Podcast SEO: Optimize Your Podcast for Search Engine Discovery
Updated: August 30, 2023
The age of digital media has forever changed the way we consume entertainment, news, and other information. Artificial intelligence (AI) and short-form video have taken the world by storm, but there’s another player in the online media arena: podcasting.
In 2006, only 22% of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. Now, the industry is projected to generate $4 billion by 2024, and more than a third of 18-to-24-year-olds are listening to podcasts at least weekly.
If you have a podcast or are thinking about starting one, you may be wondering how to set yourself up for success in an increasingly competitive market.
Podcast SEO can help your podcast rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for people to find and listen to your episodes. This can lead to increased visibility, more downloads, and, ultimately, greater success for your podcast.
Here are six tips for boosting your podcast SEO.
- Provide a transcript
- Have a keyword for every episode
- Repurpose podcast content for new audiences
- Promote your podcast on other platforms
- Create a mix of trending and evergreen content
- Choose the right platform
1. Provide a transcript
A major way to improve your podcast’s SEO and accessibility is by providing a transcript for each episode. A search engine can index text far better than it can index audio.
A podcast transcript converts all the keyword-rich content from your podcast episodes into text that bots can read. In 2014, This American Life decided to publish audio transcripts of their entire archive to learn how transcripts impact SEO. Adding transcripts to their podcasts resulted in a 4.36% increase in inbound traffic, along with many other SEO benefits.
Transcripts increase your chances of getting quoted in a tweet, blog, or article, which improves page authority and SEO.
Even the smallest podcasts often have listeners from around the world. On average, a show with 30 listeners has users from five different countries. Translating your podcast is a great way to expand your audience, and it’s easy if you have a transcript. The text file for translations helps search engine bots crawl for relevant keywords, helping your video rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) in those languages.
As of March 2022, only 1% of today’s podcasts offer transcripts. That means 99% of podcasts are exclusionary to the 37.5 million Americans who have trouble hearinghearing. Making your podcast accessible will allow this community to enjoy your content and greatly expand your audience.
2. Have a keyword for every episode
Keywords are essential for any type of SEO, and podcasting is no different. Keywords help search engines understand the content of your podcast, increasing visibility and attracting new listeners.
Once you have a keyword, be sure that you’re using it effectively. Try to include your keyword in the title of the podcast, as well as the podcast description and/or the episode’s show notes. A well-written podcast description is important because it plays a big role in whether or not someone listens to your show. An effective podcast description gives readers a sneak peek into what your podcast is about and makes them curious enough to give your show a listen.
Show notes are a mini summary of each podcast episode. They also list additional resources and provide other relevant content. Show notes are a great place to include your keyword and boost your SEO.Going Beyond the Listener: Accessible Audio for Podcasting [FREE Webinar]➡️
3. Repurpose podcast content for new audiences
It takes a lot of work to produce a single podcast episode. Luckily, you can make many other pieces of content out of one episode.
Instead of having to come up with all-new written content for your blog, you can save time by using podcast transcripts for quotes, content ideation, and more. Derivative content like a blog gives you another place to share your podcast, creating a new opportunity to build backlinks which improves your website’s authority and therefore improves SEO. Repurposing a podcast into different formats can also increase visibility by appealing to audiences who prefer different types of content.
4. Promote your podcast on other platforms
Content repurposing is a great way to share your podcast content with a wider audience, but don’t forget to promote the episodes themselves, as well. There are 4.62 billion people using social media globally. Sharing your podcast across social media platforms is an easy way to expand your reach and drive more attention to your work.
You can also embed episodes on your website so that any traffic to your website has the potential to translate to podcast plays. Using the podcast community to your advantage through cross-promotion is an effective way to get people talking about your show. This collaboration can simultaneously grow your audience and result in productive partnerships.
5. Create a mix of trending and evergreen content
In a world where we’re constantly being bombarded with new information, it can be difficult to create content that stays relevant. Producing a mix of trending and evergreen content will help you stay current while maintaining a timeless show.
Trending content helps you connect to your audience and touch on topics they’re already talking about. You can feel confident about writing an episode on a trending topic, as it’s already proven to be popular.
Evergreen content is search-optimized and remains relevant regardless of the current news cycle. Topics with consistent interest make your podcast desirable, no matter how old your episodes are. Trending topics are good for a temporary boost in traffic, while evergreen content will attract organic traffic for years to come.
6. Choose the right platform
Podcast audiences listen to their favorite shows through multiple platforms. However, there are a few platforms that attract the most listeners, the biggest being YouTube.
It may be surprising to some that YouTube is the most popular place for podcasts given that it’s a video platform. Podcasts on YouTube actually defy the definition of a podcast because the platform doesn’t use RSS feeds, which is where podcast services store episodes.
YouTube’s popularity for podcasts can be explained by the boom in online video. Podcasters often post episodes on YouTube and Spotify accompanied by videos of them and any guests speaking into their microphones, and six out of ten weekly podcast listeners prefer podcasts with video.
Be sure to optimize your podcast for YouTube and other popular platforms like Spotify. To help you do this, Spotify published a resource about optimizing your podcast’s landing page. Encouraging your listeners to follow your podcast is great for SEO; fans who follow your podcast will listen to 4 times the number of episodes.
As the podcasting industry continues to thrive, SEO will become increasingly important. These SEO tips will help your podcast reach the almost 1/3 of Americans who listen to podcasts weekly and create a show that keeps your audience coming back for more.
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