How to Use Podcast SEO to Grow Your Audience



Podcast SEO | BlubrryPodcast SEO

Podcast SEO can feel overwhelming — you just want to share your stories and point of view with as many listeners as you are able. It can also lead you down some analysis paralysis rabbit holes. In this post we will help you understand what Podcast SEO is, why you might need it, and what some podcast SEO best practices are — all so you can grow your podcast audience. If you really want to nerd out and dig in to SEO in general, be sure to check out the Beginner’s Guide to SEO over on Moz.

What is Podcast SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a suite of black magic marketing approaches intended to increase the visibility of a website or other web property on a Search Engine Results Page (AKA “SERP”). Google and Apple Podcasts are the two largest as far as podcast discovery is concerned. Ideally, your podcast and/or episodes show up near the top of the search results for things your listeners are interested in. For example when searching for Geek News on Apple Podcasts, Geek News, the podcast Geek News Central from our CEO, Todd Cochrane, is the third result for Podcasts.

Why Do I Need Podcast SEO?

Content may still be king, but being the king of an undiscoverable kingdom isn’t really why you started your podcast, is it? Unlike that baseball movie, if you build it, they will only come if they can find it. There are many ways to build your podcast audience, from advertising, to events to good ol’ fashioned word of mouth. But ensuring your podcast SEO is following best practices is kind of like the old adage “fish where the fish are:” your podcast is the bait & hook and podcast SEO helps you cast that fishing line right into the middle of all those searches. So if you want a long-term marketing solution that will help bring an audience to your podcast, you need good SEO.

How to Grow Your Podcast with SEO

You’ve got a podcast, or are about to launch one, and you’re wondering how to grow your podcast audience. No big deal, right? The good news is that podcast listenership is projected to grow at 15-20% per year for the next several years. The bad news is that because of the increasing popularity of podcasts and podcasting, there is a constant flood of new content. Cutting through that clutter to build an audience for your podcast is increasingly difficult. But it’s not impossible. And one of the most effective, long-term tools in your arsenal is to set your podcast up for SEO love.

Podcast SEO Best Practices

Optimizing your podcast for discovery follows a lot of the same technical factors that traditional SEO does. Which means that if you keep your audience’s interests–and how you can genuinely help them discover fascinating content that answers the question(s) they type into that search box–front and center, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

Here are some podcast SEO best practices:

  1. Humans beat crawlers in the long term: always write your titles, descriptions, and notes in way that answer a specific question an audience might have. Trying to game the system might get you clicks initially, but those audience members will quickly abandon your show if it’s not answering their questions.
  2. Put the keywords as close to the beginning of your title, description, and notes as possible. Remember that fishing analogy? Well, just like goldfish, audiences have short attention spans. Make sure you show them, right up front, that your show can help them.
  3. Use the right tools. Version 6.0 of PowerPress has some truly fantastic SEO tools built right in. There’s a great (short) article about using the podcast SEO tools built in to PowerPress over at Blubrry.com.
  4. Social media engagement has a direct correlation with search rankings. The more people engage with your podcast on the various social platforms, the more search engines like Google see you as a reputable source for your key topics/keywords.
  5. There’s more to SEO than just keywords. Design and user experience on your website and even podcast artwork play a role as well. If someone searches, clicks your link on the SERP, but then immediately leaves your site or stops your podcast, the search engines don’t like that. Their assumption is that the searcher did not find the answer to their question with you, so the search engines might not rank you as highly for those keywords anymore. But, what if you really did have great content in that podcast, it was just really hard for the searcher to find it because of how your website is designed? That’s a bad user experience design problem. Great news is that there are a bazillion website builder tools out there. Blubrry offers PowerPress Sites, the most comprehensive, customizable podcast package available.

Now you know what podcast SEO is, why you might need it, and some podcast SEO best practices. There are, obviously, plenty more you could do to improve your podcast discovery and increase your audience via SEO. We’d love to chat–hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or if you’re a Blubrry customer reach out to one of our real, live, actual human beings in Blubrry Support.


600,000 Podcasts and Growing! – YP40



Blubrry Podcasting recently hit another milestone, 600,000 shows in their podcast directory, and always growing! For those interested in the Apple industry, which is all podcasters in some sense, they have some new toys coming out this week and the rest of fall. We’ve got RSS feeds on the mind so we’ve explained different ways to create your RSS feed (and what is an RSS feed) at Blubrry. Todd is back from travel and they’re talking about all things Blubrry and podcasting on this episode of Your Podcast.

Welcome to Your Podcast, THE Official Blubrry Podcast!

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe at PowerPressPodcast.com.

We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review 😀.😀

Topics:

  • New from Apple: As always Apple has something they’re releasing, this time it’s iOS12, among other things.
  • 600,000 shows: In the Blubrry Podcast Directory!
  • RSS Feeds: There are a few ways to create your podcast feed with Blubrry. Learn about them here.

1. PowerPress on your site (WordPress)
2. PowerPress on PowerPress Sites (included in hosting)
3. Blubrry Publisher (Will have Blubrry in the name)
4. Podcast Mirror (Free feed service via Blubrry)

    • Dynamic Advertising Insertion System: In beta testing.
    • Switching things up: We’ve got a new voice on the Blubrry blog.
    • Want to work for Blubrry? Columbus office is looking for an administrative assistant for it’s development team.
    • Who owns your podcast? Make sure it’s worked out with any co-host, employees/employers ahead of time. When things split up for whatever reason, it’s best to have a plan.

Support:

    • Welcome our new technical support rep: Helping out nights and weekends, John Haskins.
    • Player images on the Blubrry player: Turn on the option in the “activate and configure now” area. Then upload the episode image to the spot provided in the Podcast Episode box (only works on PowerPress)
    • Episodic images: Where they show up and where they do not. See PHD Episode 109.
    • Directory times: Apple doesn’t show your new episode in the directory listing right away.  Normally 24 hours or less, but sometimes longer. Subscribe to your own show to make sure it’s working properly.
    • Show notes: DO NOT USE A WORD PROCESSOR and copy/paste your shownotes. It causes a LOT of trouble. Hidden symbols and such.

To ask questions or to comment on the show, you can contact Todd or Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com.


What Is A Podcast RSS Feed?



RSS feeds aren’t exactly user friendly to all, so we wanted to simplify them a bit so that everyone can understand. We explain not only what a podcast feed is but the importance of having one.

What is a podcast RSS feed anyway?

RSS stands for “Rich Site Syndication” or “Really Simple Syndication”. In short, according to Wikipedia, RSS “is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.” In human language, that means you and your audience can use an RSS feed to consume your content someplace other than your website. Remember blog aggregators/readers? That’s how they work(ed). And, if you have a podcast, the podcast RSS feed is how platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, and others get your podcast info: they are more like an old-school phonebook, in that they simply list your information, but your podcast is actually served from wherever you host your media files. Your podcast RSS feed tells them things like your show name, the podcast episode title, the duration, etc. By the way, if you’re looking for an incredibly flexible, fast, stable place to host your podcast media files, be sure to check out our Podcast Hosting plans. Or, if you’re wondering how to get your podcast on Apple Podcasts, check out our step by step guide.

Why you need a podcast RSS feed

Put yourself in your listener’s shoes… or eyes & ears… for a minute. When you post anything to your website, your RSS feed defaults to listing a certain number of your most recent items. For example, WordPress defaults to listing the 10 most recent posts. The thing is, podcast readers will ignore anything in the default RSS feed that isn’t a podcast. So, if you’re publishing a handful of blog posts per month as well as a podcast per week, your default feed will only serve up those four podcasts. Your listeners are missing out.

BUT! If you have a podcast-only RSS feed as Blubrry users do, your listeners will have access to more of your awesomeness because the feed won’t be filled up with blog post content. Just the podcasts. You should have a podcast-only RSS feed.

Three ways to create a podcast RSS feed

Something to seriously consider as you set out on your epic podcasting journey: do you want to own and control your podcast RSS feed? The answer, if you truly care about your own story, is most likely yes. In which case, read on.

  1. The PowerPress WordPress plugin. It’s free. It’s super simple. It’s one of the most trusted ways to share your story with the world. The PowerPress WordPress plugin makes creating your podcast RSS feed ridiculously easy. That’s why there are tens of thousands of active installs, all over the world. We began developing the PowerPress WordPress plugin way back in 2008 because we wanted an easier way to create a podcast RSS feeds for our own podcasts. There is even a step-by-step guide on how to create your podcast RSS feed over at Blubrry.com.
  2. If you don’t have a WordPress site we provide one to every customer for free and it has PowerPress included. There certainly are a plethora of other options, but none are as simple to use or widely adopted and it’s integrated into the free WordPress site for those that do not have one.
  3. There is no three.

Ok. Those are the basics of what a podcast RSS feed is, why you might want one, and how to set up your very own podcast RSS feed. Be sure to check back often for more podcast RSS tips and tricks. And, as always, if you’re a Blubrry customer and you have any questions at all, give us a call. We have real, live humans ready, willing and able to help you build your podcast– including technical support in setting up a podcast RSS feed.

We should also mention that sometimes our corporate customers or podcasters experimenting in the space do not want to go the WordPress route. That’s really ok as we have a solution for you where you can publish directly on Blubrry.com as well and we will provide you an RSS feed from there. We always want to suggest the best solutions first, as we truly believe you should build your brand on your .com this results in the best SEO for your show.


Assist the Blubrry Development Team



HiringThe Columbus office, home to the software development team for Blubrry Podcasting and MacKenzie our Services and Affiliates Coordinator, is in need of an administrative / office assistant. With a small team of developers, we need someone to assist with a variety of tasks associated with the department, such as writing documentation, testing new features, helping to manage projects, etc.

The team needs someone who is comfortable moving from task to task and ensuring that the office runs smoothly. Given the industry that we’re in, a passion for technology is a desired characteristic. If you’re familiar with podcasting – from behind the mic or just a fan – even better.

Positions at Blubrry are never set in stone so depending on your skills, education and interest this could evolve into a higher position. We’re looking for someone to join us in the physical Columbus, Ohio, office 40 hours a week, regular business hours, as soon as possible.

  • Office / Administrative Assistant Skills
    • Technology: Email, calendars, documents, spreadsheets and presentations
    • Communication: Handling incoming correspondence from customers or partners
    • Organizational skills: Schedules, events, email and files
    • Time management: Accurately plan and estimate tasks
    • Strategic planning: Prioritize tasks in order of importance
    • Agile: Quickly adapt to changes
    • Detail oriented: Catch typos, poor grammar and other mistakes
    • Anticipate: Complete important tasks without needing to be asked

This position includes lots of writing for the team and our community, so we’re looking for a skilled, confident writer. This means that a cover letter is very much appreciated. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

You can learn more about the position and apply on Monster here. If you have any questions, email jobs@rawvoice.com.


Learnings the Ins and Outs of Podcasting



MicrophonePodcasting has quite a learning curve for most when they’re first getting started. Fortunately, there are some people out there to help others learn, or just hand off to someone more experienced. Dan Thibeault, is a podcaster himself, created Fast Twitch Media to help other podcasters. He offers services for a variety of podcast tasks such as graphic design, content marketing strategies and social media.

Before learning of Dan’s podcast experience they discussed an article from earlier this year, focusing on marketing for podcasts. There is often debate and speculation that the technology hinders the medium from growing, and that listening is a barrier, but this article focuses on how we can help combat this by promoting the content of podcasts.

A PowerPress tip about secure podcast feeds is included at the end of the episode, courtesy of Shawn Thorpe from the Blubrry support team. Remember, Blubrry has great technical support available 7 days a week. You can reach them via support@blubrry.com.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

Explain the Content, Not the Tech: Some advice all podcasters can take for their show.
Fast Twitch Media: Reach out to Dan if you’d like to utilize some of his podcast expertise.
Life Underground: Dan’s show about metal detector findings.
Email MacKenzie


Podcast Hosting Options and Your Content



Podcasters have lots of options today when it comes to hosting, which is really incredible considering how things were when Blubrry launched back in 2005. Having been in the space that long gives us a lot of perspective on the ease of which podcasters today can get their message out to the world versus how much more difficult it was five or ten years ago. If you hang out with any of our team members or listen to our podcast, you will quickly learn that we are podcasters first and foremost and very attuned to creator rights in regards to their content.

At Blubrry, we’re committed to providing top-notch services to podcasters. The products and services we provide allow those that use our services to launch their podcast in a way that allows them to control their brand, intellectual property, and of course their podcast feed. We are confident that, three or six months down the road, podcasters who sign on with our services will feel great about the choice they made to work with a company that respects those rights and makes it easy to retain ownership and control of their intellectual property.

By contrast, today we often get calls from podcasters who have realized they made some podcast service provider selection missteps when they launched their shows.

These run the full gambit, but for most, it’s the realization that they are building their show/brand on top of rented land and that they would much rather be promoting their own .com versus promoting the brand or vertical their show is on. With Google, today entering the scene with Google Podcasts the value of building your SEO for your own site is much more appealing than building the SEO of your host.

Today, podcasting is big business, with many models to choose from. While a few of our offerings are free, notably the PowerPress Plugin & basic Podcast Stats, most of our products and services – like hosting and pro stats – have subscription costs. While some podcast offerings out there today are attempting to forge new business models, our perspective in the space requires us to consider creators first and not risk our customers’ shows with business models we have seen come and go.

“Podcasting companies are more than a place to host your media,” explains Blubrry/RawVoice CEO Todd Cochrane. “At Blubrry, we have a diverse team that is involved in support, development, monetization and podcaster advocacy. We work behind the scenes with groups such as the IAB to make sure your podcast stats are IAB compliant. At the same time, we consistently maintain and update our infrastructure and continue to develop new and existing services.”

All this requires time, resources, and yes money – so if a company is providing you a service and not charging you for it, their business model necessitates generating significant revenue to pay salaries, benefits, infrastructure, rent and more. In that circumstance, the value you’re “trading” them is often not well defined, but may include access to and control of your content. We would argue that your content is far more valuable than what we charge you to host it and is, in fact, too valuable to trade away for access to “free” services.

A free podcast host might be a good fit for you if you’re testing out podcasting. However, keep in mind that a free service may restrict your ability to monetize your podcast yourself. You may not be able to access your own analytics, and if your host owns your feed, they may also insert their own ads or even remove your show without warning. The more control you give up of your content and where it lives, the more likely a change to the company’s business model or terms of service will negatively affect you.

At Blubrry we start with the simple premise that there are many benefits to podcasters owning and controlling their intellectual property, and we are committed to creating products and services that allow you to grow your show without our interference. It may not be free, but for those of us serious about building our brands, the cost is well worth paying.


The FCC is Podcasting – YP39



The Federal Communications Commissions, better known as the FCC, has officially joined podcaster ranks with their own show, entitled More than Seven Dirty Words. A play on their role in communications, it focuses on the organization as a whole. Shawn Thorpe joined Mike on the episode today as Todd was out on travel. They discuss a new podcast event happening in Atlanta and podcast listener demographics.

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe at PowerPressPodcast.com.

We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.

 

News:

  • They regulate TV, radio, cable and wire and satellite communications and now they have a podcast. The FCC just released an episode of their show, More Than Seven Dirty Words.
  • A Pod Connection: Podcasting conference happening in Atlanta Oct 5 – 7th.
  • No surprise here, Millennials and Gen Xer’s top the charts in podcasting listening. Check out the data from NextRadio.

Topic:

  • Just who is Shawn Thorpe and how long has he been involved with Blubrry?

Support:

  • Moving your podcast: When you are running your podcast from a website, do not change the domain until you have redirected to the new website/domain. Rebranding needs to be done in a particular order to work correctly and to not lose subscribers/listeners. Follow the steps below.
  1. Set up your new domain/website.
  2. Import podcast to your new site.
  3. Check PowerPress settings.
  4. Copy/Paste all settings from Destinations (that you’re able to).
  5. Redirect old RSS feed to new RSS (no not do a whole site redirect yet).
  6. Put your new RSS feed address in the “iTunes New Feed URL” tag or setting on both the new and the old RSS feeds.
  7. Wait 30 days, perform site redirect then.
    ***Post new content only on the new site.
  • Spotify: If your Spotify link doesn’t work, please check with us first (if you are hosting with us) and we will check it. If we find nothing wrong, you will have to contact @spotifycares on Twitter (it’s their only support for podcasters). Check with us first, before heading over to social media.
  • For those using Generator: (Blubrry.com RSS feeds) Do not put ANYTHING in the Alternative Feed URL box. That will cause a loop that will duplicate every episode over and over and over in the feed (which is really annoying to clean out).
  • Import Podcast from within PowerPress: This is NOT a workflow. It’s meant to be a one-time only use to move a feed to WordPress from any other feed.

To ask questions or to comment on the show, you can contact Todd and Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com.


Happy 10th Birthday, PowerPress!



PowerPress Plugin

From its modest beginning on August 11, 2008, through the dozens of updates that led to its feature-packed modern incarnation, the PowerPress Plugin was born from a desire to help the podcasting community – and that commitment is just as strong today.

When a popular WordPress-based podcast plugin went under in 2007, the team at Blubrry saw the impact it was having on podcasters, and sprung into action to create a solution – and the rest is history.

Among many, many other changes and improvements, the 10-year history of PowerPress has included:

Some things, however, have never changed. The PowerPress plugin continues to be free, and is still cared for by its original developer, Blubrry CIO Angelo Mandato (for more on the history and future of PowerPress, listen to the most recent episode of the PowerPress Podcast.) Now powering between 60,000 and 80,000 podcasts, PowerPress remains stable and forward-thinking: ready to handle a continuing increase of listeners and imminent new technology like implementation into vehicles.

Happy birthday, PowerPress! We’re excited to watch you continue to power podcasts for the next decade and beyond.

 


PowerPress Plugin 10th Anniversary



PowerPress PluginThe PowerPress plugin is officially 10 years old as of August 2018. The free WordPress .org plugin created and offered by the Blubrry Podcasting team has had many iterations over the years and the main developer, Angelo Mandato, joined MacKenzie to chat about these developments. RawVoice Inc, Blubrry’s parent company, started in 2005 right after podcasting began, and we’ve focused on paid and free services for podcasters ever since.

With over 60,000 active installs, Blubrry’s plugin is essential in the podcasting world and will continue to be for years ahead. If you’re not already using PowerPress, you can read up about it and download below. The past few years have been vital for podcasts and they chat about what people should be paying attention to for their shows in the future.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here.

Show notes:

PowerPress: Download, reviews, read.me, etc.
Learn more about the plugin on our site.

History of why PowerPress was created.
The future of the plugin.
Achievements made.
Features of the plugin.
What to expect out PowerPress and the podcasting industry.

Reach out to MacKenzie if you’d like to be a guest, have questions, comments, etc. Email mackenzie@blubrry.com.


Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Dynamic, Condenser: What Kind Of Mic Is Best For Podcasting?



Whether you’re just getting started podcasting or ready to upgrade your equipment, choosing a mic can be one of the most confusing decisions you make. There are a ton of options out there, and podcasters have some very definite opinions about which microphones are best…but first, you have to make two choices.

Cardioid Vs. Omnidirectional: 

A cardioid or hypercardioid microphone (like the Audio Technica AR-2100 or RØDE Podcaster) records from a specific area of the mic, while an omnidirectional mic picks up sound equally from all areas of the mic.

“For podcasting, you’re basically always going to want a cardioid or hypercardioid microphone,” says Brian Thomas, audio engineer and owner of Yōkai Audio. “The polar pattern of a cardioid microphone allows you to focus on the sound you want, like your voice, while minimizing the sounds you don’t want – i.e., everything else.” (For more information on how to use your microphone’s polar pattern to your advantage, check out this thorough article.)

Cardioid/hypercardioid mics are usually the better choice for podcasters for a couple of reasons, says Thomas.

First, very few podcasters are able to record in ideal conditions. “Cardioid/hypercardioid mics allow you use the microphone’s “dead spot” at the back of the capsule to minimize unwanted noise,” says Thomas. “If you have a loud heating duct or rumbly refrigerator, you can point the back of your microphone at it and significantly reduce its presence on your recording.”

Second, if you’re recording multiple people in the same room, you’ll want to be able to isolate your signals as much as possible. “You can point two cardioid mics 180 degrees away from each other and use the dead spots at the back of the capsule to minimize bleed between the microphones,” suggests Thomas.

There may be circumstances in which an omnidirectional microphone is the better choice for a podcaster – for example, if you’re recording on location, and the background noise is an important part of the podcast’s ambiance. And some podcasters use omnidirectional mics to capture the voices of several people at once into a single mic. Beware, though, that since a single mic is capturing the sound, there won’t be a way to separate those voices later to level them out or make isolated adjustments. For all these reasons, Thomas highly recommends recording each individual on their own cardioid mic.

Dynamic Vs. Condenser:

The choice between dynamic and condenser microphones is mostly one of personal preference, but you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, condensers are generally more sensitive than dynamic mics, which means you’ll get a crisper, more detailed sound. But, that also makes condensers more prone to picking up background noises you don’t necessarily want (remember what we said earlier about refrigerators, air conditioners and the other less-than-ideal realities home podcasters dal with?) and may also exaggerate lip smacking, breathing and other sounds you’d rather didn’t come across on your recording.  Condenser mics also require an external power source. That said, many podcasters successfully use condenser mics and prefer them to dynamic; just keep in mind your recording location and other factors when choosing.

The absolute best way to choose a mic, suggests Thomas, is to head to a local retailer and try them for yourself. If that’s not realistic, ask around: forums, blog posts and Amazon reviews are a great way to find out which mics are favorites of other podcasters…and why.