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Podcast SEO: Optimizing for Search and Discoverability

Introduction

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.

Metadata Optimization

Additional areas to incorporate keywords:

Descriptions

  • 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.

Cover Art

  • 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:

Benefits

  • Episode text content aids indexing
  • Include metadata like titles and summaries
  • Improve readability with formatting

Tools

  • 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
    Semantic HTML, efficient CSS and JavaScript.
  • 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:

  • ListenNotes
  • Podchaser
  • Podbay
  • Podcast Addict
  • TuneIn
  • Stitcher
  • iCatcher
  • Himalaya
  • Castbox
  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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