Over the last 20 years, podcasts have grown from a passing fad into a major way for people to download content. In fact, more than 50% of listeners above the age of 25 turn to podcast shows to learn more about a specific topic.
How can you take advantage of this? Search engine optimization, or SEO.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.