As the demand for audio content grows, podcasts continue to skyrocket in popularity. As of December 2019, the total number of podcast episodes reached an all-time high of 30 million.
Google trends also show that the number of searches for “podcast” has significantly increased over the past year compared to other terms like “blog” and “blogs.” And according to Google Insights, mobile searches for “podcasts” have grown by over 80% in the past two years.
In this post, we’ll explore how podcasting can be such a useful and engaging medium for content marketers and listeners alike.
What are Podcasts?
A podcast is essentially a recording of engaging, informational audio episodes that vary in length and format and are available on the internet for downloading.
Contrary to popular belief, the roots of podcasting can be traced back to the 1980s, when it was commonly referred to as “audio blogging.”
But, why are podcasts so popular nowadays?
For one, each series typically focuses on a particular topic or theme and can be accessed online via desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Whether you want to be entertained, educated, or inspired, there’s a podcast for you.
Additionally, podcasts can be consumed in the car, at work, or during a workout, which means they’re perfect for multi-tasking.
Why You Should Integrate Podcasts into Your SEO Content Strategy
If you’re wondering whether or not to jump on the podcast bandwagon, consider the following benefits of podcasts for your content marketing strategy:
- Convenient and easy to access. With more than 65% of people listening to podcasts on their smartphones, it’s imperative that you adopt more mobile-friendly content types into your content strategy.
- More brand exposure. Podcasting can help you connect with a wide range of audiences and reach thousands of listeners for free.
- Publishing consistency. Unlike blog post schedules, your subscribers will likely take notice when you release a new podcast
- Inexpensive to produce. While costs usually depend on quality, podcasts are scalable in comparison to other mediums. You can capture pretty decent audio using inexpensive equipment.
- Growing in popularity. According to Statista, there were roughly 50 million weekly podcast listeners in 2018. This audience is expected to reach 115 million by next year.
- Establishes credibility. Podcasts provide you with a forum to interview experts and thought leaders in your industry.
- Little competition. There are more than a billion blogs in existence, but fewer than 700,000 podcasts, which offers a variety of competitive advantages for podcasters.
- Potential increases in branded search. According to a recent Nielsen study, podcasts generate up to 4.4 times better brand recall than traditional display ads, which can in turn increase overall ranking.
- Build trust with your audience. Although podcast is a one-sided medium, listeners tune in because they feel like they have something in common with the brand and the speaker.
- Improves discoverability. Since May 2019, Google has been indexing podcasts into search results. So if your competitors are already ranking for it, it’s time to start heading in that direction or become one of the first to optimize your podcasts.
How to Optimize Your Podcasts for Search Engines
With podcast growth accelerating, it’s time to get strategic when optimizing your SEO podcast for search engines.
Here are some pointers to help you get started with your podcast content strategy:
- Do your research. Even though SEO was a tactic typically centered around written content, it’s important to keep an eye out for trending topics and keywords for your podcasts.
- Speak clearly and enunciate. Doing so will ensure that Google’s NLP (Natural Language Processing) can accurately interpret the audio for keywords and phrases.
- Include podcast transcriptions. Add more keywords into the transcriptions, and be sure to edit out any unnecessary pauses or stutters as Google will likely use podcast transcriptions to match with search queries.
- Create a table of contents for each podcast. Marking down the exact time a topic comes up allows users to skip directly to the part they wish to learn more about. And due to NPL, Google can use these chapters of a podcast to satisfy voice queries and improve the user experience.
- Write a summary and a podcast transcription. By adding this supporting content, you’ll be able to organically include more keywords into readable text. From timestamps and recaps to takeaways and lists, the more text you provide for Google to understand the purpose of your podcast, the better
- Convert SEO podcasts into blog posts, videos, articles, and infographics. Recycling content into multiple formats, including YouTube videos, can boost your authority on certain topics. Be sure to make your YouTube video SEO-friendly with optimized titles, links, and podcast transcriptions.
- Add images to each podcast on your website. Adding photos to your podcast enables your audience to see what will be discussed in the audio track. You can choose to have one image represent the entire podcast or have several appear throughout at specific times.
- Earn high-quality links. This can be achieved by interviewing industry experts, particularly those who will benefit from being on your podcast. One example of a great interview is the podcast episode entitled Is this the Biggest Change in the History of SEO Coming?, hosted by Ignite Visibility’s John Lincoln and guest Dixon Jones.
- Ask interviewees to promote your SEO podcast: It’s always a good idea to confirm with your guests about linking the episode they were featured in back to your website.
- Be a guest on other podcasts. This is a great way to grow your audience. Being a podcast guest means more publicity for your name and your brand. Hosts can even link to your site for optimal visibility.
- Include memorable, keyword-rich titles, subtitles, and descriptions. Paying close attention to these elements ensures that you’re reaching the two most important readers on the web—people and bots.
- Link to your podcasts on different media and social networking platforms. Sharing your podcasts to various media channels and online directories helps cover your bases and widen your podcast growth and distribution.
- Ask for reviews and ratings. This is a key element of podcast search algorithms. By receiving ratings and reviews from listeners, your podcast’s visibility in directories will climb.
- Enable schema for your podcast. To enable structured data for rich results, you’ll first need to make sure that your podcast is set up correctly–ensuring you’ve met RSS feed requirements and homepage requirements. Structured data can be used to highlight things like episode names, descriptions, cover art, or whether your podcast contains explicit content.
- Turn your podcast into a Google Action. This improves your presence and opportunities to show up in the Google search results and on Google Podcasts. Deeper Podcast lets users search for actual audio in the podcast using Google transcriptions. It also makes it easy for users to find your podcast in the Google Assistant Directory and play episodes directly from their phone, smart speaker, or Google Home display.
- Steps to turn your podcasts into a Google Action:
- Sign in to the Google Play Music Podcast Portal
- Click “Add Podcast” from the menu that’s in the top right corner
- Add your RSS feed and apply required tags (list out required podcast tags and episode tags)
- Follow Google’s podcast markup guidelines to see if you can create an automatic action.
- Steps to turn your podcasts into a Google Action:
How to Start Building Your Own Podcast Audience
Growing your podcast audience is one of the most frequently asked questions in the industry. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, you’ll want to keep the following elements in mind:
Pick a Name
Ideally, you want to be as simple and direct as possible with the title of your podcast. Consider the tone, searchability, and how it sounds out loud.
Like quality content, cover art plays a big role in making a positive first impression on your listeners. It should communicate the subject of your podcast, as well as adhere to all of the right sizing requirements.
How often will you release your podcast episodes? Much of this depends on your topic. For example if you have a movie podcast, you’ll want to plan your schedule around new releases.
What dictates the best length of your podcast episodes is your content. If you can stay on-topic for a solid 45 minutes per episode, for instance, then you should aim to meet that length every time to be consistent.
If you decide to go with a co-hosting format, make sure you choose someone who is willing to dedicate as much time and effort as you are to the process. Podcasts are also more enjoyable when co-hosts have chemistry over the microphone.
When it comes to podcasting, some categories are more crowded than others. Always aim for the one that best represents your podcast’s subject matter.
Software and Tools
Building a successful podcast means you need the right tools at your disposal. Understanding which pieces of software and equipment are right for you depends on your budget, your marketing plan, and the features most important to you.
For more tips on how to start a podcast, be sure to check out this article from the podcast experts at Ignite Visibility.
Wrapping Up your Podcast Content Strategy
As a broadcasting platform, podcasting is booming and showing no signs of slowing down.
And as a content marketer, it may be time to take advantage of this audio format.
Not only can SEO podcasts strengthen your brand’s credibility, but you give customers another medium where they can easily connect with you.