How To Rank Your Podcast
We rank #1 for SEO Podcast in Google, we’re in the top lists of recommended shows for the Marketing category in Apple Podcasts in Australia and Google is recommending our podcast in the carousel.
It’s taken a year but we’ve kind of figured out how to do SEO for a podcast. In this episode recorded just for International Podcast Day on Friday 30th September, we run through how we think SEO for podcasts works based on our trial and error.
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Hi guys, Michael here before we get into the show, if you’re a Twitter user head to at service scaling, I’m tweeting a bunch of stuff. I’ve learned scaling our digital marketing agency, and I think you’ll find it pretty interesting. All right, let’s get into the show.
Unknown Speaker 0:15
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.
Hello, and welcome to the FTO show. I’m Michael Causton. And I am sitting opposite looking into other fabrics. Beautiful Life.
Hello. I wasn’t even looking at you meant to
be a bit more excited.
Do you know why I’m excited? Why? Because today is it the international international podcast day?
What makes you excited about that?
the the acknowledgement of your hard work, the blood, sweat and tears you put into being a podcast, co host
co host? Yes.
This day is all about you.
Is it? I feel like it’s more about you. Because you in my eyes. You’re the main host. You’re I’m just the font extra thing on the side.
You’re the colour commentator. Yeah. Sounds cool. Yeah, we know what it’s about both of us. It is. And every other podcast out there. Props to the podcasters. But we thought it would be cool. In honour of this day to do an episode about doing SEO for your podcast, like podcast ception. It is. Because it’s been a year now that we’ve been running the show. And when we started out, we had no idea what we’re doing. Now we know a little bit more, a little more. We’re
getting there. But we still sometimes don’t know what we’re doing.
Yeah, let’s be honest. But we feel that we’ve learned enough to talk about doing SEO for your podcasts or trying to get your podcast to show in Apple podcasts or Google podcasts or just have some sort of organic visibility. Because if you search SEO podcast right now, if you were to go to Google and do it, guess what you see. We’re number one. We’re number one, in the organic results
out ranking all the big SEO sites that yeah, previously ranked number one, so I dress really impressive. Um, that’s this. Yeah, I’m proud of you.
Thank you. Because you did all that I was Oh, yeah. That was me. You know what I’ve got? I do have to say, I don’t know how competitive the world of ranking for SEO podcast is. But we got there a little bit of work a little bit on site optimizations and length, that sort of stuff. But SEO, SEO. We did some SEO. But what also happened is Google shows carousels in the search results for podcasts. And if you search SEO podcast, we’re actually showing now towards the front of the carousel, which means if a person does a number on search, SEO podcast, they’re able to find our podcasts, have a listen and hopefully subscribe.
I’m looking now as it looks whether we’re there. We’re right. We’re wedged between the Yoast SEO podcast and it make SEO simple.
Let’s take that if the Yoast in front of us we need to take that over. Yeah, there they are. Yep. We’re taking you down Yoast. Okay. But look, I’ve got a stat few other. Yes. Our show has been running for one year. Okay, have we had a one year anniversary? Yeah, that’s
okay. Cool. That’s been running for about a bit more than a year 1/5 of all of our downloads have happened in the last 30 days. Yeah, you told me that. And that’s crazy. Yeah. So compounding, it is the growth of compounding. Is that because we have more content? So more episodes, therefore there’s more a higher chance that people will find an episode or I think, yeah, organic growth, you know, yep, people have found us and have subscribed and and now listening to us every week, which is crazy crazy to think about yet most
subscribers. We rank like we rank because I’m on searches SEO podcast. Yeah. But then we’re showing in the top marketing lifts in Apple podcasts in Australia. Nice. So if someone is interested in marketing, they might stumble across us. And all of this is not stuff that happens immediately. It’s stuff that takes time to get to. It’s taken us a year, as we said, and we have a pretty good idea of what Google is looking at. And then also what platforms like Apple podcasts and Google podcasts are looking at. So let’s run through our totally unscientific not I guess, proven it’s just what we think works based on what we’ve done. Approach to podcast SEO.
I would argue that it is proven because it’s worked for us. So sample size a one though. Well, 100% Yeah, success, right. So
true. You can’t argue with those numbers. Can you know well, here’s what we think they look at let’s let’s run through that. And then we’ve got a few little points. What are we breaking it down to eight points here that we think you can work on trim prove the SEO of your podcasts. So the first one is engagement. Things like downloads, reviews, listen length subscribes. If you can get people bingeing on your podcasts, listening to episodes back to back, all that sort of stuff makes sense that these platforms are looking at right?
Listen length. That’s an interesting one. So they obviously can see how long someone’s listened to an episode. The longer they’ve listened to an episode, the higher it’s going to rank. Yeah, because you do a lot of the uploading, you have full transparency. So just curious as to how that listen, listen length
works. Yeah. And I’m just thinking about a platform like YouTube, for example. Yeah, I think any platform wants to keep you on the platform consuming content, so that they can make money off ads. Sure, of course, that’s YouTube. That would be Spotify, for example, with their podcasts, if people are staying there and listening to long episodes, and then going on to listen to the next episode. And the next one. They’re really good retention and engagement signals. So I would imagine it’s similar to YouTube in the way it works. If you can get more of that, it’s gonna be good. Obviously, reviews is a big one as well. Just like all platforms, the more positive reviews you have, the better you’re going to do. So the other thing we think they look at is the written content that you use when uploading a podcast. So you can put keywords into the name of the episode, the title, the description, the show notes, that sort of stuff. Yeah. Obviously, if you are wanting to be found for SEO podcasts, if you’re mentioning that throughout titles and descriptions, then it’s very simple for that text to be paused and understood and helped with rankings. Visibility.
Yeah. I made the comment before. It’s very similar to YouTube SEO. When you’re trying to get YouTube videos to rank, yeah, basically apply that knowledge shifted over to
podcasting. Yep, I would say that’s about right, based on what we’ve seen that this segues nicely to the next point, actually, I don’t know if you know, but YouTube, they like if you upload a video to YouTube, it’s audio to text transcription to create captions is next level, like, even with our Bowgun accents, it understands what we’re saying and will automatically generate really accurate captions.
So whenever I watch a YouTube video, and it’s got closed captions, that’s YouTube’s algorithm.
Well, it’s not always upload captions that you’ve created, whether it was done manually or using different tools, which was the cover, but these days when I upload stuff, I’ve just been letting YouTube auto magically figure out what’s being said, okay, and it works really well. Really interesting. So this is, in my opinion, no doubt being used in Google podcasts. Yeah, definitely. Like they would just actually listen to episodes, figure out what’s in there with the same tool that they use on YouTube. So they can understand what’s being spoken about on the shows and then factor in when deciding what to show in my carousels in the search results and maybe results in the Google podcast app.
Yeah, that’s that’s crazy. Yeah, it’s come a long way since the old days of teletext. It has. I don’t know if you remember. But yeah. Yeah.
Like, like an office like a doctor waiting room minute beyond the screen that
just horrific, horrific. Get every second word wrong. And yes, sir. laggy, sir, yep, well, not well, on YouTube. I’m figuring that out.
And in in the next section next little bit, I have some tools for transcriptions. We’ll cover off. Some of them are better than others. But I’m with these three areas of engagement, written content, audio content, pretty much sums up the areas that you can focus on, based on what we’ve done with our show our sample size of one. But let’s, let’s get into the nuts and bolts and run through it and give you some actionable stuff that you can use. If you’re planning on starting a podcast already have one and want to try get better visibility for it.
Let’s dive into it.
Let’s dive right in. dive right into your goggles on.
I’ve got my goggles on. I got my headphones off my goggles on.
Nice. That’s how you roll. I like it. Let’s start. Let’s go with that general advice. First and foremost, publish consistently. Do you know how often we publish?
I do. We try to do a weekly? Yeah, occasionally we might miss a week here and there. But generally it’s a weekly show. So
yep. What you don’t want to see is inconsistency. Yeah, daily, weekly, bi weekly, monthly, whatever. You definitely want long lols in between posting. Yeah. Kind of like, you know, if you’re trying to build up a social media profile or your YouTube account, you’ve got to be consistent.
Yeah, I mean, if you’re advertising a weekly show, then obviously people have the expectation that you’re gonna have an episode every week. So you need to cater to your audience. And make sure you plan ahead and make sure they have episodes ready for the foreseeable Future otherwise, you probably going to drop the ball and get lazy and stop recording.
Yeah. And it could be as simple as missing a week or two and then it’s like a switch has been flicked. I’ll get to it when
I feel like we kind of went through that phase at the start
a little bit. We got interrupted by COVID in a big way. We did,
we still managed to pass out a few episodes via different tools on river river server side. Yep. They were pretty good. Yeah,
I think so the key is just to be consistent. Because, well, if you if you plan ahead, like we said, you know, if you plan out what a logical and let’s say sequential coverage of your topic looks like. So like with us with SEO, we started from the very beginning and broke it all down. And our early episodes were very like information heavy. But then after that, we started broadening into you know, Q and A’s and stolen from social and guests and all the rest of it. If you plan things out like that, not only do you keep your consistency, you know, I guess up. You also are covering the topic in depth, you know, if you if you plan out all the episodes and really brainstorm everything that you think you should do to cover a topic. Yeah. Then if Google’s sitting there listening to it and figuring out what’s being said, it’s like topical authority. In SEO,
do you think that there’s a bare minimum, someone should be recording, like, once a month?
I would say that because as a listener, people will want to get in like a cadence of routine of listening to you. And if people like I have some podcasts that I’ve subscribed to in the past, and they stopped for ages, and then they pop up out of nowhere, and you almost forget who they are or you lose interest. Yep. Yep. So for me, like daily is way too hectic. Even weekly can be tough to keep to. But I would say weekly or fortnightly is probably about right, for most subjects.
I mean, you can change it around as well. You can start off weekly. And as you go, as you grow, you can taper off and do it fortnightly. Yeah, or vice versa. It just depends. Yep. As long as it’s consistent. Yep.
Exactly. Then, like we always say with SEO, podcasting is a time game. So podcast, SEO is no different. Like unless you have a really massive audience to tap into right away. You’re going to be grinding for a year or more to get some runs on the board like we have. Yeah. So yeah, keep consistent, even when there’s no immediate obvious feedback. Excuse me, I’ve been holding that coffin for
you were doing with your face.
I look like a doctor like trying to eat a big piece of bread or anyway, I was fun. So with the name of your show, this is general advice still doesn’t hurt to work keywords in like our show
the SEO show? Pretty good. It does what it says on the tin.
Yep. So if you can work keywords into your title, that’s going to help us the same as with the domain name, you’re going to rank it easier if it has keywords in it from you know if we’re talking SEM. And then finally,
preparation. It’s a big one. Because I find one if we prepared, the more we prepare, if we kind of, you know, sit sit down before the show and kind of run through what we’re going to talk about, we generally have a much better episode that flows a lot better. A few episodes in the past, I think back on, you know, the worst ones are the ones where we’ve just kind of dived into it. And we don’t know who’s gonna speak we don’t know what the next person is going to say. So preparation is key. Like most things in life, yeah, don’t wing it. No. Let’s don’t wait. You know, if
it’s just a chat, then yeah, but like, yeah, if there’s any sort of structure to the topic, make sure you’re, you’re winging it normally. Alright, so anyway, that’s basic stuff out of the way. Let’s talk nuts and bolts of what you can do. And we’re going to start with the website for your show.
So I’ll take over this topic. Yep. So really, now you just need to create a website, simple website and do basic SEO on it. So what we did was we created the SEO show Docker, basically, you created it, but basically, it was just a profile site with I guess, an about us about our show who we were as CO hosts. And then obviously just links in was it links and just videos of the show on YouTube and on different podcasting platforms where people can find us? Yeah. And then every episode is on there. And then every episode Yeah. But really, essentially what it was was just doing SEO as you would on any other site. So making sure that your metadata is optimised that you’re targeting the right keywords are making sure that you have the content on the page. But a link building here in there. I’m not sure you don’t add the transcripts to I did
when we were doing it back in the day. Yeah, because I figured having the transcripts on the page for each episode just helps that page when it’s getting crawled it. It’s like coming back to topical like Get a lot of content for Google to be able to crawl third helps like now we ranked number one for SEO podcasts. And it’s because we have this site that’s optimised for that keyword. But a lot of the supporting content is transcripts with us talking about SEO.
Yeah. Do you still do that? Or is it? Well, the
tool we use, the quality really, for some reason has dramatically dropped. That was odour. odour. Yeah, it can’t even tell the difference between you and me. I really used to know who we were and then that little hiccup has been enough for it not to happen for a while, and then the consistency is gone. Coming.
We sound completely different.
I think yeah, it seems to struggle with Australian accent, when we have American guests on at normally nails what they’re saying, and then really get stuff wrong with us. But um, what I would say as well with that, like with your website, link to your website, from your podcast host and your socials. Ask your guests to share the episodes and link back just to you know, get easy wins on the link building side of things.
Have we gotten any juicy backlinks from any of now I want to say our guests but really live in your guests?
You know what? I don’t know. Go look at nature.
We’ll have a look after this. Yeah.
So let’s move on from that. It’s pretty basic. We’ve done about 50 episodes and how to do SEO now. So we don’t need to talk about that for this website. But let’s talk about the actual podcast side of things. So with the podcasts, they have to be hosted somewhere. If you are already running a podcast, you will have a host if you’re looking to start one, you’re going to need to pick a host. We use Buzzsprout for our show, but there’s a whole bunch of them out there most of similar in, let’s say, Buzzsprout. When you’re setting the show up, you can pick relevant categories, make tags that might be for us, we’ve picked our main categories business, the subcategories marketing? Sure. Makes sense. Yep. It does a lot of sense. And then, you know, Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, they use those categories when deciding where to show the show. So make sure you’re filling all of them out. I think in Buzzsprout, you can pick three categories, Apple will only use two of them, but other players will use all of them. So just fill everything out that you possibly can in the settings in the back end of the the podcast host.
And is there a price to hosted? Or is there a free service? I
know it’s not free, but it’s next to nothing? Okay. I would say it’s like 10 bucks a month, something like that. And kind of just like a website host,
okay. And excuse my ignorance, because obviously you do a lot of this stuff. I’m just the colour commentator. But when you host it on something like Buzzsprout does it syndicate it to all the different? podcast, I guess? Yes, like Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts. So it’s just a one upload, click a button, and then it just gets pushed out to
it’s not as easy as clicking a button. Like you need to go in there and set it up in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, like, you’ll get little accounts with each of those platforms. Okay, so it’s like linking. Yep. And then there’s also a thing that creates an RSS feed that you can submit to like a whole bunch of other things like podcast addict, and pod chaser and iHeartRadio and all that. And then other platforms, if if you submit yours to Apple, other platforms, just sort of scrape apple, and then immediately lift any new podcasts in there as well. Okay. So it’s a little bit of work, but not too much.
So when, for example, if I’m listening to again, might be a weak question. But if I’m listening to our podcasts on Spotify, it’s actually hosted on sprout sprout. Yeah. So it’s all hosted on Spotify by Spotify. Okay, interesting. Yep.
So it’s a little fun fact, it is a fun fact. And I’ve just checked, you’re looking at $12 usd per month for a basic, there’s a free one. But you don’t want the free one, like Chuck’s adds on I think, and let me host him for 90 days. So I think we paid $12 a month, which means we can price to pay. Yeah, we can upload three hours. So depending on how much you’re uploading, obviously it goes up from there, but three hours a month. Yep. Okay. Yeah. So our show, so we better speed it up. Because, yeah, time is money losing valuable time here. Alright, well, once that’s done optimise your episode titles, just like in SEO for a website, you should be working target keywords into your titles. don’t stuff it. You know, you don’t want to go name of the show, and then just add a whole bunch of keywords at the end. But if you’re covering a topic, there should be opportunity to work keywords naturally into your titles. Pretty straightforward. Another area that you can have an impact is show notes. So show notes are basically the content that goes with the episode in the podcast host and then different players will show some of that, you know, if you go into Apple podcasts or Google podcasts on a web browser, you can read all of the show notes maybe on a mobile device that shows a little snippet of it a little blurb. Yep, about what the show Well, that episode is about exactly. So the way we do ELS for FYI, we have the exact same learning with everyone here, which is amazing. Yep, we have the exact same stuff at the end of every episode where we’re just talking about like our agency and we link to it, then we link to our website and to our YouTube channel. And then above that we write a quick synopsis about the episode, you know, what was spoken about? Who was on the show? Sure, keywords related to it. And then we link out were relevant to other websites. So cool. Guests, websites or things spoken about in the show. I could
tell like if we were banging on about a tool, you can link to that. Yeah.
So it’s just like on a normal website that you’re trying to rank for SEO? linking out to something can be like a good signal that you know, you’re covering a topic? Well, yeah, basically, then we also, we don’t do it, we haven’t been doing it lately. But transcripts of your episode is a quick win, because it’s all automated. But basically, you can submit the audio file from the podcast to a tool, it will listen to it, figure out what was said, and then spit out a whole bunch of text transcript of the episode timestamped most podcasts hosts will allow you to upload the transcript in its own section for each episode, which helps with like, understanding finding index ability of those episodes. Yeah, you can also publish it to your own website to support like the the episode on the website. Cool. So tools reviews, do you know what they are?
Let me quickly scroll down the list. I know. I know that because you mentioned that it wasn’t picking. It wasn’t doing good transcriptions? Yeah. Basically, I’d had a hard time distinguishing between you and me. And that’s been garbage. Yep. That’s disappointing.
Yeah. So originally, I used to get the transcription back and go and like edit it and tweak it and not the whole thing, like bits and pieces, depending on how long I felt like doing it for Yeah, then in the end, I was just, I can’t be bothered, copy and paste the whole thing in and it’s getting, you know, let’s say 65% of it, right. So that’s going to be enough context there for all these tools to understand. When it really couldn’t understand the difference between you and I, then we stopped doing it for a while. So that’s otter.ai. relatively cheap, but it’s quick and get, you know, it largely right. There’s another tool called rev.com. Which I don’t know if it automatically listens, or if it actually has people doing it. But you basically submit a file and a couple of hours later, you get your transcription back. Wow. And it’s pretty accurate. But it’s more expensive. So I can work out relatively, you know, you’d be paying a few bucks per episode to derive. Probably not worth it. Yeah.
It’s just trying to imagine someone listening with headphones and quickly typing away. Yeah, I don’t know if that’s what it was, I haven’t really looked into it, it might be a combination of some sort of audit like tool. And then someone just Yeah, cue seeing and fixing up any issues that they’ve picked up on, probably
because the accuracy is much, much, much higher than that. But it’s slower and cost more. But as we said before, even without us doing that, we believe Google can understand what is being said in the episodes because of it’s like the ticket users to do the YouTube Audio to text transcriptions. And like other names, Spotify, Apple, they’re probably probably got stuff going on as well. Yeah, they would. Yep, most definitely. So um, yeah, even these days, maybe transcripts, not as important in terms of your actual episodes, but like putting it on your website. Again, if you’re trying to rank your website for terms, then that’s not going to hurt you in any way, shape, or form. So another one big one second, last one here is begging and pleading for reviews and subscriptions. We have tried to automate it by putting a little ask at the end of every episode, please leave a review. It would really help the show. I don’t know that it does much. We’ve, we’ve got like 10 reviews, I think yeah, in all time.
But I mean, the rate you mean the reviews? Don’t do much. Because the reviews would absolutely help you.
I’ll do that. Yeah, I don’t think us asking at the end of every episode does much are we asking?
Are we begging that’s the thing.
When we say please leave a review, it would really help the show or something like that. But the key is like that takes nothing. It’s been recorded once we put it there. And maybe you get the odd review here and there out of it. The point is, you gotta be asking.
Yeah, that’s like, you know, YouTube subscriptions and reviews, help the algorithm and help you rank in all the different podcast. We call them players I guess.
Yeah, like the main ones being Spotify, Google podcasts, Apple podcasts. That’s generally what we care about. I know reviews are a big one on Apple. Like they’ve been examples of people in the past totally gaming it by going out and buying a tonne of positive reviews on Apple. We’re not suggesting you do that
because that’s something that can that people can get away with. They’re
at a night like they’re like, you can go on Fiverr, for example, and there’s people selling reviews of Apple podcasts like, yeah, like any one individual person will go review your podcast for you. So I haven’t tested it. But yeah, I can imagine that might work. Because with Google
reviews as a footprint, you can see the person’s profile, you can quite easily see whether or not it’s a real person or not. I’ve never reviewed anything on Apple podcasts, but
you haven’t even reviewed our show.
I really only just got an iPhone three weeks ago, so I’ve sold you to me, I don’t think I’ve even opened Apple podcasts. Okay, I reviewed us on Spotify.
Okay, well, I think after the show, we might have 11, five star review on Apple podcasts. But the key is big played family and friends. Ask every episode. And just try and get the reviews. Do it naturally. That’s going to help with your podcast visibility. A lot. Last one. What do we got for the last one?
Last one is to promote your episodes in social media. So share it on your personal and business socials. I’ve actually created a Twitter for myself and started sharing that as well. Nice to my zero followers. But I guess the whole idea is just to spread the word. Yeah, get the podcast out there. Yep.
Get in front of people. Yep. And then ask your guests to share it too. Often, if you bring in guests on, they might have a bigger network. So you could tweet at tag them, like awesome chat, blah, blah, blah, and then they’re gonna share it. That sort of stuff, I guess, drive traffic to the show, and probably moral engagement. Yeah, for sure. What
it’s all about reach and getting in front of as many people’s ears I guess as possible. You did that episode recently, where the guy had hundreds of 1000s of subscribers. And
yeah, Craig Campbell, was more we put that on YouTube. And it overnight had like 10,000 views. Yeah, it’s
amazing. So promoting that and sharing it with all the guests and has worked.
Okay, and that’s pretty much it, isn’t it like based on the last year, there’s no, I guess, easy wins, quick wins, it is a grind, you’ve got to be consistent, you’ve got to pump this stuff out. If you work across all of these points. Over time, you’re going to have some wins. One thing that I also want to cover off, if you want to keep on top of this and see how well you’re doing. Pretty cool tool is chargeable.com. It’s free, or at least I haven’t had to pay for it yet. So I’m sure they have paid versions. But basically, you can track your podcast in there. And it will monitor your podcast performance in the charts on Apple and Google and that sort of stuff. So you can see how you’re going and see if your efforts having the desired result over time.
Were just a little fun fact were number of children 26 in the marketing podcasts in Portugal.
There you go watch it, which is weird. You would think they’d be listening to Portuguese episodes. Well, they’re not. But like for example, I think we’ve been as high as 19 in marketing in Australia, which is amazing. You know, we’re up there are some big shows. Yeah, Hunter for son. Nothing special has led to that other than consistency and heading on everything that we’ve covered off in this episode. So that’s about all we have to say about podcast SEO to noobs when it comes to podcast, SEO, but those tips are going to help. That is all for this episode. We’ll be back next week with another episode of the SEO show. But until then
happy No, I was gonna say Happy International podcaster.
Yes, have a very Happy International podcast day. And Merry New Year. Bye bye.
Unknown Speaker 28:49
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.
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