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If you have a podcast for your business, something you’ve probably thought about is how to get more subscribers to tune in to future episodes.
After all, unlike with traditional blogging where you have a dedicated space for your content, your listeners are accessing your podcast episodes through a third-party streaming service or podcast directory. And these services often carry hundreds of thousands of other podcasts in their network.
So how can you get your podcast discovered by more of the right leads and future customers?
The answer is simple: podcast SEO. Blog posts aren’t the only thing that stands to benefit from search engine optimization techniques. Your podcast can easily reach more subscribers if you take some time to do some off-page SEO tactics and a few other best practices along the way.
Wondering how to get started and get that podcast out there? Check out these seven podcast SEO tips to help you get in front of more people and get more subscribers.
Did you know that, as of 2020, upwards of 68 million people listen to a weekly podcast? Given the year-on-year growth of podcasts, you’re bound to have a dedicated audience in that huge market.
But the growing number of podcast listeners is also a sign of the growing number of podcasts available online. In order to stand out, you’ll have to speak to a specific set of podcast listeners instead of trying to reach just anyone.
This is where having an audience persona is helpful. The persona not only tells you what kind of podcast content your ideal subscribers want to see — but it also shows you their lifestyle, beliefs, and goals.
Your audience persona doesn’t have to be complex.
When you have a clear picture of what these things are, you can then optimize not only your podcast as a whole but each episode according to search terms your subscribers might be looking for.
If your podcast listeners are interested in sales, for instance, then use keywords that reflect actual searches they may make. Example episode titles that practice proper podcast SEO for this niche include, “How to train your sales team” or “How to master video sales calls”.
In technical SEO, uptime and loading speeds are important ranking factors. If your website loads slowly too, your page is less likely to rank higher on search.
The same applies to your podcast. Podcast ranking may be influenced by how quickly your platform loads. The less optimally it performs, the less likely people are going to subscribe.
Many podcasters choose to host their podcast episodes on their own website then create dedicated episode pages to increase their chances of getting in front of their ideal subscribers using typical on-page SEO. When going this route, you need to make sure your platform is up to speed.
Educate yourself on different podcast hosting platforms that prioritize site performance for podcast hosting. Not every web host may be well-optimized for podcasts and cause your site to perform slower or have issues with loading audio files. Fortunately, as the podcasting industry grows, more and more web hosts are making a point to add seamless support for podcast episodes and files.
One great way to get in front of your audience and get more podcast subscribers is by inviting well-known thought leaders and influencers in your niche onto your show.
Their supporters and followers are more likely to listen to your podcast if they know that somebody they trust is sharing valuable information on your platform. Having those important guests just gets your ideal subscriber’s foot in the door — they may discover your podcast for the first time and decide to subscribe for more related content.
If you’re a relatively small podcast, build your way up the ladder before reaching out to huge leaders in your industry. Don’t be afraid to reach for low-hanging fruit and asking industry experts with a slightly smaller following on to your podcast.
Use this as an opportunity to showcase your interviewing skills and grow your existing listenership before getting in front of bigger names in your niche.
We mentioned briefly that some podcasters choose to host their episodes as dedicated pages on a website. Why not really level up your podcast SEO by attaching podcast episodes into SEO-friendly blog posts?
While Google has been making the effort to include multimedia results on search — including, yes, even podcasts and YouTube videos — the reality is that most of the search query results still pull up blog posts and pages the majority of the time.
Stay ahead of the competition by combining your blog and podcast efforts. There are a couple of options to go about this. First, you can create a blog post around a podcast episode. So after recording your episode, repurpose it into a high-value blog post that you can then optimize with the best SEO practices.
Another way to do this is doing an audit of your existing blog posts and inserting podcast episodes into them. This allows you to make the most of your blogs’ on-page SEO and get your podcast in front of more visitors and potential subscribers.
Check out this example on the FreshBooks blog that inserts a podcast episode inside a blog post. They went with the first route, where they created a dedicated blog post around the main topics that emerged in this specific podcast episode.
To encourage people to actually listen to the episode, you can tease the content in the form of questions or simply highlight what to expect. Mention key phrases and SEO-friendly search terms to make the most of on-page SEO.
Another way to get more podcast subscribers? Getting yourself listed in the top podcast directories online. Getting on these podcast directories is often straightforward enough, especially if your podcast is already up and running on one platform.
You can choose to submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts or Spotify one at a time, while another option is using services like Anchor.fm to submit your podcast to multiple directories all at once.
A comparison of the top podcast directories and apps among US listeners between 2019 to 2020, according to Statista.
These top directories are most likely where listeners themselves go to search for new podcasts, so you stand the chance to get more subscribers using this method. With dozens of available options, choose the top-performing apps and services first then slowly trickle your way down the rest of the market.
Also, be aware of any new players that might emerge in the podcast app industry to be at the forefront of their growth. Or if there are niche podcast directories that your specific audience might be on, that can be a fantastic way to reach the right audience without the steep competition.
If your business has a podcast that creates short, high-value episodes that walk people through your product or service or answer their commonly asked questions, why not incorporate said episodes into your customer support knowledge base?
Users might have frequently asked questions about your product or app, for example. In your FAQs pages and knowledge bases, embed your episodes in relevant pages that will help answer your customers’ queries.
This can also be a way to humanize and personalize your email ticketing system. Because many email ticket support software allow your team to upload files to send to customers, why not send these helpful podcast episodes in response to their questions or concerns.
Of course, make sure that the links you send to your customers through support channels are always relevant to their concerns.
To really drum up your podcast SEO, repurpose your episodes and turn them into micro-content you can share across other platforms.
For example, choose a segment with a big takeaway or story in under one minute that you can then post on your Instagram feed. Or cut an engaging exchange between guests then post the excerpt on Facebook or YouTube.
The beauty of this tactic is that you can create multiple pieces of micro content from just a single podcast episode, so you’ll be able to make endless content for social media.
Use soundbites as excerpts, create graphics based on quotes from the episode, turn your main topics into viral-worthy infographics — either way, it’s a great way to not only create content for other platforms but to especially grab attention and bring awareness to your podcast.
The podcast Happier in Hollywood creates micro-content by taking excerpts from their recorded episodes and turning them into videos with subtitles for Instagram.
Source: Happier in Hollywood
Getting more podcast subscribers can seem like an uphill climb, but remember that your content creation efforts have to be punctuated by a solid promotion strategy too. Podcast SEO makes sure that your podcast is seen by the people who’d love to follow your podcast the most. Aside from basic podcast SEO, use the tips in this blog post to help you boost those search results and get your podcast heard.
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.
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