Blog posts, videos, emails, eBooks, whitepapers, and case studies are all high-performing types of content that help build brand awareness and boost online visibility. But podcasting as a content form is often overlooked. This format can inform and engage listeners. And the best part? People have the benefit of mobility when they’re listening to a podcast.
Whether listeners are commuting to work, doing a workout, cooking, or walking their dog, podcasts allow people to consume content while multi-tasking or without looking at a screen. The popularity of podcasts is steadily climbing. In fact, 51% of the US population has listened to a podcast – up from 44% in 2018. But podcasts aren’t just great for keeping people entertained while on-the-go, they can also help businesses boost their SEO and increase rankings in the search engines.
How Does Podcasting Benefit SEO?
Increases Page Viewing Time
Google favors sites that have high dwell or viewing times, which indicates how long a visitor spends on your website before they return to the search engine results pages (SERPs) or leave the site. This indicates to search engines that your site provides value to searchers because they’re staying on your site longer. It shows that you’ve provided good content that answers key questions or provides visitors with instructions on performing a certain task.
Adding podcasts to your website can increase dwell times. When someone is listening to your podcast, they often have to visit your website to consume the content. It tends to take longer for a visitor to listen to a podcast – than it does for them to read a blog post. The longer visitors stay on your website, the better your chance of ranking in the search engines.
Provides Backlink Opportunities
Backlinks are very important for SEO. When you get links to your website from other sites – preferably ones with high authority – it shows major search engines that your content is high-quality and satisfies searcher intent. The more quality backlinks your website gets, the more likely your site is to rank.
Podcasts can build backlinks in many ways. First, you can distribute your podcasts to audio directories such as iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. These sites act as “mini” search engines for podcasts. Through iTunes, you can boost your rankings through:
- List rankings: Found via clicks and navigating through the site
- Homepage lists: Your podcasts appears on the iTunes homepage and will typically generate tons of downloads.
- Category lists: Include “New & Noteworthy”, “What’s Hot”, and “All Podcasts”.
- Subcategory lists: Break down into related categories. For example, under the Business category, Careers are a subcategory.
- Related podcasts: This includes “More by Channel”, which displays podcasters who have multiple shows. “Top Podcasts in Category” breaks podcasts down into the Top 200 list for each Category. “Listeners Also Subscribed to” is based upon user behavior and shows certain podcasts that other users have listened to. To show up on this page, you need more subscribers in iTunes.
- Search rankings: Keywords influence search rankings. They are found when a user performs a search on the iTunes platform. These rankings operate differently from lists because you can search by podcasts or individual episodes. Your podcasts will only show up on iTunes homepage if it’s well known or really popular. However, if your podcast is well-optimized, you can get good rankings in the search results.
The more you optimize your podcasts – creating customizable URLs, calibrating titles and descriptions, and using targeted content – the more likely they are to be found. Podcasts can achieve their own search engine rank, similar to the way YouTube videos occasionally show up in the SERPs.
You can also build backlinks with podcasts by being a guest speaker or sponsoring other podcasts. Oftentimes, they will provide links to your website and social media accounts in their show notes. If the podcast is established, then it’s likely their site has a high domain authority, which can help boost your SEO. A site with a high domain authority linking to you shows Google that since you’ve gained links from a trusted site, your site must be trustworthy as well.
Having guests on your own podcasts can be a great backlink opportunity as well. Interviewing someone that’s an authority in a particular industry or niche can help you gain your own authority. Once the podcast has been posted, they can share it with their own audience on their website or on social media. When an authority figure links to you, it adds more authority to your website and can help boost rankings.
Podcasts Now Appear In Google Search Results
Recently, Google announced that it will start including podcasts in search results. When users search for a podcast, Google’s results will show the three most recent episodes. What’s more, searchers can play/pause, rewind/fast forward. and adjust the playback speed of the podcast right in the search results without needing to visit the website. Clicking the links will take users to a page that shows the feed of all the podcast’s episodes. By showing up in Google search results, your podcasts can add another SEO benefit to your website. This makes your site more visible in the search engines.
Generates Social Shares & Engagement
Like videos and blog posts, podcasts are highly shareable on social media. They help generate social signals – likes, shares, retweets, and comments – which helps indicate to search engines that your content is providing value and engaging users, helping to rank your content. By getting shares on social media, you can also generate more website traffic and get more backlinks to your website or podcast. A website that’s getting a consistent amount of traffic shows Google that it’s an authority and is trustworthy. If many people are constantly visiting, saving, and revisiting your website, you have a higher chance of climbing the search engine ranks.
Boosts On-Page SEO
One important goal of SEO is to help Google better understand your content so that it can rank in the SERPs. The key to optimizing your podcast for the search engines is having keyword-rich episode show titles, meta-data, and descriptions. Text-rich podcast transcripts and show notes are also great since they help add additional content for users to follow along or read and provide more context to search engines about the podcast episode and topic.
If you’re looking to get more info on the benefits of podcasting and how it can help increase your visibility online and boost website traffic, contact us for more information.