When you think of SEO, things that come to mind are likely keywords and how to target and how to create them. But most people don’t associate SEO with podcasts. And if you aren’t thinking about it, you are missing some key growth opportunities for your business and your podcast.
In this post, I’ll be explaining SEO best practices so you can introduce your podcasts to new audiences and contribute to your brand’s ranking authority with Google. It’s not surprising that podcasts aren’t typically associated with SEO. Google couldn’t index audio content until mid 2019. So starting in mid 2019, Google began scanning audio files and making a new territory for podcasts on search results. There are tactics you can use to optimize your podcasts for both written and audio content so it ranks higher within search engine results. This means not only more listeners for your podcast, but also more website visitors and improved brand awareness. Some of the tactics overlap with general SEO practices, especially for website content. In this post, I’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know about SEO for podcasts and how to make your show more SEO-friendly.
First of all, why do you need SEO? Well, SEO helps drive more visitors to a website. It’s also known as search engine optimization, so it’s about having your site page or content ranked as high as possible in search engine results. Of course, the term refers to search engines in general, but today SEO is really all about Google. Google comprises 93% of all online search, and Google creates over 63,000 searches every single second. So for businesses of all kinds, no matter if you have a product-based business or service-based business, SEO represents a huge opportunity to get new customers, but first they need to find you. Nowadays, life doesn’t really exist past the first page of Google. Few users click through to the second or third pages of search results, and many won’t even scroll down the first page results anyway. So in order to reach your audience, you have to be certain of what you want to be known for.
So how does SEO really fit in with podcasts? Well, when it comes to optimizing your site for Google, there are a number of things you can do. You can research the most relevant keywords for your audience and include them on your site in strategic places. You can make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. And you can make sure your site is up to par for Google, and you can start building links to it that tells your site and Google that your site is reliable and information is truly valuable.
One of the most effective strategies to put you ahead of your competitors is strategic marketing. Whether you have a podcast or a website, creating content that is targeted towards your audience can help your site rank higher, both in terms of your domain name and individual site pages. This can be done through blog posts and podcasts.
Now content marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO, and it drives more inbound traffic to your podcast episodes. So we’re going to be talking about some of the best practices that you can use when creating your podcasts and some things to think about. You can adopt the same SEO practices that you might have heard me talk about before for your own podcasts.
Now, most of SEO practices are geared towards written content, but this is what you can do for your podcast. You want to think about picking a keyword for every episode. Using the right keyword is essential for SEO of any kind, and podcasts aren’t an exception. Keywords tell Google that your episode is relevant to a user’s search, and therefore makes it more likely to be featured in search results. However, the strategy doesn’t necessarily mean picking a keyword that only you think is relevant to your podcast. The included keywords need to be ones that your target audience is searching for. So to establish which keywords your audience is looking for, use a free keyword tool called Ubersuggest. This is the perfect tool to help organize an SEO strategy for your podcast, as well helping you establish what you want to be known for and develop podcasts around it.
You also want to use those keywords in your episodes. Yes, the audio is being picked up by Google. So you want to make sure that you have keywords in your content, even if it is audio. You also want to include written content for each podcast episode. Google and other search engines scan written texts to decide whether content is relevant. Giving Google some written content to read compliments that audio content and increases the chance of ranking an episode in search results. So it’s important to create pages for every podcast episode on your site, including texts that describe its content and context. It provides more keyword opportunities and it will help each individual page rank for that specific topic. It’s also very important to put the keywords in the right places. Include them in the title of your posts, the title of the podcast episodes, subheadings, the URL, and in the post.
Many people now, including myself, have started transcribing podcast episodes into blog posts cause that creates content. It does take a little time to filter through all that text because it has to be cleaned up a bit, but there are tools out there that can help you transcribe the audio to texts. Regardless of what your transcriptions are (show notes or complimentary blog posts), you want to avoid forcing in keywords. The keywords have to be relevant to the episode, the content itself, etc. Google will definitely recognize a forced keyword.
In summary, it’s easy to assume SEO isn’t important for audio-first mediums like podcasts, but times definitely have changed. Now Google actively scans audio content for context. Following SEO best practices for podcasts is a really important growth strategy for your business and for your podcasts. Luckily, these strategies for SEO are similar to what you might be doing on your site. Focus on the keywords your audience is searching for; answering the questions they might be looking for and including these terms in your podcast. As your show gains more authority and improves its ranking in Google, you’ll see episodes jump to the first page of search results. How cool is that? And you’ll have new listeners discovering your podcasts.