7 Podcast SEO Proven Strategies for Organic Growth
Podcasting has a lot to offer anyone – or any company – who wants to promote their brand, improve their reputation as an industry expert – or an expert on just about anything – or get their work out there. However, no matter how good your podcast is, people must be able to find it to listen to it. And that – yes, you guessed it – podcast SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's a strategy of increasing both the quality and quantity of visitors to your website through non-paid (organic) search engine results like Google. That being said, you can now turn your attention to “podcast SEO,” or the art of getting more listeners to your podcast with the help of SEO strategies.
You can use SEO strategies to promote your podcast, a long-term strategy for expanding your audience and improving your online profile. Of course, seasoned podcast listeners may go straight to their phone's app or to Spotify or Apple Podcasts to find new shows. However, optimizing your podcast for search engines allows potential listeners to find you and your show when they search online rather than solely depending on podcast apps.
Making the best use of podcast SEO is an excellent approach to organically develop your following, boosting the overall visibility of your podcast, reaching a more targeted listening audience, and much more. Understanding SEO and its importance is the first step in getting your show to rank on search engines. The next step is learning the strategies in podcast SEO that will give your show its best chance for search engine success.
Podcast SEO Tip 1: Understand Your Audience and Define Your Niche
If you've heard the saying “jack of all trades, master of none,” you understand the significance of narrowing your focus and distinguishing yourself from the competition. Finding a niche is critical if you want to build a consistent stream of traffic, a devoted audience, and an audience-focused podcast.
The first step is to know your audience because you need to understand what your subscribers enjoy and dislike. Prepare an audience persona (akin to a buyer persona), evaluate your competitors' audiences, scan social media groups, conduct polls, and watch comments to understand your target audience better.
Your niche will become more apparent as you learn more about your audience (and vice versa). What was once a more extensive market has now been reduced to a smaller, more interested audience segment. This more profound understanding of your target audience allows you to communicate in their language. It also allows you to learn more about their specific pain points, how your podcast addresses these needs, and the opportunity to develop additional products or discover associated niches with which you can effectively engage.
Understanding your audience allows you to segment it and optimize your message better.
Creating a successful podcast requires developing and knowing your audience. Using all of these crucial steps to identify your ideal audience can be a daunting and time-consuming endeavor, but once you've done so, developing the proper content will be more effortless. Your audience may tell you what they want to know more about, and you can appeal directly to them while collecting more data for the future success of your podcast SEO.
You should ask yourself specific questions to help you select your target audience. Take, for example, the idea of working in the health niche:
- What types of people may be found in this industry? (Those who run clinics and health & wellness spas)
- What would people in this industry be seeking to assist them? (Better quality items, more earning prospects)
- Can you propose a solution to a specific problem? (Finding such services, determining locations in which health products or services are required)
- What can your show contribute that's distinct or more unique than other podcasts in this niche?
- The list could go on, but the more questions you can ask and answer, the greater your chances of finding your ideal person or target audience for your podcast will be.
Podcast SEO Tip 2: Use Focus Keywords for Podcast SEO
Arguably, the most important parts of podcast SEO are keywords. Keywords are also known as “search queries” because they are what users type into search engines to find what they're looking for. When it comes to podcast SEO, you should add keywords into your content. These can be any terms that people are likely to type into search engines to describe the type of show they are looking for.
To rank well on Google and other search engines, choose a focus keyword and include it in your episode names, podcast descriptions, show notes, and website. And for you to do that, you must first understand what keywords matter.
Do you know the 3 types of keywords?
There are three types of keywords, and if you don't target the right ones, you risk driving traffic away from your show and hurting your chances of ranking in search engines.
- Transactional Keywords: These are keywords people use when they're ready to make a purchase (ie. [keyword] for sale, best budget [keyword], buy [keyword] online)
- Navigational Keywords: When someone is looking for a physical location, these are the types of keywords they would be searching for (ie. directions to [keyword], [keyword] near me, map of [keyword])
- Informational Keywords: These are the keywords that someone uses to solve a problem, answer a question, etc (ie. what is [keyword], how to perform [keyword], the best way to [keyword])
Why is this important to know? When you're trying to do podcast SEO, you must first understand the problem that your podcast or podcast episode addresses. In most cases, you'll need to focus on informational keywords.
Improve your Podcast SEO with keyword research
Keyword research is given little thought when it comes to an audio platform like podcasting. Keyword research allows you to determine what people are searching for in your niche, preventing you from choosing a keyword that no one is interested in.
And it can be quite tempting to start big. Resist any temptation to do so. Podcast SEO, as well as SEO in general, can be extremely competitive. Remember that the more generic you go, the more competitive the keyword will be and the more difficult it will be to rank for. Typically, there are far larger websites ranking for the terms you want to rank for. Instead of attempting to rank for the “big” keywords, you should focus on the smaller, less competitive phrases.
The good news is, your competitors are most likely ranking on keywords they never planned to rank for. They just started ranking for these terms thanks to their website authority. Since their rankings are unintentional, you can outrank them by being intentional and choosing to rank for these keywords.
To make sure you pick the right keyword for podcast SEO, you can use free tools like:
These resources help you work out what people are searching for so you can make sure your show is in a niche people are interested in. Once you have your keyword(s), then you can focus on optimizing your content for podcast SEO.
Using your focus keywords in the podcast title
Before you can captivate listeners with your amazing content, you must first capture their attention with the title. The title of your podcast should explain what the show is about. It should also be SEO optimized to be found in any search engine.
However, if you already have a show but need to start with podcast SEO, a subtitle is a good fix. For example, if you already have a podcast about Health & Fitness but originally called it something more obscure, like “Josh Updates,” you could change the title to “An Unofficial Guide to the World of Health & Fitness” to get a decent keyword in.
Keep in mind that your title should still be entertaining and appealing to your audience, so don't go crazy. You can make your podcast as Google-friendly as possible by making your title self-explanatory without jamming too many keywords into your title. This might get your content penalized and ruin your show’s podcast SEO.
<H3> Don't forget your episode titles
Choosing a brief keyword for each podcast episode is another step toward improving your podcast SEO. While keywords are losing popularity on search engines, they are still required to assist with search queries and inform search engines about other content. A keyword should be as brief as feasible to be used in various search criteria.
It's tempting to create a nice title with an inside joke or a pun that shows your clever wordplay. However, this can be a massive turn-off to new potential listeners who still need to learn what your podcast is about. Remember that your titles are read by people other than your loyal audience, so keeping a broad focus will help you appeal to a larger crowd.
Don't be afraid to get a little “clickbaity”. Sure, clickbait is annoying, but it's called that for a reason. A title that raises eyebrows isn't cheating if it actually delivers on its promise. You want people to listen to your episode; you're vying for their time and energy, so as long as your episode delivers on what it promises, you may be as creative as you want with the title.
For example, if you're interviewing a celebrity in your podcast episode, put their name first in the headline, followed by what they discuss in the show. A boring title like “Interview with Superman” will not get you any new listeners. A title like “Superman: The Man of Steel Shares His Tips to Catch the Bad Guys” would spark a potential listener's attention while also promising they'll get something out of it. Don't overhype an episode that doesn't provide the listener with what they came for — this is the fastest way to lose credibility. Pull out all the stops to increase the reputation of your podcast, but always speak the truth.
Remember, when it comes to podcast SEO, your podcast title is everything. Choose your episode titles carefully, and watch your audience grow.
Make sure your show notes are optimized
Search engines read.
They don't decide how to rank a podcast episode after listening to it. They need a written context to rank each podcast episode.
When you make your show notes aren’t exempted from podcast SEO, you're adding extra content for search engines to index! You can easily produce descriptive content that will help you rank for the keywords you're aiming for.
Here are some techniques for writing your show notes with podcast SEO in mind:
- Write your show notes like a newspaper article. This includes:
- Make the important points first (summary of topics & time stamps)
- Write in complete sentences.
- Use straightforward language (search engines hate snark)
- Make sure your show notes have between 300 – 500 words
- Names and bios of guests
- Related links to relevant websites and social accounts
Your show notes can be simple or detailed, but remember to strike a balance between having enough content to make them effective and too much content, which makes them less appealing. Remember to boost the efficiency of your show notes by using more keywords, but don't overdo it (imagine Joey using a thesaurus to write Monica and Chandler's wedding speech in ‘Friends').
Podcast SEO Tip 3: Leverage Your Reach With A Website
Some users who search for podcasts on search engines like Google or Bing are more likely to go to a dedicated website rather than a media app like iTunes. To maximize traffic, plays, and subscribers from organic search, you'll need to offer your show its own website. Having your own podcast website will allow you to appear in more searches as you increase your online footprint. Readable text will widen your audience from solely an audio one. This allows you to reach those who may not have the time to listen to you speak for an hour.
This will also make your show inclusive, as there may be hard-of-hearing individuals who are interested in your content but prefer to read it in writing. This is a good time to reach out to them and guarantee that they love your work as well.
Be sure to place your keywords appropriately in your content for an effective podcast SEO. Google searches your web pages for keywords in important locations, such as the title of your show, the title of the podcast episode, subheadings, the URL of the webpage, and the file names for any images you have.
Add a landing page for your new episodes
Create a landing page for each new episode since the more content you have on your site, the greater your chances of appearing in search results for related queries. Each of your podcast episodes should have its own theme and keywords.
Leverage podcast SEO in each podcast episode by uisng these keywords to boost organic visibility and gain more listeners. Creating these landing pages is a terrific method to give Google additional information about your podcast episodes, which will help it rank in the podcast carousel.
This will also encourage a better user experience. It's important to search engines because they want to ensure that when a searcher arrives on a page, not only is the content valuable and relevant but that they also have a positive experience on the website page they land on.
Leverage podcast metadata
Metadata is data that describes other data. It essentially summarizes information about data on a particular website and is significant in SEO – especially podcast SEO – since Google uses metadata to understand more details on a webpage.
Meta descriptions and page titles (also known as title tags) are two forms of metadata. Metadata includes page names (also known as title tags) and meta descriptions, which you should include when uploading your podcast episodes. In addition to being shown in search results, including a meta description and page title will give Google a quick overview of what your content is all about.
Your page title should be clear and concise, and it should incorporate your focus keyword if possible. You can be more creative with your meta description – after all, its purpose is to entice your audience to listen – but make sure to provide enough context and data to make it relevant and informative.
Include alt text on images for podcast SEO
Your podcast will most likely include a graphic for the cover as well as for promotion on channels. Alt Text must be included for each graphic or image used.
Alternative Text (Alt Text) is an image attribute that describes what's happening in the image. The alt text, together with your image title, gives written context for the cover. This improves accessibility for visually challenged listeners of your podcast, and this boosts your podcast SEO.
Google responds positively to photographs with alt text. The image and its context are better understood by the search engine. Search engines can filter content by properly explaining the image and the context for its use in your site. This is also an excellent time to use the keywords you discovered!
Podcast SEO Tip 4: Make Your Podcast Website Mobile Friendly
Google's algorithm prioritizes mobile-friendly websites, so having a mobile-friendly website is critical for maintaining a good podcast SEO ranking. Users are more likely to leave your website and visit a competitor if it is challenging to use on a mobile device. This can result in a high bounce rate, which is a red flag to search engines and can hurt your search rankings. Users are more likely to stay on your site longer and explore more pages if your website provides a decent mobile experience, which can help your search rankings.
Furthermore, if someone is using a mobile device and the text is too small, the content does not match the screen, or the buttons are too close together, guess what? They'll end up heading somewhere else as well.
Podcast SEO Tip 5: Repurpose Your Content for Podcast SEO
A great way to maximize content output from every podcast episode is to record video podcast episodes. This opens up channels like YouTube, the Videos feed in Google Ads and social media platforms where video content typically achieves the highest engagement. Video is ideal for social media marketing since you can chop it up into clips, highlights, teasers, and short, entertaining postings.
You may also convert your episodes into blogs, in-depth guides, and content series to provide extensive coverage of the most important issues to your audience. Since you've talked about everything in your show, this will be easy for you.
Recycling your content improves your podcast SEO impact by increasing the likelihood of getting discovered by a search engine algorithm. Focusing on quality over quantity will help you stay relevant with your audience and establish authority. As a result, when someone searches for a “podcast about [your topic],” Google is considerably more likely to recommend your podcast instead of others.
Improve your blog's podcast SEO by incorporating internal links to other podcast transcriptions on your website in your blog entries. Google, like other search engines, seeks to promote authoritative content. The Google algorithm requires quality content to establish authority and get recognized as an industry leader. Poor quality content will not receive as many views, won't appeal to audiences, and won't deliver the necessary information users want. Recycling your content in this manner can boost your website's authority and search engine results while repurposing previously released material!
Podcast SEO Tip 6: List Your Podcast on All Podcast Platforms
You should add your podcast to Google Podcasts if you haven't already. Google likes you to use their stuff. It makes indexing easy for them, and let's not forget that they are a business that likes to earn money. When your podcast is available on their platform, Google may include audio snippets in search results even if people aren't specifically looking for your show.
And because Google values online mentions, this will help your podcast increase visibility in Google Search. This will allow you to be in the room where the audience hangs out online, increasing your reach and visibility.
However, that’s not to say you should ignore the other platforms. Everyone has a preferred way to listen to podcasts and frequently utilizes two or more services.
Here are the best places to promote your podcast:
Podcast Tip 7: Ask For Ratings & Reviews
Ratings and reviews are crucial regarding the visibility of podcasts in search engines. Pick a time in your podcasts to ask for your audience's support and feedback. This is one way to improve your podcast's rating in directories. Most of your listeners wouldn't mind rating a podcast episode they've enjoyed or have something to say about. Asking them to rate and subscribe will become a part of your routine sooner or later.
However, try to sound genuine rather than robotic when asking for the favor; otherwise, your message might be subconsciously neglected if it's as generic as “Share, like, and subscribe.”
You can also try creating an additional incentive for your listeners to leave reviews, such as shoutouts or gifts to the first five reviewers of your episode. Tactics like these aren't always going to succeed, so it's helpful to experiment and figure out what works best for your audience and your podcast. Besides making your podcast SEO-friendly, feedback on your work is essential for improvement and encouragement.
Think of SEO, Breathe Podcast SEO
Podcast SEO is one of the crucial things to consider when growing your podcast audience. And when it comes to podcast marketing, this is the most critical factor to consider.
So think of podcast SEO at all times. Whether you're creating a new podcast episode, deciding on podcast transcriptions, or managing your social media accounts, the appropriate keywords can drive traffic to your podcast and website.
Who knows, those folks might end up becoming your strongest supporters!
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