Discover the algorithm secrets to grow your podcast’s reach and downloads!
Today, we dive into a juicy episode that uncovers how understanding algorithms can grow your podcast to new heights!
If you’ve ever wondered how the mysterious podcast algorithm works, today’s episode is for you!
In this super tactical episode, you’ll discover 3 practical and actionable strategies to optimize your content, enhance discoverability, and magnetize a loyal listener base!
This episode is your golden ticket to demystifying the seemingly complex world of digital algorithms, specially tailored for the budding podcaster.
Do the homework I listed at the end and watch your download numbers grow!
We’re diving into how small podcasters can get the hang of the podcast algorithm to boost their downloads and get noticed more. It’s all about getting your podcast out there so more people can find you on the app, which helps grow your brand. The more people see you online, the more cash you can make. I’ve got three cool tips to share with you. Stick to these, and you’ll definitely start seeing some awesome changes in how your podcast does.
Starting out as a podcaster, I was pretty much flying under the radar – no email list, no social media buzz, nothing. I mean, I launched my podcast so quietly that even my husband was out of the loop! But fast forward just over three years, and here I am with a podcast that’s topping the charts. And it’s not just me hitting these highs; I’ve seen a bunch of my clients nail it too. Our secret? We really zeroed in on making sure our podcasts pop up easily in search results. It’s all about playing it smart with how people find your show.
You might not know this, but the podcast app works like a search engine. Just like how you use Google to find out how to do something, podcast enthusiasts use the podcast app to find topics they’re interested in. Focusing on search is key to ranking high in the app’s algorithm. The podcast app, particularly Apple Podcast, ranks and categorizes your podcast based on keywords, grouping you with similar podcasts. This is important because when listeners are browsing the app, it suggests podcasts by saying, “Because you listened to this, you might also like this.” So, your podcast gets recommended based on what someone is already listening to, increasing your visibility and audience.
Your main goal as a podcaster is to get Apple to organically promote your podcast to listeners, which is essentially free traffic. You’re not spending money on this; instead, you’re investing effort upfront. And this effort, by the way, isn’t as hard as you might think. Now, you might be wondering how to appear in search results. The key is to focus on keywords. By strategically using keywords, you can increase your chances of showing up in searches, helping you reach a wider audience without additional costs.
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Focusing on keywords is essential to rank your podcast. By doing so, Apple can identify the topics you cover and group your podcast with others discussing similar subjects. This categorization enables Apple to recommend your podcast to listeners who enjoy related content. Importantly, you don’t need a large following to achieve this. I started from scratch, with no audience at all – I was even the first person to review my podcast, using both my and my husband’s iTunes accounts. Now, my podcast ranks highly and helps grow my business.
To effectively use keywords, place them in the titles of your podcast episodes and in the podcast description. Although you might not rank for podcast descriptions, it’s still crucial for future reference and for the algorithms to understand your podcast’s content. This is why we also optimize the show notes. Don’t overlook these details – they’re important for your podcast’s SEO and overall visibility. You can learn more about this topic in other episodes of my podcast, where I delve into podcast SEO in greater depth.
Here’s a neat trick for your podcast episode titles: try to include as many relevant keywords as you can, but avoid overstuffing them. For example, if your podcast is about ADHD, a title like “Do I Have ADHD? How to Know if You Are Neurodivergent” cleverly uses different keywords. “Do I Have ADHD?” is a long-tail keyword (a longer, more specific keyword phrase), and “neurodivergent” is another keyword. This approach helps you rank faster because you’re covering various ways people might search for your topic.
When starting out with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you might want to begin by using just one keyword in your titles. As you get more comfortable, you can start including two or playing with variations. The key is that by smartly using keywords in your titles, you can significantly boost your podcast’s visibility without needing a big social media presence, a large email list, or established authority on other platforms. This is a powerful tool that’s totally within your control, unlike platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
When it comes to podcasting, don’t underestimate the power of your cover art. If it’s not appealing, listeners are less likely to click on your podcast. My advice is to get a professional design if you can. If not, and you’re trying something like Canva, keep it simple, especially if you’re not a graphic designer. A minimalist approach works best. Make sure your title is clear and large, and consider adding a tagline to quickly convey what your podcast is about, just like I do on mine.
Your podcast cover art is like a book cover; it’s the first thing people see. If your cover looks unprofessional or cluttered, it can turn listeners away. This is particularly important because on a podcast app, your cover art appears as a small thumbnail, and it needs to stand out and look good even at that tiny size. So, focus on creating cover art that’s both beautiful and clear, enhancing the user experience and attracting more listeners.
For my third tip, let’s talk about the length of your podcast episodes. Imagine you’re a new listener who’s just stumbled upon your show. They probably won’t want to hang out for an hour on their first go, right? So, here’s the thing: keep your episodes short and sweet, but packed with good stuff. This way, people can easily decide to give your podcast a try. Take my SEO episode, for example – it’s only 15 minutes but has tons of downloads. It’s long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep listeners engaged.
Now, I’ve been at this podcasting gig for a while, with over 300 episodes and a top-ranking show, but I still try to keep my episodes under 20 minutes. We’re all busy people who want to get to the point quickly. Nobody has the time to listen to someone ramble on forever. Keeping it brief and informative is the way to go.
We’ve covered some key strategies to boost your podcast’s success. As what I have said, it’s all about understanding your audience and delivering what they need in a format that’s easy for them to digest. Keep your focus on creating engaging, keyword-rich titles and descriptions, and don’t forget the importance of eye-catching, professional cover art.
And when it comes to episode length, shorter often means sweeter – aim for that 15-20 minute sweet spot to keep your listeners hooked without overwhelming them. By implementing these tips, you’re setting yourself up for a podcast that not only attracts but also retains a growing listener base. Thanks for tuning in, and here’s to your podcasting success!