For years, SEO has proven to be an effective strategy and tactic for brands to focus on. And for branded podcasts, it’s crucial to think about how to audit and optimize your content for SEO benefits. However, many podcast creators may not be prioritizing this to the extent they need to.
Until recently, podcasts and other types of audio content were not seen as direct SEO assets. Podcasting was primarily thought of as a way to increase thought leadership, extend reach, promote expertise, and network with others in a particular industry. While they are still powerful tools for doing all those things, they can also be leveraged for SEO.
Things changed in 2019 when Google announced that podcasts would be indexed, meaning they’d begin to appear in search results. Prior to this, Google had been talking about making podcasts searchable for many years, but it wasn’t until advancements in natural language processing and artificial intelligence (AI) made it possible to pinpoint and target verbalized keywords within podcasts and rank them accordingly that this became a real possibility.
So, before we dive in, why exactly is SEO important?
A key element of digital marketing, SEO helps to drive more visitors to a website or more specifically, certain landing pages of a website. SEO is about having your site, page, or content ranked as high as possible in search engine results. This is typically done through elements like keywords, content, formatting, and page speed.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to audit your content for optimized SEO along with tips that contribute to your show’s ranking authority with Google.
1. Do keyword research and create a strategy
This is one of the most important podcast SEO tips: Use keywords strategically within the podcast itself and all assets surrounding the podcast (i.e. episode title, description, and show notes).
Keywords tell Google that your episode is relevant to a user’s search, and therefore make it more likely to be featured in results. However, this strategy doesn’t mean that you simply pick a keyword that only you think is relevant to your podcast. Instead, keywords need to be ones that your target audience is actively searching for.
To establish which keywords these are, carry out in-depth keyword research, including an SEO competitor analysis. Try Google Ads Keyword Planner or other keyword exploration tools like SEMRush or Moz to discover the search terms your audience is using.
These tools will break down insights like:
- Monthly search volumes
- Related keywords
- How competitive the keywords are
- Where you’re currently ranking in terms of these keywords
- What keywords your competitors are ranking for
Take advantage of these tools to create an SEO strategy for your podcast.
2. Ensure strong keyword placement
An important factor of the written pieces included with every episode is keyword placement. Not all parts of your website are created equal according to search engines. Google scans certain aspects of posts and pages first, giving priority to these elements.
Remember, the most important places to include keywords are:
- The title of the post/headline
- The title of the podcast episode
- The URL of the post
- Beginning and end of the page content
- Naturally sprinkled throughout the page content (don’t keyword stuff!)
- Image file names
- Image ALT attributes
So, when reviewing your podcast content for optimized SEO, make sure you’re including keywords in these places.
3. Include written transcriptions with every episode
Although Google has better NLP capabilities now, they’re not yet perfect. That’s why a transcription of your episode can help search engines understand your podcast in more detail. With the right focus on keywords, content structure, and key topics, it can greatly improve the discoverability of your podcast.
Transcriptions also make your podcast more accessible for those who identify as hard of hearing, giving a clear, readable guide of everything that was covered in the episode.
Podcast transcriptions can be time-consuming, but if you’re serious about building your audience and improving SEO, it’s definitely worth the effort. Luckily, there are plenty of AI tools that can be used to automatically transcribe your episodes.
Here are some automatic transcription tools we recommend:
After you’re done transcribing an episode, make sure to go through and edit out any ‘ums’, pauses, or incorrect words. This is also where you’ll have an opportunity to add in more keywords if needed – these can be included in an introduction to the transcript, a conclusion, or in headlines.
4. Include metadata
Metadata is essential for providing additional details about your podcast and landing pages related to your show. It explains what the episode is about, both for your visitors and for the algorithm.
Tags are similarly useful for SEO, allowing people to discover the podcast by looking for specific genres or categories. You can add several tags, but just make sure they’re relevant to your content (and audience!). To do this, think carefully about your potential audience and what they’ll be searching for to discover your podcast.
Remember, the clearer and more intentional your tags, the more success you’ll have with them.
5. Link to your podcast on socials
Social media is a great way to attract an audience. You can also gauge the success of a podcast by the number of times it has been shared on social media.
Choose the social media platforms you use based on your topics and audience base. As with all other areas of marketing, your social media strategy should be informed by data around your topic and target audience.
Getting your podcast shared on social media
If your listeners have enjoyed your podcast, ask them to share the link on their social media. Or if you have guests on an episode, you can request they share the episode with their network.
Just ensure you’re using tracking links to find out which media platform is bringing in the most downloads.
Having guests or audiences share your podcast on social media increases the number of people that not only see your content but click on it. The more people clicking on it signals to Google that you’re a credible resource which can help increase your rankings.
6. Encourage feedback, ratings, and reviews
Encouraging feedback, ratings, and reviews from your listeners is a crucial aspect of optimizing your podcast's SEO. When your listeners leave positive reviews and ratings for your podcast, it serves as a strong signal to search engines that your content is high-quality and valuable to listeners.
By actively encouraging your listeners to leave feedback, ratings, and reviews for your podcast, you are proving that your content is popular and well-regarded. This can result in higher rankings in search results, making it easier for potential listeners to discover and tune into your podcast.
So, don't be afraid to ask your listeners for feedback, ratings, and reviews. It can be as simple as including a call-to-action at the end of each episode that asks listeners to leave a review or rating on their preferred podcast platform. The more positive reviews and ratings you receive, the better it is for your podcast's SEO and overall success.
7. Bonus tip – Add podcast show notes!
Podcast show notes are brief summaries, often in bullet point form, that tell potential listeners what they can find in the episode. It’s also a great way to provide links to the resources you mention throughout the episode.
It’s a simple way to make sure your podcast content is optimized and provides value to your audience.
How to audit your podcast content for optimized SEO
Auditing your podcast content for optimized SEO is a critical step in ensuring your content reaches and resonates with your target audience. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can improve the visibility of your podcast and attract new listeners.
Remember, optimizing your podcast for SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular attention and adjustment. By consistently evaluating your content and making updates where necessary, you can stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow.
If you need further assistance or have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re always happy to help you navigate the complex world of podcast SEO and ensure that your content is reaching its full potential!