Podcast SEO: Tips to Improve Your Rankings
As more and more people turn to podcasts for their daily dose of information, news, and entertainment, an interesting question arises — do podcasts need SEO too?
We do, after all, live in a world that consumes more content than food. Take one look around and you’ll see the sheer volume of blogs and videos being churned out daily.
So how then do you get a podcast to stand out amidst the vast ocean of content? You can’t exactly tweak and optimize it the same way you would with other web content.
Do Podcasts Even Need SEO
Google’s strength lies in deciphering written content, however, it cannot fully and accurately index complex audio like podcasts — even though the technology to read audio exists.
The only way Google can include podcasts into SERPs is by indexing clearly spoken words within your audio content and all the written and visual content around it. The latter includes:
- Body content
- Meta description
- Image contents
- Image alt and title text
With that said, it’s clear that podcasts can leverage SEO to improve their ranking. In fact, they’re a great tool to enhance your overall online presence.
Tips to Make Your Podcast SEO-Friendly
Podcasts are different to sites full of lengthy blog posts, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be optimized in their own way.
Below we’ll run through how you can use SEO to grow your podcast organically.
Brainstorm on Topics
Like any business, it’s easier if you’re niche specific. So for example, Lower Street run the WFH Daily podcast, which is all about working from home.
With a clear niche for that podcast, it’s easy to brainstorm on relevant topics, like:
- Battling procrastination,
- Communication skills,
- Home office set up, or
- Remote work culture.
Once you’ve gathered your thoughts and decided what you want to talk about, the how becomes so much easier.
Make a list of all the topics your audience is actively looking for. Figure out how you can answer their questions and cover all the relevant queries about the topic.
By the time you’re done, you should have a good list of your planned content. This can be used to structure your website, where you can interlink similar topics to create a flow for your podcast episodes and related content.
Don’t Skip Out On Keywords
Now that we know Google can index and rank your podcasts, it would be silly to not include keyword research in your podcast production process.
At the very least, keywords tell search engines and people what your content is all about.
Including a keyword in the title of your podcast, for example, is always a great start. Mentioning it (naturally!) a couple of times in your audio? Even better.
As for getting your hands on the keywords themselves — tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush are super helpful. If you’re on a budget, a free alternative is Google’s “Related Searches” feature at the bottom of every search results page.
If this doesn’t sound like something you’d like to invest your time in doing, a dedicated keyword research company can help speed up the process.
Have a Dedicated Blog for Your Podcast
A related blog post for each of your podcast episodes is a fantastic idea for two reasons:
- It’ll be a platform for people to find your podcast.
- It can be used as a reference tool for your listeners, making it easier for you to convey complex ideas with other forms of content.
For a lot of podcast owners, they go to the effort to publish show notes but skip over the opportunity to dominate a keyword using written content.
Make sure your written content isn’t just large blocks of text though. Use a mix of the following to make each blog post a great resource for your audience:
- Bullet and numbered lists,
- FAQ sections,
Get Your Website Up To Speed
User experience matters now more than ever, which means that slow websites are an absolute no-go.
No matter how “valuable” your content is, no one’s going to stick around to hear it if your website takes more than a few seconds to load. Sounds harsh, but that’s the reality of an industry where barriers to entry are so low.
There are a bunch of ways to speed up your website, and there’s no one size fits all solution. As a general rule, however, you should:
- Resize and compress images
- Use a high-quality web host
- Get rid of unnecessary plugins
- Cache as much of your content as possible
Build High-Quality Backlinks
When it comes to ranking your podcast episode blog posts in Google, backlinks are the equivalent of internet gold.
Search engines value them a lot since they add to the credibility of your content and website as a whole.
Building backlinks involves getting high-quality links back to your website from authoritative and credible websites. Getting these links can be time-consuming but the reward is well worth it.
Some of the best ways to get backlinks include:
- Circulating your content within your network,
- Writing guest posts,
- Pitching out to journalists and reporters via Help a Reporter and SourceBottle,
- Reaching out to bloggers.
Share Your Content
Whether social media helps with SEO or not is questionable. However, if you have a decent number of followers who enjoy your content, you can always share your blogs and podcasts on your feed.
If social media is not your thing, you can share your content with your direct network or share it with your email list. The more people who see your content, the more likely that they will share it with others, or on their website where you will pick up a backlink.
Podcast SEO: Better Late Than Never
Over 62 million people listen to podcasts every week, and that’s just in America.
As search engines continue to improve the way they index and rank podcasts and as more and more podcasts are published every day, it’s never going to be easier to capture your audience’s attention than it is today.
If you want to grow your podcast, SEO is a great strategy, but one that requires regular effort. By making it part of your podcast production and marketing process, it’s another wheel in your marketing machine.
That said, handling all the elements of SEO can be a little intimidating. If you aren’t sure how to proceed, a good idea would be to hire someone to do your podcast SEO for you.
While the results may feel slow in the beginning, this machine will compound over the years and the pay off will be worth your effort.