Podcast SEO: Top tips for discovery and growth

Wondering how SEO can help your podcast get discovered? Here are key tips for optimizing episode titles, transcripts, show notes and more.

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Podcasting presents a unique opportunity to leverage SEO and drive engaged listeners to your website.

As podcasts continue to gain popularity, key SEO strategies can help your show stand out in a crowded landscape. 

This article will give podcasters actionable tactics to improve their SEO and grow their audience. We’ll cover crucial areas including:

  • Keyword research.
  • Optimizing titles and descriptions.
  • Using transcripts.
  • Optimizing show notes.
  • Getting listed in directories.
  • Encouraging engagement and reviews.
  • Guesting on other shows.

Leverage SEO to promote your podcast

Podcasts are increasingly popular and convenient for busy lifestyles, suitable for commuting or exercising.

Businesses can tap into this powerful marketing channel alongside well-known journalists and celebrities.

  • “Advertising spend in podcasting is predicted to more than double over the next year, with big brands looking to invest it’s the perfect time to start a podcast for your business. Competition will never be this low again,” said Fiona Fraser, Director of Pow PR and podcast expert.
  • “People have said that podcasting had peaked, but we are predicting huge growth, and with listeners now in the mainstream, there has never been a better time to start a podcast and begin connecting with your customers,” Fraser added.

Amid a sea of content, standing out can be tough. SEO is key to ensuring your podcast reaches its audience.

Plus, having a podcast boosts your SEO by driving listeners to your website, enhancing your online presence, and creating PR opportunities, resulting in valuable backlinks.

Understanding SEO in the podcasting world

Podcast SEO begins by making your content easily discoverable by search engines and potential listeners. It uses a mix of traditional SEO strategies adapted for audio content. The goal is to reach new audiences who may not know you and strengthen connections with existing listeners.

Keyword research

Research is crucial for a successful podcast, just like any other project. Clearly define your podcast’s theme to ensure it resonates with your intended audience.

Use traditional SEO keyword research tools to identify terms your audience searches for and tailor your content to meet their needs and interests.

Explore podcast categories where you plan to list your podcast for valuable insights. Understand the popular and successful content in those categories to inform your strategy. 

Engage with your existing audience to learn their preferences and interests. Ask them about topics they’d like to hear more about to create appealing and relevant content.

Dig deeper: Keyword research for SEO: 6 questions you must ask yourself

Choosing your podcast name

For your podcast name, using keywords is key for better discoverability. Striking a balance is crucial – make it catchy and engaging, like a compelling book title. Convey your podcast’s essence with a conversational tone, setting it apart from a more straightforward webpage title.

Reviewing successful podcasts can provide inspiration and insight into how they achieve clarity and appeal in their titles without resorting to dull or keyword-stuffed names. The goal is to create a name that piques interest, hints at the content, and remains memorable and search-friendly.

Picking topics

Choose podcast topics carefully to capture and keep your audience interested. Balance your passion with what resonates with your listeners. Start by identifying the core theme of your podcast and then branch out to find relevant and engaging subtopics.

Audience feedback is an invaluable resource in this process. Engage with your listeners through social media polls, email surveys, or direct interaction to understand their interests and preferences.

This makes your content more appealing and fosters a sense of community and involvement among your audience.

Always keep your audience front of mind when making any content decisions, as highlighted by business strategist Natalie Potts: 

  • “I’d say 90% of my audience have heard me on my podcast. It’s rare I do a sales call and they haven’t mentioned it. It definitely helps speed up the sales process. It builds a relationship where they feel like they know you.”

Every episode should offer value – whether it’s educational, entertaining, or simply thought-provoking. Your goal is to leave your listeners feeling informed, inspired, or entertained, eagerly awaiting your next episode and curious to learn more about you.

Optimizing episode titles and descriptions

Crafting descriptive and captivating episode titles is key to elevating your podcast’s appeal. This is the perfect platform to integrate relevant keywords effectively. 

Opt for slightly longer, informative titles that give your audience a clear, enticing preview of the episode’s content. Such titles serve a dual purpose: they pique the interest of potential listeners and are SEO-friendly, enhancing discoverability.

When featuring guests, always include their names in the episode title. This acknowledges their contribution and capitalizes on their name recognition, potentially attracting their followers to your podcast.

Episode descriptions are your opportunity to provide a compelling synopsis of the episode. Detailed and engaging descriptions are crucial; this isn’t the time to be brief. 

Elaborate on the topics covered, the perspectives shared, and any key takeaways for the listener. A well-crafted description can intrigue and persuade potential listeners to press play. 

It’s also an ideal place to weave in additional keywords naturally, further optimizing your podcast for search engines.

Remember, your episode titles and descriptions are more than just functional elements; they are powerful tools to captivate and grow your audience. Use them to tell a story, evoke curiosity, and showcase each episode’s unique value.

Finding and inviting guests

Featuring well-known or interesting guests can attract new listeners to your podcast. People often search for content related to their interests or people they want to listen to.

Including guest bios and relevant links in show notes enhances visibility and entices future guests. 

Remember, guest selection should align with your podcast’s subject matter. It’s not just about getting the big names on. For example, if your podcast is all about SEO, you wouldn’t have a health and fitness expert on, no matter how famous they were.

Having the right guests on your podcast is good for you and them. It’s a reciprocal relationship where you are bringing them to your audience with a view that they will bring in some of their audience to your podcast, too.

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Using transcripts

Transcripts can be created easily using AI tools. I would always recommend you add them to your website. You can add an embedded version of the podcast audio, or at least a link to the episode.

Transcripts make your podcast accessible to those with hearing impairments, which is vitally important and can open up your content to people who prefer to read instead of listen to it.

It also offers searchable text for search engines, increasing the visibility of your podcast, the subject matter and your website. 

You can use this transcript to create related blog posts, social media content and email marketing content. One podcast episode can help you create a whole library of content quickly and easily.

Optimizing show notes

Show notes are the detailed notes you see underneath each podcast episode.

They usually highlight specific parts of the podcast episode that you might want to listen to alongside links to any resources discussed. These can also provide valuable backlinks.

Getting listed in directories

There are well-respected directories for podcasts, the likes of Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, which all aid distribution and visibility efforts. This enables you to put your business in front of different audiences.

Encouraging engagement and reviews

Encourage your listeners to leave reviews, subscribe and follow each episode you record. This all helps your podcast gain those all-important trust elements. 

Share each episode across your social media channels and encourage any guests to do the same. Make it easy for them by providing a set of images and clips of audio and video that they can share with their audience. 

The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will share.

Be a podcast guest

If you aren’t ready to launch your podcast, being a guest can also help you gain visibility, backlinks and PR coverage. 

Be strategic about the podcasts you want to appear on and pitch to the host. Explain why you would be a good guest, what you would like to discuss and why this would be of value to their audience.

Dig deeper: How to use digital PR to drive backlinks and business growth

SEO for podcasting success

Podcast SEO success comes from blending traditional and modern techniques.

Using these approaches effectively, podcasters can expand their reach and grow their audience, directly impacting their websites and podcasts.

Katie Godfrey’s experience illustrates this point well. As a beauty business mentor, she notes:

  • “I have had my podcast for 4 years. A lot of my following comes from the podcast now, but it also helps clients get to know me and see how I work before they invest.”

This approach builds a following and directs listeners to her website, enhancing traffic and engagement – both critical components of successful SEO.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Claire Taylor
Claire Taylor co-founded her Digital Marketing Agency, TU Marketing, in 2007. What sets Claire apart is her holistic and flexible approach and she has helped countless clients achieve online growth and success in what is often a crowded and competitive space. Claire loves business but also love to spend time travelling and challenging herself physically and mentally. From running ultra-marathons, racing against horses in Wales, through to trekking across Peru. You’ll often find her out in the countryside running or hiking with her dog Darcy and day dreaming about her next adventure.

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