Have you ever listened to a podcast episode and seen a written description of the episode alongside it? Why is there a written description of the podcast episode when people can just listen to it? When I first started my podcast, those were the biggest questions that I had. But I spent over a week of research into show notes and SEO to figure out why having show notes is important for a podcast. Let’s go into why show notes are important for a podcast: SEO.
What is SEO though and why is it important? SEO is “search engine optimization”, it’s the practice of improving your website to increase the quantity of traffic from relevant searches. SEO is adding and improving upon your website so that people can find it in searches, such as with Google, more often. SEO is important to use when creating any website, and in most cases, the way to improve it is by improving the text on a website. There are various ways to improve SEO such as utilizing keywords more, improving page loading speed, having more redirect links to your website, using header tags, optimizing images, and so much more.
To properly understand SEO and how to utilize it, you will have to do a lot of research. Here are some great resources to learn more about SEO and tools to figure out how to improve your websites SEO:
So I now knew what SEO is and how to use it, but how did I use it for the podcast when SEO focuses primarily on text and podcasts focus on audio? When you’re creating a podcast you’ll need a podcast host, a website. So your podcast is going to have text on it no matter what, so you may as well use SEO with that text, and the website as a whole, to get the most traffic to your podcast.
Here are some further resources for SEO specifically for podcasts:
The first step in my mission to improve my podcast’s SEO was to create show notes. Show notes are a written account of what happened during a podcast episode, they can vary from a brief description to an in-depth account that goes over every detail that occurred in an episode. And they’re a great place to put additional resources, such as links to articles or images for example. But since this is a textual account of the episode, it is the perfect place for us to utilize SEO techniques to improve our website visibility in search algorithms.
There are various ways of doing this, such as making the show notes longer and having it read like a blog post. Another way is to use keywords repeatedly in it. Keywords are the words that people are searching for on the internet, so the more that you use them in your show notes, or anywhere on your website such as the web address, the more likely your website or page is to appear in search results relating to those keywords. The resource I used to search for keywords that people are searching concerning the topic of my podcast is Ahrefs. This is a great resource to find out what keywords are the most relevant and easiest for you to use to get results in improving your SEO, and they have other tools to see how to improve your SEO such as their website audit. But I used it specifically to find out keywords to use in my show notes, as you can see below.
As you can see from the Ahref keyword search, I searched a variety of different keywords relating to my podcast and topics that I discuss in my episodes. The website uses a 1-100 keyword difficulty scale to rank how easy it would be to have your website rank on a search result related to those keywords. In my various show notes, I utilized the easier to rank keywords repeatedly to improve their SEO. For example, one of my podcast episodes focused upon B2G (marketing to the government), and since the keyword ranking for B2G is low I peppered that keyword throughout my show notes for that episode, the title, and web address. Repeatedly using keywords all over your website will vastly improve its SEO.
The next step in how I used SEO for my podcast website was to add transcripts for each episode, thus adding more text and the potential for more keywords on the website. And if you think creating an episode transcript is too much work, some websites automatically do it for you such as otter.ai. They save a lot of time for you, but they do cost money and you will have to go back and edit some words because these websites aren’t perfect, so that’s something where you would have to judge the value of the service yourself and see if it fits within your budget.
The final step of my SEO utilization was in the creation of my Facebook ads for my podcast. Facebook is a great tool to utilize when marketing your podcast due to its extensive ads manager tools, having 2.6 billion monthly users, and also the ability to create Instagram ads in the same tool. To learn more about how to specifically create a Facebook/Instagram ad, check out this video I created going over the process with a mock product, and you will need to set up a business page on Facebook to use Facebook’s business tools:
Facebook ads are great for SEO because you’re able to create a target audience for the ad, so you’re able to go into the parameters and list the ages, genders, locations, and interests of the people to show the ad. You’re especially able to use the information you learned in finding out keyword ranking in listing “interests” in the parameters of Facebook ads. And as you can see below, I was able to reach 1,225 people in my audience. You can also see my parameters for my target audience. I specifically targeted a younger audience who are interested in business and marketing because with that younger demographic it is more likely that they’re looking to improve their knowledge and skills concerning marketing and business, which directly correlates with the goal of my podcast.
When you’re creating a podcast, you want it to be viewed by as many people as possible. Through SEO this is possible. There are various techniques you can utilize to do this with a podcast, but the most important is using keywords throughout your website, such as in your show notes or transcript.
Head back to my landing page here!