SEO for Podcasts: How to Make Your Podcast Rank

SEO for Podcasts: How to Make Your Podcast Rank

Whether you already have a podcast or you're thinking of starting one, chances are you want it to be successful, and a big part of that is your marketing strategy. There are a whole host of steps you can take to promote your podcast and grow your listening base, but one of the best places to start is with SEO.

SEO - or search engine optimization - is all about getting your podcast to rank as high as possible in search engine results. And when we say search engines, we really mean Google. There are a whopping 99,000 search queries every second on Google, which represents a HUGE opportunity to get new customers. But these new listeners need to be able to find you.

With that in mind, we've put together this guide on everything you need to know about SEO for podcasts, with top tips and best practices to help you increase your podcast ranking and ultimately grow your podcast.

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How does SEO for podcasts work?

Until relatively recently, podcasts and other types of audio content were not seen as direct SEO assets. Google couldn't index or crawl audio files, but this started to change in 2019, when the search engine announced that podcasts would be indexed and appear in search results thanks to the advancements in AI and natural language processing. Google created a specific platform for it 'Google Podcasts'.

When it comes to optimizing your podcast for SEO and increasing its chances of ranking, there are a number of things you can do, both within the audio of the podcast itself, and using written content. In the next section, we've outlined eight podcast SEO tips to help make your show SEO-friendly.

How to optimize your podcast for SEO: 8 best practices and top tips

1. Create a website for your podcast

Creating a website for your podcast can work wonders for SEO. A dedicated website will make it easier for Google to discover your podcast and your new episodes, and it will index your written content, which will increase your chances of ranking. This will make it easier for your audience to find you.

On your website, you can target relevant keywords (more on that later), create blog content to be published in tandem with the release of new episodes, and link to other related episodes to keep your audience engaged and to help them discover new content.

2. Choose a relevant theme

To give your podcast the best chance of doing well from an SEO perspective - but from a general perspective too - it's a good idea to choose a theme that people are genuinely interested in. Start by thinking about your target audience and their interests, and, if you're a business, the themes that are appropriate for you to cover.

Use Google Trends to research themes, looking at what people are searching for, what's trending, and what's set to continue trending. Use this as inspiration for your podcast theme.

3. Pick topics based on keywords

Once you've chosen a theme, you need to think about topics for each episode. Again, it's a good idea to look at what people are searching for so that your podcast can target these keywords and rank in the search results for these queries.

Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs are examples of keyword tools that you can use to pick topics. Enter a keyword that you'd like to do an episode on, then use these tools to identify exactly what people are searching in relation to this keyword or phrase.

You don't necessarily want to pick the questions or keywords with the highest search volume - a super-relevant keyword with a low search volume is a great choice, as are keywords with low competition.

4. Add keywords to your episodes

Your keyword research is well underway, so once you've decided on your topics, use the keywords you've identified to create an optimized title and description for each episode. This will help make your podcast searchable and discoverable, making it easier for your audience to find you on your podcast hosting platform. Make sure the title and description are catchy and appealing - this is what will make the audience decide to listen to your show!

Make sure you include the keywords throughout your episode too, where possible, so that when Google crawls the audio it picks up on them and knows to include you in the rankings for these search terms.

These keywords can also be used on your website to create optimized content and metadata.

5. Include a podcast transcript

Although Google now crawls and indexes audio content, it still does a better job at indexing text. Transcribing a podcast from audio to text is good for SEO as it helps search engines understand your podcast in more detail, and therefore increases your podcast's chances of ranking.

Ensure the transcript is optimized with keywords and well structured, then publish it on your website to improve the discoverability of your podcast.

Find out how to transcribe a podcast with our useful step-by-step guide.

6. Promote your podcast

Chances are that you've already thought about how you're going to promote your podcast - uploading it to different podcast-hosting platforms, sharing it via your social media channels, using paid ads, etc. Another great way to promote your podcast and add SEO value is by getting your podcast featured on other websites.

Think about the sort of websites that might like to know and talk about your podcast. That might be publications that discuss the latest in business, tech, travel, food and drink, or fashion. Browse the internet for websites that write about the top podcasts in your field, and reach out to them to see if they'll include you in their next feature.

Links to your podcast from other websites not only help you to reach their target audience, they add SEO value too, as Google takes these links as a sign that your podcast is relevant and trustworthy.

7. Ask listeners for reviews

Another way to show search engines that your podcast is authoritative and worthy of a high ranking is through reviews. Encourage your listeners to leave a review if they enjoyed your podcast, and make the process as simple as possible for them so they don't get put off. Reviews will also attract new listeners, helping to grow your podcast audience.

8. Invite experts on to your podcast

Inviting experts to feature on your podcast will help with SEO in several ways. Firstly, your association with experts will signal to Google that you're an expert in your field. Secondly, if your expert shares it with their audience (which you should certainly encourage them to), you're bound to get more traffic and listeners. And thirdly, if your guest links to your podcast from their own website, you'll get a valuable link!

Podcast SEO FAQs

Does SEO work for podcasts?

Yes! Podcast SEO tactics can help your podcast to rank higher in those all-important search results.

How do I optimize my podcast for SEO?

To optimize your podcast SEO, try following these 8 steps:

  • Create a website for your podcast to make it easier for Google to discover your podcast

  • Choose a relevant theme using Google Trends

  • Pick topics based on keywords

  • Add keywords to your episodes

  • Include a podcast transcript

  • Promote your podcast and try to get links from other websites

  • Ask listeners for reviews to boost your authority

  • Invite experts on to your podcast

How do I find keywords for my podcast?

Use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to find keywords for your podcast. Simply enter a keyword that you'd like to do an episode on, then use these tools to identify exactly what people are searching in relation to this keyword or phrase.

How does Spotify use SEO?

Spotify operates in a similar way to Google when it comes to SEO, so to improve your chances of ranking in Spotify's search engine, make sure to optimize your podcast metadata, use relevant keywords, and promote your podcast to increase listeners and engagement. This will signify to Spotify that your content is valuable.

What is keyword ranking for podcasts?

Keyword ranking for podcasts is about how high a podcast shows up in search results when someone searches for certain keywords. Higher rankings can lead to more listeners and subscribers.

Why isn't my podcast showing up on Google?

Your podcast may not be showing up on Google for several reasons:

  • It might not be indexed properly, meaning Google hasn't discovered it yet

  • Your podcast's website or platform might have SEO issues, like poor use of keywords or lack of metadata (titles and descriptions)

  • If your content is very new or has low engagement, it might rank lower

To improve visibility on Google, make sure your RSS feed is accessible by Google, use relevant keywords, and encourage listeners to rate and review your podcast.

Ready to work some SEO magic on your podcast?

With Google now recognizing podcasts as SEO assets, there's no better time to focus on your podcast SEO strategy. Follow these eight podcast SEO tips and, over time, your show will gain authority and begin to climb the rankings.

Once you've chosen your theme and topics, researched your keywords, created a website and started recording, allow Transcribe to help you with your podcast transcription. Simply download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.

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