Hi there! Hope you find this post valuable.
I originally wrote this guide here: How To Grow Your Podcast Audience With SEO.
Have you started a podcast and are wondering how you can use SEO to grow your audience? SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your podcast.
In this guide, we'll give you step-by-step instructions on how to get started with podcast SEO.
Earlier in 2019, I started a podcast with a good friend of mine, Charlie (click here for this dev.to profile!) called The DEVpreneur. During that time, I started wondering what is the best way to grow our audience using SEO. This is the guide that outlines the process we took to (very slowly) grow our podcast audience
Let's jump right in!
Table Of Contents
- Do your Keyword Research
- Choose the Right Episode Title and Description
- Build a Website For Your Podcast
- Do Email Outreach to Get Linkbacks
- Submit your podcast to all the top directories
- Create Show Notes for your Episodes
- Transcribe Your Podcast
1. Do your Keyword Research
The first and most important part of any SEO strategy is getting your keyword research right. Without knowing what terms you want to get discovered for, it will be tough figuring out the right direction to head in.
To make finding relevant keywords easier for you, here's what you can do:
Look no further than the topic of your podcast!
When you decided to create a podcast on a particular topic, you probably have a ton of knowledge about it. I suggest you use that knowledge to your advantage! In your topic of choice, there must be a lot of words and phrases specific to your topic that you can use as your keywords!
If you're struggling to come up with some keywords, try this thought exercise. Put yourself in the shoes of who you want to discover your podcast. What type of things would they be searching on Google? Whatever those terms and phrases might be, use that as a starting point for keywords you can use!
As you generate ideas for keywords, what you should be doing is writing those keywords down into a list. Once you have a list of words and phrases in your topic, what you should do is put it into a keyword research tool to find search traffic volume. A free tool you can use is UberSuggest.
There are plenty of more in-depth guides on how to do proper keyword research that this point won't go into, so I highly suggest you check out the links below!
Keyword Research by Moz
2. Choose the Right Episode Title and Description
Now that you have an idea of what keywords you want to rank for, the next step will be making sure they appear in your podcast episode titles and descriptions.
A word of warning, though - what you don't want to do is to insert your keyword in all your titles and descriptions, unnaturally.
Search engines don't like that - that spammy technique is called Keyword Stuffing.
What you should do instead is write out your title and description the way you normally would.
Then, once you've written them, check that each title and description has a mention of the keyword you want to rank for. As rule of thumb, if your title doesn't have enough space to accommodate having the keyword in it, try fitting the keyword into the description instead.
Some natural, unspammy ways you can mention your keywords in the episode description are:
"In this episode, we talk about (insert topic here) ..."
"Have you every wondered about (insert topic here)? Today, we talk about how you can (do something in that topic)..."
These are just a few examples you can use!
3. Build a Website For Your Podcast
If you are using one of the many podcast hosting platforms out there, you might already have a website for your podcast. If so, that's great!
But for the people that might be self-hosting their podcast RSS feed, here are a few reasons why you should have a website for your podcast:
It allows you to have all your podcast content on one URL
Let's say you have a website and you have a page per episode of your podcast. On that page, you can write out the title, the description, and any other content that your podcast episode can produce (later in the guide we'll go over transcribing your podcast and shownotes).
Having this structure will help your website, and therefore your podcast, get discovered by the search engines.
All the keyword research that we did above will pay off if you have a website for your podcast!
People will start searching for the terms you thought they would search for and your podcast episode will get discovered.
You can attract more listeners through search engines
As mentioned in the point above, if there are pages and pages of your episodes and it's content all over your website, it makes it much easier for search engines to index and make discoverable on search engines.
The best part about having a website is the more episodes you put out, the wider your reach will be online.
It makes promoting your podcast much easier
Think about it, if you have website URL, you can easily point to where your entire podcast lives. Having a central place to lead a potential listener to can make your promotion efforts that much easier!
If you have social media, you should also promote your podcast URL on there. Just having a website makes it insanely easier to get the word out about your podcast online.
These are three points you should consider for building a website when trying to do SEO for your podcast.
If you're wondering what is a good website builder to use, make sure you check out this incredible resource to help you decide: https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/
4. Do Email Outreach to Get Linkbacks
Have you ever seen blog posts and articles online that talk about your podcast's topic? It's possible to reach out to the authors of these written pieces to get them to link back to your podcast.
This is a strategy you can take to build the number of linkbacks to your website. Ideally, you have a website for your podcast that you can have the bloggers linkbank to.
Simply reach out to these people that wrote the high ranking article, and see if they would be open to linking back to your podcast.
The main reason why you would want to do this is so you can piggy-back off the brand awareness and search page rankings they already have. If this particular website / brand links back to you, the people reading it would be almost automatically trusting of your recommendation. And with that, someone might eventually view your podcast and become a subscriber!
5. Submit your podcast to all the top directories
To get your podcast's name out there, having your podcast feed on all the popular directories can help signal to search engines about your existence. This in turn can help with search rankings. However, these won't be direct links back to your website / podcast, but that's okay.
Now you might be thinking, aren't you supposed to be link building to my website?
The answer to that is yes, you should, but another important thing to have around the Internet is something called Brand Mentions.
A brand mention is a simply what you think it is - your brand mentioned on a web page on the Internet.
Google has started using this as a search ranking signal, so having your brand name mentioned everywhere on the Internet will help with your search rankings.
So, having your podcast on all the popular directories can significantly multiply the number of times your brand is mentioned online. Who doesn't like multiplying their productivity?!
6. Create Show Notes for your Episodes
Creating show notes is a great way to give potential listeners a quick overview of what your podcast is about.
It's very similar to a table of contents for a book, a synopsis to a TV show, or a syllabus for an entire course.
It lets your audience decide if the content of your podcast will get them to listen or not.
In addition to the benefits to the listeners, it also gives the search engines a way to know what topics you talk about in the podcast. This in turn has added benefits for SEO.
Based on your keyword research in step 1, by making sure that you have your keywords in the show notes, you're making it easier for the search engine to discover your podcast.
Once you have show notes for your podcast, you can easily enter them into the description of your podcast. That way, when the directories pick up your podcast information from the RSS feeds, you will have your description distributed everywhere online for more and more people to come across!
7. Transcribe Your Podcast
And finally, one of the best ways to improve your podcast's discoverabilty on search engines is to transcribe your podcast. By having a full transcript of your podcast, you in essence will have super detailed show notes to provide to your potential listeners.
Transcription is where you listen to your podcast and type out the words that are spoken in it. You can do this manually or automatically, depending on how much time you have or how much money you are willing to spend on transcription services / software.
And that's it! By following these steps and implementing them for your podcast, we're confident that you will generate plenty of brand awareness, as well as get discovered on search engines and podcast directories.
We hope you learned something new!