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#25: Optimizing and Insuring Your Podcast

By | June 1, 2007

If you wanna get your podcast noticed, and get some traffic to your site, you’re gonna have to do a little research. Even if you’ve got great content, there are some techniques you can use to make sure your podcast pops up when people search for the topic you’re covering. I’m Ken Walker and this week on The Podcasting Blog, I’m gonna give you some advice on more aggressive ways that you can get your podcast to rank high in search engines. We’ll also talk about getting sued over your content, and I offer some tips to those that wanna help others learn to podcast. It’s all coming up next, on The Podcasting Blog.

Podcasting News

Podcasting is becoming so big that you can now buy insurance to cover your content in the event that you’re sued, that’s right, you could actually be sued because of your content, what is this world coming to? Of course, you know everybody’s sue happy these days and there are, no doubt, going to be some very dumb law suits against podcasters in years to come, but now you can get a special policy that’ll cover not only the legal liabilities you might have, but you can even get your equipment covered.

Let’s say you recommend a product, or make a statement about a company, if you’re doing that kinda thing to just a friend, no big deal, but if you put it out there for the public eye, or in this case the public ear, then you’re taking a chance that the wrong person is gonna hear it and claim that you caused them grief or slandered them or that after listening to your podcast their eyes crossed or whatever. The real stupid thing about law suits, in my opinion, is that somebody can sue you and even if you’re not at fault, it could cost you thousands of dollars. That’s where this insurance kicks in and covers those legal fees for you. A typical policy apparently costs around $50 a month but that doesn’t include equipment coverage. For more information take a look at Susman Insurance, and there will be a link in the show notes.

New Media Expo

Optimizing Your Podcast

That New Media Expo looks very interesting, if you plan on attending, make sure you sign up before the end of the month, which would be June 30th because after that, the cost goes up $50. Of course, you can still register for the free pass, but you wouldn’t get most of the really neat stuff that’ll you’ll learn by going to the sessions.

This week, I wanted to talk a little bit about how you can get your podcast to rank higher in search engines. For those of you that already to SEO or search engine optimization, you know the drill. You find out what the page is about, you do some research and find out what keywords are gonna be most effective and target those keywords. You might write articles and use the keywords, create headings and again target those keywords, all that basic SEO stuff.

For podcasts, it’s gonna work the same way. Unless you absolutely don’t care about your site ranking high, you’re not gonna just sit down and start recording. Do a little research. Think about what topic your gonna discuss, target keywords just like you were doing a regular written article. Then make sure that you use those words in your podcast. Be specific too, but not to the point that you sound like a parrot. In other words, if you were optimizing for real estate, you’d do some research and you’d focus on something, like maybe ranch real estate. Writing an article, you’d use ‘ranch real estate’ just about every time, if you found out that ‘ranch real estate’ was a good phrase.

In your podcast, that might sound kinda dumb to keep saying ‘ranch real estate’ over and over again, but at least mention it and then guess what, later on when you’re talking and you just say ‘real estate’ or ‘land’ or ‘ranch’, you can still go back and edit the transcript. This isn’t deception, it’s just that computers can’t decipher podcasts yet, so we have to help them to know what the podcast is about. A listener can tell that we start talking about ‘ranch real estate’ and when I mention ‘land’ later on, they’ll know what I’m talking about, and this is maybe an exaggerated example, but you get the idea.

Of course you’re gonna say, “Ken, that’s what the keywords and tags are for.” Yeah, I know, but what site do you think is gonna rank higher in a search engine, the one that has ‘ranch real estate’ as a tag, or the one that has ‘ranch real estate’ 10 times in an article, PLUS a tag? This is why it’s very important to transcribe your show, or if you wanna work from a script, do it that way. Either way, you wanna know what keywords you’re gonna target, just like you were doing a written article. Now, we don’t expect PEOPLE to read the article, we want them to listen to the podcast, this is just for the benefit of the machines that are reading the article.

Podcasting Quick Tips

Today is an absolutely beautiful day and I have no business being inside, so we’re gonna wrap up this week’s episode pretty quick. I just wanted to offer some general advice that’ll help you be a better podcaster. First of all, listen to podcasts. If you’re podcasting, you should be listening to at least a dozen podcasts every week, and it doesn’t count if you listen to a podcast that publishes once a day. What I mean is at least 12 different podcasts, that’s 12 different podcasters. You’ve got to hear diversity, you’ve gotta hear what other people are doing, what sounds good, how they’re making transitions, what kind of content appeals to you.

This is still newly charted territory and as podcasters we can do way more than either radio or television. For example, a radio station or TV show can’t pop up a clickable link to a website. They can’t afford to have content that’s only appealing to 500 listeners. So while we can learn from the way radio stations and television stations handle things, we’re not bound up like they are and you’re gonna have to see what other people are capable of doing so you can decide if that’s something your show could use.

So pull up iTunes, do a search on podcasts and make sure you’re subscribed to at least a dozen different shows, and make sure that you download those shows and listen to ‘em. Try to find shows that are updated at least once a week. Make sure you pick two or three that are in the same field you’re in, so they’re dealing with the same topics you would be covering, and then diversify. Pick something random or something else you might be interested it. Try to pick good quality shows. I make it a point to check iTunes every couple of months to see if there is anything new. I also go through the podcasts I’m subscribed to and if there are any that have lost my interest, I delete them and find another to take its place. Try to note what you don’t like about a podcast, and make sure you don’t do it in your show.

My second tip is a little more technical. Learn how to hand-code an RSS feed. That way, you’ll know everything that’s involved in getting one to work. Eventually, you might have to go in and fix one that’s broken, and having already put one together by hand, will make it a much easier job. And with that, I have a special announcement. Next week I plan to do our first screencast episode on The Podcasting Blog where I’m going to…drum roll please…I’m going to walk you through hand-coding an RSS feed.

That’s it for this week, thanks for joining us, this is Ken Walker with The Podcasting Blog, you can reach me at podcasting@seocompany.ca. As always, you can also post a comment on my blog. Bye for now, I’ll see you next week.

 
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