How to increase podcast downloads

Simple SEO Podcast, Podcast SEO

Hey there! Are you a podcaster trying to figure out how to increase podcast downloads? I get it. It can be frustrating. You work so hard to create each new episode of your podcast, and you want people to download and listen to it because it will entertain, educate, or help them in some way. And your podcast needs more downloads to grow. Do you dream of the day you can take on sponsors or charge for ads? A lot of people do.


So, how the heck can you increase podcast downloads?


Did you know that podcast SEO is a thing? It is, and oh my goodness, my friend, it is powerful.


When I first started my podcast, I wasn’t aware that you could really do much for podcast search engines. However, after a few months of pretty typical results—30 or 40 downloads per episode—I figured there had to be a way to use SEO to grow my podcast. I mean, I’ve used SEO for Google, websites, and blogs for years.


So I set out to learn everything I could, and guess what? Podcast SEO is by far the best thing I’ve done for my podcast.


By making a few small changes to my show and episodes, I was able to 5x my downloads within 6 months.


Podcast SEO is Fast!


If you’ve been here for a while, you know that Google SEO or website search engine optimization is a long-term investment. You do the work, and it can take 6-12 months before you start to see much movement, and the best return on your investment (website traffic) often starts in the 1-2 year range. But podcast SEO is different. I began to see results within a few weeks. The difference in my downloads was measurable. My podcast downloads tripled in about 90 days. And they continued to grow from there.


Podcast SEO is a lot easier than Google.


Interestingly, podcast SEO is much easier than Google SEO. There’s less to do, and you don’t have to worry about making as many mistakes or breaking the rules. It’s the easiest form of search engine optimization that I’ve done.


So, how do you increase podcast downloads?


Let’s start with the basics. Make sure your podcast episodes are on topics that people are interested in. Think about your ideal listener when creating episodes and choose topics that will be helpful to them. This is really important because if you’re going to put in the effort to create a great podcast episode and optimize it so that people can find it in the podcast player, you need to make sure it’s on a topic people are interested in. Ideally, choose a few related topics that you focus on so that your episodes are relevant to the audience you reach. If you’re talking about money one week, recipes the next, and kids sports the third week, your audience may not grow because the people you attract with episode #1 aren’t as interested in 2 or 3, so they don’t come back and listen again.


The next step is to make sure your podcast episodes are being released regularly. Pod fade is real. I know it can get discouraging when you feel like you’re working hard on your podcast and it’s not growing, but staying consistent, even when it feels like no one is listening, is super important. As you grow your audience, you want to make sure they start to put your show into their weekly routine. You want them to be able to count on your new episode to be there each week. If you’re only releasing an episode when you feel like it or when inspiration strikes, you will struggle to grow your audience.


Now that we’ve addressed the content topics and episode frequency that cause so many podcasters to struggle to grow, let’s dig into podcast SEO so you can ensure that the new episodes you create find an audience.


When creating a new episode, stay focused on your ideal listener, choose a topic that will interest them, and then use a keyword related to that topic in your episode title. Put your keyword close to the beginning of the title because podcast players often cut off the title of the episode – remember, most people listen on their phones, and the phone screen doesn’t have a lot of room to include a long title. By including a keyword your ideal listener might search for in your episode title, you have a better chance of being found in the podcast app.


You can also use your keyword in your episode description. You can use it at the beginning of the description to help the search engine know that your episode is about that SEO keyword.


Want to learn more about increasing your podcast downloads? Get my free podcast download growth guide today and take Simple Podcast SEO with me when it's ready. I’ll guide you through how to grow your podcast, too.