, the results can be rewarding.
The podcast editorial plan from an SEO perspective
If podcast title is the first weapon to use, individual episode titles are closely related to SEO. In every single episode a very specific topic is developed that can be searched for by the user: use it as a search key.
According to the latest analysis published by Ipsos at the end of 2020, 37% of users have discovered new podcasts by searching the internet for the topic of interest . Therefore, without the right search keys they will never find you.
How do you find the most interesting keywords? If you are not an expert you can use some free SEO tools :
ubersuggest : Entering a keyword gives you a list of related words with their monthly search volumes made by users.
Answer the public : Provides real-time user questions related to a topic.
Google Suggest : is the Google suggestion that indicates what users are looking for on topics related to the keyword.
In SEO, the element that is furthest to the left in a title carries more weight than anything that is on the right. This works because it attracts the reader’s attention more, since in the West, reading is from left to right. This means that in the definition of the podcast titles you will have to insert the main topic, your keyword, among the first words. You can take a cue from the criterion used in the title of this same article.
What to avoid in the podcast episode title:
- episode number (e.g .: 01 – title of the episode)
- name of the podcast series repeated on all episodes.
- The website: an ally in the SEO podcast
Using the website to promote and distribute audio content is another useful way to take advantage of podcast SEO. Many podcasters have created a section of their existing site to host the series or have implemented a site dedicated to the project.
The benefits of having a podcast website are:
create textual content of the individual episodes: not a mere transcript of the audio but a blog article that uses correlated keywords that broaden the semantic field of the subject matter.
Use metadata (or structured data) for each episode: they are markup that allow search engines to understand the meaning of some information contained on the web and show it to users in the form of rich snippets .
Use SEO friendly talking links that explain the subject matter.
In Google’s support guide on using its podcast platform you will also find details on how to properly implement structured data on your website for the podcast.
Where to start to make a podcast?
In my job I deal with podcast marketing for personal branding or for companies that want to promote themselves with audio content. So I always start with a project . This approach and the tips you’ll find below are also valid if you just want to start experimenting with podcasting for fun.
Doing a project may seem exaggerated, but I assure you that the time invested in this phase will avoid you wasting time later. If you want to delve into the design part, you can find other useful resources in this article .
To better understand the dynamics, we can divide the activities into steps. The 4 stages of creating a podcast are:
The 10 tips for starting podcasting are based on these steps. Here they are!
1. Define your goals and target
Two questions you will need to answer before starting a podcast :
- what do you want to achieve
- who you want to talk to.
Knowing what your personal goals are will help you focus your efforts and editorial choices. It could be brand awareness , promoting your product or service, raising awareness on a social issue, finding new collaborations, entering a new market, presiding over new platforms, or even simply to have fun. In any case, knowing your “why” is essential to leave.
Identifying the target is a direct consequence. You can deal with the same topic in different ways depending on the people you are addressing. Whether they are professionals in the sector, partners or a niche, you will need it to decline the editorial plan and the format.
2. Make your Value Proposition clear
Try writing in 10 words about what your podcast is about and why someone should listen to it. This will help potential listeners to choose you (or not) with a clear understanding of the benefit they will derive from it. You can insert your value proposition in the description of the series on the listening platforms or use it as an opening theme.
3. Evaluate how long it can take you to podcast
This is an essential step because it determines the choices regarding format , duration of the episodes and timing of distribution . One thing that rewards is consistency and respect for cadence. When your followers know that you will post an episode every Thursday, they will expect it. If something does not work in the organization, the risk is not to meet expectations.
But above all in the long run it could become burdensome to carry out your project.
Calculate the time to write content, select any guests, record and post-produce the podcast. You will need it.
4. Listen to other podcasts
You are probably already a listener of audio content, but in this case the listening that I recommend to start making podcasts is selective. To create your own project, listening to other podcasts you can understand what you like and what you don’t like in terms of format, sound design, setting, colloquial mood.
5. Define an editorial plan
If you already have clear goals and targets, it will be easier to think about the editorial plan. From a marketing perspective, you could use content to create a funnel in which to accompany your listeners slowly towards more concrete business goals.
When preparing it, also think of explanatory titles to help identify the topic being discussed. In the SEO and Podcast article , you will find useful ideas for creating a more effective editorial plan. Don’t forget to insert calls to action to invite your listeners to follow you on the listening platforms or learn about your other content.
6. Create a Trailer
Just like with a movie or TV series, the trailer serves to give a preview of what the listener will find in the podcast . A short episode lasting 1 to 3 minutes will suffice. Some listening platforms, such as Spotify, allow you to insert it at the top before all the other episodes, so as not to get lost with all the other titles.
7. Instrumentation and software
I only put it in seventh place because in reality the choice of equipment for a podcast comes from everything you have previously established. There is no absolute best instrumentation. The right equipment exists for your project. Depending on the format, the number of voices, the environment in which you will record, and the experience you have, you will choose the most suitable microphone and software .
The high price ranges are not the discriminating factor for having a good product. Often it is enough just to choose the type that best suits your needs. Just as there are free software to edit audio tracks , including Audacity , which do their job very well.
8. Distribution of the podcast
To distribute audio content you need a host that creates an RSS feed containing all the information about your podcast: title, author, cover, episode titles, etc. The host in turn sends the feed to the listening platforms (such as Apple podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast) for distribution.
Once the podcast has been uploaded to the host, the distribution process takes place automatically based on the data collection slots that the platforms schedule for the update. This means that if you upload an episode to your host at 7am, it will likely take a few hours to see it on all other platforms. Take this time difference into account when you want to advertise a new podcast episode to your followers. For example, I published my episodes in the morning at 6 and then sent the newsletter to my followers at 8. In this way the platforms were all already aligned.
SEO is complex and good practices for increasing visibility include several factors also because Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving. If you are thinking of using podcast as a marketing tool, you will need to develop an SEO plan designed for your communication strategy. I can help you define it.