Harnessing the Power of SEO for Podcasts

A woman using a laptop in front of a microphone.

When it comes to podcasting, the right SEO strategies make all the difference between a podcast that remains hidden and one that finds its way to the top of search results — both within podcast players and in internet search results. But SEO for podcasts is surprisingly something I don’t hear talked about often enough.

And when I do hear it, I hear a lot of comments that indicate that podcasters would LIKE to follow best practices, but they just don’t, and for a bunch of reasons.

Listen, I get it. SEO is just an extra thing to do after you’ve already ideated, researched, planned, created, edited, and promoted your efforts. Adding SEO into the mix probably makes you think, “Ugh, just another thing I have to do.”

But what if….bear with me here….what if you looked at SEO differently? What if you looked at SEO for podcasts as the first thing you to before you record a single sound? When SEO starts as the priority, it suddenly becomes part of the process and not anything additional that you simply have to do.

If you’re searching for ways to boost your podcast’s visibility and attract more listeners, this episode of Talk Copy to Me is a must listen. I dive deep into the how search engine optimization, aka SEO, for podcasts can help you do just that. 

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Here is what Erin wants you to know about podcast SEO

  • Whether SEO for podcasts is the same or different from “regular” SEO
  • Why SEO is so important for podcasters
  • How to optimize your podcast with on-site SEO and off-site SEO
  • How to optimize each episode of your podcast within the podcast players
  • Tips for optimizing each podcast episode on your website
  • How podcast show notes help create strategic breadcrumbs
  • Additional content you can create from one podcast recording if you want to take an A+ approach to content creation

Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:

The transition of Angie Trueblood’s Go Pitch Yourself podcast into the new title, Pitched. Check out this episode where she explains her decision and what you, as the listener, can expect in the future. I’m excited about it!

Oh, one more thing: I talked about different strategies for creating additional evergreen content to amplify your SEO efforts and improve each episode’s show notes. One suggestion that I promised to share an example for was to create listicle style blog posts that shared multiple podcast episodes about a specific theme.

Here’s a website-specific listicle post that I recently published if you want to take a peek and see what I mean.

quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast
A woman, ,Erin Ollila, is talking into a microphone about the subject of SEO for podcasts.

Quotes about SEO for podcasts from Erin Ollila

  • “SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is where you improve or optimize the content that you’re creating to have a better chance of getting found.” – Erin Ollila

  • “The most important part of optimizing your podcast title is really making sure that you are letting the audience know immediately what they’re getting from your show.” – Erin Ollila

  •  Don’t forget your tech SEO. This, I think, will be more vital in the future, specifically now that you can add individual episode cover art, like or or cover art for your episodes in Apple.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Your show notes should have an introduction, which is could be very similar to the podcast description that included important keywords. Then, the bullet points or time stamps. It should also include a transcript and transcripts, my friends — you need them for your podcast.” – Erin Ollila

  • “One of the most important on-site SEO things that you can do for yourself is creating breadcrumbs…That is interlinking. That is telling Google or this big old Internet world that the content you’re creating is relevant to each other.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Now this is like A+ work here. I know a lot of people don’t do this, but in addition to the show notes that you create, you can create additional copy and content for your website [for each episode].” – Erin Ollila

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

Here’s the transcript for episode 094 about SEO for podcasts

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SUMMARY KEYWORDS podcast, seo, episode, show notes, title, content, creating, mentioned, keywords, optimize, copywriting, site, listen, copy, website, podcast episodes, include, player, word, share SPEAKERS Erin Ollila Erin Ollila 00:04 Hey friends, welcome to the Top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hey friends today we are here to talk about all things podcast SEO, we are closing out our podcasting mini series with this episode. And it has been such a joy to talk about something I love so much, which is podcasting on the show. But I also think this closing episode for this series is so fun, and so meta, because here we are in a marketing podcast, which we pretty much exclusively focus on things such as SEO, copy and content. And we’re talking about podcasting. So on a podcast, talking about podcasting, about the podcast, main focus, one of which is SEO. Before I confuse you any further with my meta ramblings, let’s kind of first cover what we’re talking about today. If you are familiar with those three letters, SEO, then you kind of have a gist of what we’re covering. Now, if you’re not familiar with those three letters, we’ll start there. SEO stands for search engine optimization. And it is where you improve or optimize the content that you’re creating to have a better chance of getting found. Now when it comes to something like blogs, it’s very easy to understand, you can optimize the copy or the content, let’s say in this case, by using keywords or keyword phrases that people are actually typing into search for. And then they’ll find them because you’ve used them in your copy. When it comes to podcasting, the same thing kind of goes, you’re creating an audio form of content, and then you’re optimizing the audio so that you can get found. And that’s what we’re here to talk about. Why put all of this effort into podcasting if you’re not getting found by a larger audience, so that you can share your thought leadership so that you can grow your network potentially get more leads and buyers into your business. I can’t really imagine a show in which someone wouldn’t want to be found. And in that case, they should go back and listen to the private podcast episode that we did with Dr. Lindsay pedia from Hello audio, I think two episodes ago because it was a great episode. And when you have a private podcast, you don’t have to worry about being found if you truly don’t want to be found. There is one key thing I did not mention. It is the benefit that when you are optimizing for, you know, getting found using your podcast audio, you have both on site and off site SEO opportunities. So just quickly, so I don’t confuse you, because we’re going to be talking about this throughout the episode. When I say on site SEO, what I mean is your website, your website means on site. When I say off site, SEO, all I mean is off of your website. So if you’re a podcaster think about where your content goes, you’re going to have your podcast that is hosted through a podcasting platform like Buzzsprout or Hello, audio. That’s off site. Okay. And then you’re also going to have potentially and hopefully I should say content on your website, like show notes or a podcast page to promote and publicize your show. That’s on site. Okay, so very key, very important part of this conversation and on site. SEO means what happens on your website. And off site SEO is what happens elsewhere, where tools have the option for search. So in this case, podcast players, I think everyone knows you open Apple podcast or Spotify podcast, just as an example. There is a search bar where you can put a phrase in and get content given to you. So Spotify presents you with a potential podcast or potential podcast episodes related to whatever it is you’re searching. That is off site SEO. So the absolute bonus of podcasting and I think this is the reason I truly fell in love with it coming from a content background is that you don’t just get one opportunity for SEO. You have to monsterous SEO opportunities. But you’re creating one form of content. Like right now. I am actually using squat Podcast, which I get now for free through my descriptor membership, which FYI, if you guys have described, go sign up for squad guest versus paying for any additional tools. And when I’m done recording this, I can edit it within the tool, and then publish it to my podcasting platform. And then because I additionally create show notes for the podcast for my website, I will reap the benefits of the SEO opportunity that I get from publishing the audio content on, you know, a tool like Hello, audio, and from those show notes that I’m creating from my website. This all sounds great, right? If I haven’t convinced you yet, and you’re still curious about why podcast SEO is so important. It’s really easy. And it’s really simple. It’s honestly so you can attract new listeners, you can attract new leads. Specifically, if you have a podcast that’s related to your business, you can share your thought leadership more easily and to a wider audience. And you can also grow and network throughout your podcast. Deanna Seymour mentioned this on the last episode that having an audio Summit, or multiple audio summits for her business was so important to her not just because it grew her business, she wasn’t necessarily looking at the financial aspects of this, or the, you know, the increase in leads or anything like that. But it was from the network that she built from the guest experts that she introduced, and how VAT in particular has grown her business. And I’d have to say the same thing. Part of my fascination and enjoyment of podcasting is the people that I’ve met, and the people that I’ve, you know, been lucky to call friends through podcasting. So Erin Ollila 06:50 SEO can help you do that. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever said this before. But I guess SEO can help you make friends if we’re looking at from this perspective, and who doesn’t want more friends. Alright, so let’s just jump into the actual important stuff. And that’s two things, how to optimize your podcast, as well as how to optimize individual podcast episodes. Now through these two things that I’m going to be talking about today. We will cover both on site and off site SEO. But I just wanted to let you know ahead of time, that’s kind of how we’re breaking it down. We’ll start with the basics. And that’s how to optimize your overall podcast. Now the first thing that you need to think of specifically, if you don’t have a podcast yet this advice is helpful. If you do have a podcast, I will share a tip of something I’ve adjusted my in my own show that may help you. One way to optimize your show is by using a relevant keyword within the title or the podcast name. For example, My show is called Talk copy to me when I was ideating. On what I wanted to have on this show, I knew I really wanted to make this a marketing based podcast, specifically covering SEO, copy and content. Now, I had to make the decision of how I was going to kind of tie that up because I can’t say talk copy and content to me while we discuss SEO with a with a title right? You want your title to be succinct you want it to be clear, you want some cleverness but not cleverness so that it trumps clearness. The most important part of optimizing your podcast title is really making sure that you are letting the audience know immediately what they’re getting from your show. Now, the big question is, do you sacrifice SEO within your title? Or do you create a title that is SEO specific? My show as I just mentioned, this talk Copy To me that’s what you’re listening to you write to me right now. And I sacrificed SEO within my podcast title, because I truly loved the name and I wanted to go with that. I could have done talk copywriting to me, and it would have been able to use that short tail keyword of the word copywriting. So originally, you know almost two years ago at this point, I sacrificed the SEO in order to have the name that I wanted. However, one thing that I found is when I would do some SEO spot checks on my own podcast, it was frustrating to type in the word copywriting and not immediately appear within the podcast players. Meaning if I searched apple and if I searched Spotify, and I was looking in the podcast section on Spotify, and I typed copywriting if my show wasn’t one of the first ones I was a little annoyed by that because I was like, there is not that that many copywriting podcast. I mean, there’s a bunch, but many of them already been asked Have any more. And I felt like I needed to do a little bit more to improve SEO in that respect. So I added, I guess you would call it a subtitle, I added a subtitle to my podcast name that I have. If you looked in your podcast player right now, what you’d see is a talk copy to me, then a separator. And then it would say something like, I don’t remember off the top of my head, but it would say, maybe SEO and copywriting podcast or copywriting podcast. And I do that, because I want to make it clear to the podcast player that this show, if they haven’t figured it out by this point, is a copywriting podcast. So that way, if anyone goes into Apple or Spotify and types in the word copywriting, it is so much more easy for my show to appear, then, because it is very clear that that’s what they’re going to get, cuz it’s in the title of my podcast name. So I started this by saying, if you haven’t launched a podcast yet, and you’re considering it, you know, take into two factor that your podcast name could potentially should have a keyword in it. And if it doesn’t, at this point, and you’re really bothered by that, you could do something like I did, and add a little note to the end. That’s not going to make and break your SEL though. So don’t get too excited. By my suggestion, it is something to help. But that does not mean you need to adjust your podcast name, because you do have the podcast description, which is the second way to really optimize your overall podcast. Again, you really want to be succinct and clear here, and you want it to be enticing, and mention who the podcast is for. Now, I know that that’s I mean, that’s a lot to ask in a sentence maybe or a small amount of characters. And again, I probably should have looked this up before I started talking. But my show says something to the effect of talk copy to me is a SEO and copywriting podcast or I think it might say, is a marketing and messaging podcast for service providers and small business owners who are looking to maybe say something like amplify their message or improve their copywriting and attract a larger audience. Sorry that I do not know my exact podcast description, but it is around the idea of those things. And for your show, if you do that, if you notice, what I did is I mentioned who the show was for, and what they’re going to get if they listened to the show. And in doing that, I use keywords for my target audience, and keywords for the topic or the main, you know, category of my show. Within the podcast description. There are those are the two main ways that you really need to optimize your overall podcast. But there are a few other ways and one of them is having a podcast website, or a page on your own website that is dedicated to the podcast. In addition, and we’re going to actually talk about this next, but so that I can explain the difference between the two. In addition to that main podcast page, you would also be creating on site show notes, and the podcast player descriptions for each episode. So from the the hierarchy of things right here, you have SEO that is used in the title of your podcast in the main description about your overall podcast, you then have a website or at least one page for your podcast. For my show. Specifically, I’ve chosen to use my own website to host a podcast page. So if you went to Aaron Oh lulu.com/podcast That is the main page for the talk copied me show. And then moving on to the second phase of what I mentioned here. I talked about creating individual content for each episode for both offsite purposes and onsite purposes. Let’s let’s kind of go over that now how to optimize for each episode that you create. The first thing that you’re going to do very similar to the overall Podcast is your episode titles. But you have so much more opportunity with your episode titles than you have for those that podcast title because you have more space it can be a little bit longer. And you can use longer tail keywords within the episode titles. Meaning how to peel a potato for example, if you have a cooking show. I know this isn’t probably not something you You’re covering on your cooking show. But if you have a cooking show, you couldn’t title it, how to peel a potato and 10 100. Other things you’ll learn about cooking, like the overall podcast, but you could have an entire episode dedicated, dedicated to the peeling of potatoes and use that what five, Erin Ollila 15:21 five word longtail keyword phrase how to peel a potato. Yeah, five words, you could use that as part of that individual episode title. And the beauty of that is it allows you to get more specific, which really does reach a more niche or a more interested audience who wants to hear your answer to that? In this individual case question. Not that you need to have episodes the answer questions, let me put that there storytelling podcast are very important. Thought Leadership podcasts are very important. I was really excited. I don’t know if I mean, I’ve talked about her show many times on this podcast. But if you haven’t yet heard the most recent episode of Angie troubadours podcast, I highly suggest you go listen, she has changed the name from go pitch yourself to pitch. And she talks about why she’s adjusting the name, and how it’s related to the content that she wants to share. I think it gives you a really good idea about how episodes and an entire show can transform. So go on and listen to Angie show after you finish listening to this very important podcast episode on SEO. I mentioned using keywords in the title. But don’t forget that your title should also really have a hook. And it doesn’t have to be this monstrous hook that leaves people hanging. But you do want to entice people to click and listen to your episode. And one thing I see people do wrong all the time is that they make the title of the episode about them or their show and not about their audience. Okay, just peeking in my actual last few episodes, here are a few examples of titles that are audience related. Why you need strategic podcast workflows. Now, Alicia Galati and I did that episode because we both do things with podcast workflows for our business. And we could have talked we could have titled it something to the effect of Alicia Galati and Erin Ollila has podcast workflows. But that did not introduce the audience into the topic. Because we covered reasons why your own podcast workflow can really like make or break your your efforts in producing a show. Another one was hosting an audio summit for your business, private podcast and premium content, the perfect tools for growing your business, should I start a podcast for my business. So you can see that what I’m doing is including the audience member within my train of thought within the actual episodes so that they are more enticed to click because immediately it’s for them, and it’s about them. Moving on from episode titles, you still have episode descriptions, which are so important because episode descriptions go into the podcast players. So that’s your off site SEO, you’re given the opportunity to write a paragraph or multiple paragraphs about what the listener can expect from the episode. So if your title is short, obviously, we can only write so many words in our titles. But if your title is short, your description can expand upon the idea. And it can convince them and entice them that they want to click in to listen. And this is where the off site SEO comes in. If someone is searching again, my my my favorite example, if someone is searching about peeling potatoes within Apple podcast, they’re going to get your episode, not anyone else’s. Because I can’t imagine how many episodes are about peeling potatoes in podcast land, but they’re going to get your episode because you’ve included those words within your podcast description. This is entirely off site SEO. Nothing about the podcast description is happening on your website. So it’s not happening in you know, Google land either. It is happening within that podcasting tool. And that’s that’s gold for your business that’s gold for promotion. The idea that people can search within this microcosm of of an of a place not to the entire internet, but within podcast land and find your show. In your podcast descriptions, I mentioned a pair paragraph or multiple paragraphs, but I also highly recommend either doing timestamps or bullet points that showcase the main things that your listener will get from your show, because people skim paragraphs and if you can just have a few bullet points are a few timestamps that kind of indicate where your chapters are within your episode. That’s going to entice people to click and listen because they’re going to skim your paragraphs, but they’re going to read your bullet points. And then before you’re done writing for the podcast players within that podcast description, think about your call to action. And think about what other information you want to share within that tiny or world of podcasting, you know, not the great big internet at this point. But what shows up within the podcast player. Some ideas here could be the bio of your you as the host, or of any guests you may have on your show. It could be where you want them to go. So for example, if you have a call to action to buy a product, put that in your description. It could be for my show, for example, I generally put the homework in. Now I will say I don’t put this in the podcast description, I do put it in my show notes. But it could be anything that’s relative to your show that isn’t happening in other shows that you really want to include. Within my actual podcast player description, I always include a link back to the show notes for the people who want to listen as well as kind of consume the written content that I’m creating for each show. Don’t forget your tech SEO, this I think will be more vital in the future is specifically now that you can add individual episode cover work like or cover art for your episodes. And Apple, which I know you know, Alicia actually mentioned in the last episode was something that you could do in other players. But if you are including individual episode cover art, you want to make sure that you’re titling the artwork, where it saved on your computer with a keyword. So for example, you’re not uploading image dash 195 84 into the podcast player, you’re making sure that the image that you’re uploading has a title that’s related to what you’re talking about, so that you can get some of that SEO juice within the actual images that you’re using. Again, I think this is more SEO for the future there. But if you’re going to be uploading episode art, you might as well start from the beginning doing it the right way. Erin Ollila 22:49 Let’s move and we’re before we’re ending, I know we’re getting very close to the end. But before we end, let’s move to talk about on site SEO for individual podcast episodes. What I specifically mean, here are your show notes. I do not know why podcasters are not creating more show notes for their website. I know it’s extra work friends, but it is it’s it’s kind of free content. I mean, you already recorded the episode, all you’re really doing within your show notes or summing up the main points and presenting them in written format. But what you’re doing when you’re doing that is you’re using those same keywords and the same intent of finding a larger audience and growing your network and sharing your thought leadership. But you’re doing it in a way that you’re getting the SEO benefits through your website. So a second ago, if you remember I mentioned kind of like the overall scope of Google being like the big world, the big internet, not just Google, but the overall internet and podcast players being this small place where you could search within the podcasting tools. Well, when you create content for your website, you’re then introducing it to that big world of the internet. So you’re getting those SEO benefits in those two places, which is exactly what I mentioned in the beginning, off site SEO, and on site SEO. Your show notes should have an introduction, which is could be very similar to the podcast description that included important keywords, those bullet points or timestamps. It should also include a transcript and transcripts, my friends, when you need them for your podcast. Not only are transcripts vitally important for accessibility reasons, and if you have not listened to the episode with Aaron Perkins, I highly recommend you do that. But transcripts are in so important for accessibility, but they also when uploaded to your show notes. They also help with SEO because every single word that you said on the audio version He’s now written down. Like, if you back in the day, I don’t know a decade ago or so, when I was doing more journalism or more interviews, I would actually need to hire a transcriptionist to write out every single word of my audio recording. So like a live person would listen. And it cost a lot of money. There are so many tools now like AI tools that transcribe things for a very tiny amount of money. I mean, some tools like described, which I’m using right now have transcription things built into the platform that you can utilize under that umbrella of of the subscription model that you’re paying for. So utilize them, and then add them to your website to help with SEO. Because if you’re targeting an SEO keyword, and you’re using it for your show notes, it would be ridiculous to assume that it’s not said in your audio recording, because if so why are you targeting that keyword that you’re not talking about makes no sense. So imagine how many times you’ve said a certain keyword within the audio recording that is now being used in the transcription on your show notes. There are other things you may want to include that could help with SEO in your show notes. For example, in my show, I include quotes from myself or the guest experts. I mentioned already, I include the homework assignment that the guest expert shares with us. I include the bios of myself and my guest expert calls to action of how how people can work with me once they’ve heard the show if they choose to hire me as a copy coach, or hire me to do strategy, SEO or copywriting for them. And don’t forget, one of the most important on site SEO things that you can do for yourself, is creating breadcrumbs. And what breadcrumbs are, are basically basically interlinking the content you’ve created on your own website. So in this episode, as an example, you may have heard me mention other episodes, like the Erin Perkins episode on accessibility, like Dr. Lindsay PD is episode on private podcast or DNS Seymour’s episode on audio summits or I mentioned, I’m Alicia Gladis episode on a podcast workflows. Because I mentioned them, I will include them in my show notes, and link back to those show notes. That is a breadcrumb, that is interlinking. That is telling Google or this biggle intranet world, that the content you’re creating is relevant to each other. And when you can make those connections, your intern helping big old world of the internet, to understand that the content you’re creating is you’re an expert in it, that you have a lot to share about it that it is helpful, which is obviously very important in this world of helpful content update. And it’s just really helpful to keep people on site too. So if you know, for example, someone finds my show notes with this episode, and they they’re interested and they want to learn more, then they click over to those ones that I just even just one of the episodes I just mentioned. And then they listen to that one, and they want to learn more, it’s going to improve some of my analytics for my site. And it’s going to nurture that listener so that they can trust me more and potentially hire me. So it’s very important to do an interlinking strategy. And finally, now, this is like a plus work here. I know a lot of people don’t do this. But in addition to the show notes that you create, you can create additional copy and content for your website. So again, on page SEO, what I mean is you could create a blog post that was related to the topic. So I’m talking about creating show notes for this episode about podcast SEO. And those show notes would include, you know, the podcast player to listen and all those things I just mentioned, but I could also create a blog post about why SEO is so important for podcast. And then I could link those two. In addition, you know, I started this episode by saying how this was the final episode within this mini series for podcasting. I could create an another blog post that link out to all of the episodes within the podcasting series, which I have done before and I will make sure I share an example of that in the show notes. So basically, it could be something like, you know, marketing tips for podcasters and it would link out to the episode on SEO the episode on workflows and promotion. The episode on private podcast the episode on audio summits, the episode on whether or not you need a podcast for your business. So Within these episodes, I have now created, why I’m assuming they’re five episodes, five individual show notes, I could potentially have five blog posts with about the same topic. And then one listicle, like blog posts that linked out to all of those five shownotes. So, again, a plus work here, if you have someone on your team that can help you with content is a great, great task to assign to them, because it’s going to increase your SEO search, it’s going to show Google that you are worthy of being shared. And it’s gonna help your your audience kind of get to know you better and consume more of your content in the way that they like best, whether that’s written content or audio content. And that’s it friends. I think I’ve talked for too long about this already. So I’m going to stop here. We will be back next week to talk to Sarah Gillis all about how to prep for Black Friday, which I thought was such a good episode to record, I really can’t wait to share it with you. And at this point, you’re already getting a little bit late for your Black Friday prep. So if you haven’t done any black friday prep or even if you have, please come back next week so you can kind of get walked through everything that you need to do and create in order to have a successful Black Friday sale. So I’ll see you back next week and we’ll talk copy about sales. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends

Note: Show notes may contain affiliate links to products, offers, and services that I whole-heartedly recommend.

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