10 Best Practices for Optimising Your Podcast SEO

Follow these 10 podcast SEO best practices if you want to optimise your episodes for Google Search and grow your audience in the process.
February 13, 2024

When it comes to driving product sales, growing a personal brand, or increasing brand awareness, podcasting is an effective tool for businesses. Why? Because podcasts are an engaging, personal, and versatile way to connect with audiences. 

But how can you make sure your podcast episodes are optimised for Google search? And how can you give them the best chance of success once you’ve hit the “publish” button?

The answer is podcast SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation), which is all about getting your show to appear on Google results pages. This in turn will help expand your reach and build your listener base. But with an abundance of podcast content out already there, this essential growth strategy shouldn’t be an afterthought.

So to help you out with this, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 podcast SEO best practices that are key for getting your episodes at the top of a search results page and growing your audience.

But first things first…

Why Is Podcast SEO Important?

Even if podcasting is secondary to what your business does, it can improve your SEO and boost organic traffic. This is part thanks to podcast results showing on SERPs for relevant terms. Meaning they’re another medium to be used to target keywords relating to your business.

Podcasts are also a key way to diversify your content strategy. And a diverse content strategy attracts a wider audience. By pulling in a mix of different users, your business reaches more people. Leading to an increase in organic traffic and hopefully more customers.

A screenshot of a Google Analytics page.

For example, blog posts are an important part of your content strategy. Some users engage well with these, especially long-form articles. But some users navigating to a text-heavy site can navigate away just as quickly, sky-rocketing your bounce rate. By embedding a podcast on your page the user gets more engaging content. It can increase dwell time (the time someone spends on your site). And this is a known ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

Equally, a quality podcast can demonstrate your business’ E-E-A-T (expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness). E-E-A-T is a cornerstone of the content that Google favours, meaning it’s more likely to rank well on Google page results.

Finally, by inviting certified experts on your podcast, you can have them reference your podcast on their own platforms. This can build a web of quality backlinks and can increase referral traffic to your site.

10 Best Practices for Optimising Your Podcast SEO

Below are 10 best practices for optimising your podcast SEO.

1. Conduct Keyword Research

Any time you type anything into Google, you’re searching for a keyword. Despite its name, keywords don’t have to just be single words - usually they’re phrases or questions.

If you want your content to come up on Google search results pages, you have to know what keywords to target. And to figure out which ones are best, you need to do your research. For that, you can use a free keyword research tool like Ubersuggest.

Screenshot of the Ubersuggest webpage.
Ubersuggest is a free tool from SEO Guru, Neil Patel.

The ideal keywords to target are those with high search volumes, but low competition so they’re easier to rank for. If you’re only just starting out with podcast SEO, it’s best to go for the less competitive keywords. Then once you’ve built up some authority, you can start trying to rank for the more difficult ones.

A good strategy is to think in terms of specialism rather than generalism when planning your podcast. And then target the more specific keywords. For example, a brand new business podcast will find it difficult to rank under “business podcast”, as this is a very competitive keyword. But by adding in your specialism, you can arrive at a more specific keyword.

For example, we recently partnered with Dr. Felix Bertram to create Aesthetics & Biz - a podcast exploring what it’s like to work in the aesthetics business. Aesthetics & Biz is too niche to rank under the general “business podcast” term, but it is a top result for  “aesthetics business podcasts”.

The podcast artwork for Aesthetics & Biz: Features a still image Felix Bertram taken from when he was speaking at a conference. Around him is a pink square and below is white text that reads "Aesthetics and Biz".

While the traffic volume is smaller, the upshot is the more invested are the people searching those terms. And they’re more likely to listen, return, and subscribe.

2. Make Your Content Clear & Concise

The quality and clarity of your content matters a lot when it comes to podcast SEO. So, give as much information and value on a topic as you can, and present it in a way that’s clear and easy to follow. Having said that, don’t waffle. Keeping it concise and to-the-point will make it easier for people to get to the information they’re looking for.

3. Film Your Podcast Recording for YouTube

If you’re still thinking of podcasts as audio only, you need to get with the times. The statistics say that video podcasts are on the rise, and YouTube is actually one of the main listening (watching) platforms for video content. 

A video podcast is a podcast with a visual asset. So instead of listeners streaming on-the-go as they would with an audio-only show, they can sit down and watch it. This predominantly happens on platforms like YouTube, and within YouTube there’s more room for SEO. You can use your video title and description to include keywords and create ‘moments’ for Google search results. Video podcasts also give audiences a face to connect with, and they can play a huge part in enhancing certain bits of content, like guest interviews. They’re also more likely to be shared and can engage a user for longer.

Two men recording a podcast at a desk in a modern office space. A a third man is behind a camera recording them.

Sure. Video podcasts require a bit more time, skill, and dedication than audio-only ones do. You’ll need to know how to edit a video for one, and you’ll need to be comfortable in front of the camera (amongst other things). That being said, there are definitely benefits to doing so. To find out more, check out the blog post below.

Video Podcasts: What, Why, and How to Create One

4. Write Show Notes

Well-written show notes create an incentive for your existing listeners to visit your site. And they also help strengthen the overall SEO presence of your podcast. In short, they act as a central information hub for your episodes - providing relevant contextual detail, transcripts, timestamps, links to helpful resources, and more. For more information, including what to do and what not to do when writing show notes, check out the article below.

Podcast Show Notes: What to Include + 7 Examples & Template

5. Provide Timestamps in Your Episode Descriptions

Most people have a specific question in mind when they come to Google. If it takes too long for them to find their answer in your content, they’ll click off and go somewhere else. So you’ve got to make it easy for people to find what they need.

Split your podcast into segments with different questions or topics. Within YouTube, these are called chapters. Put a succinct chapter title for each new topic or question in your podcast. Using your keyword research, your chapters could answer the questions surrounding a particular topic (or keyword term). 

Then in your episode descriptions you can put a table of contents with timestamps for each part, so listeners can jump ahead to exactly what they’re interested in.

6. Optimise Your Episode Titles for SEO

Your episode titles should be clear and concise. If your podcast comes up on Google search results, you want people to be able to tell at a glance whether it’s what they’re looking for. So you need it to say exactly what the episode is about, without too much ambiguity. If you’re looking to optimise for SEO, the episode title is not the place to be cryptic.

Keep your episode titles shorter than 60 characters.

You don’t want a long and rambling title, either. Up to 60 characters is the limit to make sure the title doesn’t get cut off on search results pages, especially for people who are Googling on their phones. If you do want a longer title than that, make sure you put the most important parts (including the keyword you’re targeting) at the front.

7. Repurpose Your Podcast Into Blog Posts

As Google includes links to podcast episodes in search results, you don’t necessarily need a blog for your show to rank on results pages. Having said that, they do significantly boost your chances of being picked up by the algorithm. Blog posts still form the majority of listed search results, so they’re a great way to boost SEO. Use your raw podcast transcript as a jumping off point, and turn it into an easy-to-read article with clear headings and explanations. 

For more ways to repurpose your podcast, check out our guide below:

9 Ways to Repurpose Your Podcast Content (With Examples)

8. Build Your Backlinks

One of the hardest things about SEO is building backlinks - these are links around the web on other websites leading to your podcast. If you want to rank on Google, you’re going to need these. 

One way to get them is by having relevant guests on your podcast, and getting them to share links to that episode on their website and social media. Not only does this boost your SEO, but it also exposes your show to a whole new audience. You can always make it easier for them by creating graphics or descriptions ready for them to share to their followers. For more on this, check out the detailed guide below:

How to Get Your Guests to Promote Your Podcast

Another way is to promote your podcast to relevant websites, and ask them to link it. Look for listicles like the “10 Best X Podcasts” - are there any shows mentioned that have lost relevance? If you reach out to the author or website, they might be willing to swap it out for yours. Not only will you get a much-needed backlink, but Google often uses these lists for a top search result on podcast categories.

A side shot of a person using Google Calendar on a Mac computer.

9. Maintain a Consistent Publishing Schedule

Posting consistently is more important for SEO than posting as much as possible in a short space of time. So a new episode every Friday is usually a better strategy than publishing five episodes in one week, and then waiting a month until you can put out any more.The best way to hold yourself to publishing consistently is to make a schedule, and always stay a few episodes in advance. That way you’ve got some leeway if something comes up and you can’t stick exactly to plan.

10. Take Your Time

If you’re serious about podcast SEO, you’re going to need some patience. It takes time to build up authority in Google’s eyes, especially if you’re only just starting out optimising content for SEO. But if you follow all these tips, you’ll eventually start to see results. Don’t lose hope if it doesn’t happen right away - you’ll get there.

Ready to Implement These Podcast SEO Best Practices?

Podcast SEO can help make your show easily discoverable to the people who need it most.

Podcast SEO is half choosing the right keywords to shape your content. That ensures you cover topics that people are actually interested in. And it’s half ensuring these topics are clearly signposted by using your keywords in your titles & chapters.

Do that and listeners will find your podcast so much more useful, making them more likely to come back.

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