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What Is Audio SEO & Why It Matters?

Learn why establishing strong SEO practices is crucial to your podcast’s success.
Ortal Hadad
Content Specialist & Blog Editor
Last Updated:
May 14, 2021
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Guest Blog Post by

“Right now Google is really good at giving you text and video related to your search query. With all the amazing work podcasters are publishing each day, there’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way.”

Zach Reneau-Wedeen – Google’s Podcast Team

Audio Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still somewhat in its infancy, just like regular SEO was in 2000. Audio SEO is a set of optimization best practices that help audio files (podcasts) rank higher in search engines and podcast listening platforms.

Why does this matter? The future of marketing and search engine rankings will not solely be tied to website content, link building, and the never-ending competitiveness of traditional SEO. The future of SEO will primarily be tied to how well you rank on search engines and audio platforms for your audio content – also known as Audio Search Engine Optimization.

This guide from Sounder will walk you through all aspects of getting your audio ranked higher within search engines, which will ultimately lead to an increase in audience, traffic, and podcast monetization.

The Basics of Audio SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

First off, what is SEO? SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is the practice of specific website optimization techniques that can lead to higher search engine rankings. These non-paid search engine rankings are called “Organic” search results.

Today, search engine optimization is primarily built on top of high-quality, well-structured content, and the links pointing to that content from other credible sources.

In the early days of web SEO, the variables and ranking factors didn’t necessarily change as frequently as they do today. As Google and other search engines became smarter, it became harder to rank for specific and competitive keywords. Today, Audio Search Engine Optimization is like web SEO in 2000. If you focus your efforts on it now, it will pay dividends in the future.

To simplify this concept, we have broken the structure up into 5 Tenets.

The 5 Tenets of Audio SEO

Most traditional SEO techniques become obsolete since the way audio is created, consumed, recommended, and found, differ significantly compared to the web. The foundation of good SEO for audio starts with ensuring your podcast is available for search engines and podcast platforms to crawl and index your audio content. From there, additional SEO techniques help move your content up the ladder.

When spoken-word audio is transcribed from voice to text and applied to new audio SEO strategies, there is an endless amount of growth potential for podcast creators to get discovered.

Audio SEO is a major factor for podcasters looking to grow their listener base and to cut through the noise of the ever-growing audio content. In the near future, search engines and podcast apps will be leveraging data, text, quality of audio, location, social signals, drop-off, and other indicators to make the discovery of audio content much more relevant and better than it is today.

Why is Audio SEO Important?

The explosion in audio growth makes it very difficult for creators to attract, engage, and retain new listeners. The audio market is actually growing faster as it relates to the amount of new audio content being created today compared to total websites on the web in 2001.

The below graph compares total website growth from 2001 to 2006 and compares that to the total number of podcast episodes active in 2020 and forecasted out to 2025.

audio growth market stats

The opportunity is very large. However, with this exponential growth comes new challenges for podcast creators. First, there are now nearly 125 new podcasts launched every hour. In 2020 alone, there were over 970,000 new podcasts added to the podcast ecosystem.

The importance of focusing on audio SEO today will mean you will be steps ahead of your competition when the inevitability of reaching many millions of active podcasts is just around the corner.

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Improving Creator Growth Strategy & Tactics

When it comes to smart growth, Sounder does the heavy lifting. Creators should never get bogged down in the numbers—analyzing ways to make data work for them. With Sounder Plus, noise is transformed into insights:

  • Creators learn when new content excites listeners, how marketing tactics engage new audiences, what keywords should be leveraged to improve SEO, and how to easily share audio and video snippets.
  • Tactically, creators can leverage episode description analysis, RSS feed keyword suggestions, and social media tagging tips to refine their promotion and distribution approach.

For a limited time, we are offering the community a special offer to try Sounder Plus for one month FREE. Simply sign-up here: and enter the promotional code RIVERSIDEFM to claim your offer.

By implementing these techniques, working hard, and creating high-quality audio content, you will be in a good position to have your audio be displayed higher in search engines and podcast listening apps.


The heart of Sounder’s mission has always been to create an end-to-end audio management platform to help creators drive growth for their content. That means providing them with all of the necessary tools they need to manage, distribute, grow, and monetize their podcasts.

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