Using effective podcast SEO is one of the most popular strategies for increasing your visibility on the internet.
While experienced podcast listeners may go straight to an app like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, people new to the podcasting world often don’t know where to start.
That’s where using SEO best practices comes to the party.
What is podcast SEO?
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization, and it’s one of the critical ways you can help new listeners find your podcast. It’s how you improve your podcast website ranking in Google and other search engines.
Optimising the text involves sprinkling the topic search terms into all your podcast’s written material.
Search terms are the words, phrases, and questions people type into the search bar. Using these popular words helps Google to understand your content.
You also optimise your meta descriptions, extracts, titles, headlines and tags, include quality links, build backlinks and more. It all helps to lead potential listeners and customers straight to your door.
Why is SEO important?
Most people in the world haven’t heard of you, your podcast or your business. But, of course, content marketing aims to get the message out and draw customers in.
Your goal in using SEO is to alert this potential audience to your podcast and entice them to listen.
SEO brings free, organic traffic to your website and podcast, as opposed to paid traffic that arrives via advertisements. It’s cheaper, but since Google consistently ranks the paid ads first, you have to use all the best SEO practices to get your work to the top of the organic search results.
Other search engine rankings work similarly, so optimising your podcast’s SEO in all its written content brings in search traffic from them too.
Creating valuable content should always be your first priority. It’s what keeps your listeners coming back. And trustworthy, authoritative content is definitely something that Google looks for when it determines your ranking.
But awesome content won’t get you there on its own. That’s where SEO comes in.
5 Podcast SEO Best Practices
Double down on your niche to find your keywords
Your niche should be the first area you look at when doing keyword research.
- Consider the theme of your podcast and the niche you’re in.
- Note the overall structure of your podcast episodes. E.g., are they interviews, solo or a mixture of both?
- Think about your key topics.
- Then use all that information to brainstorm the best keyword that describes your podcast and use it in your podcast title tag.
That’s because your podcast title is the essential keyword that helps get you right up there in people’s search results.
Some podcasts go for intriguing in their titles rather than obvious. That is great if people have heard of your show by word of mouth. But can you guess what niches the wildly popular 99% Invisible and Chats 10 Looks 3 podcasts are in by their titles?
On the other hand, it’s clear that Little Home Organised is something to do with getting your house in order (decluttering, in fact) and that Writing Class Radio is likely to help you improve your written content.
Check what other podcasts in similar niches to yours are doing too. Use Rephonic to research them and find out how many listeners they get. Analyse their search results and podcast content to see what’s working and how you could use (but not copy) what they do in your own digital marketing.
Create a website
As a podcast host, you might not think you need a website, but it helps search engines enormously in highlighting your show. Sites like Wix or Squarespace and email marketing providers like MailerLite provide easy website builders if you’re not into writing HTML.
When setting up your podcast website, make sure you use these up-to-date SEO practices to attract the search bots that will scan it to see where it fits in the google rankings.
- Ensure your technical SEO is complete. Optimise your headers, URLs, image file names, and alt attributes to contain the most relevant keywords.
- Pay particular attention to having a strong meta description for each individual episode.
- Make sure the website loads instantly. Site speed is vital because search engines consider it in their rankings. Plus, people are impatient, and they’ll click away if they have to wait more than a few seconds.
- Get backlinks from reputable sources to reinforce the credibility of your written content and your audio files.
- Internal linking is essential too. If you investigate a few high-ranking podcast websites — or blogs — you’ll see how they all link to related episode titles and articles in their show notes.
Include keywords in your episode titles and written content
Keywords are another name for the “things” people are searching for. Search engines are built to be intuitive, so they’ll take someone’s long-winded question, find the keywords in it and display relevant search results in the blink of an eye.
Many SEO sites can help with keyword research for podcasts. Three popular choices are Google Trends, Moz and Semrush. Knowing what your target audience is searching for can also help you create content.
Sprinkle keywords during the episode, but avoid keyword stuffing like the plague. Obviously-overusing keywords in your audio content or show notes is a sure-fire way to cast your podcast all the way down to page five (or worse) in a google search.
Feature show notes and episode transcripts on your site
Show notes and transcripts give you plenty of written content. And there are many ways to optimise your podcast website and still avoid keyword stuffing.
- You could also take Evo Terra’s advice and write a blog post to go with each new episode.
- Including a transcription will feature the keywords in your audio content again. Several websites, e.g., Sonix, automatically create a transcription. However, none of them is 100% accurate, so be prepared to proofread before publishing.
- Consider posting a corrected or “clean transcript” instead, which will be more readable than a verbatim one.
- Whenever you write a blog post or add individual episode pages, optimise the meta description and excerpt to include the primary keyword.
- Some podcasters include timestamps with keywords to send listeners to each episode’s relevant tips or information.
Ask for reviews on your podcast and social media.
Positive reviews are essential for attracting more listeners to your podcast. And, because they’re likely to include some of your keywords, they’re a great way to help you rank in Google Podcasts and all the search engines as well.
Rate This Podcast gives you an easy way to send listeners straight to the reviews section of Apple Podcasts or any other podcast directory that allows ratings and reviews.
SEO is one of the most important things to consider to grow your podcast audience. It’s the number one thing to consider when you want to up your podcast marketing.
So think SEO at all times. Whether you’re planning a new podcast episode, deciding on podcast transcriptions, and even when you’re working on your social media accounts, the right keywords can encourage people to your podcast and your website.
Who knows, those people might just become your biggest fans!