A common question that gets brought up time and time again is, “How can I grow my audience?” or “How can I make my podcast attract more people?”. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll be showing you some helpful tips to creating your own successful podcast SEO strategy.
What is Podcast SEO?
The term SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”. Essentially, SEO is the process of making sure when people search for your podcast or topics in relation to your podcast, you will appear near the top of the search results, boosting your chances of being seen.
Optimise Your RSS Feed
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <rss xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd" version="2.0"> <channel> <title>Title of Podcast</title> <link>http://www.example.com/<link> <language>en-us</language> <itunes:subtitle>Subtitle of podcast</itunes:subtitle> <itunes:author>Author Name</itunes:author> <itunes:summary>Description of podcast.</itunes:summary> <description>Description of podcast.</description> <itunes:owner> <itunes:name>Owner Name</itunes:name> <itunes:email>[email protected]</itunes:email> </itunes:owner> <itunes:explicit>no</itunes:explicit> <itunes:image href="http://www.example.com/podcast-icon.jpg" /> <itunes:category text="Category Name"/></itunes:category> <!--REPEAT THIS BLOCK FOR EACH EPISODE--> <item> <title>Title of Podcast Episode</title> <itunes:summary>Description of podcast episode content</itunes:summary> <description>Description of podcast episode content</description> <link>http://example.com/podcast-1</link> <enclosure url="http://example.com/podcast-1/podcast.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" length="1024"></enclosure> <pubDate>Thu, 21 Dec 2016 16:01:07 +0000</pubDate> <itunes:author>Author Name</itunes:author> <itunes:duration>00:32:16</itunes:duration> <itunes:explicit>no</itunes:explicit> <guid>http://example.com/podcast-1</guid> </item> <!--END REPEAT--> </channel> </rss>
Your RSS feed is what manages your podcasts on directories like iTunes or Stitcher, for example. It’s a big page of code, like this template above taken from JackBarber.co.uk, that determines what information gets displayed and how. When someone subscribes to your podcast, it’s your RSS feed that they are subscribing to. The best way to optimise your RSS feed is to make sure that whenever you update your shows title, description or any other information, you change it in your RSS feed too.
Optimise Your Titles
Titles are super important. In order to rank on most directories, you will need a precise title with important keywords thrown in. The important things here are to keep your title precise and relevant to your podcast, and to use keywords but without overloading your title with them.
If you stuff your title full of keywords, it might end up sounding pretty nondescript. Not many people will remember it. Pop your main keyword in your title, and then a couple more in your subtitle, and that should be enough.
Optimise for Other Platforms
Podcasting platforms and directories aren’t the only platforms you should be aiming for. Why not target the huge audience of YouTube as well? Even though your podcast is audio based, you can easily adapt it for YouTube, opening up your podcast to the whole YouTube community of over a billion users. You can either record a video of your podcast as well as audio, or create slides with your branding on or relevant images and play those over your podcast instead.
It’s also an idea to provide your own accurate transcription as subtitles to override YouTube’s often completely wrong auto-translation subtitles. This way, people can read your episode as it goes along, it’s good for YouTube SEO purposes, and non-native speakers of your language will be still able to follow along.
Recycling is Cool
Don’t be afraid to reuse or rehash old content! If you have a really successful episode, why not take that episode and revisit it? See if you can create something new out of your most successful episodes.
For example, true crime podcast, Sword and Scale, have done episodes where they revisit old cases and do updates, or bring a new spin on the case. There’s also Welcome to Night Vale, who have actually republished old favourite episodes occasionally, usually when they are on hiatus doing a tour.
There is nothing wrong with reposting old content or reusing themes from older episodes. This can actually be an effective way to promote your podcast, as by republishing your best content, you’re giving newer listeners the chance to listen to your best content, and your older listeners can relisten to your best content again.
Podcasts on Podcast SEO
Believe it or not, some people actually make shows on podcast SEO tactics for podcasters! There really is a podcast for everything. We’ve listed a few that we thought were pretty useful below. Go check them out and learn more about SEO:
A podcast from Search Engine Journal, focused on SEO tactics and and getting interviews and insights from SEO experts. They’ve had guests from pretty well-known companies such as Gary Illyes from Google, and Christi Olson from Bing.
No matter what your expertise level is, SEO 101 is a good fit for you. Hosted by entrepreneur, Ross Dunn, and John Carcutt, they will give you the latest news, insights and updates to do with SEO. They make sure everything is simplified with little to no jargon so it’s easy to understand what they are talking about.
A weekly podcast hosted by Bruce Clay, as well as, Virginia Nussey, Mindy Weinstein, Kristi Kellogg and Robert Ramirez. They all get together to analyse the latest in SEO news and to give great marketing techniques to the listeners, all in an interesting panel-like setup.