3 Ways to NOT Kill Your Podcast Growth Curve
Warning - warning - warning. There's a rant ahead!
I have seen this same mistake on podcaster’s websites over and over and over now, so I plead with you… listen to this episode, learn from this episode, and NEVER do this stinkin stupid thing again.
So I spend a lot of time in the Apple Podcasts directory. You know, that place that used to be called iTunes but now is called Apple Podcasts.
And what am I DOING in the Apple Podcasts directory? Honestly, I’m looking for clients, for people who are producing great content and want a great production partner to take the podcast time suck off their hands so they can do better things with their time.
One of the things I experience while in the directory is that I usually click the little link that says website, right there next to their podcast listing, and I'll go to visit the website. I want to check them out and see their show. Who knows? Maybe there’s a way we can work together.
Podcasters often put a really cool looking show notes page up for particular episode. I go there. I scroll up and down, up and down up, and down that page trying to find a stinkin’ web player so I can actually hear what their podcast sounds like.
And do you know what I find?
I find that silly little piece of artwork that says “Listen on Apple Podcasts” and that's the only way they have for me to listen to their show. I have to go OFF their site to listen on somebody else’s platform.
It’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen and in this episode of Podcastification I walk through 3 important reasons you should not be doing that on your show notes pages.
That’s my rant and I’m sticking to it.
Not everybody has an Apple phone. GASP!
It’s true. What’s the point? There are many, many, many people, who will not be able to listen to your podcast at all if you send them to Apple Podcasts to listen. Why? Because they don’t have the Apple app on their phone that you’re trying to send them to.
OK, what if they are on a computer. It could be a very similar issue. If they don’t have the iTunes software installed, they’re going to be sent to a webpage that has NO players on it at all. So they’ll either get frustrated and turn away (most likely) or they’ll get frustrated and turn away.
In short, people using android phones are not going to be able to listen to your show simply by clicking on that Apple Podcasts logo.
So don’t send them there in the first place!
OK, OK - if you want to include the logo on the page and you want the logo to link to Apple Podcasts, go ahead. But don't make that the only way someone can listen to your show when they come to your shows notes page. It's ridiculous because you're not making it easy for your listener to actually be a listener.
Does that make sense?
Time after time after time when people land on your show notes page.
You’re sending people away from all the goodies you've created for them to see. Listen now, this is important. If your goal as a podcaster is to get your target audience listening to your show and becoming familiar with you as a resource around your topic, that’s EXACTLY what you should be doing. But if you send them away from your site, that’s not going to happen. They're not gonna to get to get to see all the cool goodies you have for them.
They've not had the opportunity to see things you’ve got - like books, and courses, and consulting, and things like that, the things that you offer that you're actually wanting them to get from you.
May I say this bluntly? You need to keep those people on your website if at all possible - and the best way to do that is to include actual web player from your media host - NOT by sending them to Apple Podcasts.
And it's not that hard to insert that player.
For example on Libsyn, a player code is provided to you for every episode. You just click a little green button and it opens a window, and there's the code.
Walah! You have a clickable web player right there on your page.
And don’t worry, all those plays count as downloads in your stats.
Here’s a little fact about the way Google search works.
The longer people stay on your web page after coming there from doing a Google search, the more Google thinks your particular page was a great answer to the question they were searching for. It’s that simple.
Let me give you a scenario” Say Jimmy John is searching for something about social media marketing and he finds an episode of your podcast through searching Google, that IS about social media marketing.
Okay, he comes to your web page and right there on your page is your great episode title. your great art work, your great podcast player and he decides to click the play button. He's gonna to stay on that page at least for a while as he listens to the beginning of that episode to see if it is going to answer the question has has about social media marketing.
You’ve got Jimmy John on your page - so to speak - as a captive audience for at least a little while.
Naturally, that means you've got to be making great audio content that draws him in right away and makes him appreciate what it is you have to share, but that's kind of beside the point here.
The real point is this: As that searcher is on your webpage - Google is tracking him and is saying, “Hey, Jimmy Johnson searched for “social media marketing.” Jimmy John found this page and now Jimmy John is staying on that page for two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, seven minutes, however long he listens.
Google's algorithm is making some digital assumptions based on Jimmy John’s behavior while he’s on your page - the biggest assumption being that your page is a good resource for people who are searching for the topic of social media marketing.
And you know what's going to happen then?
The next time someone searches for social media marketing, your particular show notes page that Jimmy John found is going to be pushed higher in the search for those people to find. That's just the way the search algorithms work at this point in time.
And for that reason alone, you want to make sure you're not sending people off your page - because that does exactly the opposite.
Let me give you that same scenario again in reverse:
Within 10 to 15 seconds Jimmy John has come to your page and immediately bounced off your page.
What do you think Google thinks in its digital mind?
It thinks, “This was not a good resource for people searching for the term “social media marketing.” And so it's actually going to diminish your ranking in Google search.
Do you see what's happening?
You are killing your own podcast growth curve. Don’t do it.
Now that you know the mistake, it’s time to do something about it. This is just one of those ways we make a mistake periodically, not even thinking it through in terms of the impact it's going to have, based on the knowledge we already have.
Get rid of that artwork or the links to Apple Podcasts. Or if you absolutely have to have it, ensure that people who land on your page can STAY on your page, by having a player right there for them to use.
Look at your show notes pages and see if there's anything you're doing that is keeping people from staying on your page longer - and FIX IT!