It’s no secret that podcasts are growing at a rapid rate. In 2014, one of the most popular podcasts, Serial reached an astounding five million views after only six weeks on air. While crime TV and ‘Whodunnit’ series have pretty astronomical viewership rates, B2B marketers can also take advantage of this trend. With so many professionals dealing with long commutes to work, podcasts are a great way to be productive and keep your mind fresh while dealing with those monotonous everyday tasks.
If you’re a B2B marketer in the US you should know that an estimated 46 million Americans over the age of 12 now listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. You should also know that this demographic is also tech savvy, educated and up on social media. Since your listeners are going to be all over the internet, it’s a no brainer that you should SEO your podcasts so they can find you!
Making your most recent podcast search engine friendly isn’t as big of a deal as you’d think. As you would expect, it’s a lot like video SEO and can be done in about 2 hours’ time (depending on the length of your broadcast). The key is to get all of your ducks in a row before you post to iTunes.
Transcribe Your Podcast
It may be painstaking but it will be worth it! In order to fully SEO your podcast, you’ll need to transcribe all of it. It doesn’t have to be exact but it should be easy to follow along and will serve as text for your blog page that will be crucial for ranking for your keyword(s). You can use transcription software like Dragon Dictation to speed up the process. Run the software over your audio file and then go back and clean up the transcript.
Tip: You will also want to bold/highlight all areas of the podcast that you want to stand out.
Make it easy for your listeners to find the parts of your podcast that you know they will find interesting. Busy professionals might not have a lot of time to dedicate to listing to your entire show, and you’ll do them a solid by making it easier to skim your work.
Create a Catchy Title
Now that you have transcribed your entire podcast you should create a title that will catch your audience’s attention. Jot down some ideas and do keyword research around these areas. If you find a keyword string that fits your topic and can easily be incorporated into your podcast’s title then by all means – use it! If you can’t find a search string that works and creates good click bait, then don’t worry about it. You can always use an awkward keyword string (if it fits) by declining to include it in your title but still using it in your file name. Once you’ve thought up a good title, name your mp3 file as such with dashes between each word.
Write a Summary
Next up is to write a podcast summary. This will appear in the description section of iTunes and can be used on your blog. Keep it short and sweet, including the main points in your podcast. Covering the ‘who, what, where, when and why’ is sufficient.
Tip: If you’re going to have your podcast on multiple websites, create custom descriptions for each webpage. Having unique content on each site that links back to your blog will improve search engine rankings.
ID3 Tag Your MP3
When Google crawls your podcast it will look at the file name, title, subtitle and description first. It’s great if you have all of this search optimized, but you might as well take it one step further and SEO your podcast’s metadata. This is done with ID3 tags that signify the podcast episode title, artwork, chronological order and more. iTunes auto generates some of this information, but it is best for you to fill it in yourself. To do so, right click on a Windows machine and choose ‘Properties’ then go to the ‘Details’ tab and hit ‘Apply’ when finished. Use the iTunes store to fill out this information on a Mac.
Fill out the following information for your mp3.
Title: Same as your Podcast Title (include your keyword if relevant)
Artist / Album Artist / Composer: Include the name of your host and guest speaker(s) along with category keywords
Album: Podcast name and tagline if you have one
Comments: Basic description of podcast followed by a comma delimited list of keywords
Publish on Blog and iTunes
Now it’s time to publish! Put your podcast up on iTunes first, along with any other podcast website like Hipcast. You’ll also want to create a page on your blog or website to link to the file. It helps if you have an SEO image on the blog page that also targets the keyword you’re after for the podcast. Create links to your blog page on all of the podcast hosting sites you use; iTunes is particularly important but the more links you have pointing back to your blog the better.
Ping the Podcast RSS
The final step is to make sure search engines notice you. If you don’t post to your blog that often, chances are that Google doesn’t crawl your website on a regular basis. By using free ping services like Pingomatic, you can trigger search engine bots to crawl certain webpages and index them.
I always ping both the new blog page and all of the podcast RSS feeds that my new podcast is a part of. Simply type in or copy/paste the information and ping all services.
Tip: You can check to see if your new podcast has been indexed by copy/pasting the blog’s URL into an incognito search window and seeing if the page appears.
Now that you’ve successfully made your podcast search friendly it’s time to blast it on social media. Remember, your listeners are tech savvy and all over social – so make sure to share multiple times and consider using social media ads, specifically on LinkedIn if you are targeting a B2B audience.