Great Podcast SEO Tips to Increase Your Visibility Online
A podcast is undoubtedly one of the surest ways of communicating with your audience alongside another method such as email and social media. 37% of Americans aged 12 years and above listen to at least one podcast per month.
How do you get your podcast on top of the search results?
Use the following SEO tips to achieve this goal and more.
Having Keyword Themes for Each Episode
Like on-site and off-site SEO, you should conduct keyword research to know which terms or phrases to use to describe the podcast. With the rise in voice search, don’t limit yourself to conventional keywords. Focus also on question-based keywords (longtail) and how-tos. The keywords should be used in the episode’s title, URL, title tag, transcript, audio and video.
Complement the Audio with Video
Audio is great, but with most people preferring video to text and plain audio, you are better off complimenting your audio podcast with a video. YouTube is the largest video sharing platform and the second largest search engine after Google.
Millions of people spend hours there watching videos and consuming podcasts. If you are not comfortable recording yourself, you can use still images. However, we strongly recommend a real video to connect with the audience better. They will relate more to the message if you speak about the topic instead of presenting audio with still images.
Create a Compelling Name
Like a great blog post, your podcast should have a clever name that is striking and compelling. Otherwise, it will slip through the cracks of thousands of podcasts (probably related to the topic you intend to discuss) are released daily online.
The name is essential for organic search. It should be related to the topic to help the audience know what to expect before they click to play it. Increase its discoverability in SERPs by including one or two target keywords naturally.
Make it as detailed as possible without being verbose. You should find a way of giving the audience an idea of what the podcast is all about without using unnecessary words. If the podcast is promoting a product, mention the brand name or product name at the start, then a few words highlighting the podcast contents.
For example, “Strada Knife: A Sturdy Hunting Accessory”. From the title, the audience will know that the brand is called Strada, the podcast is about knives the brand offers, and the keyword is hunting accessory.
Transcribe the Podcast to Text
Even though Google bots have advanced, their ability to interpret video content is limited. Therefore, it is recommendable to transcribe the podcast to text to help them know what the podcast is all about and rank it accordingly.
Besides, it’s an excellent opportunity to include the target keywords to boost your podcast’s SEO. The target listeners will also appreciate the text, especially those who want to link to it or quote a particular episode in a blog post.
Remember, a backlink is one of the strongest Google ranking factors, so a link to your podcast from an authority website will greatly boost its visibility in the SERPS.
Creating a podcast takes time and effort. Plan accordingly to find ample time to research, record, edit and post the podcast online. The best podcasters have a realistic schedule that they stick to always to ensure they consistently publish content and engage with their listeners continuously.
Please don’t expect overnight success. Set realistic goals and be patient. The more quality and relevant podcasts you produce, the more traction you will get, and your audience will steadily grow.
Distribute the Podcasts Widely
First, the RRS feed is widely used by podcast directories to discover episodes and display them to listeners based on the search query used. Ensure that you include a link to your website in every directory that you submit the broadcast to gain organic traffic.
Directories are considered an authority by search engines and have high domain authority. Hence, their link is a major boost to your backlinking profile. Check the terms and conditions of the directory to prevent instances of your podcast not being published or deleted.
Submit the podcasts to as many directories as possible to gain ground, especially niche-specific ones. You should post on the main directories are Google Play, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Other smaller relevant directories that you should consider are Podcaster, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn.
There are hundreds if not thousands of directories you can easily find using Google. However, it would help to evaluate them based on relevance, popularity, and suitability to your brand and podcast’s topic.
Consider Posting Episodes on Your Website
Link authority is a major factor determining websites’ ranking on Google and other search engines. Sites and individual publishers will link to the platform that the podcast is hosted. For purposes of boosting your site SEO, you need the link to be directed to your website and not third-party sites such as Google Play, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.
A sure way of ensuring that you don’t lose SEO link juice to such already established platforms is by posting the podcast episodes on your website, even if it’s live in Google Play or another directory. Preferably, each episode should have a dedicated page which the following;
- An image
- An audio or video file
- An updated transcript
- Show notes such as timestamped table of content to help your audience find insights fast
Content over Equipment
It’s OK to be obsessed with the equipment and to spend thousands of dollars purchasing the right microphone and camera. However, all that is in vain if the content is of poor quality. Spending more time researching the topic and identifying ways of properly discussing it to get the expected results. Everything else should be secondary. If you have a team, brainstorm ideas and consult widely to ensure you have the right statistics to support your points.
Interview Industry Leaders and Influencers
Always holding the podcasts alone can be boring. Spice up the experience for your listeners by regularly interviewing industry leaders and influencers. The audience will gravitate towards your podcast and share it on social media if they know the influencer or industry leader.
In addition, the message will be considered as an authority if discussed by a person who is considered a leader in your niche. More importantly, they could announce they will be appearing in your podcast to their readers and listeners, thereby increasing your organic search authority and helping you gain more links.
Let us shift gears and look at how to hold a successful podcast interview.
Create a Compelling Title
For your podcast to be listed on Google Play and iTunes, you need to spend more time creating the title. Recent studies show that the current iTunes ranking algorithm gives more preference to podcasts that have interesting and compelling titles. Other factors used to rank podcasts on this platform include the total number of views accrued over time and subscribers.
Optimize the title by including relevant keywords. The audience should also be able to get an idea of what the podcast is all about from the title, so make sure that you use clear language, no obscure and non-intuitive words and phrases.
Work on your RSS Feed
Well, the average users nowadays do not rely on RSS feed as much as in the past. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the RSS feed is what the people follow when they decide to subscribe to your podcasts. Essentially, the feed offers all the information about the podcast across multiple platforms.
Hence, whenever you change something such as the description or title, you also need to update the RSS feed.
Leverage your Brand Website
The fact that the podcast is an audio file does not mean that you cannot improve your SEO by working on your site to show Google that it is a worthwhile destination to redirect traffic to. As SEO and SEM experts, we are always looking for ways of getting more trusted links to our websites. A top-notch podcast is one form of content that you can use to get these links.
For example, if a content developer who works for an online magazine lands on your site and is considering using the podcast content for linking purposes, show them other authority platforms or sites that your articles have been featured as proof that your content is verified and trustworthy.
Combining your SEO strategies and podcasting will significantly help you to form a community of authentic followers and customers. Concisely, the above tips will not only help you to expand your podcast audience but also channel the benefits to your main website thereby creating a virtuous circle that will scale up your online business.
How to Hold a Successful Podcast Interview
The success of a podcast interview is dependent on how well you prepare.
Here are expert tips on how to prepare for podcast interviews.
Find the Right Guests
The rule of thumb is to find guests related to your niche. Such guests will offer real value to your listeners instead of someone outside your industry. Start your research by listening to other interviews they have been hosted in to know they are a fit for yours.
Attending conferences and other networking events as well as social media will help you find the ideal guests. As your podcast audience grows, be open to suggestions from listeners about the kind of topics they would want you to discuss, as well as guests they are interested in.
Carry Out Background Research
With a list of possible guests for your upcoming podcast, the next important step is doing background research to know their expertise and skills. Check out their profile on social media platforms such as LinkedIn to read blogs that they recently published and notable accomplishments.
As the host, you need to have vast information about the guest before starting the conversation. Otherwise, the guests will feel as though you are pestering them with unnecessary or rather rhetorical questions.
For example, knowing awards they recently got can be great for sparking a candid conversation about their career and perception their about the future of the industry.
Prepare Questions Beforehand
The background research will help you prepare questions for the guests. Take time to evaluate the relevance of the question to the podcast’s theme. The questions should offer a different point of view on the topics to make the podcast more rewarding for you and the listeners.
Steer clear of direct answer questions. That is, questions that only require a Yes or No answer will make the podcast boring by making it difficult for you to start a conversation. The point is, look for questions that require a bit of explanation and exchange of words to avoid stifling the conversation.
The best questions are those that are “why” or ”how” or “what if” based. On the same point, anticipate some of the responses to develop ideas on how to counter the explanations to make the conversation more engaging.
Prepare and Send a Pre-Interview Doc or Recording
Not all guests will require a pre-interview doc or recording, but some will request one. The pre-interview could be a list of questions or topics you intend to discuss. It helps them prepare adequately and avoid getting caught by surprise.
Once you send the list of interview questions, it’s wise to ask for feedback to ensure they are comfortable answering the questions. Understanding what your guest cares about or wants will enable you to create questions that resonate with them and help them shine.
Get Busy by Creating a Bio for Them
The guests may come in with a bio that highlights their background and current projects. Such information may be informative and valuable to the podcast but can be repetitive and unnecessary if the audience already knows them.
To be on the safe side, consider creating a bio for the guests and informing the listeners before the guest starts to speak. Use the internet to find accurate and relevant information in the bio. Countercheck the sources of the facts to avoid including any inaccurate info that could annoy the guests.
Plan and Be a Storytelling
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways of connecting with an audience. They are already bombarded with a ton of information online. The last thing you want is to sound like a broken record, so be an interesting storyteller.
Focus on telling a story by weaving in stories and fun facts between the questions to keep the audience alert and interested in the podcast. You could also ask the guests if they have stories related to the industry that could make the podcast more compelling.
Plan for the interview ahead of time to give it direction. For example, organise the questions in such a way that it matches the guest’s journey. Decide the length of the podcast and the amount of time spent on each question. Such planning will ensure that you have ample time to address each question and the guest doesn’t feel as though you rushed to complete the conversation.
Slightly Deviating from the Topic is OK
Sticking to the plan may put unnecessary pressure on the guest and make you nervous. Be open to deviating from the plan based on the flow of the conversation. If the guest discusses something that you hadn’t factored in the original plan, fall back to your pre-research notes for questions in line with the direction of the conversation.
That said, find a way of getting back on track with the original list of questions to cover the topic or theme of the conversation comprehensively. Don’t worry – the more interviews you hold, the better you will become.
Test Equipment and Avoid Interruptions
Test the equipment to avoid a scenario where you have to pause the record to fix the mix or camera. Avoid any interruptions, such as phone calls during the recording.
Finally, confidence is key when hosting an interview podcast. Researching and having a list of questions for the guest will boost your confidence level. Use it to guide the conversation in the right direction and practice active listening.