A podcast is a potential marketing and distribution channel and a whole new business model for media companies. A podcast can be promoted via SEO (by enabling Google to index and rank the podcast), social media, RSS feed, using tags and proper categories, and leveraging on guests’ audience.
Podcasts and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is a digital marketing technique that involves the effective arrangement of content and keywords on a website, as well as the optimal structuring of a website to improve rankings in search engines, as internet users are unlikely to go to the second page after a search, making it imperative for a website to rank as high as possible, even high enough on the first page.
People make trillions of searches yearly, often with the intent to find information about products and services they want to purchase. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic because it predicts the searcher’s intent, and almost all other marketing channels are in a way or the other dependent on search engines.
Higher ranking in search results than your competitors will increase your discoverability and will definitely have a direct impact on the traffic you generate. SEO is built to do just that. Optimizing your website means that you want to create the best possible ranking for it when your major keyword is searched. Google and other search engines’ goal is to rank search results in a hierarchy of results that solves all of the searcher’s problems so well that they don’t need to do another search for further answers.
Keyword research is the backbone of SEO; it is imperative to ensure that your target keywords are quite easy to rank, have a reasonable search volume, and likely to have a high conversion rate (that is, you don’t just want them to see it, you want them to click and come on your website).
In choosing keywords, however, buyer intent is an important factor. An internet user who searches for “best android phones in 2020” is probably most likely in a debate within themselves or with others and do not know what they want to buy yet, unlike a user that searches for “Samsung Z flip versus Samsung S20 Ultra”, such internet user already has an idea of what he wants and is past the debate stage. Showing an intention to buy such an item, therefore keywords should be tailored around buyer intent so that clicks become money
Podcasting is a great tool to complement the digital marketing of a business as it has a lot of SEO benefits. Optimizing your website using your Podcast begins with your podcast title; it is your first keyword. Although you won’t appear as the top rank of a Google search just because your keyword is embedded in your title, it’s a lot more than that. You need to consider your content, what you intend to offer, and the best word to describe it as though you want to search for it, however, in a subtle manner.
If your business involves sales of clothing online, you don’t want to develop a Podcast title such as “The best Chinese clothing brands of 2020”, rather a more subtle title like “Fashion trends in china” will be more appropriate. Your podcast description can contain more keywords, say “This podcast discusses the latest trends of clothing brands in China, especially on products made by the Shanghai Tang, Bosideng, Gujin, Xander Zhou, and how many people worldwide have adopted these dressing methods.”
This has subtly incorporated keywords such as “fashion” into the title, as well as “clothing brands,” “dressing” into the podcast description, and even and listed several top brands. These are likely things that will be included in internet user searches, and you have managed to properly input them in your title and description without stuffing them.
Keyword stuffing is when you try to play smart and shove up your keyword in your title and description as many times as possible. For example, a podcast title that says “all about fashion: the pod about fashion, for fashionable people.” It’s become too obvious, and Google, as well as apple podcasts, can notice this and remove your show. I’m sure you don’t want that, do you?
It is also important to note that your keyword should have a high search volume and low competition; Amazon keyword tool, keyword tool pro, Ubersuggest, and many other SEO tools can suggest keywords for you.
There are many other places in your Podcast that you can input keywords for SEO, apart from your title and your podcast description. I recommend that the description of each new episode contains a keyword, each one different from the last so that one doesn’t eat up others.
In all, the important thing you want to do is get people interested enough, so they want to listen. Make the titles and descriptions appealing, keeping in mind that creativity and understanding matter the most.
Shortly after, Google‘s algorithm improved to listen to the Podcast and even pick up keywords in audio. Good news, but it is important to note that you are creating a show for consumer satisfaction; people definitely do not want to listen to a show where you drop your keyword every second. Always go natural, allow your flow, and definitely mention things that Google will pick up.
Google‘s technology is so improved that it can automatically make transcripts of a podcast to use the content as metadata, thus helping people find more specific information not just about the Podcast but about individual episodes when they search. Although it is important to know that Google‘s transcription isn’t perfect yet, so you may decide to transcribe by yourself, ensuring that the transcript for each episode is on your blog or website.
A transcription of your episode can help search engine bots and crawl spiders understand your Podcast better, hence improving the episode’s discoverability by proper indexing of keywords and the general content of the Podcast. Podcast transcription is quite a tedious process, and you may need extra hands for that or just allow Google to do it for you.
However, it’s worth the stress if you really want to build an audience for your Podcast, as your transcript for each episode will have keywords from your audio that will direct people right back to your website. This is the time for anyone interested in Search Engine Optimization to understand that with Google’s support, podcasts importance in authority building cannot be overemphasized; they are as important as other content sources and will only improve from there.
Optimizing Your Podcast for Google
Unlike other platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, and the likes, you can simply submit your Podcast by submitting your Unique RSS feed on their platforms, you cannot do the same for Google.
Google prefers to locate things itself due to the level of sophistication of its algorithm. As we know, it likes to find things itself, so it crawls the web with its bots and spiders, looking for your show rather than you submitting it. So you have to make yourself discoverable for Google by tying all loose ends in the backend of your podcast host so that Google can find your Podcast. There are a few important things to note when optimizing your Podcast for Google. They include:
Quality should be a priority for your Podcast, every other thing you’ll do have their success hinged on the quality you offer, In audio, and in content. If these aren’t in place, your SEO will be an absolute waste of time. As previously highlighted, find a creative topic, something new to people, or present topics in unique ways people haven’t heard of or previously thought of. Also, pay attention to your audio quality, and make sure that it is standard enough even without the best facilities. These things will naturally give your Podcast a high authority, helping it rank better on Google, even without the influence of SEO. Good content is important for SEO to work.
Use Social Media
Social media engagement is a factor considered by Google in ranking your content. This makes it important to backlink your Podcast to your website and also link your website to your social media. Sharing your episodes on social media will generate more traffic, more likes, comments, retweets, and shares your content has. With time and the increased popularity of your Podcast, your website will attract more citations and backlinks. Hence improving your domain authority and making it easier for your site to rank. Authority is vital for Google SEO because it portrays your website as one that knows its onions. In fewer words, the higher your authority, the better your ranking on Google.
Optimize your RSS feed
Your RSS feed contains all the information about your Podcast, from your title to your description, your graphic files, audio files, and every other piece of information that your Podcast needs to be distributed outside the hosting platform to your streaming platforms. To optimize your RSS feed, the first thing you need to consider is having a higher level of control over it, to manage, move, and customize your feed the way you want it. You can also redirect your Podcast’s feed (owning your feed) so that if you decide to change your host, you won’t lose listeners who are subscribed to your old feed. Losing your listeners will mean that your engagements and authority will take a huge nosedive, affecting your rankings.
Another thing worth noting in your RSS feed is the size; the higher the size, the more data it will consume, and the slower your content will load; a general internet rule of thumb states that small things download fast, and large things download slowly. You do not want your RSS size to be large. It makes the streaming process more tedious and expensive for your listener; consumer satisfaction is the most important thing to consider in any enterprise.
Your RSS size is based on the number of characters (as it is majorly lines of codes). More characters bring about more lines of code, and even rich-text characters – bold, italics, colours, hyperlinks increase the number of backend characters. So it is advisable to use simpler text formatting and even summarized texts to keep the RSS size small. The sizes of images and audios do not matter because the RSS feed code only links those assets but doesn’t embed them. RSS feeds can be compressed with GZIP – an open-source algorithm for file compression. Some hosts automatically compress the feed for optimal performance anyway.
Utilize Your Guests
Your guests can also be a form of organic marketing for you by sharing your show on their website and social media. Publicizing their own impact and making it a win for both parties. This can be very effective if your guest is high profile with huge followership or a high ranking website because it’ll have a massive boost on your rank by giving backlinks to your Podcast, thereby increasing its authority for Google bots and spiders, for a better ranking.
Use Tags and Categories
Pick the right categories and tags in your podcast description; this is important for search within streaming applications where the Search engine optimization is not as advanced as Google. The best way to pick a podcast category is to properly define your show; you need to answer the questions “what do viewers stand to gain from my show” “what do I want people to have in mind when searching for my show?” consider your potential audience and what they will likely search to discover your Podcast. This will make it easier for you to determine an appropriate category to place your show. If your show isn’t easy to define, look for the best fit of categories and go with the one with the least competition, as you’ll have a higher chance of making it public from there. Tags are also useful for your Podcast. They are keywords that allow people to discover podcasts when searched in streaming apps, several tags can be added, but they must be relevant to your Podcast context.
SEO and podcasting are mutually beneficial to each other, Podcasts can boost authority for better Search engine optimization, and proper search engine optimization of your website can promote your Podcast’s visibility. Therefore, SEO is proven to be a very important part of digital marketing via podcasting.
Creating a podcast takes ample time and effort. However, the effectiveness of podcasting for your SEO will definitely please you, as you’ll notice better visibility and discoverability, increasing revenue, and building a better reputation for your business.