What’s your favorite podcast? What do you like to listen to? Politics? Sports? DnD?
Have you ever sat down with a group of friends or just the company of a pen and paper and wondered if you could make your own? After all, now is a great time to take the plunge into the podcast world considering that 55% of American consumers are reported to have listened to podcasts, a number that has steadily grown over the past decade.
In fact, podcast numbers and statistics only continue to grow at a rapid pace. As of April 2021, there are a reported 2,000,000 podcasts on various apps and sites, which is a huge leap from the 550,000 reported in June 2018.
So what do these huge numbers mean? If you’re a podcast listener, great news! You’ll have tons of different shows to tune into.
On the other hand, if you’re a podcast creator, it means it’s only going to get harder to stand out in an already crowded market.
That’s where SEO for podcasts can help.
What Is SEO for Podcasts
First, let’s define SEO. Search engine optimization is about making sure your page on cute kittens (in this case, your podcast about cute kittens) makes it to the top of the search results. SEO for podcasts is specifically designed to ensure that despite market oversaturation, your hard work still makes it to the surface.
Do You Have to Do SEO?
Great question! You’re already working hard enough to write, record, and edit your podcast, and now you’re supposed to do even more stuff?
Short answer: No. You might not need SEO for your podcast, but you can really benefit from it, especially if it only takes six steps.
However, Google has recently updated their search engine (as they’re known to do). Currently, you can search for your favorite podcast or favorite podcast topic and pick it right out of the search results. This potentially could mean that Google is using its services to analyze the audio and create an automatic transcript. The transcript would contain information and metadata about the podcast, so users would be able to look up episode-specific information like never before.
What does SEO have to do with this? Well, Google’s gotten a lot savvier about picking out podcasts, which means podcast SEO is becoming more and more impactful. By optimizing your podcast, you’re telling Google that your podcast about kittens should stand out from the rest, which means you can improve your reach to future audiences.
Now with that in mind, let’s get started on some podcast SEO!
Getting Started With Podcast SEO
There are a few things to keep in mind that can help you incorporate SEO to your podcasting strategy.
Step 1: Know Your Keywords
If you’re still in the planning stage of your podcast, it can help to pick a topic that can provide a lot of keywords. This will make this whole SEO process a lot easier. For example, if you’re talking about cute kittens, then you would be best having each episode be about certain types of cute kittens. Episode one could be about cute tiger kittens, so “cute tiger kittens” would be your primary keyword. Episode two could focus on “cute lion kittens,” and so on.
When finding the best keywords, keep in mind three main factors: search volume, keyword difficulty, and search intent.
Search volume is how often users search that keyword each month.
Keyword difficulty is how hard it is to rank well for that keyword. Usually, shorter keywords are more difficult to rank for, whereas longer keywords (or long-tail keywords) are easier because they’re less commonly used (think “kitten” versus “three-month-old, cute, fluffy, liger kitten”).
Search intent is what people are looking for when they type in that keyword. People searching for “cute kittens” are more likely looking for pictures of cute kittens than they are podcasts about cute kittens, so you might want to look into keywords like “information about cute kittens.”
Step 2: Fill out Important Metadata With Those Keywords
A podcast’s metadata is the title tag and a description that explains what the podcast or episode is about. For your title tag, make sure you include at least one of your keywords (preferably your strongest keyword) as close to the front of your title tag as possible. Be careful to pick a word that still best describes the episode so as not to mislead your audience.
For your description, try to squeeze in not only your keywords, but a call to action as well. You want to encourage potential listeners to tune in whenever you can!
Step 3: Create a Site for Your Podcast
Websites aren’t a hard necessity for podcasts, but they can be extremely helpful, especially for SEO. A website makes it easier for search engines to uncover your podcast, as you can use those pages to add additional relevant information about your episodes and yourself.
You can also use this website to make a blog. Blogs are a great place to add podcast-relevant content, which will help you better rank for keywords.
Step 4: Create Chapters in Your Episodes
If you’re recording long podcast episodes, chapters are a great way to make your episodes easily digestible. Not only do they allow users to hop around to wherever they like, you can also use those chapters to add a table of contents to the page your podcast is posted on (that table of contents would be a great place to add some of those keywords we were just talking about).
Step 5: Include Transcriptions of Your Episodes
Adding a transcript is one of the best things you can do for your podcast (after keyword optimization, of course!). Transcripts allow you to make your podcast accessible to a wider range of people.
Also, if you’re following these steps in order, transcripts give you the power to organically include all of the keywords you might have mentioned in the audio of your podcast on your podcast site.
Writing transcripts can be extremely time-consuming, and though Google may have started automatically transcribing podcasts, these transcripts are far from perfect. For now, if you have the time, we highly recommend writing out your transcripts by hand when you can.
Step 6: Share Your Podcast
Make sure to share your podcast on social media! You don’t need a huge following to get a few likes and comments, and that content marketing can help push you even closer to success. Encourage your audience to share the link when they can, and don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. Reviews can be extremely useful, as now both listeners and Google are interested in a podcast’s quality. Positive reviews can help nudge your SEO in the right direction, as it indicates to Google that your cute kitten podcast is the one people want to be listening to.
Quality Over SEO
Though podcast SEO is useful, the most important thing to get your podcast to rank is not just how well you SEO things up, but is also how good your content is. Make sure you have a creative topic, solid sound quality, and a way to stand out from the other 2,000,000 or so number of podcasts out there.
With that said, if you’re making that 2,000,001st podcast, every little bit of effort helps. So once you’ve got the quality factor ironed out, practice these six steps and you should be golden!
That all make sense? Good – now let’s get podcasting!