Discoverability vs Searchability: Why Naming Your Podcast Episodes Matters | The Next 100

Its an industry hot topic that usually focuses on episode numbers vs SEO, but not today. Let’s face it, we all work for the Google machine so if we are going to invest time and money into a podcast then let’s get every bit of value out of it and give ourselves the best shot at it. Episode numbers in the title of your podcast aint it, trust me.

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Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored!
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Thank you for tuning in to the next 100 sponsored by Heartcast Media. We are a digital media creative agency focusing on branding, marketing, strategy, and amplification for personal branding to podcasting. We’ve got you covered and to continue this conversation, join me on Instagram. My account is @mollydruland and of course, you can also find us at Heartcast Media. That’s where the really good stuff is going down. So join me there. Let’s continue the conversation. And until next week, have a good one.

00:00 Introduction
01:00 How podcasts are discovered
01:48 What is discoverability and searchability?
04:16 How to name your podcast episodes?
09:43 The book report for this week
12:46 Outro

Sponsored by Heartcast Media


Molly: Welcome back to The Next 100. It’s me. Molly, thanks for joining me today. It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning if you’re listening to this right when it comes out. But if you’re not, hopefully it’s a beautiful day no matter where you are. Today’s episode is all about naming your podcast, so there’s a ton of conversation around this very topic, and I think it boils down to two things. I spend a lot of time thinking about this, right? Should you put numbers in your podcast episodes? You put the season, the episode number.

Why does it matter? Should you put the name of the podcast in the episode? All right. There’s a lot you can find a million blogs written about this stuff, but it really boils down to two things, right? One of the biggest conversations in podcasting is the entire like visibility, discovery, not visibility, but discoverability. Question: Like if you go to iTunes and you want to search for crime, podcasts like a lot of time are going to just search for podcasts with the word crime in it, right? So it’s very, very difficult where YouTube is like suggesting your content based on the tags and then other content that has similar tags and what people are watching, like they make it much more fluid and easy for people to discover content that they don’t already know about. But with podcasts it’s a little bit different. Aside from podcasts on YouTube. And so there’s two conversations here.

It’s discoverability versus searchability. And these are two very different things, like being visible and being discoverable are two very, very different things. So let’s talk about this for a minute. Like, one is really SEO, right? Discoverability. What are the words that you’re using in your title? What is the description about? Like, are you using search engine optimization, optimized, you know, words for you in your titles, in your description, everything else in order for people to discover you, right? That is why you would never put a number of your episodes in the title. And a lot of people will argue that like, okay, you know, my, my concept here is it’s SEO and you don’t need to put the number in there because it’s chronologically already listed. And unless people are searching for episode 43 of whatever podcast, they’re not going to find you because you are using very valuable characters that you’re given in that title for SEO and you’re wasting it on an episode number or you’re wasting it on the name in the podcast.

That’s where some people hear the name in the podcast on every episode in the beginning. And then when you go to their iTunes or your podcast player, they all look the same because they all start with the name of the podcast, right? That’s really bad discoverability. You are making it really, really hard for people to find you. Now, the flip side to that argument is that if you put the numbers, it makes the search ability more appealing. So if somebody listened to one of your podcasts and they want to recommend it to a friend and they say, Oh, it’s episode number 33, and they say, Well, it’s easier to find. But here’s the thing. If we’re creating content and we want it to be discoverable and we want to reach new people. Right. Naming a podcast with the numbers so that the buddy of your buddy can tell you which episode to watch kind of misses the point because your buddy has already told your buddy to go listen to that podcast. So if he has to search for the title or take a second to scroll down to the 33rd podcast, you know, like you already gotta write your buddy.

Buddy is already going to listen to your podcast. You already got him. Who you should be worried about is Google and who’s going to discover your podcast, not who’s going to be able to search quickly, who’s going to be able to find episodes that they like again and quickly. Yes, you’re serving value to your current audience, but isn’t the point is to get in front of new people. Don’t you want to be discovered by new people? Right. So something to consider is your podcast. Sales should always, always, always be search engine optimized. Always. So that means no numbers in the titles, no name of your podcast in the title. And more importantly, what are the key words in that episode? And so a lot of times, you know, you’ll see, you know, even at Heartcast Media, some of our clients like to name the episode after the fact, which, I understand. Right? But the keywords attached to that episode don’t change based on the conversation. And I’ll explain what I mean if I’m interviewing somebody who’s a, you know, expert in flowers.

Right, and we’re talking about wedding season, it doesn’t matter how that conversation is going to go down. I know in advance we’re talking about wedding season and we’re talking about flowers and those are going to be my keywords. So the title is going to be something like How to Navigate this season, this wedding season with a flower shortage, right? It doesn’t matter to me if the florist talks about roses and peonies and whatever. It doesn’t matter. That’s not going to shape the conversation. It’s not going to change the keywords. And so, you know, you know me, I’m really big on strategy production and amplification, right? And so if you are dialed into the strategy, then you really want to name your episode based on those optimized keywords so that people, when they are Googling for these things or searching on YouTube, you know, YouTube and Google, you know, number one and two search engines in the world are going to suggest your content because you have those keywords in it.

And so I think we need to get away from that. Should you put numbers in your episode, title or not, and really dial in on it? You know, the other one on searchability, on the discoverability, not searchability, on the discoverability of your content to new eyes, to new people. Right. And a lot of times, you know, people get really cryptic and like inside jokes kind of with their episode titles and you’re really missing the mark there because it’s just not going to get it done. So, for example, last week’s episode was never to underestimate the value of a small audience, right? And that was the name of my title because I want to add value and a small audience to be in that title, because that’s what we talked about. But when I wrote the email blast, right, and I wrote the email LinkedIn, the LinkedIn newsletter, the tagline, the headline says, Does size matter? Right now in this clickbait world, you might think putting this size matter on that podcast would have made it more like click baity or whatever, but that could be in relation to everything other than valuable small audiences, if you know what I’m saying.

So I wouldn’t want to put that on there. That’s not going to lead me to that. It’s not going to bring the new audience that I’m actually going for. I’m looking to talk to small business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders. Right. People are trying to expand their business, their revenue, their brand identity. Right. And so if I put a podcast out, this is the size matter. It is not going to be appealing to anybody. But it might make you open that email because you really know what is mine talking about, right? That’s where you want to save your little kitschy inside joke, you know, clickbait kind of headlines is for that opening line. Or, for example, if you are doing YouTube videos, you know, the title of your video would never underestimate the value of a small audience, but your graphics should say something completely different because it’s not as the Searchable. So that’s an opportunity to put: does size matter? But the name in the actual video itself for SEO purposes would never underestimate the value of a small audience.

So you see where I’m going with this. You always want to make sure that you’re dialing in on the strategy, you know, and the amplification of this content, because if not, what’s the point? And you want to make sure you’re getting the right eyes on your content and not misled eyes. So I would say be very, very intentional with how you’re naming your podcast. Really try to avoid things that are inside jokes for the love of all things, podcasting. Please stop putting episode numbers in there. I get you want to make it easy for your buddies, buddy, to find that one episode that you guys were talking about. But like, I’d much rather have Google be interested in my content and sharing it with more people than my buddies, buddy. You know what I’m saying? So, you know, really think about your episodes. Make sure you’re really maximizing that opportunity on YouTube to have two different sets of titles there to bring people in repetitive information as a social media killer.

So take a look at the content you’ve made. But I would really, really say, you know, if you’re going into doing some podcast interviews, be as prepared as possible and have that title in advance based on the keywords that are going to be the anchors of that podcast. And then your description and your social media post and your marketing efforts can have that little funny inside joke. Does size matter kind of tagline to it because it might get some new eyeballs on it, right? So whoops. So on that note, I want to keep it short and sweet. Hopefully I gave you something to think about. But remember, you know me, the three pillars are strategy, production and amplification, and it’s relevant to all digital media. And so you’re going to hear this a lot from me, so I hope it was helpful and I’ll catch you on the next one. All right. As promised, it’s time for the book report.

All right. So this week’s book report is Get Different by Mike McCalla. Let’s and he’s a super solid dude. I like him. He’s very positive. I don’t know. I say that like I know him. I don’t know him. But I’ve read a couple of his books, maybe two or three of them. Now Fix this. Next is one of his. But I just love his super positive, quirky, take on things about getting different with your marketing and being different from other people, but also being logical about it. And I think there’s real value in there like we just talked about, like how to name your podcast and it’s really easy to get on and is like Gary be like a hundred pieces of content and a debate and everything has to be click bait and listen. When everybody is doing that right, when everybody goes right, you should go left. And the reason why is because you got to stand out a little bit, right.

Like Mike says in the book, you know, if you’re in a room with 100 gray suits, then be the guy in the blue suit. Right, or be the woman in the blue suit. And so I like this idea of standing out and doing things differently, but also doing it with intention and not just integrity, but with a strategy like SEO and making sure that you’re creating content that people are actually looking for and being really intentional but also being different, you know, stand out, do something a little different, get people’s attention, right? Like if you think about people like Gary B, why do they like him? Because he stands out. He’s different. He’s not a normal you know, you got to be out of here all the time. In business meetings.

He shakes things up a little bit. People like that, people kind of want to be like him in a sense. And so that could be very different for you. But you want to create these, you know, memorable, unique experiences that make people feel connected to you in some kind of way. And the book is full of ideas to do that. So he’s full of bad dad jokes, but he’s like, you know, it’s nice. It’s kind of nice to have somebody who doesn’t take himself too seriously, but also is a, like, legit dude. And he talks about his failures, what worked, what didn’t work, all that. It really it’s a good book. It’s an easy read. He seems to be a nice guy, but he’s fun to hang out with. I probably don’t take myself too seriously and I appreciate that about him. It’s such a good book. I would definitely recommend it.

You know, if I’m out of five stars, I probably give it a four, you know, for four. You know, I didn’t regret reading it. I didn’t love it. If you know, it was a good book, right? When you try to read a book a week, they can’t all be like super winners, right? And I probably get a little jaded. There’s a lot of repeating information, but I’m talking about this one this week because it’s good and I liked it and I definitely recommend getting it. So the link is in the description there. You can head on down and get you a copy of that. I’m a big fan of Audible, a real big fan of Audible because I like to listen to things because I find that the hardest thing to do. I’m Irish and Catholic. We don’t listen so well, so audibility is a life lesson for me and a great way to learn. So I hope you enjoy the book if you’ve already read it. Let’s talk about it. And Yemen until next time, be good and catch you.

On the flipside, thank you for tuning in to the next 100 sponsored by Heartcast Media. We are a digital media creative agency focusing on branding marketing strategy. An amplification for personal branding. To podcasting, we’ve got you covered. And to continue this conversation, join me on Instagram. My personal account is @mollydruland. And of course, you can also find us at Heartcast Media. That’s where the really good stuff is going down. So join me there. Let’s continue the conversation. And until next week. Have a good one.