By Aakash Singh.
Even though they have to compete with other well established content delivery platforms such as videos and blogs, podcasts have made a name and place for themselves.
The Google 2019 update also tipped the scales further in podcast’s favor by enabling them to show up in search engines. Indexing of podcasts will help show audio content directly in search engines for users to consume.
Let us look in detail at what exactly podcast SEO is and how to go about this rapidly growing platform.
Why do podcasts need SEO?
Before we go ahead, it is safe to say that your content needs to be top-notch if you ever stand a chance to rank in search engines. No amount of SEO can come to the rescue if your content is not worth it.
Ever since the Google update, podcast SEO simply means you can reach out to audiences who have never heard of you before. In fact, people who are not specifically searching for a podcast can turn up at your podcast if it satisfies the intent with which the user was searching.
Podcasts are widely used to advertise and market products/services nowadays. As more people consume podcasts, it is becoming extremely necessary to understand and take appropriate action to get your podcasts to rank in searches.
I will cover podcast SEO in two major parts: SEO for podcasts and SEO for podcast episodes.
SEO for podcasts
#1. Focus keyword
You need to decide and then focus on the keyword with which users will look up for your podcast on Google. If your niche is super competitive and filled with podcasts already, go for long-form keywords satisfying the search intent of users.
For example, going for “how to brew a coffee at home” rather than “brew coffee” will significantly improve search queries.
#2. Podcast title
This is where you describe what your podcast is about. Your focus keyword needs to be a part of your podcast title. More importantly, your title should clearly tell the user what the podcast is about. This will only help Google to better place your podcast in search results.
If your podcast title is not clearly telling the audience what it is about, try going in for a subtitle. This will have a major impact on the ranking of the podcast as Google will know what it is about and can throw it up on appropriate results.
#3. Podcast description
Podcast metadata is super important from an SEO point of view. Not only Google but podcast platform searches such as Spotify and Apple use this metadata to better understand the context of your podcasts. This helps you rank in searches and therefore it is important to optimize.
Use your focus keyword a minimum of ONCE as keyword stuffing will only attract a negative penalty. Clearly describe what the podcast is for so it is easier for search engines to recommend when a user searches for your focus keyword.
#4. Converting to a blog post
Every time you release an episode of your podcast, release the transcript as a blog post. Also, ensure your blog post links back to the original episode. This is great for SEO. It not only helps to significantly increase the authority of your website which in turn will favor your podcast in the long run, but it also allows your podcasts to be looked up by users searching through different mediums.
If you need help converting the transcript to a blog post, you can quickly try out Wavve which will transcribe your podcast audio to a post on its own. Though Google is transcribing your episodes, it is still a developing system and will be some time till it perfects it. This is the reason why having your transcripts covered by a tool is highly recommended.
SEO for podcast episodes
#1. Episode metrics
Once your target keyword for the episode is finalized, you need to optimize your episode around it. Each episode should have its own unique keyword as individual search results can now show your podcasts in the results.
Your episode keyword should be used in the episode title and description as it is. The title and description should convey clearly what the episode is going to talk about so users know what they are going to get out of it.
Try out Google Keyword Planner to figure out keywords around your topic for the best results.
#2. Saying your keyword
Just as on YouTube, saying your target keyword actually helps to optimize your content. Search engines listen to your content to decide if it is the best fit for a particular search term. Try to optimize your content around your keyword synonyms throughout the episode for the best results.
#3. Episode transcript
Google scans written documents far easier than any other media today. So, it’s worth it to have a transcription of your podcast. Though Google has started automatically to transcribe your podcast, it still is best to submit your own as explained before. This helps the search engine to properly understand the context of your podcast.
Engagement on social media with your content is as important as any other point here. You need to promote your podcasts on all your social media channels to ensure there is maximum exposure and eventual engagement with target viewers. There is a direct correlation between engagement on social media and search engine rankings.
#5. Google Podcasts
Adding your podcast to Google Podcasts will greatly enhance its SEO. It will help Google to show audio snippets from your podcasts and also help you monitor rankings to further optimize your content accordingly.
Podcasts – The arrival of the future
For a long time, podcasts were deemed to be the future of content consumption. Well, the future is truly here now. Not only have podcast listeners grown 37.5% in the last three years, there is a whopping 70% increase in active podcasts in the last two years.
It is safe to assume that the trend is only going to go up and as a marketer, entrepreneur, or business owner, you can not avoid or overlook podcasts anymore.
Thanks to Google, podcasts have started reaching audiences which were never possible before and that is why podcast SEO is a game changer today.
Try out the above-mentioned tips for your podcasts and share the results with us!
By Aakash Singh
Guest author: Aakash Singh is a marketing professional & a content marketing specialist. Having over 5 years of experience working with major organizations, he is passionate about digital marketing, blogging & SEO. Aakash lives in Delhi, India & writes about digital marketing & scaling your online presence on his blog, cupofglory.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.