Have you been struggling to unlock SEO and discoverability with your podcast? If so, listen up. I’m going to show you how well-written podcast show notes can exponentially grow your podcast. I’m also going to outline the exact steps and strategies I use to achieve success for my own podcast and for the podcasters I work with.
Along the way, I’ll explain what show notes are, why they’re important, and how to maximize them. Plus, I’m sharing my personal podcast show notes template with you, for free. It’s at the bottom of the post if you want to grab it now and ditch the rest of this blog. You do you, no hard feelings. This template will make your show notes writing process easier.
Before I dive deeper, I recorded a podcast on this very topic. You can check it out here.
Why is it important to write show notes for your podcast?
Podcast show notes are a great tool to unlock SEO and discoverability for new listeners who want to learn more about your episodes.
If you’re wondering, “What the hell are podcast show notes?” Don’t worry, I got you.
Show notes are a summary of the content discussed in a particular podcast episode. They provide the podcaster the opportunity to write relevant keywords and phrases that will help the podcast become more discoverable when people type similar keywords into Google. As a podcaster, your goal should be to have an episode come up on the first page of Google when someone types in a search term that is relevant to an episode. This is referred to as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of getting traffic for free from the organic results of search engines.
Google has begun to pull podcast audio into search results. Meaning, a person can type in a search phrase and a podcast related to that search phrase will come up. This is great! But, in terms of ranking organically on Google, written content is still king. This is why podcast show notes are so important for unlocking SEO and discoverability.
Podcast show notes are also a great way to engage with current listeners, as well as new, potential listeners. Podcast show notes provide a written record of the episode that people can refer back to. Super fans can also dive deeper into episode topics by checking out the external links.
Show notes can also give potential listeners an idea of what the episode is about before they decide if they want to commit to listening to it. Lastly, show notes can be repurposed for social media, which can help you grow your authority on the socials.
How To Write Podcast Show Notes
1. Provide a brief summary of the episode and include bullet points to highlight main talking points.
2. Pull memorable quotes from the episode.
3. Include a call to action at the end.
1. Provide a brief summary of the episode and include bullet points
Providing a brief summary of the episode and including bullet points is an important step in creating effective show notes for your podcast. The summary should provide an overview of the episode and should be clear and concise. I recommend a total of 400-500 words.
Did you know that Google won’t index your post unless it’s at least 300 words? Indexing is when Google crawls a page or post. Indexed pages are eligible to show up in Google search results.
A good show notes format to follow is an intro paragraph, a summary paragraph, and bullet points. The intro paragraph can introduce the guest, the summary paragraph highlights the episode’s main talking points, and the bullet points hit very specific items.
The bullet points should provide more specific details about the episode and should be written in a way that will allow the reader to easily scan the information. It’s even better if you timestamp your bullet points. Personally, love timestamped show notes because it allows me to scrub through the episode and quickly find exactly what I want.
It’s all about the keywords baby
When crafting the summary and bullet points it’s important to use keywords that relate to the episode topic. Ideally, you can find keywords that relate to your episode that also have high search volume, but easy competition. I use a tool called ahrefs to figure this out. Ahrefs shows me how difficult it is to rank on Google for the keywords I want to use.
This means including terms that are related to the episode topic as well as to the guest, if applicable. Doing so will help the episode rank higher in search engine results when potential listeners are searching for similar topics. Episodes aren’t going to rank overnight, especially if they’re in a competitive niche, but by putting this practice in place you’ll reap dividends in the long run.
When writing the show notes, it is also important to link to your episode on podcast listening apps. This will allow the listener to quickly and easily access the episode if they choose to do so. You’re going to also link to relevant websites, books, and really anything important discussed in the episode. Images are great to add too. Try adding a headshot of the guest as well as something eye-popping to pull people in. Visual elements can be a great hook. Hooks are important marketing tactics.
While you’re at it, get your episodes transcribed. Transcribing episodes unlocks even more SEO doors. In fact, you can actually generate your podcast show notes FROM your transcription. To learn more about how/why to transcribe podcast episodes, check out Episode 15 of my podcast, Clipped. In addition, transcripts are great for SEO, as they provide more content for search engine bots to crawl.
2. Pull memorable quotes from the episode
Pull memorable quotes from the episode: This can be done by reading the transcript and taking note of any memorable lines that stand out. Quotes can be used to create engaging social media posts and to provide readers with a more in-depth understanding of the topic. A good memorable quote should provide insight into the episode topics, allow readers to gain insight into the guest(s), or provide a memorable anecdote. When selecting quotes, be sure to consider how they will fit with the episode’s overall narrative and message. Also, make sure to include the name of the guest, as this will help increase visibility and recognition. It’s totally fine to pull your own quotes, too. This will help you position yourself as an expert in your niche.
Twitter and Insta work best for quotes, IMO.
Once you have selected memorable quotes from the episode, it is time to create a social media post. This post should include a catchy headline, the quote, and a link to the episode. Additionally, it is important to include a visual element in the post. I use Canva for all my graphic creation.
Hashtags are also key. They help to increase discoverability and allow for engagement.
3. Include a call to action at the end
Creating a call to action is a crucial element of successful marketing. Show notes are no different. A CTA is a statement that encourages the consumer to take a specific action. It’s used to build trust and strengthen the relationship between the content creator and the fan. It’s also how you monetize your audience. In this case, the goal is to get them to purchase something from you.
For example, a call to action for an episode about Crypto might be something like, “Sign up for our email list to receive a free Crypto trading guide”. A lot of podcasters drop in the whole, “Please follow/subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast listening app.” I personally don’t mind it. Ratings and reviews are important because they provide proof of concept. They also instill confidence in newcomers to check out the show. Don’t sleep on directing people to your products or services. There’s no shame in selling.
Be specific and only use one call to action
Wherever you choose to send people, make sure the CTA is specific and actionable. This will ensure that listeners and readers are clear on what they should do and that they have the path to do so. As a rule of thumb, one CTA per episode is all you need. If you start trying to send people to Instagram, your website, your book, or a sales page, you’ll overwhelm them and they’ll be less likely to take any action at all.
Once you have created your call to action it is important to make sure that it is visible in the Show Notes. This could be done by adding a link to the call to action or by adding a text box with the call to action at the end of the Show Notes. Doing this will make sure that the call to action is actually seen by the listener. It’ll help to increase engagement and in time help grow your brand.
So, are you ready to unlock SEO and discoverability with podcast show notes? There are curious fans out there seeking content like yours. Google is patiently waiting to start ranking your content. So, put the pen to paper, use these tools, and become a dominant force in the podcast game.
I’d love to hear how you apply your show notes strategy to blow up your podcast, or your client’s podcasts. Hit me up, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m down to connect!