Guest blogger Jaclyn Schiff wrote about how a niche podcast (for professional YouTube managers) got a show notes page on its website to the first page of Google after 2 months.
Tom Martin is the creator and host of Pro Channel Manager, a podcast for professional YouTube channel managers.
He launched the podcast in June 2020. He doesn’t have a ton of ratings and reviews (yet), but one of the episode pages on his website — about conducting a YouTube channel audit — is already on the first page of Google for a specific keyword.
This happened before Tom was even 20 episodes in, and it wasn’t by accident.
In full transparency, my agency PodReacher worked with Tom to achieve these results. Here’s exactly how we did it, and how you can too.
Don’t publish transcripts.
People say “transcripts are good for SEO.” To become more discoverable, most podcasters throw up a transcript on their episode page along with some basic show notes like a summary of the episode, resources mentioned etc.
That’s helpful, but it’s not going to bring you major search traffic. You rarely (if ever) see a page with a transcript on the results page of Google.
Knowing this, Tom creates episodes that are designed to be turned into SEO-optimized blog posts.
Instead of the typical show notes + transcript combo, his episode pages include an audio player along with an article that conveys the full value of the episode (shameless plug: our team helps with the writing part). So you can get exactly what you want to learn either by listening or reading.
He adds a nifty call-out box highlighting links and resources from the episode.
Btw, Tom is in good company with this strategy. SEO expert Brian Dean of Backlinko recommends this approach for podcasters.
Do keyword research first.
Before he hits record, Tom — who does both solo episodes and interviews — does keyword research.
He uses a keyword tool like Ahrefs or Long Tail Pro to find keywords with a high search volume and low keyword difficulty.
Sometimes going into a podcast episode with a particular keyword in mind isn’t possible, especially with interview episodes. That’s fine — it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create the content.
Tom puts it well, “In an ideal world, I’d never make anything without having keywords to base it on, but sometimes you have to think on your feet and retrofit something you’ve already made.”
In those cases, work backward — take note of the topic(s) or theme(s) covered in an episode and identify strong keywords after the fact.
Don’t treat your podcast like an island.
Tom sees his podcast as step one in his content marketing journey. All his content is “a marketing vehicle to get people into my community,” he says.
He wants to grow his audience but he’s agnostic about how they find him. He just wants to ensure that it is easy for them to consume his content wherever they are.
Most podcasters don’t think like this.
But if you’re using a podcast to market a business/product/service, it’s a helpful mindset shift. Your podcast is a vehicle to grow and create a connection with you and what you’re making.
It shouldn’t be divorced from your overall content marketing strategy.
It should complement it.
Yes, recording an episode and then writing a good article based on it is a LOT of work.
Tom does this for each episode… but even if that’s not realistic for you, doing it once a month or combining a few episodes into one epic piece of content periodically can go a long way.
Jaclyn Schiff is the CEO of PodReacher.