Podcast SEO Tips by Podcast Marketing Coach - Danielle Desir Corbett

Improve Podcast Ranking, Boost Discoverability, and Revenue with Podcast SEO

Game-changing podcast SEO tips that move the needle for small creators. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a popular buzzword in podcasting, but it has been nonexistent in practice for a long time. While podcasters focus on creating engaging content and building a loyal audience, we’ve often overlooked the potential impact of SEO on our podcast growth. As a result, so many of us felt like we were shouting into the void, our important messages left unheard. Leveraging SEO strategies has been a game changer for me and my coaching clients. Not only can it drive organic traffic, but it can also help you work smarter.

Do podcasters need SEO?

The short answer is yes. Podcasters can strategically leverage SEO for long-term growth. But it’s not a quick fix by any means. Podcast SEO takes time to implement and master. Plus, SEO is forever changing (though less frequently than social), so staying current on what’s working and why is important.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the impact podcast SEO can have on your marketing efforts and revenue.

We’ll answer these important questions:

  • What is podcast SEO?
  • Does SEO matter for podcasts?
  • How do I SEO my podcast?
  • Podcast SEO tips

If you’re new here, I’m Danielle, a podcast marketing coach and travel podcaster with over nine years of blogging experience. As a blogger, I first discovered the importance of SEO to drive traffic to my website. Transitioning to podcasting, though, I noticed the lack of conversation around it. So, for years, I struggled with my identity as a blogger and podcaster until I realized the copy-and-paste marketing strategies I was implementing from the podcasting industry just weren’t working for me.

I desperately needed to branch out, so I turned to my blogging roots and leveraged my writing skills to benefit the audio medium. For too long, I saw my blog, podcast, social media presence, and newsletter as separate entities instead of considering them extensions of my cohesive brand.

Since implementing SEO strategies, such as optimizing episode titles and show notes with keywords, I have seen tangible results, from growing my listenership to boosting ad revenue and affiliate sales. The good news is that it’s never too late to start, even if you didn’t have an SEO plan when you launched your show.

I hope that by sharing my approach, you can, too, expand your reach and get closer to achieving your goals.

The Importance of SEO For Podcasting

What is podcast SEO?

Podcast SEO is about improving your podcast visibility in search engine results to attract more listeners.

In other words, podcast SEO is how you can strategically improve your podcast ranking in Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google search.

As podcasters, we can leverage SEO to rank in multiple places, within Google search, the podcast players, and even on YouTube.

While large shows can get away with the bare minimum, small creators really have to leverage every opportunity to expand their reach and attract new listeners to their ecosystem. This is a big reason why we see a significant industry push to move into video.

Benefits of SEO for podcast growth

While many visibility-driven marketing strategies are available to podcasters, like guest appearances and in-app features, SEO for podcasts can play a crucial role in attracting new listeners and expanding the reach of your show.

Driving Traffic: When listeners use keywords or phrases to search for various topics within the podcast players or Google, with SEO, your chances of appearing in the search results increase. The higher you appear in search queries, the more likely you’ll get a listen or follow.

Increasing Ranking: The higher your podcast ranks in a category, the easier for people to find it. Without it, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of content. By leveraging SEO strategies for podcasts, make your content more discoverable – meet listeners where they are at, whether searching on Google or within their favorite podcast player.

Monetization: SEO can also help maximize website ad revenue and affiliate sales. For example, focusing on SEO strategies in show notes can drive organic traffic to your website, increase ad revenue, and generate more clicks to your affiliate links, products, or services.

Long-Term Results: One of the reasons I’m a big advocate for SEO is because your efforts can continue to drive traffic and revenue for years to come. For example, a podcast episode I recorded in 2018 generated daily listens and four-figure affiliate sales consistently for four years with very little maintenance. This is the power of SEO!

Finally, Ditch Social Media: Try this strategy if you are tired of posting on social media without significant results. That’s right, give Canva a rest. Stop creating graphics for a few months and see the difference in your downloads.

Benefits of SEO for my own show

One of the ways I knew SEO was helping me grow my show, The Thought Card, was when I noticed an increase in the targeted pitches I received from potential guests. These perfect-fit guests (whom I had no connection to) were finding me through search and pitching to be on my show, indicating the work I’ve put into improving my discoverability was working.

Additionally, I saw a significant increase in my website page views and ad revenue after focusing on building out detailed show notes as dedicated blog posts intentionally with SEO.

Read this case study to see how SEO for podcasts helped Kyla Denanyoh grow her downloads from 110 to 700 per episode in a year—a 6x increase!

Now, let’s delve into the podcast SEO best practices. Here’s how to optimize your podcast for search.

5 Strategies for Implementing SEO in Podcasting

1. Identify Keywords

Podcast SEO starts with keyword research, where you’re identifying the best words or phrases to use for your content.

What are keywords? Keywords are the words or phrases potential listeners type in the search bar. They also help search engines understand what your episode or blog post is about.

There are two types of keywords: primary keywords, which describe the main topic, and secondary keywords, which provide additional context.

First, brainstorm keywords relevant to your niche, topic, products, or service.

Next, identify keywords other shows in your genre use to rank highly in search, and ask ideal listeners what types of words they would use to find a show (or episode) like yours.

Don’t forget to consider searcher intent when identifying keywords. Choose keywords that closely align with your content and provide value, addressing listener interests and needs.

When determining which keywords to use in specific episodes, I recommend using a keyword research tool like Keysearch.

Keysearch can help you evaluate the competitiveness of keywords, spot trends, track rankings, and streamline the selection process. I’ve been using Keysearch for years and recommend it to all of my coaching clients because it’s easy to use while offering in-depth analysis.

Helpful Tip: Ideally, you want to target keywords with high search volume and low competition. But don’t skip the low search volume and low competition keywords either, as they may be easier to rank for quickly.

2. Develop Topical Authority

It pays to be a specialist instead of a generalist. Becoming a topical authority is key to SEO. This can look like covering a breadth of beginner to advanced topics in your niche. Take a holistic approach to cover your niche. Explore different angles, answer specific questions your listeners would have, and address challenges. As a rule of thumb, I like to cover 1-2 key main topics per episode, including interviews. I interlink topics whenever possible, and I love a good series!

Tap into your audiences’ questions, problems, goals, and the mindset shifts they need to be successful. You can also showcase your authority in your podcast description. For the latter, that includes highlighting your educational background, awards and accolades, and features. Ask yourself why people should listen to you versus someone else.

3. Optimizing Podcast Episode Titles

Episode titles are not only your first impression—they’re one of the first things listeners look at to determine if they will hit play—the podcast players also index them.

According to Spotify, words matter. Podcasts rely on metadata like episode titles to organize and share with the right listeners. Keep reading for how to title a podcast episode.

When crafting episode titles, focus on clear titles that grab your audience’s attention and include at least one searchable keyword or phrase. If you feature guests, always include their names in the title since people search for names, too.

Some of my search-friendly podcast episode titles examples include:

Lastly, regularly audit and update episode titles to boost exposure and downloads. I recommend reviewing your back catalog annually to determine whether it still meets the mark.

If you can’t update your entire back catalog, start small. Update your least listened-to episodes first, then work through them until you’ve updated them all.

4. Creating Comprehensive Key-Word Rich Show Notes

Gone are the days when you can get away with skimpy show notes on your website. Double your chances of getting found by potential listeners, specifically on Google, by creating in-depth and comprehensive show notes (a.k.a. blog posts) published on your website. Podpage may be a good place to start if you don’t already have a website.

This means show notes can no longer be an afterthought or rushed. Unlike episode descriptions, which are short summaries that appear on podcast players, podcast show notes accompany each episode, providing an in-depth, written version of the episode right on your website.

I recommend Swell AI for helping you save time writing show notes. It whips up blog posts, social copy, newsletter copy, and more within a few minutes!

Read Next: Common Podcast Show Notes Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

Consider incorporating relevant keywords in your post title, subheadings, within the first paragraph, URL, and sprinkled throughout the post for maximum discoverability.

Other helpful tips include repurposing interview questions in the “in this episode, we discuss” section as a bullet point list like I did at the beginning of this post or using major talking points as headers and additional sections, which provide more value to readers while improving search optimization.

You can include many different sections in your show notes. Take the guesswork out of how to write SEO show notes with our podcast show notes template. This bundle includes plug-and-play episode description templates and show notes templates so you always know how to structure them and get more eyeballs on your content!

5. Leverage Google Search Console

Do you want to know what keywords or phrases people use to find your website or blog posts?

If you don’t already have Google Search connected to your website, do so now.

Google Search Console identifies how your website ranks for keywords — ones you’ve intentionally chosen and others you’re already ranking for. It’ll also inform you about any issues you need to fix on your website that may prevent you from ranking.

Optimize blog posts by incorporating the keywords people use to find your site or branch out to create additional content as you double down on getting found.

If you are looking for what other content you can create to serve your audience, Google Search Console is another great place to start.

To wrap this up, SEO plays an important role in a podcast’s success by enhancing discoverability, attracting new listeners, and increasing overall visibility. Podcast SEO can unlock new growth opportunities, help you serve your audience, improve engagement, and establish a strong online presence. Experiment, track your results, and pivot as needed within 3-4 months. When there are inevitable changes, adapt, too.

Whether getting started or experienced, SEO for podcasts can help you improve your rankings and get noticed.

If you need help optimizing your podcast search and want guidance or support, I invite you to book a strategy call with me or apply for 1:1 podcast coaching.

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