Podcast & Audio Search Optimization
Chris Sherman, Moderator
More and more people are "podcasting," on-demand radio-like shows people can listen to on MP3 players or their computers. This session looks at various search engines specifically for podcasts and how to best get your audio content found through them.
Speakers: Amanda Watlington, Ph.D., APR, Searching for Profit Rick Klau, Vice President of Publisher Services, FeedBurner Daron Babin, CEO, Webmaster Radio
AW = Amanda Watlington RK = Rick Klau DB = Daron Babin
Podcasting is not new. Audio has been around for years. On demand audio cultural intrepretation. We see it as educational content, news, oral historie, tours, literature, books on the web and tape, ads, music, commentary ar enow seen in podcasting. Used in recruiting . Promo for video, games, comic books. Nature walks, tourguide material. Optimize for search how to. Don't finalize your name of your show and get artwork is done and make sure it is not already in use. Podshow names are not as easy to check as domain names. Changing the name is difficult onece you find an audience. The show name is the Title you will use for your feed. Develop your keyword list. How do you want it branded? By entity offering the show. Write tag info ready in advance. Review cats for you fit. Audio is not usually optimized. Optimize ID3 Tags, optimize web page. See www.id3.org for how to optimize sound by optimizing ID3 tags. Editing is done by any audio software. Audacity is an ex. and is free. Optimize landing pages. Limit number of broken links. Have a page for the podsow with links to it for episodes. Show each episode and how to subscribe. Include a player for those want to listen online. Include player lenght and size of audio file. Inc. abstract or a transcription. Create feeds. Feedburner is recommended feeds. Submit your feeds. Like old time SEO. Lots of players. Podcastdirectory.com. ODEO. Podfeeder. AllPodcasts. To name a few. Submit to podcast directories and track and monitor them. You may need to enter different things for each one. Keep good records of the data you want to track, like dates and where you submitted. Next in the future is measuring and monetizing podcasts.
Optimize the audio file. Build landing pages for your show and each episode. Build accurate, effective RSS files. Submit broadly. Watch for changes. Like a remapping by iTunes. Fast changing.
Congrats on launch of Askcity. New launch. Is anyone really listening? Is it worth it? Production time. Cost of production (human resources), equipment (recording, compression), encoding is a pain in the...analytics to see who's come close and bandwidth. Do you plan this to grow? Hobby? Business? Expect there will be growth behind if you put a marketing effort behind it. "They are downloading by the thousands, daily." Look at audio engineer websites. Explore skype. People call in. Live podcast has its own headaches. Invest in equipment wisely. If you have mission critical files, you have an obligation to keep streams up and live. Talk to a carrier who can bear a load. You need a network who can support your growth. Analytics ...do you want VC funding, do you want advertisers? You need to know the analytics which translates to bandwidth. True bandwidth measurement doesn't come from anything other than tools designed to measure that. Many of the tools we're familiar for tracking data don't do this.
They are listening...show your passion. Listeners do not want to know your dietary strengths or weaknesses. They don't want to know about your dog being neutured. Be compelling. Secoure a sound host or content delivery network and work a deal. Consider you will users around the world. He raved about Akami. Everybody wants to know...whats the analytics? Become a pioneer. Transcribe everything. Every word is text equity. Originialtiy with passion = downloads. Leave no word unspoken. Look at howyou write anddeploy your text in your media files. Ensure proper on the page criteria and certainly no engine can complain about finding new orig and relevant content. For investors and ad dollars, make every effort to make sure your analytics is correct. Make the data make sense. Experiment with files with and w/o ads.
Podcast feed optimization and measurement. Not everyone uses iTunes. Other means are avail, browser, search engines, links. Metadata is essential for discovery. Content must be embedded with meta data. The subscription process blows. (Poor usability..he illustrates it has too many steps.) Don't assume that people will subscribe. Providers don't make subscription easy. Ping.
Feedburner manages huge number of podcast/video feeds. Graph shows steady upward rise. 6 million feeds, 1 million to podcasts. IE7 has support for RSS built-in. Podcast is a feed that points to video or audio content. Syndication is embedded everywhere. Points of consumpion growing very fast. Of a huge list he showed, only 2 were iTunes. Not device driven. People listen on phones. Nokia for ex. Your listeners are all over the place. Directories are great source of traffic but don't always send subscribers to you. They may listen at the directory, not your site. Cheyenne Kimball is a musican site using feeds well. Create a feed. Use Blogger, Typepad, and link to your hosted audio file. Burn your feed at Feedburner (redirect existing feed). Use "browser friendly" offering to increase subscription conversion. There are usability issues for some people who click on feeds.
Make sure you add meta data. iTunes has their own way of doing it. Choose categories, keywords, desc., etc. Add show notes. The most underused piece of podcasting is the show notes (text). People look for text. "Episode 372" means nothing. Put in descriptive title and show notes. 60% found site through search (one person's findings) to prove value of transcription. Be findable. Use Ping. Submit to directories. Enable Feedburners Awareness API. Ensure auto-discovery is enabled. Create one feed only. Change-auto discovery links. Redirect properly. Ping. Insert meta data.
Q & A
Tools for encoding and compressing? Audacity. free. for PC and Mac (audio). Windows Movie maker for video. Quality software makes a better product. Some tools not intuitive. For live production, a bit different.
iTunes most popular. Who else? MyYahoo. Newsgater and Feeddemon. Bloglines. Google Reader. Web-based are popular with consumers.
Do we be concerned with feeds that don't take the user to our site...they read on the feed site? SEO issues? You can use sub-domains, aliasing. feed url is your own anduse redirect 302 to Feedburner. Clickthru tracking can use 301 or 302 redirects, there is a choice offered by Feedburner.
Future? Transcribe all content. There are companies who are trying to automate that but still new. Look for automation of this. Daron is going back and transcribing 2 years worth of files to be searchable. Some phones will have a "mobile newsroom" capability (watch Nokia). People will have more ways of creating content at the point of activity. Delivery mechanisms are expanding. Create anytime you want and find anywhere you want. A whole new world for contexual advertising. Big ad networks see opportunity but not sure how to tap into it yet. Be ready for them.
Challenges for podcasting industry? Shift to increasingly professonal podcasts. Used to be fun and experimenting. Now the bar was raised. Lots of opp for SEO's in it. Professional presents barriers to others who don't have the skill, equipment, etc. Maudio has podcast factory. Throw the mike away. Spend money on a condenser mike. No tile floors. Deaden the room. Get a popscreen. Lots of letters sound bad in audio. Encode to control audio. Get it where it needs to be. Very important. No barrier to easy stuff for feeds. Work on the audio and quality. Test low bandwidth feeds.
Where to compress. Format depends on audio or video. If you have music behind words, no problem for search engines but a pain for transcribers. Consider what users like and don't add things they don't care about. Enhanced podcasts are great for education like how-to.
Podcasts can be done over telephone and transcribed into text. Consider storage as another expense. Like your pictures, data, etc. It adds up. Still tons of room for pioneers, esp. in develpment of these new technologes. This is new territory. Castmetrixs.com, "check them out".
(This is the first session I've ever been to where the audience applauded every speaker. Every speaker was exceptional in their knowledge and passion for their topic. There were a few technical terms I was unfamiliar with and recommend following up with any of these speakers for more information.)
Note: Okay. Technically, I was here on time, to post this within my few seconds after racing from the session, as per SERoundtable fashion. Got to the press room. Did my thing. Rebecca from SEOMoz comes in. I ask her to join me at the table. And then my Internet connection times out. I can't post. I see my boss, Barry, across the way. I leave Rebecca to seek help from my boss. He can't get in either. The message kept saying the max number of users was hit. After playing with it, I decide to use my connection up in the hotel room. I go to apologize to Rebecca for abandoning her. She's gone. I feel terrible about that. Will post this while my luck holds out.