Once upon a time, AM radio amazed the masses as families could listen to radio programs in their homes – voices of people who weren’t even in the same room! At that time, nobody could fathom anything more fascinating. But, since then, we’ve seen the invention of FM radio, TV, and then the internet and computers tremendously changing the way we live. What was once mind-blowing is now a dying technology.
With infinite amounts of content available at the tip of our fingers, one may wonder what’s next. This is something we think about often as a business, hoping to stay ahead of the curve. What comes after podcasting? What’s better than infinite audio and visual content delivered instantly to the people who want it?
Well, it looks like for now, podcasting is here to stay – and internet giant Google has made this clear with their goal to double the number of podcast listeners worldwide. Like it or not, Google, like Apple and Facebook, is a tech company ingrained in the lives in nearly every internet user in the world. Their decisions can have huge effects, and this is one that podcasters (or potential podcasters) should pay attention to.
As reported by Pacific Content, Google Podcasts Product Manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen says the company’s latest podcast strategy updates include the following:
- Podcasts will show up in Google Search as a “first-class citizen” alongside the text, image, and video results you are used to seeing.
- Your podcast listening experience will be seamless across devices and contexts thanks to Google Assistant. Start listening at home, pick up where you left off in the car.
- Google’s speech and language understanding will open doors to bring futuristic features to life (more specifics throughout the week).
Wow, check out that first one! Podcasts will start showing up in Google alongside search results. Considering that about 40,000 searches are made on Google each second, this is huge.
Podcast consumption has been chugging away just fine, but it’s exciting to see that a company like Google sees them as a big deal.
For existing podcasters
If you’re already podcasting, is there anything you should do?
First of all, continue creating great content. Some of us do podcasts as a hobby, others use them as a tool to draw more business. Whatever your reason, generating quality content that people can easily find is crucial as Google rolls out these changes.
One of the best things you can do is “own” your content. At the very least, you should have a custom domain and basic WordPress site. These can be had for dirt cheap, and really allow you to take ownership of your content. This is in contrast to the pages you get with hosts such as Podbean and Libsyn with their subdomains like “mypodcast.podbean.com”. By using their sites, Google will be driving all of the traffic there – instead of to a site you “own”.
By bringing people onto your own site, you’ll have a lot more options for customization, having visitors take action like joining a mailing list, etc. Don’t miss these opportunities. If you don’t have your own site, now is the time to make it happen. You can still use an external media host if you’d like, but for show notes and podcast details, you really should have a proper site.
Next, write great show notes. This is super-important for SEO (Search engine optimization) so search engines like Google can find you. Perhaps it’s not too far away where Google will analyze your audio content to understand what’s being said, but for now, if you don’t have strong text notes, you’re not going to rank well in search at all. For the time being, search engines rely on reading text to understand what something is. If you’re only posting 1-2 sentences of text with each episode, it’s time to beef that up. Rich notes with links serve many purposes, as a resource to listeners, and helping attract potential listeners.
Ensure you’re listed in the Google Play directory. This is essentially Google’s version of iTunes. As Google rolls out their new podcast strategy, you’ll want to be where the action is, with a listing in their directory. East Coast does this automatically for all new podcast that work with us. If you’re unsure whether or not your podcast has been added, simply reach out to us!
If you’ve been thinking about launching a podcast, now may be the time to finally make it happen. Check out our blog Should I Start a Podcast?
East Coast Studio can help
Ensure your podcast aligns with Google’s growth strategy and that everything is in place for you to take full advantage.
From writing great show notes to developing an optimized podcast website, East Coast Studio does it all. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you enter the world of podcasting, or improve your existing podcast, and prepare for the next wave of growth!