We probably don’t need to sell you on the benefits of SEO. There are a ton of perks that come with landing on page one of Google — including traffic from high-intent users.
Sounds great, right? But of course, ranking on Google can be quite difficult, especially for podcasts. This is a bummer because podcasts can be a big time (and 💸) commitment. Once you’ve published an episode, who has time to focus on creating a great text version?
YouTube expert Tom Martin, the creator and host of the Pro Channel Manager podcast, found a solution. He enlisted our help to turn his podcast episodes into SEO-optimized articles. Tom does the hard work of recording his podcast, which includes a combination of interviews and solo episodes. Then he turns it over to us.
“Really, for me, the ultimate goal is getting the article — not necessarily getting the podcast out there — because I think the article actually has more of a chance of being discovered [through SEO] than just a podcast.”
In October 2020, Tom published an episode about conducting a YouTube channel audit. The accompanying article was published on the episode page on his website (along with a nifty call-out box highlighting links and resources from the episode). Just two months later, that article — How to Conduct a YouTube Channel Audit: 4 Key Areas to Evaluate — was ranking on page one of Google. Mission accomplished!
The ranking helps build his brand’s authority and attract a larger audience for his podcast and YouTube channel manager community.
We caught up with Tom to chat about his podcasting journey and to gain insight into his overarching SEO strategy.
How to squeeze SEO juice out of your podcast and become more discoverable
When Tom started the Pro Channel Manager, he saw it as more than a podcast. For him, it was “a marketing vehicle to get people into my community of the same name as the podcast.”
Content marketing at its finest.
For that reason, he knew traditional show notes — the short blurbs with links and guest information from the episode — wouldn’t cut it.
Instead, Tom views his podcast as the start of his content marketing journey. He leverages the podcast as a way to easily create content (it can be faster to talk than to write) and then turns the episode into polished, SEO-optimized articles that just so happen to have a podcast embedded in it.
The idea? If you were to remove the podcast and links mentioned at the top of the articles, “you’d still be able to get 100% value just from the article.”
Key point here: Tom is agnostic about how an audience finds him. Whether they listen or read his stuff, it doesn’t matter. He wants to help as many people as possible find success as a professional YouTube channel manager.
But Tom, who was a blogger in his previous life, knew he wouldn’t have the time to execute this strategy on his own. Writing a single article could take several hours, if not more, to write. (Tom admits he’s quite familiar with the whole staring-at-a-blank-document-while-the-cursor-blinks schtick.)
And that’s where we’ve been happy to help. “If I wasn’t working with PodReacher, I wouldn’t do the podcast,” he says (aww Tom, that’s music to our ears 🎵).
How to do keyword research for your podcast episode
Landing on page one of Google almost always takes strategy. It can happen by accident. But in case you’re not one of those people who has experienced or wants to count on serendipity, here’s the strategy that worked for Tom.
Note: This begins before he even presses “record.”
First, ideally, he’ll identify a target keyword or two. Sometimes you’ll hear the pros refer to these as “seed keywords.” For this part of the process, you’ll want to use a tool like Ahrefs or Long Tail Pro. (Ubersuggest is another good tool, and it’s free.)
The goal is to find keywords with a high search volume and low keyword difficulty — that’s just SEO talk for a lot of people are Googling this topic, but there’s not a lot of information out there about it.
There are a few perks to this keyword-first approach:
✅ Identifying one or two keywords helps Tom keep the episode focused. If the keyword is “YouTube channel audit,” then he knows his episode should cover the ins and outs of this topic so he can adequately answer readers’ questions.
✅ If there’s search volume (i.e. people are searching for a specific topic or keyword), then he knows folks are interested in the topic and typically that means he’s got built-in readers. Win-win.
Sometimes going into a podcast episode with a particular keyword in mind isn’t possible, especially with interview episodes (Tom publishes interviews and solo episodes). That’s fine.
“In an ideal world, I’d never make anything without having keywords to base it on, but sometimes you have to think on your feet and retrofit something you’ve already made,” he says.
In those cases, Tom works backward — taking note of the topic(s) or theme(s) covered in an episode and identifies strong keywords.
(For more on how to identify keywords retroactively, take a look at this advice from Backlinko Founder Brian Dean.)
Repurposing: Turning the podcast into a Google-ranking, informative article
After the planning and recording phase, Tom’s work is (mostly) done. He hands off his selected keywords and podcast audio to our team, and our writers get to work, crafting an article based on the podcast episode and naturally working Tom’s requested keywords into the content.
“It’s not just stuffed full of awkward keyword placements,” Tom says of the final 1,200-1,500 word article that lands in his inbox. “It’s well written for humans and is optimized for search engines as well as as the reader.”
Oh, and that’s another thing. Tom is “a Brit with quite a distinctive tone of voice” who likes “humor in everything.” (That’s his characterization, but we can vouch.) He was a bit worried about having someone else try to encapsulate his tone, but we’re happy to report the PodReacher team has come through.
“Some of the articles I’m reading, I’m like, ‘Yeah, that sounds just like me,’” he says.
And even better than having a well-written, informative article that can live forever on his website? If it ranks on Google, he’s attracting new readers — ones who are obviously interested in the topic at hand. Some of them end up becoming members of his premium online community.
Here’s Tom with a final thought: “To me, it’s like, if you can do well on Google, then everything else is a bonus on top of that.”
Carson Kohler has been writing for the web since she graduated with an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2016. By day, she’s a branded content manager for a local news organization in the D.C. area. By night, you can find her listening to podcasts and writing for PodReacher (and probably watching anything on Bravo).