LAUNCHPOD MEDIA BLOG

How to Write Podcast Show Notes That Work

…because in the world of podcast SEO as well as general podcast consumption, good podcast show notes can make all the difference.

On Show Notes

Show notes, for the layman, is the little paragraph behind the ‘details’ button on your podcast app that describes the audio file in a simple fashion. One of the recent innovations in the podcasting space has been the evolution of podcast show notes writing. Freelancers or companies like us and Melville offer unique options for companies and podcasters to make show notes. In this article, I intend to shed a little light on why the 200-word notes, that play below the fold, are so important, and to how to make them awesome. Because in the world of podcast SEO as well as general podcast consumption, good podcast show notes can make all the difference. 

Almost a year ago Google made the shift to sorting and collating podcasts on their platform as well as making them searchable above ads, making podcasts extremely valuable. That being said, notwithstanding the podcast image and the episode/show title, are the show notes. Note, Google does also search for transcripts behind the scenes. However, in regards to search intent podcast show notes are extremely valuable. Which means structuring them in such a way that impacts the click-through of the podcast itself. On top of that, if you are selling something on your podcast or intent to use your podcast to convert to sales, these show notes must be done correctly. 

A Couple of Notes

When viewing a podcast generally via any browsing feature on your favorite podcast app, the first line of you show notes are often visible. While each platform shows a certain amount of text, each platform’s text can be used to create a visual sub-title for you show. Focusing on the two largest platforms, Apple podcasts you can view the first 51 characters, and on Spotify you can view the first 117 characters. This includes spaces and periods. This amount of text allows you to add more information and persuasion to your podcast episode.

podcast library
Birth Circle Podcast

Another note is that while a select amount of text is initially visible, the content is not a blog post or a transcription. It is a unique blurb if you will that traditionally contains a summary/intro, timestamps to relevant content, social tags, keywords, and any other pertain ate information like affiliates. Again, this is not a blog post.

Other simple things to mention are that new podcast show notes should be written for re-shared episodes. It should NOT be a carbon copy of text if distributed to Youtube. If including show notes on your website as part of parent-child pages that include a blog post and transcripts, make sure to add a direct google link or canonical tags; just like you would with Medium.

EXAMPLE

More than making things beautiful, change lives.

In this episode of Dear Alice, we talk about our process. The design discovery process is much more than just making something beautiful, it is about understanding who our clients are and how they live their lives. We discuss the importance of finding a designer you can trust and who will push you to take risks. It is also important to understand the scope, timeline, and mutual expectations. All of this makes for a smoother process for everyone involved.

Where do we start? 2:22
Once the Vibe is Set 12:07
Silhouettes/Space Planning 13:51
Billing/Pricing with Alice Lane 26:31
When looking for a Designer 33:52

“We are designing a lifestyle for someone and we gotta try and find all the ways to include their lives, their interests, their travels, their heritage… There’s a lot of ways to get meaning into space…” 21:57

Alice Lane Podcast: Dear Alice

Subtitle:

50 character intro to the episode. Please don’t start with ‘in this episode’ or ‘this time on’ people know that they are listening to an episodic podcast. If you really want to say those lines, add it to the paragraph below. What they are looking for is information on the particular episode. Make the subtitle snappy and attractive. See it like a subtitle or a glimpse into the show’s content like a Youtube thumbnail. 

Paragraph:

A paragraph or two breakdown of the show. Indicating topics or stating the authority of the people talking. At LaunchPod we try to make a paragraph highlighting the various topics using their best keywords, and then use the second paragraph to highlight the guest or unique element of the specific episode. The show noes should be at least 200 words. 

Time stamps:

Do not go overboard with time stamps. The amount of Time stamps should scale with your show length. We try to sit around 2-4 for micro-content IE; 5-20 min. 3-5 for Mid-length content (45min-1hr 15min). Lastly Long For content (1hr 15min+) 4-6 time stamps max. (Yes we know there is a gap, we will be writing about that soon)

Links:

This may be the most important section after the subtitle section of the show notes. In this section, include: products, websites, games, books, locations, services, sponsors, affiliates, references, and the like. If you mentioned it in your podcast put it in the show notes. If you talk about a book, make an affiliate link to Amazon for that book. If you talk about world news, link the article. If you are a comedy show or a story podcast, ad your website and showtimes via Meetup.

Socials:

Instagram, Facebook, etc. Also include the information of the guest if you have them on the show. I recommend placing your information first and creating a template so you do not have to retype this information very time. 

Tags & Keywords:

Often, the information added in the show note will omit common keywords that the user is trying to rank for. A simple way to get around this problem is including a keyword string at the bottom. Be careful however not to overload this section and to not get it confused with the Tags section of your podcast publishing form. The tags add to general search, but this text string is for overflow. Max 5-7 words, and entered in how you see above. Do not go overboard or you will be pinged for keyword stuffing, and Google will hate you. Spotify and Apple haven’t quite caught on to this issue yet, but they will. 

As you can tell we also add a Quote from the show. This eventually turns into a social media shareables. Which we have a lovely blog post on as well.

Final Thoughts

Podcast show notes are going to continue to play a heavy role in podcast SEO and SEO in general. This means that by paying attention now and making sure show notes are provided for you listeners in an easy to understand and intriguing way, you and step ahead of the curve before it gets out of hand. If you need any help with show notes or any other element of getting your podcast to rank and be found by your target audience, the whole LaunchPod team is here to help. 

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