Best Practices for Podcast Discoverability

Discoverability and search engine optimization (SEO) can feel daunting at first glance, but don’t fret because PRX is here with a few tips to help make the search engines like you.

Develop content around topics people are searching for.

It sounds a little patronizing, we know – but that doesn’t make it any less important. Your podcast content needs to align with what your audience is engaging with in search engines right now. 

Use Google Trends to get an idea of what is currently trending in searches and compare engagement between topics. If your content is aligned with the trends within your target audience – you stand a much better chance of high engagement and increased visibility.

Put yourself in your audience’s search engine shoes. 

How might your audience describe your content? What questions might they type into the all knowing search bar that would lead to your content? Write these descriptive phrases and questions down!

  • Example: Your latest podcast episode is about baking next-level cakes. Some questions that might lead you toward keywords include:
      • What are the best cakes for summer? 
      • Where do I get quality baking ingredients online? 
      • When was carrot cake invented?
      • What makes cakes moist?
      • Why do I need cake flour?
      • Who makes the best cakes in Chicago?
      • How to learn piping
  • Once these questions are established you can pull out keywords like: baking, best cake, cake flour, piping, moist cakes, how-to

Pull 7 - 10 descriptive phrases and keywords from those questions, and then fine tune with keyword research.

You’re looking to end up with a handful of keywords and phrases that are receiving a high keyword search volume, and ideally, a low keyword search difficulty from similarly published content. Variety is key! 

Take your keywords and use them wisely.

Being thoughtful, deliberate and creative with the language you use to describe your work can dramatically broaden the impact it has on the world; and pave the road for new listeners to discover your brilliance. Once you have determined your primary and secondary keywords - be sure to use them in specific and unique ways in the following places:

  • Episode title*
    • Approx. 20 characters is the average
    • Keyword focused, but not spammy!
    • Be clear and unique - avoid repetition and ambiguity!
    • If you have a reoccurring identifier for types of content in your episode titles - keep them consistent 
      • Example - BONUS: Behind the Scenes with Madonna ; BONUS: Something Else Bonus Content-y
    • Don't include episode numbers or dates.
  • Episode description
    • Front load important information & keywords; this space is often truncated by apps
    • Include related keywords
    • Avoid repetition of podcast name or episode title
  • Show Title*
    • Be distinctive and avoid using names that are too generic or too similar to existing shows.
  • Show description`
  • Channel Name* (should the app support this feature)
  • Podcast & Episode Specific Webpages
    • Window Title
    • Page Title
    • Show Notes
    • Transcript
    • Alt- text for Images

*  These are the fields that Apple Podcasts indexes

`  Only Castbox, Google Podcasts, Listen Notes, Player FM, PodcastAddict and Spotify index your show description

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Different podcast apps index different tags within your RSS Feed - so spreading the keywords around throughout your feed in key areas commonly indexed by the major podcast apps will be important to maximize visibility across the board.
  • Show level metadata is weighed more heavily than episode level metadata - so don't discount the importance of your series title and description.
  • Podcast App search engines aren't very sophisticated - so don't rely on them alone for podcast discoverability  - and more importantly, 
  • Don't forget about your podcast's website! We strongly encourage you to have a web presence outside of podcast apps that is also optimized for search engines. This is key to increasing your visibility over-all.
    • Have individual pages for each episode with unique URLs (you can put keywords here too!) and as much written content as possible to capture a variety of keywords and topic areas.
    • Transcripts and alt-text for images are great ways to make your content accessible and contribute to your discoverability.
    • Use links in your favor!
      • Link to other authoritative sources talking about similar topics
      • Have any guests link back to your web page
      • Link internally to other pages on your own website.
    • Feel free to leverage the PRX embeddable player to easily add your podcast audio!
    • Use the Google Search Console to understand how to better optimized your website for SEO purposes.

Additional resources in case you want to try to take over the world (of search results):


Alt text

Alternative text that describes images on web pages.


The process by which search engines discover your webpages


The storing and organizing of information found during crawling.


Words that describe the product or content you provide

Keyword Research

The process of discovering keywords and phrases your audience might use to find your content online.

Keyword Search Difficulty

A numerical score representing how difficult it is for a keyword to outrank their competitors

Keyword Search Volume

The number of times a keyword is searched in a month

Search Engine Optimization


Optimizing your content in order to rank higher and appear more organically in search engines

Trending Topics

Topics that are the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time.

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