If you want your podcasts to rank higher in search results, you need to pay attention to SEO for podcasts. While the goal of every creator is to put high-quality content out there, that won’t be beneficial if no one can find it.
Google now includes podcasts in search results. Optimizing your content for SEO offers an excellent opportunity to rank your content on search engine result pages (SERPs). Read along to learn the best methods to optimize your podcasts for SEO.
Why is SEO for Podcasts Important?
To better understand SEO for podcasts, let’s first look at how Google displays podcasts and the role SEO plays in this process.
Currently, Google can index and rank your podcast content in search results. Once search engines index your content, it becomes much easier for searchers to find and listen to it.
But for your podcasts to appear in SERPs, Google must index your spoken words in your audio content alongside the associated written and visual content. This includes content in the titles, headings, meta description, body, image content, etc.
Here are the steps to ensure your podcast appears in search results:
- Set up Google Podcasts Manager: The Google podcast application allows podcasters to identify top search terms, discover the minutes played, and subscribe count.
- Include keywords in your episode’s title, URL, title tag, and transcript.
- Focus on the relevant keywords when creating your episodes. Include the keywords in the titles and descriptions.
SEO for Podcasts—How to Find the Right Keywords
Keywords are the backbone of SEO. When optimizing your podcasts for SEO, you’re trying to improve your content’s visibility for relevant searches. Relevancy here means keywords users use when searching for podcasts like yours.
You cannot ignore SEO, with statistics showing that searchers rarely go past the first page of Google when looking for something online. To increase your podcast visibility in search engines, you must ensure it is well-optimized for relevant queries.
Keywords form a vital part of this process. Ideally, keywords in your content allow it to appear in SERPs when people perform relevant searches. When your podcasts appear on top of search results, they drive organic traffic to your site and help build credibility.
To achieve top rankings on Google, you must understand the terms people use and the type of content they want. This is what makes keyword research a crucial part of podcast SEO.
One of the tools you can use for keyword research is Google Keyword Planner. Other paid tools like SEMrush can also help you find relevant and low-competition keywords you can create your podcast around.
How to Optimize Your Podcasts for SEO
Here are tips to optimize your podcasts for SEO to achieve organic growth:
Create Your Episodes Around the Right Keywords
As mentioned above, keyword research is vital in podcast SEO optimization. Once you find the right keyword, focus on creating content around those keywords. The keywords will inform users and search engines what your content is all about.
For better results, pick a relevant keyword for each episode and let that guide you when building your content. But don’t just focus on any keywords—use keywords that match your users’ intent. Include the keywords in the episode title and mention them organically within your body content.
Include Written Text in Each of Your Episodes
After creating your audio content, it’s best to include written content to help search engines discover its content and show it in relevant searches.
Search engines like Google and Bing can scan through the written text in your episodes to get more information that will help them rank them in search results.
In fact, you can create a separate text page for each episode to describe the context of your content to enhance your audio version. Doing this provides a great keyword opportunity and increases the chances of your episode appearing in related searches. This will help attract more listeners and provide organic growth opportunities for your podcast.
Here are ways you can use to add text to your episodes:
- Podcasts show notes: These refer to short bullet point summaries that describe your episodes. They allow the audience to understand the content of your episodes, including the images, videos, and links within the episode.
- Podcast audio transcriptions: This is simply the written version of your audio episodes. In other words, after creating your audio content, create a written version to help Google and other search engines better understand your content (we’ll look at this in detail in the next point).
Create a Dedicated Blog for Each Episode
Google loves written content, and having a written version of your episode content is critical to its growth. In addition to this, having a blog for each of your episodes come with these benefits:
- Provides additional opportunities for searchers to find your podcast
- It helps convey complex ideas into easy-to-understand formats that people can reference
In addition to show notes, create blog posts to increase keyword opportunities for each of your episodes. When creating your blog posts, ensure users can quickly scan through them and provide a better user experience. Here are tips to help in this process:
- Use numbers and bullet points
- Include infographics
- Add quotes
- Include images and videos
- Add FAQ sections
Insert keywords Naturally
Another crucial step to focus on when optimizing your podcasts for SEO is keyword placement. There are two primary things that you should focus on when putting keywords in your episodes: the right places to insert them and the number of times of how often to insert them.
Search engines give priority to specific parts of your website or page and will prioritize these sections when scanning your content. These sections include:
- Podcast episode title
- Post Title
- URL of the podcast episode
- Image file names and ALT attributes
Focus on these sections when inserting keywords in each of your episodes. However, insert the keywords naturally because forcing them in your episodes will sound unnatural and act against your SEO.
Google hates keyword stuffing and considers it a negative ranking factor. Engaging in this bad practice will only lead to lower rankings in SERPs.
Work on Your Website Speed
If your website is slow, users will leave and head to another. Google values user experience and prioritizes sites that provide a good user experience over those with a negative experience.
Even if you create and upload valuable content, it won’t benefit you much if you have a slow website. Users won’t wait for a slow website to load to access your content.
Steps you can take to increase your website speed include:
- Choose a high-quality web host
- Compress your images
- Avoid unnecessary plugins
- Enable cache browsing
- Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service
- Reduce redirects
Taking these steps will help improve your website speed and boost user experience. This will, in turn, increase the chances of Google ranking your episode higher in SERPs.
Focus on Podcast Voice
Without a clear and strong voice, Google won’t understand the words or content of your episodes. As such, you must consider this when choosing your podcast host.
Google uses its Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool to interpret your voice episodes. Using a clear voice in your podcasts helps boost your podcast SEO and makes it easier for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transcribe it. This will help drive more traffic to your episodes and grow your podcast organically.
Create Useful and Concise Content
Content quality is vital for SEO, and podcasts are not exceptional. So when recording your podcasts, focus on providing value to your listeners. Once you select a topic for your episode, research as much relevant information as possible to ensure you only upload valuable content to users.
Apart from relevancy, ensure that your content is clear and concise. If people struggle to understand your podcasts, they will leave and look for that information elsewhere.
Lastly, include detailed descriptions of your episodes that show listeners what your podcast is about before they can click on it.
SEO is a game of consistency. Instead of posting too much content within a short time frame, aim to upload new podcast episodes consistently. For example, instead of publishing four episodes in a single day and then waiting for a month to post others, publish one episode on a single day in a week, for instance, every Monday.
The best approach is to have a schedule and stick to it. This won’t just help stay consistent but will give enough time to prepare for more episodes that deliver value to listeners.
Build High-Quality Backlinks for Your Podcasts
Like blog posts, you can improve your podcast SEO by building quality backlinks. Backlinks add credibility to your episode content and add authority to your website.
But don’t just get backlinks from any website out there. To benefit from backlinks, get backlinks from high-authority websites in your niche. Ways you can use to get quality backlinks include:
- Create guest posts of your podcast content
- Share your content with your network
- Pitch to reporters and related publications
- Blogger outreach
- Create high-value podcast content
- Share your podcast links on Substack or another newsletter platform
Getting quality backlinks can be challenging. The process is time-consuming and requires SEO and significant outreach. If you want to automate your outreach process, read this article on how Alchemy improved outreach with automation.
Make Shorter Episodes
Shorter is always better when it comes to podcasts. Unless necessary, longer episodes can make it challenging to hold listeners’ attention, leading to little-to-no views.
When focusing on podcast SEO, keep your episodes the shortest—10 to 15 minutes will do.
Ideally, keep your podcast episodes short and informative. Users will likely listen to your podcast if it’s shorter than when it is longer. This is especially true if users want a quick answer to a question.
If you make longer episodes, we suggest you cluster them. This involves creating a pillar episode and then breaking it down into smaller episodes, the same with blog posts. In the end, you will have interconnected content searchers can easily find.
In addition to creating shorter and informative episodes, providing timestamps will make it easier for people with specific questions to find answers in your content. As with website speed, if people spend a lot of time before they find the content they want in your episode, they will close your episode and go elsewhere.
Proving timestamps is an excellent way to enable people to skip to what they want. To do this, categorize your episode content into different questions and topics and include a table of content with timestamps for each segment for easy navigation.
Optimize for YouTube and Spotify
YouTube and Spotify are among the popular ways that people listen to podcasts. Uploading your content on these platforms can help get more listeners for your podcast.
To optimize your podcast for YouTube SEO, add a descriptive title and use keywords that will enable people to find your podcast in your description.
When optimizing your Spotify podcast, focus on the podcast show page that helps listeners understand your content. Crucial podcast show page elements to focus on include the title, description, follow button, and episode list.
When optimizing your podcast on Spotify, focus on including keywords in the descriptions to make it easier for listeners to find the podcast. Additionally, consider creating Spotify podcast trailers and breaking your episodes into seasons.
Share Your Podcast Content
Lastly, share content on social media platforms to boost visibility and get more listeners. Ways you can use to promote your content on social media platforms include:
- Writing a LinkedIn post
- Instagram Reel
- Facebook Video
When choosing the best social platform to promote your podcast, focus on the value you will get. Also, when you share your podcast on social media, ensure that your content is displayed correctly regardless of where you share your content.
Use social media to interact with your followers, share your episodes, and connect with other industry experts. This will give you more exposure and shares. Word of mouth is still a thing in marketing today, and promoting your podcast on social media will help get shares. The more social shares you get, the more listeners you will get.
SEO for Podcasts—Final Thoughts
If you want your podcast to reach many listeners, you need to give SEO for podcasts enough focus. But even as you focus on SEO, don’t ignore the most crucial element of podcasts—the quality of the content you publish.
Conduct proper keyword research and insert the keywords naturally within your episodes in the right places. Keyword stuffing is a negative SEO technique that won’t provide results. Don’t focus so much on SEO that you forget the quality of content and user experience.
High-quality podcast content and best SEO practices are crucial to growing your channel and reaching more listeners. Do you want to reach a wider audience but don’t know how? AlchemyLeads can help. As a top SEO agency, we can help perform proper keyword research to ensure you cover topics listeners want to listen to and optimize your content to appear on top of SERPs.