The Quick Guide to SEO for Your Audio Files
For the audio content creators out there, you might be thinking about how to get your content discovered. In this guide, we'll show you the most effective strategies you can implement today to optimize for SEO of your audio files.
When talking about audio recordings, spoken words are usually trapped within the audio file. A lot of valuable content and insights might never see the light of day if they are trapped in this format. By itself, raw audio files can't be indexed by search engines like Google or Bing.
This is because the main currency of information for search engines is text.
So, to play by the rules of the search engines, it's a must that you associate text such as descriptive titles and summaries with your audio files.
In this short guide, we'll show you how to approach this problem in the following ways:
- By Writing - Describing in close to full detail the contents of your audio file
- By Transcribing - When you convert your audio files into text through transcription, you're exposing the exact contents of your audio files to search engines
The first method of writing details about your audio recordings is something you've probably already done. It's an effective way to get started and most audio platforms won't let you publish unless you've added a title and description. On the other hand, transcribing your audio files into text takes a lot more time, so it's a strategy that some people only consider doing.
I believe that combining both techniques is a powerful strategy for search engines to discover your content. Doing so will ultimately get your podcast, talk, presentation, or any other audio recording in front of a wider audience.
Let's dive in!
Describe Your Audio Files With Written Text
Before listening to any audio, I like to quickly read over the title and description to get an idea of what to expect. I'm pretty sure a lot of people are the same!
With that in mind, I highly recommend taking full advantage of the available places where you can write about your audio.
If you're uploading your audio files to platforms such as SoundCloud, iTunes, or even YouTube, there are plenty of places where you can write about what your audio content is about. In future posts, I'll go over how to add text to describe your audio files on each platform.
Here is a quick checklist of where you can write to grab your listener's attention and optimize for SEO:
The title is the very first thing your audience will see. Having a title that effectively and succinctly summarizes what your content is all about is super important.
The key points when writing a title for your audio files are the following:
- Relevance to your audience: Your listeners are looking for information on things that they wish to learn about. You are the best judge of this as you should know your audience. Make sure you use this advantage to write a title that captures their attention!
- Summarizes what the recording is about: At most, you get one sentence with a character limit. Be as succinct as possible while conveying the right message to your listeners.
After writing a great title, the description should serve to further entice your audience. With the description, you can go into deeper detail and touch upon the keywords you want to rank for.
For example, say you have a podcast about chocolate. In each episode's description, you should have written an overview of podcast. Topics such as the name of the chocolate, your description of it's flavours, the history of it, which country it's made in, and whatever else you can come up with should be included in the description. One to two sentences about each point should be enough to give your listeners an idea of what your conversation or talk will be about.
The more you do this, the more search engines will associate your audio content with what you've written about.
Write naturally. Your goal here is to be descriptive, not spammy! Do your best to avoid keyword stuffing so that search engines won't penalize your search rankings. They are particularly good at this!
Here are a few content ideas you can use for your audio file descriptions:
- Show Notes: Summarize in a outline (list, point form) the topics of your recording. Here's a great guide on writing show notes.
- Synopsis: A brief summary of the audio file in one to two paragraphs is ideal.
- Short bio(s): Your audience might want to learn more about the people speaking in the audio recording. It can give them further context into what is being talked about. Write a short one sentence bio per speaker to introduce them to your audience
- Key Quotes: This ties into the show notes, but having a dedicated section for the best quotes said in the recording can get your audience fired up for the gems your recording can have!
Although shorter in comparison to titles and summaries, tags give your users a high-level look at what your audio content is about. Tags, or on some platforms hashtags, are a great way to get your audio content organized.
The above strategies for optimizing for SEO of your audio files is enough to get you started. However, if you're looking to take it a step further, another avenue to explore is transcribing your audio files into text.
Transcribing Your Audio Files
The not-so-secret weapon for optimizing SEO for your audio is by transcribing your audio files into text. Look at it this way: by having a transcript available online wherever you publish your audio, you're allowing for the exact words said to be indexed directly by search engines.
This can do wonders for your discoverability and reach!
Here are a few more reasons why transcribing your audio files is super beneficial to your SEO strategy:
- Your voice is preserved: What I mean by that is the nuances of how you speak will be embedded in the text. This means the transcript of your voice recording will be uniquely you.
- Doubles your distribution: Now that you have a text representation of your audio files, you can post it anywhere you own the medium. You can post the transcript to your blog, website, or even add it to the description on different platforms.
How to Transcribe Your Audio Files into Text
The most cost effective way of transcribing your audio files into text is by letting machines help out. This process is called auto-transcription. Basically, all you have to do is upload your audio file, give it a few minutes, and it will return the auto-transcribed text for you to text.
From there, you can edit the transcript to perfection. If you'd like to learn more, Vocalmatic offers auto-transcription services to help you convert your audio files into text. Read more about how you can auto-transcribe for free!
In this post, we went over several strategies for optimizing your audio files for SEO. We covered adding a proper title, various formats for your descriptions, and transcribing your audio to text for use anywhere you publish your audio.