6 ways to grow your podcast audience with SEO

Along with technical SEO and hyperlinks, high-quality, fascinating, partaking content material is among the three primary pillars of any profitable SEO technique.

Traditional content material methods use weblog posts, articles, photos, and generally video as the principle sources of content material. And whereas these might be superior for driving visitors and supporting your SEO efforts, podcasts are an usually neglected and underestimated medium. Podcasts can construct your model and drive direct visitors, whereas on the similar time including wealthy content material to your website and supporting your link-building efforts.

Of course, you not solely want to know the way to leverage your podcasts for SEO, but additionally how to rank properly on the platforms particular to podcasts. So whether or not you’re beginning out or are a longtime podcaster, learn on for particular recommendations on how to SEO your podcast.

1. It’s all within the title

What does it take for your podcast to be discovered on iTunes and Google Play? It’s all within the title. The iTunes rating algorithm for podcasts locations a heavy emphasis on the title of the podcast, as well as to components like complete variety of subscribers and the whole variety of evaluations for the podcast.

What this implies is that, when you need to have a title for your podcast which is compelling and fascinating, you shouldn’t have a title which is so obscure or non-intuitive that it doesn’t clarify in clear language what your podcast is about. Make positive to embody your most vital key phrases within the title of your podcast. If your present is already established, you are able to do this by including a subtitle. For instance, if your present title is “A fifth Race Podcast,” and your present is about Stargate, you possibly can just be sure you’re discovered by including a subtitle resembling “An Unofficial Stargate Podcast.”

That mentioned, a generically keyword-rich title that isn’t distinctive or memorable can also be a non-starter. The title of your podcast ought to be one thing you’re pleased with. (Note that with branded podcast names, it will be good to incorporate keyword-rich subtitles.) And when you do need to embody key phrases in your title and/or subtitle, don’t strive to stuff your writer tag with key phrases. Apple will catch on and ship you a word stating that your writer tag isn’t consultant of what your present is about.

Keep it clear, use the correct key phrases the place it counts, and it is best to present up for related search queries. On Google Play, your present’s description (not particular person episode descriptions) is searchable as properly, so ensure you optimize it, whereas nonetheless holding the copy fascinating and compelling. (Speaking of holding it clear, if your present has swear phrases and is thus labeled as specific in iTunes, your podcast won’t be reaching the very giant Indian market.)

2. Optimizing your RSS feed

While the common consumer doesn’t use RSS practically as a lot as previously, your RSS feed syndicates your podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and most different podcast platforms on the market. Essentially, your RSS feed is what persons are subscribing to after they subscribe to your podcast on any of those platforms.

Your feed is additionally what gives all your podcast data to these platforms. So while you need to replace your present’s title or description, you could have to replace it in your RSS feed. It can take up to 24 hours for any of the fields to replace on iTunes or different directories.

The greatest manner to have SEO management over your podcast is by creating your RSS feed utilizing the one which Libsyn gives you or the feed you get from the PowerPress plugin for WordPress (a free plugin).

Make positive you could have an excellent, suitable RSS feed that gained’t break or be too gradual by utilizing both castfeedvalidator.com or podba.se to validate your feed.

3. Leveraging your web site

Yes, your podcast is an audio file, however that doesn’t imply that you could’t rating SEO factors by leveraging your web site and making it a worthwhile vacation spot for Google to ship visitors to. As SEO practitioners, we’re all the time making an attempt to appeal to extra trusted hyperlinks to our websites. An excellent podcast is only one extra kind of content material you need to use to appeal to these hyperlinks.

If a author is your website and contemplating linking to your podcast content material, displaying them different authoritative websites the place your content material has been featured can act as a “social proof” that your content material is authoritative, high-quality and reliable, and thus price linking to. For occasion, you possibly can present an “as seen on” part on not less than your residence web page, however ideally on each episode web page — the best way I do on my biohacking/lifehacking podcast, “The Optimized Geek.”


Another straightforward manner to increase your attain is to create supporting content material that you really want to expose search engines like google to. Some examples of content material you possibly can create are:

  • episode description or recap
  • present notes with timestamps
  • transcript
  • key takeaways
  • checklists/worksheets
  • episode artwork

The transcript will probably be a very text-rich piece of content material to put up to your website. Don’t simply bury the transcript, function it and current it properly, in order that customers are extra inclined to work together with it.

Each episode ought to have distinctive episode artwork so guests have one thing to pin on Pinterest. Have a take a look at my spouse’s present, “Stellar Life,” for an superior instance of the usage of episode artwork:


Whenever attainable, present supporting content material that drives listeners to your web site. For instance, on this episode of “The Optimized Geek,” I included a number of pictures and movies on the episode web page of me at my visitor’s facility freezing my butt off within the cryotherapy chamber after which gnashing my enamel by doing the equal of a 350-pound bench press on the bioDensity machine.

Make positive every supporting content material piece has a human-friendly URL, and embody the hyperlink to every in your present notes. Remind your audience that in the event that they’re utilizing the Podcasts app, they’ll simply entry the present notes by clicking on the podcast paintings within the participant. Add your call-in quantity and phone e mail to the highest of your present notes so your listeners can get in contact with you as properly.

4. Recycling content material

Many of the guidelines featured on this article have been pulled from a few episodes of my Marketing Speak podcast. Specifically, the one that includes Daniel J. Lewis (SEO Your Podcast to Grow Your Audience) and the one that includes Rob Walch (Podcasting 101: Creating a Successful Show). See what I did there?

Taking present content material and reworking it into one other piece is a good way to leverage assets that you have already got to increase your authority and enhance your rating on particular matters. You can take the content material from your podcast and switch it into articles, weblog posts, infographics, slide displays, movies and so forth to get much more SEO worth from the recycled content material.

5. That ‘different’ search engine: YouTube

YouTube, as you seemingly know, is the second most trafficked site on the web after Google, serving over a billion users. When contemplating any SEO technique, however with podcast content material specifically, YouTube ought to all the time be part of your technique. Not solely is YouTube an enormous search engine in its personal proper, however YouTube content material incessantly seems in the principle physique of Google search outcomes as properly.

There isn’t any cause you possibly can’t take your podcast recording and switch it right into a YouTube video pretty simply. There are numerous file converters and video enhancing software program which may translate your audio recordsdata into video. In reality, when you host with Libsyn like I do, then you need to use their built-in Publish to YouTube function (see display screen shot). You can select to both report precise video of the podcast members as you do the podcast and use that video on YouTube, or overlay slides with your model, fascinating photos, charts that assist what the podcast is discussing at a specific time, and different contact data on high of the audio to create a video presentation.


Of course, YouTube/video SEO is a complete subject unto itself, however on the minimal, it is best to create an optimized title for your YouTube video, have an awesome description that features a hyperlink to the present notes and episode web page, and if attainable, present your personal transcription of the podcast to override the YouTube auto-generated transcript, which is stuffed with errors. Having an correct transcript on your YouTube video isn’t simply good for YouTube SEO, it’s nice for many who aren’t native English audio system, as a result of they’ll learn the subtitles as your episode performs.

6. Podcasting for hyperlink constructing

Another manner podcasting can profit your general search engine marketing efforts is thru attracting hyperlinks. If your podcast content material is fascinating, entertaining, compelling, helpful and so forth, it might properly appeal to hyperlinks all by itself, however there are actually different hyperlinks that you could pursue.

One of the simplest could also be to get a podcast visitor speaker to promote the podcast on their very own website. If somebody takes the time to be interviewed for your podcast, it’s fairly seemingly they’re going to need individuals to hear that podcast episode. By internet hosting the podcast’s episode web page on your personal website, as well as to syndicating it out on in style media and podcast platforms, you may give your friends a pure place to hyperlink to on your website.

One manner to enhance your odds is to search for podcast friends who might need a vested curiosity in selling the episode as a result of they are going to get a enterprise profit out of the elevated publicity. These may embody an organization releasing a brand new product, even perhaps somebody launching their very own podcast, or an writer selling a brand new e book. Authors are a very good goal, as typically after they launch a brand new e book, they need any and each supply of promotion they’ll discover.

Make positive you speak to podcast friends beforehand about linking again to you, and make sure you observe up to ensure you truly scored that hyperlink. A good time to ask them for the hyperlink to put up to social media is instantly earlier than you begin recording the interview. Get their verbal dedication, and also you’ll get a significantly better consequence while you ship them an e mail that the episode has posted and that you just’d admire a hyperlink and a few social mentions.

Incidentally, the reverse of the above may also be true. A podcast web page on your personal website is a very legitimate and pure place to hyperlink again to the positioning of anybody collaborating within the podcast. If you’re on the lookout for or pitching individuals to take part in your podcast, in the event that they perceive the worth of a hyperlink, which may be a further inducement to shut the deal.

In abstract

With a little bit effort, podcasting and SEO can work collectively to make it easier to assemble that enthusiastic group of supporters that Kevin Kelly calls “1,000 true fans.” SEO ways might help grow your podcast audience; and in return, as your podcast grows in recognition, it could yield search engine marketing advantages again to your website. It thus creates a kind of “virtuous circle.”

Podcasting can really set you aside as an authority in your subject, however it’s a time- and effort-consuming endeavor (consider me, I do know!). Nonetheless, the correct podcast, finished properly, is definitely worth the funding. Make probably the most of that funding by implementing these SEO methods for podcasts, and watch your audience grow!

Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor writer and never essentially Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer is the creator of the 3-day immersive SEO seminar Traffic Control; an writer of the O’Reilly books The Art of SEO, Google Power Search, and Social eCommerce; founding father of the SEO company Netconcepts (acquired in 2010); inventor of the SEO proxy know-how GravityStream; and the host of two podcast exhibits Get Yourself Optimized and Marketing Speak.


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