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How to Rank Your Podcast and Find New Listeners Using Audio SEO

Podcasts are big business.


In fact, it is estimated that there are over 700,000 podcasts available on iTunes alone. There are so many podcasts that Apple had to make a new section just for them!


But how do you make your podcast stand out from the crowd? How do you get the word out about what you're doing? And how do you get people to listen to your show?


One of the biggest challenges for podcasters is simply being found by listeners. There's a lot of competition out there, so if you want people to hear your podcast, it can't just be a good idea—it has to be an idea that stands out from all the rest.


And then there's monetization: making money off your podcast. It can be hard enough to get listeners in the first place (even with all the free promotion platforms like Facebook), let alone convince them to pay for something they've already heard!


That said, we think there's hope! We've put together some tips for improving your podcast SEO and increasing visibility. These are things anyone can do without any special technical knowledge—you don't need an expensive website designer or even any HTML skills at all!



What is Audio SEO?

Audio Search Engine Optimization (ASEO) is a lot like web SEO in 2000.


In the early days of SEO, the variables and ranking factors didn’t necessarily change as frequently as they do today. As Google and other search engines became smarter, it became harder to rank for specific and competitive keywords. Today, Audio Search Engine Optimization is like web SEO in 2000. If you focus your efforts on it now, it will pay dividends in the future.


ASEO is the way of optimizing your podcast to make sure that it shows up when people search for it. It’s not just about making sure that all the words in your title are spelled correctly—it’s also about making sure that your podcast has been tagged correctly so that people can find it on Apple Podcasts and other sources of audio content.

The good news is that ASEO doesn’t require a lot of effort—just a little bit of research into what keywords people use when searching for podcasts similar to yours, and then tagging them accordingly!


5 levers of Audio SEO

The foundation of good SEO for audio starts with ensuring your podcast is available for search engines and podcast platforms to crawl and index your audio content. From there, additional SEO techniques move up the ladder.


Here are the 5 levers of Audio SEO:


Index Accessibility

This is a fancy way of saying that your podcast needs to be found by search engines and podcast platforms. This is accomplished by uploading your podcast feed to SoundCloud or iTunes and submitting it to relevant directories like Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

It's important for a lot of reasons—primarily because the more people who can find your content, the more likely you are to grow an audience. Also, if you want to monetize your podcast with ads, they need to be listed in directories so potential advertisers can find them!


Optimize Your RSS Feed

The next step in your audio SEO strategy is optimizing your RSS feed using tags that describe your content and include keywords (e.g., [title], [summary], [keywords]). This allows search engines to better understand what a specific episode is about and helps listeners find relevant shows more easily on their favorite listening platform (e.g., Apple Podcasts).


By adding this information, you're providing the necessary context for Google, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. to properly categorize and rank your show. The tag structure should be similar to how you'd write an article title—you want it to be clear and concise so that listeners can identify whether or not it's relevant to them.


When creating these tags, make sure that you don't repeat any words from the title of the show or episode itself; this will lead to duplicate content issues when submitting your RSS feed to Apple Podcasts or other platforms!


Leverage Transcriptions

Transcript

You might be wondering: "What can I do with transcriptions?" Here are some ideas.

  • Create blog posts featuring excerpts from episodes or entire episodes of your podcast. This will help increase traffic from search engines like Google which often pull content from blogs when people search online during holidays or other special events when there's higher traffic on social media platforms like Facebook.

  • Post transcripts on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to encourage engagement with your audience.

Produce quality content

This might seem obvious, but it's important because no one wants to listen to something they don't like. If you want people to keep coming back for more, then make sure you're putting out something worth listening to!


Create share-worthy snippets

It's easy for someone who isn't a regular listener of your podcast to get excited about the idea of listening—but what will keep them coming back? Make sure there are snippets of interesting conversations that they can share with other people on social media or text messages (like when they hear something hilarious)!


Bonus lever: get involved in the community! There are tons of podcasts out there that do great things for their communities—and even better, they often promote each others' shows! Join forces with other podcasters who are trying to make the world a better place by promoting each others'


Finally,

It's clear that there's a lot more to audio SEO than just having a good mic and some nice editing software. There are still plenty of opportunities for podcast creators to get discovered, and as an industry, we still have so much to learn.


The key to getting started is understanding the differences between audio SEO strategies and web-based ones, and then deciding which strategy works best for you.


When it comes down to it if you think this is all good. But why should I care? I'll just keep producing content and rely on the stuff that works for me. Why bother with audio SEO? Well, the answer is simple. There are currently over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to rank websites. As it relates to Audio SEO, most of these rankings become obsolete since the way audio is created and consumed, recommended, and found differs significantly compared to the web. When spoken-word audio is transcribed from voice to text and applied to new audio SEO strategies there is an endless amount of growth potential for podcast creators to get discovered.


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