Master Podcast SEO: Craft Show Notes That Boost Downloads

Show notes are often an afterthought for podcasters, but they play a key role in helping new listeners discover your show. In this post, I’m sharing some best practices to master podcast SEO. It will not only boost your podcast’s searchability but will help more people find your message.

When it comes to our show notes, it is so important that we optimize them for search engines. It doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to make sure that our podcast show notes are optimized for search engines.

Believe me, it’s worth the effort.

If you want to know more about increasing your downloads, check out these blog posts: 

10 Simple Tips to Increase Podcast Downloads

Where to Find Quality Guests for Your Podcast

How a Skilled Editor Can Take Your Podcast to the Next Level

Master Podcast SEO: Craft Show Notes That Boost Downloads

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of making your content more search-friendly. To put it plainly, you want your content to appear higher in the listings when someone searches for your topic. 

When it comes to podcasts, it’s just as important as any other long form content. You’ll want to ensure that new people who are looking for your specific topic can find it. 

If all you do is share the bullet points or takeaways, you do your audience a disservice. You do new potential listeners a disservice. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our Podcast SEO Workshop.

Why is Mastering Podcast SEO So Important?

Today’s question is: Are Show Notes Really Important? And the short answer is yes, they are extremely important. The long answer is a big resounding yes.

You may think you have everything you need to create SEO-friendly show notes, but if you aren’t doing these additional things, you are missing out on the true power of podcast SEO. 

Let’s explore the three things you can do to master podcast SEO. 

First, you’ll want to transcribe your podcast using an all-in-one tool like Otter.AI*. With this tool, you’ll be able to pull the transcript and provide an outline which we will use for the timestamps we’ll be adding to the episode.

#1. Add Transcriptions to Your Episode

You’ll see a lot of content telling you that transcripts are a gold mine of keywords and insights. And that’s true, but you shouldn’t simply copy and paste your transcripts into your podcast description or as an accompanying blog post.
Instead, you’ll want to transform that transcript into a compelling blog post. Add the keywords, takeaways, and quotes throughout the post to make it more enjoyable and compelling for readers. 

Transcripts are more critical than ever now. With Apple Podcast now supplying podcast transcripts for shows, you’ll want to make sure you are adding your transcripts to the backend of your podcast hosting platform.

In this example, I’m showing the backend of Buzzsprout*, our preferred podcast hosting platform. Not sure which hosting platform is right for you? Check out the blog: What’s the Best Podcast Hosting Platform?

Below, you’ll see on the right that once you’ve scheduled the podcast episode, you’ll have the option to add the transcript.

From there, you have two options. You can copy and paste the transcript into Buzzsprout. Or you can upload an SRT file from Otter.AI to simplify the process. 

Check out 3 Surprisingly Powerful Ways to Measure Podcast Success. It’s full of tips on how to determine if your podcast is successful. Spoiler: it’s probably more successful than you think.

#2. Add Key Takeaways to the Show Notes

The next thing you’ll want to do is optimize your show notes with everything they need for mastering podcast SEO. 

Here is a breakdown of what you’ll want to ensure is included in those show notes:

  1. Overview Paragraph – This will include a general idea of the episode and will be sure to include a long-tail keyword, episode number, podcast title, and episode title. This should only be 3-5 sentences.
  2. Guest Bio – I usually try to keep this short and sweet while still encompassing the qualifications of the guest. 
  3. Bullet Points – You’ll add your key takeaways and some more keywords into this section to give your audience (and the search engines) an idea of what the episode is about.
  4. Links for the Guest and Host – Don’t forget this part! Internal links are great for SEO.

Here’s a free template you can use: Podcast Show Notes Google Document Template

Related Blog: How to Write Show Notes for a Podcast

#3. Get Granular by Adding Timestamps

Timestamps are often overlooked golden SEO nuggets. They allow listeners to jump to specific points of interest, boosting engagement and keeping them interested to your episode. 

Some listeners use timestamps to navigate episodes. I know I do when I want to hear a specific section of an episode. It’s us to us to accommodate our listeners to the best of our abilities. Timestamps do that AND are great for SEO. It’s a win-win!

I use timestamps when listening to business or podcast industry episodes. This allows me to listen only to the points I want to hear about instead of listening to an episode that is hours long. 

Again, using Buzzsprout as your podcast host, you can add those timestamps under Chapter Markers. You can access this section once you’ve uploaded and saved the episode. 

From here, you’ll start by adding the episode title under 00:00 and then add your chapters or timestamps.

It should look like this when you add all your chapter markers.

Then, it will look like this on the front end of your podcast website page for that episode.

The listener can then use those chapter markers to skip around. Beyond that, it allows the podcast players and apps to understand what your episode is about. It’s great for SEO!

Bonus! Don’t forget about Google’s E-A-T Guidelines

SEO is important, but don’t forget EAT: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s key that we create show notes that demonstrate your deep understanding of the topic. Cite credible sources, back up claims with data, and showcase your guest’s expertise – think of it as a mini-research paper condensed into digestible bites. Google’s E-A-T guidelines emphasize high-quality content and show notes that embody these values will resonate with audiences and search engines alike.

SEO shouldn’t come at the expense of user experience. You’ll want to format your show notes for easy reading with concise paragraphs, bullet points for key takeaways and visually appealing images. A visually appealing and structured layout creates a better user experience, which Google and its audiences appreciate. Happy listeners lead to more shares, backlinks, and higher rankings.

The #1 way people find new shows to listen to is by hearing about it from a friend or family. Make sure it’s easy for them to share.

So, ditch the generic bullet points and unleash the SEO beast within your show notes. Embrace these under-the-radar tactics, and watch your podcast rise to the top of search engines. Remember, it’s about creating valuable content that attracts listeners and search engines.

Want to work through your own podcast SEO with me? Reach out here to book a mini podcast audit and we can cover it together. 

Not sure you want me all up in your stuff? A Podcast SEO Workshop might be a better option for you.

Don’t forget to download your free Podcast Workflow Checklist to ensure you are making the most of every single episode. 

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