When most law firms think about SEO strategies, they mostly think about building backlinks and creating content. Podcasts can also be an excellent addition to your existing SEO strategy. Additionally, podcasts add value to your website by providing visitors with valuable information about your law firm, your area of law, or other related topics.
Podcasts Appear in Search Results
Google first announced that it would start showing podcasts among other search results at Google I/O 2019 in May. During the event, Google used the word “soon,” but this implementation apparently took less time than people thought. You can already find podcasts in search results.
More Will Come Soon
While Google now displays podcasts in its search results, the search engine will soon support even greater functionality for podcasts. Google plans to index podcast content as it does with website content. It will also begin providing audio clips within its search results.
The ability of Google to transcribe the audio content of podcasts should not come as a surprise. Google Cloud Platform began offering speech-to-text services in 2017, already going through multiple upgrades. Then, earlier in 2019 some people noticed changes to source code indicating that Google began transcribing podcasts on its Google Podcast platform. Additionally, those who use a Google pixel phone have firsthand seen transcriptions of calls or the ability to create them.
Podcast Results Will Likely Mimic Video Results’ Format
It is highly likely that the format for suggested clips of podcast results will be very similar to that of video results. Google began testing its suggested clip feature for YouTube videos in April 2017 and it is now an expected part of search results. There are still some kinks to work out with the suggested video clips, such as variations in the portion of the video suggested. The feature, however, is mostly fully functional.
With the suggested video clips, Google displays a link to the entire video but highlights the most relevant section, moving the cursor to the beginning of that clip, so pressing play will play that clip.
It also makes perfect sense that Google must be able to determine the audio of videos in order to get the suggested clips. It is nearly impossible to imagine how Google could use this feature without some sort of transcript of the video.
What Google Will Likely Include
At the moment, it is unclear whether Google’s search results with podcasts will include the audio clips, a transcription of them, or both. Obviously, returning the actual clip will be better for those who use voice devices. In certain cases, however, a transcription may be more user-friendly. Time will tell which route Google chooses.
What Your Law Firm Should Do With Podcasts
It is very likely that Google will release the updates for search results involving podcasts gradually. Even so, it is smart to start creating content. Since Google will be responsible for the transcription, your law firm likely only needs to create and upload podcast content and ensure the audio is clear. This will allow Google to transcribe it and also improve the listener experience. Most likely, podcasts with some sort of structure will be more useful for Google results, but this cannot be guaranteed until Google releases more information or launches the feature. It will also likely be wise to include a nice concise summary at the end of the podcast.
In the past five years podcasts have exploded in popularity as easily consumable forms of content. Further, audio has taken on an important role in search engine optimization with the expansion of voice search and systems like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Therefore, it’s a natural progression that Google will begin to take podcasts into account when determining search rankings. Law firm podcasts will not only be useful to clients, but essential for boosting your firm’s SEO strategy. For help developing a podcast that ranks on Google, contact us for a consultation.