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Podcast Keywords: 9 Tips to Finding the Best Ones for Your Series

Last updated on

May 15, 2024

Podcast Keywords: 9 Tips to Finding the Best Ones for Your Series

Discover 9 expert tips to find and rank for the best podcast keywords. Maximize your podcast's visibility and reach on and off listening apps.

Alison Osborne


 min read


You’re months into creating your podcast.

You know the content is good and that your target audience wants the topics you cover. But for some reason, your listener numbers just aren’t growing. 

This is a common challenge that many podcasters experience. You put so much time and effort into creating your podcast and when you hit that publish button, you don’t see the results you were hoping for. 

We have an answer for you. 

In a perfect world, listeners would constantly be scouring the internet for relevant podcasts. But that’s not the reality. As a podcaster, you need to discover what your audience is searching for and present your show to them in a way that’s convenient and easy. 

That’s where podcast keywords come into play. 

Podcast keywords: What are they?  

Let’s start with the basics, what are podcast keywords? 

A primary component of your podcast SEO strategy, podcast keywords are words or phrases that describe your podcast series or individual episodes. These terms are used to help listeners discover your podcast through search engines (like Google), podcast directories (like Podchaser), and podcast apps (like Spotify). 

Podcast keywords are essential for improving visibility, increasing reach, and attracting relevant listeners to your podcast. 

Different types of podcast keywords

For audio, there are a few different types of podcast keywords you might use. 

This could include keyword segments like: 

  • Series or brand keywords: Keywords that include the name of your podcast or the brand you’ve built around the show. 
  • Genre keywords: Keywords related to the genre or category your podcast falls into. Think terms like “interviews,” “business,” “self-improvement,” “comedy,” etc.  
  • Episode keywords: Keywords specific to the topic, discussion, or guest featured in an individual episode. These keywords are critical to helping listeners find your podcast through episodes relevant to them.  
  • Host keywords: Whether your host already has a personal brand or not, build a keyword segment around them. If they already have a brand, leverage that, if they don’t, start establishing keywords to build it.
  • Guest keywords: Keywords specific to the guest that you have on in each episode. If there’s something that a guest is known for whether that’s a brand name, event, or their own name, leverage those keywords. 

Where to place podcast keywords 

When putting keywords into action, there are a few areas you’ll want to place them. 

Start with adding your podcast keywords to the following places: 

  • Podcast title: Likely, whatever you name your podcast will become a part of your brand terms. But for example, if you’re a marketing show, having “marketing” in the title isn’t a bad idea. 
  • Podcast description: Add relevant keywords to your podcast description but ensure you don’t “keyword stuff”, meaning you’ve added too many keywords and it reads as spammy. 
  • Episode titles: The individual titles of each episode. Include the keywords that you identify for that specific episode, maybe it includes the guest or topic. 
  • Episode descriptions: An extended version of the episode title, add relevant keywords about your show, episode, and guest into this episode description. 
  • Show notes: An extended version of the episode description, take advantage of your show notes by formatting them to be skimmable and adding relevant keywords. 
  • Podcast marketing: Add keywords to all podcast marketing materials surrounding your show. This includes social media posts, blogs, newsletters, etc. 

Tips to pick the right podcast keywords for your show

Don’t know where to start with podcast keywords? No problem, we’ve got you covered. 

Follow our 9 tips below to build a robust podcast keyword strategy: 

1. Understand your audience 

First things first, you need to have a solid understanding of who your target audience is and what they’re interested in. Without this knowledge, it’s challenging to find keywords listeners are actually using in their search.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Who is my podcast’s target audience
  2. What are their pain points? 
  3. What are their hobbies? 
  4. What are they looking to get out of the content they consume? 

By having answers to the above questions, you can choose keywords that align with their needs, interests, and pain points… meaning you’ll select terms that they’re likely searching for. 

2. Brainstorm relevant topics

We’re big fans of a good ol’ brain dump. Pull up a Google Doc or if pen and paper is more your style and make a list of all the relevant topics to your podcast content. 

Start more general about your podcast overall rather than getting into specific episodes, this can come later. These topics will serve as the base for your keyword research, you’ll likely even write terms within this brainstorming session that will end up being primary keywords. 

3. Look at your podcast competitors

Who are your podcast competitors and what terms are they using in their titles, descriptions, and episodes? 

You don’t want to copy everything your competitors are doing but instead, focus on identifying the gaps or opportunities where you can differentiate your content and target unique keywords. This is a strategy that many brands use: going after keywords that are still relevant but not crowded with competitors allows them to own that term more easily. 

4. Tap into keyword research tools 

Going on Google’s incognito mode and searching for keywords will only get you so far. To get the rest of the insights you need like search volume, how competitive the term is, where you rank with that term, and more, turn to keyword tools. 

These include platforms like: 

You want to be on the hunt for keywords with high search volume and low competition. This means that lots of audience members are searching for the keywords but not many competitors are bidding on them. 

We’d also like to note that these tools are great for search engines but they won’t track your performance within listening apps. 

5. Use a hybrid of long and short-tail keywords

Let’s start with the definition of long-tail and short-tail keywords: 

  • Long-tail keywords: Longer, more specific keyword phrases. 
  • Short-tail keywords: Shorter, more broad keyword phrases. 

Typically, long-tail keywords have less competition and attract qualified, targeted traffic since the terms are specific. On the flip side, short-tail keywords often have more competition, are broader, and may attract a higher audience count but are less targeted. 

For example, “marketing” would be a short-tail keyword. With this term, you have high competition and it’ll be challenging to rank for it. But “effective podcast marketing strategies” is a more specific long-tail keyword, targeting an audience of podcasters looking to learn about marketing or marketers looking to learn about podcasting. 

Incorporate a mix of long-tail and short-tail keywords into your podcast titles, descriptions, and episode topics. 

6. Think about listener intent 

Tap into the minds of your listeners. What’s the intent behind the keywords they’re searching for? 

Are they looking for information, entertainment, or maybe a solution to a problem? Based on the topic of your podcast, you should have an idea of the answer to this question. For example, a comedic podcast about bad dating app stories is likely not looking to solve a problem but more so be a source of entertainment.  

Once you understand your listener's intent, tailor your podcast keyword selection to match it. Predict what they may be searching in Google or within the podcast apps. 

7. Build your brand podcast keywords 

Growing your podcast is joined by building your own brand (if you’re the host). 

Once you’ve named your podcast and identified the host, make a segment of your keywords dedicated to “brand terms”. Use these keywords within your marketing materials, descriptions, and show notes to improve visibility, reach, and recognition. 

One of the best examples of building a brand and brand terms around your podcast is none other than “Call Her Daddy”. Alex Cooper and her team have done an incredible job of creating a brand around the podcast, making it recognizable and memorable. They own all keywords related to the show’s name and host. 

8. Stay relevant and up-to-date

Once you’ve identified the terms in your podcast keyword strategy, you’re not done there. It’s important to monitor keyword performance, trends, and changes. Regularly update your keyword list to stay aligned with current topics and audience interests. 

Even as search or podcast trends occur, you’ll want to ensure you adjust your keyword strategy accordingly. Without doing this, your keywords will likely become outdated and outranked by competitors who keep their content fresh.  

You can use the keyword tools mentioned above such as Moz, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and SurferSEO to always be up-to-date on trends and performance. 

9. Start small and build over time 

And lastly, building podcast SEO and owning your keywords takes time. Similar to the growth of your podcast, SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. 

When starting your podcast keyword strategy, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many terms that you want to rank for. Start small and select a handful of short and long-tail terms that you’ll focus on. Once you maintain a good standing with those, slowly introduce more keywords. 

Be patient and give each keyword the time and marketing assets it needs to rank (blogs, show notes, descriptions, social media content, etc.). 

Identify the right podcast keywords for your show

Your podcast's visibility hinges on more than just quality; it requires a strategic marketing plan that involves SEO and keywords. 

Leveraging podcast keywords is no longer an option but a necessity for creators aiming to connect their shows with target listeners. By selecting and ranking for the right keywords, you’ll enhance your podcast’s discoverability and pave the way for growth. 

Whether you're crafting episode descriptions, optimizing show notes, or planning marketing campaigns, remember that each word you choose can be a step towards building a larger, more engaged audience.