Category Archives: Tips

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.

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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.

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And The Winner Is… – Your Podcast 015



Congratulations to all of the Podcast Awards winners, awarded live on International Podcast Day. Media companies are always changing and recently Vimeo, known for recorded video acquired Livestream giving them access to live streaming capabilities as well. Todd tried out Apple’s AirPods and was pleasantly surprised. Given the current political climate, there has been an influx of podcasts on politics – Joe Biden is the most recent to come out with one. Lastly, Todd and Mike suggest that podcasts insert ads in their podcast so prospective advertisers can hear what your ad reads sound like, like a trial run.

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

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

News:

Congratulations to all the People’s Choice Podcast Award winners!

Topic:

  • Why podcasters should consider doing a demo for their podcast. The benefits of being advertiser ready.

Tech Support:

“I posted an episode and it’s not in Apple Podcasts yet. What did I do wrong? PLEASE HELP.”

We get this question A LOT!

The iTunes/Apple store listing and what appears in your feed are two different things. People that subscribe to your feed in iTunes will get the new episodes as you post them but the listing at iTunes can lag by a day or so behind your feed. This is normal. Again, remember to tell people to subscribe.

People get the wrong impression that your RSS feed PUSHES to iTunes: it does not. iTunes (when it sees fit) PULLS your feed. It asks for your feed when it gets around to it and PULLS your feed to update the listing. Your subscribers (even in iTunes) subscribe to your feed and after that never really touch iTunes (the service) again. They are just subscribed to your feed directly in the iTunes software. Subscribe to your own show, so that you can be reassured when you publish new episodes that all is well. It works the same as every other directory or app.

There is nothing we or you can do to make that faster. It takes whatever time it takes and if you want it to go faster you have to go to iTunes and refresh your feed manually.

Here is a checklist of things we do to make sure all is working fine.

  • Know what your feed address is.
  • Check your feed whenever you post. One way to check is a simple check in the Firefox browser. Load your RSS feed and check that the title is correct, the media file is indeed attached and that the feed loads without errors.
  • Check your feed in a validator. Podba.se or castfeedvalidator.com are up to date. Feedvalidator.org or W3 Validator are seriously out of date for podcast feeds.
  • Subscribe to your own podcast in your podcast app of choice. You should get the episode within a few minutes of publishing. Regardless if it’s in the store for that app, you will get it and your subscribers will too.

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

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PowerPress Podcast In Reverse and an Important Blubrry Release



Meredith Adler, a podcaster from North Carolina was MacKenzie’s guest for episode 45. This week they went with a different tactic – Meredith interviewing MacKenzie about Blubrry, PowerPress and podcasting. They briefly discuss a potential new podcasting event, PowerPress Sites (Deluxe is finally out!), as well as Meredith’s show that she started in the fall of 2016. Check out links below for more details and thanks for listening.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

What is PodCon?
PodCon Indiegogo Campaign – Donate!

Blubrry Forum
PowerPress Webinar Video
PowerPress Sites
Local Hearted – Meredith Adler show

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‘Infinite’ insights and ‘Your Podcast’



Mike Dell of the Blubrry team joins MacKenzie on the PowerPress Podcast to discuss the 2017 Infinite Dial Report, an annual study released by Edison Research and Triton Digital that shows the latest information on digital media consumer behavior. Mike and MacKenzie chat about a certain statistic that stands out this year that you’ll for sure want to know about.

They also discuss the new Blubrry show, Your Podcast featuring Mike and Todd Cochrane, RawVoice and Blubrry CEO. The show focuses on how your podcast should be in your control — tune in to learn more.

Lastly, CIO Angelo Mandato stopped by to talk about the difference between web and podcasting SEO, specifically in PowerPress.

Quick note — We will be changing our release day after this episode to Mondays. Look for PowerPress Podcast episode 42 on Monday, April 10.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

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Considerations Before Starting Your Podcast



PPPiTunesAlbumArt300New podcasters are full of questions and uncertainties and Todd Cochrane answers some of those questions and considerations. Todd joined MacKenzie on the PowerPress Podcast to give an educated and experienced opinion on what you should think about before you start your show. And speaking of beginners, there is a new app for podcasting, Bumpers.fm. The app was developed by two formers Twitter engineers and focuses on making recording, editing and publishing your episode easily. If you’re interested to hear what Blubrry has going on with new releases, make sure to listen to the beginning of the episode when MacKenzie and Todd discuss the upcoming social media sharing tools. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Bumpers.fm

Email MacKenzie

Blubrry Twitter

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The Holidays are Here! Here’s How to Prepare



The holiday season is in full swing and that means days off from work, and yes that includes the folks at Apple and iTunes. While you might be hoping to use some of your days off to get your podcast up and running or work on some changes, keep in mind there might be a delay on their end.

Take a look at their schedule (provided by iTunes) and plan accordingly:

Winter Content Submission Schedules

Podcast Launch                Date Submission Deadline

Dec. 5 – 11                        Nov. 28 (Oops! You might already be behind)

Dec. 12 – 18                      Dec. 5

Dec. 19 – 25                      Dec. 12

Dec. 26 – Jan 1                 Dec. 12

Jan. 2 – 8                          Dec. 12

Jan. 9 – 15                        Jan. 2

And since we’re on the topic, please keep in mind that while Blubrry is a large podcasting community, there are only 12 of us that work for Blubrry. We’ll be looking at emails and checking in as often as possible, but we hope you will be patient if there are delays in response. Check out our schedule below:

Half days – cannot guarantee we will get back to you that day

Friday, Dec. 23

Friday, Dec. 30

Out of office days – probably won’t hear back on these days

Monday, Dec. 26

Tuesday, Jan. 2

People love to listen to multiple episodes during the holidays since they’ve got some extra time around the house or on a long drive. From Christmas to the middle of January is the No. 1 on-boarding time for new listeners as well, so the end of December is not the time to put your show on break. Prepare now so you don’t have to worry about trying posting a show right before your day off. Enjoy the holiday season and happy podcasting!

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Podcasting On-The-Go: Tips & Tech For Taking Your Show On The Road



If you’re planning to travel this summer, you might be considering taking a break from podcasting. But why not take the show on the road instead? We consulted three Blubrry team members to get their take on the equipment and strategies that can help you keep publishing regularly, no matter where in the world you are.

zoom

Todd Cochrane, CEO 

“For portable gear, a lot of people like the Zoom H6 ($399), myself included. There are cheaper options, though, including the Tascam DR-40 ($130) and the Zoom H4nSP ($159.) While these units have built-in mics, you should only use those as a last resort.

A headset/mic combo is convenient on the road – I really love the Audio-Technica BPHS1 ($199). It has an incredible mic and the headset lets you hear your environment perfectly so as you are not in a controlled environment you can make sure you position yourself in the best place to reduce noise. If you’re on a budget, consider the Eartec Lazer Single-Ear ($70.) These headsets are all XLR and work with the above recorders.

It can be tough to get good sound quality in hotels, but a few well-placed pillows can help you reduce echo in a room. I have done interviews in cars: it can be a little awkward but they almost act as a mini sound booth and you can get really good sound.”

Barry Kantz, CFO 

“I guess I go for the low end. I use a Logitech headset and go through quite a process in Adobe Audition to correct the dull audio I get from the mic on the headset. I use Audition’s macro function to zoom through the correction process. I think it turns out very well and I’m fussy about audio.

Podcasting from our motorhome is becoming a common practice for me. It’s a challenge with dogs on board and the air conditioning turning on and off. I’ve recorded in the Jeep to avoid these challenges. I use my Zoom H4 to record in the car. As Todd said, a car is a good sound studio because of the close space and all the soft surfaces eliminating echoes.”

Brian Yuhnke, Creative Director

“For a portable studio, I recommend a Yeti mic ($130.) It has a USB port and has its own earbud input for no-delay monitoring. I recommend it to my students for their podcast projects. Other than that, you need a laptop, some earbuds/headphones and Audacity, Garage Band or Audition.”

 

What are your favorite tips and tools for taking your podcast on the road?

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4 Ways To Promote Your Podcast (Beyond iTunes!)



Of course you already know that submitting your podcast to directories like iTunesGoogle Play Music Podcast Portal, and the Blubrry Podcast Directory are the first steps in getting your show out to the wider world. But in today’s noisy internet ecosphere, just listing your show and hoping people will find you usually isn’t enough! Instead of relying on any one directory or list to elevate your podcast in the ranks, focus on a long-term strategy that incorporates audience development, consistency and a few clever promotional techniques. Here are some ideas for elevating your promotion strategy and getting more people to tune into your show: Continue reading 4 Ways To Promote Your Podcast (Beyond iTunes!)

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6 Ways To Take A Break From Podcasting Without Losing Your Audience



sunset

With summer just around the corner, many podcasters are asking whether or not it’s OK to take some time off from recording and publishing to make more time for vacations and leisure. While it’s tempting to think “hey, how much can it really hurt to take a few weeks off?” that “short” break can easily confuse listeners, stall momentum, or become a slippery slope into “podfading” (when a podcast becomes published less and less frequently, until it eventually just fades away.)

While members of the Blubrry team have experimented with taking time off from podcasting, most of us recommend against taking an extended vacation. However, here are some tips that can make occasional breaks less disruptive to your usual schedule and make it more likely that listeners will stick around until you get back.

  1. Consider your podcast’s age and following. An older, more established podcast with a solid and loyal audience may be able to get away with occasional breaks, but take a vacation when you’re just a few months into podcasting and you may find that your audience forgets about you while you’re gone. “I have created 1120 shows over 11+ years, and my audience has literally built me and my show into their lives,” explains Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. “While we all need to take breaks from time to time, my first break was 4-5 years into doing my show and then only 1 or 2 episodes at a time.”
  2. Keep breaks short and schedules consistent. A week off here and there (particularly if you give plenty of notice) isn’t likely to cause your audience to disappear, but 2-3 weeks can easily lead them to give up on you and go looking for new content. The biggest trick is to be consistent and deliver on expectations. For example, if you plan on going from daily to weekly episodes during the month of July, be sure you really follow through on whatever you’ve promised your audience. If they eagerly open up their podcast app on Tuesday expecting your episode and it isn’t there, you may lose them for good.
  3. Give your listeners plenty of advance notice. Communicating your plan to your listeners will help them understand what to expect and also help keep you accountable and organized during a break or reduced podcasting schedule. If you’ve promised your listeners you’ll be back every other Thursday over summer break, it’ll be that much harder to slack off on that day you’d really rather be at the beach.
  4. Keep communicating with your audience. Blog posts, social media, and utilizing your email lists are all great ways to stay in touch with your listeners when you aren’t actively publishing. Make sure to stay in front of them in a variety of different ways: after all, if you’re in “vacation mode” chances are so are they, and you’ll need to work harder to stay front of mind.
  5. Take your podcast on the road. Vacations don’t have to completely disrupt your podcasting schedule! Take a portable studio when you travel so you don’t have to miss a publishing date. It’s OK to keep this simple! “I used to take a massive packout,” explains Cochrane. “I now carry a headset and a zoom for shows I record on the road – it’s no more than 2-3 pounds and packs up in a shaving kit.” If you worry about sound quality, explain to your audience up front that you’re on the road so you might sound a little different than usual. Loyal listeners will just be happy to hear from you, even if the quality is a touch less than usual. If it fits your show topic, you may even be able to incorporate your vacation location into your show!
  6. Change up your format. Switching to shorter episodes while you’re on vacation or during a time of year that your audience is less engaged may be a welcome way to stay in touch with listeners without spending hours in a recording studio each week (or requiring them to log as much listening time to stay current.) You can also consider bringing in guest hosts, or switching to a less time-intensive recording format (i.e. quick off-the-cuff breakdowns of trending topics rather than lengthy interviews) during times when you’d rather be out flying a kite than inside recording.

Podcasters, how do you stay relevant and front-of-mind while traveling or vacationing?

 

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