Learn about why including transcriptions with your podcasts is crucial if you want to take your show to the next level.
This is the first post of our podcasting series: Listen In. If there is one thing that every podcaster must constantly worry about, it’s getting downloads. In this series, we reach out to various podcasters to cover a variety of different ways that your podcast can drive the listenership that you desire. A lot of what we cover may be actionable tips that you may have never even thought of when building your podcast, so it’s our goal to provide the knowledge that you need to ensure that you are using all of the resources at your disposal. You don’t want your podcasts to go in one ear and out the other.This week, we will be covering how you can utilize transcription services to drive traffic to your sites and increase the life of your podcasts.
If you have a podcast, it’s likely that you love to talk (and like to hear yourself do it too, just kidding) -- and are in fact very good at it. This is why it’s unlikely that most podcasters would want their audience to read their podcasts instead of listening to them, since listening is essentially the whole point behind a podcast.
If you don’t use transcription services for your podcasts, you may scoff at others that include an audio-to-text transcription at the bottom of each of their episodes. It’s time to rid yourself of those negative opinions and realize that transcriptions actually serve a few crucial functions for podcasts.
We contacted a few podcasters that use transcription services for their podcasts to discover why they include transcriptions of their shows. The following are some major reasons why transcriptions are so important for podcasts:
They Drive Traffic and Increase Search Engine Optimization
“Of course, pretty much anyone with a podcast knows that they should have show notes. These are great, and of great help to the listener who want to follow up with what was talked about. However, short form and bulleted lists are not going to bring Google to your siteas well as conversational text.
A transcription of a conversation has the natural flow of how people talk, much like a blog post, and that's what Google wants. They're starting to monitor how people talk to understand how people search. Just having a bulleted list of keywords is not as helpful as having a paragraph or more of people talking about those keywords and their practical application in the given situation.”
- Dustin Ranem, 110Marketing.com
Okay, so what exactly is search engine optimization? Here’s an easy way to look at it: when you enter a keyword into a search engine, the sites that are more towards the top of the first page have successfully optimized themselves, based on the keyword(s) that you entered. Let’s say that you post your podcasts on your personal website, and that your podcast’s topic is: Los Angeles sports. When people type LA sports podcast into a search engine, don’t you want your site to be one of the top results that is seen? The key is search engine optimization.
How do you get your podcast’s website to have good search engine optimization? By implementing the relevant keywords that you want people to use in search engines. If you’re talking a lot about LA sports in your podcast, then including a transcript of your episodes can assist Google in “crawling” your site and discovering those keywords within the text. Those keywords are then implemented into search engines so that potential listeners can find you much easier.
Google search engines especially focus on context when they’re determining a site’s keywords, so these transcripts will easily put your discussions into text format and provide context behind your keywords. This is much cleaner and far more effective than “word salad,” where you just throw your keywords onto your page over and over again.
They Make Podcasts Available to a Wider Audience
“There are a lot of people who don't listen to podcasts, or maybe just don't have as much time to listen to them. Having the transcription written out and optimized, so that Google will find it when people search for those keywords, brings the content and the show to an even broader audience. Recording quality, keyword rich content and posting it only as an audio file on your website is like taking a boatload of potential website traffic and locking it up in a safe.”
- Dustin Ranem, 110Marketing.com
A lot of people don’t necessarily enjoy listening to podcasts and would prefer to read the content instead. Before you say “Then, forget them!” you need to be aware that these are legitimate potential fans of your content. Reading through the text in their free time may even drive them to start listening to your podcasts.
Everybody’s situation is different, so some people just may not have time to listen to one of your podcasts and would rather read through some of the points that you touched upon, and then listen to the audio later on in the day. Not providing a text transcription can really limit your audience.
They Create Something to Easily Refer Back to...
For a book…
“I launched my first podcast on June 26, 2008 and having a printed narrative of all of those past shows helped when it was time to write one of my recent books. Oftentimes, I say things as God leads me and transcriptions are a great way to recall my words in the moment of a spirited conversation.”
- Saideh Browne, In Good Company
...or even future podcasts.
“The benefits of transcription for our podcast is to help storyboard the episodes more effectively. It's a lot harder to cut and splice audio because it isn't visual: text is. We're able to script out the interviews and weave together our stories into episodes significantly faster with transcripts.”
- Hebah Fisher, Kerning Cultures
No matter what you may need the information for, having a transcription of a podcast is much easier to refer back to than just the audio version. This is especially important if your podcasts often go over an hour in length. You never know when you may need to reference the content of a previously-recorded podcast, so transcripts can save a lot of time.
Some Podcasters Use Transcripts For All of the Above!
“The benefits are being able to take your content and turn it into blog posts, ebooks and books. They’re also great for SEO and for personal review, as we can read much faster than listen.”
- Matt O’Grady, Matt O’Grady Coaching
If you haven’t utilized transcription services to create text versions of your podcasts, now may be the time to start. If you’re still skeptical even after reading through the benefits presented above, then just try it out for one episode and see if you notice any improvements. You may be surprised by the results.
However, don’t just think that using transcription services will magically gift you with more listeners. There are many different practices that you must consider to promote your podcasts, but effective promotion coupled with transcribed podcasts could net even greater results. You just need to take that next step.
P.S. If you want to try using transcription services for your podcasts, we have a special program for podcasters to receive a perpetual discount off transcripts. You can apply here!
Stay tuned for the next entry of our Listen In series.