As a podcast host, you know that your content is valuable and informative, so you want as many people to be exposed to it as possible. However, if your episodes aren’t optimized for search engines, your target audience might miss out on your podcast gold. That’s why it’s essential to understand the basics of SEO for podcasts. Why, you ask? Because your podcast just sitting on a number of podcast directories alongside millions of others isn’t going to get a lot of exposure. By optimizing your episodes and creating supporting assets on various platforms, you can boost your visibility and reach a much broader audience on search engines like YouTube and Google. Let’s explore how you can leverage the power of SEO and create a bigger impact with your podcast.
What is the best SEO strategy for your podcast?
To get the most out of your SEO efforts, you need to start with a strong strategy. Most podcast hosts start their podcast journey by looking for the most impactful guests that have expertise related to the theme of their show. They ask questions that set their guests up to shine in their zone of genius. Unfortunately, this strategy is much like the tail wagging the dog because the host is merely guessing what the audience wants to hear.
What if you were to start planning your next season by finding the questions people are actually asking, word for word, and then finding guests that can best answer them? This dog wagging the tail approach will set your episodes up for success with content spot-on with the questions people are actively asking.
The first step to this strategy is to do keyword research. There are a few tools listed later in this article to help you find exact phrases people ask search engines, which are also what they type into the search bar of their favorite podcast directory. Gather a dozen questions from this research that have high search volume and use them as the title and focus of your next season. Then find guests that can best answer each of these questions in compelling ways. Using this strategy will make your episodes exponentially more engaging than most other shows and packed with high SEO rich content.
What SEO tools are available to podcast hosts?
There are a wide range of tools you can use to do your keyword research, optimize your blogs and other supporting assets, and even help track your progress (covered later). Here are a handful of the most popular and straightforward SEO research tools to help you.
- Google Keyword Planner: This free tool helps you find the right keywords to use in your podcast episode titles. Simply enter a keyword related to your podcast topic, and the tool will suggest related keywords that you can use to optimize your titles.
- Dizyo: A popular SEO tool that can help you find high volume keywords for episode titles, optimize your podcast website and track your rankings on Google and other search engines. You can also use Dizyo to track your competitors’ rankings and find backlinks.
- SEMrush: Another popular SEO tool that can help you optimize your podcast episode titles for search engines. SEMrush offers a variety of features, including a keyword research tool, backlink analysis, and site audit reports.
- Answer The Public: Is a paid site that listens into autocomplete data from search engines like Google then quickly cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around a keyword or phrase you entered.
- Yoast SEO: If you’re using WordPress to host your podcast website, Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin. It can help you optimize your episode titles and meta descriptions for search engines, as well as provide suggestions on how to improve your content’s readability and overall SEO.
- Title Titan: For those who don’t have the time or patience to do their own keyword research. Title Titan gives podcasters 100 questions people are actively asking on search engines to use for the episodes.
What are the most important SEO elements for podcast hosts?
SEO, by definition, is the practice of improving your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). There are a multitude of elements that go into SEO. Here are the most critical SEO elements that you should keep in mind with optimizing your podcast.
- Episode Titles: Your episode titles should be clear, concise, and descriptive. Use keywords that are relevant to your podcast’s content, and be sure to include them in your titles. As covered earlier, the more exact your title matches the phrases listeners use to find answers to their questions, the more likely your content will appear at the top of their search.
- Show Notes: Your show notes should be informative and engaging. Use them to provide a summary of your episode’s content, links to relevant resources, and keywords related to your podcast. This will help your podcast rank higher in search engine results and make it easier for people to find your podcast.
- Metadata: Metadata refers to the information that describes your podcast, including the title, description, and tags. Use relevant keywords in your metadata to make it easier for search engines to understand what your podcast is about.
- Social Media: Use social media to promote your podcast and reach a broader audience. Share your episode titles, show notes, and other content on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Make sure your guests are willing to promote their appearance on their social media as well. By doing so, you can increase the visibility of your podcast and attract new listeners through social proof.
- Blog Posts: Create blog posts that support the topic you covered in each episode. Use relevant keywords in your blog post titles and optimize them using standard SEO practices. You can also link your blog posts to your podcast episodes and vice versa (backlinks), which can help you attract more traffic to your website or podcast directory. Do not post your transcript as a blog. This practice has little to no value to the reader and thus won’t produce the results you are looking for.
- YouTube Podcast: Create a YouTube channel for your podcast and upload each episode as a video. Make sure to optimize the video title, description, and tags using relevant keywords. By doing so, you are optimizing your episodes for the second largest search engine in the world, which increases your chances of being discovered by new listeners. YouTube also allows you to see how many downloads each episode receives, which gives you insight to consistently improving your content.
- Use backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites that lead back to your podcast. They can help improve your domain authority and search engine rankings and increase your visibility. Reach out to other bloggers and podcasters in your niche and ask if they’d be willing to link to your podcast.
- Use transcripts: Transcripts of your podcast episodes can make your content more accessible and help search engines understand your content. Include transcripts on your podcast website and submit them to directories. Make sure to include your transcript with your YouTube upload for both SEO and accessibility using their Auto Sync Feature.
How often should podcast hosts update their SEO strategies?
A frequent question asked during discussions covering SEO tips is, “How often should I revisit SEO for my podcasts?” The answer is simple: regularly.
Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and ranking factors. This means that what worked for SEO a year ago may not work as well today. As a result, you need to stay on top of the latest trends and update your SEO strategies accordingly.
It’s important to note that updating your SEO strategies doesn’t necessarily mean completely overhauling them. Sometimes small tweaks can have a big impact. Here are a few ways you can update your SEO strategies:
- Review your target keywords. Are they still relevant? Are there new keywords you could be targeting? If not, simply changing your title to match the new search phrase trends that match your content can put you back in the driver’s seat.
- Evaluate your content. Is it still providing value to your audience? Could you update it with new information or insights? Invite your past guest or a new guest to revisit the topic with a fresh perspective.
- Analyze your website structure. Could you improve your website’s navigation or user experience? As your podcast ages, the list of titles can be mind-numbing. A good practice is to segment your episodes and blogs into seasons or topics to help users find topics they are interested in.
- Monitor your analytics. Which episodes are performing well? Which ones could use improvement? There is no shame in taking down underperforming episodes and/or blogs and replacing them with new content that better serves your audience.
By regularly updating your SEO strategies, you’ll better maintain your existing SEO rankings and help improve areas that are underperforming. Don’t let your hard work go to waste – make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep pace with the search engines and ahead of your competition.
What are some ways podcast hosts can track their SEO progress?
There is a saying, “You achieve what you measure.” It’s essential to track your SEO progress to ensure that your podcast is reaching your goals. Here are some ways you can track your SEO progress:
- Monitor your podcast analytics: Most podcast hosting platforms provide detailed analytics that can help you track your podcast’s performance. These metrics can include the number of downloads, subscribers, and listener demographics.
- Track website analytics: Integrating Google Analytics with your podcast website can provide valuable insights into your website’s traffic sources, bounce rates, and conversion rates.
- Monitor your podcast’s search engine rankings: Use tools like Dizyo or SEMrush to monitor your podcast’s search engine rankings for specific keywords. These platforms can also give you action plans on how to increase your SEO rankings.
- Track your social media engagement: Social media engagement can also impact your podcast’s search engine visibility. By tracking your social media engagement, you can identify the types of content that resonate with your audience and tailor your podcast content accordingly.
Remember, creating high-quality content is just the first step to a successful podcast. Optimizing your content for search engines is crucial for reaching a wider audience and growing your podcast. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different keywords and tactics to see what works best for you and your audience. With the right SEO strategy, your podcast has the potential to become a highly successful and influential source of information and entertainment.
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