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Podcasts have become one of the most popular forms of media content across the internet, with millions of podcast episodes available on a variety of platforms. With a constantly increasing number of listeners and shows, podcasts have become a viable platform for discussing a multitude of topics ranging from current news and events, music, politics, comedy, and so much more.
Despite the growing popularity of podcasts, one challenge that a lot of these shows encounter is the difficulty of promoting their podcasts outside of their platform. While there is a multitude of listicles, videos, and fellow podcasts that help get the word out, it is still challenging to make podcasts more searchable on search engines like Google. Unlike videos, where you can instantly click on a video snippet to view it instantly, podcast episodes rarely appear, with shows linked to Google Podcasts mostly being prominent in that area.
This makes podcast SEO an area with so many challenges from the get-go. However, things are about to change, as Google has announced in I/O 2019 that podcasts will soon become indexed in SERPs. This announcement is not only good for the podcast community, but this also opens up more opportunities in promoting a different kind of content to the users. Here are some things that you should know about Google’s announcement, along with our thoughts and some tips that can help you optimize your podcasts for SEO.
How will it work?
Similar to how videos are being shown on Google’s desktop and mobile search results, podcasts will have their own media snippet, which also allows you to play or download the episode without having to switch to a new page. Using Google’s ability to search the audio in a podcast episode, you can even skip to the part of the episode which mentions the topic that you have searched for.
This works in the same way that voice search results would yield video snippets that have been timestamped to the relevant section. A lot of podcast users listen to their podcasts on the go and having the feature to download and listen to specific sections of an episode helps optimize the experience.
With podcasts becoming present in Google search results, this makes promoting podcasts much easier, while making them more accessible to a wider audience thanks to the increased searchability. The increased convenience helps make the listening experience more efficient while making more users discover new podcasts without having to browse and search through hosting platforms.
To an extent, podcast episodes have become as significant as standard and live video content, with some shows having loyal and dedicated listeners. Having podcasts appear on search results helps expand a show’s online presence, which in turn helps the listener base grow. This update also helps Google Podcast become one of the biggest podcast hosting platforms, helping it compete against the likes of Apple podcasts and Spotify. The prospect of increased searchability and users being able to instantly listen already makes Google’s platform attractive enough for users looking to start their own podcast.
The platform also allows users to publish their episodes that come from other hosting sites, which makes it even more convenient for established podcasts yet to use Google. With this amount of functionality and increased potential to generate more traffic and plays, podcast SEO will something that would be more significant in the near future.
Podcast SEO Tips
While podcasts appearing on SERPs is still an update coming within the next few months, you can still optimize your podcasts and make them more searchable with a few handy tips.
Make sure every episode is transcribed
One of the ways that your podcast can be understood by search engines much better is through the use of transcriptions. This not only helps users be able to have a text version of your podcast episode, but also allows Google to understand the content in the same way that video transcriptions on YouTube help do the same, thus improving its searchability. Based on the demonstration at Google I/O, it looks like Google’s way of picking parts of the episode related to a keyword is through reading audio transcriptions.
While podcast transcriptions can cost a significant amount, it is an investment worth taking, as you are helping your podcast get more listeners to discover your content.
Migrate your episodes to Google Podcasts
Google Podcasts looks to become a bigger presence in the podcast market as soon as the update rolls out, and fortunately, the process to migrate your episodes to the platform is a simple process that only takes a couple of minutes to finish. All you have to do is to copy the URL of your podcast’s RSS feed to apply your podcast. After verifying that the account is yours, all you have to do is fill up information about your podcasts and then you’re set.
While the option to view podcasts in SERPs and snippets still hasn’t fully rolled out yet, you can still view podcast episodes on Google Search, provided that they have migrated their episodes on Google Podcasts. It may not be as dynamic as what the update would present, but it’s a good first step towards optimizing your podcast for SEO.
Podcasts have become another form of popular media users access on a daily basis, as it is a platform that provides content that is just as compelling and diverse as what you can watch on video or read in blogs. The upcoming update is a huge step towards developing a proper Podcast SEO strategy, helping to establish their online presence along with growing their audience.
If you have questions and inquiries about podcast SEO or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.