“Right now Google is really good at giving you text and video related to your search query. With all the amazing work podcasters are publishing each day, there’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way.”

Zach Reneau-Wedeen – Google’s Podcast Team

Audio Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is in it’s infancy, just like regular SEO was in 2000. Audio SEO is a set of optimization best practices that help audio files (podcasts) rank higher in search engines and podcast listening platforms.

In order to master audio SEO, you must first understand what it is so that you can incorporate these specific optimization techniques into your podcasting strategy. By implementing these techniques, working hard, and creating high quality audio content, you will be in a good position to have your audio be displayed higher in search engines and podcast listening apps.

The future of marketing and search engine rankings will not solely be tied to website content, link building, and the never ending competitiveness of traditional SEO. The future of SEO will primarily be tied to how well you rank on search engines and audio platforms for your audio content – Also known as Audio Search Engine Optimization.

This guide and future posts will walk you through all aspects of getting your audio ranked higher within search engines which will lead to an increase in audience, traffic, and podcast monetization.

The Basics of Audio Search Engine Optimization

In the early days of web SEO, the variables and ranking factors didn’t necessarily change as frequently as they do today. As Google and other search engines became smarter, it became harder to rank for specific and competitive keywords. Today, Audio Search Engine Optimization is like web SEO in 2000. If you focus your efforts on it now, it will pay dividends in the future.

To simplify this concept, we have broken the structure up into 5 Tenets.

The 5 Tenets of Audio SEO

what is audio seo

As you can see, the foundation of good SEO for Audio starts with ensuring your podcast is available for search engines and podcast platforms to crawl and index your audio content. From there, additional SEO techniques move up the ladder.

In future posts, we will dive deeper into each of these these five tenets to successful audio search engine optimization.

  1. Index Accessibility
  2. Optimize Your RSS Feed
  3. Leverage Transcriptions
  4. Produce Quality Content
  5. Share-worthy Snippets

What is Audio SEO?

First off, what is SEO? SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is the practice of specific website optimization techniques that can lead to higher search engine rankings. These non paid search engine rankings are called “Organic” search results.

To better understand audio SEO or search engine optimization, we must first have a foundational knowledge of what traditional SEO has become. Today, search engine optimization is primarily built on top of high-quality content, well-structured content, and the links pointing to that content from other credible sources. 

We could dive much deeper into the intricacies of search engine optimization. There are tons of questions that could be asked like; what’s the most optimal title tags you should have on a website or on a blog post? How often do you mention your focus keyword? Who is linking in and who are you linking out to? Do you have alt tags within your images that are relevant to your focus keyword? How valuable is the content that you are producing that benefits users to find what they’re looking for when searching on Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or others.

There are currently over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to rank websites. Some of these rankings include:

As it relates to Audio SEO, most of these rankings become obsolete since the way audio is created, consumed. recommended, and found, differs significantly compared to the web.

When spoken word audio is transcribed from voice to text and applied to new audio SEO strategies, there is an endless amount of growth potential for podcast creators to get discovered.

Audio SEO is going to be a major factor for podcasters looking to grow their listener based and to cut through the noise of the ever growing audio content. In the near future, search engines and podcast apps will be leveraging data, text, quality of audio, location, social signals. drop-off, and other signals to make the discovery of audio content much more relevant and better than it is today.

To use a baseball metaphor, audio and audio SEO is really in the first inning of a long double header.

Dan Daugherty – Co-founder of Sounder.fm

Why is Audio SEO Important?

The SEO industry has grown from $0 less than 25 years ago to now over $79B in 2020. The audio market is actually growing faster as it relates to the amount of new audio content being created today compared to total websites on the web in 2001. The below graph compares total website growth from 2001 to 2006 and compares that to the total number of podcast episodes active in 2020 and foretasted out to 2025.

how fast is the podcast market growing

The opportunity is very large. However, with this exponential growth comes new challenges for podcast creators. First, there are now nearly 100 new podcasts launched every hour. In 2020, there will be over 750,000 new podcasts added to the podcast ecosystem. This explosion in growth makes it very difficult for creators to attract, engage, and retain new listeners.

why is audio SEO important?

The importance of focusing on audio SEO today will mean you will be steps ahead of your competition when the inevitability of reaching many millions of active podcasts is just around the corner.

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