Search engine optimization, or SEO as many of us refer to it, is the process of improving your visibility through relevant searches. The better your SEO, the more likely you’ll grow your listeners.
If your podcast has awesome SEO, when people are searching for your podcast, specific episodes, or even general topics that your series covers, you’ll be near the top of the search results on Google. One thing that to note is that achieving great SEO can take some time. Even if you implement all the tactics we list below, it will still take Google a while to index all of your content. The key to great SEO is consistency and patience.
When it comes to SEO for your podcast, there are multiple things you can be doing to help improve your search results. We’re going to dive into each one and break down how you can implement it into your podcast strategy.
The first tactic we’ll look at is podcast descriptions. You can have both a series description as well as episode descriptions.
A series description is a short paragraph that breaks down what your podcast is about, who it’s hosted by, and when listeners can tune in. These descriptions are what will be paired with your podcast icon on all listening platforms. Here’s an example of a series description for Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel:
“Listen to the incomparable therapist Esther Perel counsel real couples as they reveal the most intimate, personal, and complicated details of the conflicts that have brought them to her door. This season, she takes on open marriage, racism inside an extended family, coming out in a religious home, and chronic infidelity, among other delicate dynamics. Esther creates a space for us to hear our own lives and struggles articulated in the stories of others. So....where should we begin?”
An episode description is pretty self explanatory. It’s a short paragraph that describes what a specific episode is about and who listeners will be hearing from. Make sure these are informative but also catchy for listeners! Here’s an example of an episode description from Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel:
“They've been on and off for almost 20 years. While she takes care of his and their child, she wants to know that he's also there for her. He's been battling depression for years. And the shame that comes with it.”
SEO efforts for podcast descriptions all come down to the keywords. For the series description, identify a couple of keywords that relate to the overall topic of the podcast. For episode descriptions, do the same thing but for the specific topics of the episode.
We recommend only using a few keywords in your descriptions since you don’t want to “keyword stuff”, which is when you stuff your copy with a massive amount of keywords to try to boost your SEO. Google doesn’t appreciate keyword stuffing, and it can actually end up having the opposite effect for searchability.
Next up are your podcast show notes. Podcast show notes give you the opportunity to add more in-depth information about a podcast episode. This can include things like guest information, time codes, resources mentioned in the episode, CTAs, etc.
SEO for your show notes comes down to keywords and formatting. Similar to descriptions, identify high-performing keywords to add to your podcast show notes and format the content with headers, bullet points, and different font options (bolding, italizing, underlining, etc.). All of this will contribute to boosting your SEO.
Podcast transcriptions aren’t only more inclusive for those who are hard of hearing but they’re also great for SEO. Podcast transcriptions are a fully written out version of your podcast, split up into headers, speakers, sections, etc. Add transcriptions to your website and label them with each episode. They can also be linked in your podcast show notes.
We’re not going to lie, transcribing can take a lot of time. Below we’ve listed a couple of transcription services you can use. We still recommend reading through the final documents though to ensure there aren’t any final edits!
Now let’s get into blog writing. We all know that blogs are great for SEO through content focus, keywords, formatting, headers, etc. Your blog posts should serve as additional content pieces focused on topics covered in the podcast, possibly even a deep-dive into conversations that you’ve already had.
We recommend having one blog accompany each episode you release. This means you’ll have three content pieces with every episode: Podcast, transcription, and a blog.
And finally, let’s take a look at podcast websites. Having a website for your series is super valuable for a number of reasons. Not only is it a place for all of your content to live, it’s also great for SEO. You can buy the domain of your podcast and optimize the web pages for SEO.
Some distribution platforms create a podcast website for you but we also recommend looking into creating your own website on the Wordpresses and Squarespaces of the world for greater flexibility. If you want a full breakdown of why your podcast needs a website, check out our article here.
Throughout this article we broke down a few tactics that you can use to boost your podcast’s SEO. As we mentioned, remember that SEO is a long game (similar to podcasting in general), and make sure you’re consistent with the content you’re putting out.
If you have any questions about your podcast’s SEO, get in touch with us here!
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