How to Perfect Your Podcast and SEO Strategy to Appear in Top Search Results
Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular choice of content among internet users for easy access to information. With the growing popularity of podcasting, Google announced that podcasts will start appearing in SERPs (search engine results pages) for relevant search queries. As a result, it’s critical to include search engine optimization in your podcasting strategy to reach out to your target audience who is searching for podcast episodes on a given topic.
Apple has also implemented a search functionality for all audio content within podcasts, we’re well on our way to start searching podcast audio across digital platforms.
Podcasts are not a new type of content. They have grown in popularity as a means of consuming content among internet users. People are discovering podcast episodes on a variety of topics, and search engines are the place where they look first. It is where a podcast SEO strategy can be a great way to expand your audience through search results.
Podcast SEO is relatively new and expected to become a popular term among podcast creators, content marketers, and SEO professionals. It is certainly a way to boost your brand exposure by rising at the top of search results. So, what exactly does “podcast SEO” mean, how does podcast help you rank your brand in search, and how can you truly optimize your podcast for appearing on search engine results pages.
In this post, we will learn:
- Rise of Podcast as Content Marketing tool
- How to make a better podcast?
- Different free & paid Podcast Platforms?
- How to optimize podcasts for SEO?
- Elements of SEO optimized podcasts
Rise of Podcast as Content Marketing tool
Podcasting is an effective way to serve audiences who love to listen to podcast episodes for information on any topic rather than reading through text content. Podcasting is joining the ranks of popular digital content such as blogs, videos, social media posts, and slide decks, providing content creators with an additional opportunity to expand their audience on the web and increase brand visibility. Podcasts, as content, helps you diversify your content portfolio and strategy to improve your website’s SEO.
Podcasts are typically a series of audio files that any internet user can listen to or download onto his or her device, and podcasting is the method of distributing these files. A series of spoken audio episodes in a podcast is frequently focused on a specific topic or theme. It provides your audience with the best of both audio and written content. Podcast, as a content marketing tool, helps you improve your site’s Google Search rankings by making your content more accessible. There are many ways you can use to improve your podcast SEO strategy. But before that, you have to focus on podcast SEO to rank your episodes in search results for improving overall SEO performance.
Google announced earlier this year that podcasts would begin to appear in search results. Users will be now able to search for podcast episodes and access some of them directly from search engine results. The podcast episodes will index audio content in relevant search results that they can access and consume directly.
Google Podcasts has recently begun analyzing audio and automatically transcribing podcasts to use the episode content as metadata. As a result, users can easily find specific information about a podcast episode without even knowing about the podcast.
This is a critical time for SEO professionals to recognize the growing importance of podcasts. It is quite clear that Google is backing podcasts as a source of content for internet users. Webmasters and businesses who are including podcasts in their content strategies should look to learn more about podcast SEO to create more opportunities to grow their audience base through search traffic.
How to make a better podcast?
Before you start building your podcast SEO strategy, you have to learn to make a better podcast that is high-quality and SEO ready for better search ranking. Thinking about SEO is okay when structuring a podcast episode but if you are diving into podcasting professionally, you must understand how to create, record, optimize for SEO, and publish/host your podcast episodes.
Before you consider creating and ranking your podcast episodes, you must first determine the best podcast platform, episode format, and hosting options for your podcast episodes in order to reach a larger audience on popular streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Alexa, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and others.
When you are creating your first podcast episode, you must decide who is your audience, what your podcast is for, and how to entice them to listen to your episodes. Before start recording your first episode, make a checklist of the following items to create a better podcast:
- Select a niche/topic
- Name your podcast
- Format of the show and episode
- Intro and outro music
- Cover art creation
- Recording and editing equipment and tools
You will need equipment, tools, and software to record and edit audio files. It is a good idea to create a default template for a series of episodes on a particular topic for reuse in the future. It should include pre-placed intro and outro music, space for ad spots, and a track for recording your voice. You can reuse it by keeping effects, compression, EQ, and other settings consistent across all of your episodes.
Different free & paid Podcast Platforms
To reach a larger audience, you must find the best hosting options as per your specific requirements and goals for your podcast episodes. We all know about website hosting, but podcast hosting is different from that in many aspects. Podcast hosting platforms offer specific tools and services that are designed to improve the subscriber experience.
Podcasters have a lot of options of hosting platforms to choose from, thanks to the growing popularity of podcasts. But if you’re new to podcasting, you might be completely overwhelmed by the choices available for different wants and needs to serve subscribers. Choosing the right podcast platform is critical because it will make it easier to publish and manage your podcast episodes while helping you grow your audience faster.
Your audience is most likely to find your podcast episodes from Google Podcast, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or another podcast app. They can also stream episodes directly from the podcast’s website. In any case, these are podcast directories; not podcast hosting solutions.
Podcast hosting is a specialized service where podcasters can sign up to store and distribute media files by creating a podcast feed. There are many free as well as paid podcast hosting solutions to meet the needs of podcasters as per their budget and goals. When narrowing down podcast hosting platforms, we recommend taking the following factors into account, which make a podcast platform good and bad for specific use cases:
- Storage Space
Different podcast platforms perform differently when you rank them in these areas. They all are good in their own ways, and all you need is to find out a platform that best fits your requirements and goals. Here’re the top seven best (free and paid) podcast hosting solutions that are the most user-friendly, provide excellent tools and support, and, of course, allow for file size flexibility to store and manage your podcast feeds.
- Buzzsprout: Free plan is only available for 90 days. Paid plans begin at $12 per month for 3 hours of upload time.
- Podbean: There is a free plan with limited storage and paid plans starting at $9 per month with unlimited storage.
- Transistor: Starting at $19 per month for up to 10,000 monthly downloads
- Blubrry: Starting at $12 per month for 100 MB of storage per month.
- Smart Podcast Player: Starting at $8.09 per month (billed annually)
- Libsyn: Starting at $5 per month for 50 MB of monthly storage.
- Sound Cloud: The free plan has a 3-hour upload limit. Paid plans begin at $6 per month.
As you can see, many podcast hosting services provide similar plans with comparable features. Some limit storage space, while others limit downloads.
How to optimize podcasts for SEO?
It’s not enough to record your podcast, crate your feeds, and hope for the best. You shouldn’t rely on engagement and shares from your existing audience to expand your reach. Podcast SEO makes your episodes more discoverable in search engine results pages for relevant keywords. As podcasts are becoming popular as a content type, podcasters have to spend more time on podcast SEO to expand their reach. Google is paying more attention to podcasts and how they appear in SERPs, which indicates that podcast SEO will become key to the success of podcasters.
SEO allows you to reach an audience outside of your existing network. The higher your SEO score, the more likely your episodes will appear in top search results for specific keywords that people may search.
In any case, what you must remember is that quality should remain a top priority for your podcast. You should look to create a better podcast first and then optimize them based on different elements of SEO. The quality of your audio and content will be critical to the success of your podcast. Promotion and SEO will only be effective if you have a solid foundation for your podcast. A unique topic, a creative title, and quality sound will help you make your marketing and SEO easier to connect with your future audience.
Elements of SEO optimized podcasts
It is not possible to optimize your podcast audio on its own. To reap the benefits, you must transcribe the audio file based on different SEO elements. Here’re the key elements of SEO-optimized podcasts to help you create and edit your podcasts for a better SEO score.
Before recording your podcast, conduct keyword research to determine which phrases and search terms your target audience is searching for. Finding the right keywords is an important step to optimize your episodes with a text transcript. Keywords indicate to Google that your podcast episode is relevant to user searches. This increases the likelihood of it appearing in search results.
Think about what topics and keywords your potential audience might be interested into record with SEO in mind. Plan your podcast episodes so that you can optimize your transcripts for relevant keywords.
Optimized meta descriptions
The meta description of your podcasts describes the topic of your content that helps you achieve a better SEO score. Write a meta description no longer than 160 characters before adding podcast episodes to your website. Make sure to include the most relevant and targeted keywords in your meta description but avoid keyword stuffing. An easy-to-understand and clear meta description of your podcast episodes helps Google understand the context, allowing it to rank higher for relevant search queries.
Podcast Listing on Directories
Getting your podcast listed in major podcast directories is an important step in your podcast SEO strategy because it gives your podcast more links, authority, legitimacy, and visibility to attract more listeners to your episodes. You must first create a podcast RSS feed before submitting your podcast to any directory. You can submit your podcast feeds to the following top directories:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
Link building helps you with your search engine optimization to increase the online visibility of your podcast feeds. It helps you boost your authority in your niche to drive more traffic to your episodes. Backlinks can be generated for your podcast by submitting it to directories, sharing it on social media sites, or appearing as a guest on other podcasts. It allows you to achieve a better SEO score and rank higher in search engine results pages for relevant keywords.
Transcribe Your Episode’s Audio
A word-to-word transcription of what you said during your podcast episodes is good for your SEO strategy. It provides search engines a way to evaluate your podcast content for search engine indexing and ranking for relevant keywords. It makes your content more easily searchable in search engines.
Podcast SEO helps you increase your podcast episode’s reach in the best possible ways. It is good to record your episodes with SEO in mind to appear in top search results to attract more listeners who try to search podcasts in search engines. Choose the right keywords, pick the right title, create a short and clear meta description, build authorities links, and list your episode in top directories to gain more subscribers for your podcast feeds. Contact a professional SEO company to build a podcast SEO strategy and have a successful podcast.