SEO me the way: Optimizing your website for podcast discoverability

Original articles on your podcast website help new listeners discover your show

We’ll be referring to “articles” throughout this piece, since the post-making ability in Podsites is called an article, but this might be called a post or a blog post in your own website builder. Want a website designed to convert new visitors into podcast listeners? Start your free Podsite trial today.

Your podcast is valuable. You know that, your listeners know that, and we know that, but your potential new listeners don’t necessarily know that—yet! Creating relevant accompanying content to your podcast means there are more touchpoints for someone to learn about you, your show, and importantly, start listening.

While each episode of your podcast could be the first experience a new listener has with your podcast, each article on your podcast’s website may be a visitor’s first interaction with you. The audio of your podcast is your jumping off point to support both present and future audiences:

For existing listeners, complementary, additional resources help further their relationship with your show through continued engagement with your episodes.

For new listeners, your written resources on your podcast website serve as an entrance for arriving at your show. Your audio becomes a valuable new resource for them, a unique addition to what they were seeking in the first place. Through your writing, they begin listening, and deepen their engagement with the topics discussed on your show, and in turn, with you.

That’s right, we’ve flipped the engagement path on its head when it comes to new listeners—you’re easing them into your audio through the content of the show. And where does that all happen? On your podcast website.

Your podcast website serves as a hub for all the things you’re making, audio and beyond. Today, we’re looking at the “beyond” – what it takes to create and organize additional words, images, and more that expands your footprint on the web and increases discoverability. 

Audio turned text: podcast transcripts as articles

There’s a complete guide to the why and how of creating podcast transcripts, including why they’re essential for deaf, hard of hearing, listening impaired, and language learning audiences along with being infinitely helpful to writers and podcast creators themselves, in the Bello Collective’s Podcasting 101 series. We’re focusing on one particular extension of the why here: your transcript helps all audiences, including the ones mentioned above, discover, access, and enjoy your show.

While Google search has started to automatically transcribe podcasts to aid in discovery via web search, that only helps identify if something mentioned in an episode might be relevant to a search. A transcript on your podcast website provides necessary context to the topics discussed in an episode of your show.

While scripted podcasts have a starting point for their transcripts, podcasts with a lot of tape—including interviews or conversational shows—have a little more work to do. Here are some cheap and free audio transcription services that can give you a head start on transcribing your podcast:

For each transcript you publish, don’t forget to embed the episode as well. Remember, this might very well be the first interaction a potential new fan has with your show!

Audio turned video: podcast audiograms in articles

You might already be familiar with audiograms, the short video clips that make an audio clip clickable and listenable elsewhere. While videos that look great on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram don’t necessarily translate to sustained listening, the tools that make a video from audio clips can help serve as a point of entry for your podcast in another way: as a visual enhancement to an accompanying article.

Even if your podcast website automatically updates when you publish a new episode, you might find that an accompanying article announcing the new episode can help others share your show. Think of this article as a mini press release: you’re celebrating the publication of a new episode!

This accompanying article highlights:

  • An embed of the new episode
  • Things to listen for in this episode
  • Some choice quotes to help both your guests and your audience share your podcast
  • An audiogram that serves as a trailer for the episode

An accompanying article both doubles the footprint of a new episode while serving as a web-only gateway. This article is unique to you and your website, and makes for an ideal landing place for someone who arrives at your show via web search: you’re presenting a series of compelling tidbits that, together, entice a visitor to press play.

To help make those snazzy video trailer audiograms, here are some free (in some cases, to get started) audio-to-video creators:

Audio turned next steps: continued podcast audience engagement through articles

Your existing audience can engage further with your podcast when you provide more than just episodes. This can come in the form of reading, listening, watching, or offline activities. While this content sounds like a good fit for your show notes, it’s an even better fit for your podcast website. 

This written content that complements your podcast does more than make your show more discoverable. Chances are, at some point in your podcast episode, there will be a passing reference that a listener may want to learn more about. By linking to helpful resources in your article, you’re helping listeners continue to take action as they engage more with your show and satisfy their curiosity. Good on you.

Centralizing all the additional resources for each episode on your website means that you only need to add one link to your show notes. You’ll also start to understand how your listeners interact with the additional content when it lives on your website (thanks, Google Analytics!), and you’re seeding your site with even more relevant entry points. 

Case study: Through their listener survey, the podcast 70 Million learned that their audience—among them classroom educators—wanted more resources and ways to get involved after listening. They provide both annotated transcripts (with links to news, data, and other established reporting) and toolkits for each episode. Read more about 70 Million’s digital strategy in their Gain interview.

Getting organized: article tags

To connect similar articles to each other, add a tag. Since a tag also becomes an organized, standalone page, you can easily group and link to all your transcripts, resources, and new episode announcements. One dedicated page and a link that points to that page allows for focused marketing (for example, if we wanted to link to all our Gain interviews with podcasters, we could do that) or add a link on your podcast website (for example, WorldSchoolTV’s article tags centralizes all posts about destinations & events, then links to it from her top navigation).

How to use articles and article tags on your Podsite:

  1. Login to your Podsite dashboard.
  2. From the Articles tab, click “Create new article”
  3. In the Tags section of your new article, add your tags. Press return or the “add” button to add your tags.

  1. Once your article is published, visit it from your Articles link on your Podsite.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the tag you’re looking for (like, say, “transcript”), then click that tag.
  3. Ta-dah! The page you’re now on is a link that includes all articles that use that tag, and you can now use it to link from your Podsite navigation. (Go to the Design tab of your Podsite dashboard to add or rearrange links in your navigation.)

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