Your podcast episode title is likely something that will get shared on social media, and more importantly will show up in search results and on iTunes as well.
Given how much time you are putting into creating a podcast, it is worth spending a little extra effort on creating a good title that makes people want to click through and listen or read more.
Of course you should not write content or headlines for search engines, so keep it people friendly, avoid keyword stuffing and make sure the meaning of the content is not distorted by forcing a keyword or key-phrase into the content.
1.) Podcast Episode Title Do’s
- Try to convey the essence of what the episode is about
- Be sure to add a short description as well (see the gallery below on how this impacts iTunes)
- You can include the name of the guest and the episode number, but place this information at the end
- If possible, try to include your SEO key-phrase in the episode title.
- Include your SEO key-phrase in the post slug
Example: Check out the MFCEO Project for some examples of “well done” episode titles
2.) Podcast Episode Title Don’ts
Check out the gallery below of Podcast Episode Title Don’ts
- Do not put the name of the podcast first, this wastes space and is redundant.
- Do not use the date and time as your episode title. (Sorry, Dave Ramsey)
- Do not put the episode number first, if you’d like to include it, place it last. The reason for this is the way that episode titles display on iTunes, there are only about a 25 visible characters that display in the list of episodes, so putting episode numbers first wastes this space.
- For interview shows, do not just use the guest’s name as the title, unless they are a celebrity. Listeners who don’t know the guest will not know what the episode is about.
3.) Use these resources for writing great episode titles and post headlines
Pro bloggers have known this secret for a long time: Catchy, fun, unique and click-worthy titles help drive traffic to their blogs. Spending time to think of good episode titles will help drive traffic to your show notes page, as well as increase your listenership. Suffering from episode title writers-block? Don’t worry, there are tools out there to help you, my favorites are:
4.) 5 More Not So Secret SEO Tips for Titles and Content
Tip #1: Creating H2 Tags (or sub-titles)
From an SEO perspective, Google (and other search engines) love well organized and hierarchical content. This means your show notes post should be organized. The title of the post should have the H1 tag, paragraph headers should have an H2 tag and short paragraphs should consist of text and bullet points. This approach has the additional benefit of increasing the readability of your content.
Tip #2: Focus on Readability
Unless you are writing long form essay content, short paragraphs are more appropriate for podcast show notes and accommodate “skimmer” type readers.
- Try to avoid densely spaced content of paragraph after paragraph of text, this will be hard to read and is too information dense.
- Breaking up your show notes into smaller segments is a good practice, also the use of images to break up the content is a good idea and will make your posts look and read better.
- Add a sub-headline (H2 tag) for every paragraph
Tip #3: Do not use H1 tags anywhere in your show notes post
- Each page should only have one single H1 tag
- H1 tags are reserved for your post headline, and this tag is usually built into your theme
- So in practice this means you should only use H2 and H3 tags within your show notes post
- When you publish your post, the post title will automatically be displayed as an H1 tag on your page
Tip #4: Include your key phrase in at least one H2 tag sub-headline
- Just as it was important to include your key-phrase in the H1 tag (or post title), it is also important to include the key-phrase in at least one H2 tag sub-headline
Tip #5: Watch The Concept of Keyword Density
While this is not relevant to headlines, you can and should use the key-phrase several times in the body of your post text. Keyword density refers to the number of times you have included your key-phrase in your post content, as a percentage of overall word count. If you are using the recommended WordPress SEO plugin, watch for the keyword density recommendations it provides, you can find these on the advanced tab.
Some keyword density tools