10-Step Guide to Podcast SEO

In this text we take a look at why podcasts ought to play an integral function in your content material advertising and marketing technique, plus a 10-step information to nailing your podcast SEO.

Demand for podcast content material is rising yearly with a noticeable peak within the UK coinciding with our first lockdown through the months of April and May final yr. Despite a dip in searches after lockdown easing, listening figures are nonetheless up year-on-year and that is clearly a content material advertising and marketing pattern that’s right here to stick round.

Rise of podcasts in content material advertising and marketing

The rise of podcasts has been regular for greater than a decade but it surely’s solely prior to now few years the place the content material format has hit the massive time. Now, the likes of Apple and Spotify are going all-in on podcasts, signing unique offers with main figures – such because the multimillion partnership with Harry and Meghan on Spotify.

According to the Statista Research Department, greater than 15 million individuals within the UK had been listening to podcasts in 2020 with the determine anticipated to strategy 20 million by 2024.

upwards trend of podcast listeners over the years

Podcasts are seeing regular year-on-year progress within the UK and there’s loads of room for wider adoption with 21% of the nation tuning in (or logging in) to hear, based mostly on data from Reuters Institute. That makes individuals within the UK the eleventh keenest podcast listeners on this planet (joint with Germany) whereas Ireland is third (39%) and the United States fifth (35%), representing an unlimited English talking viewers with Canada and Australia additionally within the high 10.

According to research by Ofcom, individuals within the UK are listening to extra podcasts because the first lockdown final yr. Adoption is strongest among the many 16-34 age bracket with 20% of all respondents listening to podcast content material inside the earlier week.

Podcast audio listened to by age

Why ought to entrepreneurs care about podcasts?

Podcasts may be gaining reputation however why ought to manufacturers and entrepreneurs care about this content material format – and what makes it totally different from radio or different audio channels? Well, the important thing lies in podcast audiences, that are extra engaged and dependable than radio listeners and conventional audio audiences. While few individuals sit down to hear to a whole radio present, completion charges for podcasts may be as high as 88%-90%, largely thanks to an episode format that may be as concise or in-depth as audiences demand.

The episode format additionally builds up anticipation for the subsequent present and 79% of podcasts listeners tune in to a new episode as soon as it’s released.

Podcast audiences have a tendency to be loyal, too. If you have interaction along with your listeners on social media, embody them within the exhibits by taking calls and construct a group spirit, you then’re going to develop a loyal viewers and a number of publishers find yourself with real fan bases.

Studies have additionally discovered that typical podcast listeners are young, educated and affluent – key demographic options for entrepreneurs and types throughout all industries.

Moving away from the audiences themselves, It’s additionally necessary to perceive the intrinsic advantages of audio content material:

  • Audiences can hear whereas they do different issues (drive, commute, work out, clear or something hands-free)
  • Listening is much less intense than studying, which is nice for technical or advanced matters
  • Human voices are extra participating than textual content
  • Podcasts are mobile-friendly – irrespective of how lengthy they’re
  • Podcasts rank in Google Search
  • Easy to make podcasts interactive
  • Easy to monetise content material with subscriptions
  • Audio content material is comparatively reasonably priced to produce
  • Less competitors vs conventional channels

Competition is an attention-grabbing matter as a result of podcasts are actually much less aggressive than, say, weblog content material however their rising reputation will progressively cut back this over time. So, if this can be a channel you’re wanting to exploit, now could be the time to transfer so that you could construct a loyal viewers and make it more durable for newcomers to steal these listeners from you sooner or later.

So how are you going to optimise podcast content material for SEO and construct this viewers within the first place?

10-step information to podcast SEO

Let’s discover the ten key steps you want to take to maximise your podcast SEO:

  1. Podcast key phrase analysis
  2. Optimise episode pages in your web site
  3. Title optimisation & meta descriptions
  4. Creating high quality podcast content material
  5. Create transcriptions for each episode
  6. Create inside hyperlinks for each episode
  7. Claim your podcast on Google Podcasts Manager
  8. Repurpose your podcast content material
  9. Choose the proper podcast platforms
  10. Win backlinks for podcast pages

While there’s a heavy emphasis on Google Search, we additionally discover the opposite natural alternatives for constructing an viewers of listeners. The apparent problem is optimising audio content material for search platforms that historically crawl and index HTML code. But, as you’ll see from these 10 steps, textual content content material nonetheless performs a key function in podcast SEO and Google is extra able to understanding audio content material than you may suppose.

#1: Podcast key phrase analysis

Since 2019, Google exhibits podcast content material within the natural SERPs so individuals trying to find issues like “enterprise podcasts” may even see one thing like this on the outcomes web page:

Google search results for business podcast

This has opened up a wealth of latest key phrase alternatives for podcast publishers and turned Google Search right into a podcast discovery platform. Topping the record of goal key phrases in your podcast SEO technique are variations of “[the subject you cover] podcasts” with the purpose of displaying on the high of the outcomes web page. In reality, the one key phrase extra necessary than these in Google Search is your model/podcast publishing title.

As issues stand, most queries that present podcast leads to Google Search embody the phrase “podcast” itself. So you’re not going to discover a new key phrase like “how to begin a enterprise after Covid-19” and all of a sudden get featured in a Podcasts feed like above. However, you need to host each episode on a devoted web page of your web site, which may rank for these key phrases like some other web page.

#2: Optimise episode pages in your web site

For most key phrases, internet pages are nonetheless one of the simplest ways to rank in Google Search and each podcast episode ought to have its personal devoted web page in your website. This permits you to goal key phrases with each episode, optimise every episode for search and maximise search protection. For instance, when somebody sorts “knowledge science podcasts” into Google, they’ll see this podcasts feed in Google:

Search results for data science podcasts

Meanwhile, listeners who already know and benefit from the Data Science at Home podcast will see the next in the event that they kind within the model key phrase “Data Science at Home”:

Data science at home podcast

So the Podcasts feed is nice when persons are in search of new podcasts or already know your model but it surely solely gives restricted search protection. When this writer needs to goal a key phrase like “constructing high-growth knowledge companies,” they want to optimise an online web page to rank within the basic blue hyperlinks.

Data science at home podcast as an organic blue link

In this sense, you need to deal with the net web page like some other in your web site and optimise it, based mostly on the identical guidelines. As with some other internet web page, you need a good 300+ phrases of distinctive content material so, on the very least, add a textual content abstract of the podcast embedded in your web page. Better but, you can create a weblog submit abstract overlaying the entire key factors, which improves the standard of the web page content material and gives a textual content different for guests preferring to learn.

#3: Title optimisation & meta descriptions

Podcast pages in your web site ought to embody the identical title because the podcast episode and you need to purpose for consistency throughout each platform your episodes are uploaded on (Spotify, YouTube Google Podcasts, and so forth.)

Podcast meta data

Ideally, your goal key phrase must be the primary phrase in your title and it’s good observe to embody the episode quantity, too. Your meta description is there to inform customers what your podcast is about and encourage them to click on by means of. Be trustworthy and correct whereas making an attempt to differentiate from some other outcomes overlaying related matters.

#4: Creating high quality podcast content material

Back in April 2018, Google hinted at a future the place its algorithms can perceive speech in podcasts, robotically transcribe them and rank podcasts based mostly on the content material and high quality of the fabric. By May 2019, Google Podcasts was already transcribing episodes to enhance its search outcomes.

Google showing the 10 key moments of a podcast in its search results

This is similar expertise Google already makes use of to transcribe YouTube footage and choose the important thing moments in a video, which suggests Google is kind of able to gauging the relevance and high quality of your podcasts however you may give it a serving to hand by optimising for its algorithm.

Much like textual content content material, having a transparent construction in your podcasts advantages your viewers and Google. You additionally need to use related key phrases appropriately all through your audio with out overusing or forcing them into your content material (key phrase stuffing applies right here, too).

#5: Provide transcriptions for each episode

Even if Google is able to transcribing podcast content material, you need to take the time to present verified transcriptions for every episode. Google’s transcription expertise isn’t flawless and it may run into issues with conversations (a number of audio system), accents, quick audio system, background noises and loads of different points.

By offering transcripts, you give search engines like google a crawlable copy of your content material to depart no room for errors. You’re additionally offering a textual content copy customers can entry if they need to learn, browse or quote one thing out of your podcast – so there are usability advantages to think about, too.

#6: Create inside hyperlinks for each episode

As with any new web page in your web site, you need to take a look at your current pages and content material to analyse the place you may construct inside hyperlinks. Basically, each web page in your website that’s related to your new episode matter ought to hyperlink to the related podcast web page. Likewise, you need to hyperlink out from episode pages to different inside pages in your website, particularly different episodes which might be related. For instance, you may run a sequence of episodes on the identical matter or usually publish episodes on the identical set of matters or classes.

At the very least, you may hyperlink to the earlier and subsequent episodes chronologically, which robotically builds inside hyperlinks for each episode web page and provides navigational worth to the consumer expertise.

#7: Claim your podcast on Google Podcasts Manager

Google Search isn’t the one natural platform to acquire visibility and construct your viewers. Many of the largest names in tech are investing huge in podcasts and Google joins the likes of Apple and Spotify with its personal devoted platform: Google Podcasts. The Podcasts feed in Google Search pulls the information from this platform to present podcast listings within the SERPs.

Google podcasts

With an estimated 50+ million common customers and greater than 100 million downloads (and rising), Google Podcasts is constructing a key platform on this house.

To get your content material listed on the app, you want to declare your podcast in Google Podcasts Manager. All you want to do is click on the Start now button on the homepage, kind in your podcast RSS feed URL and observe the verification steps. It solely takes a few minutes and, when you’re achieved, Google will index your feed so customers can uncover it throughout Google Home, Google Search, Google Assistant and, in fact, Google Podcasts.

Google podcasts manager

#8: Repurpose your podcast content material

Another manufacturing good thing about podcasts is that you just’re nearly obliged to repurpose your content material, particularly into textual content format for conditions the place customers can’t (or don’t need to) hear to episodes in full. There are a number of causes to do that:

  • Content concepts go additional
  • You get extra out of each episode’s manufacturing funds
  • You can construct extra inside hyperlinks
  • Multimedia content material caters for various preferences
  • Multimedia content material provides you extra protection
  • Repurposed content material promotes your podcast episodes – typically on channels not suited to podcasts
  • Text content material is less complicated to optimise for SEO

A good way to maximise content material output from each podcast episode is to file video podcast episodes, which opens up channels like YouTube, the Videos feed in Google Ads and social media platforms the place video content material usually achieves the very best engagement. Video is ideal for slicing up into clips, highlights, teasers and quick, participating posts for social media campaigns.

Alongside this, you may repurpose your episodes into weblog posts, in-depth guides and content material sequence to present complete protection of the matters that matter most to your viewers. Again, you may create quick, snappy posts to introduce matters on social media and information guests to extra in-depth data with each click on (but extra inside hyperlinks).

#9: Choose the proper podcast platforms

Google Podcasts isn’t the one huge participant on the town with Apple Podcasts offering one other devoted app and Spotify aiming to be the one app individuals use for music and podcast listening. Also try instruments like Podfollow which permits you to create a dynamic hyperlink that allows listeners to hear the podcast on no matter platform they use, and offers you nice knowledge insights too!

Spotify podcasts

There are loads of different platforms, too, as competitors heats up within the audio house and also you want to resolve the place you’re going to host your content material.

If you’re producing video podcast episodes, then YouTube is a necessary channel and an important place to construct a singular viewers. You might also discover platforms like Patreon if you need to paywall sure episodes though YouTube has launched some wonderful subscription options lately, akin to tiered plans for entry to several types of content material and rewards.

#10: Win backlinks for podcast pages

Backlinks are simply as necessary for podcast SEO as some other natural search technique and, as soon as once more, it’s the podcast pages in your web site that want to win these hyperlinks. Structurally talking, you need a podcast homepage (even when it’s a subdomain or subdirectory) to act because the area of your podcast technique.

Next, you want to take into consideration incomes backlinks for particular person episode pages. Once you’ve acquired the proper construction in place, listed below are some ideas to earn high quality backlinks:

  • Get knowledgeable company in your podcasts to improve authority, win listeners from different audiences and provides a wider pool of individuals cause to hyperlink to your episode (beginning with the visitor themselves).
  • Appear as company on different podcasts as this usually wins a hyperlink again to your personal podcast area.
  • Be newsworthy by overlaying the most recent developments in your area of interest, which related websites are seemingly to discuss and hyperlink to.
  • Offer distinctive insights that aren’t obtainable elsewhere in order that your episode stands out because the useful resource to hyperlink to.
  • Promote your podcast to main websites in your area of interest to ensure that they’re conscious of your content material and provides them cause to discuss it – eg: ask them to evaluate it in a weblog submit.
  • Reference different content material producers in your episodes for stats, views, and so forth. to seize their consideration and provides them cause to discuss you, too.
  • Engage with different podcasts to create back-and-forths (possibly even slightly pleasant beef) to get individuals speaking and stoke up loyalty amongst respective audiences.

Essentially, the identical guidelines apply however podcasts lend themselves surprisingly nicely to hyperlink constructing, thanks to the pure format of that includes company in episodes. Once you’ve constructed a little bit of momentum, it’s comparatively simple to attain out and safe new company regularly.

When it comes to referencing different content material producers and sources in your podcast episodes, ensure you embody this in your transcript, repurposed textual content content material and social media posts. This approach, they’ll get just a few pings from any quotation software program they’re utilizing and see that you just’ve referenced them a number of occasions.

Podcasts are right here to keep

Podcasts have been overvalued as a content material advertising and marketing pattern just a few occasions prior to now but it surely’s the listening numbers and regular progress charges that present audio content material is booming and podcasts are right here to keep, this time round. Tech giants Google, Apple and Spotify are all betting huge on this content material format as a result of audiences are participating with hosts and producers in highly effective methods.

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