With so many podcasts available today, it’s essential to optimize your searchability and stand out from the crowd. In this episode, Tom Hazzard delves into the keys to boosting your podcast show’s visibility and attracting more views. He shares three search keys that can help you achieve just that. From understanding search algorithms to optimizing show descriptions, Tom covers the essential tactics that can help you improve your podcast’s discoverability. Whether you’re a new podcaster looking to take your show to the next level or a seasoned pro looking to build an audience, this episode is packed with valuable insights and actionable tips. Tune in now and discover the secrets to podcast discoverability!
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Podcast Discoverability: 3 Search Keys To Get More Show Views
In this episode, I am going to share with you my top three keys to podcast search discoverability in particular. I’m going to quickly tell you what they are and then I’m going to dive into each. I’m going to give you a little fair warning in advance. I love this stuff and geek out on it. It oftentimes conflicts with a podcaster’s brand, vision, identity, or beliefs. I’m going to share why.
The first one is the unique or brand name dilemma. That’s what I’m calling it. The second one is the unexpected landmines of the author field, which is another part of your podcast listing. The third is the most ill-considered part of your podcast identity that’s holding you back from being found. Those are the three things I’m going to cover.
Brand Name Dilemma
Let’s start with number one, the unique or brand name dilemma. I love brand names. My show is called Feed Your Brand and our company’s brand name is Podetize. Although it’s not our company name, that’s our brand name. We do business as Podetize. It’s our domain name for our website and that’s a made-up word. Sometimes when I say Podetize, some people might think, “How do I spell that?” That’s the downside of having a unique brand name, especially when it’s a made-up word or a word that’s a combination of other words. You have to live with that. There are pros and cons to having a unique brand name.
Again, we’re talking about discoverability, making sure your show gets found by more of your ideal listeners. When you are looking at your podcast listing from a discoverability perspective, you want to pay attention if you have a unique name. I’m going to use two examples. One is a relatively new customer of Podetize and one is a prospect that I met. I was reminded of this with both of their names.
One of them, I had a podcast audit with where I reviewed their podcasts. We do this as a company for lots of people. It’s completely free and there’s no obligation. If you have an existing podcast and you want to get an audit of your podcast to make sure you’re optimized for discoverability and learn many of the other pitfalls that maybe are holding you back from being discovered, you can go to Podetize.com/Audit and sign up for a free audit. I’m only sharing the top three and there are a dozen different points to make sure you are optimized and found by your ideal listeners. What have you got to lose? You might as well do it. We provide a lot of value on that audit for free.
Back to the unique or brand name dilemma. Example number one is a new customer. I love this podcast, especially for women in business or women entrepreneurs. It’s a great show. The show is called HerCSuite Radio. When you have a name like that you know that is unique. HerCSuite Radio is clearly a podcast that’s intended for women, which is great. You know who your audience is. That’s wonderful. When I first saw the name, it is words that are combined. HerCSuite is one word. The C-Suite is the corporate executive position in an office. That’s your vice presidents, officers, president, VP of marketing, VP of business development, VP of operations, or whatever. The C-Suite is intended for top executives that are women. It’s a wonderful brand name.
The first time, I had only heard the name. I hadn’t seen it written and I didn’t know it was one word. When I searched Her C-Suite, the show doesn’t come up. It’s like the show does not exist in podcast listening apps, podcast ecosystems, and even on Google. The podcast search engines or the search bars within your favorite listening app, I don’t care if it’s Spotify, Apple, iHeart, or any of them, they’re bad search engines. I’m going to straight out say it. These are not the most sophisticated search engines. It’s not like Google, Yahoo, Bing, or something. The vast majority of searches in a browser internet happen on Google anyway. Even Google isn’t always going to put these two together.
That is secondary because when people decide they want to listen to a podcast, they’re going to go to their favorite listening app and they’re going to search. If you’ve only heard the name of a show, and you haven’t seen it, and you don’t know that there’s a unique spelling or a unique combination of words that are one word, this will harm your discoverability.
There is a workaround for this. A lot of people don’t like this, and this is the conflict between brand and discoverability. Your brand experts, brand consultants, or brand gurus are always going to tell you, “Your brand is paramount. It should always be displayed the same way everywhere it exists.” If your brand is HerCSuite Radio and type it as one word, then you would find this show. They will tell you, “Everywhere that brand name exists, you need to reinforce that brand. It should be the same way everywhere.” You can do that if you want. You can be true to your brand and have it be the same way everywhere and have very few people find you unless they’ve seen your name written and know to type it in one word.
It’s not very intuitive for people when they’re searching to type HerCSuite as one word. Her C-Suite is probably going to happen 9 times out of 10. In those 9 times out of 10, your podcast is not going to come up in that search. I looked at it myself and tested it many times over. It’s absolutely true. By the time you’re reading this episode, I hope it has been fixed because there is a solution to make sure it comes up, whether somebody types it as 1 word or 2 words.
In the name or title field of your podcast which is the name of your show, I would display your name there as one word the way it’s intended to be. That’s only one part of your podcast listing. While the search bar searches through the title field, it also searches through the author field and description field of your show. My recommendation would be you’ve got to spell it incorrectly. Break your brand guidelines or rules and upset your brand consultant. If you’re a marketing expert and you have the belief it has to be the same everywhere, you to suspend this belief and make an exception. Bury somewhere in the description of your show the incorrect spelling or presentation of the name of your show because you want to be found by people that have heard about your show.
“I want to listen to that podcast,” and they go to their podcast app to type in a new name to go listen and they can’t find the podcast. That doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help them. I’m going to recommend all of you podcasters, especially the do-it-yourselfers out there. If you have a unique name, that’s wonderful. Have that name and promote that name every which way, but then you need to have one foot in the brand identity camp and one foot in the discoverability camp and make sure you have your name written both ways.
Maybe you have a name that’s hard to know just from hearing it and how it’s spelled. Maybe there are three different ways people might commonly do it. You better have those three different ways it’s spelled within the description of your podcast if you want to be found. I’m all about discoverability. That’s all I care about right now. Take that with a grain of salt. Some of you will, but I’m here to help you be found and that’s what we’re going to do.
Unexpected Landmine In The Author Field Of Your Podcast Listing
Number two is unexpected landmines in the author field of your podcast listing. Common mistakes I see in the author field are people putting the title of their podcast in the author field and they’re duplicating. They have the title of their podcast in the title field and the author field. That’s a silly mistake in my opinion. I don’t know why people do that, except maybe they’re rushing and don’t know any better, but the author field is intended to be who is the host of the show.
There are some exceptions where a podcast is a company podcast and there may not even be one host. There may be many different hosts contributing. We supported a podcast years ago that the company reorganized and stopped the podcast, but it was for Popular Mechanics Magazine called The Most Useful Podcast Ever. They had a lot of different editors of the magazine contributing and being hosts. They’d each record a segment and have multiple hosts. There are situations where you might say, “The author is Popular Mechanics.” In that case, if your brand is that big or a nationally-known name, by all means, put that brand name as the author field if it’s appropriate. You don’t want to list the names of 6 or 7 contributors in the author field. You can do that.
I often see a lot of new podcasts from unknown brands, meaning unknown nationally. Maybe you’re known locally or known somewhat in your niche, but it’s a company podcast. This employee who’s the host isn’t the owner, so they’ll put the company name in the author field. It’s not always the best decision to do that because of the impression it makes that, “This is going to be corporate. It’s not personal enough. It’s not authentic enough.” I do think putting a person’s name as the host in that author field would serve people better in most cases.If you are podcasting your business and want to find more of your ideal listeners, then you need to look at your podcast listing from the perspective of discoverability. Click To Tweet
You can certainly put the company name, but if you’re going to do that, you better put the host’s name or names within the description as well. If somebody says, “Tom Hazzard has a podcast. I don’t remember the name, but he has a show or he hosts a podcast,” they’re going to search on the name. You want to make sure that name is in the show listing somewhere so that the podcast is discovered or found.
Here’s the big landmine. This is only going to apply to a portion of podcasters out there. It’s all of you that are co-hosts or even some of you that might have 3 or 4 hosts or contributors to the show. There are often mistakes made by listing those multiple people and making sure that they can be found. This is going to be unique and applies to only a subset, but I am one because I’ve experienced it. I do see it in show audits that come across when I meet with people. It’s when you have a husband and wife co-host or a brother and sister co-host that have the same last name. I’ve seen both.
Most people think it reads better and it’s less formal. Tracy and I host this podcast, Feed Your Brand. In the beginning, we put Tom & Tracy Hazzard. What do you think happened if anybody searched Tom Hazzard in that situation? Tom was separated by & and then Tracy’s name is far away from Hazzard. I was a ghost. No one could find me. I wasn’t discoverable. I see this with co-hosts that are husband and wife all the time. It’s usually the wife’s name first. Ladies first, a lot of the time some people think. They’ll have her first name, his first name, and their last name, and she is not discoverable. If you type her first name and last name together, it’s nowhere to be found.
My tip and strong recommendation are don’t worry about how it appears and if you think it’s redundant. We’re writing Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard. “You’re repeating the Hazzard. That’s unnecessary.” In the modern world in 2023 of discoverability, you can do that. You have to. Somebody says, “I know Tracy Hazzard. She has a podcast. I know Tom Hazzard. He has a podcast.” They’re going to search for your first name and last name together. You need to say Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard or vice versa for discoverability. That is the big hidden landmine of the author field.
Instead of putting both first names with the last name in the author field, you could add it to the description, but there is a speed to searchability and some hierarchy to searchability. The search functions in listening apps do search the title first, the author field second, and the descriptions third. They are going through all of them. You can put it there, but I still recommend for maximum searchability, it should be the full name in the author field.
To the single most ill-considered part of your podcast identity or podcast listing that’s holding you back from being found. Many of you, especially do-it-yourself podcasters, overlook this and spend very little time on it. It is the description of your show. It’s not each episode, but the overall show or the show listing. I can’t tell you how many of these I see and have come across in an audit. They have a one-sentence description.
The description field is the single most important part of your show’s listing and identity, especially when it comes to discoverability. It is not because I expect people to read through your entire description. I expect people to read no more than the first sentence, maybe two before they decide, “This is for me. I’m going to click and give it a try,” or they’re going to pass, “It’s not for me. I’m moving on.” That’s not the point. This description field along with the title field and the author field are the three most important.
The description’s the most important part because a lot of people don’t know who you are. They are searching for podcasts right now. There are people who’ve decided they want to listen to a podcast and they’re in their favorite listening app and searching right now. They don’t know who you are, don’t know you have a podcast, and don’t know the name of your podcast, but they know what their needs are. They know what they want to listen to. They know what they want to learn and they’re searching for those needs. The only place that these search bars within the listening apps have to search through to match up their search with your show is that show description.Having a unique spelling or combination of words as a podcast show title can harm your discoverability. When people have only heard of you and want to search for you, and they don’t know those unique spellings, they might never find you. Click To Tweet
You better use every word or character available to you to write a description from the perspective of searchability and discoverability less from the perspective of writing a nice article. You get no points from your English composition teacher for writing a wonderful well-written description that should be on the back cover of a book. It does not help you get discovered. The search algorithm does not care that you use proper grammar, proper English, or spell things properly. It’s all about matching up people’s searches with shows that are in alignment with what they searched on. It should be hyper keyword phrase loaded. Everything you think that people might search on that you think your show should come up in that search, you want that in the description.
Another big tip. A lot of you DIY podcasters who started out on a bootstrap budget, maybe you launched your podcast. Maybe you did it years ago because I find shows that are many years old that have this problem. They wonder why more people aren’t listening to their show. It’s an awareness problem or discoverability problem. A big part of it is there are platforms, and I’m going to call out one of them because it’s the worst offender, and that’s Anchor. Anchor as of the time I’m doing this and maybe after they come across this episode, they’re going to change it, but it’s a pretty big ship over there at Spotify that owns Anchor. I don’t think they move too quickly. They limit the number of characters in your description to 600 or 650. You only have 600-ish characters to work for your description.
However, on other platforms including Podetize, you get 4,000 characters. That’s the maximum that the whole podcast ecosystem allows. There’s a whole system that has been created to deliver podcasts to listeners. A 4,000-character, not word but character amount is the limit for your description. As a podcaster, you better use all of them or be very close. I want to see 3,900-plus characters being used. Otherwise, you’re not putting out the maximum amount of contact, words, or phrases that these apps have to match up searches with your show. That’s the big one.
People always wonder, “I’ve been podcasting for over a year and I’ve got 50 episodes. I have about 30 or 40 downloads per episode. I’m not getting a lot of listeners organically through the podcast system.” I see that they have a two-sentence description and they’re wondering why. I’m like, “Here’s your biggest one now.” It’s such an easy thing to fix. You can rewrite your description or record your way to it and transcribe it. Change it up and use the maximum number of characters.
There are nuances to what should be in there. Sign up for an audit at Podetize.com/Audit if want to get into the nitty-gritty of that, but put something in there. Be searchable on something. Within a week, that’s all going to be indexed. Whatever you update in your show listing would have been scanned by those listening apps and it will start to figure into the search. You should get more listeners within a week. If you look at your analytics month over month, you should see an increase in listenership by doing this last thing I’m telling you with the description.
That’s it. I told you I was going to geek out a little here. I love this stuff. I love discoverability. The brand gurus don’t love this. We have to agree to disagree on that. My job in this podcast is helping you as a podcaster to get discovered and it’s all about search. You got to play to the algorithms and the bots. If you have this wonderful piece of writing that contains no real valuable search terms for your topic, what does it matter if no one is going to find your show?
You want your show to come up in searches, especially if you’re in a crowded subject matter like marketing. It’s one of the most crowded and popular categories of podcasts out there. There are tons of content, which is wonderful. There are tons of shows because there are millions of people that want to listen to the subject matter or in that category.
Another one that I audited has a podcast name called ClearBrand. Maybe it was Academy or something like that, I’m going from memory. ClearBrand is one word. If you didn’t type it as one word, it won’t come up. I told them the same thing. I hope by the time you search this, they’ve updated their description and have “Clear Brand” in their description somewhere. They’re not going to change their title, that’s the name of the show. If you make some adjustments and add the incorrect spelling or the off-brand presentation, you’re going to be found.
At the end of the day, isn’t that why we’re putting out our content and podcasts so other people can listen, enjoy, benefit from it, get more from us, and work with us? If you’re podcasting in business in any way, I hope you are heard by more people. That’s everything I’m sharing with you that it is designed to do. That’s it. I’m not going to belabor it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back again with another very useful and interesting topic for you next time.