Whether you're rebranding your show, or you're trying to improve your podcasting SEO, here's everything you need to change your podcast title.
Inspired by Dwaine from Survivor Talk with D&D.
This episode is brought to you by Social Subscribe & Follow Icons. It's the best WordPress plugin for bloggers and podcasters to make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your content and follow you on social networks.
Clarification: name vs. title
To clear up some confusion, I differentiate between a podcast's “name” and “title.”
The podcast name is the actual name of the podcast, regardless of descriptive keywords or taglines. For example (from my own podcast network), “the Ramen Noodle,” “Welcome to Level Seven,” or “The Productive Woman.”
The podcast title is how that podcast is labeled in podcast apps and directories. This may include descriptive keywords, a tagline, or clarifying text (like the word “podcast”).
2 reasons to change the podcast title or name
- Optimize for clarity and findability—Expand your show title to be more descriptive, which can also help with your podcast SEO and findability. For example, “the Ramen Noodle” to “the Ramen Noodle clean comedy podcast”; or, “Two Chairs No Waiting” to “Two Chairs No Waiting Andy Griffith Show Fan Podcast.” This usually won't affect the core branding of your podcast (cover art, domain, URLs, etc.). Remember that the title is the most important piece of text on the Internet, so treat it with respect, not spam.
- Change your branding—When you really need to change the name of your show, for whatever reason. For example, “Who-Dey Weekly” to “Inside the Jungle”; or, “Podcasting Tech Coach” to “Podcast Help Desk.” This may affect the core branding of your podcast (cover art, domain, URLs, etc.).
Change the podcast title in your podcast RSS feed
Your podcast RSS feed powers what your subscribers and potential subscribers see. Your feed usually affects podcast directory listings, too.
First, you need to know what is powering or enhancing your podcast RSS feed. Is it PowerPress, Libsyn, FeedBurner, or something else?
To change the title in:
- PowerPress (basic mode) > Settings > Feed title
- PowerPress (advanced mode) > Settings > Feeds > Feed title
- PowerPress > Podcast Channels > Feed Settings > Feed title
- PowerPress > Category Podcasting > Feed Settings > Feed Title
- Libsyn > Settings > Edit Show Settings > Show Title
- Libsyn > Destinations > Edit or View Existing > Libsyn Classic Feed > Advanced Options > Show Title Override
- WordPress Settings > General > Site Title
- FeedBurner (if you're using it to
mess up“optimize” your feed) > Optimize > Title/Description Burner > New Title
To change the podcast cover art in:
- PowerPress (basic mode) > Settings > Artwork
- PowerPress (advanced mode) > Settings > Artwork
- PowerPress > Podcast Channels > Artwork
- PowerPress > Category Podcasting > Artwork
- Libsyn > Settings > Edit Show Settings > Artwork
- FeedBurner (if you're using it to
mess up“optimize” your feed) > Optimize > SmartCast > Podcast image location
For any other feed-creation tool, look for what modifies the channel-level <title>. It may simply be the title of the account. Experiment and see what changes what in your feed.
Changing your Libsyn slug or FeedBurner URL is really not important and make things more complicated than it's worth.
I talk a lot more about changing your podcast information in your feed in a previous episode.
Use these tools to validate your podcast feed (thanks for the resource, Jim Collison).
Change the podcast title on your website
If the title change needs to be reflected on your website, there are several places you may need to consider.
- Change your logo. Depending on your WordPress theme, this may be done under “Appearance,” inside theme-specific settings (like “Appendipity”), or in your CSS file.
- Change the website title. Go into WordPress Settings > General > Site Title. Also, check your SEO settings.
- Change the title everywhere else on your site. You could manually edit each page, menu, post, widget, and other content types, or try a smart “find and replace” operation. I know BackupBuddy has a great and reliable find and replace tool. Also consider the free Find and Replace All plugin. Backup your database before doing this!
Change the podcast title in your domain
Domains get a bit more complicated. You may need the help of a professional (like me, or your web hosting provider).
The most important thing is to setup a full path-forwarding 301 redirect on your old domain. For example, you want not only OLDdomain.com redirecting to NEWdomain.com, but you also want OLDdomain.com/page-on-the-site/ redirecting to NEWdomain.com/page-on-the-site/ (or the appropriate equivalent).
A proper 301 redirect is especially important if your feed URL is on your domain.
Sometimes, this is as easy as setting up a CNAME DNS record or redirect with your domain registrar.
You also need to ensure you have the new domain setup in your WordPress settings, especially for links. Again, a “find and replace” tool can work well, but ensure that you backup before trying anything.
Change the podcast title in podcast apps and directories
Most podcast apps (such as iTunes) will get the title of your podcast from your RSS feed. Thus, you need only to change your feed and then wait for the app to update.
Some apps (such as Spreaker/iHeartRadio) offer the ability to edit your show's title inside of your account on their system.
Other apps (such as Stitcher) may require you to contact their support team to request a title change.
You may be interested in changing the podcast URL you have on an app or directory. This would usually require intervention from the support team, or it really doesn't matter. iTunes, for example, gives you a URL with your title included, but you can change that title in the URL or remove it completely and the URL still works, as long as the “id#######” portion remains.
Change the podcast title in social networks
If you have social-media accounts for your podcast, you should change the title there, too. Facebook and Google+ make this fairly easy, within some limitations.
Changing your username or URL may be a little harder or impossible. On Twitter, you can change your Twitter ID, but this may confuse your followers. On YouTube, you can't change your channel URL after it's already set.
Tips for changing your podcast title
- Have a really good reason. Treat changing your name as seriously as moving homes, and expanding your title as redecorating. In either case, you should have some justifiable reasons for going through the work and potentially confusing or inconveniencing your audience.
- Prepare your audience. Tell your audience the change is coming, especially if it's something that could confuse them.
- It doesn't have to be retroactive. It's okay if you want to change old episodes to match, but you don't have to. It could be especially confusing if the spoken title doesn't match the written title.
- Don't worry about hidden branding. Feed URLs, media file names, URL slugs, and other details are small and usually unimportant to your audience. Don't get obsessive-compulsive about changing these little things that don't matter much. These may never be seen by your audience. Trying to change them could break stuff.
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
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