In the digital marketing arena, podcasting is hardly the new kid on the block. Yet it has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of audience and impact since the fall of 2014. This meteoric rise in listenership was put into motion by Serial, a 12-part true-crime series that became a runaway hit.
Today “the Serial effect” has millions listening to podcasts on a weekly basis. Apple was inspired to revise its podcast app to be more intuitive and attract new subscribers. Google and other search engines are now building podcasts into their search results. Here are some basic things you should know about starting a podcast to help boost your listenership and SEO profile.
Start with exceptional production quality.
In the old days of podcasting, the audio quality was akin to someone speaking on an analog phone line. Those days are over. To be taken seriously, your production quality has to be top notch.
Create content that is unique and valuable.
As with any other messaging channel, your podcasts should be well thought out and highly relevant to your target audience(s). Conduct searches via various podcasting apps, including iTunes, Stitchery and Google Play, to see what’s out there in your field or genre. Think about whether there are unique subjects or specialties that others aren’t covering, which could help you to break through the clutter.
Refine your iTunes meta info for SEO.
As is the case for traditional web-based engagement and SEO, the introductory iTunes information for your show is a crucial opportunity to intrigue potential listeners/subscribers to engage. Try to include an important keyword or two right upfront in the title. The short description for your show is an opportunity to build in additional keywords that are not reflected in your title. The long description is a chance to augment your short description with key contact information — including links to your website and Twitter stream.
Publicize your podcast on website and on multiple channels.
The growing attention to podcasts by search engines is valuable for your website’s SEO rankings. Other ways to amp up the SEO reach of your podcasts include Facebook and LinkedIn ads, and pinned posts that remain at the top of your social media company pages.
Contact the influencers in your industry or niche directly.
A thoughtfully planned and well-produced podcast is a valuable calling card these days. Make sure the key influencers in your field know about your podcast, such as trade organization publications and websites. This awareness could lead to an invitation to contribute an article, an interview as an expert on a related podcast, or the opportunity to speak at a prominent tradeshow.