Podcast Website Examples: Why Well-Designed Sites Matter
Starting a new podcast is hard work. Production, design, microphone technique, hosting and more. It's all one big puzzle that needs to be pieced together.
However, there’s one piece that is often overlooked or missing entirely. It’s the one thing that can help bring all of your podcast content together in one place. And that’s a website.
Building a listener base can be challenging. A website makes the process a hundred times easier. With a wealth of fresh and evergreen content and a library of podcast episodes, you can reach the people who want to interact with your podcast.
Websites are a valuable tool, drawing in new listeners and allowing them to experience your brand beyond just audio. Understanding how to make a podcast website is crucial.
We’ll look at the must-have features and elements the best podcast websites incorporate into their design. From colour scheme to how to add your podcast to your website and more. Let’s dive in.
Why You Need To Create a Podcast Website
Regardless of its niche or industry, a podcast's online presence can have a massive impact on its success.
As wonderful as it sounds, the "If you build it, they will come!" mentality won't result in any meaningful success. You need to take your efforts further than that. As with anything that’s accessible online, you should strive to make your podcast easy for people to find and engage with. This is where a well-designed podcast website comes in.
Your podcast website isn't just a storage container for all your past and future episodes. As your podcast's central hub, it can serve as a continuously buzzing hive for all your additional content.
A website can drastically boost your podcast's brand by streamlining your marketing channels into one central location. It also provides a host of other benefits. You can use it to offer valuable content for your audience to enjoy, grow an email newsletter list, collect more data to analyse and strengthen your podcast's SEO strategy. It also presents new and inventive ways to monetise your show.
How can you make sure your podcast website does a good job of growing your audience and brand? We’ve put together some tips to help you turn your website into a well-designed podcast marketing powerhouse.
Centralise Your Marketing Channels
A podcast website serves as a central platform, housing all of your show’s marketing channels under one roof.
From social media links, contact info and newsletter sign-up forms to updates, blogs, behind-the-scenes, videos and other content relating to your podcast's success. It's all right there, waiting for your leads to browse and explore.
While each of your marketing channels (website, social media, newsletter, subscriber directories) allows you to speak to your audience and share content, a website is the central piece that links them all together.
Collect and Analyse More Data
Data is one of the most valuable resources a podcaster can have. Centralising your data-gathering efforts will help you better understand your ideal podcast listeners and inform the type content you should be creating.
Most website host providers have an access log that details traffic, the number of hits, average time on a page and other helpful data, providing you with valuable insight into your listeners’ browsing habits. Say, for example, that a specific blog post is getting a lot of traffic. That content might be worth exploring in a future podcast episode.
There are plenty of other ways to gather data from visitors. You could include a space for comments and feedback within each podcast episode. You can also provide a contact form, activate cookies and add an email registration form for your newsletter.
Share Original Content
Original content is unbelievably important for a podcast. It helps build up a fanbase and creates an unpoppable bubble of credibility, trust and leadership. The thing is, the minute you publish your podcast episode you relinquish your control.
Once it's published on external platforms, that's it.
With a podcast website, creators have more control over their content publishing decisions. Not only can it house a lot of content, you’re also free to adapt and change things as needed.
You can house long-form show notes that contain as many links as you wish. You can develop and grow a blog in tandem with your published episodes. You can offer transcripts, videos, behind-the-scenes podcasts and pictures. You can start forums and discussion boards and include paywalled VIP-only sections.
The content possibilities are almost endless.
Market Your Podcast with a Newsletter
Keeping listeners engaged is something of a dark art for podcasters. But, old school methods are sometimes the best. Building a subscriber list that you own through your website is one of the best direct marketing channels out there.
It can be especially useful for marketing your podcast. Social media is fickle, you can’t be certain that your posts will be seen. The chances of your show getting in front of the right people increases drastically when you send an email to your subscribers.
A newsletter is an ideal place to share your latest episode. You can include notes from the show, general updates and even ask your listeners to offer feedback on the show.
Strengthen SEO and Organic Traffic
Whether we like it or not, Google is still struggling to index audio effectively. For podcasters striving to increase their organic traffic via audio alone, it's almost impossible.
The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. This is where a website presents a huge opportunity for podcasters to develop an effective SEO strategy. Having an SEO-optimized website and content will significantly increase your chances of showing up in Google’s search results.
Your site needs to have quality content to rank well. You also need to include relevant keywords in your title and heading tags, podcast episode descriptions, show notes, website body copy and blog posts.
Encourage RSS Feed Subscriptions
The podcast RSS feed is the most essential aspect of your podcast. You want to get as many people to subscribe directly to your feed as possible.
One way to get people to subscribe is by displaying the official logos from each platform on your website. At a minimum, anyone building a podcast website should include subscription logo links to the big three: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
Spotify is compatible across all devices, whereas Apple and Google are the default for iPhones and Androids respectively.
Monetise Your Podcast
Websites offer endless possibilities when it comes to customisation. The structure, content and design can all be utilised to build new revenue generation opportunities (depending on the size of your audience, of course).
How about creating paywalled content with a private podcast feed? Why not sell an eBook or two? You could sign up for a Patreon account and create exclusive additional content. Other options include promoting a sponsor and sharing affiliate links or subscription services. The possibilities are endless, you just need to get creative.
What Every Podcast Website Needs
Getting found online is only half the battle—once someone clicks through to your website you've got to not only keep them there, but convert them into a loyal podcast fan. How do you do that?
Design and structure are key factors to keep in mind when creating a podcast website. Consider your website as a base. It's where you compile all your podcast-related resources, content, products, services and personal information.
It’s here that your listeners will land and hopefully engage, communicate, learn or even pay you for something. As you're building your website, ask yourself:
What would someone who's learning about my podcast for the first time take away from this website?
Learn From the Best: 8 Podcast Website Examples That Work
We’ve compiled a list of our top website design tips to get you started. Because showing is often better than telling, we’ve included podcast website examples for each of them.
1. Description of Your Podcast
Your podcast description is the summary of your podcast. Its goal is to provide new listeners with enough context, information and motivation to know more. But, the description you provide for podcast aggregates doesn't always tell listeners what the show is actually about.
Show names and taglines can sometimes be vague. That’s okay, so long as you have a well thought out and clearly visible description of your show somewhere on your podcast website.
Remember, just because something is obvious to you, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be for others. Your description is the ideal opportunity to highlight the things you’d like listeners to know about your show.
Whether it's a two-sentence elevator pitch or a couple of paragraphs, ensure that things are clear and descriptive and in alignment with your SEO keyword strategy.
Buffer's The Science of Social Media podcast description outlines in a very simple way exactly what listeners can expect to hear when they click play. Even though it is short, they’ve still managed to incorporate the long-tail keyword "social media marketing”, which is incredibly on brand for Buffer.
2. Host Information and Guest Bios
While an incredibly intimate format, podcasts can still have an air of anonymity about them. It can therefore be nice for your listeners to have a face to go with the voices in their head.
A podcast website can be a great way to break down that wall and give listeners a sneak peek at the people behind the audio. Having a section that features a short host bio is yet another trust building element between presenter and listener.
Don't forget to introduce your crew! These are the people that make your podcast what it is. It could be your production team, marketing team and even the guests you feature on your show.
The Hanselminutes Podcast podcast always puts their guests' information front and centre. That way you know exactly who is going to be speaking, where their expertise lies and so on.
3. Transcribe Your Podcast
Because audio isn't exactly discoverable via search engines, podcasts are classed as "dark content”. This makes meeting specific SEO targets a major issue for podcasters.
Transcripts are the ideal solution. From an SEO perspective, they greatly improve a podcast's presence online. By adding transcripts to your podcast website, you're inviting search engines to properly index each episode of your show without having to rely on Google's integrated AI functions. This puts you firmly in the SEO driving seat.
There are estimated to be nearly 10 million deaf or hard of hearing persons in the United States alone. That's 1 in 20 people. Since podcasts are an audio format, they’re left out of the loop. Having every episode available in text format is highly inclusive. It can also bring new, previously unreachable audiences into the fold.
By linking to them beneath each episode's short description, This American Life ensures that their podcast transcripts are both easy to find and read.
You have a few options when it comes to making your podcast episode transcriptions available to your readers. If you plan on creating an automatic transcription with AI technology, make sure your recording is crisp and clear for the best results. Keep in mind that multiple speakers, cross talk and background noise can prove challenging with this technology.
If you do want to go the automated route, Trint, Descript, Temi and Sonix are a few options to consider. For a more accurate transcript, there are plenty of human-centric transcription services available. GoTranscript and Rev are two excellent, budget-friendly options.
4. Embedded Players: Make it Easy for People to Listen
If you want your website visitors to listen to your podcast, you've got to make it easy for them to do so. Having an embedded player front and centre on your site will help convert new listeners into staunch fans.
What exactly is an embedded audio player? It’s a tool that allows anyone to listen, share and subscribe to your show outside of major listener apps like Spotify or Apple.
Using an embedded player to add your podcast to your website enables you to keep all of your content in one place. You can direct your listeners to your page, but still have your hosting, play counts and more.
These players also make it super easy for listeners to subscribe, browse your library and share audio clips from your podcast.
HPE's Technology Untangled podcast has an embedded player front and centre, making it really simple for potential listeners to tune in.
Provide your listeners with multiple ways to stream your show. Hosting sites and services like Simplecast, SoundCloud, Libsyn and Spreaker all offer embeddable players as part of their service.
Most distributors and aggregators (Apple, Google, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Stitcher, etc.) also provide the option for you to embed their players onto a website.
5. Contact Information
Conversations are an important means of connection. The podcast world is no different in this regard, especially when those conversations are initiated by your listeners.
If a listener, potential advertiser or anyone else wants to reach out, how will they do that? All good websites include a contact form and/or basic contact information as a means to get in touch.
Ideally, you want a quick navigation tab at the top of your website and another "contact" link embedded within your footer.
Along with having one of the best podcast website designs out there, the true crime podcast Up and Vanished also has an incredibly easy-to-find and use contact form on their website.
6. Social Media Handles and Links
Shareability is key for any online endeavour and podcasts are no different. Unfortunately, the podcast industry is heavily reliant on word-of-mouth. The majority of listeners tune into shows because they were recommended by someone else.
Make it easy for your listeners to share your podcast episodes with their network with a simple click of a social sharing button. Embedding your social media handles in the episode descriptions and across your podcast website can greatly improve your reach.
7. RSS Feed and Subscribe Links
Your podcast RSS feed is one of the essential elements of your show. It's the only way an audience can access your content. Without it, your podcast won't appear on your website or any other podcasting directories, making it impossible for people to listen to your show.
It’s precisely for this reason that you want to get as many people as possible to subscribe to your RSS feed.
One way to do this is with a blanket link-up. Link your RSS with every single directory out there and then display their logos with links to your feed on your website. As mentioned earlier, at a minimum you should include subscription logo links to the big three: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
The Decoder Ring makes sure that any potential listeners have easy access to their podcast by including a variety of preferred players (Sticher, Overcast, etc.). However, unlike a lot of podcasts, they’ve also made sure to add their RSS feed button.
8. Design and Branding
Web design is important because it impacts how your audience perceives your brand. First impressions can mean the difference between someone remaining on your page and learning more about your podcast or leaving.
Pick a colour scheme that's pleasant to look at or matches your current branding. Fonts need to be easy to read, especially when it comes to larger blocks of content.
There are also other aspects of your website to consider. Does your episode cover art mesh well with the rest of the website? Are the buttons clear and easy to find? Make sure you put everything together in a simple layout that's easy to scroll through and navigate.
Retail Reawakened's podcast website has their brand stamped all over it. From the logo-derived green accents sprinkled throughout, to the animated banner that shows visitors exactly what the podcast will tell you, the design is exquisitely simple yet effective.
Measuring Podcast Website Success
Once you have a podcast website, it's a good idea to keep track of how it's performing. There are dozens of ways to determine your podcast website's return on investment (ROI).
One way is to use Google Analytics’ "time on page" feature to find out how engaged your audience is by looking at the average time they spent reading your show transcript, notes, blogs, etc.
You could also track episode listens and subscriptions via a Chartable Smartlink. If you've been capturing email addresses via a newsletter subscription form like Mailchimp, that can be another way for you to easily track engagement. Check the percentage of subscribers opening and clicking on links in your campaigns to see how engaged they are with your content.
Tracking Tools Worth Using
Chartable Smartlinks: SmartLinks are shareable, trackable URLs that automatically reroute listeners to your podcast in their favourite apps. Smartlinks are perfect for collecting both clicks and downloads.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics gives you the free tools you need to analyse data for your podcast website in one place, such as time on page, number of new visitors, content behaviour, etc.
Mailchimp: Track the performance of your email newsletter subscriptions and reader habits.
Don't Forget About Bounce Rate
A high bounce rate is a key indicator that something isn't performing well on your website. In most cases, it boils down to bad or outdated design, difficult navigation or slow loading time. However, those aren’t the only causes of high bounce rate. If you're seeing a lot of traffic clicking away, make sure you figure out what's causing the problem and fix it.
How to Embed a Podcast on Your Website
As any marketer knows, you need to get your episodes in front of as many people as possible. In addition to posting it on other platforms, make sure you add your podcast to your website. This is a really simple and effective way to promote your podcast without too much work.
To do this, you’ll need to "embed" the podcast with a piece of code (usually in HTML). The code provides the source link as well as the height and width of the item. In this case, your chosen podcast player and all its functions.
Get the Embed Code
Find the podcast or podcast episode that you’d like to add to your website. Next, click on the share button and locate the embed option. Each directory is slightly different in its placement, but they’re generally easy enough to find.
On Spotify, for example, the share option is located in a dropdown menu under the "..." symbol.
From there, click either "embeddable options”, "more options” or "embed”. This will differ slightly depending on where you’re getting your code from.
In Spotify, you can also choose the colour you’d like the player to be and add a specific timestamp that you'd like your player to play from.
Copy the embed code from here.
Embed the Code on Your Site
Navigate to your website builder (CMS), open the HTML viewer of the page or post where you’d like to embed the player, paste the code and click “OK” or “Save”. That’s it.
For Wordpress.com, there's no support for an embeddable player. You need to copy the file URL into the post and then publish the post.
There are lots of podcast embed players to choose from. Some of the most popular ones for websites include:
While most web hosts offer unlimited storage and bandwidth, you may find that your podcast causes your website to load slowly. However, providers are waking up to the importance of podcasts as website content.
Get the code to embed this by visiting a podcast's page on Apple Podcasts, hitting the "share" icon, followed by the "embed" icon. Remember, you can also share individual episodes.
Pro Tip: Plays from the embed player will not appear in Apple’s podcast analytics.
There are so many ways to market your podcast. You could spend your budget on Google paid ads, create social media contests, try your hand at influencer marketing and more.
While those options all have merit, one of the best digital marketing channels is still a well-designed podcast website. Spending a good portion of your efforts on this piece of marketing real estate will never go amiss.
A well-designed website will boost your podcast's awareness, elevate engagement and improve listener user experience. Make sure its design and development are a part of your next podcast planning session.
From concept to completion; our podcast production company will guide you through the entire process. Find out more about producing podcasts and our services here.