If you’re trying to increase brand visibility, there’s literally nowhere better to be than the first page of Google’s search results. According to some estimates, the first link that appears scores a whopping 25% of clicks, and about 70-90% of searchers never go beyond the first page at all.
In other words, the best way to earn more listeners is to play Google’s game—which often seems harder than it really is. Fortunately, most podcasters can get by with a few key tips. Though additional strategies never hurt, here are the four practices every podcaster should follow:
1. Pick the Right Topics
This one may sound basic, but it really is the understated key to success: people only follow content that interests them.
If you’ve taken steps to identify your ideal podcast listener, you should have a good idea of the content they’re hungry for. It doesn’t mean that every episode you put out has to be a resounding hit, but it means your overall topics should be interesting enough to engage your audience consistently.
2. Identify (and Use) Relevant Keywords
Once you’ve chosen your topics, of course, you’ll need to find relevant keywords that match. Luckily, you don’t have to do any crazy in-depth research unless you really want to.
Instead, try playing around with some basic keyword research with tools like Ubersuggest or Wordtracker to see search volumes and gauge interest. From there, pick some relevant popular keywords to focus on. Using these keywords naturally—without keyword stuffing or including the keyword in every sentence—can help you generate more attention.
Here are a few places to add keywords:
- The audio itself, as well as (obviously) in any transcription
- The episode title
- The episode description
- The show notes on your website
- The meta description
- The post subheadings
- Your website’s post URL
- Any related image file names and ALT attributes on your website
- Social media posts related to the episode
Scattering your keywords organically shouldn’t feel hard, as long as you’ve picked relevant ones for the topic.
3. Create Written Content
On that note, it’s important to have additional content to optimize with keywords! If you’re thinking of simply posting your episode audio without related written content, you’ll find it much harder to get found online.
If you aren’t already putting out show notes, social media posts, or images, you’re missing opportunities to jump ahead in the search engine results pages!
4. Optimize Your RSS Feed
RSS may not be used as often as it once was, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still essential for SEO. Your RSS feed is what users subscribe to, whether they’re listening on iTunes, Spotify, or any other podcasting platform.
As a result, it’s important to get the details right. Update your title and description on your RSS feed, as other websites will use this information source to update their own data.
Using these tips can be a great way to start gaining visibility, whether your podcast is well-established or just starting out. Make sure to use them consistently to see results, as both the search engine algorithms and the average viewer pay more attention when updates come on a regular basis! As you learn your way around the SEO basics, don’t forget to check out my interview with marketing expert Stephan Spencer on common SEO mistakes!