Podcast SEO: How podcasts help you rank in search

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Podcast SEO is a relatively new thing that content marketers have to think about. And it certainly adds to the list but podcast SEO is something that can help our brands rise to the top in search.

Podcast SEO includes searchable audio content as well as the written copy that comes with podcast episodes. 

For example, Apple previously announced search functionality of all audio content within podcasts, so we’re certainly moving the way of being able to search podcast audio.

Read next: What’s voice search SEO?

Podcast SEO results

As I was looking at my new book – Content Performance Culture – I was doing some searches on Google, and interestingly the podcast with the chapter readings shows up. Perhaps as is interesting that it is the Spotify version up high. The Google Podcast version used to be embedded lower.

Here is what the search results page looked like:

In this example there are three results related to podcasts on the first page and definitely the most visual result is for the podcast.

On another search the podcast even showed up No. 2.

It certainly looks like that I have a jump start on owning the front page in Google search results for related searches.

When I search for my own name several episodes that I have appeared on and my own podcast show up:

Podcasts appearances can help you boost your search visibility.

As of January 2023, Google Podcasts don’t seem to show up on Google Search Results pages at all. But other podcast networks still do.

Topical podcast episodes and podcast SEO

Having a podcast that answers questions not answered by others certainly can help companies rank for those terms in search.

Podcast SEO expert Mark Asquith of captivate.fm, joined me on a live recording of the podcast as well to dive deeper into podcast SEO and share tips.

One thing that stood out to me is that even though you can rank for SEO with your podcast: False positives can still happen.

False positives in SEO are when you rank for a term, but your result is not contextually relevant. Mark gave some examples on the show. For example, my podcast ranks for “background image” and the show is about how to remove background images from a picture. But the searcher’s intent is actually for finding background images for podcasts. I’m ranking high but it’s not what they are looking for.

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Should we do keyword research before recording a podcast?

I’m certain most of my early ones did not include keyword research before the recording. I try to do podcast SEO – aka keyword research for any of my Business Storytelling Podcast episodes now

Keyword research for articles is a standard operating procedure for many content teams now. So why hasn’t it been for podcasts? Probably because podcasts are new and up to this point the search engine indexability was low to nonexistent. Some would argue only the headline was indexed and some people did show notes and transcripts for search. But did they do research for those podcasts like is done for articles?

Please don’t overthink it with the keywords. As Andy Crestodina said in this podcast episode, come up with a unique story and then optimize the words you use based on what people are searching for.

Bottom line

This is an example from my book with very specific keywords. But the concept of trying to rank for very specific keywords is what content marketing is all about. If you can find a way to be the only one with a podcast on a specific topic-even if there already are a bunch of articles on it – you might have a chance to get that podcast to rank.

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