When it comes to getting your website found and actually seen by as many people as possible, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the OG of online marketing.  Google, as well as many of its now-defunct predecessors (did you ever “Ask Jeeves”?), was built on complex algorithms that searched online content and then ranked pages based upon their relevance to that specific search. Now, in 2022, those searches no longer include just traditional web pages; they also provide user-submitted content, book pages, public databases, and even video content sites, such as YouTube (which is owned by Google). For content creators, including podcasters, this has created a whole new set of opportunities for enhanced engagement, stickiness, and monetization. 

After Google, YouTube is not only the most popular search engine in the world – it’s also the world’s fastest-growing podcast discovery platform. One reason: Google and YouTube share data seamlessly, as content uploaded to YouTube is immediately indexed by Google. But, here’s the rub:  A video cannot go viral if Google doesn't know about it.  And, it can’t know about it if it can’t understand what it’s about2.

That’s where SEO comes in.

What Exactly is SEO?

SEO1 is the practice of optimizing your online content to increase its likelihood of being found by search engines, and then driving organic or unpaid traffic from the search engine results page (SERP) to that content, wherever it may reside. Today, we’re going to show you the most effective and successful ways to get your podcast ranked and noticed by the followers you’re trying to reach, both on Google and within YouTube itself.

Currently, search engines can't index video content; they can only read text. Therefore, the only way for a search engine to understand the content within your video is through keyword-heavy titles, video descriptions, tags, and other techniques we’ll be discussing.

Just as you would optimize a website for search engine rankings, your podcast needs to be optimized, as well. Fortunately, there are tools that can help even novices add the right keywords, tags, descriptions, and titles without any SEO or programming experience.

How does YouTube SEO work?

YouTube’s search algorithm is a real-time feedback loop that tries to present relevant videos based upon each viewer’s unique interests. 

In addition to crawling text to find and analyze content, context, and relevance indicators, Google and YouTube also consider a user’s previous searches and viewing history; thus, two individuals searching with identical keywords each may obtain different results, based upon their previous behaviors. The ultimate goal of YouTube's search algorithm is to find the right content for each user and then to retain those users and keep them engaged. 

How to Achieve a Higher YouTube SEO ranking?

1) Metadata

Optimizing your metadata is one of the most powerful ways for improving your rankings. Examples include:

Titles

1. Optimizing the title of your video using clear and simplified language, rather than technical jargon. 
2. Using compelling language, such as “how-to,” “advice,” “tips,” or numbered lists to encourage a click. 
3. Using your video’s title to target your main keyword and maximize its click-through-rate (CTR). 
4. Making sure the full title reads in an intriguing and attention-grabbing way to help increase CTR.

Keywords: 

By tagging your content with lots of detail-rich identifying information, you can make it easily searchable for viewers who are looking for videos like yours.

1. Use YouTube Analytics->Traffic Sources to find out what keywords are being used to find you. Use "Google Trends" and Google Adwords "Keyword Planner" to get a sense of what phrases are popular in search queries. Include your target keyword(s) in your title, ideally close to the beginning.
2. Include keywords in the description of your video, as well.
3. Keywords and keyword phrases should correspond with a) whatever describes your video accurately, and b) the words and phrases that users enter in search engines to find content like yours. 

Description: Your video’s description will determine how the search engine can identify your video and understand its contents. It is particularly important to include a clickable link to your product or any call-to-actions in your content, considering more than half of consumers are influenced by product videos. 

Your video will have a better chance of showing up as a “Suggested Video” if YouTube can identify its topic easily. Include your podcast show and episode keywords in your description. You also can use the video description as a tool to cross-promote to other platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, your school/college’s website, etc.

Hashtags can also improve a video’s discoverability on YouTube. Optimized hashtags will provide more visibility for related video posts on the platform. Use your podcast’s show/episode keywords to include any relevant hashtags that denote your video’s topics or category at the end of the description.

Chapters Markers: Video chapters break up a YouTube video into sections, each with an individual preview. They also add helpful context to each portion of a video and easily allow audiences to skip or re-watch different parts during their viewing experience. You also can use time codes that include these keywords, which helps people jump to the section of the video they want to see.

Video Tags:

Video Tags are descriptive keywords or key phrases you can add to your video channel itself (vs. an individual video) to help viewers find your content. Tagging is one of the best SEO features that YouTube provides. It allows you to enter relevant keywords that help your videos get more views. You also can use your podcast show keywords in your YouTube channel. 

2) Retention and Engagement – the Unsung Heroes of SEO

While adding Metadata is an active practice (you decide the tags, descriptions, etc. you want to use), some metrics are more passive (you can only control them indirectly).  Retention and Engagement are passive metrics.  You can’t choose how long someone watches your video or whether they share it with a friend, but YouTube gives great weight to how committed viewers are to your content, because that’s what keeps people on their site. 

Within YouTube, RETENTION includes Watch Time (the total aggregate time viewers spend watching your videos), number of subscribers, and total views. If viewers watch only a few seconds before leaving, that video would get a lower ranking than if someone watched it all the way through.  This is analogous to a web page's bounce rate.  

ENGAGEMENT is measured through comments, shares, calls-to-action, and subscribers. Basically, any measurable action you take, other than simply watching the video and leaving.

This is why creating visually-compelling videos is so crucial. 

By retaining the attention of your audiences and engaging them through their interactions
with your video, you automatically help to increase your visibility
both within and outside of the YouTube platform.

3) Closed Captions

Closed Captions help communicate not only to the hearing-impaired, but also to those who watch video in a sound-sensitive environment, such as a workplace or library. For some, it may serve simply as a visual reinforcement to what’s being heard audibly. 

However, THE MOST IMPORTANT use of closed captions is to create searchable content within an otherwise unsearchable format.

By uploading a transcript of your video, YouTube and Google now can crawl your content, understand what it’s about, and rank you accordingly. 

4) Video Publish

Releasing videos on a set day of the week or on a recurring schedule helps your YouTube channel by letting the audience know when to return. It sounds simple, but this is an attractive feature for many YouTube subscribers. Publishing content consistently will improve your ranking in the YouTube algorithm and build viewership.
5) Video Promotion

Take advantage of cross-promotional opportunities. Share your videos on all of your social media platforms. The more likes, comments, shares, and subscribes your videos and channel get, the better your chances of ranking high in YouTube and Google search results.

Adori Simplifies YouTube SEO 

One of the easiest ways to ensure your video or podcast is fully optimized is through Adori’s unique YouTube integration technology.  Adori allows podcast hosts to import episodes from RSS feeds seamlessly, enhance them with visual elements, and upload enriched assets directly to YouTube.

Adori’s patented ‘smart pin’ technology embeds contextual visuals, multi-format ads, AR experiences, buy buttons, polls, and other “call-to-action” features in the audio, creating a richer and more enhanced listener experience.

Adori’s technology also helps increase monetization and engagement, allowing content creators to modernize traditional audio by adding relevant visual and interactive elements, such as links, social feeds, polls, and e-commerce, without changing the format or sacrificing quality. For publishers and advertisers, Adori provides attribution, click-through purchases, and ad impressions, providing deep measurement and new monetization possibilities for audio.

How Adori Optimizes YouTube SEO

1)  User engagement

In addition to adding visual elements manually, Adori offers an automated feature that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to generate contextual visuals from the transcription of a podcast.  Using relevant images and calls-to-action, instead of a static thumbnail image over audio, automatically makes for a more engaging podcast experience.

2) Metadata

When you import your podcast from the RSS feed, Adori automatically transfers the title and description from your podcast episode. Adori then takes your episode keywords and adds them to the description as hashtags, automatically improving the discoverability of your podcasts.

Adori also creates chapter markers for every image you upload, which shows up on the bottom of the screen as the video is playing. This allows users to easily navigate to various key sections of your content. Any call-to-action URLs, such as social media shares, information, or merch sales, are also placed next to the chapter markers in the description, further aiding SEO and improving the overall user experience.

 

 

3) Closed Captions

Adori offers a built-in transcription feature, which allows users to create a transcript of their podcast, which then can be uploaded directly to YouTube. 

4) Video Publish

Adori’s scheduling feature allows creators to publish video according to a specific schedule of their choosing. Once the content is uploaded and the launch day is set, the rest is handled automatically.

Summary

Having YouTube not only buy into, but also actively support the promotion of podcasts through its platform is a game-changer for podcasters looking to grow their audience.  By understanding and implementing some of these basic techniques, you can easily improve the likelihood of your podcast showing up prominently in both YouTube and Google rankings.

You need to be seen to be heard, and you need to be heard in order to grow.  Now, you have the necessary tools and techniques to ensure your podcast is seen and heard by its largest intended audience.

Now, go forth and publish!  (https://video.adorilabs.com/onboarding)

References:

  1. Google SEO Starter Guide
  2. What is Video SEO?
  3. How User Behavior In Search Works?
  4. Google Trends
  5. Google Keyword Planner
  6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for YouTube: A Step-by-Step Guide
  7. YouTube Studio