UPDATE: Sept. 2018 – Apple has cracked down on this in some INSANELY crazy ways – so listen and APPLY these principles FROM THE BEGINNING of your podcast and be careful applying it if you already have a podcast name published.
There are all kinds of crazy names people give to their podcasts in the Apple Podcasts directory, but I don’t believe most of them are good podcast names.
This episode of the show is all about how to properly name your podcast. When I say properly, I don’t mean there is some kind of etiquette around podcast naming, what I mean is there are best practices that make your podcast name work for you instead of against you.
Intrigued? You’ve got to hear what happened in this case study that I didn’t intend to be a case study.
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Main Points : Good Podcast Names Matter
- [0:53] What do I mean when I say podcast names matter?
- [3:22] The case study I did that wasn’t intended to be a case study
- [4:49] Little promotion, one Facebook share per morning, amazing results!
- [6:42] The name I chose for the podcast is the only thing that made the impact
- [8:20] The deliberate steps I took to discover a good podcast name
- [10:01] Why RELEVANT keywords in your name are a HUGE consideration
- [11:27] The reason I thought a good podcast name would matter: Algorithms!
- [13:40] The STATS that prove that good podcast names matter
- [18:50] Why you’re NOT sunk if your podcast name is not keyword rich
- [19:30] Best practices for episode names – keep keywords in mind!
What’s in a name? When it comes to a good podcast name – a LOT!
I have to admit that there are a lot of strong opinions in what I have to say on this episode. They’re strong opinions I’ve had for a long time, not just about good podcast names but about a lot of things including company names, brand logos, and other stuff.
I’m no expert, so what I have to say doesn’t usually hold much water, but in this episode, I’m going to walk you through the statistics of what has actually happened from choosing a good podcast name in order to show you that in this case, I think my opinion does hold some water.
Podcast names are not only the way you identify your show to others. They also communicate something about you, your message, the people you have as guests on your show, and the topics you cover. In my view, if your podcast name doesn’t express those things clearly, what’s the use?
Of course, there are many large brands and successful people who have done this whole podcast naming thing differently than what I am going to suggest on this episode, but we are not them.
Most of us are average people, without big followings, without the benefit of being a household name or brand that others have known about forever.
So we have to go about this a little bit differently. Our main objective is to get people to pay attention, to notice our podcast in the first place. That is why I a good podcast name makes a lot of difference.
In this episode I not only explain why it’s true, I also demonstrate it through those stats I was talking about. You really need to hear this.
How do I know it was a good podcast name that made the difference? It’s the only thing I did.
The situation I described as my case study in this episode is one where I was launching a new podcast, but the content is something I had created previously. It’s a daily show so I didn’t want to spend all my time promoting, promoting, promoting. That means my only promotional attempt on any of the episodes is an automatic post from my Libsyn media host account to Facebook. That is it.
No Facebook ads.
No email blasts.
On this episode, you’re going to hear the way the numbers increased to well over 600 downloads in less than 30 days. It’s remarkable, and I’m pretty convinced it only happened because I approached the name of my podcast with a keyword-centric mindset.
If that doesn’t make sense to you, listen to this episode. I describe exactly what I did, why I did it, and how it appears to have worked.
That last image was as of 2/9/18 – and as of 2/22 (just 13 days later) things got stupid-crazy. I thought things would level off, I mean it was around the 13th when I took that last screenshot, but NOOOOOOOOOO. I can’t imagine this being real, but it is. Check out the following screenshot from my Libsyn stats. (And regarding that Libsyn link – you can get up to 1 1/2 months free if you sign up using my code PFT)
If you are going to use keywords in your podcast name, make sure they are relevant.
When I say that the keywords you use in your podcast name need to be relevant, do you know what I mean?
Well, let’s take this example as a way not to do it…you’ve probably seen podcasts in the Apple Podcasts directory that use this approach.
“Business Tips That Rock – interviews with people like Dave Ramsey, Jay Papasan, Cameron Herald, Tony Robbins, and more.
That is the opposite of a good podcast name. In fact, it is a VERY BAD podcast name. Why?
Because it is keyword stuffed. That means the person who wrote that name used words they assumed other people would be searching for that really have NOTHING to do with their actual podcast.
Not only is that unethical, it simply doesn’t work like they think it’s going to work. Apple has also been known to boot shows right out of their directory for doing that kind of thing.
So when I say you need to have a keyword-centric approach to the way you create your podcast name, I’m referring to the use of relevant keywords, the words that truly have to do with the topics and items you will be covering on your podcast.
That is a LEGITIMATE use of keywords, and it makes for a good podcast name that actually benefits you and your audience.
It’s all about algorithms.
The reason I thought that taking a keyword-centric approach to creating a good podcast name would actually work is that I discovered a little-known fact. The Apple Podcast directory only considers three things when someone does a search for a new podcast to listen to. Here they are…
- Your podcast name
- Your episode names
- Your author field
That is it.
So, if you want to rank in the search results for the words “content marketing” you had better have those words in the name of your podcast. At the very least you should have some episodes with those words in the title.
I guess you could figure out a way legitimately use “content marketing” in your author field, but it feels like a stretch to me.
The point is this: You have to play within Apple Podcasts rules if you want your show to actually rank for the things people are searching for. It’s NOT gaming the system to do that, it is playing according to the rules laid down by the system. There’s a big difference.
Make sure you listen to this episode to hear the amazing results I got from this little experiment that I didn’t really mean to be an experiment.
UPDATE: a Listener tells what happened after applying the advice from this episode
I wanted to pass you some quick feedback on what happens when a person takes your advice of optimizing podcast name and artwork.
Gerald is referring to episode 90 – teaching why podcast names are important and how getting them RIGHT can make a huge difference.
If you remember when I reached out last year about ediiing, my show was called “Buy Black: Build the New Black Wall Street” I have attached a copy of the podcast artwork which I made myself in Powerpoint.
Here’s the pre-changes image Gerald is referring to…
I have recently rebranded my show, “Buy Black Podcast | The Voice of Black Business“, to make it much more clear why I should be seen as an authority in the niche and to keyword optimize. I also had a very talented graphic designer from Fiverr develop new art for my show (attached).
A few things to note about Gerald’s comments…
- He’s modified his title to include his preferred keywords “Black Business”
- He’s updated his cover art to be more eye-catching and compelling (see the image below)
And here is what Gerald notes has happened since applying these simple changes…
Before the rebrand, a search for “Black Business” would not yield my show in the top 50 or even 100 for most podcast directories. Simply by changing the name, I am now on the first page in iTunes for that search, and am the #3 result in Spotify and I am #1 in Stitcher!
Isn’t it amazing what well-informed, practical changes can do to the findability of a podcast?
Long and short, Podcastification continues to be an amazing tool for us podcasters. You’re a god send and your hard work and wisdom is very much appreciated. Feel free to use my feedback however you desire. Blessings, Gerald W Jones II, Host – Buy Black Podcast | The Voice of Black Business
Thank you Gerald! You are a winner!
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