Podcasts are seriously TERRIBLE at helping your website and brand SEO.
If you are a podcaster, chances are that you have a website page or category in which you list your episodes. But these pages do not perform well in natural search. Have you done a search in your own analytics for podcast pages? Have you done an incognito search for your own podcast in a search engine? Chances are that you were disappointed in the results.
I have done searches looking for past episodes of my podcasts and found that the name of the guest is often a good result for natural search – IF the person is looking for information about that guest. The rest of the time, it’s just been hard graft for precious little return.
3 reasons podcast SEO is bad
The situation is not good at present for three reasons.
- Podcast episode blog posts get little traffic – even if you send emails to your list with links
- Show notes and transcripts aren’t keyword optimised
- Anyone who already subscribes to your podcast is listening in an app (not searching your website)
- People looking for your podcast content are searching in apps not via a web browser (which reinforces 1 above)
What can we do to improve SEO for podcasts?
Luckily for us, Google has also noticed that its results need improving. As announced earlier this year, Google will start indexing individual podcast episodes into its search results. But there are caveats – you have to include the word “podcast” in the search string…. and it is starting (obviously) with already popular content from publishers with “authority” and prioritising US based podcasters [don’t get me started on where the centre of the universe actually is….].
The image is of a search I did today for “best rowing podcasts”. And halfway down the page are image link results under a sub-heading of Podcast.
And individual episodes show up higher in the page, as well as results from other distribution services like Stitcher. So far so good.
What can I do to get MY podcast showing up?
- Publish your podcast on the Google Podcasts platform – they are prioritising their own ecosystem first. I had to get a US based friend to submit my podcast for me (it isn’t rolled out in all countries yet)
- Use an RSS feed to publish – Google say that they are using this to automatically index shows.
- Write good headlines – ensure your episode title has the most important keywords early. Don’t waste characters by repeating your podcast name, episode number or hashtag. Save that for the description or show notes.