Written by Mike Khorev
You’re probably wondering how you can drive more traffic to your podcast. Or, you might be thinking of starting a new podcast, and simply don’t know how to promote it.
You’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we will discuss how you can grow your podcast audience by implementing SEO, so you can get more organic traffic from Google. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a working strategy to implement a podcast SEO and can start driving more traffic right away.
Podcasts in Google SERP
Google now shows podcasts in the SERP, and in fact there is now a dedicated slider section for Podcasts in the SERP, just like video results. Also, we can listen to the podcast right away from the result if your podcast is on Google Podcast.
In the future, with how Google focuses on speech-to-text feature and voice recognition in general, we can expect more podcasts to enter the SERP in the near future.
Tips on How You can Grow Your Podcast Audience with SEO
1. Publish on Google podcast
It’s no secret that Google prefers its own platform in the SERP. For instance, they mostly show results from YouTube for video results, and very rarely results from other video streaming platforms, unless it’s a very specific query.
So, publish your podcast on Google Podcast, even if it’s not your main platform. This can significantly help your podcast’s presence on the SERP especially for brand keywords (keywords that include your show’s name).
Also, you might want to follow Google’s guidelines so your podcast can be eligible for features in Google Podcasts.
2. Create a Site For Your Podcast
If you want to really optimize your podcast for SEO, then having a dedicated site for your podcast can significantly improve its discoverability in the SERP.
In fact, Google Podcasts requires the podcast to have a homepage that clearly describes what the podcast is about before the podcast is eligible to be featured. Another benefit of doing this is that your podcast show can be listed natively in the SERP.
Thankfully, if you are distributing your show through services like Anchor.fm Simplecast can do this job for you. Their homepage for your show is Google Podcast-ready and also already mobile-responsive. You still need, however, to control and optimize the content of this homepage.
In general, your podcast website must include the following:
- About page that clearly informs what your podcast is about
- Custom domain (show-branded)
- Episodes listing
- Episodes notes
- Contact form/page
- Episode/show web player/s
- Podcast app buttons
- RSS link
- Social links
3. Optimizing Episode Notes
If you want to start thinking about SEO more seriously, then yes, you’d need to type episode notes. Search engines can’t (yet) parse the whole podcast audio accurately and so a textual write-up will simply mean providing more information for Google.
The more readable text you have on your podcast’s page, the higher the chance Google perceives your show as relevant and recommends it on the SERP.
In general your episode notes must include:
- Optimized episode titles
- Properly formatted and optimized text with heading tags, paragraphs, and bullet points
- Images (optimized with alt text)
- Social and podcast apps buttons
In general, you’d need to follow the best practices of a written content, and if possible, you should fully transcribe the podcast with a proper format. Transcribing your podcasts can be a tedious task, and the longer the episodes are, the more work you’ll need to do.
However, there are various audio transcription software that can help transcribe your sound files, so you’d only need to polish and format the result.
You can also use this transcription to include your target keywords, as we will discuss below.
4. Using Optimized Episode Title and Description
Obviously every SEO effort should begin with deciding on your target keyword you want to rank for. Once you’ve figured this out, the next step is to make sure that your episode’s title and description are optimized for this keyword.
As with the best practice of any SEO strategy, make sure to include your target keywords naturally, and focus on delivering more value for the human audience rather than simply pleasing the search engine algorithm.
If your title doesn’t have enough space to include the keyword, don’t worry too much and you can try to fit it in the description instead. The general rule of thumb is, the earlier you can mention the keyword the better.
For example, if the target keyword is “horror stories” then a title like “Best Horror Stories of Nashville” will usually perform better than “Why We Like Horror Stories?. And, the earlier you mention the keyword in the description, the better. For example, you can say something like “in this episode, we’ll discuss (the keyword)”.
5. Optimizing RSS Feed
Your podcast’s technical foundation is the RSS feed. Yes, not too many users use RSS nowadays, but in podcasting, the RSS is syndicated out to various podcast directories and platforms like iTunes, Google Play Music, and others. Your RSS feed is essentially what people are subscribing to when they subscribe to your podcast on any platforms.
So, the information in your RSS can determine how easy it is for people to find your show and episodes. Your feed is also what provides all your podcast information to these podcast platforms. So, if you want to update your show’s title or descriptions, make sure you update your RSS feed. Remember that it can take up to 24 hours for any of the RSS fields to update on the podcast directories.
Optimizing your podcast show for SEO can provide it with a reliable, sustainable way to generate traffic and grow your podcast audience via organic traffic. Although it might seem complicated at first, there is only one main principle here: providing as relevant and comprehensive information about your show to the target audience. The more relevant the information is according to the target keywords, Google is more likely to recommend your show.
About the Author
Mike Khorev is an SEO expert and digital marketing consultant who helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices.
Gravatar link: https://en.gravatar.com/khorevmike
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