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The Ultimate Guide to Using Transcripts for Improved Podcast SEO in 2020

Episode transcripts are great for accessibility, but did you know that they can also play a significant role in content discovery?

Every podcaster wants to know the secret to successfully building an audience. Sometimes virality can be attributed to the star power of a host or the production abilities of a popular podcast network. However, in most cases, podcast success comes down to hard work and a lot of luck!

While there’s nothing you can do to improve your luck, there are some best practices that can have an effect on your success. Today we’re going to talk about how you can use your episode transcripts to boost SEO, increase discoverability, and organically grow your podcast’s audience.

Own and control your content

There’s something that you need to know right from the start. 

You need a website. 

With all of the various hosting sites, podcast aggregators, and social media platforms around, I know that it may not seem too important for a podcaster to have a dedicated website.

But hear me out.

Other platforms may come and go, but you don’t want your web presence to go with them when they do. Instead, you want to create a hub for your content that you own and can control.

Besides, not having a website means that you’re missing out on a massive pool of prospective listeners.

Not everyone uses social media or iTunes, but everyone uses search engines. 

If you don’t show up in a web search, then you are leaving all of those listeners on the table. Rule #1 of podcast promotion is to be everywhere your potential listeners are.

And that includes search engines!

Pro tip: Though setting up a site may seem daunting, it’s possible to get one up and running in less than an hour. Check out Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress and pick the platform that’s right for you.  

Once you have a website, it’s time to figure out how to drive traffic to it, which is where SEO comes in.

What is SEO?

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Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website and content so that it can be discovered effectively via search engines. It’s a huge topic in the world of marketing, and if you’re new to the field, it can feel overwhelming. 

But SEO doesn’t need to be scary!

With just a few simple tweaks to your podcast site, you can do a lot to raise your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking.

How to use podcast episode transcripts to improve SEO

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One of the main components to optimizing your website for SEO is determining the right focus keywords for your brand.

Keyword research can take a lot of time and resources, but here is where being a podcaster pays off. Instead of creating content to fit specific keywords, you can use the transcripts of your podcast episodes on your website. This will automatically place relevant keywords on-page, no keyword stuffing required, making it easy for potential listeners to find your content.

Here are a few ways episode transcripts can completely transform how users find your brand on the web.

Show Notes Pages

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Show notes pages are standard for most podcast websites. They make it easy for listeners to access information about each episode, such as guest names, titles, social links, and any other pertinent information that might’ve been difficult to pick up from the audio.

There are several ways to use transcripts in your show notes:

  • Full Transcript

Many podcasters post full transcripts of each episode. While some search engines do index podcasts, having the full text on your site provides an extra boost in SEO as it allows your show to potentially get two hits for relevant keywords; one for the audio, and one for the transcript on your site.

  • Partial Transcript

If you don’t want to publish complete transcripts, you can use pull quotes from the text to highlight key moments from the episode.

Pro Tip: Posting short audio clips of these moments can also be useful for increasing engagement and time spent on-page.

  • Episode Summaries 

For those not interested in posting transcripts verbatim, you can still use the text to produce an episode summary. By picking out your desired keyphrases from the transcript, you can make sure that your episode summary is concise and driving quality listeners to your content.

  • SEO Metadata

Use each episode’s transcript to isolate relevant long-tail keywords and then apply them to the title, headers, tags, URL slug, and SEO description for the corresponding show notes page.

Pro tip: In addition to adding keywords from your transcripts to your show notes page, make sure you also include the basics. 

List your name, your podcast’s name, the episode title and number, and the term ‘podcast’ in your metadata to achieve the best results.

Content Creation

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You may have heard of the term “Create Once, Publish Everywhere,” or “COPE.” While you don’t want to publish the same content everywhere literally, repurposing your podcast content is a smart move. 

Repurposing your content helps your SERP ranking and opens your podcast up to new audiences that you might’ve not had exposure to previously. Best of all? You’ve already done most of the work! 

Here are a few ways to repurpose your podcast content:

  • Show Teasers / Trailers
  • Blog Posts
  • Social Media Posts
  • Videos

For all of these content types, reference your episode transcripts and isolate good dialogue, funny or engaging moments, and all of your relevant long-tail keywords. Use them to focus your repurposing efforts for maximum SEO benefits.

Authority and Backlinks

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Aside from keyword usage, search engines also consider other factors when tweaking their algorithms. A significant factor is whether or not your site is considered an “authority” in your subject area.

While there’s no direct way to impact your authority, you can work on molding your brand into a thought leader for your industry. Focus on:

  • Quality content – your podcast, blog posts, etc. 
  • Engagement  – get people to your website and keep them there
  • Backlinks –  gather incoming links from other high-authority sites

Transcripts aid in content creation, and in turn, help increase audience engagement. The usage of transcripts on-site also makes it easier for reputable sites to quote something said on your podcast, and directly link to it in text, thus increasing your website’s reputation.

Now that you’re convinced that podcast transcripts are essential, you’re probably wondering:  How do I get transcripts of my episodes?

Easy – Audioburst Creators!

The Audioburst Creators suite of podcast marketing tools takes the heavy lifting out of marketing your podcast. Users enjoy features such as:

Automatic Transcripts

Our AI-powered audio system “listens” for your content, allowing for the automatic creation of a fully editable episode transcript moments after you hit publish.

Social Sharing Tools

Sharing on social channels is an important part of a good SEO strategy. In a 2018 study performed by Hootsuite, it was found that content that had been published on Twitter saw a 12% organic increase in performance over a control group. Beyond that, there was a 22% increase for boosted (paid promotion) posts.

Audioburst Creators allows you to maximize your SEO potential through robust social sharing tools. Seamlessly share the best moments of your podcast to Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook directly from your Show Highlights page, or grab an embed code to add “bursts” to any webpage.

To learn more about using social media in your podcast marketing strategy, click here.

Audiogram Creation

As mentioned in the previous section, social links are great for SEO. However, once potential listeners find themselves on your social channels, you’ll need to provide them with content that has the power to drive traffic to your podcast.

In a recent report, it was noted that “89% of video marketers say video, in general, gives them a good return on their investment” and that “95% of video marketers plan to increase or maintain their spend on video in 2020.”

The use of video when combined with social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Medium, and TikTok can help you grow your audience and amplify your marketing efforts.

Creators enables you to harness the power of video by turning your talk audio content into short video clips, or what is sometimes referred to as an audiogram.

To learn more about using video in your podcast marketing strategy, click here.

The best part of Audioburst Creators? Unlike many other podcast promotion services, it’s 100% free!

The Bottom Line

Episode transcripts take the guesswork out of content creation, boosting brand authority, and improving your podcast’s SEO. 

If you aren’t transcribing your show, it’s time to take the leap. Sign up for Audioburst Creators and get your podcast discovered!

More about Audioburst for talk audio creators

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