Podcast SEO 2018: Part 1
The Value of SEO in Podcasting: What it is & Why it Matters in 2018
06.25.18 | Podcasting Basics | By: Jon Street
If you’re a podcaster (or considering becoming one), the thought of gaining listeners has to cross your mind in some way. Let’s face it, podcasting is more popular now than ever before, but it’s popular because real people are listening in. It’s not hypothetical or theoretical. Real people are giving up their time to tune in to podcasts & are consuming the content at increasing rates. These are people who have ears that hear your message & hopefully, a mind to affirm what you’re saying. The question becomes, how do you tap into this? How do you gain traction for your podcast with this in mind? Well, we have offered lots of thoughts over the previous weeks on some ways to do this. A few more recent entries included utilizing Show Notes or Transcriptions for your podcast as a way to add value to the listener at a new level. We also discussed the real value of engaging with your audience through effective content, catchy intro/outro music as well as appealing cover art. And those things are real, tangible ways of capturing your listeners & having them buy into the message you’re offering. But the reality is, there has to be more that’s done. There has to be an effective plan of attack on how to get your face (ok, your voice) in front of the world. This is where promoting your podcast comes into play. And while we’ve already touched on some great, basic principles for marketing your podcast, I want to focus on the pseudo-Mecca of marketing opportunities. What is that you may ask? Podcast SEO. SEO has become so popular as of late that everyone. No. Literally. Everyone. Is trying to figure out this animal that is supposed to be the answer on how to get real results for marketing your brand, company or podcast with the greatest success. But the questions in many people’s minds though are “What is it?”, “Why does it matter?” & “How do I do it?”. Well if you stick with me for our next few entries, I will begin to unpack these for you with an aim of giving you a little bit of guidance on how to understand Podcast SEO more effectively & to do it well while gaining the traction for your podcast that you are looking for.
What it is
Honestly, this is the million dollar question. As I’ve referenced before, in the magical world of technology, everything you put out into the tech world mystically finds its way onto Google & other such search-enginery. You don’t have to “register” your company, your blog or your podcast with Google to have it be found in a search result. As strange as that may seem to you, the real selling point here is that by targeting SEO keywords with your podcast, you are helping yourself be found on the interwebs. The more relevant the information you offer, the more it will result in higher numbers of people having the opportunity to stumble across your podcast when looking up those target words in a search engine. And while that’s all well & good, that doesn’t answer the questions of what it is. If you’re new to the SEO game, SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization. Plainly put, it is the methodology of getting your content (or your brand) to be recognized by a search engine (think Google) ahead of the next guy. If you’re feeling rusty (or…downright lost), some simple research can help you cover the basics & get things going. But in real life it looks like this. Have you ever Googled something & wondered “Why’d that link pop up first?”…that’s SEO. SEO is what drives the rankings of content when people look for something on the worldwide web. As an SEO expert has said:
“Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as it is about search engines themselves. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. Leveraging this data will allow you to provide high-quality content that your visitors will truly value.”
So to really understand SEO for podcasts correctly, we have to be thinking about what the people punching the keys are really after. The reality is that the better equipped you are in improved SEO, the greater the chances & higher the rate your content will be seen, clicked & reviewed. And that is what everyone is looking for. SEO is so important that entire marketing agencies are created to help their clients focus on SEO generation improvement. It is so critical to business success in our modern day, that no viable company can be sustainable without putting a lot of time & effort into refining it. And the truth is, it’s not always who has the best content, but who has the most relevant SEO optimization that gains the greatest traction. For example, one way SEO is rated is calculated off of the length of time someone stays on your website or your link. The longer the stay, the more engaging the material (so it’s believed), the more “valuable” it is & the higher it eventually rates. Now I hear what you’re saying. “I’m not a small business, I’m a podcaster”. “I’m not looking for better marketing strategies, I’m looking for listeners”. “I’m not trying to rank in Google, I’m trying to rank in iTunes”.Well, while that may be true (though many in the business sector are now seeing the profitability of podcasting) & this idea may seem somewhat disconnected to the overall idea of podcasting, it does begin to set up the next question then, which is why it even matters.
Why it matters in 2018
Knowing the basics is only the part of the battle. Understanding what SEO is & how it functions is great, but there has to be more to connect the dots for you as a podcaster so you see it as a tool to be used, not an idea to hypothesize about. You have to understand why it matters in order to see the real value in focusing on it for your podcast. I think the connection is fairly straightforward though. When we understand that it is your content’s exposure & relevance to the world, the reason it matters is because when it’s neglected or ignored, you’re leaving your potential listeners out to dry without an effective way of finding you. One way of putting it is that if someone is interested in the topic or content of your podcast & they search for it on a search engine & you aren’t speaking their language through SEO optimization, you’ll never be found, or at least not before a good game of hide & seek. In reality, not only will your audience not likely find you, but plainly put, your competitor will be the one who finds them. SEO matters because getting your name & your message out to the world matters. If you don’t think that matters then you will have to be satisfied with minimal results, minimal listens & sending out a few personal social media invites to your friends asking them to listen to your latest audible rant. But I think you want more than that. I think you’re looking for real results. I think you’re wanting your message to be heard by as many as will listen & to do that, you have to focus on what really matters. And to do that well, you have to pay attention to what your proposed audience will be looking for & incorporate that into your SEO optimization gameplan.
In our next entry we will look at developing that game plan more specifically for your podcast & help you understand the nuts & bolts of what it takes to do it right. But in the meantime, check out our resources tab to see what other things you may have missed out. Better yet, check out the great services we are offering to other podcasters like you to help them get their podcast up & running as smoothly as possible. You can even see what they are saying about their experience with us. Feel like you just need some direction? We’re here to help. Reach out to our team to chat about your ideas & see what a partnership with the Resonate team could do for you!
By: Jon Street
As the Production Coordinator at Resonate Recordings, Jon leads the production team & ensures that all our podcasters have everything needed to release consistent high-quality episodes. Jon & his family are from West Palm Beach, Florida & now live in Simpsonville, KY.