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How to Get More Podcast Listeners with SEO: Part 1

One of the most exciting methods to get more podcast listeners is through search engine optimisation. Yes, I said exciting. Bear with me.

SEO is the process of taking your podcast – that beautiful piece of content that you’ve worked incredibly hard on – and making it findable by the people who could use it. Getting more podcast listeners isn’t actually that hard. And once you’ve found a topic, written the script, recorded the show, edited it, created graphics, written show notes and finally published it, it makes sense to do those extra steps to help other people to actually find it. And when they do find it.. well, that makes it exciting.

How to Get More Podcast Listeners with SEO: Part 1

The reason that this blog – How to Get More Podcast Listeners with SEO – is part one, is because there are two parts to podcast SEO. The first is optimising your podcast on your hosting site. The second is optimising it on your own website.

This article will focus on part one. But if you’d like to read part two, jump to How to Get More Podcast Listeners with SEO: Part 2.

Optimising Your Podcast on Your Hosting Site

Your hosting site – whether that’s Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or even all three – each have their own search engine. And 52.6% of listeners find new podcasts to listen to by directly searching a podcast’s directory. That’s why SEO is so important. You want to be found by this huge group of potential listeners.

In this shot from Apple Podcasts, you can see the search box in the upper left-hand side.

When you type a query into this box, the results that are pulled up are from Apple’s own database of podcasts by Apple’s own algorithm (completely separate from Google). In order to be the podcast that is pulled up first, you need your podcast to be optimised for that keyword –the one that you’ve typed into the search box. And as podcasts become more popular, competition increases. As competition increases, it becomes more and more difficult for your podcast to stand out from the crowd. But optimising your podcast helps you do just that.

For example, if you search for finance, you’ll get the following results (on mobile):

As you can see, there are only really four immediately available results, but you do get quite a few more when you scroll right (and more are visible from a desktop search). However, it pays to be in one of the top spots for a keyword. It’s social proof that your show will offer the listener the type of experience they’re looking for. And most listeners just don’t want to scroll too far. They’re far more likely just to pick one of the top choices offered.

So, how do you get started?

Steps for Podcast SEO:

Step 1: Choose a targeted keyword

If the phrase keyword research is enough to send shivers up your spine, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Start by brainstorming 10 to 20 keywords that relate to your show generally, and to specific episodes that you’re going to be producing. So, if you’re an accountant with a finance podcast for small businesses, you might choose:

  1. finance
  2. bookkeeping
  3. bookkeeping for small businesses
  4. budgeting for small businesses
  5. GST for small business
  6. how to use Xero
  7. benefits of outsourcing
  8. payroll
  9. small business cashflow
  10. small business finances

Now, not all of these keywords will be applicable to your show or episode, but just get started. From here, you can use a tool such as Keywords Everywhere, a Chrome and Firefox plugin that lets you analyse the metrics of the keywords that you’ve chosen. (Follow these instructions on installation and use.)

You’ll want to ensure that these keywords have volume – that means that people are actually using them to run searches. If not, brainstorm another keyword or phrase until you have one that makes sense and has volume.

Once you’ve taken a look at your keywords to make sure that they’re actually being used by searchers, you can start to implement them into your content.

Step 2: Optimise your podcast and episode title for search

Your next step is to optimise your podcast and episode title. It used to be that it wouldn’t matter if you included your keyword in your actual episode verbally. But algorithms are much more sensitive now. No one is sure whether the hosting site’s algorithm is sensitive enough to ‘hear’ the keyword, but Google’s certainly is. So, include it in your spoken content.

You should of course also include your keyword in your episode title.

Step 3: Optimise your descriptions for search

This simply means including your keyword or keyphrase, and relevant synonyms, in your descriptions. Two times is enough, as descriptions are not meant to be overly long.

Step 4: Share your show

You should always be sharing your show across your social media platforms, as well as requesting that your guests, sponsors or other affiliates are doing so as well. Refer them back to your hosting site with a direct link to your podcast – or to your website. Referring them to your website is better for your website SEO, so it’s always worth considering whether this is the right approach.

Step 5: Optimise your show for Google!

Once you’ve optimised your show on your podcast hosting site, you should then optimise it for your own website. This includes writing SEO-friendly show notes (that incorporate your keywords), completing front end and back end optimisation and submitting it to Google Podcasts. All of this (and more!) is covered in How to Get More Podcast Listeners with SEO: Part 2!

High-Quality Content!

Optimising your podcast is not hard. And it could drastically impact on how many listeners you can obtain. Of course, if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig (as they say!), so optimisation won’t fix poor content or execution. As a first step always ensure that your podcast is hitting all the right buttons – providing value to the listener, first and foremost – whether that’s pure entertainment value, valuable business advice or even parenting hacks. Then get an expert editor on board to help you publish a high-quality, shareable product that will enhance what you’ve created, not detract from it.

If you’d like help with your podcast – from scripts to show notes to SEO – get in touch. We know how to get more podcast listeners with SEO and much more!


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