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SEO for Podcasts in 2023: 5 Tips to Improve Your Rankings

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As you already know, a podcast requires many elements to come to life: tools, a team, scripts, and equipment. But, after everything is set and your product is finished, it’s time to get it in front of your target audience. That’s when a solid marketing strategy comes into play.

A marketing strategy can entail as many channels as you’d like. You can pay for ads, spread the word via social media, and more. Yet, there’s one key channel you shouldn’t overlook: Google. 

In fact, ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs) has a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Making it easier for people to find you
  • Getting more listeners
  • Attracting more visitors to your website
  • Improving brand awareness
  • Increasing brand authority
  • Helping you attract better sponsors

In today’s post, you’ll learn how to optimize your podcast for search engines. In other words, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for podcasts. 

We’ll share:

  • What is SEO
  • Key SEO tips for podcasts

Let’s get started! 

Why Does SEO Matter for Podcasts?

SEO is one of the most impactful digital marketing disciplines. All in all, SEO is about optimizing your platform so it ranks on search engines and attracts organic traffic.

Google is responsible for 92% of all online searches worldwide. So it’s a great platform to reach new audiences.

Plus, it’s also true that many users won't scroll past the first few results, and few click through to the second or third page. Hence, if you want your audience to find you, you need to rank as high as possible.

SEO for Podcasts: 5 Steps to Success

Since they are audio files, podcast episodes aren’t typically associated with SEO practices. A few years ago, Google couldn’t index audio content at all. However, in mid-2019, Google started to scan audio files and opened up a whole new world for podcasters.

In this section, we'll discuss some tips for optimizing podcasts for SEO. We recommend you:

  • Create a podcast website & fill it with relevant content
  • Use keywords in your content
  • Provide written content for each episode
  • Optimize your metadata
  • Take advantage of social media
  • Build backlinks

It’s fair to note that some of these tips overlap with standard SEO practices, and others are specific to audio content. 

Now, without further ado, let's dive right in.

Create a Podcast Website & Produce Content

To boost your podcast’s visibility, first and foremost, you need to create a website for it. Why? Search engines can find your episodes more easily on a site, and, as a result, they’re more likely to guide users to them. Building a website may sound challenging. But trust us, it will pay off. 

Content marketing to start, ranking on Google. Content marketing can bring more inbound traffic to your episodes, and it’s beneficial for both SEO and your brand image.

There are several types of content you can create every time you release an episode. 

Consider these formats:  

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Audiograms

Additionally, you can use your content to nurture a subscriber list. Ask visitors for their email, and send them a curated selection of your best content on a weekly or monthly basis.

Use Keywords

Another fundamental way of becoming Google-friendly is by using keywords.

But first of all, what are SEO keywords? 

Keywords are terms and phrases users search for to find products or information. In short, keywords help search engines to categorize content. 

If you strategically use them accross your episodes’ descriptions and across your website, you’ll tell Google that your content is relevant for users seraching for those terms. So, your content will be more likely appear in search results. 

However, this doesn't mean that you should simply choose a keyword that you think is relevant and roll with it. Instead, opt for keywords that your audience is currently searching for. 

In other words, choose keywords that are both related to your content and targetting real user needs. 

Moreover, conduct in-depth keyword research and analyze SEO competitors to determine which keywords to use. The best approach is to select terms with a relatively high search volume and low competition. 

You can get keywords ideas with free tools like:

  • Google keyword planner
  • Moz’s keyword planner

Additionally, understanding what search intent each keyword expresses can give you vital clues. 

Let’s see a few examples. 

If the user types:

  • “Spotify”, they’re probably searching for a specific website. So, the user’s search intent is “navigational”. 
  • “Spotify podcasting monetization stats”, they’re searching for information. So, they’re search intent is “informational”. 
  • “Apple Music vs. Spotify”, they’re comparing different options. This is referred to as “commercial search intent”
  • “Spotify family plan”, they’re looking for a specific service - and in fact, they may be ready to buy.This is called “transactional search intent”. 

The intention behind these keywords can help you understand what your audience needs and provide them with what they're looking for. Plus, it’s important to note that not every keyword will be relevant to your business. For example, the keyword “Spotify vs. Apple Music prices” might be great for sites dedicated to personal finances or streaming industry analysis, but not for music gear review sites.

On posts and pages, Google checks for keywords in certain elements. 

Therefore, you should prioritize placing keywords in: 

  • Your main title (H1 heading)
  • Subheadings
  • URL slugs
  • Image alt attributes
  • Post introductions
  • A couple of times throughout the content, incorporated naturally

Last but not least, keywords shouldn’t be forced into show notes, transcriptions, or complementary blog posts. 

Sprinkle them naturally throughout your content. Why? Google penalizes sites that overuse keywords trying to manipulate search results.

Provide Written Content for Each Episode

Just uploading your podcast episode won’t attract many listeners, but you can help Google out. And one thing you can do is complement your episodes with written content.

Google scans written text easily to determine your content’s relevance. If you give Google something to read, there are higher chances of getting your episode to rank. Plus, you’ll get more opportunities to add keywords.

We recommend you create separate blog posts for each episode. That way, a particular episode page can be ranked for searches relevant to its main topic.

Here are some ideas of how you can make it work:

  • Podcast show notes - Create brief summaries to give listeners an overview of what the episode is about. You can write them in the form of bullet points. You can also add third-party references that are mentioned in the episode, such as videos, links, and images. 
  • Audio transcriptions - You can also produce verbatim transcriptions of what was said on the show. This is a simple way to repurpose your episode’s content and give Google a written piece at the same time. Yet, you don't have to manually transcribe word-by-word-. There are many tools out there that can help you automate the process. 

Include Metadata

Providing metadata is essential. With metadata, you’ll give additional details and explain what your episode is about in a direct and rankable way. 

This information will be greatly useful not only to users, but also to the search engine’s algorithm.

Leverage Social Media

Source: SEORadar

Don’t underestimate social media. Despite what many believe, social media can truly boost your SEO efforts. Social media shares and comments are good indicators of the success of your podcast, and so they will alert Google that your content is relevant.

Plus,social media stats can help you identify your best performing platforms. That way, you can enrich your content creation & marketing process with more user data.   

Boost Your Podcast's Reach with Audiograms

In today’s post we shared how to boost your show’s visibility using podcast-specific SEO strategies. And although the podcasting boom is fairly recent, many of these strategies are similar to what content marketers have been using for years. One thing is sure: Higher rankings equate to more traffic, more listeners, and more loyal audiences.

And besides tags and keywords, another great way to engage your audience is by posting audiograms with your show’s best moments. A stunning audiogram gives potential listeners a glimpse into what they can expect from your show, and leaves them eager for more.

Curious? Create your first video today, for free.