WHEW! Since Podcast Movement, we’ve been hearing all about YouTube and SEO. This week, our Marketing Manager, Elissa, runs through podcast SEO 101. She’ll answer all those burning questions and address some stuff in her inbox more broadly with the podcast community. Elissa is talking discoverability, providing tips for YouTube success, and more!
Over and over again, we keep hearing about podcasting on YouTube and seeing YouTube itself increasing its investment. Recently, Google, YouTube’s parent company, announced that it will be phasing out Google Podcasts to make more room for YouTube podcasting. As a result, we are seeing a growing disconnect between podcasters’ and listeners’ behaviors, as more people shift from audio-first platforms to places like YouTube.
We continue seeing ears shift from audio-first platforms to places like YouTube, creating a growing disconnect between podcasters’ and listeners’ behaviors. As a result, podcasters are losing out on ears. And, let’s face it, listeners are missing out – like, duh – they aren’t hearing your podcast if you’re not on YouTube!
YouTube is the top platform for podcasts. In 2022, YouTube beat out popular streaming platforms – like Spotify – and became the leading podcasting platform. More recently, a study by iHeart Media found that podcast listening on YouTube is even overtaking time spent on other platforms.
Now, more than ever, it is important to get your podcast up on YouTube. But, that does not mean investing beaucoup bucks in equipment or even investing a ton of time.
Before getting too into the weeds though, let’s get you started with creating a podcast or uploading existing content onto YouTube.
Account Set Up
The first thing is first. You’ll need to create a YouTube account if you have not already. This process should take a few minutes from start to finish, especially if you have an existing Google account; however, it may take a little longer in some cases. In most instances, we recommend budgeting 15-20 min (but it will likely take less than 5!).
During the account setup, you will need a profile picture, links you want to include, and details about you and your show. This will help create a more complete profile while providing YouTube, search engines, and your audience with more information about your podcast/content.
Set your account up for SEO success
It is also a good idea to start thinking about your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at this point. SEO is essential because it aids in discoverability and allows the internet to better categorize you and push your content to the appropriate ears and channels.
When creating your account, you should have an idea of where you want your podcast to pop up in terms of search. For instance, Headliner thinks about podcast promotion a lot! Why? It’s what we do and want to help podcasters with. So, we have been mindful in our online copy (think anything with text!) to include things like “podcast promotion.”
You can set your podcast up for success early on YouTube – and very quickly, too – by customizing your channel using these hacks.
In the “Branding” section, you can create the initial look of your YouTube channel. But, besides making the look, this section can be leveraged to start your podcasting SEO. How? File names!
That’s right, file names play a critical role in SEO. Search engines use file names in their crawls. Search engines can only read text; since images are images, file names provide the needed information to help search engines understand an image. While they do not directly impact your ranking, file names give the required context to search engines that do help boost your overall searchability.
[I]t’s recommended by Google that images be given meaningful filenames….the filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Search Engine Journal
So, when selecting your profile pic, banner image, and video watermark, double-check that those file names have good descriptions of the image and/or include keywords you want to target.
Not so ‘basic’ info
The next SEO consideration you want to take is inputting your channel’s “Basic Info.” Basic info includes channel name, handle, description, and links to external connection points. It is best practice to fill out this section as much as possible.
You don’t need to get too fancy when filling out the channel name and handle. Just input the name you want and ensure they match to the best of your capabilities (sometimes handles are claimed, so don’t sweat it – just get them close!…not speaking from experience here). By filling out this information, you make it much easier to find you by name!
However, with the description, you may want to be a little more creative and consider working on some of those keywords. You still want this field to provide value to listeners and make sense, so don’t just load it down with a bunch of keywords. Try aiming for 1-3 solid keywords.
Again, all of these fields are text-based and will be used in crawl data to help categorize your channel. You can play around with these a little and change them over time, too, so don’t worry if you don’t nail it the first time. The important thing is you are doing it and taking the time to at least complete your channel profile while giving some more info and metadata.
Create your podcast/playlist
Now that you’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time for the fun stuff: podcasting!
On YouTube, podcasts live in their own playlist category. Right now, podcasts are fully supported on YouTube, but to take advantage of all the podcasting benefits on YouTube, you’ll need to create a podcast playlist.
To create or start a podcast on YouTube, you’ll need to navigate to the “Playlist” section within your YouTube Studio Dashboard.
Once that is done, you can start inputting your Podcast information.
Just like the channel customization section, you want to be mindful of what you’re typing. This information is used to categorize your podcast in search crawls. Again, add 1-3 meaningful keywords in your podcast’s description.
Upload your podcast
Cool, now that your podcasts have a place to live – it’s time to move it! Or… upload, we guess. 😅
The process is super easy! All you need to do is head back to the YouTube studio, upload your file, fill out some information, and boom – your podcast is on YouTube. You can even use Make by Headliner to automate this process for you!
Some more SEO tips for podcasting success on YouTube
Hear more things you can do per episode to help optimize your content and improve your SEO.
Caption using transcription uploads
YouTube supports captioning in all their content. Not only is this a powerful tool for accessibility, but it, yet again, is a great way to implement some more SEO strategies! On YouTube, you can upload a transcription via .txt files. YouTube does an excellent job of captioning your videos – but by uploading your own file, you add another layer of SEO optimization by providing an additional source. Again, rename your file to something relevant before uploading to maximize your SEO efforts.
You can add tags to your video titles on YouTube. Tags work like hashtags for the YouTube algorithm. Adding 2-3 tags to your titles will boost YouTube’s SEO. Also, a whole section is dedicated to tags in the file upload process. YouTube caps you at 15 tags and uses the order in which they are added to determine relevancy – this includes tags in your title. So, YouTube will place a higher emphasis on tags in your episode title and so on.
Rename your video files
YouTube’s algorithm uses your file naming conventions to help decide how to push your uploads here, too. Be sure to check your naming and consider renaming files before uploading.
Be sure to add your metadata to all your uploads. Simple things like a title, episode description, chapters, and video category inform your audience and the YouTube algorithm. Anything you can add goes a long way in helping your SEO by providing search engines more data in their crawl. However, you do need to be mindful that your information is truthful and relevant to your podcast; otherwise, you risk having content flagged or even taken down (which is obviously not good for SEO).
Work smarter – not harder
Now, we know this seems like a lot. But trust us, it is very manageable. Implementing these SEO optimizations for your podcast only takes a few minutes per episode. Our little team does it all the time! We even recreated our handy checklist for your viewing and organization pleasure.
Headliner hacks & tools that can help!
Now, if you are looking for some SUPER easy ways to get all your SEO stuff in one spot – you can use Headliner!
Make by Headliner has had an easy-to-use YouTube automation flow for a while. If you haven’t tried it yet, we encourage you to check it out hear. We also have a step-by-step guide on our Automatic Audiogram flow hear if you want to learn a little more about it.
But, more recently, we released Eddy. Eddy is a 100% free transcription tool and lightweight editor. It also has some excellent AI features that help quickly and easily get you those key SEO elements for your podcast.
Eddy is ready to help with SEO
Eddy provides you with your podcast transcript and gives you episode titles, chapter titles, and summary/show notes, all optimized for SEO. We also have even more features on the horizon, so you’ll keep Eddy in mind when uploading your podcast to YouTube.
Get uploaded to YouTube
Getting your podcast on YouTube is one of the best things you can do to boost your podcast SEO and overall reach. YouTube is a fantastic place for podcasts with an exciting, bright future.
Hear at Headliner; we are all about podcast promotion and helping podcasters get discovered. If you have any questions on YouTube and SEO, we encourage you to email Elissa – she would LOVE to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. And, if you have any general questions on how to get uploaded to YouTube using Headliner (Make or Eddy), please email our incredible support team – they are hear and happy to help you!