Audio SEO: How to make your podcast appear in SERPs

Audio SEO: How to make your podcast appear in SERPs

Google has recently started indexing audio files and displaying them in search results. Learn more about audio SEO.

You are probably already aware that podcasts are increasingly popular on the internet. What you may not know is that this type of content has started to impact Google searches. After all, thousands of users have started to search for their favorite podcasts on the search engine.

This raises the question: Is it possible to optimize your podcasts so that they are ranked at the top of search results?

The answer is yes! And there even is a technique for it: audio SEO.

If you create podcasts and want to know how to optimize your audios for search engines and place them on the first page, keep reading this article.

But what is audio SEO?

Before you can understand what audio SEO is, first you need to understand the SEO, or Search Engine Optimization concept.

This digital marketing technique consists of a series of practices that make websites appear on Google’s results page when a user searches for specific terms.

These optimizations show search engine algorithms that your content is relevant, has high quality, and answers internet users’ questions.

And the more quality the content has, the better positioned it will be in the SERP (Search Engine Page Result).

Therefore, by analogy, we can define audio SEO as a series of optimization practices to make audio files, especially podcasts, to be displayed prominently in the search results.

It might sound confusing; after all, Google doesn’t “listen” to the audio. So, how does the company’s algorithm index podcasts? That’s what we’ll find out below.

Google and the future of audio

During the Google I/O 2019, an annual event for developers, the company announced that it would start displaying podcasts in search results very soon.

Well, sure enough. Shortly after the event held in April, it was possible to see this type of results for searches made in English.

At first, this innovation might seem quite trivial. After all, now the platform would start to suggest podcasts among the results, as it already does with other types of content.

But the innovation is much more revolutionary that it seems. The announcement indicates that Google will not start to index podcast content in search results, similar to what does with videos.

For example, when you search “how to swim’,’ the first result suggestion is a video with a timestamp that answers the question:

áudio SEO - imagem de uma sugestão de resultado em vídeo no Google para a pergunta "como nadar" mostrando que o Google indica o trecho do vídeo em que a questão é respondida

In video suggestions in the results, Google points out the excerpt in which the question is answered. In the example above, the answer to the question, “how to swim” is found at the 82-second mark of the clip.

 

Logically, in order to be able to suggest the moment when a question is answered in a video, this means that the content’s audio is transcribed by Google automatically. In other words, it’s natural to believe that this technology will do the same with podcasts.

And this is exactly what Google says it will start doing very soon.

However, in practice this raises a number of questions, especially for those who work with the production of content.

The main question is how these results will be displayed. We still don’t know if users will see the indication of audio files in which the searched term is located or the transcribed text of the content.

Anyway, this represents a change in the SEO routine of many businesses. From now on, professionals need to worry about indexing podcasts, in addition to voice searches.

How to create audio SEO and place your podcasts at the top of the SERPs

Finally, we can get to the point: How to create an audio SEO and thus, place your podcasts on Google’s first page.

If you already have a content production strategy in place, you won’t have any problems. The golden rule is still the same: Offer relevant content and good user experience.

Although it deals with a different content format, the SEO work is the same.

Overall, audio files cannot be indexed by search engines. After all, as we said earlier, Google does not “listen” to the content.

This occurs because the language spoken by algorithms is written text.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Basically, audio SEO consists of associating text to your podcasts. Thus, these services will be able to identify your content’s theme and classify it correctly.

This process can be divided into two fronts: 

 

  • Description: Describe your audio’s content in detail

 

  • Transcription: Convert the podcast audio into text.

You have probably already put the first method into practice, since not all podcast platforms allow the publishing of content without a title or summary.

On the other hand, the audio transcript takes up more time and therefore, this strategy is rarely used by content producers. And it’s one of the most efficient.

You’ll see in detail how to apply each of the two audio SEO techniques to your podcasts:

Describing your audio files

Before you listen to any podcast, you probably take a glance at the title and the content’s description, right? And believe me, most people also do this.

So, just like a video, this gives you a sense of the theme being covered, and if the podcast is relevant.

With this in mind, the first audio SEO task is to use the title and description strategically.

Title

The title is the first thing that your audience will see, even before they listen to your podcast. Therefore, it needs to summarize the content’s subject efficiently.

Generally speaking, the title must be:

 

  • Relevant to your audience. Your audience is looking for some information or wants to learn something new. Try to recognize your audience’s interests and needs and use this knowledge to write a title that attracts their attention.
  • Summarize the audio’s theme. Nobody wants to spend an hour listening to a podcast just to find out if the content is what they’re ooking for or not. So, use the title to tell them, in a few characters, what your content is about.

 

Description

The description serves as a short summary of your podcast, telling your audience a little about what will be covered in the audio and presenting additional information.

In addition, this space is perfect for exploring the keywords you want to rank.

For example, let’s suppose that you produce a series of podcasts about imported wines. In each episode’s description, you can list topics with the name of the wines mentioned, the history of the wineries, the country where the wine is produced and any other information you consider relevant for your audience.

The important thing is to make it clear to listeners what they can expect when they listen to your podcast. Moreover, by inserting relevant information in the description, you allow search engines to understand the theme covered by your content.

Tags

Tags, although shorter than the title and description, offer your users a good overview of the themes that will be covered in the podcast and also your program. In addition, these terms are a great tool to keep your content organized.

If you have a YouTube channel, you’re probably familiar with how tags – or hashtags, work on certain platforms.

Use relevant terms, such as keywords that you wish to rank, preferably by mixing more specific with more generic terms. In addition, don’t overdo the number of tags so as not to suffer any penalty by the search engines.

Transcribe your podcasts

The audio SEO tips above are a great initial step. However, going beyond and ensuring the much-anticipated first page, you need to transcribe your audio.

It’s easy to understand why this is so efficient. With an online podcast transcript, you ensure that the exact words spoken in the content will be indexed by the search engines.

And believe me, this simple attitude can work miracles, greatly increasing the chances of your podcasts being found by users. After all, you’ll be speaking the same language as the algorithms!

If you’re imagining that it will be a lot of work to transcribe all of your podcasts, don’t despair. Nowadays, artificial intelligence technologies provide automatic transcripts. Although this technology still doesn’t produce perfect results (but is becoming increasingly better), it’s a big help for those creating audio SEO.

But this isn’t the only advantage of transcribing your audios. By doing so, you also feed other of your brand’s channels. You can post the transcript on your blog, website or any other exclusive platform. And can even make money with it!

Just imagine, for example, that you have a series of podcasts teaching a foreign language to your audience for free. At the same time, you can make a file available with the audio transcript only for your website’s registered members.

The possibilities are endless.

Therefore, waste no more time and start putting audio SEO strategies into practice right now. And keep in mind that this is still a relatively new trend and therefore, innovations will appear all the time. Therefore, the rule is: always stay up to date.

And speaking of SEO, how about learning how to optimize your content for mobiles? Check out everything on the subject in our article.

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