Convert Your Podcasts Into an SEO Goldmine
With Google’s recent announcement that Podcasts will now be included in SERP rankings, marketers need to begin taking Podcast SEO to heart. The sheer number of listeners and advertisers paints a tale of untapped opportunity.
According to data from Statista, 57% of consumers above the age of 12 in the US have listened to at least one podcast, and 32% of those listeners tune in monthly. In 2021, marketers in the US are expected to spend a whopping $1.33 billion on podcast ads (eMarketer, 2021) that will be heard by more than 150 million Americans. While it’s a new phenomenon, studies have shown that podcast advertising can be tremendously effective because consumers of podcasts represent an audience that’s already paying close attention to the broadcasted content.
There is also the potential for Google and its services to analyze the audio and automatically transcribe it to highlight a podcast in relevant search results. What’s interesting is that Google Podcasts has recently started automatically transcribing the podcasts to use the content as metadata. Thus, people are able to find specific information as part of an episode without even knowing about the podcast before.
If you do create a podcast or market for someone that does, there’s a lot of opportunity to turn that content into a number one page ranking. With that mountain of content already created, you can repurpose in different ways and apply basic digital marketing strategies in order to rank on Google.
1. Claim Your Podcast on Google Podcast Manager. If you want Google to index your podcast, you need to make sure you have verified yourself with Google Podcasts Manager. The verification process does not take long, you simply log in with a Google account, enter your RSS feed URL, preview the feed to ensure artwork and episodes are pulling through properly, and then Google will send a code associated with your RSS feed that you will enter to verify ownership. Pro: When you receive your show link from Google Podcasts, don’t forget to add it to your podcast player links so listeners can access it!
2. Build a website for your podcast. While podcasts occupy a strange place on the internet – existing in streaming apps like Spotify or Apple Music – it’s much better to host the audio content from a custom website. At the very least, you want to create a new category on your blog for podcast episodes but you may also consider creating a new subdomain, such as podcastname.yoursite.com, if you want to create a branded homepage for your podcast content. You want to publish each episode on your website because these episode pages are the most important asset in your podcast SEO strategy. Instead of targeting head terms, you can rank individual episodes for longtail keywords. You need to optimize these pages like any other and you also want to include text descriptions, transcripts and/or accompanying blog posts on each episode page. This way, you’re producing unique content search engines can crawl (and index), as well as a text summary or alternative for audiences who aren’t willing to listen to a full podcast.
3. Repurpose your podcast content into blogs, white pages, transcripts or ebooks. You can get far more SEO leverage out of every episode. Repurposed content creates more internal links and creates multimedia coverage around every topic for different user situations and preferences. On top of repurposed blogs and white papers, you can create infographics or video clips.
Another worthwhile investment is to divide your podcast into distinct chapters where users have the ability to listen to portions of an episode and this also ensures that the information can be easily digestible. Additionally, having a table of contents is a great way to incorporate keywords onto the page.
Video is a popular strategy already in use on Youtube – which brings us to another point – pull out your video camera while recording a podcast in order to publish the content on Youtube. The difference between streaming and podcasting is not huge. If you have some knowledge of graphic design and video editing, this is another major avenue to output your content. Even if you don’t want to publish video, you will still have it in your back pocket if you decide to do so one day.
4. Think of SEO when structuring your podcast, but don’t sacrifice quality. Again, just like a blog, a podcast follows a fairly generic structure in order that listeners can easily follow along. With a proper structure and the right questions, not only will it be easier for your listeners to follow, Google will also find it easier to listen and interpret your content.
Remember that most listeners tune into podcasts to learn while being entertained, and just like a good SEO optimized blog post, there must be a careful balance between entertainment and SEO optimization. You don’t want to sound as if you’re reading from an optimized script, but you want to pepper in the necessary keywords in order to rank higher. A podcast’s description can explain what the episode is about. It should provide further information right after the title. The description is also helpful for search optimization to allow search engines to understand the topic of your episode. You can also add your main keyword to ensure that you are consistent with it.
5. Add keywords to your podcast, and optimize like a blog post. Just like a blog post or any other form of written content, you are going to need a knowledge of the trending keywords and topics to build your installments around. Use a keyword research tool to identify opportunities for your podcast and episodes. If you’re unsure where to begin keyword research, please reach out to us at PlayMakersX.
The name of your podcast is your number one keyword. Think of your theme, episode structure and find the best keyword to describe your show. You should also be using keywords in your episode titles. Try not to use the same keywords for episodes, as you will end up competing with yourself and confusing Google. When doing research, look for keywords that have a decent volume of monthly searches and where competition is low. Tools like Google Trends can estimate how many people search for a particular keyword on a monthly basis. Last but not least, doing keyword research also functions as a great way to generate topics for future podcast episodes.
Even when it comes to the new world of podcast SEO, the golden rule of content marketing still applies – content is king. If you don’t have compelling content, you won’t have listeners. If you don’t have listeners, you will not rank and you certainly won’t have any advertisers on your show. Audio and content quality should always be your first concern, so try to find the most creative titles on the most unique and trending topics.
To recap, SEO is a powerful set of tools that you can use to build authority, increase discoverability, and make your content more accessible. Success with SEO doesn’t happen overnight, but if you implement any or all of the tips and best practices listed here, you’re off to a much better start.