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This week on SEO Saturdays Live we explored Podcast Player Optimization and In-Player Search. We normally focus on Podcast SEO for website traffic. But this week we were fortunate that Jalal Fathi joined us as a co-host in addition to our regular guests.

Jalal is the founder of PodKite, which many of you will already know about as one of the best tools out there for unified chart rankings across all of the major platforms. But PodKite recently released a whole new set of optimization tools for podcasters, and Jalal with demo these and help us learn about "In Player Search".

SEO Saturdays Recap Video Table Of Contents

00:00 Welcome
01:57 Support A Racial Justice Cause: #DUBBAMPLIFY https://dubb.com/amplify
04:50 Introducing PodKite https://podkite.com/
05:00 SEO Saturdays Intro & Agenda & Case Studies
11:16 Introducing PodKite (Some Audio Issues FIXED after about minute)
14:45 PodKite Live Demo
43:00 SEO Work For Blake Bennet – The Limey and The Yank Podcast
1:18:40 SEO Work for Suzanne Mueller – Take it from the Iron Woman Podcast

PodKite’s Player Optimization Feature (PPO)

Podkite's Podcast Player Optimization (PPO) feature helps you better understand and increase your search rankings for how people use in-player search.  Track your show for specific keywords. Get insights on who your competition is and learn how to get more listeners with better search ranks. Followers of SEO Saturdays will know we usually focus on web search to improve podcast discovery. So we are super excited to explore "In Player Search" with Jalal's help!

Featured Podcasts and Shout Outs

Classic Rock Battles: The Limey & the Yank – With Blake Bennett

Our podcast is about music and memories, discussing and critiquing songs that also tie into people's nostalgia. We pick a theme each month and break the show into four pieces of that theme, releasing one a week at the same consistent time. We're all about positivity – no mean jokes or talk about the dark side of the music industry. We build tension by having mock arguments over whose music is better – the UK or the USA.

Blake is also a member of our Podcasting Resources Guide and known for his voice over work at

Take it from the Iron Woman Podcast – With Susanne Mueller

Susanne interviews people who use sport as a way to be energized and motivated in their work. It is based on her book "Take it from the Iron Woman" about global business coaching with sports parallels. It is a podcast to inspire and empower others by cool stories from every day smart, sophisticated, trendy, hip, energetic people from around the world. Those many people with unique and different stories will be on the show – it can be YOU. What is their magic superpower to make changes in the world? You might wonder?

PodKite Podcast Analytics and Podcast Player Optimization – With Jalal Fathi

Podkite's Podcast Player Optimization (PPO)

These features helps you better understand and increase your search rankings for how people use in-player search. Track your show for specific keywords. Get insights on who your competition is and learn how to get more listeners with better search ranks.

Kitelinks

Optimize your marketing campaigns and expenses. Collect email leads. Track the amount of clicks on your links and players across countries and cities. Create fully automated episode links. No more manual copy & paste of player URLs.

Cross Platform Podcast Reviews

Access all your podcast reviews in one dashboard. Reviews of all major platforms. Access, sort, filter and tag them. Get email updates into your inbox.

This week our special guest was Rev. Dr. Bob LeFavi who just launched his new podcast "Inspirational Sermons – Insights From The Best Preachers In America". It jumped straight into the Top10 for his category, and we talked about his launch strategy, as well as the Podcast SEO principles his new website is based on. We also covered a number of questions from our Facebook Podcast Marketing Group, on subjects that ranged from content syndication best practices, avoiding duplicate content penalties to how content briefs and content grading tools we discussed before in our case studies can help grow a podcast.

SEO Saturdays Table Of Contents

NOTE: We had technical difficulties with Ecamm Live and Skype not integrating and crashing our livestream several times, so this video stitches the 3 parts of our livestream back together, apologies to the folks watching live.

Recap: May 30 Livestream Replay Video

We experienced some technical difficulties, but here is the complete version of the LiveStream

Video Timestamps And Chapters:

  • 0:00:00 – Welcome and Intro
  • 0:04:13 – What is SEO Saturdays, examples of how "flipping the script" helps podcasters
  • 0:06:16 – Edison Research on How People Discover Podcasts (hint: Google Search)
  • 0:07:45 – How to submit your own podcast for promotion on SEO Saturdays
  • 0:09:10 – Shout Outs to Inspirational Sermons, the Moonlight Graham Show and the Quiz and Trivia Podcast With Bevvo
  • 0:12:00 – Introducing Bob LeFavi and Inspirational Sermons
  • 0:18:00 – How to rank on page 1 of Google Search, even with a brand new website (SEO Tip)
  • 0:20:17 – Example podcasts that used this and are now on page 1
  • 0:31:11 – New Episodes SEO Research for Inspirational Sermons
  • 0:46:30 – Crafting an SEO based Episode Content Brief for the term "Prodigal Son"
  • 1:00:06 – The Moonlight Graham Show – SEO Research
  • 1:07:58 – The Quiz and Trivia Show With Bevvo
  • 1:18:31 – Q&A Segment – Live & From our Facebook Group
  • 1:30:00 – Signing off until next time

Featured Podcasts and Shout Outs

Inspirational Sermons – With Bob LeFavi

The Inspirational Sermons podcast inspires faith-based listeners to live their best life by highlighting and discussing dynamic sermons that are life-changing and life-giving.

Inspirational Sermons Podcast Launch
Inspirationa

Here are some key moments from the show: 0:12:00 – Introducing Bob LeFavi and congratulating him on his new Inspirational Sermons podcast 0:18:00 – How to rank on page 1 of Google Search, even with a brand new website (SEO Tip)

Inspirational Sermons Podcast SEO Strategy

0:20:17 – Example podcasts that used this and are now on page 1 0:31:11 – New Episodes SEO Research for Inspirational Sermons 0:46:30 – Crafting an SEO based Episode Content Brief for the term "Prodigal Son"

The Moonlight Graham Show – With Andrew Flattery

The Moonlight Graham Show podcast is an indie Iowa sports podcast that celebrates the underdogs, the role players, and the great stories. Here is where we did some SEO work with Andrew: 1:00:06 – The Moonlight Graham Show – SEO Research

The Quiz and Trivia Show – With Bevvo

The Quiz and Trivia Show podcast is 21 general knowledge questions in 15 minutes. Perfect for a commute, around the home of with friends. There are bonus eps with specific themes. Here is where we talked about Bevvo’s show: 1:07:58 – The Quiz and Trivia Show With Bevvo

Q&A Segment from our Facebook Group Questions

The Q&A segment starts at 1:18:31

Here is our own "sad" case study – but with a happy ending! We presented some of this at SEO Saturdays.com last week, but I wanted to follow up with the case study here: I have a “hero” episode / blog post that was on page one of the search results for a long time – before dropping off. In this post I want to tell how we “rescued” that piece of content during our last SEO Saturdays livestream, and how we used an app called “Topic” for generating SEO content briefs and content grading. Such content optimization tools can have a massive impact on your podcast website traffic, website rank, and of course subscribers who discover your show by searching no the web.

I will also share how I increased my traffic by 351% in one week. Implications for podcasters with their own websites:

  • More impactful episode content = happy listeners
  • Easier interview planning and guest preparation
  • A data driven approach to dominating a topic in a single episode
  • Transforming a back-catalog of episodes into a traffic generating machine
  • Grateful guests who will love to share and link to your episode article
  • Increased amount of backlinks to your episode article
  • An increased amount of social shares

So the gist of how all this started is this:

My post “How To Promote A Podcast” was on page 1 of the search results for a year. But lately, new players have been “eating my lunch”, and I slipped to page 2.

This can have a drastic effect on traffic, especially if you have podcast episodes or blog posts that rank for multiple keywords, and then drop. In my case it was over 1,000 visits a month.

It had ranked on page 1 of Google for months, then slipped to page 2.

Our Research Into Content Grading and Content Brief Tools

Sure, it happens, posts can fluctuate between pages 1 and 2 or 100. However, not satisfied – we aim to practice what we preach. On our last livestream we presented some findings from research done by Brian Dean of Backlinko. His updated article called “We Analyzed 11.8 Million Google Search Results – Here’s What We Learned About SEO” led us to a number of insights and possible areas of exploration. As Brian Dean points out in his post:

Comprehensive content with a high “Content Grade” significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth.

We’ve long realized that “long form” content ranks high in the Search Result Pages (SERPs). And our long form show notes for podcasts is what is driving podcast discovery and new subscribers. But the key insight for me was this:

It’s not the # of words. Comprehensive Topic Coverage results in a high “Content Grade” – and this trumps sheer length or a high number of words.

Content Grade Study
Courtesy of Brian Dean at https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking

So we started exploring a number of tools that help improve an podcast episodes content grade. And this led to another insight: Content Briefs allow you to design comprehensive topic coverage in the first place. And this led us to the question:

What if an podcast host was to use an SEO ”Content Brief” as a way to research his guest, and the topic they want to talk about ahead of time? What if an interview could actually be designed to covering a topic more completely – and thus result in high SEO ranking?

Meet “Topic” – More Impactful Podcasts from SEO Content Briefs and Content Grading

One of these tools that excited is called Topic. It uses sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) to research a topic, and uses big data to create content briefs:

  • RESEARCH: Topic has a keyword research tool built in, so you can research your episode topic.
  • PLANNING: Topic lets you plan better for interviews or articles content. Enter a keyword, and Topic's Content Briefs will show you what you need to cover to achieve a high content grade.
  • EXECUTION: Topic's Content Grader allows you to quickly see what your draft episode show notes article is missing. Create a feedback loop that ensures that every episode article covers what your audience is searching for.

Our Content Grader Results – Increased Podcast Website Traffic

We tried Topic out and it worked. We ran our “sad” post through their analysis, found that I had a content grade of B+. OK not terrible, but I wanted an A++ to see what we had to do to improve the content to fill gaps and voilà!

Use Topics Content Grader Recommendations
I simply entered my article URL, and Topic made recommendations

After making some adjustments, which we demo in our video above at about 0:40, I was able to re-check my content grade, and it is now an A++.

Topic helped me to pinpoint what EXACTLY I had to change in order to rank.

Content Grade of A++
Here is the article after I implemented Topic’s recommendations. A++ Content Grade

I was surprised how quickly this worked. A week later, and we’re back on page 1 of Google, in a better position than even last year. Our podcast website traffic from this one keyword has increased by 351%. Keep in mind this article ranks for multiple keywords, and they all showed a significant rise in their SERP positions.

What does this mean for podcasters? Web search is how we get our followers, and our clients attract 60% of their listeners and subscribers this way.

Podcast & Traffic Rank Increase in Podcast Website Traffic From A Content Grade of A++
Here is the result only a week later, thanks to content grading we are back!

Podcast Website Traffic Increased by 351%
Podcast Website Traffic For This Post Increase Topped 351%

Why and When You Need A Content Brief and Content Grading Tool

If you have a new podcast website, your domain authority as well as podcast website traffic will likely be low. There are 2 effective ways you can make up for this:

  1. Make up for your low domain authority – with great content designed by an SEO informed content brief and based on a high SEO content grade
  2. Link building. We can’t say it often enough: You need to make your guests link to your podcast articles and show notes

Coming Up: Topic In The House!

Join us LIVE on SEO Saturdays
Join us LIVE on SEO Saturdays

We are excited that Ryo Chiba, one of the founders of Topic will be joining us on our livestream as a co-host, and as usual on SEO Saturdays we will collaborate to do some live SEO for podcasters.

Ryo Chiba
  • You can apply now for your show to be featured, and allow us to do live SEO research, and help you with content briefs and content grading for your podcast episode ideas.

Things are always changing, and this is especially true in content marketing. Podcast content strategy is still wide open to get your brand, message, or business out there. If you're in this field, you'd be aware that the internet runs on content. With regards to lead generation and attracting the right traffic with SEO savvy, the rules change often.

Add to this a bewildering array of potential channels for content, it's no wonder that navigating this terrain can seem difficult. With so many bright shiny objects everywhere, many of us lose our way.

I. A Podcast Content Strategy Avoids Digital Sharecropping

We've seen exhausted clients pour all of their efforts into “rented” social media platforms, posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium, Twitter, YouTube and other channels. To them, it seems like they are doing the right thing. They gravitate to where they feel their audiences' attention is.

Nothing seems wrong with that. But often there is a lack of underlying strategy. More on that in a minute.

Digital sharecropping
Digital Sharecropping – building you online presence on platforms you don't own

Meanwhile, our clients' website's content often lies neglected. It is no longer at the center of their efforts or content they publish. For most clients, social media seems so much easier than blogging. The occasional viral attention gained appears more attractive than building a body of authority content – a convenient and sexy shortcut.

The issue is that social media content has a limited life span. It disappears up Facebook's or Twitter's timeline. Thus it serves no real purpose in growing a website, domain authority and SERP rank. The social posts need to refer to and drive traffic and engagement back to the central website.

The social networks fight this tooth and nail, they want ALL engagement to take place on their own platforms.

So what's the solution?

I won't pretend to have all the answers, but in the last couple of years we have discovered a self-generating content strategy that seems to works well for the “content marketing” challenged: Podcasting as a Content Strategy.

This might surprise you, or you may think of it as another content fad; but hang on for a minute and allow me to explain the often surprising benefits.

II. Podcasting is a Self Generating Content Strategy

Instead of laboring over creating blog content, our clients interview other people in their field. They love doing it, it’s fun, energizing and not as time consuming as blogging. They jump on a Skype call, hit the record button and discuss a topic they and their guest find energizing, and voilà: original content.

I’m not saying it’s easy or less work, but it’s a less intense effort for clients. They focus on recording a meaningful conversation, and we, as their podcasting partner, take care of the rest. For example, we use a transcription service and edit these conversations, and have an almost instant 5,000+ word article. We then apply both technical and other SEO optimizations – in fact the topics and episode titles are based on SEO research and low competition key phrases in the first place.

Podcasting can serve as the missing center for a multi channel strategy

Once a podcast is recorded, the show notes become the central business asset from which all multi-channel and social media efforts emanate. So yes, we still do “traditional” social media content distribution campaigns to share and boost the podcast show-notes. But that’s only the beginning.

Podcast content strategy as a multi channel approach
Podcast Content Strategy as Multi Channel Content Distribution

We often produce videos from our podcast episodes. There are some automation tools that help us. These transform audio into video. Later, we publish these episodes on YouTube, DailyMotion and other social video channels.

For an example of this audio video combo, check out our episode about "Podcast Guesting".

And for a completely automated tool that converts audio into video, check out a tool called “Headliner”. It produces audiograms and even adds relevant images and slides to the videos. In our previous post, Podcast Audiogram Alternatives For Promotion and Visual Storytelling, we are excited to show how we now use the Invideo platform as our video platform of choice.

Social Content Platform Syndication:

We syndicate the content to platforms with existing engaged audiences and built-in internal search engines, for example Medium, Blogger, Facebook Stories or LinkedIn.

Snackable Videos:

Michael Seltzner’s “Social Media Examiner” team recently cancelled 3 Facebook video shows. He moved them from Facebook to YouTube. Why? Because the data shows that videos longer than 1-2 minutes penalize your Facebook page rank. So when publishing video to Facebook, the idea is to take 15-45 seconds from the podcast video episode and publish it as “teaser content“ with subtitles. I’m still working on automating this part of the process.

Syndication And Content Distribution Automation:

We use a smart and affordable content syndication and distribution platform from a Belgian company called StoryChief. The reason I like it so much is that it can publish natively to multiple platforms (like WordPress, Drupal etc.), and supports podcast player embeds.

What’s smart about it is their use “rel=canonical” tags. You get to decide where your primary content should live. For those unfamiliar with this tag, it lets search engine indexing bots know where to apply the SERP rank credit and link juice. This way, your podcast show notes will rank pointing to your site, NOT to Medium or other platforms.

Podcast directories RSS syndication:

Promoting a podcast requires submission to dozens of podcast directories. These directories will automatically link to each published episode and your primary website. This results in a valuable SEO benefit, namely, links from high domain authority sites.

III. Podcasting as SEO Cornerstones

A lot of podcasts tackle content themes. In podcast parlance, these can be thought of as "Seasons". For example on an SEO podcast, you might focus on "Technical SEO" in Season 1, and "Link Building Techniques" in Season 2.

This is the genesis of a cornerstone strategy. You cross link this content to other important long form content pieces on your site. Such content will naturally rank higher because of the relevance of all participating articles. Furthermore, we have seen this content rank very quickly.

Podcast Guesting as a Lead Generation & SEO Link Building Initiatives

For people not interested in launching their own podcast, “Podcast Guesting” is an alternative. It results in effective link building, lead generation and launch strategy for any business. For example, this method has become a very popular book launch technique. The idea is that you find relevant podcasts in your niche and then run an outreach campaign to approach the hosts of these podcasts to invite you on as a guest.

Benefit: Intimacy With Your Ideal Audience

The first set of big benefits include getting to talk to your ideal and relevant audience when they are in a receptive mode. Think about what people are doing when listening to their favorite podcast, the one you are appearing on. They are likely commuting, working out, going for a walk. The modality is very different from interrupting an audience in the middle of browsing through their Facebook feed.

This is why Podcast Listeners are such a lucrative audience. And you get to present your core ideas to them.

Benefit: SEO Back-Links

The second big benefit is SEO related. Each podcast you appear on will create show notes that feature highly valuable back-links to your site and product or launch. SEO agencies charge a lot for high Domain Authority back-links. And the link building process can be onerous.

You can automate the outreach campaigns, or you can hire agencies to do this for you. We have a free downloadable podcast guesting outreach automation system for this, including outreach email templates and mail merge tools. To learn more how these campaigns can be automated for free, check out our podcast guesting system and templates.

Podcasting Benefits Summary

Our clients love having a podcast. It helps them re-connect with content as their own business asset. “Having a show” re-introduces a strategic purpose and promotes content discipline. Our clients keep on a weekly schedule much more easily than when they were just “blogging”.

The ROI behind podcasting as a content strategy

The ROI is in lead generation and list building and SEO. A year into their podcasting journey, most our clients with medium sized shows get 65% of their traffic and leads from organic search and podcast listeners. These are for keywords they would otherwise have to pay $1,000's a month for on Google AdWords.

Guest post by author and SEO expert Andrii Gorh. Podcasts are one of the hottest content types right now. Recent acquisitions by Spotify in podcast media hubs just prove this point. It can be super challenging to create a high-quality podcast, which will gather the attention of millions of listeners, but SEO and search engine discoverability can help. In this blog, Andrii presents some SEO tricks, which might help you grow your podcast to be discovered in different mediums.

7 Methods to Grow Your Podcast

In short, you need to know how to grow your podcast and leverage it for SEO, but also how to rank well on the platforms, where you publish it.

  1. Catchy episode titles
  2. Use your website
  3. Optimize RSS feed
  4. Use Youtube
  5. Recycle your content
  6. Try Pinterest
  7. Link building with podcasts

1. Catchy episode titles

Catchy Episode Titles Help Grow Your Podcast
Photographer: chuttersnap

Start with a well-written title. This is how one can find your episodes on iTunes or Google Play. These marketplaces put a heavy emphasis on keywords, which are in your title.

Of course, also if the title is catchy and engaging – there is much more chance a user will click on it. For Youtube videos it is thumbnails, but for podcasts – it is all in a title. Check out Polymash's own post about 4 Ways to Create Amazing and SEO Savvy Episode Titles.

Certainly, don’t try to clickbait or stuff your podcast title with keywords – you might be punished by the algorithm of podcast search engines.

2. Use your website

USe your website for Podcast SEO
Photographer: Austin Distel

If you own a website – use it to earn more traffic to your show notes, and increase your episode downloads at the same time. If your show does not have your own website – I highly recommend creating one on your existing domain, or with your own new domain name. It is the entire idea behind creating a podcast as an inbound content strategy.

A podcast is a fantastic content type, which can attract a lot of organic traffic and backlinks to your site. Don’t waste this opportunity.

To get more organic traffic to your site, you can use a standard SEO playbook: original content, link building, on-page optimization, keyword research, tech setup, etc.

I would really recommend transforming your audio content to text, SEO optimizing it and using it on a blog for show notes entries.

Also, consider expanding your podcast's blog beyond episodes, additional content ideas for your podcast blog could be:

  • Some key takeaways from recent episodes;
  • Introducing a new series of episodes and explaining why;
  • Additional supporting visuals (especially infographics);
  • "Best of" recaps and themes;
  • Include lead magnets or some downloadables – e.g. checklists, e-books – a great way to collect e-mails;

But, don’t just copy paste your transcript – make it more engaging, readable – so it can produce a long session time on your website. We have an entire workflow to transform your show notes into an SEO asset for your site.

Another reason to have a website – it is an insurance strategy against algorithm changes on podcast networks. Let me explain. If you host your podcast only on third-party mediums – you are completely dependent on their rules. If one day something happens (e.g. Spotify doesn’t want to rank content about pets :) ) – your website would be a supporting channel to distribute your podcast.

3. Optimize RSS feed

Optimizing an RSS feed for podcasting SEO success
Photographer: Taras Shypka

RSS feed might sound like an old-school phenomenon, but it is really important for podcasts – this is how your content is distributed to iTunes, Google Play and most other platforms.

So, you need to keep best practices for titles, descriptions, images, category updates as well as your latest copyright information etc.

The best way to have full control of your RSS feed is to use services similar to Libsyn or free Powerpress WordPress plugin.

4. Use Youtube

Use Youtube to promote your podcast
Photographer: Christian Wiediger

Youtube is the second biggest Search Engine in the world after Google. You should obviously use the power of Youtube to bring more traffic to your podcast.

Create a channel and post highlights or full recordings of your podcasts. Maybe they will gather millions of views and subscribers!

Also, there are many services, which can convert your audio podcast to Youtube video.

5. Recycle your content

Recycling your content for podcast growth
Photographer: Lacey Williams

High-quality content might take a lot of effort and time. It would be a shame to use it only once. Repurpose your content in different forms. For example, from one podcast episode you can make:

  • Infographics and visuals
  • Slide decks
  • Blogs and articles
  • Videos
  • Downloadables and so on.

With more content, you will definitely increase your reach.

6. Try Pinterest

Using Pinterest to grow your podcast with SEO
Photographer: Charles

Pinterest is the fastest growing visual search engine in the world. Personally, I like Pinterest more than Instagram – because it brings evergreen traffic. It means, that even old posts bring traffic to your podcast or site, unlike Instagram or Facebook.

Learn Pinterest tactics, test different pin designs, see what works for you. Ideal pins are those, which bring click-throughs and traffic. Try to solve a problem within a pin text: e.g. “Find out 10 ways to save money in our new podcast episode”.

7. Link building with podcasts

Link building is an integral part of growing a podcast
Photographer: Bryson Hammer

A viral podcast episode can bring a lot of backlinks – other sites linking to your site. It will be a huge benefit for your website, where you embed podcast episodes (check out advice #2). Backlinks are one of the most important factors in Google ranking – the more you have the higher you are on SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

A Tool For Link Building Campaigns

Link building campaigns work best when SEOs use strategies based on insight as opposed to guesses.

Check out Linkio. It is a software platform that helps you run more successful link building campaigns as a podcaster or blogger. The tool provides everything you need for effective (and enjoyable) backlink campaign management, and they offer a free trial.

Collaboration

The easiest way to get backlinks is to collaborate with guest speakers, publish content on their sites and get free backlinks, mentions to your site. Also, try outreach – email other bloggers, influencers in your niche, mentioning your podcast and asking for a backlink. You can also ask for a guest contribution on their blog, in exchange for a backlink.

About our guest author:

Andrii Gorh
Andrii Gorh: SEO ninja

Andrii Gorh: SEO ninja with 10+ years of experience. He LOVES keyword research, rank tracking and tech SEO tricks. Check out his advanced SEO blog: Online Hikes and other tech hacks at MrHack.io. Featured image credit: Web Hosting

Podcast Content Syndication – Beyond Podcast Directories

Podcast directories aren't enough for podcast distribution. In this episode we will learn why. We will also learn how to automatically and widely syndicate episode show notes content for quick traffic and SEO rank wins. This is the primary marketing approach we are taking for our podcasts.

Listen to this episode on podcast distribution and syndication on the web

Overview & Episode Content

  1. What is Content Syndication? (01:10)
  2. What Are the Benefits For Podcasters & Bloggers? (01:45)
  3. How does this work, and how can I automate it? (04:20)
  4. SCREENCAST: The StoryChief platform we use for this (07:45)
  5. DEMO: Our podcast distribution and syndication process (12:25)
  6. COMPARISON: StoryChief's free, basic and pro plans compared (21:45)
  7. CASE STUDY: Results we have seen

What is Content Syndication?

Content distribution and syndication for podcasters
Content syndication for podcasters

Here is a definition from Search Engine Watch:

Content syndication is the process of pushing your blogpost, article, video or any piece of web-based content out to other third-parties who will then re-publish it on their own sites.

So this applies to podcasts as well. We want to create Brand Awareness for our podcasts by publishing our show notes stories on multiple websites, communities, social media and email channels.

What Are The Benefits?

Podcast Distribution & Show Notes Syndication Benefits
Podcast Distribution & Show Notes Syndication Benefits

Question: Why should podcasters care about content syndication?

Aren't we already doing a form of this when distributing our episodes to iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play?

  • Answer: Yes indeed we are.
  • However, we are only publishing audio content on iTunes.
  • And we ought to do the same with episode show notes.

Multi Channel Presence

Content syndication is to our podcast show notes what podcast directories are to our audio files. A way to distribute our content widely. And a way to establish presence on multiple content and social platforms.

Traffic and Discoverability

This results in greater traffic and discoverability. When your episodes go live, you probably already share your show notes post on Facebook, and perhaps on Twitter. But have you thought about publishing your episode show notes as articles on Medium? (I get a lot of traffic from doing this) Or on Blogger?

The idea we are about to explore involves distribution of your show notes to as many platforms as possible.

And the benefits of this extend far beyond traffic alone.

SEO Backlinks

My backlinks from high domain authority sites have increased by 231% in 2 months of launching my podcast. This is largely resulting from the podcast distribution and syndication method we are covering here. (There are some graphics and figures at the end of these show notes)

For those of you unfamiliar with SEO, increased backlinks mean increased rank in the Google search engines, and this means better placement in the search results. I have some concrete examples of this later on, but some of my podcast episodes and blog posts are ranking on page 1 or 2 of the Google search results within 2-3 weeks after publishing. And my site does not have a particularly high ranking Domain Authority.

How Does This Work, And How Can I Automate It?

Automating Podcast Content Syndication
Podcast Content Syndication Automation

You could of course distribute your show notes to a bunch of different platforms manually. Generally this involves re-posting your episode article via copy paste, or sharing your own episode show notes URL on social media. And that's perfectly fine, but it is a lot of work, and there are pitfalls:

  • The manual approach is super time consuming
  • Each platform has slightly different rules, layouts and features
  • The more platforms you want to distribute to, the more manual work it becomes
  • If you are not careful or SEO savvy, then your podcast episodes will rank on 3rd party sites instead of on your own. We've written extensively about how to prevent this, and talked about Digital Sharecropping in Episode 7 "5 Reasons NOT to Promote a Podcast on Facebook [S1E07]"

So doing this manually is a bit foolish. And there are some great content syndication platforms out there. But there is one particular platform that is great for podcast distribution of show notes. And it addresses all the above concerns.

The platform is by a Belgian company called StoryChief, and I'd like to tell you about how we use it, and how it has revolutionized our podcast content syndication process.

Why StoryChief?

We use StoryChief for Podcast Show Notes Content Syndication
  • Podcasting Ready
  • Blogging Optimized
  • Content Calendar
  • SEO Ready With Canonical Tags
  • Lead capture integration
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for advanced marketers
  • Provides ready-made blog
  • Built-In Coaching for SEO and Readability
  • Flexible open platform with lots of embeds, integrations
  • Collaboration & Approval Workflows
  • Outsourcing Ready

StoryChief Podcast Distribution & Syndication (7:45)

podcast distribution and syndication
StoryChief podcast distribution and syndication map

Here is a quick summary of where StoryChief can distribute your podcast show notes.

Publish to multiple websites you own (7:55)

With StoryChief you create a layer above all your web sites, which simplifies the show notes production processes. After your show notes are finished in StoryChief, just publish it to your podcast's websites with one click. The layout will automatically be adjusted to defined branding of your website.

I especially like that on WordPress, any images you include are automatically imported into your social media library. And if you use Yoast SEO plugin, as most of us do, the SEO settings you define in your article will transfer over to your WordPress site, such as your SEO keywords or meta description.

Publish to your personal blog you get with StoryChief (9:30)

Don't have a blog website yet? You can use the free blog you get with StoryChief. It's auto generated when you start an account. Personally I don't use it or drive traffic to it, but I still publish each show note article there because I get a back link.

Create Social Media posts which link to the article (9:55)

Create Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin post to promote your story. The links will go to your primary website.

Publish to the new AMP channels (10:25)

Improve click through rate by 70% by boosting loading times on mobile devices. Publish your stories to Facebook and Google as AMP version.

Promote stories through your ambassadors and influencers (10:40)

Increase reach by 1000% by sharing your brand stories through the personal social channels of your colleagues, friends and influencers. My invitation to join our own Ambassador network is below and also at the bottom of this post.

Embed stories in automated newsletters (12:00)

Easily setup news digests by integrating your favorite mailing tools with StoryChief.

Publish to communities (12:10)

Increase reach and brand awareness by publishing to Medium.com, blogger.com communities.

Content Syndication Demo (12:25)

Content Syndication Demo

As you know, this is a both a podcast audio as well as video series, and in this next segment I will doing a video demo. So for those of you listening to this, I'll do my best to describe what's going on:

Podcast Distribution and Syndication Destinations (12:45)

Let's take a look at the integrations that are possible when using StoryChief. Let's go and start with the available channels that are possible to be configured. As I mentioned, StoryChief comes with its built in blog, and we can have a quick look at that so that you can see what that looks like. Here is my Polymash Podcast Growth System blog that I've set up as part of the StoryChief. As I said, I don't really use it, but I do get backlinks from it, and so that's useful.

Publish to Blogs, Website and CMS Destinations (13:10)

My primary place where I publish is WordPress. You can also hook up an API to basically publish to almost any website out there. Some of my marketing buddies out there will be using HubSpot or Magento, that's another famous CMS that's out there. So you can see you there are a whole range of choices. Another good one that's maybe worth pointing out is Shopify. I'm not sure whether that applies to you as a podcaster, but it could.

Content Hubs (13:50)

Content hubs are next, this is where you would configure Medium. Most of the time you have a personal account on Medium, but I also run a publication called Podcasting Strategy Launch and Marketing on Medium. So those are two different places that I typically syndicate this content. Let's go back to content hubs: I've also set that up the Podcast Growth Show on Blogger. As I mentioned, it's owned by Google. And finally I create an RSS feed. There are many purposes for that, that I won't go into any details.

Social Media Destinations (14:30)

On Facebook, both Facebook pages as well as Facebook groups are promoted, Twitter and Linkedin.

Ambassador Networks (14:40)

Here are the referral or the ambassador networks that we talked about a little bit earlier. I have to have them configured at the moment, one for podcasting and one for just general digital strategy. But you can easily see how, if your podcast is about multiple topics, you could easily use it for that. If you have multiple seasons, you could possibly set it up to where your podcast season one has an ambassador list that's different from season two. So this is kind of up to you to decide.

Press Releases (15:05)

Press releases, if you are big enough to warrant occasional press releases, and you have an episode on which you're talking about an event or something that are really not worthy, that would lend itself to a press release, that's a great option to have.

Email Marketing (15:25)

Email marketing, it comes built in with MailChimp. It comes built in with campaign monitor. But we'll go in a minute, we will look at what the integration strategy is. And because you can hook it up to Zapier quite easily, it basically you gain access to almost any marketing automation platform that's out there for capturing leads.

Lead Generation (15:40 & 16:30)

On the Lead Capture site, there are many ways in which you can capture a lead inside your story. So if you're mentioning something in the podcast that's a worthy add on, or you're asking people to sign up for something, or even if you don't have this built into your website. We use Thrive Marketing Automation tools to help with this. But even if you don't have anything like that, StoryChief helps you by providing it.

Mobile Platforms (15:50)

Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles is what's available right now, and that can be quite helpful. I'm still in the process of starting to utilize these.

Other Integrations (16:30)

All right, so here we are in the integration screen, where you set up, and by the way this stuff don't let it overwhelm you. These are one time set up activities. I'm just trying to point out the rich distribution potential that you get on this platform, and most of it is a matter of a one time effort, and then it is as simple as actually just clicking to publish at the end of this.

The web hook is the way that you connect at Zapier, and as I mentioned, that just opens up a whole world of other integration platforms.

Content Calendars (17:00)

StoryChief comes with a built in content calendar. But it also integrates to external content calendars. You can have everything that's gonna go live, including on social media, you can integrate that into your Google Calendar, or into your Upper Calendar or into your Outlook Calendar. So I love that part.

Podcast Syndication Ready Editor Embeds (17:15)

Editor Embeds is where it gets interesting, especially for podcasters. Because what I want to highlight is that StoryChief supports Anchor, Pippa, SoundCloud, Mixcloud and Libsyn as well. StoryChief are working aggressively on adding other audio platforms to be directly supported. I'm sure Blueberry isn't far away.

Story Chief Editor embeds that are podcast syndication ready
Podcast distribution ready

Right now, there isn't a native integration with Blueberry at the moment. But, I think that if that's something that you need, let me know. I would reach out to them. I was the one who initiated getting Libsyn on board. I suggested that on their public roadmap, and they've been very responsive in implementing some of the features that we as podcasters were pitching to them.

A Quick Overview of the StoryChief Editing Environment (18:09)

I thought we'd have a quick look at the actual Editor itself. It's broken down into sort of a number of interesting components.

Editing could not be easier (18:17)

Those of you that have you ever written on Medium, the StoryChief editor works very much like that. You just basically get a screen that is as easy as pie to just start typing something in. As you're typing it, you can turn text into headings, into quotes. You can add links, you can even comment back and forth with your team. And this ability to comment is a wonderful collaboration strategy, where you can manage multiple writers, or you could outsource your Show Notes production.

SEO coaching (19:04)

I've mentioned the SEO coaching components before. Here the show notes that I'm actually preparing for this very episode that you're listening to right now. It's in an earlier stage than what you would see on my site, but I thought I'd share with you what this looks like. StoryChief provides an SEO sidebar that actually tells you what to do, and walks you through a number of steps to optimize your show notes for SEO.

Readability Coaching (19:38)

And it also has a area here a way you can get a score on the readability of your posts. So keeping it simple, adding headings, breaking it up, not having too many long sentences, and a flesh reading score. Which is sort of like how complex is the grammar that you're using, and getting a good score of that is an SEO factor now. Google actually uses this as a rank indication signal. I don't know how much weight it carries, but it carries some. Besides it just makes for a better reading experience to have your show notes be very easy and scannable.

The approach that we take is, is that our headings by themselves allow you to scan through an episode and very quickly see what's going on. People do scan a lot these days. So that's how it's organized.

Tabs for staying organized and to simplify the UI (20:30 )

The editing environment is split into wizard-like tabs. This is where you progress from writing, to a summary, to determining your audience, to actually publishing.

And after you write, you basically go to the summary area where you can manage the episode settings and Metadata. This is also where you put a cover image, where you add an excerpt for your WordPress blog, where you apply categories and tags. So this is all baked into StoryChief and it all translates over to any other platform that you publish to. These settings are going to trickle down into WordPress, they are going to trickle down into Drupal and Joomla, and they will be honored on as many platforms as they can be honored in.

Defining your audience (21:15)

The last part of the publishing process is that you select your audience, and this is where you can schedule your shotes notes to go live at some future date.

The best part of that is, at the end of the day when you click that publish button and you see it going live …

The 16 destinations we publish to (21:40)

As you can see here, I'm currently doing my podcast distribution and syndication to 16 destinations. Facebook pages, Facebook channels, my Medium personal profile, my Medium publication, my WordPress Blogs, my Linkedin profiles and so forth. Some people that I've seen have to up to 20 or 30 channels that they've configured. I think it's a great feeling when you then actually click the publish button and you see it go live everywhere.

StoryChief Free Version, Basic and Pro Versions

Try it for free, but the basic version costs only $10

So when I first thought I saw this, I thought it was super-exciting, because it just saves us so much time and it was a no-brainer for me to try to integrate this into our workflow.

Sign Up for Free To Try This For Your Podcast or Blog

I'd encourage you to try this for your own blog or podcast.

If you'd like to sign up for the free version, below is a link. Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link and if you ever upgrade I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. But I hope to have earned your trust with this site, blog and podcast – I have been putting significant work into this in order to provide next level thinking about podcast growth.

StoryChief Free Account Link
Get started for free and set up your account

Get started for free, but the basic plan is only $8 a month (when paid yearly)

It's 5 episodes (or stories) for 10$/month, 10 episodes for 20$/month, 15 for 30, 20 for 40, 25 for 50 up until 30 for 60$; and 20% discount if you pay yearly.

But the paid version is extremely reasonably priced for what it does. Then some of the more sophisticated integrations that we've talked about, are available in the Pro Plan. But I think that podcasters will get a lot of use and time savings, even out of the basic version and I think it's totally affordable to do it.

Feature comparison

As I mentioned, there is a free version that you can get, and then there's a Basic, Pro and Enterprise versions. I'll skip the enterprise one, but here's a feature comparison.

Free version for evaluating the platform

You can see that what you're getting with the free version is quite a lot. You had five stories a month, you could really get a feel for the platform and start utilizing it even with the free version.

Why the Basic version is right for podcasters

With the basic version, you actually get that ambassador network and some of the more, from my perspective, useful features that we've talked a little bit about.

The basic version is actually quite feature rich. For example, you do get the content calendar version history. You get a content approval and rejection, which are the collaboration features, to where you can assign shown notes to someone and communicate back with them.

Here's everything you get with the $8 a month basic plan:

  • 5-30 Stories a month
  • Unlimited Users and Collaborators
  • 50 Ambassadors/Press/Influencers
  • Free Blog
  • Publish to your own Website
  • Collaboration/Reviewer Comments
  • Share Story on Social Media
  • Publish to Medium.com and Blogger
  • SEO Assistant
  • API Access
  • Export to Word/PDF/Zip
  • Content Calendar
  • Version History
  • Content Approval/Rejection
  • Newsletters/Emailing
  • Lead Generation Forms (Teamleader CRM, Hubspot CRM)
  • Custom Domain for your
  • StoryChief Blog
  • Editorial Briefs
  • Access to Talent Pool (only available in Benelux)
  • Feeds and AMPs (Google AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, RSS, MailChimp)
  • Version History
  • PRO Channels (e.g Hubspot)
  • PRO Integrations (e.g Salesforce, Calendar Sync, …)
  • Zapier Integrations
  • Publish to Messengers (soon)

You get that integration into email letters, lead generation forms. You get that custom domain and editorial briefs and a number of other benefits that is appear integration. All of that is included in the baseline version for only $10 a month, or $8 when paid yearly. So I just think this is a smashingly good deal.

Results We Are Seeing

podcast syndication and distribution results
Backlinks to my podcast and site have increased by 229% (Source: KWFinder)

Even though we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what we can do with this tool, I hope you do see the value of distributing your show notes as widely, and to as many different networks as you can, just like you're doing with your podcast audio.

We've certainly had great results from it. Several of my episodes actually resulting in a good amount of traffic. I mean, I'm ranking for keywords that have sort of like 500 visits a month. Click here for the examples from RANK Tracker.

But if I can be on page one for that, I'm happy. I don't expect to be ranking for something that has 25,000 searches a month. That's a bit too competitive for me. I talked about that a lot in our SEO courses, how to basically match your podcasts website with the kind of keyboards and that you can actually rank for. Something that's commensurate with your site. As I mentioned, we'll be going into that in a future episode.

Keyword rank index increase from content syndication
Rank index increases (source: SERPWatcher)

In terms of business benefit, I've landed several clients as a direct result of Google search from the above process. Results that featured my syndicated content. Plus, several people have contacted me to collaborate and to help them with their own podcast content strategy and show launches, something I love doing…

So I hope that you found this inspiring. Please visit PodcastGrowShow.com, get your free sign up link for StoryChief.

Can you see yourself doing this and getting similar results?

Try this out yourself and see what you think, and let me know in the comments what you're thinking, and what your process is and how you could integrate that. I'm hoping that you could see yourself doing this. Scroll up for the link to the free StoryChief sign up.

Invitation To Join Our Ambassador Network

One last thing I almost forgot is the ambassador network. If you'd like to join my ambassador network, I would hugely appreciate it. If we have complimentary topics and our content is in sync from an SEO, or Inbound Marketing or podcasting perspective, maybe there's a way that we could work together and support each other.

So here is a signup form where you could join my ambassador networks. I would love to have you be part of that, and I would love to be able to support you in any way that I can.

How does Google determine content quality?
How does Google determine content quality? Guest Post by Alijaz Fajmut

Time and time again you'll have heard that, if you want to rank higher on Google, you need to produce quality content. But what exactly is content quality?

And why does it matter? Because that's what Google wants. And because Google is the world’s biggest search engine that's probably responsible for most of your traffic, you kinda have to give it what it wants.

Indeed, when Google goes down, overall worldwide web traffic plunges dramatically by around 40%. And when Google updates their algorithm, everyone pays attention. And Google recently updated their algorithm to focus on content quality. Check out the below graphic to see what I mean:

Content Quality trend as indicated by search volume on Google
Content Quality trend as indicated by search volume on Google. Source: KWFinder

This means that marketers need to do as Google says and produce more high-quality content. But what does that mean and how can you create top-notch content? This article will show you how Google measures content quality, and what you can do about it.

Content Quality Means Google Values Expertise

Imagine if you were running an affiliate website on the camera niche.

You've got your affiliate products all sorted and you've written a few blog posts at 500 words each. So far, so good.

The thing is that you're not an expert at cameras — in fact, you know nothing about them. The only reason you're driving any traffic in the first place is that of your decent marketing skills (and perhaps a PPC campaign). Because you have no real knowledge of cameras, your blog articles suck and your conversions are down.

Not just this, but your bounce rate is through the roof. And a high bounce rate is an indicator of poor content quality. People have found you out and know that you're not an expert on cameras.

Bounce Rate is an indicator of content quality

The real problem is that Google has also found you out, and as a consequence, your ranking has dropped. Not cool.

What Google wants is experts producing content they know inside out. This improves the user experience, ensuring that the right content is matching up with the right search queries. The site visitor is able to resolve their problems satisfactorily and everyone is happy. Including Google, who's algorithm measures engagement with content as a content quality factor.

Link to Other Websites

If you've used data or any kind of facts and figures in your articles, great. This gives you more credibility in the eyes of your readers.

To establish more credibility with Google — which is of equal importance — you need to reference any source where you got your data from. This is in keeping with co-citation best practices, and it shows that you're keen to be a part of the Google family.

Get other, authoritative websites to link back to you, too. This is called a backlink and it gives your website and articles a seal of approval because it shows that what you're offering is of a high content quality.

Quality content and link strategy
Internal and External Link Strategy influence the way Google ranks the quality of your content

To secure more backlinks you can launch a guest blogging campaign. This is when you pitch a blog idea to a related website in your niche, write a solid blog post and publish it with a link back to your site.

As well as that, just focus on content that you know is offering lots of value. The more value you offer, the more share-worthy and link-worthy your content will be. And, don't forget an internal linking strategy to other articles on your own site, something we refer to as cornerstone content.

Produce Long Form Content

Research has been done into whether short-form content performs better than long-form content.

And the answer is that long-form content is considered by Google to be of higher quality, and therefore ranks better.

Long form content is considered to be of a higher quality because a 2,000-word blog post naturally has more opportunities to offer more value to the reader than a much shorter 500-word blog post. A longer blog post also has more opportunities for backlinks, useful data and it can go deeper into the problems experienced by your audience.

Why Content Length Matters to Google
Why Content Length Matters to Google

Long form content is also considered to be more share-worthy and this further increases its quality status with Google.

Creating long-form content can take time, of course, but don't forget that you can repurpose it so that you get as much juice as possible out of it. If a lengthy blog post performs well, repurpose it for a video that a different audience gets the same value out of it.

And if you're stuck for ideas on what to write about in the first place, use the skyscraper technique. This is when you take an existing piece of content on a particular niche and improve it with more value, data, actionable advice and so on.

Make Old Content Relevant

Google wants to see fresh content from you, which means you should strive to publish new content as much as you can.

Of course, freshness itself doesn't indicate content quality. Moreover, you shouldn't post new content just for the sake of newness. What you can instead do is go back to your old content and make it more relevant.

content relevance and quality
Making Old Content Relevant In A New Context

For example, let's say I wrote an article in 2016 on car tax. It was a really good article that people enjoyed. It was informative and educational.

However, since we're now in 2019 and the rules on car tax have changed, it's also now old and irrelevant — and that means it's lost the quality piece of content it was.

Instead of rewriting the article from scratch, I can make the necessary tweaks that make it relevant again. It will be fresh, and it will have the quality that Google is looking for.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing and Duplicate Content

As you can see, content quality is all about improving the user experience so that they get the best answers possible. Google wants to offer people more bang for the buck, so to speak.

To this end, Google uses a search filter called Panda to look for, and then penalize, poor quality content that's obviously just trying to drive as much traffic as possible without actually offering any value.

To make sure that you don't fall fool of Panda, avoid Keyword stuffing and duplicate content. Avoid doorway pages too, and don't take part in link schemes. All of these things will result in penalties and your ranking will plummet.

Conclusion

As long as you focus on creating in-depth, long-form content rich in links and data, and which offers lots of value to the reader, you'll be well on your way to success on Google.

Guest Post by Alijaz Fajmut

Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of Nightwatch— a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out the Nightwatch blog and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut

Most podcasters find that after the initial success of launching their show, podcast growth becomes harder. Meaning, it becomes harder and harder to gain new listeners and subscribers.

Growing a podcast audience by relying on iTunes New and Noteworthy, or promotions via social media, or submitting to all sorts of podcast directories is a finite thing. Yes, these are all good and necessary steps in promoting a podcast, but eventually, the growth slows down or stops altogether.

The Podcast Growth System

This is why I’ve been working to compile insights we have gained over the years in launching different shows for a variety of clients. For most, podcasting has become a great content strategy for growth. So I am very excited to announce the launch of a podcast marketing system, as well as a book that teaches these techniques.

The approach we have taken incorporate Podcast SEO. And I don’t just mean “Search Engine Optimization” on iTunes, Stitcher or other podcasting platforms, I mean optimizing podcast episode planning and websites for discovery on Google and Bing.

For podcasters, applying simple to follow SEO techniques represents a massive traffic advantage in optimizing the time they likely already spend creating show notes and episode posts. And, these techniques are much more sustainable and evergreen when compared to short-term promotional or paid campaigns (which of course also have a place in the system).

Keep It Simple, Stupid

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” –Albert Einstein

Podcast SEO Marketing Course

Learn more about how to grow your podcast with the “Podcast SEO Marketing Course”

SEO can seem intimidating, so we’ve tried to keep it simple, with video tutorials and easy to follow downloadable templates. In other words, an expert guide on how to grow a podcast audience, email list and web presence with podcast SEO marketing through step by step guides and practical SEO exercises for your show’s pages.

Any podcaster can learn to build a listener base and gain traffic for their podcast organically and without having to spend money on ads.

The ROI of Podcast SEO

Podcast SEO ROIYou question the ROI of spending time on SEO? I beg to differ, have a look at this graphic from the Positivity Strategist Podcast, it illustrates that the podcast is receiving $2,000 worth of clicks a month (This analysis provided by SpyFu analytics, who measure what we would have to pay in Google Adwords for the exact keywords driving traffic to the podcast website and show pages) This comes from the exact techniques we are teaching in this course.

Podcast Home Page Design

We also have some free video resources on our site pointing our conversion optimized design patterns that help grow your email list. Optimizing your podcast homepage for conversion and email sign up will help you grow your podcast subscriber base.

How To Promote Your Podcast And Increase Your Listener Base

We also have a comprehensive guide on traditional non-SEO methods of growing your podcast audience, and it outlines multiple strategies, most of which happen outside the iTunes ecosystem. A good read for anyone whose eyes glaze over at the thought of SEO based marketing strategies.


The Podcast Growth System

The Podcast Growth System 8 Tips


What Other Podcasters Are Saying

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Jeanne Bliss World renowned CX Author, Speaker, Founder at CustomerBliss

Ranked as #1 on Google Search

"My goal was to rank as #1 on Google for the keyword ‘Customer Experience Podcast’. Polymash helped me get there within a few months!"

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Katie Krimitsos Women's Meditation Network Podcast

There are no words to describe how grateful I am for Juergen and his team at Polymash!

They are the rare combination of SEO + design + branding + business savvy that makes them the perfect team to execute your content and business goals. Juergen worked efficiently, strategically and intuitively and the results of his work has been game changing for my business!

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Ken Page Host, Deeper Dating Podcast

Do. Not. Miss. This!

Juergen radiates integrity, and is full of invaluable insight, expertise and inspiration. He is the real deal, and I am beyond grateful I found his work. I just launched my podcast with his help. I just hit New and Noteworthy, and I plan to continue following his guidance and relying on his skill. It is rare to find a teacher and guide of his caliber. Do yourself a favor--Do. Not. Miss.This!

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Larry Hagner Author, Speaker, and Founder of The Good Dad Project

The Real Deal

“Polymash is the real deal! I originally started working with Juergen to simply assist me with podcast production. What I received from him in service, dependability, turn around time, guidance, and coaching far exceeded my expectations. Without his help, I would not have successfully launched my podcast and re-branded my website. I cannot recommend him highly enough.”

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Stuart Dukeman CEO Capital Partners, Wealth Junkies Podcast

Polymash was definitely the right choice for us.

Making the decision to go with Polymash for podcast design and consulting was literally the best decision we could have made. Juergen's level of expertise was exactly what we needed and were looking for to get our podcast up and running. Not only did he deliver on everything he promised, but we easily received 10x the value with the information that he taught us along the way. For anyone that is looking to launch or improve their podcast and its' reach, I highly recommend that you consider the products and services that Polymash offers. You won't be disappointed! Want proof? Our podcast, Wealth Junkies, broke the Top 50 in its' category, within the first weekend of being launched! When you want something done right, find the right help.

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Dave Sherwin Host, the Diroby Health Show

This is high level info, loving it!

I contacted Juergen through the website and took him up on his offer of a free podcast training session through Zoom. He was very generous with his time, and gave me tons of great tips and ideas on how to improve my show. I am now going through each episode and taking notes on ways I can improve my podcast. This is high level info, loving it

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Robyn Stratton Speaker, Author & Founder, Positivity Strategist Podcast

Getting on page one of Google Search Results

“Polymash helped me get on page one of Google for my main business keyword, even though it is competitive! Now 65% of my site traffic comes from organic search.”

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Marshall Lichty Host, "Lawyers with ADHD" Podcast

Dive into the Polymash Experience

I found this podcast late in my launch phase. I've been listening to a bunch of other ones, following a bunch of other tools and solutions, and generally chasing my tail for a couple of months now. Thing is, Polymash and Jeurgen have somehow figured out how to best them all. The website and email newsletter are chock full of value first. They have (obviously) made that a priority. And the podcast is a wonderful example of the podcaster I want to be. If you're thinking about starting or growing a podcast, dive into the Polymash experience. You won't be disappointed.

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Dr. Bryan Joseph Host, the Wellness Connection Show

A simple strategy to ensure success

The process of launching and growing a podcast became so smooth for us. I was intimidated by what we may have to do to get this off the ground and you outlined a simple strategy for us to follow to ensure success. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom and experience with us to make our launch successful.

 

 

Introduction

Getting traffic to your website can be a brutal process, especially if you don’t know where to turn.  And paid traffic from Facebook or Google Ads stops as soon as you finish paying. So in addition to a paid strategy, it’s essential to make your site and your content search engine friendly so that you can gradually increase your rank and discoverability.

Cornerstone content is a crucial element to help make this happen.

If you are familiar with basic SEO concepts:

Then read on, because one of the most effective ways to boost your site rank and traffic is to use cornerstone content.

Once you understand how cornerstone content can be applied to your website, you will notice improvements and clarity in the way Google algorithms index and rank your content, and the chance of your articles appearing on page one of search results increases. It takes a bit of time to kick in, but SEO activities are seldom a “quick fix”, and more often an investment in a long-term and ever-green approach.

This article will explore what to include with your cornerstone content, and how you can use it to boost traffic and link your existing content to it strategically.

If you are pretty new to SEO:

Some people think of SEO as a confusing and complex set of technical tricks for people to discover your content on search engines. The reality for many businesses and blogs is that there is a lot of competition out there for popular search keywords and that their site does not have the overall search engine authority to help them rank their articles anywhere near the top page of search results.

However, with a little work and patience, an investment in understanding how search engines work is well worth it. If you are new to the topic, please check out our completely free course on SEO, a resource designed to provide easy to follow steps and recipes to increase your site’s visibility and rank.

The course is geared towards podcasters, but everything in it also applies to blogs or business sites following a content strategy.

What is Cornerstone Content?

Cornerstone content is made up of your hero content, such as pages and blog articles on your website.  These should be your most compelling and essential pieces.

They should answer your site visitors most significant questions, explain your business approach and topic of interest in great details, and in general be content you are most proud of.

The articles should reflect your business, communicate the mission, and provide well-written explanations.

How does Cornerstone Content Work?

Cornerstone ContentCornerstone content relies on an internal link building approach. Most other articles on your site should repeatedly link to your cornerstone content by way of explaining important and repeating concepts on your site.

These multiple links then create a roadmap for search engines to recognize that these cornerstone articles are the most important pages your site has to offer, and this will increase the rank of these pages on Google and other search engines.

Cornerstone Content

click to see full size

Google loves well-organized content, and this overall linking strategy creates a spider web of internal links Google loves.

We’ve illustrated this spider web of links to your cornerstone content in the main graphic for this post, click on this small thumbnail to see the full-size version.

Using Categories to Select Your Cornerstone Topics

If you are already running a site with well-organized content, the likelihood is that categories help organize it.

One approach to cornerstone content is to create a hero “cornerstone content” post for each category. All the other articles in the category should then refer to and link to this post.

Of course, some people have way too many categories on their site, and from my perspective, this is a mistake. In my opinion, a handful of categories are more effective than dozens. Perhaps focusing on launching your cornerstone content is a good opportunity to clean up your categories and tag structure. There are easy methods for category cleanup out there to help do this.

Importance of Keywords

When you’re deciding on your cornerstone content, you need to consider the keywords you want to rank for carefully.

In our aforementioned SEO course, we provide many tools, tips, and tricks on how to conduct keyword research that is effective for your site.

Do not fall into the trap of trying to rank for keywords your site has no chance of ever achieving a page 1 result for – your keywords need to be commensurate with your current site rank, and this can be different from site to site. (We have a formula for that in the course)

For this reason, I like using the term “key phrase” better than “keyword”, which implies a single word. Often the key phrase will be a combination of two or more words that people are actually searching for on Google.

So you are looking for key phrases that are low in competition (The concept of keyword difficulty), but relatively high in search traffic.

In any case, you should make these keywords unique, and use them only once on your site – for your cornerstone article. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that repeatedly optimizing pages for the same keyword is helpful: it will only dilute the importance the Google algorithm assigns to the page.

Blog articles or pages?

There is often some amount of debate among SEO experts if cornerstone content should consist of blog articles or of pages on your site. Many marketers recommend setting up cornerstone content as pages. I agree, but there is no technical SEO advantage to creating pages over posts, they are ranked the same.

The benefit is that pages have over posts are

  • In most themes, pages do not display dates, and it is good for your cornerstone content to appear timeless
  • Pages can be organized in menu structures, making them easy to find

But there are ways to get around this, on some WordPress themes you can suppress the display of dates on blog posts.

SEO Trick

This brings me to another SEO trick: from time to time it is good to update your cornerstone content to keep it fresh. Personally what I do is to put a “Last updated XX/XX/XXX” at the very beginning of the post, and I have seen Google increase the post rank after doing this. So this is a “trick” to get a small additional boost for cornerstone content created some time ago.

As far as making cornerstone content easy to find, for me, most traffic is coming from search and social media.

This means people are likely to land on my blog, and not focusing on navigating my menu structures. So what I have done is to position cornerstone articles prominently and permanently on the top of my blog page, in a “sticky” manner. Besides, you can easily include blog articles in your menu structure if that helps.

So in my case cornerstone content is easily left as blog entries instead of converting these articles to pages.

Article Quality as Well as Length Matters

The goal of cornerstone content is to serve your site visitor, not just to increase your rank.

It goes without saying that your cornerstone articles should be of great quality, communicate your value proposition, are easy to read, have lots of images, and be SEO optimized with all the tips and techniques we teach in our free SEO course for podcasters and bloggers.

But how do you define quality? Spare a thought as to what would make a really useful resource for your audience and topic, one that people would love to share on social media, are likely to bookmark or revisit as a reference from time to time. If you can manage to make your page or post so compelling that people bookmark and share, then you will have won half the battle.

So a 300-word quickie article will not cut it, and the likelihood is that your site visitors would be more impressed and bookmark a 5000-word manifesto. Which brings us to length.

You SEO veterans out there will be aware that article length matters to Google. Google attributes more importance to articles over 300 words in length. Another inflection point occurs at 700 words, and then again at 2000 words.

So when it comes to cornerstone content, longer articles still are even better, but they should definitely be over 2000 words.

cornerstone content rankingWe’ve seen cases where we ranked a client’s page to be #1 on Google within a week, using a specifically designed and optimized long-form article for the search term desired.

Google “customer experience podcast” for example, and you should see our client’s article in position #1: What we did is to create an article to summarize the experience and insights for the first 50 episodes of her podcast. We SEO optimized the article, and her fans and listeners loved it and shared the article widely, and within a few weeks, her post ranked on the top for the desired search term.

Writing Clearly: A Confession And Three Tips

Cornerstone content should be written clearly. I have a confession to make, I seem to have a hard time doing this. There are tools out there to provide a “readability score”, and I tend to get a failing grade quite often. English is not my first language, but that’s just an excuse. So if you are like me and tend to express yourself with complexity, here are some tips  and tools to help:

  1. Keep your paragraphs super short
  2. Break up content with frequent headings
  3. The Hemingway App is a wonderful online tool that evaluates your writing in real time and then starts marking your content progressive shades of red as it gets too complex. It will keep you writing with Hemingway-esque brevity. And punish you for using too many adverbs:)
  4. Grammarly is another writing tool that is useful for both advanced spell chack and grammar suggestions, however it does little in terms of simplification.

Some Cornerstone Content Ideas For Inspiration

I am sure you can come up with a ton of ideas for your blog, site or topic, but here are some cornerstone content ideas for you to consider and to help get you started.

A Definitive Resource Guide

A collection of curated external and internal links, resources, sites, video, podcasts, books etc. Describe each resource and do not just provide a list of links, but go into detail about why they are useful and in what scenario they lend value.

A Manifesto Post

A detailed explanation of your worldview, philosophy, approach to your topics, summarizing your truths and then going into detail explaining your position. These can be controversial in nature, which adds to the shareability.

A Research Results Post

Conducting your own primary research around a topic in your niche is one of the best ways to build blog content that gets attention. Go into details, include graphics and references.

Tutorial Post

Create a multi-part tutorial on a topic you know your audience would love, but which also represents your site’s topic well.

Crowd Sourced Influencer Post

Bring multiple influencers together to answer a single question in short form. When you get 10 influencers to give you 300 words each on a single topic – you’ve got a powerful blog post.

Podcast Episodes Roundup

If you have a podcast summarize the insights and best resources gathered in your last 50 episodes.

Internal Site Linking To Cornerstone Content

cornerstone-content-incoming-linksOnce you have created a piece of cornerstone content, it is time to identify all the other articles on your site that should link to it. One approach would be to go into a list of every article within your chosen category or to use a list of related tags.

However, there is a more effective method to identify content that Google already thinks is related: Using Google Internal Site Search.

Go to Google and search for your keyword or key phrase in the following format: (for multiple words making up a key phrase, place these in quotes as in my own example below)

site:mysite.com keyword

So on my site, for example, this is what it would look like for a piece of cornerstone content about podcast production

site:polymash.com "podcast production"

This will result in a list of articles Google already thinks are relevant to the topic. The last step is to modify each of these articles to link to your cornerstone content article from within the text.

It is important to note that links in the sidebar of through a footer widget do not carry as much weight as links from within these posts themselves, so find a paragraph with some text from where it makes sense to link to your cornerstone content article.

External Links to Related Content

Don’t think that cornerstone content should link only to your internal articles. Providing links to other authority sites is helpful to the reader, and establishes other resources to consider on your general topic.

However, I have one caveat: I usually provide external links near the bottom of my articles, because I want to encourage people to read my article first before jumping off somewhere else. This also helps reduce my bounce rate in the process, another SEO ranking factor.

Case in point: Here are some great external articles on Cornerstone Content:

  • Copyblogger: Cornerstone Content Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video]
  • Yoast: Using cornerstone content to make your site rank
  • Rank Tree: What is Cornerstone Content?

The Landing Page Approach

Another useful way of thinking about structuring cornerstone content posts is to take a landing page approach.

This means removing menus, distracting sidebars, and adding a table of contents near the top. Of course, you still want to enable your visitor to find menus and navigation for the rest of your site, but this menu can occur on the bottom of your page (Also sometimes referred to “Upside Down Home Page”, one of the inbound design patterns we often talk about.)

Summary

Cornerstone content should attract visitors to easily find core information about you, your topic, service or industry. When done right, it will serve your visitors and help put your other content into context, while at the same time helping you rank for more difficult and competitive keywords.

Using these simple tips and tricks will ensure your cornerstone content is ready to go.

In the previous 4 posts of this series, we’ve talked about on-page SEO optimization. Today I’d like to focus on an often overlooked aspect of SEO.

If you’ve applied all the previous lessons of this series, then you will already have great content and a great headline for your post. And if you are promoting your content on social media, chances are that your post will organically appear in search result soon.

So what is the only remaining hurdle for people to actually click and visit your website to read your post?

The answer lies in your search result snippet, the way your content appears on Google. In other words, how click-worthy is your search result snippet? And there is more to this than meets the eye…

Search Results Visualization

What is a search result snippet?

Search Result Snippet Explanation GraphicThe answer is closely tied to search engine results pages (SERP):

  • A search engine results page (SERP) is the listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.
  • It consists of a list of items with titles, a reference to the full version, and a short description.
  • A “search result snippet” is how your post or podcast show notes page shows up as a single item on this list.

How do you ensure a great search result snippet?

Once again, Yoast to the rescue. The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is useful because it displays a “Search Result Snippet Preview”.

  • This allows you to change and edit the way the title and description of the post is displayed in the SERP snippet.
  • It also lets you change the title and description you would like to display in the search results.
  • In short, it lets you design what people will experience as they find your content in search results.

Why should you optimize the Search Result Snippet?

It is important to optimize the way your post shows up in search results. Google rewards well-designed search result snippets with increased ranking. Perhaps not by much, but it makes a slight difference. More important is this:

If your search result snippet looks unattractive, makes no sense, or the post title is too long, then users are much less likely to click. So a well designed search engine result snippet can increase clicks a lot.

Here is an example of a post before optimization, and the reasons it would be bad to leave it this way:

Search Result Snippet - A Bad Example

  • The post title is too long, and thus gets “cut off”, and Google had to add an ellipsis a the end.
  • The sentence below the title makes no sense and does not help the searcher identify what this post is about. This is because the meta description was not entered on Yoast, and so Google just displays the first words appearing in this post.
  • Some premium themes have shortcodes that appear in the SERP snippet, and this can be confusing.

Here is an optimized example

Search Result Snippet - A Good Example

Google rewards you for optimizing the appearance of search results snippets. Here is the same example as above, but this time with the post title length fixed, and with the correct meta description added.

  • As you can see, the content makes sense and will result in a higher percentage of clicks.

Additional tips to design a successful SERP snippet

You might think of ways to tease people with a hint of what they will learn reading your post.

  • To my eye, keeping it super short with a teaser is most effective.
  • One line is better than two.
  • Asking a question can be inviting readers to click.
  • Of course, your target keyword should still be present in the meta description.

What if you’re not using WordPress or Yoast SEO?

No problems, here are some great resources for you. They work with any blog platform. My favorite is the Mangools SERP simulator, where you can simply enter your title tag and meta description to see your website’s SERP snippet preview.

Conclusion

Even if you are already writing great post and episode headlines, do not overlook the importance of designing your SERP snippets.

Given the time you spend writing content, especially if you follow our philosophy of podcasting as a content strategy, then it makes perfect sense to dedicate a few extra minutes to this. And while WordPress plugins (like Yoast) make it easy, there are alternative snippet visualizers.


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