There are currently over a million podcasts available on the web. With that kind of volume, new podcasts and new podcast episodes are often drowned out in the proverbial noise. If you don’t have an existing audience to promote your podcast to, one of the best ways to get people to listen to your podcast episodes is to rank high on Google.
Until recently, Google didn’t index podcasts. But things have changed. Google now indexes and ranks podcast episodes and content marketers and companies trying to get their message out to new people are jumping into podcasting because of it.
Keeping this in mind, here are some tips you can use to optimize your podcasts for search. By following these suggestions, you can ensure that your podcast content gets placed in front of the right people.
How To Optimize Your Podcast For Search Engines
1. Host The Podcast On Your Own Domain
Without going into specific technicalities, suffice to say that hosting podcasts on your own domain translates to better search visibility. Why? Let’s find out.
When you host podcasts on a dedicated domain, this allows the Google spider to index your site better. This leads to better rankings on Google and hence, better visibility for the podcast.
But, there’s a catch.
Such hosting should only be utilized for content like episode notes and transcripts. For media files, such as the “audio” of your podcast, it’s best that you use a dedicated media hosting service, such as Libsyn.
Why take this indirect route? Hosting an actual mp3 (or other audio format) file on your domain can cause too much bandwidth consumption and affect the performance of your site. With separate media hosting, you don’t have that problem, and can have unlimited transfers since media hosts are designed for large files such as the audio from your podcast.
2. Optimize The Title Of Your Podcast Episodes
Generic titles such as “Podcast #593” don't clearly relay the context or the topic of a podcast episode. As a result, they may fail to strike a chord with an audience or spark interest.
Invest the needed time to make sure that your podcast episode title is descriptive, and matches with the podcast episode’s subject and content.
There’s a technical reason for optimizing your podcast title as well. Google indexes individual podcast episodes and the title of each episode becomes the primary search term.
Optimizing podcast titles using a keyword research tool, such as SE Ranking. This’ll help you determine appropriate search volumes for each search term, and decide on the podcast title accordingly.
Remember that the title of your podcast episode is usually the same or similar as the title tag of the podcast episode page. Since the page title is one of the essential elements for SEO purposes, optimizing the podcast title helps to optimize the page title as well.
3. Transcribing Your Podcast
Take the time to transcribe your podcast to text. Transcribing not only helps to put your content in front of a larger audience (such as those with auditory impairments) but also helps in SEO.
Your podcast audio likely contains keywords and strategic terms and phrases that can be picked up by search engines. Google, for the most part, is still text-based.
Transcribing your episodes helps search engines pick up key phrases and words, and rank your page better. It’s best that you use a hybrid blog structure for this purpose, with the podcast player at the top of posts, followed by the transcription.
What if your audio is too long to transcribe yourself? There’s a simple hack that you can use with the Google Docs Voice Typing Function. For more details on the hack, click here.
4. Set Relevant Header Structures
While this is not as important as it used to be, it’s better if you use proper header elements in your podcast pages. This will not only help to make the content more easily consumable but also influence gaining a few featured snippets within search results.
As Search Engine Land explains in this post, proper headers give your web pages the right structure that’s needed for snippet building. This means you’ll undoubtedly benefit from using header elements and organizing the text on the podcast pages.
If you want an example of relevant headers and how to use them, check out Offeo’s free intro maker landing page. This page has been structured with H1, H2, H3 headers to specifically to target the core keyword “Free Intro Maker.”
Podcasts are not longer a quaint curiosity – they are mainstream. With more and more listeners getting into podcasts, it’s no wonder that Google is paying podcasting its due.
While traditional content marketers rely mostly on blogs, infographics, and videos, podcasts have gained steady momentum. Proper podcasting can improve brand image, drive traffic, and invite links to support your SEO efforts.
Whether you’re at work or play, podcasts can be a good source of education as well as entertainment. By optimizing podcasts for search engines, you can ensure that your content gets the attention that it rightly deserves. You’ll also claim prime real estate on the Search Engine Results Pages in the process.