Podcasting and SEO: How to SEO your podcasts

May 18, 2006   //   by Stephan Spencer   //   Blogging, Podcasting, Search Engines  //  13 Comments

There has been plenty of discussion in the blogosphere about blogs and search engine optimization (SEO). Google in particular seems to love blogs. Blogs are rich in content, heavily linked, with links that tend to be contextual, and without much in the way of code bloat or gratuitous flash animation. In short, blogs are search engine friendly out-of-the-box.

But what about SEO’ing a podcast, the blog’s newest cousin?

Podcasting (where anyone can become an Internet radio talk show host or DJ) presents unique opportunities to the marketer/content producer that blogging does not. I expound on this a bit more in my recent MarketingProfs article but the benefits of podcasting from an SEO standpoint wouldn’t seem as obvious. Podcasts are usually audio content, so you don’t get all this rich textual content that the search engine spiders can snarf up. You also don’t get the rich inter-linking that happens with blogs because you can’t embed clickable URLs throughout your MP3 files.

Nonetheless, I believe you can SEO your podcasts. Here’s how:

  1. Come up with a name for your podcast show that is rich with relevant heavily searched-on keywords.
  2. Make sure your MP3 files have really good ID3 tags — rich with relevant keywords. ID3V2 even supports comment and URL fields. The major search engines may not pick up the ID3 tags now, but they will! And besides, there are specialty engines and software tools that already do.
  3. Synopsize each podcast show in text and blog that. Put your most important keywords as high up in the blog post as possible but still keep it readable and interesting.
  4. Encourage those who link directly to your MP3 file to also link to your blog post about the podcast.
  5. Consider using a transcription service to transcribe your podcast or at least excerpts of it for use as search engine fodder. Break the transcript up into sections. Make sure each section is on a separate web page and each separate web page has a great keyword-rich title relating to that segment of the podcast. And, of course, link to the podcast MP3 from those web pages. There are many transcription services out there, where you can just email them the MP3 file or give them an URL and they send you back a Word document. Here’s a partial list of transcription services .
  6. Submit your podcast site to podcast directories and search engines such as audio.weblogs.com.
  7. Let people in your industry, such as bloggers and the media, know that you have a podcast because podcasting is quite new and novel. It will be more newsworthy and linkworthy than just another blog in your industry.
  8. Don’t just get up on your soapbox. Have conversations with others, in the form of recorded phone interviews, and podcast those as well. Pick people who have great reputations on the web and great PageRank scores, and ask that they link to your site and to your podcast summary page.

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of tactics. It is simply meant as a catalyst for creative thinking. SEO, in particular the link building aspect, isn’t about just following a set list of formulae. It is about creatively thinking outside the box and differentiating yourself in ways that make your site eminently more linkworthy than your competitors.

13 Comments

  • [...] Podcasting and SEO: How to SEO your podcasts by Stephan Spencer 04/17/2005 [...]

  • Hi Stephan,

    To help podcasters work smart, not long, in SEOing their podcasts, I’ve created a directory of pocast directories at Podcast Optimization. There you’ll find over 60 listings with Alexa rankings and links directly to the submission pages.

    Best wishes,

    Dan Safkow

  • SEO is complicated…:)

  • [...] Stephan Spencer also wrote up an informative list of Podcast SEO tips on his blog. [...]

  • Stephen,

    I completely agree. We include a textual script with each podcast we produce. While we’ve seen big leaps in audio search, nothing at all compares to what is out there in textual search. So, until the technology catches up, we’ll have to make podcasts as Google-friendly as possible.

  • I was wondering if it is possible to turn your podcast into a transcript with “Naturally Speaking” or some other voice recognition software. If this is possible, I think it would be great because you could get the textual indexing. So, does anybody know about this or if it’s possible?

  • Hi Matt,

    I’ve never tried voice recognition software. I understand from others that there’s a significant time investment required up-front in training the software to your voice. So if that’s the case, then the software wouldn’t be of much use for interview podcasts, only for monologues where you are the only speaker.

    Stephan

  • [...] Stephen Spencer on How to SEO Your Podcasts [...]

  • Is there any software that will automatically transcript your podcast?

  • Pete this is something I have been recently looking into, so far I have not been able to find anything

  • There are some podcasts experts hanging out at 4Networking, try there

  • Great idea and lots of fun reading and testing :-)

    Keep it up

    Villy

  • Great article, appreciate it.

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