Whoa. This is a bold statement, but hear me out.
I have been earning a living from search engine optimization for over 12 years and I’ve tried every tactic at one time or another.
Ever since Google started dropping algorithmic bombs around 2011 (think Panda, Penguin, and so on), SEO industry behavior has changed. Most SEO services have moved back onshore and “real” SEO is now an integrated part of holistic marketing.
That means legit SEO companies have become web designers, social media strategists, reputation managers and yes, content marketers.
In order to succeed, we as marketers and business owners must build our own audiences, strive for niche authority and become influencers. As such, I just recently started getting booked on podcasts and have been stunned by the benefits.
So Much Value in So Little Time
Pound-for-pound, I have never seen a tactic that has produced so many wins, with so little effort:
- Unbelievable access to a highly engaged audience. In one 20 to 40-minute interview, with little preparation, you can access hundreds to thousands of highly targeted listeners. If this top ten list stopped here at #1, this by itself is all the reason you need to consider a podcast guesting campaign.
- Easier than guest blogging. Guest blog posting is one of the most popular forms of content marketing. But it’s a grind because it takes a lot of time to write really good educational content (like I am doing right now on a Saturday morning), and there is a lot of spam and outreach noise that website owners have to deal with. Sure there are a lot of professional blog outreach services you can outsource to, but they can be pricey. The beauty of podcast guesting is that you get to be published on the host’s blog with valuable organic links via a show notes page (example).
- Real personal connections. One of the big surprises to me was the feeling of friendship that develops during an interview. The fact that two people (the guest and the host) have each other’s undivided attention for an involved discussion creates a bond that can turn into collaboration. For example, in my own experience, hosts have offered to make personal introductions to other influential podcast hosts. Huge. Huge. Benefit.
- High content production value. Most established podcasts, and even newer ones, put a lot of effort into production, including professional sound, editing, creating custom web graphics, and writing a custom show notes page that includes guest bio information, key takeaways, and resource and contact links.
- Cross-amplification on steroids. When a podcast goes lives, there’s this cool feeling of a mini-launch that results in a highly shareable piece of content. Hosts are happy to have interesting guests, and guests are excited to be interviewed. The nature of the way podcasts are produced and distributed (audio, web page and often video) makes them much more shareable than typical blog posts – resulting in more likes, shares, tweets, backlinks and traffic.
- Free long-form blog posts. I have found that some podcasts hosts will provide full interview transcripts on their show notes pages, but most don’t. When they don’t plan to publish the transcripts, I have asked hosts if I can transcribe the show at my own expense and post on my own site as a blog post. No one has ever said no! This is a great way to get really good, unique content on your site with no effort (and very little expense if you use a transcription service).
- Increased dwell time. Dwell time has been a hot SEO topic for the last year or so. While Google does not directly acknowledge website dwell time as a ranking factor, most SEO experts believe there is a direct correlation between a page’s rankings and the amount of time users spend on the page. Podcasts, when embedded on a website, are unique because listeners are much more likely to listen for longer periods. A two-minute video seems really long because it commands all of your senses. But a podcast of 20 minutes goes by really fast because you can be doing other things while listening. Thus, embedding a podcast audio file on your site (as part of #6 above) may help your SEO efforts.
- New trust badges and bragging rights. As you are interviewed on more podcasts, your reach in terms of the caliber of shows begins to snowball. In the 30 or so I have done this year, each one is better than the last. For example, next month I will be on John Lee Dumas’ highly popular podcast Entrepreneur on Fire – and plan to use this as an “as seen on” eye candy for my websites.
- Online reviews. One of the things I’ve done, that most guests don’t, is send a request for review feedback right after the show. This allows me to not only get reviews on important review sites, but I also repurpose these into testimonials for my websites. Again, just the review equity from this alone make podcast guesting worth it.
- Oh yeah, Sales! You can get lots of leads by being a guest on podcasts, but you can’t sell during the interview – this is a big no-no. Your job as a guest expert is to share your story and educate. If listeners like and learn from what you say, you will get leads by nature of being an informative guest. I have probably had at least $100,000 in new business (annualized) for my agency in a few short months, and it has definitely boosted book sales.
Putting My Money Where My Podcasting Mouth Is
Podcast guesting is so valuable, in fact, that I partnered with John Jantsch to create a podcast booking service called Podcast Bookers. We did this for a couple reasons:
- John’s been podcasting since 2005 and gets pitched daily by folks that want to be on his popular podcast. He knows what makes for a compelling pitch to hosts and where the gaps are with respect to podcast booking service providers.
- After interviewing podcast booking services and using a few of them, I saw how the service is executed in a one-dimensional way. Yet, I see so many more SEO benefits to podcast booking that no one is taking advantage of, so I just had to start my own service with a brand new approach.
Whether you use our specialized service, another podcasting booking service, or even your own direct outreach, I promise that if you are prepared, have an angle and a story to tell, you and your clients can use podcast guesting to skyrocket your influence and authority.
About the Author
Phil Singleton is a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant and co-author of the Amazon best-seller SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs. He owns and operates a boutique web design firm, Kansas City Web Design, and markets and sells Internet marketing services under the brand Kansas City SEO.