Podcast Website Traffic Increased by 351% in One Week [Content Optimization Case Study]

podcasting SEO SEO Saturdays 5 min read

Here is our own "sad" case study - but with a happy ending! We presented some of this at SEO Saturdays.com last week, but I wanted to follow up with the case study here: I have a “hero” episode / blog post that was on page one of the search results for a long time - before dropping off. In this post I want to tell how we “rescued” that piece of content during our last SEO Saturdays livestream, and how we used an app called “Topic” for generating SEO content briefs and content grading. Such content optimization tools can have a massive impact on your podcast website traffic, website rank, and of course subscribers who discover your show by searching no the web.

I will also share how I increased my traffic by 351% in one week. Implications for podcasters with their own websites:

  • More impactful episode content = happy listeners
  • Easier interview planning and guest preparation
  • A data driven approach to dominating a topic in a single episode
  • Transforming a back-catalog of episodes into a traffic generating machine
  • Grateful guests who will love to share and link to your episode article
  • Increased amount of backlinks to your episode article
  • An increased amount of social shares

So the gist of how all this started is this:

My post “How To Promote A Podcast” was on page 1 of the search results for a year. But lately, new players have been “eating my lunch”, and I slipped to page 2.

This can have a drastic effect on traffic, especially if you have podcast episodes or blog posts that rank for multiple keywords, and then drop. In my case it was over 1,000 visits a month.

It had ranked on page 1 of Google for months, then slipped to page 2.

Our Research Into Content Grading and Content Brief Tools

Sure, it happens, posts can fluctuate between pages 1 and 2 or 100. However, not satisfied - we aim to practice what we preach. On our last livestream we presented some findings from research done by Brian Dean of Backlinko. His updated article called “We Analyzed 11.8 Million Google Search Results - Here’s What We Learned About SEO” led us to a number of insights and possible areas of exploration. As Brian Dean points out in his post:

Comprehensive content with a high “Content Grade” significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth.

We’ve long realized that “long form” content ranks high in the Search Result Pages (SERPs). And our long form show notes for podcasts is what is driving podcast discovery and new subscribers. But the key insight for me was this:

It’s not the # of words. Comprehensive Topic Coverage results in a high “Content Grade” - and this trumps sheer length or a high number of words.
Content Grade Study
Courtesy of Brian Dean at https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking

So we started exploring a number of tools that help improve an podcast episodes content grade. And this led to another insight: Content Briefs allow you to design comprehensive topic coverage in the first place. And this led us to the question:

What if an podcast host was to use an SEO ”Content Brief” as a way to research his guest, and the topic they want to talk about ahead of time? What if an interview could actually be designed to covering a topic more completely - and thus result in high SEO ranking?

Meet “Topic” - More Impactful Podcasts from SEO Content Briefs and Content Grading

One of these tools that excited is called Topic. It uses sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) to research a topic, and uses big data to create content briefs:

  • RESEARCH: Topic has a keyword research tool built in, so you can research your episode topic.
  • PLANNING: Topic lets you plan better for interviews or articles content. Enter a keyword, and Topic's Content Briefs will show you what you need to cover to achieve a high content grade.
  • EXECUTION: Topic's Content Grader allows you to quickly see what your draft episode show notes article is missing. Create a feedback loop that ensures that every episode article covers what your audience is searching for.

Our Content Grader Results - Increased Podcast Website Traffic

We tried Topic out and it worked. We ran our “sad” post through their analysis, found that I had a content grade of B+. OK not terrible, but I wanted an A++ to see what we had to do to improve the content to fill gaps and voilà!

Use Topics Content Grader Recommendations
I simply entered my article URL, and Topic made recommendations

After making some adjustments, which we demo in our video above at about 0:40, I was able to re-check my content grade, and it is now an A++.

Topic helped me to pinpoint what EXACTLY I had to change in order to rank.
Content Grade of A++
Here is the article after I implemented Topic’s recommendations. A++ Content Grade

I was surprised how quickly this worked. A week later, and we’re back on page 1 of Google, in a better position than even last year. Our podcast website traffic from this one keyword has increased by 351%. Keep in mind this article ranks for multiple keywords, and they all showed a significant rise in their SERP positions.

What does this mean for podcasters? Web search is how we get our followers, and our clients attract 60% of their listeners and subscribers this way.
Podcast & Traffic Rank Increase in Podcast Website Traffic From A Content Grade of A++
Here is the result only a week later, thanks to content grading we are back!

Podcast Website Traffic Increased by 351%
Podcast Website Traffic For This Post Increase Topped 351%

Why and When You Need A Content Brief and Content Grading Tool

If you have a new podcast website, your domain authority as well as podcast website traffic will likely be low. There are 2 effective ways you can make up for this:

  1. Make up for your low domain authority - with great content designed by an SEO informed content brief and based on a high SEO content grade
  2. Link building. We can’t say it often enough: You need to make your guests link to your podcast articles and show notes

Coming Up: Topic In The House!

Join us LIVE on SEO Saturdays
Join us LIVE on SEO Saturdays

We are excited that Ryo Chiba, one of the founders of Topic will be joining us on our livestream as a co-host, and as usual on SEO Saturdays we will collaborate to do some live SEO for podcasters.

Ryo Chiba
  • You can apply now for your show to be featured, and allow us to do live SEO research, and help you with content briefs and content grading for your podcast episode ideas.
podcast SEO strategy promotion episodes backlinks ranking