Podcasts are engaging and convenient for listeners. They’re the ideal content type for multi-tasking, which most of us are doing on a constant basis. Podcasts are the perfect addition to any existing content strategy as the audience is prolific. It’s reported that there were 48 million weekly podcast listeners in 2018 and the audience is predicted to grow to 115 million by 2021 (Statista). Moreover, at I/O 2019, Google announced that podcasts would be indexed in Search Engine Result Pages (“SERPs”), similar to how video is indexed at the top of a search pages. Google’s update makes promoting podcasts much easier, while making them more accessible to a wider audience thanks to the increased searchability. As podcasts are taking on a bigger role in Google SERPs, there are specific ways to optimize your podcast SEO to make it more searchable.
How does Google show podcasts in SERPs?
Google’s advancements in AI and natural language processing have made it easier for the search giant to pinpoint spoken keywords within podcasts in order to rank them accordingly. Similar to how videos are being shown on Google’s desktop and mobile search results, podcasts have their own media snippet. Features include playing, downloading, and skipping to parts of an episode without having to navigate to a new page. See the screenshot below of the way in which podcasts are being visually displayed on Google:
How to make your law firm podcasts SEO-friendly
Whether you already have a podcast or are interested in starting one for your law firm, knowing how to make your episodes SEO-friendly is going to be a factor in how you gain visibility on the SERPs. To make your firm’s podcasts more searchable, follow these 4 steps:
1. Choose trending keywords
During the podcast planning phase, do your keyword research to understand what trending keywords and topics your audience is searching for. You can find trending topics around a keyword using keyword research tools. Visit our blog post for a list of some of the best tools available across the internet for keyword research and planning: Keyword Research Tools for Law Firm SEO.
Once you have 1-2 keywords you want the podcast episode to rank for, develop an outline or list of questions you can ask as the host that relate to the topic. Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool that will provide a list of trending questions around the topic of your choosing.
2. Develop a podcast voice
A captivating podcast voice combined with interesting topics that provide your audience some sort of value will keep them coming back for more. The key is to deliver a message with proper emphasis so that your listeners really internalize it.
Not only is your pronunciation and diction important to engage listeners but it’s also extremely important for SEO purposes. Google’s NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) picks out verbalized keywords in order to rank them in the SERPs. Mumbling and speaking indistinctly will make it harder for the AI bots to identify words within the audio file. That being said, you need a strong podcast voice for Google to interpret the keywords and phrases within the podcast audio file.
3. Importance of transcriptions
One of the biggest impacts on your podcast SEO are transcriptions. Podcast transcriptions are actually the primary method used by Google’s AI bots to crawl through parts of an episode to match a search query.
There are plenty of tools to transcribe your sound files. You don’t have to do it manually. Depending on how long your episodes are, sifting through and cleaning up the text generated from your sound files can take awhile, but doing so can be the catalyst to help your podcast rank higher in Google SERPs.
4. Do a write-up of your law firm’s podcasts
A write-up provides more readable text on your podcast’s page, making it easier for Google to cull through and rank the episodes for target keywords. The write-up should give your audience a really quick outline of what you’re going to cover and include the target keywords organically 2-3 times throughout.
If you do a write-up, you should still plan to transcribe your podcast. The write-up is mainly seen as a summary with a few actionable takeaways for your listener. Meanwhile, the transcription is the nitty-gritty detail that helps Google understand where your main points are within the audio.
According to Search Engine Journal, podcasts in the SERPs are still new and we don’t know the extent to how well Google deciphers audio. That being said, the more text you can supplement, the better!
Hopefully this blog post has given you a good idea of how to start your podcast or tweak your existing one to perform better on Google SERPs. Keep in mind, a podcast SEO strategy follows very similar guidelines to your law firm’s blog or video strategy.
Are you thinking about creating a podcast for your firm? Maybe you have one already but want to make sure it appears higher up on search engines. If that’s the case, contact us for help today.