The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 8
Our topic for this episode is Analytics and SEO. I’ll have a look at optimising your show notes pages to help them, and your site in general, appear more prominently in the search results. We’ll look at an SEO plugin that really helps with this in mind, and an analytics plugin that allows you to drill deep into your stats and really discover what’s working and what’s not on your podcasting website. It’s time to get more visible!
Resources Mentioned on This Episode
SEO by Yoast
This is a free plugin that creates great SEO titles and descriptions and helps you to implement keywords that help to achieve better search results.
This free plugin will help you integrate Google Analytics quickly and easily. It will help you track how many visitors you have and what visitors do on your site, allowing you to spot what works and create more of what your visitors enjoy.
Remember, you can find the full guide to installing plugins and working with WordPress in general at my Website Course.
- Install both the SEO and Analytics plugins
- Create an analytics account for your site and link it up
- SEO one page with a great title, meta description and go through the different tips to make it green on the rating
- Leave me a comment below. Give me a link to the page you SEO’d, I’d like to see how it looks.
Let Me Know What You Think
If you’re already using these plugins by Yoast, I’d love to hear what you think about them. Do you find them useful or effective?
If you’re following along with the series and building out your WordPress site, then install the plugins mentioned and let me know the results!
Finally, if you’re enjoying the series, I’d really appreciate it if you’d give me a review on iTunes. It really helps to get the show out to more people and grow the PodCraft community. Just pop over to PodCraft on the iTunes website to do that.
Hey folks! I’m Colin Gray and this is PodCraft.
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Series 3 of PodCraft. This is the series on creating a peerless podcasting website which basically means creating a great home for your podcast to attract new listeners, make them long term listeners. So yesterday we were talking about subscribe links for your podcast, how to create links to help people to subscribe to your podcast. Today, we’re moving on to analytics and SEO that means today is about optimising your actual show notes pages so it appear better on the search, making that they’re more easily found and then measuring how well you’re doing in the search so how many people you’re getting on to your site and a whole lot of other information that I’ll go into.
So, what’s the point of this? You may argue that most people find us, well, we’re a podcast to start with. So surely we’re going to be found in iTunes, we’re going to be found in Stitcher directory, we’re going to be found in podcasting directory so no need to worry about stuff like SEO we’re not working with text, we’re audio people. But that’s not entirely true, people find us by search every day. People are searching for podcast on blah blah blah, podcast on this topic, podcast on that topic. A lot of people are getting into podcasting that aren’t using Apple devices now, it’s not just Apple so you can’t rely on just iTunes store. Plus if you’re not thinking about creating show notes so that they’re optimised for certain keywords to attract people in that are searching in general for your topic then you’re missing a trick. Just because it’s a podcast doesn’t mean it’s any less relevant than a blog post, you should be getting found on amongst blog post, on amongst articles for any topic whether people are searching for a podcast or not. So that’s why it’s worth thinking about SEO in general. Then once you’ve got people on to your site, once you’re getting found well, once you have everyone coming in then you want to see how effective it all is, how well your site is working, what type of stuffs people are enjoying and that’s when analytics comes in. You can argue really that is there any point in doing this if we can’t tell how well it’s working for us. And also analysis can help you really optimise your site as well. By that, I mean really seeing what works, seeing what posts, what content really work for people, what people are coming in to see where they’re ending up and what pages they’re really enjoying so that you can create more content that your audience enjoys. It’s so very well you’re thinking that you know what your listeners are going to like but it always comes down to proof of the pudding whether people are actually going to see or not. You can think that this post is going to be so successful and this other post might not be so successful but you’re going to write it anyway. And that turns out that that second post actually gets viewed twice as much as the first post. You’re only going to find that out if you have analytics installed. And then you can start to create more of the posts that turned out to be popular. You can also find keywords that people are finding you by so you can discover how people are finding you, what people are typing into the search engines and you can start to create more content that really targets those keywords that people kind of, you know, the ones that aren’t working quite so well but still get some people in. You can start to create content around that and that’s the kind of information you can get from Google Analytics. It really helps you to grow out your content, gives you ideas for things to write about. It really helps you to create ideas, to create episodes around every single week.
So let’s look at the plugins that we’re going to use for this. This is what you’re going to be installing on your website. And these are two plugins that I install on every single WordPress website that I do, whether it’s podcasting or not, it’s just as useful for us podcasters. Both of them are created by the same guy, guy called Yoast. I don’t know what his full name is but his nickname on the web is Yoast which is Y O A S T. And if you’re going to the WordPress plugin store, you can just search for Yoast, just Y O A S T and there’s, well, the two plugins that I’m going to talk about pop-up first. If they don’t appear there at the very top though, first one’s WordPress SEO by Yoast and second was called Google Analytics by Yoast. So, you can search for them by their names.
So, let’s have a look quickly the SEO one first. So, install the SEO one and the main thing that you know is that it’s added a box at the bottom of your post creation page, so, the page where you create your new episodes for your podcast. The little box appears at the very bottom of the content and essentially adds a few different things. First of which, it lets you create great titles, so, it lets you create a different title to appear in the search. That means you that you can have a different, you can have one title for the post itself, one title that appears on your own website then you can have a separate title that appears in the search results. And that’s useful in that. Quite often you might have a very long title on your own page, on your own website, be quite descriptive or you might even have just quite an entertaining, funny title to put on your website. But it’s not quite so relevant, it’s not quite attractive maybe it doesn’t tell a story quite so much about what the post is about. And that’s what you want in the search, because you want the title that appears in the search to really tell people what the article is about and what the benefits are going to be for them. So that’s one of the things that, one of the main things really that the SEO plugin gives you that lets you create those really SEO titles and put some keywords in there. Next of all, it lets you create a great description as well. So, in the search results, you’ve got the title first but then you’ve also got a little description below that. It’s two lines which were a little bit grade out and it does have an effect on how people click through. So, having a good description does affect how many people click on your results. So, it’s worth spending a little bit of time every time you create a podcast post, type in your description, do a little two sentence description which tells people what the post is about, what the benefits are and make sure the keywords are in there as well. And that really well benefit you in terms of the clicks that you get from the search results. Next and really usefully, it gives you this grading system for your SEO for the post. So, say I’m targeting a particular keyword so I’m going to target a Scottish mountain bike trails, so that’s the keyword I’m targeting in one of my podcast episodes. So, I type that into the keyword field on the WordPress SEO block at the bottom of the post page. I put that in, I save a draft, and then the Yoast plugin will give me a grade depending on how good my post is. It will give you lots of advice on how to increase the SEO so I say it’s a lot bit about SEO training course, it will tell to make sure that keyword appears in the title, it’ll tell you to make sure it appears in the title a couple of times at least in the article itself, it’ll tell you how often in appears and it’ll tell you a few different tips about how to optimise that post to make sure that it’s going to show up well for that keyword. So, it’ll take you through that and it will really help you to make that post as optimised as possible. And it really does help especially if you’re not that confident on the SEO principles, it will take you through and teaches you how to create those well-optimised posts. The last thing that I think is really useful as well that the plugin does is it creates sitemaps for you. So, it creates a sitemap for you, for the entire podcasting website and these are useful because Google search will be much more attracted to your site, much more likely to index every single page on your podcasting site if you have a sitemap available. So having that sitemap available and submit it to webmaster tools, is a really good thing to do. So, that covers the SEO plugin by Yoast.
This other plugin, as I’ve mentioned, called Google Analytics by Yoast. It helps you integrate Google analytics really quickly and easily. It’s a pretty simple plugin because all it really does is perform one function which is put the analytics code in but does it in a very easy way and also gives you a few extra options as well. But I’m not going through all of them but some of them are pretty handy and once get more in to analytics you’ll start to learn which ones you want to use, which ones you don’t. Stuff like, for example, event tracking, so you’ve been able to track what links that people click on, what things that people do on your website that becomes a really useful thing that you can do in the future, one of the more advanced things. But essentially, with the plugin, all you do is you install it. You sign up for a Google analytics account, if you don’t have one already. You get your analytics code which generally, it’s just a little code that has letters in the start and then a few numbers. You put that into the analytics plugin on your WordPress site, click save and asks you to go on then a couple of days later you can go back to check your analytics account and you can start, the data starting to collect. So, that’s it! Pretty simple. You don’t have to cover too much on that one.
And that pretty much ties us up for today. So, remember, both of these are plugins. Again, I’ll say it again, full guide to installing plugins and working with WordPress in general can be found at the courses that I’m putting together for this course, for this series I should say, you can find them at podcraft.net/websitecourse. And you can either sign up for the courses there or if you already signed up then you get straight to them from the links on that page.
And that leaves me to say your tasks for today. So, final thing, that task is to install both the SEO and the analytics plugins. Get them both working on your website. Create analytics account for your site and then link it up. And finally, SEO one page on your site, just choose one page, just choose a popular page and SEO it with a create title, make sure your title is good, it appears well in the search so it can draw people in, create a meta description for it and the go through the different tips that the SEO plugin gives you to make it green on the rating, make sure that it’s well-optimised. And then that leaves you to go to podcraft.net/308 which is the show notes page for this episode and then give me a link to the page you’ve SEO’d, I’d love to have a look and see how it looks. So, just pop a link into the comments and say how you’ve found it, say how useful you found these, the plugins. Whether you think they’ll be good for you or not. You can find that at podcraft.net/308 I’d love to hear what you think!
So, thanks again for listening to another episode. Next time on this series, we’ll be looking at Contact US stuff. So, how to create a page that lets people get in touch with you and plugins that can help you with that. So, hope to see you then and thanks for joining me. Talk to you then!