Audio SEO: Best Practices & Optimization Techniques
Are your efforts at optimizing audio content failing to bear results? You need to try newer strategies to enjoy the untapped potential of audio content when they appear in search results.
Today, there is an increase in demand for smart assistants, audiobook content, and podcasts and this demand is rising at an unimaginable speed. You can see audio content is being positioned on the first page of the SERPs. This rising popularity of audio content gives you a reason to optimize audio content for search results.
In the year 2016, Google announced that about 20% of its searches are voice searches. By 2018, Google’s mission was to double the amount of podcast listening over time. Today, the team’s mission is fulfilled with the number of podcast listeners reaching 485 million across the globe.
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In this article, we’ll provide insights on sonic branding and its best practices.
What is audio SEO?
As of 9 May 2019, Google announced that its team would start including podcasts in Google’s search results so that people can start listening to podcasts directly from the search results page or save an episode for later.
Audio SEO can be simply defined as the process of optimizing audio-specific content so that they rank at the top in organic search results. We can consider podcast SEO as a subset of audio SEO, where the show and episodes are optimized to rank higher in search results.
Here are some of the best practices to get your audio content up in the search results.
1. Understanding your audience
Your audiences are the consumers of the podcast or whatever audio content you are optimizing.
Research to understand your audiences:
- Watch out for the likes and dislikes of your subscribers
- Track and monitor people’s comments on social media to understand what they need
- Create a buyer persona
- Research your competitors.
- Conduct surveys.
2. Defining your niche
Rather than generalizing or building your podcast on just one topic, focus your efforts on a specific niche. Building on your niche:
- Gather information about your niche.
- Identify your audience to define your niche
These steps would help you in efforts to create your audience persona. You can use the audience persona in your podcast marketing campaigns to reach out to relevant audiences, who would be interested in subscribing to your podcast.
3. Focusing on improving the quality of your podcast
Here are some great ideas to create a high-quality podcast:
- Focus on the concept or message that you’re trying to convey, and build your podcast along those lines.
- Create the podcast based on your audience’s demographics: age, gender, location, etc. The podcast should offer a solution to their problems (offering what your listeners want is a way to increase your subscribe base, driving engagement and comments – ultimately, Google will start displaying your podcast in the podcast carousels).
- Do not include any artificial elements in your podcast, it should sound natural to the listeners (practice and ensure that your script is perfectly fine-tuned before you start recording).
- Use high-quality equipment to deliver an excellent sound quality (pop filters, headphones, headphone amplifier, editing software, mixers, and microphone stand).
- Be open to discussions and interactions if your show is live.
4. Including a podcast trailer
It is crucial to include a quick preview for your podcast so that the audiences understand what you are going to offer them. This trailer or teaser would drive more potential audiences your way. The trailer should include the USP of your podcast and you could include some exciting music to build into the suspense.
The podcast trailer shouldn’t be over 40 seconds. One of the recommended ways to start your trailer is by discussing the most pressing problems of your listeners related to the topic of your podcast. This is one of the best ways to connect with your listeners and to make them curious to listen to the entire podcast.
The trailer should end with a note on how your podcast will provide insights to help them address their issues.
Add a pinch of uniqueness and excitement to your trailer by including short clips of your show – like the ones you see in movie trailers. In addition to driving podcast listeners, a trailer has a role to play in improving engagement and contributing to SEO efforts.
5. Creating a website
Creating a website for your podcast is an important step to increasing visibility. With a new website, you can drive rankings for branded keywords. If anyone searches for your podcast on Google, the name of your website will be displayed.
6. Including a new landing page
Every time, you create a new episode, design a new landing page. With more content, there is an increased chance of showing up in the SERPs for any related searches.
Every podcast episode should be optimized for related keywords, which will help increase organic visibility and drive more potential listeners to the show. The landing pages will present Google with the information relevant to your podcast, which will help it to rank higher in the carousel.
7. Including audio transcripts
This is another important step to optimizing your audio or podcast. Include transcripts or sub-titles for your podcast. A transcript is like a written version of the audio, which will include timestamps, speakers, and sound effects. Transcripts will help Google understand more about your show.
8. Optimizing podcast
The four most critical podcast metadata include author name, title, description, and category.
Here are a few tips to optimize these:
- Unique title and description for podcast episodes
- A compelling headline for the podcast, giving the audiences an idea about the podcast
- Don’t stuff keywords in the title or descriptions – use only the ones that are necessary
- Promoting on social media
The RSS feed of a podcast helps to take your podcast to your intended audiences. Include a proper title, author name, podcast description, and email, and a featured image when having your podcast hosted. When hosting your podcast, include podcast-level and episode-level tags.
9. Promoting podcasts on social media
One of the best places to promote your podcast is social media. How to promote on social media:
- Tagging co-presenters and guests when sharing podcasts
- Promoting your podcast on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter
- Including the right hashtags
- Hosting giveaways
Once you launch a podcast, start promoting it. The number of people who subscribe, reviews, links, and citations – all play an important role in your podcast going viral. You can follow the above steps and also include a few strategies of yours to make your podcast a success.