You should treat your podcast like a brand. The more episodes you produce, the guests you attract, and downloads you receive all help towards building that brand.
Imagine a brand though without a website, when would that ever make sense? In the digital era we live in, it wouldn’t – ever. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the things which you should include on your podcast website and we’ll explain why some of these things are crucial.
It’s important to point out that in some setups, a website actually hosts and manages the main podcast feed which gets submitted to Apple Podcasts and other podcast directories. Blubrry PowerPress for example is a popular WordPress plugin that has this functionality.
Even if your feed is managed directly by your hosting platform and therefore a website isn’t needed to manage it, that doesn’t mean you don’t need a website at all. As mentioned above, from a branding point of view it absolutely makes sense and it can allow you to market your show more effectively.
So, without further delay, let’s get into what content we recommend you add to your site.
Table of Contents
With modern-day brands, the story is everything. An about page is your opportunity to tell the story of your podcast and the brand you’re building around it.
What’s the mission? What was the trigger for it starting? Who does it help? What are some of its biggest achievements to date? Why should people listen to it instead of other podcasts?
Your ‘why’ should be fairly straightforward. After all, you were the one who launched the show and therefore knows all about the motivation for doing it. Try to think about what might resonate more with an audience. Which podcast based on the following descriptions are you more likely to subscribe to?
- The TSP Gardening podcast was launched to help other gardeners come up with more creative ideas for their garden projects
- The TSP Gardening podcast was born out of a passion to help other green-fingered enthusiasts to inject life into their projects and create the outdoor space of their dreams
I’m sure you’ll agree which one sounds the most appealing…
This is so important. As your audience builds you’re naturally going to start hearing from people. It’s hugely rewarding to put out an episode and a short while later your inbox starts to fill up with people who want to ask you about something you said, or tell you what their opinion is on a particular thing you were discussing. It can even lead to opportunities, either personally or for your show.
Because of this, you need to make it easy for people to make contact. Yes, you may have a social media presence and all platforms have messaging capabilities but you’d be surprised at the number of people who will want to email you or send a message through your website.
Your contact page doesn’t need to be complicated – a simple contact form will suffice (we like and use Ninja Forms for WordPress). You could detail your email address but over time, bots are likely to scrape it and you could end up with a lot of spam so a form might be a better choice.
Either way, give your listeners the means to get in touch with you.
Guest highlights page
If there’s one thing that will show a prospective listener, guest, or sponsor that your podcast is worth taking notice of it’s the quality of the guests you’ve managed to attract.
Having a page on your website which shows the profile of some of your better-known guests can be a big win.
When your show first launches, the likelihood is that the first few guests will be smaller names. If you have a business podcast, for example, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to attract Richard Branson right out of the gates (although you never know!) However, if you’re in a hobby niche, it’s quite possible that somebody well known within that niche would be happy to make an appearance as the likelihood is that they’re not famous to the general public but simply known for being at a good level within that community.
Attract a few of this type of guest and include a photo with a short bio for each on a guest highlights page, and anyone visiting your website will see instantly that you and your podcast are credible within your niche.
Email sign-up page
We’ve already stated the importance of giving your listeners the means to get in touch but ideally, you also want to get them onto your email list.
This means choosing an email marketing platform (Aweber is a simple, cost-effective solution to get started with) and a solution to build various sign-up forms on your website. OptinMonster and Thrive Leads are both good solutions for this.
Email list building strategies are beyond the scope of this article but as a starting point, get an opt-in form on your home page, your about page, and your contact page. Ideally in the sidebar of your website too. Start building your email list as soon as you possibly can, you are then able to let your list know when a new episode goes live to gain a spike in downloads, you can survey them to get feedback on your show and if you ever launch your own product, you’ll have an email list ready and waiting which contains people that know and like you.
Ideally, you want to give people the option to listen to your podcast episodes directly from your website.
If you use something like Blubrry PowerPress we mentioned earlier, you will have this functionality. If you don’t though, you may want to look at a standalone solution.
The best one we’ve found for this is fusebox (formerly known as Smart Podcast Player). The pro version comes with a whole host of amazing features at a very modest price tag. It also allows you to collect email addresses which will support the list building activity mentioned in the last section.
As you record your show, you’ll likely mention things that people will want to know more about. This is where a show notes page comes in. You can add links to the websites you mention, information on where people can learn more about your guests and you could even add a transcript of the episode to get maximum SEO value out of each one.
We do recommend though that you keep the URL of each show notes page easy for people to remember. For example (and continuing with the made-up gardening example) if the title of one of your episodes was ‘Garden talk with Dr Greenfingers’, you wouldn’t want the show notes URL to be www.tspgardening.com/podcast/garden-talk-with-dr-greenfingers. Instead, you’d want it to be www.tspgardening.com/podcast/032 or even better www.tspgardening.com/32.
You can also use your show notes pages to add opt-in forms to collect entries to any competitions you might run in the corresponding episodes to again help you grow your email list.
On top of the pages mentioned above, you would have course have your home page and the required legal pages. You might also have a blog which is another good way of engaging your audience.
The key takeaway should be to treat your podcast like a brand. Work on building that brand in the best way you can, engage with your audience in the right way, and deliver as much value as you can. Over time, these things will get recognized and your podcast is likely to flourish as a result.
Should Your Podcast be on Your Website or YouTube?
You want to make sure that you cast a wide net and that people can find you in different ways. Having a website makes absolute sense as outlined in this article but YouTube is another huge opportunity to get in front of new potential listeners, so you should be visible across both of these things as well all the major podcast directories.
Having your podcast on YouTube doesn’t mean that you need to make a video of you recording your show, you can simply put the cover art over the audio to create a video version of it or even better, there are online services which let you create a video which displays the soundwaves from your audio file which can look quite good.
How do You Drive Traffic to Your Website using a Podcast?
There are various ways to do this. One of the most simple is to tell your listeners that more information on the topics you covered can be found on the show notes page and then give them the URL to visit.
You could also create a ‘content upgrade’ which relates to the episode but it goes into more depth. This might be a checklist or a step-by-step guide on how to do something you were talking about. It makes sense to add an opt-in form that people need to complete to get the content upgrade which will contribute towards your email list building efforts.
Other ways include having a competition entry page on your site or even a blog post which gives your opinion on something.
The common thread is that you need to offer your listeners a reason to visit your site – create something of value that they won’t be able to resist checking out.