Podcasters sound off about SEO

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CHICAGO - The number of individuals podcasting is growing and it is very important to optimize your audio content so that it can be easily found, according to panelists at the Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference and Expo.

But how does one go about optimizing sound?

"Optimize sound by optimizing the ID 3 tags," said Amanda Watlington, principal of Search for Profit, Charleston, MA, at SES Chicago's Video Search Optimization panel. "Also optimize your podcast landing page."

She said it is important not to finalize the name of your show until you make sure it is not already in use. This is not an easy task, however.

Carefully write a description of the show, minding any keywords and making sure they are included in this description. After you make a list of keywords, write meta tag information. Make sure that you provide subscription information on every single landing page.

Here are Ms. Watlington's five tips for SEO success:

  1. Optimize the audio file
  2. Build a landing page for your show and each episode
  3. Build accurate and effective RSS files
  4. Submit broadly
  5. Watch for changes

"The No. 1 question I hear when it comes to podcasting is whether anyone is truly listening," said Daron Babin, CEO of Webmaster Radio, Deerfield Beach, FL.

Also, people often wonder whether it is worth it or not. Is the production, equipment, encoding, analytics - is it all worth it? The answer, as Mr. Babin said, is yes.

"They are listening as long as you are compelling," he said. "I recommend you secure a sound host or content delivery network and work out a deal. Without someone who can handle load and distribution, you will have unhappy users."

Rick Klau, vice president of publisher services at Chicago-based blog network Feedburner, said that as a podcaster, it is important to make sure that your analytics are dead on.

"The process of subscribing for a feed is too long and many people don't subscribe because of that," he said.

So how do you make your content findable?

"Look at how you write and deploy your text for your media files," Mr. Klau said. "Make sure that your podcast is embedded with meta data."

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