The Ultimate Guide To Rocking Your Podcast Website With Melanie Gorman

Tired of juggling multiple platforms for your podcast? Podcast websites can simplify your life! They not only make website creation a breeze, but they also become your central hub. Imagine hosting your podcast, website, and blog all in one place. Plus, they handle publishing to popular platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play –  all at once! But with so many options, choosing the right podcast website takes some thought. Let’s explore the best podcast website options to help you find the perfect fit for your show with website and SEO expert Melanie Gorman!

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The Ultimate Guide To Rocking Your Podcast Website With Melanie Gorman

I have with me a special guest, Melanie Gorman from Crownsville Media, LLC. Melanie’s been on the show before, and I decided this was an ideal episode to have her back as a special guest expert. Let me set this up first. We recorded an episode years ago. It was called The Best and Worst Podcast Websites. It ended up being a very popular episode.

We were thinking about that. Melanie, you and I, when we had an episode you were a guest on, we talked about that particular blog post in reference to that episode. We realized afterward, “That was years ago. We probably should do an update.” a side note, all you podcasters, years ago, recorded an episode that was very popular, and it’s time for an update.

You should make a mental note and could do that for some of your past episodes, too. Technology changes, times change, the economy changes, and I think it is a good idea. You don’t always have to go up with a brand-new topic for an episode of your podcast. You can refresh an older one. Melanie, thank you for being here for what we are calling. I love our new title, The Ultimate Guide to Rocking Your Podcasts website, with special guest Melanie Gorman. Thank you for coming.

Thank you, Tom.

You’re welcome.

I love to be here with you. You’re awesome.

Cookie Cutter Websites

Where I thought we would start, I was thinking through this and all the different tools and platforms out there to help podcasters create a website for their podcast. There are three different groups or major groups. I think there are subgroups and niches, but there are podcast hosting platform websites. There are these sorts of what I would call cookie-cutter websites that are only meant to be for your podcast, and then there’s a conventional website, CMS platforms.

CMS platforms, by the way, stands for Content Management System, if I remember that correctly. The operative word is content folks in CMS, but I think the CMS is the real website platform where we probably want to spend the most time. I thought we’d start with the simpler ones working our way to the more comprehensive ones. Does that sound good to you?

Yeah.

All of us podcasters out there have a podcast hosting platform like Podetize. We are a podcast hosting platform. There are competitor pods being Libsyn, Buzzsprout, Transistor, and Spotify for Podcasters. There are tons of them, and each have their place and different strengths and weaknesses. Pretty much all the ones that I mentioned there say they give you a “website.” They even say, “You can have your own domain name. YourPodcast.com. It goes then forwards to your podcast website that’s hosted on our platform.” If you have nothing else and are bootstrapping it, you can do that.

I’m here to tell you folks, and I’m curious mainly because we haven’t talked about this one, but what it is is you have pages that are out there, but it’s on that platform’s website. You may have a URL pointing to it, but you’re not going to set the world on fire, and when people are on that website, it’s not your own, is it?

No. When you build a website, you buy a domain name. MelanieGorman.com, CrownsvilleMedia, Feed Your Brand, whatever they might be. When you do that, everything you create on that domain is owned by you. It’s managed by you, and it’s controlled by you. Once you go to members.whatever, you’re not on your brand. Now, you can have a sub-domain.

We talk about WordPress or other proper websites, and I’m not disparaging other templates, but I definitely feel like you are losing SEO and brand ownership by giving your content to other sites. The bigger thing is that you’re at the mercy of that domain’s SEO for whatever organic traffic you get. Part of the goal of doing a podcast is to talk about topics people are interested in learning about so much that they look them up themselves.

What you need is you want that interest in your business to grow so that it’s less work down the road. If you are a podcaster and you’re doing an episode a week, hopefully, a year down the road, your traffic has grown enough so that you’re paying for your podcast through the traffic that you’re getting in some way that’s meaningful to your business. If your domain is not your domain because it’s hosted and owned by another site, what’s happening is you’re feeding their domain.

This is common for courses, too. Thinkific or Coursera, Udemy, there’s a bunch of these sites. When you build a course on those platforms, you might own the content and the intellectual property, but you’re not getting the traffic from that content back to your domain. If you quit that platform, it all goes away. That’s the first thing to know. If you want to change domain names, you cannot take any of that traffic with you and you haven’t built it for yourself.

The value of podcasting and writing blogs and doing all that content production over time is that you’re insulating your brand so that when you take your vacation every year or you go to jury duty, your business doesn’t fall apart. If your content is all on another person’s website, then you’re at risk for whatever crazy stuff goes on with that brand and further, you don’t own it. It’s always challenging and you’re always trying to optimize.

I do SEO and I’m always trying to teach people you are optimizing within the other platform. If they’re already known for the topic because some podcaster before you did it, you’ll never be on the first page of the search. If every podcast there is about automotive, and you’re about photography, you’ll never grow.

There’s all of these nuances there, but the bottom line is, if you’re on a subdomain of another brand, you’re dependent on the quality of their website, the quality of their traffic, and the topics that they talk about so that you can grow. That means you’re always going to be spending money marketing. You’re not going to get the extra benefits that you get when you own the content and work on it from an SEO perspective. It’s not great.

 

 

From a digital authority perspective, I often refer to the SEO value, the keyword rankings, and traffic you get from that as equity you build in your own website. You’re actually building equity on their website, aren’t you?

Yeah.

You can have your own domain name, that is true, and you can forward it to their pages, but it gets complicated. I’ll give you an example. If you’re on Libsyn and it was Feed Your Brand, your website initially is FeedYourBrand.libsyn.com. You’re creating a sub-domain under their domain name for your show.

Everything online is based on reputation. Libsyn’s a directory. It’s no different than Psychology Today or Wikipedia or the dictionary. It’s a small subset of the whole, but you won’t get these sites known as being directories. They can rank for things like best podcasts or best podcasters under twenty or whatever, but they’re not necessarily going to rank for your core keyword.

If you’re going to go that direction, and what you said at the beginning, I think, is fair, like if you’re bootstrapping it and that’s your only option, what you want to think about when you get into those relationships is how do you exit them? How do you exit them with your content? How do you take all the pages that you’ve already built, all the words, all that good stuff that you spent time and money building?

How do you take it with you? What’s involved in doing that? You’ll end up spending a ton of money to save content, but you’re still starting from scratch. If you have to do it that way, you need an exit plan. If you have an exit plan, you can bootstrap, exit when you’re ready, and then move to the next tier.

To that point, too, these websites from the podcast hosting platforms basically publish an episode of your podcast and the only pages that are generated on that website are automatically generated from that same information you’ve published your podcast title, your podcast description, and an audio player to play it. That’s all they do. You cannot build other pages. It’s very automatic and cookie-cutter. That content is not enough in-depth content to move the needle and get attention from Google anyway.

It’s also a siloed audience. It’s not enough related content. We all have different learning styles. You may like to read, and I might like to watch. Part of the value of having a podcast is that it’s malleable. You can take the words, you can translate them into print form, you can take the print form and make them into articles, but if you have a website where you’re not able to do those things, you’re limited in what you’re doing.

That’s why the exit plan is so important because you got to get off that when you can so that you can build the brand that’s around the podcast unless your goal is to be the next Joan London, I know I’m dating myself by saying her name, or Barbara Walters. Unless you want to be the next big interview person, you’re not going to have a lot that you can sell around that because it’s you talking to people. Usually, podcasters have other aspirations. I want to sell a book, I want to do services, I want to sell products or whatever it might be. While you’re in that silo, you’re limited.

Feed Your Brand | Melanie Gorman | Podcast Website
Podcast Website: If you’re on a subdomain of another brand, you’re dependent on the quality of their website, the quality of their traffic, and the topics they talk about for you to grow. That means you’re always going to be spending money on marketing.

 

Let’s go to the next level up from the podcast platform websites or web pages, which actually, before I do that, I should say, at Podetize, we do not provide such pages because we don’t believe it’s in your best interest as the podcaster. I know some people will think, ” Podetize doesn’t have web pages.” Somehow, we’re inferior to the others. I respectfully disagree with that comment that we are acting in your best interests and that you should have your own website for your podcast.

Mid-Tier Platforms

Having said that, there are what I would call the middle range. I think technically maybe you could call them a CMS, but it’s very limited cookie cutter. These are podcast-specific, and I would say podcast-only websites. I’m going to share a few names. Podpage is one of them. Podcastpage.io is another. OnPodium podcast page, I believe, is another one. We have a pod page and a podcast page. Talk about brand confusion between them.

Podcast websites are another one where these are platforms that truly, you do have your own website, but it is meant to be one step above. It’s truly your own website on a server that’s hosted somewhere, so you own it and you have your own domain name that populates there. It could be FeedYourBrand.com or whatever, but it’s meant to be automatic and connected to your podcast RSS feed, which is how your podcasts are distributed.

The website is designed to read the RSS feed regularly, at a minimum, every day. It probably does it every hour of every day, looking for new content. When a new one is published, a whole new landing page for that episode is created. It’s meant to be easy and automatic. It’s displaying the same information that’s in the listening apps but on a webpage.

To some degree, minimally, that’s going to get you further than the first version because websites need to have a certain amount of information on them to build authority in the podcaster or the business owner. Homepage, about page, contact page, service pages, all that stuff. These platforms, if the value of them is that they then allow you to have those landing pages and then you can have your podcast and it spits out a version of it, what you have to watch for with that is duplicated content.

Duplicated content on Google is a total misnomer. I’m going to bust a myth here for a second. You can absolutely have duplicated content. You’re not going to get penalized. Google’s not going to kick you out of the team. You could still be in the index if you have duplicate content. The problem is Google gets confused. Anybody that’s ever heard me speak, this is something I say a lot and one of my mentors coined this phrase, and it is Google is a child. You want to think about Google like a child.

If you say to your kid, “You can have these strawberries or these strawberries or these strawberries,” the kid’s going to pick strawberries. We got that, but are they the best or the freshest or the organic or the sweet ones or the sour ones? What are they? There are rules within Google for how many pages from a domain it will index for a particular keyword. If you have ten pages on your podcast all about strawberries, it’s going to pick two. Now, will they be the best too? I don’t know.

Will they be the worst? I don’t know. Will they be one good and one bad? Maybe. The problem is you have no control over what Google picks because once your pages are indexed and they start climbing and they start getting traffic, if you’ve got too much competing content, we call that cannibalized content. Cannibalization is when you’re competing with yourself and you’re pushing something down because it’s missing diversity and certain things are the same. It’s great that it spits out the pages. You don’t have to do that process. You don’t have to think about it.

You don’t have to build it, but the problem is if too much of it is common content versus original content for that page, Google will get confused. You have to assess the product and the output of what the pages are putting out there into the world. How they’re indexing with Google? You have to think about this stuff that’s showing too much the same page over page. What happens is, like a child, Google doesn’t index everything. Google indexes what it sees gets traffic. A lot of people think, “It’s here and it’s going to show up in Google.”

Cannibalization is when you're competing with yourself and you're pushing something down because it's missing diversity. Share on X

Here’s a little trick I’ll teach everybody. If you want to know what your website indexes, which means it’s available to people in search, use the word site: and then your domain. For me, it would be site:crownsvillemedia.com. That’s what I would put. What you will get as a result is the number of pages from your website that are indexed. Chances are, if you have a problem with this, you have fewer pages indexed than you have in your inventory. That’s how you know right off the bat that this solution doesn’t work for you. It’s tricky. Every one of those has to be looked at independently to figure out if they can do what you want them to do and absolutely no guarantee.

That’s actually illuminating. A great tip. Thank you so much for that site: your domain. Now, the other thing about these mid-tier platforms is they’re meant to do one thing. They’re all about the podcast. If you want a website that is also a personal brand site, maybe you are not a podcaster, you have a book, you’re an author, or you do speaking and you’re a public speaker, whether that’s in-person events or ritual events or you aspire to do any of those things, this website for your podcast is not going to meet your needs. They’re very limited in what they do in the capabilities they give you.

This is going to be a very short stop on the journey to whatever you want to achieve with your show and/or as an entrepreneur or a business person, or even if it’s a passion project and you aspire to do more with it. As you said, plan your exit strategy because it’s probably going to come sooner than you think.

That’s the thing. You have to figure out, can you get out of that? Can you take your podcast episodes with you? You own the content. Do they make it easy for you to get it? If you go to the next strategy, you’ve got to figure out how are you going to get all those files, everything in some format that a developer can say, “Okay, got it. Now, we’re going to unpack it over here. It’s not as simple as it sounds.

Content Management Systems

Let’s move on to content management systems in the conventional sense, although there are two categories of these that I want to talk about. Melanie and I didn’t even talk about this, and I see we’re thinking the same way. There’s the all-in-one system, which I tend to refer to as a Swiss Army knife of websites. There’s the true more pure CMS content management systems that allow you to do anything you would need to do for your website but aren’t trying to be all things to all people.

The Swiss Army Knives. I’ll make that analogy make sense in a moment. I’m talking about Kajabi sites. I’m talking about Go High Level. That is one of the newer ones. By the way, it didn’t exist when we did this episode. That’s one that’s an update. Another one is called Marketing Madness, which is a close cousin to go high level, or you have platforms like Shopify. Are there any others, Melanie, you would put in this category?

Wix and Weebly.

Are they all in like Kajabi that’s trying to do everything for you? Do they do that too?

Part of what sets these sites apart at a basic level is are you buying hosting or are you getting hosting? All the sites you named are all-inclusive. Everyone has to be investigated, but by and large, they’re inclusive. What that means is think about the analogy I use. Think about where you live. The plot of land that you build your house on is your host. That is the longitude and latitude on the internet for where your particular domain lives.

Feed Your Brand | Melanie Gorman | Podcast Website
Podcast Website: If you want a lot of information about what’s going on, you have to know the analytics, what these sites offer, and get past the idea that it’s super easy and less expensive.

 

Every time someone goes to your website and looks up FeedYourBrand.com, they’re going to be directed to one place on the internet and pop, and there you are. When doing these sorts of Swiss Army knives, I like that. When you’re doing that, hosting is included in most of these instances. They have tools, you open them up and you’re like, “I want a six-page website. I want to do it like this.” They have WYSIWYG, which is a thing that you can go through and fill it all out. There are limitations all over the place. There are tons and tons of limitations. What were you going to say?

There are lots of limitations. Let’s take Kajabi, for example, because I probably have the most experience with that one. As a company, we have experience with all these because we have customers on all of them, and Kajabi has a builder to build web pages. If you are going to sell anything on your website, they have a way that you can sell it. A lot of these have their own, even a merchant account system you can use through them when to take credit cards and all that. Now, Kajabi even can host your own podcast.

Do you want podcast hosting? They do it, too, but is it a good podcast host? Do you get the same analytics? Do you have enough bandwidth to handle thousands of simultaneous downloads? What about people in other countries that are getting it? Are they getting it locally in their country, or is it going to take them longer to get it coming from the US? It’s the Swiss Army Knife is because, I can get a Swiss Army Knife that has twelve tools in it, and I’ve got a little saw that I can saw little branches in the woods if I need to. Is it a good saw?

If I’m going to saw nothing but branches, do I want to get a Swiss Army Knife saw? Probably not. I probably want a saw that’s made to saw some significant volume of wood very efficiently and easily. If I’m going to travel lightly and take one tool with me, I’ll take the Swiss Army Knife, and I could do a little bit of everything, but I cannot do any of those things well.

For the do-it-yourselfer, the people that are like, “I like to tinker. I like to do my thing,” they’re great, in a lot of ways. People can get into them, and they can build all their stuff. There are limitations with Litix, which is going to tell you who comes, who listens, who downloads, how much, when, and time on the page, all of these details and data points that you need to understand as a content producer so you can think through things like, “That topic was popular, I should do it again.”

If you don’t have topics like that, you’re not going to be able to do any of those. If you don’t have that data, you will not be able to know what you’re doing so that you’ll be picking topics blindly, which is problematic. When I talk to the do-it-yourselfers, what they want is control. They want to be able to say, “I like this color, I like this font,’ and so I went this way. I don’t know how to set up Stripe or another payment processor, so I went this way.

What people don’t often understand is that what you get in the beginning by doing this easy process yourself, you lose in SEO, organic traffic, and ownership. It’s got some of the same problems, and a lot of people end up moving over to what we’re going to talk about next, which is like the WordPresses of the world. They end up moving over because you have the flexibility. It’s a little bit like do you want to build your Legos using a kit or do you want to be creative with it and sit down and go, “I’ve got all these Legos. What do I want to do with it?” All the Legos freaks people out sometimes because they’re like, “There’s too many options.” That’s why you need someone to help you strategize and think through it so they can take all the possibilities away.

They hear your vision, and they’re able to understand that I want something unique and different. That’s the fundamental difference. If you want a lot of information about what’s going on, you have to know the analytics and what these sites offer and get past the idea that it’s super easy and frankly less expensive at times in the very beginning to jump on a Kajabi site. I’ll tell you this. I had a client literally who emailed me because she was getting a bid to do Kajabi. She wanted a funnel. The Kajabi also do that stuff too.

Landing pages, funnel pages, and a lot of these all-in-one Swiss Army Knife ones have that function available. I guarantee you, it’s not quite as good as if you were going to use ClickFunnels or something like that, right?

I'm a huge believer that if you do it once, it should work ten times. I'm a big believer in that, or you should be able to use it ten different ways. Share on X

Not at all. The bid for her to do this was $3,000. Part of what happens is when you get into these systems and you’re like, “I’m using the Swiss Army Knife.” You cannot get away from using the Swiss Army Knife, so the prices creep up. When you’re thinking about your business, the due diligence you have to do is to say, “This is where I am today. Today, I’m starting a podcast. I want a brand, I’m at this, I’m at that, I’m a whatever, and I need a basic website.”

Where are you going to be in 2, 3, or 4 years? You can expect, if you do your job right, you’re going to have listeners, you’re going to have people that want your stuff, you’re going to have people that want you to expand, and your creativity’s going to expand. You need landing pages and sales opportunities that can do that for you. If she had something different as opposed to Kajabi right now, it wouldn’t be a $3,000 upgrade. It would be a $1,000 or $1,500 upgrade, which is a heck of a lot different. Be thoughtful. It might be cheaper today, but it’s not necessarily cheaper in the long run.

Another example, and I’m curious where you put Squarespace in the camp of all in one or not but I’ll give you an example that we encounter a lot. We do have customers with Squarespace sites, and we’re doing production for them and creating the blogs, but we also have our own players in Podetize. Not only your track player, which every host does, but a track player or a big window player for all your episodes.

What we learned is, well, some of our customers that started on Squarespace because it’s easy for them to do, like you said, what you see is what you get, the colors, the fonts on that, but when they go to install our player, which is an iFrame embed code, usually, although we have a script also. In order to put that embed code in, we discovered that your Squarespace website account doesn’t allow you to put in raw HTML embed codes.

You had to upgrade to a higher level of Squarespace, then it opens up. Now, you can choose a raw HTML module to put onto a page and then put your embed code. You have to pay them more in order to do certain things. A different level limitation, at least you could do it. You got into this thinking, “I can do this cheaply,” and then guess what? Not quite as cheap as you hoped.

I think Squarespace falls in the same camp with the Wix and the Weebly, and the Kajabis of the world. Squarespace is arguably the most beautiful of them all. When somebody is visually drawn, that vibe has to be there. One of the things Squarespace has done so well is allowing people to create storefronts and sell products with beautiful pictures and all that good stuff easily. It wasn’t until a few years ago that they even started doing SEO.

I worked on Squarespace websites years ago, and you would put the page title in. The page title, if you don’t know, are the blue links when you go to Google. You’re at Google, and you’re doing a search. Every blue link you see from a website is arguably a page title or is supposed to be. You would put the page title in and it would appear on the page because they would double dip with the fields. I’m a huge believer that if you do it once, it should work ten times. I’m a big believer in that, or you should be able to use it ten different ways. That fundamentally doesn’t work so well. They’re doing better with SEO. You can get pages to rank on Squarespace now more easily than you used to, but it’s also a host.

I built a website for a client. We had to get her off Squarespace because these sites also let you buy domains. Instead of going to the GoDaddys of the world, you can go to Squarespace, Wix or Weebly and you can say, “I want to buy this domain and I want to have my email with it and I want to do my player and I want to do this. I want to do all of it.”

The problem is when you try to detangle yourself from it, there are all of these little things. Email is something people don’t think about. They’re like, “I’m on whatever website and my email is set up through it.” You then migrate them to their new site, “No, I put my email and it doesn’t work.” All of these things are connected. The value of WYSIWYG and the value of the Swiss Army Knife is lost when you have to spend a lot more time getting all of these details untethered from each other. People are where they are. There are systems to untether people, but if you have the opportunity, what we’re going to talk about next, in my professional opinion, is where you want to be.

Feed Your Brand | Melanie Gorman | Podcast Website
Podcast Website: The more your developer knows the template, the easier it is and the faster and the most economical they’re able to push your site’s live faster.

 

We were of that opinion when recorded the very first, The Best And Worst Podcast Websites Episode of Feed Your Brand, which, by the way, ranks on a lot of keyword phrases on the first page of Google search and still brings us traffic, which is part of the whole point for all you podcasters out there about getting the greatest value out of each of your episodes. It is converting it to content that does rank and gets traffic for free from Google. We’ve come to believe that WordPress is the best CMS from an SEO and ultimately building that equity in your domain name that will continue to serve you for years to come. I think we should acknowledge other platforms and other CMSs like WordPress to consider or not so much.

Wix does a good job. It’s still in that your host and everything’s complicated. Wix will rank out of all of them, it will rank the best for SEO, and there is flexibility, but you will know a Wix website the second you look at it because every time I see them, they’re the same font and layout. The uniqueness of it’s lost. The way that you go about doing a WordPress website is you buy your domain from GoDaddy or whatever domain provider you want. You buy hosting.

I host my site through SiteGround. There are lots of other hosts. You don’t want to host with Johnny’s site down the street. He’s got a box in his house. When Johnny’s internet goes down, your site goes down. You want a host that’s going to do a daily backup. When something happens, because something happens, you’re prepared. It’s a way you have batteries in your flashlight at home. You want to think about the rainy days because they happen. You host someplace that has a daily backup and then you have a WordPress site that’s built.

Most WordPress sites are built through templates and there’s thousands of templates out there. There’s a handful of major templates that you use. Each developer is going to have ones that they know well. The more your developer knows the template, the easier it is, and the faster and the most economical, they’re able to push your sites live faster. They all work the same effectively, and there are thousands upon thousands of WordPress users across the globe.

I worked for a publishing company in New York for 10 years and 12 years, and we were built on a Drupal platform. Drupal would have loved to have been WordPress. Drupal is most notable because the White House’s website was built on it. It was a new platform. It was internationally connected, all kinds of developers across the globe. There was a big shortage of developers and everything slogged to a halt. That may not be where they are now, but when you’re thinking about your website, you need learn it yourself if you’re a do-it-yourselfer because it isn’t that hard, I’ll be honest.

If you want someone to update stuff for you, you can find people super economically to do it and they can do everything and it connects with everything. There are plugins. When you build a PowerPoint, you’re like, “Put in this theme. I want everything to have this look and feel.” Plugins do different thematic things to your website. They will give you connections. I use Aweber for my email list, connected to Aweber through a plugin. If you use MailChimp or Constant Contact, the same stuff applies.

Plugins are feature sets that will do different things for you and there are some plugins. Everybody who needs this is going down the rabbit hole. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later. Plugins allow you to make your website a little different and function with all of these different processes you need so that your website does what you want it to do. If someone signs up for your mailing list, you get a copy of that email in your contact account and then they get an email with their free gift. WordPress does all of that.

WordPress is a structure, a system for building a website. First of all, the most important thing to me is functionality. I always say this. You can correct me if you think I’m wrong, Melanie, but I always say it’s the most in alignment with Google that I have experienced so that what you’re going to create in a website is already in the right condition for Google to read it and understand it. There are no roadblocks in the way of that.

To me, functionally is very important. Let’s say aesthetically, there are, as you said, thousands and thousands of different themes. I think they’re referred to as for how a website will look. Aside from that, there are different builders. The builders are a user interface for creating and editing the pages. There are lots of them. Some of them are easier to use and are a little more visual, what you see is what you get, and others are more basic, where you’re typing in all of the content and it doesn’t look at all like it is. You have to preview the page to see what it looks like. Whether you want something that your brain works better, if you’re editing the environment while you’re looking at how it looks, you can do that. If your brain works a little differently and you don’t necessarily need that, then it may be a little easier for you to do things.

This is what I tell people, too, especially new podcasters who need a website and don't have one. You can start with a very simple three-page website. A podcast landing page, an about page, and a contact page. Share on X

Regardless, what I also love about WordPress is that it’s a platform with hundreds of thousands of different plugins. To give you an example, let’s say sales funnels are a big part of your need. You can have a ClickFunnels account and build your funnel pages there, but there’s also a plugin that integrates ClickFunnels with your WordPress site. You can actually create the funnel pages within your WordPress site, and you have all the functionality of ClickFunnels, but each of those funnel pages is actually a page within the domain name of your website.

It gives you the best of all worlds. This is what I tell people, too, especially new podcasters who need a website and don’t have one. You can start with a very simple three-page website. A podcast landing page, an about page, and a contact page. There are certain things every website needs to have. I guess you need to technically have a terms and conditions page, too. In order to meet Google’s requirements for trust, which you have to build before you’re going to rank on anything, you can have a very simple website that it’s just those few landing pages, and a blog, which I’m going to highly recommend with a unique landing page, a blog page for every episode.

Some of you may not do that initially, but I do highly recommend it. A WordPress site, when you’re ready to add this function or that function or you got to have a course you’re going to now have available you’re going to sell people, or you’re going to have a book, or you’re going to start to sell services and actually do commerce through your website, whatever it is your future needs are, you don’t have to throw out the old WordPress website to do it. You can modify it and add on to it.

Yeah, there’s a ton of things with that. Starting at the beginning, Google reads WordPress the best. You’re 100 % right. The way your pages are laid out and how you write your content, you can direct Google through your heading tags and links. You have a lot of control over what you’re doing. You can check it, of course, to make sure it’s all working, but the index is fast, or all of these things critical to your business, work faster with WordPress. I think of it like having a lemon seed and a straw. If there’s something blocking Google from being able to get the content, it doesn’t get the content.

When you build your website, you have posts and pages. Pages are your landing pages. Posts are your articles. Your articles are not necessarily like blog articles. They can be, but they can also be like, “Here’s an introduction to this podcast, here’s an episode, here’s the player.” Embed YouTube videos on them. You can do a million different things with it that allow people, based on their different learning styles, to read, listen, or watch what it is that you want to say. Google, frankly, rewards multimedia content. There’s a lot of pluses and upsides with that. Yeah, it’s a big deal.

This is why we recommend every podcaster because many of us are recording videos and putting it on YouTube for episodes, too. We embed those YouTube videos on those landing pages. This is old school, too, but I often describe the ideal episode landing page to new customers of ours as looking like a magazine page on your website with relevant images throughout the text and embed at least one video.

it could be your whole episode video or it could be shorts that you’ve created for YouTube shorts or for social sharing. Images of book covers if you mention a book with a link to the book to buy it on Amazon or whatever. If it’s your own book, buy it through your site, but you want this multimedia page because that is the content Google wants to serve people when they search on any topic that they’re looking for.

Google wants comprehensive content, too.

In long-form.

Feed Your Brand | Melanie Gorman | Podcast Website
Podcast Website: You need long-form content that answers the question fully. That is how you build authority in the eyes of Google, and your pages go up.

 

Long-Form Management

Here’s the deal with long-form content. I’m putting on my SEO hat for a second. When somebody says they go to the internet, your ideal experience with your website, you have two different kinds of customers. You have people that know you, they want to hear everything you say, they subscribe to your podcast, they think you’re awesome, and they’re going to listen to everything you say. You then have absolute, complete, total strangers. That’s the whole point of your website. It’s nice to delight people who already like you.

My mom is going to say, “I’m awesome,” on every Instagram video I put up there, regardless of how bad I look or sound. What I’m trying to do is to get strangers to think I’m authoritative, that I know what I’m talking about, and that I have value in what I’m saying. You’re marketing your website to strangers. You have no idea what their learning experience is like. Having comprehensive content, that when you think about what is the question someone would ask that would lead them to this podcast, why does someone need to be here? Why are they listening? Why do they care?

Put your ego aside. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about the reader and the listener who wants this information. What is it that they want to know? That’s what you need to say. Within Google, like, know, and trust in all sales experiences are still the same. We’re still the same people we always were. They have to like you. They want to know. You want them to know, and then they trust you, and then they buy from you. They’re not doing it beforehand.

If you imagine what the question is they’re going to ask, the content needs to answer the questions. It has to be comprehensive because you need to avoid someone going to Google and saying, “How do I start a podcast?” getting to your landing page, reading it, and hitting the back button, which is fine so far, but then asking the same question. If they ask the same question, you failed them. If they go back to Google and they go, “How do I start a new podcast about making pierogies?” That’s different. That’s great. Now Google goes, “I didn’t give you the right answer. I didn’t give you that answer.”

Especially in the age of AI, where Google and Bing is working and all of these sites are working to give people, with some magic anticipation, what it is that they want. The human being is still the same. We get an answer. If it’s satisfied, we ask the next question. We are having a conversation with Google. We’re not going one and done. Now, you may get one and done when you get restaurant directions, but by and large, if you’re investigating something that fundamentally does not happen on Instagram, it does not happen on Facebook, it happens on YouTube, and it happens on Google.

When you are talking about serious topics and you’re talking about something that has substance to it, and people are trying to figure something out, you need long-form content that answers the question fully. When that customer hits the back button, they’re asking a different question because you answered it. That is how you build authority in the eyes of Google and then your pages go up and it’s a spread. You’re going to start saying, “I want to rank for creating pierogies,” but eventually, it’s going to be potato pierogies.

Do you want applesauce with it? What about sour cream or, “Are Pennsylvania pierogies better than Maryland pierogies?” Your website should expand as you spend time developing being a content creator. You will get trust and you will get more. Let me tell you one more thing. When you do it the way you do it, Tom, the thing about what you do that’s so great is that your podcast works.

I was on your show before. If you Google my name, if you go Google Melanie Gorman right now, do you know what shows up? Our episode. I’m not faking it. I didn’t do anything.

We didn’t discuss this.

If there is, start with what you can and have an exit plan. Understand where you need to be in the long-term. Share on X

We had never talked about this.

Before this, I’m doing this right now. Melanie Gorman. It gave me images first, which is interesting.

That’s normal now.

LinkedIn. There it is, Mastering SEO Secrets for Podcast Triumph with Melanie Gorman.

It’s right there on the first page. That’s because your SEO for what you did bringing a guest like me on is trustworthy. Google knows it. I’m trustworthy because of my reputation. Together, it’s a match made in heaven. When you’re thinking about your guests and the right people to bring on, that’s the experience you want to create for people. You have no hand in that. Google decided that. I didn’t do anything. You didn’t do anything.

We did was put out quality content. It’s the same. I want to emphasize something that you said because I think you were 100% right that when people are asking a question, they’re asking it in Google or they’re asking it in YouTube. I would also argue because this is a show after all, and while these days, video casts are very much synonymous with podcasts not only in term but I think in practice. For Podetize, I think about 75% of our podcasters are recording and putting up their content as video as well as audio.

I love the audio content myself. I’m getting my kid’s lunch ready this morning and doing some dishes in the kitchen and I’m listening to up first through my Alexa smart speaker, but it was a podcast that I’m listening to the audio only. I believe in the audio only platform and I think all of us podcasters do. I would argue that podcast listeners, people who prefer audio first are going to search in their podcast app, asking those questions. The unfortunate thing about the podcast apps and ecosystem is they’re not the best search engines. They’re actually pretty lousy search engines.

That’s why you need the content with them.

Why You Need Blog Content

That’s why you need the blog content. The listening apps are designed to give you results of shows first. They’re only searching through the titles and the descriptions of your show listing, even though you have all these episodes with a lot of different titles and descriptions. They’re so far below the fold that hardly anybody scrolls down to look at them.

People are going to find you more, I would say, through Google first, YouTube second, and podcast search in the listening apps maybe third, but that’s why, yes, you need the magazine-style page, episode landing page on your website in order to cast the widest net possible for you to be found. My audience is probably tired of me saying this over many episodes over the years, but it’s so true. I geek out on this stuff because it’s that important.

You want to share this brilliance that you have with people who want it. People are going to look. My husband and I don’t watch the news as a family. We gave it up a while ago. On YouTube, he found sources of news information that he liked and he vetted and he appreciated what they say. It’s both sides of everything. He needed to curate the voice he wanted to hear around him. We all have our own echo chambers that we’re living in based on how we live in and what we do. People are curious.

As we’ve become less trusting of everything pushed at us, people are hunting for things they can learn. You need to be where people are looking. If you’re doing the podcast, the translation into a blog is pretty easy. You want that to be done in a way that your consumers are able to go, “This is fantastic.” You can do a million things with it. You have that long-form content. You can have somebody on your team make it into care cells that you put out on Instagram. There are so many things you can do with it.

My point as a podcaster is to have this be an update related to rocking your podcast website here, the best and worst of the platforms. I think we have a pretty clear opinion, you and me, that WordPress is the best platform for your podcast website or any website, to be honest. There are other options to choose from depending on where you are in your podcasting journey, your entrepreneurial journey, your business journey, or whatever your personal journey is. Maybe there is a step on the way to having a full-fledged website that’s going to be in your best interest. Understand the benefits and the consequences of stopping at one of those rest stops on the journey here.

I would argue, and I think you shared the same opinion, you’re probably better off going right for WordPress and then doing that as long as there’s no financial obstacle, logistical obstacle or workflow obstacle in your way. If there is, start with what you can and have an exit plan. Understand where you need to be in the long-term. Hopefully, one of these many resources we’ve mentioned will help you. You’re going to have to do your own homework, weigh the options based on your needs, and then make the decision that’s right for you. That’s great, too.

I agree with Melanie 100%, and I want to thank you, Melanie, so much for coming on, sharing this time with me, and providing your insights, because it , it’s not the same as what we talked about. We barely scratched the surface of this in that last episode, which rank on the first page of Google search for Melanie’s name, which is awesome for us. If you do need some SEO support and expertise, we highly recommend Melanie. We use her and recommend her to our customers with those needs, especially when they’re desperate. That’s happened a few times. Thank you so much. I enjoyed it, again.

 

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Melanie Gorman

Melanie works one-on-one with clients to help them explore and then expand their connection to clients in need. She provides SEO services for mental health focused businesses including website development, content creation, digital and social media marketing. She's worked with well-known authors like John Gray, Helen Fisher, Esther Perel, Diane Poole Heller, Ian Kerner, Stan Tatkin, and Tammy Nelson to name a few… as well as therapists and coaches worldwide looking to publish, improve their business and help more people. Go to crownsvillemedia.com to learn more about her work.
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