SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is not just a stiff marketing term. SEO can be a crucial tool that can take your podcast from unknown to popular with just a few wording tweaks. As a podcaster, you may not be very aware of the effects of SEO, or even how to use it. Still, in order to broaden your audience, it's time to embrace the world of SEO.
On a recent episode of Should I Start a Podcast, we heard Kate Toon talk all about SEO, and it's importance when marketing your podcast. Kate is an SEO expert with over two decades of experience in all things marketing. So what does the “#1 Woman in SEO” say about how to broaden your audience? “What you want is people who want what you do, but they don't know that you do it”.
It's All About the Title
So how do you find those people? SEO your titles! Kate showed us the ingenious way she began tweaking her podcast episode titles to get them to appear in more search results. She says you have to keep in mind that when your episode appears in a list on iTunes, it will be shortened. So you have to get the “meat” of your episode at the beginning of the title.
For example, if you're interviewing a famous person in your podcast episode, list their name first in the title, followed by what they talk about in the show. Having a boring title like “Interview with Batman” isn't going to gain you any new listeners. However, a title like “Batman: The Caped Superhero Shares His Tips to Get the Bad Guys” is going to not only pique a potential listener's interest but also promise they'll get something out of it as well.
Don't Be Afraid to Get a Little Clickbaity
Sure, clickbait is annoying, but there's a reason they call it “bait”. A title that raises eyebrows isn't cheating if it actually delivers on its promise. Remember, you want people to listen to your episode; it's their time and energy you're vying for, so as long as your episode delivers what it's promising, you can be as flashy as you want with the title. As Kate says “Everything you do should be for humans first, search engines second”.
Beliefs, Desires and Fears
BDF stands for Beliefs, Desires and Fears and is used a simple guideline to help define what your marketing purpose should be. If you're stuck on a title, try to frame it around your potential listeners' beliefs, desires and fears. Kate uses the example of a cooking podcast. The listener believes cooking dinner should be simple and quick, they desire a recipe that's easy to prepare while listening to the podcast, and they fear they won't have the ingredients they need. All those elements can help create a title like “Quick and Easy Recipes Using Ingredients You Have Right Now”.
With everyone using their smartphones and home devices like Amazon Echo to do their searching for them, searches have turned more conversational. If you're visiting London and looking for a five-star restaurant you may ask Siri “What's the fanciest restaurant in London?” Kate recommends using that concept while naming your podcasts and writing your show notes. Thinking about the questions that people may ask to find your podcast episodes, instead of just the subject matter, can give you a different perspective on what their titles should be.
Deliver on Your Promises
The most important thing to remember when naming and describing your podcast episodes is to always deliver on your promises. Don't hype up an episode that doesn't give the listener what they came for, that's the fastest way to lose credibility. Pull out all the stops to boost your podcast's rep, but always tell the truth.
So remember, when it comes to SEO for your podcast, it's all about the title. Name your episodes wisely, and watch your audience grow.
Listen to my entire conversation with Kate Toon here.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.