Tag Archive for: SEO

For the last episode of Season 1 of the “Podcasting Strategy” podcast I’m revisiting and updating an older episode of my first podcast, “The Podcast Growth Show”. Back in 2018 we talked about the benefits of widely distributing podcast show notes articles using the StoryChief platform. StoryChief excels in “content marketing”, for blogs as well as for podcast episode articles . And for our clients, we still follow this approach as one of the best ways to organically grow and promote a podcast to this day, while growing an email list and social following in the process. The StoryChief platform has evolved and grown since then, and yet much has stayed the same.

Recently it was brought to my attention that the original article from 2018 referred to out-dated features and pricing for the StoryChief platform, so I will correct and update this this here as of late 2021 early 2022. Also back in 2018 we were able to offer our followers an insane 50% discount off any StoryChief plan. If you missed out on the 50% off deal, we are still huge StoryChief evangelists and anyone signing up with our affiliate link can get a free trial and then save a very generous 20% off lifetime use of the platform, just contact me for details if you like.

Overview & Episode Content

  1. What is Content Syndication? [02:48]
  2. What Are The Benefits? [04:05]
  3. Why StoryChief? [08:21]
  4. 10 Platform Features For Distributing Your Show Notes [11:16]
  5. StoryChief Current Pricing And Deals

What is Content Syndication?

Content syndication for podcasters
Content syndication for podcasters

Content Syndication is a subset of content marketing. First, let’s revisit what we have talked about several times during this season. 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 podcast show notes articles as well. We want to grow readership, 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?

Drip fed timing example for the distribution of show notes for rapid content marketing results
Drip fed timing example for the distribution of show notes for rapid SEO results

Question: Why should podcasters care about content syndication?

Aren't we already doing a form of this when distributing our episode audio to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher?

  • Answer: Yes indeed we are.
  • However, we are only publishing audio content on Apple Podcasts.
  • 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, LinkedIn 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? Or on the Ghost platform?

The idea is to distribute your show notes to as many platforms as possible.

We elaborated on the platforms and the released drip timing concept in episodes 1-3 of the Podcasting Strategy show, so if you have not listened to those episodes I’d encourage you to go back and check them out:

SEO Backlinks & Results

My own backlinks from high domain authority sites have continued to increase. This is largely resulting from the podcast distribution and syndication method we have covered in this season. (I’m including a comparison graphic from 2018 vs 2021 in the show notes)

2018 Backlinks

podcast syndication and distribution results
At the end of 2018 I had roughly 2,500 backlinks for Polymash

2021 Backlinks

At the end of 2021 this has grown to roughly 5,000 backlinks

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.

Is there a manual alternative?

The StoryChief platform saves massive amounts of time. But it is targeted at content marketing driven businesses, and many of our business clients use podcasting as a major part of their brand storytelling. As such, the platform is not intended for zero budget indie podcasters, who typically save money by spending the time doing things manually of by themselves. So yes, you could distribute your show notes to different platforms manually. Generally this involves a schedule of re-posting your episode article via copy paste. And that's perfectly fine, but it is a lot of work, and there are many pitfalls:

  • The manual approach is super time consuming
  • There are so many steps involved, it is prone to errors
  • If you are not careful or SEO savvy, then your podcast episodes will rank on 3rd party sites instead of on your own.

Syndicating show notes manually is a no-go for us as a podcast production agency. We need an automated way of doing this.

And if I was an Indy podcaster, doing it manually would still be a no-go. We need an automated way of doing this. And there are some great content syndication platforms out there. But StoryChief is the one particular platform we feel is best for podcast distribution of show notes. And it addresses all the above concerns.

Why StoryChief Content Marketing?

There are tons of reasons why StoryChief presents a content marketing opportunity, not just for business podcasters. It helps automate your entire business content marketing strategy. The benefits reach far beyond podcasting. It is a collaborative writing environment for content creation and promotion. Their value proposition is this:

Get the most out of your content marketing campaigns. Create blog and social media campaigns with your all-in-one workspace for content creation and distribution.

For podcasters, key elements are

  • Central hub for content creation, scheduling and management
  • Podcasting Ready with embeds for most podcast players
  • Content Planning Calendar for episodes, blog posts and social media promos
  • Collaborative writing with partners and VAs
  • SEO Ready with canonical tags ensuring rank for your primary site
  • Lead capture integration
  • Suitable for beginners & advanced marketers
  • Provides a free ready-made blog
  • Built-In coaching for SEO and readability
  • Flexible open platform with lots of embeds, integrations
  • Content Briefs, collaboration & approval workflows

10 Platform Features For Distributing Your Show Notes

Distribute And Market Your Show Notes

1. A single platform where everything comes together

Using a single platform saves time distributing your content to the right channels. Think of all the times you spent copy-pasting content to publish the same thing on multiple channels. Thanks to StoryChief, those days are over. All you have to do is select which platforms should feature your content and StoryChief takes it from there.

From ideation to publication, organize and plan the content you publish through your digital marketing channels, all in one content calendar. For podcast episodes and show notes this is great, but why stop there? Blogs, videos, Instagram and social media can all be planned in one single place.

My own use case is that for solo podcast episodes, I write the pre-recording outlines in StoryChief already, because this reduces the time it takes to create great show notes after the recording.

2. Powerful collaboration features

If you are a business podcaster, you are likely used to collaborating with others, even if it is just having a Virtual Assistant or VA. Approval flows, revisions, and comments to speed up your review & feedback processes. The platform brings your team together to organize, plan and produce content.

podcast show notes collaboration features

3. Editorial briefs

One such planning tool is the built in “editorial briefs”. These let you share concepts and makes sure your team's on the same page. If you have someone else writing your show notes, they can do so in this environment, exchange comments with you back and forth, and ask for approval when they are ready for you to review what they have created.

4. Built-in SEO Assistant for your content team

Not an SEO expert? No problem. StoryChief features an SEO assistant that ensures you publish content that will be found on search engines and engage your audience. Your writers don't have to know every aspect of SEO, StoryChief provides them actionable and easy to apply tips.

The SEO assistant helps attract more website visitors, and it monitors your SEO score and how well your story performs for a set keyword, based on 15+ metrics for search engine optimization. I’ve included some screenshots in the show notes that illustrate how the coaching feature works in a sidebar as you or your team creates your show notes.

SEO and readability for your podcast show notes
Easy to follow SEO and readability assistants help you create discoverable and engaging contenting

5. Built-in Readability Assistant

StoryChief also ensures that you engage your readers easily by offering a readability score as you write. This tracks how well your readers will follow your train of thought, and is based on the Flesch Reading Ease test.

I find this especially helpful when working with transcripts, as my own train of thought is quite often pretty obtuse, and this tool helps me correct the show notes as I go.

6. Actionable analytics data

I’ve mentioned this earlier in the season, it is important to take analytics into account and adjust so that you fill your episode calendar with content that works. The reports StoryChief provide span both website stats, in terms of how many people have seen and read your content there, as well as measuring stats and engagement on social media channels.

Easy to implement analytics data
Easy to implement analytics data

This lets you see the types of episode content that resonates with your audience the most. You can track their performance by generating reports from real-time data.

7. Social Media posting & calendar

The idea is to save time managing your social media in one place by publishing your podcast episode posts to all social media channels with a few clicks.

Podcast show notes content marketing on social media

The social media features in StoryChief let you plan a month of social media posts about your podcast, blog, or business. And it lets you do this in hours, not days.

From daily posts to full-scale campaigns, the social media calendar helps you stay organized and productive. Plus, its collaborative features match those of the writing environment. You can easily invite your VAs or team members and have them manage your social media, while you stay in control through approval flows and feedback loops.

You can create social media campaigns on Facebook pages or groups, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn profile and business pages. Usually these image or video posts promote your podcast episode or story, with a link pointing to your primary website. StoryChief supports video and this your audiograms can be scheduled and distributed widely as well.

8. Included website & hosting

Don't have a separate blog or website for your podcast yet? One other feature I should mention is that you can use the free blog you get with StoryChief. Its auto generated when you start an account. There are lots of ways to customize this, and it looks great right out of the box. It makes for a great podcast website if you don’t have one already. Personally I don't use it to drive traffic to, but I still publish each show note article there because I get a high domain authority back link. We covered this back in episode 4 of the podcast.

9. The ambassador network effect

Sharing your content on social media seems obvious for most marketers but what if there was an even better way to share your content? Now, you can prompt your brand's ambassadors to share your content with their network in a click of the button.

Ambassador Content Marketing For Podcasters

So when a new episode launches, your ambassadors are notified first. And you can recruit more people into your tribe with built in ambassador sign-up forms that will appear on all publishing channels. I’ve included an example in the links section on the bottom of our show notes. This is an invitation to join our Podcasting Strategy Ambassador program, where we encourage our channel partners to share our new episodes on their social channels, and we then offer them promotions in return.

The ambassador effect has many possible creative business use cases, and here are just two:

  • For Podcast Marketing — Turn your podcast listeners into ambassadors and brand advocates.
  • For Channel Partners — Mobilize channel partners to help drive demand for your show.

10. Email Marketing & Multiple RSS Feeds

Email marketing is built in with MailChimp and Active Campaign and several others. But because StoryChief integrates with Zapier quite easily, it basically lets you gain access to almost any marketing automation platform that's out there for capturing leads.

This means that you can publish to multiple built-in RSS feeds that let you distribute content on a lot of RSS driven platforms. For example you could set up a premium content RSS feed for paid members.

StoryChief Current Pricing And Deals

As I mentioned in the beginning, StoryChief has actively been developing the platform, and as a result many more features and integrations are available now than there were in 2018 when I first covered this platform. Here is a link to the current plan summary and pricing information.

20% Off For Podcasting Strategy Show & Polymash Followers

Keep in mind that the value proposition for this platform is that of a comprehensive SEO content strategy and social media marketing platform. It may not be a great fit for hobby podcasters on a close to zero budget, but is worth it for anyone for whom podcasting and web growth is part of a business content strategy. There is a free trial, and our followers can contact me to receive 20% off.

StoryChief Free Account Link
Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link and if you ever upgrade to a paid plan I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I'd encourage you to try this for your own business podcast. If you'd like to sign up for the free version, I’ve included the link in the show notes. 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.

So if you sign up for StoryChief’s free trial with our link, email me and I will personally send you a special code. You can use this when upgrading for a paid account, and it will save you an additional 20% off the pro plan for this platform. This includes access for 4 team members, collaboration and content calendar features and the ability to publish unlimited stories on as many destinations and websites you can manage.

Links and Resources

Here are the links and resources I may have referred to in this episode.

If you are not yet subscribed or following us on any podcast audio apps, here is where to do this.

Where to follow Podcasting Strategy

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.

Creating better episode titles is one of the most important steps to ensure your podcast episodes are discoverable, will stand out and get listens as well as new subscribers for your podcast. But creating compelling episode titles can be hard. And in this episode we will highlight our favorite tool for crafting great podcast episode titles.

But first, a quick reminder about what we are doing in this series of episodes of the Podcasting Strategy Show: We are covering business podcasting from a strategic angle: Specifically, why show notes play such an outsized role for podcasting as a content strategy. And so episode titles should not only be compelling to your listeners, but also work towards a business ROI, meaning SEO presence and discoverability for your podcast.

And while we take on this subject from our perspective as a podcast marketing and production agency and what we do for our clients, the intent here is to be "open Kimono". This means we are sharing our agency methods here, in part to inspire Indie and DIY business podcasters to adopt some of what we cover. And for our clients, these methods account for 65% of their listener growth.

Better Podcast Episode Titles — Table Of Contents

A Quick Episode 6 Recap

Last time we started to talk about the many tools in our agency workflow that save us a ton of time and allow us to scale podcast SEO show notes syndication. I'm progressing this series by talking through the various workflow phases involved in scalable show notes production from an agency point of view. In the last episode we talked about the crucial role that pre-season and pre-episode SEO research plays, and we also covered some logistics tools. And once you’ve decided on the keyword for optimizing your episode, it is then time to incorporate this into your podcast episode title. And that’s what we are covering today.

The Outsized Importance of Episode Titles

Importance of Episode Titles
Photographer: Nick Fewings | Source: Unsplash

First I'd like to highlight the outsized importance of episode titles, and how they contribute to discoverability and growing a listener base.

Some of you might be skeptic about when I make a statement like "outsized importance of show notes" for business podcasting. OK. But don't just take it from me. A little later-on I have some case studies from industry thought leaders at PodNews.net and elsewhere to share, which that basically amplify, if not prove my point.

Why Are Podcast Episode Titles Important?

Three quick answers we as podcasters already know:

  1. In App Search — How can your show be found by people who are already on a listening app, and looking for new podcasts?
  2. Web Search — Many podcasters and brands under-estimate the importance of this, as we have pointed out before. Podcast Episode titles for show notes are an important part for web discoverability.
  3. Click-Worthiness, not to be confused with click-baitiness. There are a lot of scenarios where people only listen or visit after a glance at the episode title.

In App Search vs Web Search — A Case Study

In App Search vs Web Search Case Study
Photographer: Marvin Meyer | Source: Unsplash

A lot of us assume that a major way of having our podcast content found is on podcast listening apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and so on. But in order for this to work, people have to search inside those apps.

Technically, this depends on how content is made searchable inside listening apps. In other words, which parts of a podcast are indexed for search.

So I came across a case study and cool, if dorky experiment: Mark Steadman teamed up with James Cridland, the editor of Podnews, to experiment with nonsense words in the name of science.

The idea was to pick a different nonsense word for each relevant podcast-related tag in our RSS feeds, and to see which apps picked up which words.

Here are some of their findings

So here are some of the findings from this experiment, I really want to give Kudos to Mark and James here, since doing this must have been quite labor intensive.

Now James and Mark did not limit their research to just Apple Podcasts, they also looked at Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, CastBox, GoodPods, Google Podcasts, IVoox, Listen Notes, Overcast, Player FM, Pocket Casts, The Podcast Index website, PodcastAddict, Spotify, Stitcher. This list then represents the most common listening apps, and from my perspective a large enough data set to draw some conclusions from.

#1 Apple Podcasts only searches your podcast name, episode titles, and author tags

So no matter how great a podcast description you have crafted for your show, or for each episode, in Apple Podcasts people cannot find your podcast or any episode based on that content.

#2 Apps heavily weight podcast-level data over episode-level data.

What this means is that search for your podcast title or words in your podcast description will likely show up in most apps. But your episodes are much less visible via in-app search, since ONLY the titles of the episodes are indexed for search.

This is precisely why at Polymash we focus on podcast web SEO, because on the web your episodes WILL show up, if optimized correctly.

#3 The in-app podcast search landscape is badly in need of attention.

Hopefully this will at some point get addressed. I am not quite sure why no-one has taken up the challenge of indexing episode descriptions yet. Is it that podcast app makers thing that in-app search is not important?

Imagine if in-app search reliably showed not only new podcasts to listen to (as is currently the case), but also had episode level suggestions to offer to app users. I would think this would be beneficial for listeners, app creators and podcast hosts alike.

#4 Podcast App SEO is not a viable podcast growth strategy.

Let me just comment here on the term "Podcast SEO", vs "Podcast App SEO". Most people don't consider that there is a difference. There is a common misconception that all Podcast SEO has to do with being found inside listening apps.

And what James and Mark mean here is about "Podcast App SEO": Trying to have optimize your podcast to be found inside apps is severely limited.

Of you've listened to any of our content before, you will know that we focus on Podcast Website SEO as a way of growing a show, especially for business podcasters.

Their Conclusion From This Case Study

To Mark and James these findings highlight the need for good podcast websites. Compelling titles, rich and meaningful show notes, useful links, host and guest bios; all of these are useful for placement within Google and other web search engines because they’re useful to humans.

  • If you have a guest, put their name in your episode title, especially if they’re the kind of name people will search podcast apps for.
  • That said, episode titles aren’t universally indexed.
  • Don’t rely on podcast app search for discoverability.
Why Podcast Episode Titles Are Important Graphic

I think it’s unwise to put too many eggs in the podcast-app search basket. Search is just not evolved enough within these apps to be meaningful.

Formulas And Generators For Podcast Episode Titles

Podcast Episode Title Formulas and Generators
Photographer: ThisisEngineering RAEng | Source: Unsplash

Let's consider the structure of how podcast titles are often set up. There are common patterns for episode titles any business podcasters will likely have seen on other podcasts they listen to. For example, listicles are a format, like “The Top 10 Tips to do XYZ”. Or Question-based titles, which often present provocative propositions. Or how-tos that offer tutorials and tips.

There are tons more formulas and formats, and if you'd like to see a fun and insane way to generate a ton of title ideas, here is a title generator to create tons of title suggestions based on a keyword you enter: https://www.title-generator.com/

I did this for this episode, and I’ve put an image of 12 out of 100s in the show notes:

Podcast Episode Titles as the keyword for a title generator

These formulas only go so far, and skew on the "click-bait feel" side of things. So we recommend staying clear of them, other than to generate ideas if you're really stuck.

Questions To Ask When You Craft Episode Titles

Instead, here are some questions to ask as you are crafting podcast episode titles:

1. Does it match expectations? Does the content deliver on it? Is it a Clickbait?

Consider your own behavior when listening to podcasts, does the title of the episode matter? I would argue in many cases yes, depending on the nature of the show. If I'm listening to a news podcast, perhaps the title will not matter. But for most of my areas of interest, if the title is boring or irrelevant to me, I might choose to skip it. On the other hand, if a title promises something super interesting and then the content does not deliver, count me out.

2. Is it Clear? Or Clever?

Personally I prefer clear over something clever or mysterious, and I also think that this is easier to SEO optimize.

My personal preference: “clarity” beats “being cute” every time.

3. It really grabs your attention? Is it ordinary?

Why does something grab your attention in the first place?

4. Is it to the Point?

When I’m browsing through podcast episodes on my devices, I prefer short descriptive titles that make it clear what I’m about to listen to.

5. Does it highlight a Benefit?

A title that makes the benefit of listening obvious is very compelling. Thought personally I find this is pretty hard to fit into a few words.

6. Is it too short, long or just right?

The right episode title length is a subject for discussion. My advice is to err on the side of too long rather than too short. It is challenging though, I think factors like SEO title length, fitting on a mobile screen, covering all the other points on this list and still having enough room for your guest name make it so.

7. Can I create a good title and ALSO have my keyword present in it?

Personally I often find myself coming up with creative episode titles, but then realize my keyword is not present in the title, which from an SEO perspective is a “must have”

Some Dos and Don’ts In Crafting Episode Titles

I do not like to think of titles in terms of "dos and don’ts". But here are 3 considerations I would offer:

1. The Right Length

I would ensure the optimal length for SEO presence. Too short is bad, too long is bad as well. The tool we will review later offers guidance on this.

2. Including Your Guest Name

Including your guest's name in the episode title is a matter of preference.

  • Do include your guest name in the title if they are well known, famous, or at least well known in your industry.
  • Some businesses might even optimize the entire show notes article for Google search based on the guest name.
  • If your guest is a business relationship of some sort, then consider if there is a benefit: If the guest google themselves and your episode shows up in the search results, is that important to you, or to the guest?
  • We often do quick google search or use our keyword research tool we covered in the Podcasting Strategy Show Episode 6 called KWFinder. This way you can see if your guest name is searched for a lot.

3. Including Episode Numbers

Including episode numbers in the title is another matter of opinion with many business podcast experts.

The only "rule" I would suggest following here is to never place the episode number at the front. I recently saw an example of this where the beginning of each episode title started with "Episode 1, Part 2:" For podcast consumers, It wastes 18 characters of space on small screen, often obscuring what the actual title was like. I've included a picture of this in the show note.

But perhaps the more important aspects here is that this dilutes SEO: Google places the most importance on the beginning of your title, so starting this with "Episode 1, Part 2:" lowers SEO potential.

The Power Of Language In Podcast Episode Titles

So I hope that up to this point I’ve managed to convince you that episode titles are important, and also not that easy to create. Which brings us to the tool I want to review in this episode, called “Headline Studio” by a company called CoSchedule. This system delves into some of the science, psychology and language behind what makes titles compelling. It performs analysis of titles based on:

  • Emotional Words
  • Power Words
  • Ordinary Words
  • Length, structure and format

And it offers word banks, SEO analysis and a whole lot of additional features.

Introducing Headline Studio — What does it do?

Headline Studio For Creating Episode Titles

Headline studio gives you data-backed suggestions and a roadmap for improving headlines or episode titles you initially think of. It offers suggestions for effective words your title should include, and provides a headline score based on CoSchedule’s criteria on what makes a good title.

What are elements of a compelling podcast episode title?

  • The right word and character length
  • Clarity about the episode content for the listener or reader
  • Click-worthiness through the use of uncommon, emotional or power words, which CoSchedule Headline Studio helps you find
  • Use of patterns where possible that have proven successful like listicles and how-tos

How do Headline Studio’s features help?

Headline studio also have the following features to make your experience in using the tool much more convenient.

Headline Studio's headline analysis

Word Balance Analyzer

Headline Studio shows you exactly how many common, uncommon, emotional and power words your title contains and shows you the best possible way to balance out the words your title should contain. Their recommendations are based on word usage and title patterns proven to be successful on social media.

Word Bank

Headline Studio provides you with their built in thesaurus to find words for each of their categories. Browse through their word bank and discover fitting words and their synonyms to create the ideal word balance.

Headline Score Breakdown

The tool also provides short breakdowns of what your title contains which includes :

  • Word Count – The amount of words your title contains and a bar to show you how many words are recommended.
  • Character count – The amount of characters your title contains. Also has the same bar as the wordcount breakdown.
  • Type – Shows you what type of title you have, its description and ways you could improve it.
  • Reading grade level – The difficulty of the words you used in your headline/title.
  • Sentiment – What sort of sentiment your title conveys.
  • Clarity – Checks if your title gets right to the point.
  • Skimmability – Shows you how skimmable your headline/title is and displays where the topic of your headline/title and where to place it.

SEO Score Breakdown

Headline Studio's SEO Score
Headl

Headline Studio also includes information on how your headline/title would fair SEO wise. It includes the following features :

  • Search Preview – Shows you exactly how your title would look like in search results.
  • Competition – A breakdown on where your headline/title stands among other headlines.
  • Your Top Competition in Search Results – Displays the top competitors in search results for your headline/title. This also might give you ideas on how to structure your own headline/title to give you a competitive edge.
  • Keyword Variations – Shows you keywords similar or related to your headline/title which you may include to rank higher in search results.
  • Related Questions – Displays related topics your audience also searches for which you may include to reach a wider audience and rank higher in search results.

How do you use it?

Headline Studio is simple and easy to use, go to their site, insert your headline/title and click analyze. It will then display the information which we listed above to help you craft a better title. We suggest trying at least 5-7 versions of an episode title you had in mind, it’s not just the tool, but the practice of creating these variations that makes you better at this.

Web App Version

To use the CoSchedule Headline Studio web app, just visit their website here.

Create a free account, and beyond the free version you will also get a trial for several premium features and headlines as well.

Headline Studio Home Page

Personally we use this tool and its older counterpart, Headline Analyzer, to improve the title of each piece of content we create, get a clear understanding what our titles are missing and to learn how to craft amazing titles.

Chrome Plugin

I should mention that if you are using a Chrome browser, there is also a useful extension available, you can find it here.

Final Thoughts On Improving Your Episode Titles

How I use the Coschedule Headline Analyzer

I can virtually guarantee that your episode titles will improve through a tool like this.

The reason I'm so confident is not just because it is a great tool: It’s the iterations that count

It is the practice and discipline of iterating — when you create 7 variations of a title, which Headline Studio practically makes you do, you’re bound to improve. It makes you think about your listener, your SEO, your episode topic in a new way. And the end result of choosing one of 5-7 variations will predictably create more interesting episode titles and gain you more listeners.

In conclusion, Headline Studio is a great tool for creating new titles and improving your old ones. It works for your blog and for your podcast episode titles. It provides you with a fair measure on how your title would do and provides you details steps on what to do to increase your own score, which certainly beats figuring out why your titles are not doing well through trial and error.

Disclosure: This paragraph above contains an affiliate link, and we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

Conclusion, Links and Resources

This was the second of a multi-part series highlighting the workflow tools we use as an agency to produce high impact show notes for our podcast clients. We have seen the success of this approach last and build through several years, as podcasting has become ever more competitive and celebrity driven.

It does not have to be this way, and podcast show notes are the key to ever-green discoverability for any podcast that has a business content strategy intent. And, as we covered in this episode, better podcast titles are key.

Tools and Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Freebies: Our Podcast SEO Show Note Templates

FAQ

Coming Soon…

Your podcast episode audio is widely distributed to podcast listening platforms on day one. But this might not be a good idea when it comes to syndicating your podcast show notes. Learn why timing is key, and how drip feeding your show notes content over a few weeks, to multiple websites, can improve the visibility of your show.

The timing in which you publish your show notes to different websites can be very important. You want the timing of the release of your show note content to send Google steady ranking signals over a period of time. The increased rank this produces will improve the visibility of your show in the Google Search Result Pages (SERPs).

Let's continue our series on podcast content syndication as a method for podcast and website growth. Today, we'll explore why drip syndication and the timing of it is key when distributing podcast show notes.

Why Timing Is Key — Table Of Contents

Quick Podcast Content Syndication Recap

So let's get started with a quick recap of content syndication and how it works and what we talked about the last time, how ranking factors are influencing podcasts and website growth, including domain authority.

Ranking factors explained
Google ranking factors primer

We talked about the importance of incoming links and also how long form episode show notes content, when SEO optimized, is a contributing factor. Finally we covered engagement on your website and social media signals. All of those are factors where content syndication for podcast show notes, articles, contributes and basically improves them by building back links and sending those social signals to Google.

Distributing Show Notes As Widely As Possible

We'll go in a little bit more detail today, but basically the idea is, is that we want to widely distribute the podcast, show notes articles, not only to your own websites, but onto content hubs and other network related sites, as well as through referral and social marketing.

Timing is key when distributing your show notes as widely as possible
Distributing your show notes as widely as possible is important for building backlinks & traffic

What we're trying to do is to basically build a series of back links by distributing these show notes widely. So it's not just about the traffic, it's about creating a number of incoming links that Google recognizes in importance of pointing to your website. So what we're trying to achieve in the end, is to identify as many places as possible to syndicate your show note articles, kind of like what's happening with your podcast audio already.

Platforms supported include all modern CMS based websites

We support all of the primary modern content management systems or CMS based websites.

Our content syndication process supports all modern CMS systems
Podcast content syndication works on most modern CMS platforms

Of course, WordPress is one of the most popular ones, but we also support modern platforms like Webflow, for example.

Ghost is an interesting platform because Ghost also has a newsletter and email syndication platform built in. But even if you don't use it for that, it can be very good just as an additional affordable platform to publish on. William is the free blog with a high domain authority that you get back links from that is built into StoryChief, which is our content syndication platform. We will cover that in greater detail in an upcoming episode. Also, we can publish to custom websites and Drupal, Joomla, Fork, Craft CMS as well as HubSpot. So these are all destinations in a multichannel strategy that we can publish to.

So the more sites that you can publish to the better.

Additional sites and channels are always welcome. Keeping in mind that this is done in a way to avoid any duplicate content penalties from Google.

Avoiding Duplicate Content Penalties

For those of you familiar with SEO, there's a technical term called “Canonical Links or Tags”. All of the articles that are getting published to other sites basically point the rank that Google attributes to your primary website to your business website. So the more sites, then, the better. There's no concern about having any duplicate content penalties.

The Role of SEO Optimized Show Notes Articles

What we're publishing, just as a reminder, are your podcast episode in the form of SEO optimized show notes articles. We're going to show a couple of examples in the future, but they basically are augmented show notes based on a transcript, but not where the transcript is pasted in on the bottom. Instead, what we do is add and augment this with headings, subheadings, images, quotables, pull quotes, and a number of other things that make it appear to Google like these are authority, high quality articles, and they usually are because they're based on the conversation and the topic that you and your guests or you in a solo episode covered.

The only platforms that we cannot support with this system are closed ecosystems like Squarespace and Wix, because these aren't true content management platforms that accept publishing from third parties.

Why Staggered Timing Is Key To Success When It Comes To Google Rank

With that said though, what I want to focus on in this episode is the fact that dripped released timing is key, when syndicating episode articles. So I wanted to explain why and how this works. So basically what we are trying to achieve is to drip the syndicated content to multiple teams candles, but not all at once.

Staggered Timing Is Key
Staggered Timing Is Key

So we don't publish everything on day one to 30 or 40 websites, or 10 or 15 websites, we're trying to drip this out over a period of time. Now you may ask why, and there's a good reason for that. On the first day we published to the primary website, and then this is an example of schedule. We customize these schedules depending on what platforms our clients are interested in or already have. But let's assume that on the primary website, that's the first place that we publish. But on day two, we publish on the William blog. As I mentioned, that is the blog that you get that has a high authority, produces a higher domain authority back link, and it sends that signal to Google and Google says,

"Ah, look, there's this article, must be important because someone’s linking to it already."

How Google passes backlink rank to your site

It passes that rank along to your primary website and that process repeats itself. So if you have a secondary site, if you have a partner site, if you even have a site where you can deploy the content in a way that's not necessarily visible on the homepage or even the navigation, it still helps you because it earns you a backlink from Google.

Many people have more than one website. Some have a business website and a separate one for their podcast, and maybe even a private or personal blog. The more the better.

The syndication process then continues through referral marketing. For example, if you get your podcast guests to link to you from an article on their own website that produces another incoming link. We also feature something called “Ambassador Networks” of people who have agreed to share your content, something we explored in previous blogs.

We may also publish to some content hubs and networks, like for example, on a Blogger and Medium account. Again, a week later or so you're starting to see regular signals to Google that wind up accumulating, and that illustrate to Google that this is an authority article that you have just launched.

So a week or two later, we might publish to Ghost, we might publish to Medium, a huge content hub with a large existing readership. Here, for exmple, is a link to our own Medium presence.

Social signals contribute as well

And while this is going on, there are also continuous social signals being sent, because our content syndication process also publishes to Instagram and LinkedIn profiles, and pages and Facebook groups and Twitter and so forth. So these social signals of your content being shared contribute as well. They're not quite as important to Google, in Google's parlance as direct incoming links from high domain authority sites, but they do matter.

The point is, a constant drip feed of incoming links basically contribute to delivering the results in weeks, not months or even years. So content published can show up on page one and we often see results after only a few days or weeks.

It's about more than traffic, it's about SERP visibility

So that is why we are following this concept, and that is why your overall website, your overall podcast, the visibility and traffic as well, this isn't all about traffic. I don't really care whether there's a lot of traffic coming in from some of these sources. What's important is that it's coming in, are these ranking signals. So that's basically today's episode.

Coming Up Next

Up next will be how content syndication works on social media and through influencer marketing.

Where To Join Us

In the meantime, please follow the Podcast Growth channel if you're watching this on YouTube, follow us on Facebook @Polymash, on Instagram, we are at @Polymashdesign.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, or join our Facebook Podcast Marketing Group. See you next time.

Creating episode titles for your podcast episode is one of the most important steps to ensure your episodes will will stand out and get listens as well as new subscribers for your podcast. With that in mind it is important to think twice when creating an episode title, because a simple description of what your podcast episode is about simply isn't enough to grab your audience’s attention. Headline Studio is here to help.

We’ve often covered episode title do’s and don’ts on our blog and SEO courses. But beyond avoiding basic SEO mistakes like starting your episode titles with numbers, for example, crafting a compelling episode titles becomes much harder.

But you can make the entire process of creating great episode titles much easier by using a tool called Headline Studio by CoSchedule.

What does Headline Studio do?

Headline studio gives you data-backed suggestions and a roadmap for improving headlines or episode titles you initially think of. It offers suggestions for effective words your title should include, and provides a headline score based on CoSchedules criteria on what makes a good title.

What are elements of a compelling episode title?

  • The right word and character length
  • Clarity about the episode content for the listener or reader
  • Click-worthiness through the use of uncommon, emotional or power words, which CoSchedule Headline Studio helps you find
  • Use of patterns where possible that have proven successful like listicles and how tos

My personal preference: “clarity” beats “being cute” every time. In other words, when I’m browsing through podcast episodes on my devices, I prefer short descriptive titles that make it clear what I’m about to listen to.

How do Headline Studio’s features help?

Headline studio also have the following features to make your experience in using the tool much more convenient.

Headline Studio's headline analysis

Word Balance Analyzer

Headline Studio shows you exactly how many common, uncommon, emotional and power words your title contains and shows you the best possible way to balance out the words your title should contain. Their recommendations are based on word usage and title patterns proven to be successful on social media.

Word Bank

Headline Studio provides you with their built in thesaurus to find words for each of their categories. Browse through their word bank and discover fitting words and their synonyms to create the ideal word balance.

Headline Score Breakdown

The tool also provides short breakdowns of what your title contains which includes :

  • Word Count – The amount of words your title contains and a bar to show you how many words are recommended.
  • Character count – The amount of characters your title contains. Also has the same bar as the wordcount breakdown.
  • Type – Shows you what type of title you have, its description and ways you could improve it.
  • Reading grade level – The difficulty of the words you used in your headline/title.
  • Sentiment – What sort of sentiment your title conveys.
  • Clarity – Checks if your title gets right to the point.
  • Skimmability – Shows you how skimmable your headline/title is and displays where the topic of your headline/title and where to place it.

SEO Score Breakdown

Headline Studio's SEO Score
Headl

Headline Studio also includes information on how your headline/title would fair SEO wise. It includes the following features :

  • Search Preview – Shows you exactly how your title would look like in search results.
  • Competition – A breakdown on where your headline/title stands among other headlines.
  • Your Top Competition in Search Results – Displays the top competitors in search results for your headline/title. This also might give you ideas on how to structure your own headline/title to give you a competitive edge.
  • Keyword Variations – Shows you keywords similar or related to your headline/title which you may include to rank higher in search results.
  • Related Questions – Displays related topics your audience also searches for which you may include to reach a wider audience and rank higher in search results.

How do you use it?

Headline Studio is simple and easy to use, go to their site, insert your headline/title and click analyze. It will then display the information which we listed above to help you craft a better title. We suggest trying at least 5-7 versions of an episode title you had in mind, it’s not just the tool, but the practice of creating these variations that makes you better at this.

Web App Version

To use the CoSchedule Headline Studio web app, just visit their website here.

Create a free account, and beyond the free version you will also get a trial for several premium features and headlines as well.

Headline Studio Home Page

Personally we use this tool and its older counterpart, Headline Analyzer, to improve the title of each piece of content we create, get a clear understanding what our titles are missing and to learn how to craft amazing titles.

Chrome Plugin

I should mention that if you are using a Chrome browser, there is also a useful extension available, you can find it here.

Final Thoughts On Improving Your Episode Titles

How I use the Coschedule Headline Analyzer

I can virtually guarantee that your episode titles will improve through a tool like this.

The reason I'm so confident is not just because it is a great tool: It’s the iterations that count

It is the practice and discipline of iterating — when you create 7 variations of a title, which Headline Studio practically makes you do, you’re bound to improve. It makes you think about your listener, your SEO, your episode topic in a new way. And the end result of choosing one of 5-7 variations will predictably create more interesting episode titles and gain you more listeners.

In conclusion, Headline Studio is a great tool for creating new titles and improving your old ones. It works for your blog and for your podcast episode titles. It provides you with a fair measure on how your title would do and provides you details steps on what to do to increase your own score, which certainly beats figuring out why your titles are not doing well through trial and error.

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link, and we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

It seems like podcasts are moving into the mainstream media category, considering that at least 90 million people (that is 30% of the population) of the United States listen to or watch a podcast once a month. And more non-podcast listeners are becoming aware, and most of them use Google to discover podcasts they might be interested in. Thus, having your own website and podcast SEO strategy should be to pof-mind when thinking about starting your own podcast.

Read on to see some initial SEO strategies that you should think about before getting started.

SEO Strategy for Podcasts Isn't That Much Different From Regular Blogging

Recently, Google announced that they would be ranking and showing up podcasts on Google searches. That was great news for all podcast creators, owners, and listeners. No one wants to have trouble finding their favorite podcasts.

Podcast SEO strategy relies on Google Search
Stats from "Three Ways To Survive Podcasting’s Existential Crisis", a great medium post by Tom Webster.

And for several years, Google Search has been how the general population discovers new shows to listen to. So this assumes your own podcast should have a website.

1. Keyword Ready Your Title and Description

Podcasting Strategy Includes Keyword Preparting Your Title and Description Graphic
Podcasting SEO Content Strategy Researching Your Title and Description Keywords

As with regular blogging, anything to do with SEO for podcasts has to include a keyword strategy. Ensure that your episode titles and your episode description are rich with relevant keywords. Don't stuff it with keywords, as Google despises that.

The best idea is to do some keyword research before you even record a podcast. Don't even start with the recording, until you know exactly what Google and your audience will love to hear about.

  • There are many free and paid SEO research tools online
  • Examples are Google Keyword Planner or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest tool

2. Transcriptions of Your Podcasts

Transcripts for SEO strategy, speech bubble, poster and sticker concept with text
Enhance your show notes with transcripts. But don’t just copy-paste

Transcripts make your podcast more visible to Google search. This is a difficult one because it can be so time-consuming to create transcriptions of all your episodes. Transcript quality varies greatly, and the AI based transcripts are still often not good enough to use in practice.

We use Rev.com for all our transcripts, and even though this is more expensive than automated transcripts, in the end it saves us hours of editing work as they are 99% accurate in spelling and punctuation.

But if you have the capacity or capability to clean up your AI transcripts, or have a virtual assistant, having transcriptions of your podcast episodes on your website is a great start to a podcast SEO strategy.

This way you can constantly convert your “show notes” into more authoritative articles for your podcast blog, which will ensure you stay in Google's good books.

Here are some tips when using transcripts on your blog:

  1. Don’t just “copy paste”.
  2. Make it readable by adding subheadings, quotes, and images. No one wants to read a wall of text.
  3. Add images, and consider that image optimization can help SEO.
  4. Ensure that transcriptions for your podcast you avoid the 'umms', 'ahs', and other pauses. Also, avoid any grammatical errors. No one wants to read a text filled with that.
  5. Save time: Use a transcript cleaning utility like “Text Soap”, which you can find in our podcasting resources guide, as it saves hours of formatting work. Automatically remove unwanted characters, fix messed up carriage returns, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

This is also a great way of getting at the auditory-impaired audience, who will be able to engage with your podcast even if they can't listen to it.

Feeling like you need more guidance with your podcast SEO strategy? Check out Polymash's SEO Saturdays, where you can apply to get your podcast episode titles or website SEO optimized.

3. Create Your Show Notes on Your Own Dedicated Podcast Website

Build Your Own Site To Avoid Digital Sharecropping
Photographer: Le Buzz | Source: Unsplash

Even though your podcasting platform probably provides you with an ad-hoc website, SEO for podcasts works best when you host your episodes and show notes on your own dedicated website.

Why would you do all this work, only to drive traffic to your podcast host’s site? That is considered “Digital Sharecropping”, a phrase coined by Nicholas Carr around Web 2.0…

“One of the fundamental economic characteristics of Web 2.0 is the distribution of production into the hands of the many and the concentration of the economic rewards into the hands of the few.”
Why Digital Sharecropping Is Bad For Your Content

Yes, your own website requires more work, but it means that you can style your website as you wish, putting your own branding, and personal touch into it. If you are considering building your own podcast website, the best platform for this is WordPress.

Over the period from 2011 to present date, WordPress has been the number 1 content management system used worldwide, and has grown at an astonishing rate. According to w3techs.com which uses the top 10 million most popular websites tracked by Alexa, WordPress is now the choice for 41.1% of website owners compared to 13.1% back in 2011.
WordPress Hosting Stats

The truth is that focusing on social media is a losing battle because it disappears so quickly. The better idea is to focus on constantly creating new content (Google loves that) by repurposing your podcast SEO strategy content to build your website.

4. Use Show Notes to Increase Backlinks

Podcast SEO strategy depends on link building
Backlinks are key for podcast SEO strategies. Photographer: Mike Alonzo | Source: Unsplash

Backlinks are the backbone of Google SEO strategy. In fact, most websites don't end up getting any organic traffic because they lack backlinks. There are several ways to get backlinks. One way is to ask your guests to link to your show notes from their own blog, website or media pages.

Another passive way for you to get backlinks for your podcast is to create compelling episode mini descriptions that feature links to the full episode show notes article.

You can build backlinks to your podcast episode posts because many podcast listening apps support hyperlinks in the episode mini description.

Tips for getting the most backlinks:

  • Think of the episode description as the short teaser, which then entices your audience to go to your show notes for the full article, list of resources, links mentioned in the episode.
  • So keep it short, but include a single link to your website’s episode URL
  • Don’t put all the links mentioned on your show into your short teaser. This makes it more likely that people will visit your website show notes article.
  • Use PrettyLinks or other link shorteners to track visits. For example, use mypodcast.com/e21 as the short URL you mention on air. In addition to getting stats about how many people visit your site as a result of listening to your show, this also has the benefit of you being able to change the website URL later.
  • Cross post your show notes Post on sites like Blogger and Medium.

5. Use Permalinks From Your Episode Hosts

Permalinks are important for podcasters
Photographer: Meritt Thomas | Source: Unsplash

When uploading your episode to your podcasting platform, you might have seen the option to add a custom permalink URL.

If you have a website for your podcast, then it's a great idea to use these custom permalink URLs.

    • Many hosts support this, like Libsyn and Podbean. This can result in better backlinks to your own website, and social media shares of your episode will point to your own website.
    • If using a custom permalink URL, just keep in mind a permalink should be unique for each individual episode, and should be a URL that will never change on your site.

Permalinks also ensure that when people share your episodes the shared content links to your episode, and not to a hosting platform like Anchor (who don’t support permalinks). This way you can direct people from content shared via the podcast RSS feed directly to your podcast website and get even more of your audience visiting and interacting with your website.

6. Use Content Briefs for Interview Shows

Content Briefs
Photographer: Felipe Furtado | Source: Unsplash

If you haven't heard of content briefs yet, then you are missing out on an podcast SEO strategy tool that can help you create quality content that your audience is looking for.

Content briefs allow you to create content systematically by going deeper. It uses AI to examine the top listing for the subject you are writing or podcasting about, and then produces content suggestions for you to consider.

You can even prepare for guest interviews by doing comprehensive coverage of the episode subject you are planning, based on the most relevant questions being asked online.

You will never run out of things to chat about, and you will actually talk about things that your audience is genuinely concerned about. A win-win situation!

Want to learn more about how to design interview episodes with SEO in mind? Check out this article by Polymash.

Podcast SEO Strategy Is Easy if You Go Slow and Steady

Remember that a podcast SEO strategy is built up over time. You don't need to do it all today.

You can take some of the pressure off of your podcasting shoulders, and focus on building great audio content for your audiences.

If you are interested in enhancing your podcast SEO skills, consider attending our Polymash SEO Marketing course. It's filled with all the learning you might need to build a successful podcast SEO strategy.

Feel like you could do with a few more SEO tools? Have no fear. Polymash has you covered with Polymash's Tools Stack – tools we promote, endorse, and use!

Are you a content creator or writer who knows about podcasting? We at Polymash are looking for great podcast blog article writers to help us practice what we preach. We need help to produce the kind of content our readers are looking for. Our purpose is to help our audience grow their own podcasts, businesses and websites, and make them discoverable on Google search.

Table Of Contents

Our Mission

In meeting our mission to serve others, we periodically fall short ourselves.

We’re so busy serving others, we often neglect ourselves. You know the proverb – the shoemaker’s son has no shoes – well, it’s not quite that bad!

For the last eight years Polymash’s focus has been “Podcasting As Content Strategy” – planning, producing, launching, marketing and promoting podcasts and websites along with all the digital assets to help each succeed.

  • We’ve launched dozens of successful client podcasts shows and websites; presented at major podcasting conferences and are well known in the industry.
  • We’ve been creating a strong digital presence for our clients, and we’ve grown our business by striving to drink our own cool aid.

And, we have more story ideas, and content needs, than time.

This is where you come in: We are looking for writers familiar with podcasting and content strategy. If you are interested, read on!

What Our Readers Are Searching For

We are looking for content creators to serve our audience
We are looking for content creators to serve our audience. Photographer: Product School | Source: Unsplash

We cover a wide range of topics as we offer service to anyone to who wants to launch, grow and market their podcast. Therefore, we write about most topics that can help podcasters learn more about creating an excellent show from concept through to monetization. We cover the nuts and bolts such as: hardware, software, hosting platforms, social media tools, and reviews of same. We also cover the behavioral, relationship and business side of podcasting: strategy, form, structure, monetization, promotions and more.

Podcast Blog Categories And Example Topics

A sample of topics that podcasters are interested in, and which we at Polymash write about include:

  • Podcasting Industry and B2B News Analysis
  • Podcast Planning & Launch
  • Monetization
  • Podcast Gear And Equipment
  • Podcasting Content Strategy
  • Podcast SEO
  • Interview Skills
  • Structuring your Podcast
  • Podcast Promotion & How To's
  • Podcast Guesting
  • Editing & Streamlining Production

For more detailed inspiration and to identify initial article ideas, you can visit this link.

Our philosophy is to help people take ownership of their valuable content and take pride in their mission and creativity. Our goal is to help them see value in what they do and become excited to share it widely.

Being A Writer And Content Creator At Polymash

Content creator focus
Photographer: Paul Skorupskas | Source: Unsplash

If you are a content creator writing about digital marketing and podcasting and blogging we’d love to hear from you.

Compensation and benefits to you as a writer

You will be compensated for your posts. We have no set or fixed rates. We favor writers who have a passion for the subject matter, and who are open to learning from us as well. We are a digital marketing firm with a high level of expertise in teaching podcasting, digital strategy, content syndication and SEO writing.

Therefore, candidates who are open to a mix of $$ compensation with learning our highly effective content syndication and podcast growth systems will receive preferential consideration.

Our writers receive complimentary access to our entire course library on Podcast SEO, Website Design, Show Notes SEO, Podcast Content Marketing.

We view our writers as partners and collaborators, and with the mixed model, apart from financial compensation, we hope you will benefit in the following ways:

  • An author profile with bio on our site for articles you write
  • A valuable high Domain Authority backlink to your own site
  • Access to our entire course library
  • Access to our content syndication platform

To see if you are a good fit

The content is podcasting related, so the ideal candidates will be podcasters who write, or writers familiar with podcasting. Please apply to Polymash via this online form to start the conversation. The form invites you to share brief high points of your prior experience. For example:

  • What you have written about.
  • Where you’ve written.
  • Your podcasting experience.
  • Your preferred topics, or experience on particular blogs or sites.
  • How frequently you can contribute – weekly, monthly or in between.
  • Your strengths as a writer.
  • Compensation expectations.

Engagement Details

We are looking for blog articles 1,000 words or more. If writers are working on an hourly basis, we assume writing time of 2hrs for each 1,000 word post, and 3 hours for 1,500 words and so on.

In most cases we have research and a perspective for each proposed topic available. We’ll make these available in content briefs. But for writers or articles that require initial research we’ll add up to 1hr of research compensation for each topic.

Tips for Writers

Photographer: hannah grace | Source: Unsplash

As a content creator, if you're interested in writing for us, we have some guidelines. Below are some tips to help you at your craft and make lasting connections with our readers. We want our writers to be consistent with a structure so readers come back to us on a regular basis.

Personality and tone

We encourage you to enjoy your own voice and personality, while upholding the credibility and approachability of Polymash. Our tone is represented by our depth of knowledge in the industry, our reputation with our clients, and our collaborative work ethic. In a nutshell, Polymash’s tone: we pride ourselves on our credibility and our generosity with our knowledge and resources. Transparency is a key value.

We tend to informality and openness with warmth and friendliness. We value personal experiences and stories with candor and humor that’s congruent with the message of the article. Conversational tones are more relatable than academic or technical tones.

Informative and actionable

We ask ourselves when writing any post:

What do I want my reader to know or do as a result of reading this post?

This means that every article should offer the reader something they might learn – the “what do I want them to know”- and give them something concrete to use – the “what do I want them to do” – the actions I want them to take.

If you miss asking yourself this important question as a content creator, you can leave the reader a little unsure about the value of the piece. Their take-aways are the most important aspect.

How to Structure Your Article

Brainstorming over paper
Photographer: Scott Graham | Source: Unsplash

As an experienced writer, we won’t invest time here to tell you how to write grammatically correct articles – from sentence structure – including punctation -through to paragraph structure – introduction, body and conclusion. The examples you submit in the online application will show evidence of your writing skill. As a content creator for the web, you’d be aware also of the need for easy readability.

Many readers will skim through posts. Therefore, visual layout is key.

You’d know that dense content with long paragraphs, little white space and no headings or subheadings make for not the best reading experience in our world. Therefore, we remind you of the importance of:

The reader

Keep in mind which reader you are addressing and wanting to connect with, and what will interest them with regards to the topic you are writing about.

What do I want them to take-away from my post?

Write with that persona in mind and keep asking yourself how is my message impacting this reader.

The title

Your title needs to capture attention and be inviting. Avoid click-bait, but still invite curiosity. Your title may be controversial or provocative. It may offer a solution to a challenge. Most importantly it will contain an SEO keyword or key-phrase we research before each article assignment to enhance discoverability.

Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph is most important for two reasons:

  1. It’s usually the snippet that gets published as the post’s description on the blog’s home page. Therefore, it serves as the window dressing that invites the reader to click on the Read More Button.
  2. It must contain the key phrase or key word from the post’s title in order to help with search.

Polymash can attribute its own growth and success in part to optimizing for search. We are on page one of Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) for 100s of podcasting related search terms.

The body

As you write your content with you reader in mind and clear about your message, structure your copy simply, using short sentences, brief paragraphs and subheadings.

Headings and subheadings

To help with the flow of your content, the use of headings is essential. We use Heading 2 [H2] for major blocks – all words capitalized and Heading 3 [H3] for subheadings under the major blocks. With H3s – only first word is capitalized. This post models the heading formats we ask our writers to follow.

Internal links

As a content creator for Polymash, we would like you to reference other posts or courses on our site because those back links matter. In addition, please provide links to other sites and resources that add value to your message.

Length

Generally, approximately 700 words is a good length for blog posts. We also value – as does Google – long form, authoritative articles of around 2000-3000 words. If you have topics of that length you’d like to write, please let us know. We would be happy to discuss.

Closing paragraph

There are a number of options. The closing paragraph can act as a book end, meaning you circle back to your opening paragraph rounding out your message in a satisfactory way. You might close with a call to action. You might summarize what you have covered in your article. You might have an anecdote that illustrates your message, or you might offer words of encouragement or possibility.

Remember, we have many skimmers and scanners out there! Attention spans are shortening. If all a reader does is skim or scan through, they are likely to pause on the closing paragraph. If it grabs their attention, they may just skim back up to the top again to take a closer look. You have earned their attention.

About “Guest Post” Proposals

We do accept occasional guest posts, and do not usually ask for money for these article placements. But we have very high standards for them, and closely monitor placed links we allow in such posts. If you would like to see our guest post guidelines, click here.

How To Apply

If you made it this far, I hope you consider applying!

Resources

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 Builds Relationships With Other Influencers

Podcasters are often overly obsessed with subscriber growth, metrics and statistics. Yet one of the most important and meaningful success criteria for most podcasters is hard to measure:

Podcasting establishes lasting relationships

Whenever we review podcasting programs with our clients, one of the benefits they appreciate the most is that they have connected and even become friends with influencers and people active in their field.

So how do you go about this? Reaching out to thought leaders in your field is so much easier if you have a podcast, and then invite them to talk about their passions and insights on your show. Most are happy to oblige, especially once you have an established show. After all, you are helping them promote and grow in return.

In addition, opportunities to be a guest on influencer podcasts yourself will also appear over time, as many influencers have podcasts themselves. But even “guesting” on other shows in your niche will establish you as a thought leader and influcener yourslef over time.

III. 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.

IV. 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.