Part 4: Voice Search - Optimizing podcasts for Voice Assistants

How to make your podcast accessible via voice assistance

Part 4: Voice Search - Optimizing podcasts for Voice Assistants

Voice search - an opportunity for podcasters?

Imagine you are sitting in the car. You’re thinking about redecorating your office. You ask your digital assistant, “What kind of desks are there?” Your smartphone will then read a section from a blog article that was originally created based on a podcast episode.

Then you demand “Play Podcast XYZ” … and the podcast has gained a new listener. Admittedly, the example may be a bit constructed. But in the future it could well look like this.

Further parts of the series “Podcast marketing with SEO - Strategically increasing reach”

Can I optimize my podcast for voice assistants?

According to a study, about 20 percent of all requests are already made by voice command. Just like a Google query, no specific podcast sequence is currently suggested as a result when you ask your digital assistant a question. So listeners need to know the exact title of your podcast - and the system needs to know your podcast.

Writing podcast content is an important step, as mentioned above. Your target audience is very audiophile, so it would be nice if your content could be easily found by voice search. Unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to do this.

But I do have a few tips for you:

  • Create content that sounds like a competent answer to a popular question. To find such questions, the tool “Answer the Public” can help.
  • Structure your texts so that Google is able to recognize a certain section as an answer.
  • Are you a perfectionist? Then use so-called “structured data”; this helps Google to better understand the meaning of content.

Can it get a little more experimental - “speakable” as an automatic reader?

Advanced users can use structured data to make certain content on the website explicitly available to Google - one parameter for this is called “speakable”. This is used to identify content that is particularly suitable for reading aloud by digital assistants such as smart speakers. At present it is not yet clear whether the marking of content has an effect on its placement in search results or not, as this function is currently in the testing phase.

Once again in brief - the essential steps for Podcast-SE0

  • Set goals
  • Know the expectations and wishes of the target group
  • Perform keyword analysis - find terms, topics and questions of the target audience
  • Create editorial plan based on the analyses
  • Create a topic structure for the website
  • Create written records for the podcast episode
  • Consider the search terms (keywords) for podcast titles and descriptions of the episodes
  • Recording the sequence
  • Where appropriate: transcribe the sequence
  • Create structure for the respective article
  • Follow-up of the written documents
  • Align website for mobile usability and performance
  • Create professional article
  • Structure articles, define and create headings, titles and introduction
  • Embed podcast in Blog
  • Add further content elements if necessary
  • Add meta description for the respective website
  • Regular testing of visitor behaviour and, if necessary, reworking of articles

Conclusion - Podcast as part of your content strategy

Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular source of quality information. It is also a fact that podcasts are still regarded by most entrepreneurs as a relatively isolated communication medium, if considered at all. Podcast SEO is therefore also a bridging technology to make content easier to find. However, it rather offers you the possibility to merge the different ways in which users receive information in a pleasant and cross media way.


About the author

Lars Stetten studied psychology and is a computer scientist. He has been dealing with the topics of online marketing and especially search engine optimization for over 10 years. His motto is: “I have 2 things in common with Google - I am almost blind and love to analyse websites”. As an audiophile, he has been using podcasts for many years and is closely observing the market. Since 2018 he is a freelancer and offers - among other things - a special SEO package for podcasters.