In recent years audio content of all kinds has become incredibly popular, and podcast is one of them. Even though they have to compete with other well established content delivery platforms such as videos and blogs, podcasts are rapidly growing in popularity across the world. Podcasts have made a name and place for themselves by turning into a very popular option for content consumption. With over 1,750,000 podcasts and more than 43 million episodes available globally, podcasts add rich content to your site and support your link-building efforts. In fact, the often overlooked and underestimated medium helps support your SEO efforts to build your brand and drive direct traffic. Therefore, if you are trying to grow your audiences through your podcasts, no matter what your business is, you definitely should care about podcast SEO.
What Is Podcast SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or simply SEO, refers to the method of increasing both the quality and quantity of your website traffic via organic results in search engines. Similarly, podcast SEO – an expected growing term among SEO professionals, marketers, and podcast hosts over the next few years – is a powerful method for growing your podcast audience and raising your profile online. However, by optimizing your podcast, you can increase the chances of your show to turn up in search results and give potential listeners more opportunities to discover you and your show through search traffic.
Do Podcasts need SEO?
If you want your podcasts to appear in front of a wider audience you need to optimize it accordingly.
Since the May 2019 update, Google tipped the scales further into the podcasting space and enabled them to show up in search engines. This change indeed has become even more important because potential listeners no longer need to poke around a podcast app to get introduced to new podcasts. Depending on what someone searches in Google, the search engine will now show relevant or related podcasts playable directly within Google Search and its other products, like Google Assistant.
Lately, Google also introduced a new feature “Podcast Manager” to help podcasters get more audience through Google and also optimize their episodes for the search engine. This feature will provide analytical data about your listeners and also help podcasters’ manage their audiences better. Google has begun to analyze and transcribe the content of a podcast episode – in order to serve it in relevant searches – which are massive for discoverability. It helps people find your podcast without even having listened before. The indexing of podcasts helps search engines to display suitable podcast episodes and other audio content at a prominent spot in its SERPs by matching relevant keywords that users have entered.
Podcast Optimization For Higher SERP Rankings
With so many people tuning into podcasts and the number is constantly rising, you have to implement certain SEO strategies to your podcasts, so that it may rank in search engines. At the same time, no amount of SEO can come to the rescue if your content is not worth it, therefore, make sure your content is top-notch and you optimize it for wider discoverability and reachability.
Let’s check out 6 tips for podcast optimization:
1. Research and Focus on Relevant Podcast Keywords: One of the most important podcast SEO tips is using the right podcast keywords. Focusing on relevant keywords is essential for SEO of any kind, and podcasts aren’t an exception. An appropriate podcast keyword tells Google that your episode is relevant to a user’s search, and thereby making it more likely to be featured in search results.
However, remember that your podcast’s title is your number one keyword. To increase your chances of building your audience, pick one main keyword- that will describe your podcasts, have a high search volume and ideally a low competition – and use it in the title of your podcast. Think of your theme, the episode’s structure, and aim for long-tail keywords at least one per episode that will satisfy the search intent of users.
To identify opportunities for your podcast and episodes, you can either use a keyword research tool or other plenty of free resources in Google.
2. Promote your Podcast Show On Social Media: If you want to connect with a wider audience and foster relationships with your fans, share your podcast show on social media, as it has the power of discoverability. Social media helps amplify and increase awareness for your podcast and episodes, and moreover, the more engagement, the more likely Google is to rank your content. Even though it’s still not clear if social media affects SEO or not, we can assume that social media has an ‘indirect effect’ on podcast SEO because it generates social proof, or word of mouth recommendation. That is, the more listeners discover and love your content, the higher the chances that someone wi
3. Keep up with the Times: As a podcaster, you need to stay updated with the latest happenings, trending topics and, of course, trending keywords. Use a keyword tool like Ubersuggest and run a search for keywords related to your podcast. You’ll find a list of blog posts on trending topics based on your chosen keywords, which will give you a good idea of the type of content people are interested in. You can plan a podcast on the top-ranking topics and give it a fresh format.
However, make it a routine to release podcast episodes at regular intervals – daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly at an expected time – as it encourages habitual listening among your podcasts audiences.
4. Transcribe Your Podcasts: Though, it can be a pain to transcribe a podcast – especially if it’s lengthy-, doing so allows search engines to index episodes and increase search visibility. Fortunately, there are automated transcription tools available on the internet these days, but don’t forget to manually go over the transcribed text to make sure it’s correct. Remove filler words and sounds to make it more readable and also use timestamps in your transcription as it will help to improve the usability, highlight topics and talking points.
To make your podcast content rank in SERPs, you can add in some keywords related to your topic in your transcriptions for each episode. However, keyword placement is also an important consideration because not all parts of your website are created equal according to search engines. The most important places to incorporate keywords are the title of the post, the title of the podcast episode, subheadings, URL of the post, image file names, Image ALT attributes and beginning and end of the page content. You can also sprinkle keywords naturally throughout the page content.
Once done, link back to the episode so that users can find it when searching different mediums.
5. Try to Use Questions as Titles: Episode titles that contain questions do well. With podcasts becoming more and more popular, it’s only a matter of time before virtual assistants refer to them when you ask a question. For instance, let’s say you ask your virtual assistant: ‘How will the role of accountants be affected in the tech-driven future?’ Instead of sourcing results only from blogs, articles and research papers, these smart assistants will pull them from podcasts with similar titles as well.
Keep in mind that whatever title you choose – whether in question form or statement – it should be compelling and engaging. It shouldn’t contain obscure or overly generic keywords but should have a middle ground.
6. Speak Well: Podcasters need to have voices – like radio jockeys, talk show hosts or recording artists – that set them apart from others so that Google can interpret as many of the keywords and expressions within the conversation as possible.
Moreover, as Google’s Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) capabilities are getting better at picking out verbalized keywords, make sure your voice is clear and your diction is pure and correct. This will help artificial intelligence (AI) bots pick verbalized keywords from your episodes.
Few speaking tips for podcasters include:
- Speak from the gut, not from the throat.
- Sit up straight while you talk
- Smile when you speak, as it can make you sound more dynamic and help keep you focused.
- When you’re unclear, start your sentences over
- Don’t speak too fast, instead, slow down.
Ultimately, a strong podcast voice combined with interesting topics is what keeps people coming back.
As Google’s algorithms and AI bots become smarter, your podcasts should evolve along with them.
Though you cannot directly control your rankings, you can help improve them by directing some of your efforts to SEO. These 6 tips will definitely help you to optimize your podcast content for discoverability by listeners as well as search engines to hopefully improve those rankings. Remember that the number of podcasters and podcasts will only increase and it’s up to you to ensure that your offering is a cut above the rest.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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