Podcast SEO: Optimizing for Search and Discoverability
While some listeners discover new podcasts browsing directories like Spotify and Apple, many initially find shows through search engines like Google. Optimizing your podcast content for SEO best practices enhances visibility during searches for related topics, increasing listenership. This guide explores core podcast SEO strategies involving keywords, metadata, transcripts, backlinks and technical site factors that help new listeners locate and subscribe to your show.
Podcast Keyword Research
Identifying relevant search terms audiences use:
- Examine Competitor Keywords What related shows target to inform your selections.
- Leverage Keyword Planning Tools Keyword planners suggest search volume data.
- Analyze Search Trends
Google Trends reveals rising searches.
- Review Related Forum Questions Common inquiries around your niche.
- Keyword Brainstorming Use free association mapped thoughts to spark ideas.
- Query Auto-Complete Suggestions
Let search engines provide keyword ideas as you type.
Match keywords to themes people explore to lead them to your show.
Title Tag Optimization
Where keywords can make a large impact:
- Place Target Keywords Near the Beginning First 1-3 words for prominence.
- Include Thematic Variations
Like “wine tasting” and “wine education”.
- Avoid Over-Keyword Stuffing
Read naturally but strategically.
- Compelling Hooks
Intriguing questions or promises.
Your show has seconds in search results to grab interest before they click/scroll away. Lead with compelling keywords-driven titles.
Additional areas to incorporate keywords:
- 2-3 lines with about 30 words optimally
- Include keywords naturally early on
- Summarize value propositions
Categories and Tags
- All major podcast platforms allow selecting multiple descriptive tags
- Use relevant niche and format tags like “wine”, “comedy”, “interviews” etc.
- Avoid text to not waste keywords
- Graphically represent keywords visually
Spread keywords beyond just the title tag into supplementary metadata fields.
Podcast Transcription for SEO
Text transcripts boost discovery:
- Episode text content aids indexing
- Include metadata like titles and summaries
- Improve readability with formatting
- Descript – Automated transcription with editing
- Sonix – AI-generated transcripts
- Trint – Transcription services at scale
- Otter.ai – Automatic transcriptions with collaboration
Search engines guide people to audio content through textual proxies. Transcriptions unlock this.
Tactful Keyword Integration
Avoid awkwardly over-optimizing content:
- Natural Dialogue
Conversational content reads best.
- Thematic Synonyms Variations keep usage fresh.
- Adjectives and Compounds “Offline podcast marketing tactics”.
- Body Text Incorporation Not just titles. Spread through paragraphs naturally.
- Apply Chosen Keywords Consistently Reinforce by repeating your targets appropriately across episodes.
- Analyze Competitor Density
Don’t over-stuff compared to other shows.
Keyword integration should feel invisible to listeners while still signaling relevance to search bots.
Optimized Podcast Show Notes
Valuable SEO real estate summaring episodes:
- Include Target Keywords Especially near the top.
- Link to Related Content
Your own site’s pages plus external resources.
- Mark Up Guests With Schema.org
Add type=”Person” markup to names.
- Images/Video Embeds
Multimedia aids indexing.
- Format Readability
Short paragraphs, bullet points, bolded headers.
- Transcribe Full Show Or substantial highlights.
Show notes scaffold search engines in understanding show topics at scale.
Podcast Website Structure
A site designed for discoverability:
- Descriptive Page Titles Communicate page themes concisely.
- Sharable Episode Pages Dedicated pages for every episode.
- Intuitive Information Architecture Clear intuitive site navigation.
- Link Related Content
Cross-reference pages covering similar topics.
- Address User Intent
Optimize pages for visitor needs like contact, about, resources.
- Provide Transcripts Text content indexes better.
Solid on-site SEO amplifies podcast discovery.
Driving Referral Traffic Through Links
Strategically earning credible external links:
- Pitch Related Websites
Suggest contributing relevant articles with links back to your site.
- Request Reviews Positive write-ups drive search visibility.
- Promote On Forums Share expertise on related niche communities.
- Collaborate on Crossover Episodes
Plan shows together citing each other’s podcasts.
- Participate in Interviews Profile yourself and your show on other podcasts.
- Comment On Industry Blogs Links in signatures help SEO.
Quality inbound links signal authority and topical relevance.
Technical SEO Factors
Developer and infrastructure optimization:
- Fast Site Speeds Page load times impact search rankings.
- Mobile Responsive
Ensure accessibility on phones and tablets.
- Clear HTML Semantics Aid web crawlers in understanding content.
- Accessible Code Support screen readers and aids.
- Quality Backlink Profile Trusted sites linking to you.
- Optimized Source Code
- Secure HTTPS Encrypt connections and data.
Excellence across technical SEO multipliers maximizes rankings given the same content quality.
Promoting New Episodes Through SEO
Drive discovery each release:
- Share Transcripts Indexable text-based proxy for audio content.
- Detailed Show Notes Include quotes, timestamps and links.
- Link Within Related Posts In website articles mention associated new episodes.
- Pitch Roundup Inclusion
Get featured in podcast and industry news updates.
- Update Podcast Directories
Promptly list new episodes everywhere.
- Share Episode Guides Curate best quotes, moments and takeaways.
Treat each episode launch as an opportunity to attract new ongoing listeners through search optimization.
Podcast Video for Expanded SEO
SEO benefits of YouTube and other video platforms:
- Wider Search Visibility
Beyond just audio-focused podcast platforms.
- Auto-Generated Transcripts YouTube indexes transcript text.
- Better Rankings YouTube frequently outranks podcasts directly for searches.
- Broader Audience Potential Those not yet sold on podcasts may browse and play video.
- Creator Authority
YouTube verifies official channels.
Upload full episode audio timed to static artwork or promotional video trailers to unlock SEO advantages of leading video sites.
SEO for Podcast Guests
Strategically feature guests to maximize relevance:
- Name Them in Titles
“How to Brew Kombucha with Sarah Williams.”
- Discussion Summary with Guest Keywords Highlight niche areas of expertise.
- Show Notes About Guests
Include bios and links reinforcing authority
- Cross-Link Guest Website
Reference their site/business where relevant.
- Feature Images/Videos With Guests Photos aid indexing.
- Share Guest Content Spotlight guest’s books/projects.
Leveraging guest authority and promoting their materials also benefits your own show’s discovery.
Podcast Directories Beyond Platforms
Use specialized podcast aggregation sites:
- Podcast Addict
- Player FM
While Apple Podcasts and Spotify dominate for most, dedicated podcast apps still drive considerable discovery through charts, categories and search. Claim and optimize free listings on each.
Avoiding Tactics Penalized by Search Engines
Steer clear of practices algorithmically distrusted:
- Keyword Stuffing
Overuse looks unnatural.
- Mismatched Titles Don’t misrepresent actual content.
- Automated Scripts Mass podcast directory listings could trigger spam flags.
- Link Schemes Buying links rather than earning organically.
- Blocking Search Indexing Impedes discovering pages.
- Distracting Site Experiences
Excessive ads or popups could drive away searchers.
Play by established ethical SEO guidelines to maintain sustainable rankings.
With over one million active podcasts vying for listeners, strong SEO can provide the visibility to stand out. Ensure your metadata, transcripts, web content and link profile communicate relevant search themes driving interested listeners to hit subscribe. Coordinate efforts across marketing, content and technical teams to comprehensively optimize the discoverability funnel from initial search impression down the path to becoming a regular engaged listener.
- 1 Podcast SEO: Optimizing for Search and Discoverability
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Podcast Keyword Research
- 1.3 Title Tag Optimization
- 1.4 Metadata Optimization
- 1.5 Podcast Transcription for SEO
- 1.6 Tactful Keyword Integration
- 1.7 Optimized Podcast Show Notes
- 1.8 Podcast Website Structure
- 1.9 Driving Referral Traffic Through Links
- 1.10 Technical SEO Factors
- 1.11 Promoting New Episodes Through SEO
- 1.12 Podcast Video for Expanded SEO
- 1.13 SEO for Podcast Guests
- 1.14 Podcast Directories Beyond Platforms
- 1.15 Avoiding Tactics Penalized by Search Engines
- 1.16 Conclusion