Podcasts and webinars are great tools for establishing authority and generating demand but they are inherently difficult to optimize for SEO. They often cover a wide range of topics and when there is a core topic, it’s easy to deviate from it when an interesting thought pops up or someone in the audience asks a question.
Other than that, there’s the issue that Google’s algorithm is still very much a “reading” one. It doesn’t understand the information shared through audio in podcasts and webinars, which means it also can’t analyze or rank it.
So how do you share this type of content on your website in a way that enables it to drive traffic? And what do podcast SEO and webinar SEO entail?
Let’s have a look.
From Podcast Episode to Ranking Article
Transcription vs new blog content vs post embed
Doing SEO for podcasts and webinars that you want to publish on your company blog is harder than optimizing regular articles because you cannot follow the exact same process for every episode. There is a decision ladder you need to descend to determine which process you’ll follow.
In short, there are three ways to include a podcast or webinar episode on your blog
- embed it in an existing post.
- transcribe it and properly format the transcription into a blog post.
- create a new long-form article for it.
As you’ve probably guessed, all three options require a different approach and amount of effort.
When to embed an episode in an existing post
If your podcast episode or webinar is highly focused on a single topic and you already have an article about that topic, do some quick keyword research to make sure the ideal target keyword for your episode is one that your existing article is already ranking for.
If so, easy! You can go ahead and embed the episode in that article. If there’s new information in the episode, you can choose to add that to the article to make it more in-depth. And if you have the time, you can even re-optimize the post and republish it to give it a little boost.
The reason you don’t want to create a new article, in this case, is to avoid keyword cannibalization. You also don’t want to dilute your keyword focus by spreading very similar keywords over two different articles (your existing one and a new one for your episode).
When to transcribe an episode and turn it into a post
If your podcast episode or webinar is highly focused on a single topic and you don’t already have an article on that topic, consider transcribing the episode using tools such as Otter.ai or Descript, and formatting it into an optimized blog post.
That second part is crucial. If you merely transcribe, your article will look like a giant wall of text. Moreso, it won’t be optimized for search and so unless you happened to use a lot of keywords while speaking, it is unlikely to rank.
Start with some keyword research to find the target keyword and some secondary keywords so you can optimize your transcription. Also, introduce things like headings and images into the text to keep people reading.
Someone who does an amazing job at this is Tory Gray from The Gray Dot Company. Have a look at her article on Agile SEO to see how she turned a webinar into a beautifully formatted, easy-to-read, and ranking blog post.
Another great example of how this can be done with an interview is this transcription of WildBit’s interview with SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin.
When to create a new article from scratch
Especially when you interview people, there is a high chance of covering a wide range of topics. When you have an episode like that, brainstorm a list of keyword ideas based on the topics of the episode and research them.
Based on the outcome of your research, you can determine which target keyword is most in line with both the episode, your brand, and your business goals. Once you have that keyword, you can create a new blog post in the same way as you would any other blog post, and embed the episode in there.
The role of keyword research
Whichever way you decide to include an episode in your blog, keyword research needs to lie at the basis of your decision. It’s essential to check how your podcast keywords fit into your global keyword map so you:
- can spot when an episode revolves around keywords you already have an article for. You can then embed that episode and avoid keyword cannibalization.
- are able to optimize the new articles you’re creating for your episodes and give those the best possible chance of ranking.
- can deepen your authority in the eyes of Google by introducing new keywords that are closely related to your brand, expertise, and core offer.
The importance of page templates
While there may not be a single process to follow when it comes to turning your podcast episodes and webinars into blog posts, you can make things easier by creating a page template for those episodes you decide to transcribe.
Not only does a page template give you a predetermined structure to follow, it also helps you include all the necessary elements. Here are some things your template might include:
- a catchy H1. Use a standardized structure such as “Number – Episode Title”. For example: “Episode 18: How to Make Your Career a Source of Flow”.
- a link that allows people to subscribe to your podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. Add a clear CTA to this such as “Subscriber on Spotify.”
- an embed of the audio file.
- an interesting quote from the episode as a teaser.
- a few paragraphs of copy to entice readers to listen to the episode.
- timestamps that indicate important topic changes.
- a summary, show notes, or – if you want to optimize for Google – a properly formatted transcription.
- a description or quick bio of the guest(s).
- links to mentioned resources.
- a widget that displays related episodes.
SEO best practices for podcast posts
Aside from including podcast and webinar-specific elements such as the ones listed above, it’s best to also follow regular on-page SEO best practices to get your posts to rank:
- have a standardized, short, and concise URL structure that’s easy to share verbally. A good example is https://www.flowresearchcollective.com/radio/18. Alternatively, optimize the URL for your target keyword but keep it short.
- avoid long, convoluted, and random URLs such as /podcast/endurance-&-the-upper-limits-of-human-potential/.
- have just one H1.
- include your target keyword in the H1, the first ~150 words of the article, and an H2.
- include supporting keywords.
- include at least one optimized image.
- link to related articles on your website.
- optimize for mobile.
- link to the article from the show notes on the podcasting apps that list your episodes.
One other thing you want to do when you’re creating a new post for an episode, regardless of whether it’s an optimized transcript or a brand new blog post, is research the articles that are currently ranking in the top 10 for the target keyword. You want to do this to determine:
- how long these articles are on average, and thus how long your post should ideally be.
- how these articles are formatted and what angle they take. Are they listicles? Presented as guides? Thought leadership pieces? If most of the ranking articles follow the same format and angle, you’ll have a higher chance of ranking if yours does as well.
Podcast SEO: Not One Size Fits All
Podcasts and webinars are great tools to build authority and create interest in your brand, but if you also want to use them to generate organic traffic, you’ll need to do a bit more than follow a one-size-fits-all process.
- First, do some keyword research to determine which target keyword is most aligned with the episode.
- Then, check whether you already have an article targeting that keyword. If so, great! You can embed the episode and (if you wish) optimize the article again.
- If you don’t yet have an article targeting the keyword that best fits your episode or webinar, you’ll need to decide whether it makes the most sense to:
- transcribe the episode, format it as you would a regular blog post, and optimize it for the target and some secondary keywords.
- create a new long-form article in which you address the main topic of the episode.
In both cases, you’ll embed the episode but in one case, the blog post will only include
the content of the episode whereas in the other case, it might include more information
and leave out some things that were said in the episode.
Sounds confusing? Not sure what the best route to take is to let your podcasts and webinars bring in more organic leads? Get in touch to discuss how we can develop a webinar or podcast SEO strategy for your company.
Watch the webinar
Here at Flow SEO, we practice what we preach. This article was based on a webinar we ran around generating SEO results from podcasts and webinars. You can watch it here: