Your podcast description usually isn't someone's first impression of your show and it often doesn't affect your SEO, but the description does give you the vital opportunity to convince a potential audience to try your podcast.
Here are some ways you can improve your podcast description.
1. Remove unnecessary or redundant details from your podcast description
The title goes in the title, the author goes in the author, and the description goes in the description. When you mix these things together, it creates redundancy and might waste valuable space.
Avoid phrases like:
- “This is a podcast hosted by [your name]”—Your name is already in the author field and displayed prominently with your podcast!
- “[Podcast title] is about …”—This is redundant because your podcast description inherently says what your podcast is about.
- “Looking for a podcast about …?”—People often aren't asking these questions, and this tends to focus on features more than benefits (more on that in #3).
Watch out for information in your podcast description that really isn't necessary to convince someone to hear or watch your podcast, like your contact information or what day you publish episodes.
2. Focus your podcast description on “why” and “WIIFM”
In most places, podcast descriptions don't actually affect your podcast SEO. But even if they did, the most important thing is still to answer two basic questions:
- “Why should I get this podcast?”—Try emphasizing either the “I” or the “this” in that question!
- “What's in it for me?” (WIIFM)—In other words, how will your audience get PROFIT (popularity, relationships, opportunities, fun, income, or tangibles) from your podcast?
Whenever someone has clicked through to something they're considering—a podcast, a product, a movie, or really anything else—the core information they're seeking is why they should choose that thing, maybe even in comparison to alternatives.
I highly recommend you read Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
You don't have to use the words “why” or “because” in your description, but I do suggest you imagine someone asking you, “Why should I get your podcast?” and then what follows after “Because …” is a good starting point for your description.
3. Replace features with benefits for a more compelling podcast description
A “feature” is a simple fact about your podcast, like “we talk about [topics].” The first way to improve this is to extend the sentence with “so that ….” Then, shift that benefit to the spotlight.
Here are a couple of examples:
- “We talk about cake-baking” ➜ “Learn how to bake better cakes”
- “This podcast shares marketing techniques” ➜ “Grow your audience”
- “Get communication tips” ➜ “I help you communicate better”
You can loop back through this process to make your benefits even better! Try adding a “so that” either directly or through some rewriting to focus on the outcome you want your audience to get. For example, instead of saying, “Learn how to grow your business,” you could add, “so that you don't have to worry about your bottom line.”
Then consider shifting that new benefit to the spotlight as well! “You'll stop worrying about your bottom line by implementing our techniques to grow your business.”
It can be a healthy exercise to loop through this multiple times, adding “so that” to your marketing over and over until you arrive at something that connects much better. For example, “I talk about movies so that you'll know what the best movies are so that you won't waste time and money on bad movies so that you'll have fun so that you can share the experience with your friends so that you can build deeper relationships around mutual interests so that you can live a more fulfilling life so that ….” This doesn't mean you have to use everything after a “so that,” but it can help you make something far more enticing than a simple feature. Taking this same (slightly exaggerated) example, your podcast about movies could be described as “Live a more fulfilling life with deeper relationships by learning more about the movies you and your friends love.”
4. Try common marketing approaches when describing your podcast
Because your podcast description is marketing a kind of “product” (your podcast) that your audience needs to “buy” (by following it), you can try different marketing frameworks to write a better, more compelling, and more relatable podcast description.
Here are three popular marketing frameworks:
AIDA (attention ➜ interest ➜ desire ➜ action) describes the four stages someone goes through before making a decision (like following your podcast or buying something). Following this framework, your podcast description can first catch someone's attention, get them interested in what you offer, trigger a desire for your podcast, and then give them the action to take.
PAS (pain/problem ➜ agitate ➜ solution) takes a slightly different approach, focusing first on the problem, agitating that with specificity, and then providing your podcast as the solution. Focusing and then further specifying the pain your audience has demonstrates how you understand and empathize with them, helping them think, “He/she totally gets me!”
BAB (before ➜ after ➜ bridge) takes a more evidence-based approach. It starts with relating the condition your audience is in before your podcast or before applying your teaching, then the results after they take action, and then your podcast is the bridge that gets them there.
These frameworks have helped many marketers increase their profits. And even if you're not actually selling something for money, marketing your podcast as if it is a product for sale can help you better reach and convert people to a loyal audience.
5. Take inspiration from descriptions of the best podcasts
Study the consistently top-ranked podcasts, regardless of their topic. Look at how their descriptions are written. Do they tell a story? Do they follow a marketing framework? How do they try to empathize with you? How do they communicate without wasting space? You might notice they use several of these methods.
For practice, copy the descriptions from some of those popular podcasts and replace points about their podcast with points about yours. Then try rewording it to flow better and connect better with your ideal audience. But don't simply copy and word-spin someone else's description! Use it as inspiration and then go make your own!
6. Get opinions on your podcast description
When you have a description you think is good, try it on some people who don't know your podcast and see how it piques their interest. If you're willing to spend a little money on this, you could go to a local coffee shop and offer to buy someone's drink in exchange for 5 minutes to get their opinion (promise them you want only their opinion, not for them to buy anything or opt into anything).
This kind of “man on the street” research can be extremely valuable because you might get someone who doesn't even know what a podcast is, and if you can pique their interest, you probably have a winning podcast description.
7. Use artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve your podcast description
Wouldn't it be cool if there was a tool that could help you do these exact things? There are actually several great tools now that can do this through the power of AI!
Since early 2021, I've been using Jasper (formerly known as “Jarvis”, and I earn from qualifying purchases through my link) to help me write better, build some writing momentum, and get new ideas. By now, you've probably also heard of ChatGPT or some other tools.
Jasper and some other tools offer templates you can fill in and then generate multiple potential results. For example, AIDA, PAS, and BAB marketing frameworks for “product” descriptions; a features-to-benefits template; or a template to simplify your language as if explaining to a child.
Jasper and ChatGPT also offer a flexible chat model where you can type as if talking to a writing assistant. You could paste in your current description and ask it to rewrite the description following a marketing framework, convert your features to benefits, and more.
Or look at a podcaster-focused tool like Capsho, which helps build episode descriptions and more from your already-recorded audio.
I think AI is great for these kinds of improvement and reformat techniques because it's taking your original content and making it better.
8. Apply these same principles to your episode descriptions
Although I focused this episode on your top-level podcast description, try all these same things for your individual episode descriptions, too! That can seriously help your SEO. And if you try improving your episode descriptions before you even record your episodes, you might even discover new ways to make your episodes better, too!
How I'm improving my own podcast description
In preparation for this episode, I made several changes to my own podcast description and will continue doing so.
Here was my description before this episode:
I believe anyone can share a message to change the world, and podcasting is the BEST way to spread that message! I'm Daniel J. Lewis and this is where I give you the guts and teach you the tools to launch or improve your own podcast for sharing your passions and finding success! I cover all things podcasting: audio gear, video equipment, editing software, WordPress and plugins, social media promotion tools, marketing, and more with understandable in-depth information and easy-to-follow steps. If you want to know how to podcast or grow the show you already have, this show is for you! Have a podcasting question or suggestion? Email Feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com or call (903) 231-2221. Please subscribe and I will give you THE AUDACITY to podcast!
And here's my new description, or at least the work-in-progress as of recording this episode:
I believe podcasting is the BEST way for YOU to share a message to change the world! I give you the guts and teach you the tools to launch and improve your own podcast for passion and P.R.O.F.I.T.! Through each episode, I strive to help you communicate better, fully leverage audio and video gear, use podcasting tools for higher quality and efficiency, become an engaging interviewer, improve your podcast website, grow your podcast, and more! My goal is to help you and your audience get P.R.O.F.I.T. from your podcast: popularity, relationships, opportunities, fun, income, or tangibles. From each episode, you'll get inspiration, learn easy-to-follow steps, and discover resources to help you podcast better. Please join me, Daniel J. Lewis, and I will give you THE AUDACITY to podcast!
Note that I specifically changed my features to benefits and removed the unnecessary contact information.
I'm available to help you podcast!
If you need one-on-one help or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session with me and I'd love the opportunity to help you podcast better!
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.