Podcast SEO offers brands and advertisers a low-cost way to reach new audiences. Like professional bloggers, podcasters produce regular content and monetize their services by introducing sponsorships, programmatic advertising, and affiliate relationships.
Whether you cover a specific topic each week or use ChatGPT to come up with topics, Podcast SEO also builds build stickiness with existing customers. Imagine how it feels to search for a topic and find the perfect podcast that coincides with your interest. That’s the goal. So how does an indie podcast improve their performance in search?
On the other side, imagine you have a brand that’s already focused on a specific niche. With podcast SEO efforts, the brand can reach a totally new (and totally engaged) audience. You just have to produce something worth listening to. . . and help people find it organically.
In this article, I break down the facts behind audio content marketing strategies and podcast SEO efforts. Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover.
|1. Podcast Transcripts
|2. Podcast Show Notes
|Accessibility, Discoverability, Advertising
|3. Podcast Guesting
|4. Podcast Directories
Common Podcast SEO Strategies
When it comes to SEO, podcasts can offer several benefits. First, you’ll need to get started. Use a guide from a recognized hosting service like Spotify, or dive into our tutorials to learn how. You can also use professional tools to help boost your performance. Sites like Ahrefs and SEMrush give you a leg up on other podcasters seeking to optimize their search visibility.
Podcast SEO differs from the kind you’d use on a blog in a few ways. First, unless you’re a really unusual sort of celebrity host, most of your audience doesn’t visit your site to listen to your show. They listen on their mobile devices, usually on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
So how do you reach them?
Here are a few ways podcast SEO strategies help to improve your chances of appeasing the gods of search algorithms:
Transcripts for Google’s Analysis
One of the main ways to help your podcast SEO is by providing transcripts of each episode. These transcripts can be used to create additional content for your website, which can help to improve your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google can’t easily crawl audio content, so providing transcripts helps them to understand the context of the podcast and allows them to be indexed.
Not sure how to create a transcript for your podcast? I’ve tested so many AI transcription services, and I am certain of the best option for my shows. It’s Descript. Now billing itself as a video editing software, this tool uses AI to transcribe audio as well. Best yet, it costs less than most other services I’ve tried.
Full disclosure: I’m still a paid Descript subscriber, and now I’m connected with their affiliate program. If you decide to try their service out, I’ll get a small bonus for referring you (at no extra cost to you). Thanks for being a reader!
Show Notes as a Foundation of Podcast SEO
Another way to improve your website’s organic rankings with podcasts is by creating show notes for each episode. Show notes are a summary of the episode that includes keywords, links, and other elements that can help to improve your podcast SEO.
By including show notes with your podcast episodes, you can help to drive more traffic to your website, which can lead to higher search engine rankings.
Make sure your podcast SEO strategy mirrors that of your site. You want to include relevant, first-person information from experts. Like when I write about podcasting, you know you’re hearing from someone with industry experience. Your show’s notes should demonstrate your expertise.
Regularly Host and Guest within Your Community
Podcast guesting is when you appear as a guest on other podcasts. This is a powerful way to increase visibility and drive traffic to your own podcast. By appearing as a guest on other podcasts, you can reach new audiences and increase the number of backlinks to your website, which can help to improve your search engine rankings.
Plus, it’s nice to get to know other podcasters in your niche.
Optimize Your Presence in Online Directories
Submitting your podcast to directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music can help to improve your visibility and drive more traffic to your website. By making sure that your podcast is listed in these directories, you can reach a wider audience and increase the number of backlinks to your website, which can help to improve your search engine rankings.
Overall, podcasts can be a powerful tool for improving your website’s SEO. By providing transcripts, show notes, guesting on other podcasts, and submitting to directories, you can increase visibility, drive more traffic to your website, and improve your search engine rankings.
What is Podcast SEO?
There are a few terms we need to break down here, and the first is the difference between SEO podcasts and a larger online marketing strategy. And how does this differ from regular search engine marketing?
The key: You’re not promoting a single site with podcast SEO efforts. You’re focusing on building your show’s audience on third-party platforms like Apple Podcasts. As you build your audience, you start a snowball effect.
The more listeners you have each week, and the more frequently they review your show, the more exposure you’ll find on third-party podcast apps.
So shows with large, engaged communities tend to get more organic exposure on the “top podcasts” lists.
Regardless of the size of your brand, you’ll want to connect with your audience in more than one way. Many influencers only focus on streaming video content, for example. Many brands focus on their online stores, email lists, and social media profiles. Very few leverage the audio medium as part of their marketing efforts. This is an oversight.
Podcast SEO as Part of a Larger Strategy
Your podcast SEO strategy rolls up into a much larger strategy. It should be given the same weight as YouTube and TikTok videos (at the very least!). Another benefit? Podcasts can help develop content for these other channels. With smart-editing tools like Descript, you can turn an audio-only podcast into a video file in minutes. So, wherever they appear, strong podcast SEO can generate additional organic traffic for marketers.
The key here is to always consider the listener first.
Sounds simple, right? But you’d be surprised how many marketers forget who they’re talking to. As the founders at the old improvisers used to say, “Assume you’re talking to a smart audience.”
They can smell an advertisement from a mile away.
Some businesses build branded podcasts hoping to advertise their services, but listeners often prefer oblique messaging. Instead of a soda brand making a podcast talking about their new flavors, smart marketers adapt the conversation around audience interests. The key here is to always consider the listener first.
Listeners gravitate toward stories. Brands that tell stories, therefore, garner more dedicated audiences than those who just advertise their products. So successful SEO podcasts tend to function like other popular shows. . . they tell stories.
Not sure what to talk about? We love to discuss the best podcast ideas for friends.
How to Build a Podcasting SEO Strategy
You don’t need to be a professional podcaster to create a successful podcast. In fact, anyone can start their own podcast using free audio editing software. If you want to build a loyal audience, start by answering a few basic questions:
- How would you describe your podcast?
- Is it informative or entertaining?
- What makes it unique from other podcasts out there?
- Who will listen to the shows?
You should understand the purpose of your show. Your audience wants high-quality content that delivers value and provides real results. They also want entertainment. Consider our short “How to Podcast” guide to launching your show. Here are a few more important considerations.
Use Blog-Style Targeted Keywords in Your Episode Titles
A podcast’s SEO strategy mirrors that of a website. That means you’ll need to be strategic about what you cover when you make a new episode. While every choice should consider the listener’s interests first, the thoughtful use of targeted and organic keywords is a secondary consideration.
Maintain Consistent Audio Quality Every Week
Professional podcasters understand that listeners expect quality. With so many new shows popping up, everyone competes for a listener’s attention. This means you’ll need to avoid the “easy” obstacles. Ensure you produce quality audio. Don’t chew food on the microphone. Maintain a consistent release schedule.
Optimize Rankings in Apple Podcasts or Spotify
As with your podcast’s SEO, your Apple Podcasts ranking matters. Consider how many more listeners find a show on the front page of Spotify’s podcast section than those buried on page 5,205,029. There are several ways to improve your podcast’s ranking on these lists (including podcast guesting).
Work with Strategic Partners to Maximize Downloads
When you want to maximize the reach of your show, reach out to partners in your niche. Professional relationships can help boost your listenership and your podcast’s SEO performance.
Publish Podcast Videos to YouTube with Transcripts
YouTube should already be part of your site’s SEO strategy. So make sure to use all the same best practices when you advertise your show. This means producing a transcript file to upload alongside your video, so Google can quickly scrape the video for relevant content.
Otherwise, you may consider hiring an outside firm to create podcast SEO audio content on your behalf. Professional podcasters understand the importance of their content. They know the value of concise editing (whether AI-assisted or done entirely by a human), and they can help you bring your message to a wider audience.
Evaluate Social Media’s Value in Your Podcast SEO Strategy
Different social media platforms offer different things to podcasters. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Podcasts on Reddit
Reddit offers major value to podcast producers and hosts. The communities tend to engage in honest, organic discussions. People care about what you post. They’re also delighted to share their displeasure. Build your reputation honestly on Reddit, and your podcast SEO will happen organically here.
Podcasts on LinkedIn
As with most things, LinkedIn tends to draw job-related podcasts. That makes it a valuable asset for corporate shows. It also gives you another value-add if you offer networking opportunities via podcast guesting.
Podcasts on Twitter
While Twitter may be a cesspool of misinformation, some people still use it to share their work. That means you’ll want to at least include links on an otherwise deserted account. Claim your podcast name, then move on to a better platform to share your content.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Build your own podcast, or consider a podcasting firm to outsource your needs. In either case, don’t neglect your audio marketing efforts this year! To conclude this guide, here are some common questions asked by those seeking to improve their show’s exposure.
Do I need to pay someone for podcast SEO on Google?
You don’t need to pay someone for podcast SEO efforts. As you build your show, organic marketing becomes part of the process. This saves time and money. Of course, you can always outsource this to a podcasting company for an extra fee.
Do show notes actually improve a podcast’s SEO?
Shownotes can improve a podcast’s SEO strategy. While many hosts have nofollow tags for links in a show’s notes, that doesn’t mean it lacks value. Listeners use show notes for research and can provide organic backlinks when it makes sense.
Is it worth it to invest in a podcast?
Whether or not to invest in a podcast depends on the goals of your brand, the quality of your content, and the bandwidth of your team. Those who have the time and skills can provide immense value to a brand with minimal effort.