SEO for Podcasts

How to optimize your podcast website for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is more of an art than a science, but with the right strategy, you can achieve high SEO scores and a high Google ranking.

Launching a podcast website seems straight forward. Get the content together, put it on the page, hit publish. But that's just step one.

Now that your website exists, you want to make sure people can find it.

More than 50% of listeners above the age of 25 turn to podcast shows to learn more about a specific topic. This means that more and more people within that demographic will turn to search engines like Google to find content that aligns with their interests.

By leveraging SEO for podcasts (also known as audio SEO), you’ll be able to climb up the search engine results pages so your ideal audience can find you faster and more easily.


What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is basically anything you do to help search engines—more specifically, Google—notice your content and deliver it to people searching for a particular search term.

The goal is to get on the first page of search results (let’s be honest, when was the last time you clicked to the second page?), but competition is fierce. SEO is not something you can do once and expect results. It has to be woven into the way you create every podcast episode.

SEO for podcasts is just a way for Google to instantly identify your show as being one of the interesting, informative ones in a particular niche so it can recommend it to potential listeners.


What SEO Can Do For Podcasts

You’ve likely heard SEO tips for growing a business or increasing traffic to a website, but optimizing your podcast?

Yep! As of 2019, Google is now indexing podcasts, which means that podcast pages and episodes will start to show up in search results without people having to specify that they’re looking for a podcast.

Now that Google has made this major change—and launched its own podcast platform—it has a vested interest in prioritizing shows that comply with its best practices.

In short, integrating SEO into your podcast creation means you get more views and therefore, more listeners.


What Makes the Biggest Impact On Podcast SEO?

There are two very important things to consider when it comes to podcast SEO:

  1. The number of relevant other sites that link to yours. This will happen more and more over time, and isn't entirely in your control. Which is why this guide is focused on #2.
  2. Optimizing your website so when Google looks at it, it can find all the pages, understand what every page is about, how things are organized, etc.


Basic SEO For Podcast Hosts

If you wanted to, you could easily get lost in the topic of SEO, but the good news is that you don’t have to be an expert in SEO strategy to benefit from it.

In fact, about 80% of understanding SEO comes down to one thing: keywords.


Keywords are the words and phrases that users type into a search engine to find more information on a particular topic. If you want to start showing up on the first page of Google, you’ll have to do some keyword research.

Keyword research is the process of finding keywords with high search volumes but low competition. There are different tools to help you do this, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz.

Once you’ve decided on a keyword, it needs to show up in several different places throughout your website, but don’t overdo it. Your keyword usage should seem natural.

Episode Title

Feel free to make your show title as clever as you want, but your episode title should include the keyword so podcast listeners don’t have to guess about the topic.


When posting podcast content as a blog post, this is called a meta description, and should be between 150-160 characters (don’t forget to include your keyword!).

When posting audio content on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or another platform, this will simply be known as the “description” and should be long enough to draw listeners in but short enough to show up in the podcast directory without getting truncated.

Show Notes

If you’ve never done show notes for your podcast episodes, consider this your sign to start!

Show notes are more than just a lengthier summary of the episode, they’re your chance to include links, hashtags, sponsor shout-outs, and more. When posting content to YouTube, your show notes will provide invaluable SEO.


At the very least, you should be publishing a transcript of each podcast episode when you post it as a blog. Transcripts make your content more accessible for humans, whether they’re deaf/hard of hearing or simply want to search for a specific quote without listening to the entire episode again.

If you want to take this step up a notch, consider reworking that transcript into an actual blog post. Separating the information into subtopics and adding headers is just as user-friendly but tends to rank better in terms of SEO.

See for yourself why podcasters are switching to Podpage today

Preview My Podcast Site in 5 Minutes →
No signup or credit card required

Alt Text

Alt text helps describe images so that Google’s web crawlers have better context. It’s a good idea to include your keyword in one or two alt tags when posting your podcast as a blog post.


Even though categories are used primarily by your listeners (rather than search engines), adding tags to each podcast episode is still a good idea.

Anything that improves your website’s user experience (UX) is a good idea, regardless of how Google feels about it.


Adding links on your site works wonders for SEO!

When relevant, add a link to other pages on your site (known as internal linking), but don’t be afraid to link to other sites as well (known as external linking).


Advanced Podcast SEO Strategies

Comfortable with the basics? Here are a few additional tactics and strategies that will result in Google giving your site a higher SEO score when you do a Google SEO audit.

Create a Sitemap for your Podcast Website

A sitemap is basically an outline of your website, with an entry for every page a user can visit.

Google looks for sitemaps to make sure they are indexing every page on your website, so it's important that you create one and keep it up to date. You want to put it in your root directory and it should be in XML format. An example is below.

XML example of a sitemap to improve podcast SEO

Once you've created one, you can make sure it's valid by using a Sitemap validator tool like this one.

(Podpage users can add /sitemap at the end of their website and you'll see the one that's generated for you)

Create a Robots.txt File

Additionally, you need to tell Google what they can and cannot search with a Robots.txt file (which should also list your sitemap). For most people, this will look similar to below:

example robots.txt file

(Podpage users can add /robots.txt at the end of their website and you'll see the one that's generated for you)

(Podpage users can add /robots.txt at the end of their website and you'll see the one that's generated for you)

Well Structured Search Meta Tags

You'll want to add some tags to the HEAD section of your HTML to give Google some basic information about that page, which Google can also use when your site appears in search results.

The three common tags are: Title, Description, and Keywords (though keywords aren't really used anymore). Think of this as the basic foundation. You want to do this for every page on your website.

For your podcast, you can use your podcast name and description:

example metatags

For your episode pages, use the episode name, podcast name, episode summary, and episode categories.

example metatags for episodes

Readable URLs

Google looks at URLs to get additional context about what's on the page. If the link for an episode is, Google won't know what to do with that.

All links on your site should be human readable (sometimes called pretty links). Try to make them relatively short (less than 70 characters) but descriptive. For example, an episode about car racing could be:

Add a Language Tag To the HTML Tag

If—like most sites—yours is only in one language, add lang="en" for english (or replace for whatever language yours is in), to the HTML tag. It should look like this:

<html lang="en">

Add Viewport Meta Tag

Another tag Google likes to see is the viewport meta tag, which helps Google understand what screen size this website is optimized for.

Because you want your site to look great on mobile devices, use the code below, which also makes it accessible to people who need to zoom in.

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=5.0"/>

Add a Canonical Link Tag

Google wants to make sure when they display your page in search results, it is the single best place to find this content. So, they recommend putting a canonical tag in your HTML header, which is just a link to the current page.

<link rel="canonical" href="[current_page_url]" />


How To Test Your Site

Once you've done all this work, you want to make sure things are working correctly, right? Google makes this pretty easy. Open the Chrome browser and navigate to your website.

Then go to View (in menu bar) > Developer > Developer Tools. This will open up a small panel at the bottom of the screen with a bar at the top starting with Elements. On the right side, you should see Audits.

google site audit screenshot

Choose SEO, desktop or mobile, and hit generate report. It will give you an idea of what you're doing well, and what you need to fix.


Set Up Google Search Console and Submit Your Sitemap

Now that you know that your site's structure is solid, officially register it with Google.

Go to the Google Search Console, add your site, and go to Sitemaps to request for Google to index your site.

If you have a WordPress website, I've heard the following plug-ins are helpful with some of the above things: PrettyLinks for readable URLs and Yoast SEO for general SEO optimization and meta tag settings.

And of course, everything above is set up and included automatically with every Podpage.



Hosting a (successful) podcast is about way more than finding a producer or nailing your intro. At the end of the day, it’s about one thing: finding more listeners!

And when it comes to solid SEO for podcasters, it all starts with your website.

Podpage is the #1 platform for helping podcasters build a gorgeous, SEO-friendly website. With easy-to-use tools and plenty of features, you’ll extend your research while saving yourself time and money.

Update July 15, 2020: Podpage joined a Streamyard Connect panel specifically to chat about SEO for Podcasters. The full video is below.

Podpage is the simplest way to create a podcast website.
Join over 25,000 podcasters and automatically create a beautiful, listener-friendly podcast site from your RSS feed. Customize the design to create a professional look you'll be proud of in a few clicks. No coding or technical knowledge necessary.
Preview your website for free →
No signup or credit card required

Our podcast websites get results

Hear directly from customers about how impactful moving to Podpage was for them. These stories and our reviews show just a small sample size of the tens of thousands of podcasters who trust Podpage for the best podcasting sites on the web.

See for yourself why podcasters are switching to Podpage today

Preview My Podcast Site in 5 Minutes →
No signup or credit card required