An Episode That’s Still Valuable In 10 Years: Why Is Timeless Content Beneficial?
Timelessness. That’s what we all aim for when it comes to all of our creative work. But how do we achieve timelessness in this day and age when a lot of SEO and Google power is in charge of curating millions of content and ranking them? In this episode, learn some techniques on how to make your podcast more timeless or more grounded in reality, and the pros and cons of those.
We’ve had some questions from some of our clients. It’s about the subjects of some of the podcast episodes with regards to making them more timeless or more grounded in reality. Also, the pros and cons of that and some recommendations. After that, we have a question that was written in by one of our clients. We’re going to address that question and then we will take any questions from everyone. We want to touch on a couple of things about timelessness. We’re building a lot of SEO and Google Power for you on the technical side of things. I know very well from writing my Inc. column and from writing so many articles is that people find those articles years after you’ve written them or years after you’ve published and posted them. Having dates embedded in the blog URL, having dates on your headers, having dates associated with things makes it less clickable. It means that you get less action taken on that great content. While you may be served up at the top of Google, people will look at that and go, “That’s from 2016. Do I want to click on that?” We try to remove all of that.
Over time, we’ve started to change our practices of doing it. We recommend not putting episode numbers straight into the title at the beginning of the title. You can put them other places, but we recommend not putting them in the titles or the subtitles. We don’t do anything but put that tiny little EP number somewhere on the graphic. We don’t highlight it. We don’t put dates on our headers. We don’t like blog page formats where it auto dates right up at the top. It’s okay if it has a date way down at the end of your blog post, but we don’t like to do it there. It’s one more area that we don’t like to have dates. It’s a problem of people clicking onto Google because they see the URL. Let’s say you have your Name.com/Date/Title. Some people’s sites work like that. We try to remove that on every site we work on. If yours is like that and you’re just joining us, we’re going to recommend you to change that. It makes it more timeless in terms of people taking action on that Google ranking you’ve achieved.
We’ll even help you change that too. Let’s talk about episode number in the title. That comes up a lot lately with some people that have done that. I want to talk about why we don’t recommend that. Especially the date, we don’t recommend that at the title. You don’t want to ground that date. iTunes is going to publish the publication date of the episode anyway, so you don’t need to put it in your title. The episode number in the title, we don’t recommend that because often it confuses people. iTunes will list your episodes and how many episodes are live on iTunes. Often that number doesn’t correspond to the episode number. It’s either because you’re listing the latest episode first and iTunes will always call that number one and then the older ones, two, three, four and down on the line. It isn’t accurate to the episode number and it just confuses people.
Especially when people have started their podcast before coming to work with us. Those of you that are creating it new with us, this wouldn’t be an issue. Oftentimes, they’ll have an episode zero as the first episode. Anywhere that the podcast will be listed whether it’s iTunes, Stitcher or even on the Smart Podcast Player that we install on our client’s websites, it will always be listed as number one. People get confused because when you get to episode 35, it’s episode 36 or the other way around. The numbers never matched. It drives people crazy.
We found this because we hit 500 episodes. iTunes doesn’t list 500 episodes. They only list 300. When you start to spin off your successful podcast into different volumes, each volume is going to have a number from one to 200 or one to 300 and whatever you choose the numbers to spin often. They’re going to have numbers on their own and that’s going to get even more confusing for people. We have a client who’s moved his to a classics model. He’s got just 25 top classics and they’re all random numbers all over the place so it gets odd there. When you have your best episodes that don’t have a number, they don’t look so out of place. It gets less confusing. They don’t look like they’re out of date too. That’s another thing. These are classics, not because they’re old, but they’re classics because they’re still important information.
Hopefully, they’re timeless subjects, which is part of the big point about this. A lot of us do a podcast about specific things. If you listen to Feed Your Brand, we published an episode regarding the Podfest Conference that I attended. I attended with one of our other Brandcasters, Scott Carson. We had a great time at that event. There was a lot of valuable things we wanted to share about that experience and things that we learned so we did an episode on that. That is somewhat grounded in time. It was the Podfest Conference 2018, but we put 2018 at the very end of the title, not the beginning. There’s a lot of valuable information in that that will be timeless but in the future, there may be some things about that episode that have changed. We talked about some new things that Facebook is doing and that may change.
In that case, you can always update. You can write the word updated and you can give it a date or you can just do what we did. We say 2018 and the next time it happens it’ll be 2019. We do these things because when someone’s doing research for an article or someone’s finding out information or wants to look at the best conferences for podcasting and that comes up, they’re going to want the most recent information. A lot of times when you have serial, sometimes 2017 might rank higher because 2018 is new. As a journalist, I would click on that 2017 because it came up in the list, but I’d be looking for the 2018 updates. It gives someone a reason to come back when you put up your next update or when a year from that date might be. It gives them a reason. There is a place for dating things. It’s just in a little bit different format.
Hopefully, most of your episodes are going to be timeless content of some kind. You’re sharing your wisdom, your experience or your own stories or those of your guests. That content is fantastic and it continues to pay dividends six months a year even more down the road in terms of value to others. Also the value in terms of a piece of content and in terms of being ranked and indexed by Google for keywords. We’ve talked about that, that people are going to search in Google search bar for the things you talk about because of your blog post. They’re going to find your posts and come to your site. When somebody finds it six months a year from now, you don’t want to emphasize how old that post is. If someone digs deep enough, they’ll figure out that it was published a long time ago. You don’t necessarily want to emphasize that it’s a piece of content that’s a year old because it still has value.
We’ve encountered several client sites when they first come and work with us. Every site has a feed of the latest blogs, which would also be the podcast blogs on their site. People can quickly scroll through and look at the different subjects. Some of the themes of their websites would write in the featured image. We always have a header image or a featured image in the corner then the title. Then a little bit of the description of the episode in that feed, but it would have the date that it was published in large block letters in your face. It’s even covering some of the featured images or that header graphic and obscuring some of it that never looks very good. The worst part is there’s the date right in front of you. You know exactly when it was published and people end up focusing more on that. They get distracted more by that. It distracts them away from the things that are going to draw them in and built anticipation to them wanting to click and go deeper. That’s something we caution against and it’s related to this whole issue of timelessness.
The other thing is the technical side of having dates embedded in your URLs or in other places within what is going to be served up through Google. We try to be careful about that. That’s why we rewrite leading paragraphs so it doesn’t say, “In today’s episode or episode number four,” or it doesn’t say that anywhere but if you’re serving it up by the format of your blog post, you want to change that. I just want to give that heads up to people why we may be coming back to you and saying, “You have a static blog post-set-up.” This is served up by your format that you set up when you first set up your website. It was like, “How do you want to name this essentially?” That’s how that titling and all of that happens on an automatic URL generation from each blog post. We want to go back in and change those formats. We don’t change old URLs. If you’ve already had a blog post we won’t change that on you, but from this point forward, we will change it because we don’t want to break your links. We won’t do that on you. We will from this point forward or whenever we catch that and we mention it to you or we start working with you.We don't recommend the episode number in the title because often it confuses people. Click To Tweet
We recommend those changes so that it’s just simply your website/title. You just want it to be quick and easy for people and you just want nothing to be in the way of them clicking. That date is like, “That may be outdated. Maybe I can find something new.” Then they continue to scroll through Google. You just lost them. That’s what we don’t want to happen. The other I mentioned was a header. Some people have a template on where it puts dates on your feed. We don’t want to put that on the header image either, so take that off.
Let’s talk about the content of your episodes themselves. Oftentimes, we all have things that have happened recently that become a part of the stories we tell in our podcast or even that of your guests. Even if there’s something that happened recently, unless there’s something about that point in time, that event, that date, then it is important to mention the actual date. When we’re talking about something that happened recently, I would tend to stay away from grounding that in the reality of time and just talk about, “Recently, I was at a conference and encountered this person or heard this story.” There’s a way you can talk about the important subjects that you want to communicate to your audience without dating it.
Things come up in the bigger picture of the news. We did an episode on bump stocks that were 3D printed in our 3D print podcast and that was right after the Vegas shooting. It was personally relevant for us. We did an episode on that and that’s okay to do it that way. You can when you’re talking about those things. “Every time one of these incidents happen like Vegas or Florida,” you would refer to it that way where you’re setting it up as an example of that. While it may be the most recent at that time, it doesn’t make it any less relevant in the future. You’re not making it up about that event, but you’re making that event as an example of something. You can use it that way and that’s perfectly all right because that’s what you’re talking about at this moment. We know that we have people who are depressed or have substance abuse or we have these kinds of problems. You want to be dealing with things that are currently going on but deal with them in a way in which you use them as examples and not as the impetus for the episode. There are times where it may make sense if there’s a hot topic that is blowing up on the internet. You may want to take advantage of that and the viral nature of it in the fact that many people looking for it.
In general, with the subjects that most of us talk about, it does make more sense to not ground them in time if you can. It’s perfectly okay to be trending off of topics that are going on in the news and things that are happening and all of those things to do that in social media. Try to keep your podcast, your episode, your posts, all of those a little cleaner in terms of making it more timeless is important. People search in Google the subjects that they are interested in. The more that it’s obvious that the listing that comes up in Google is old, the fewer clicks you will get through on that. People will tend to go toward the most recent and most current things they find. They then look back through the older ones if they’re not finding what they’re needing or looking for. That’s another part of this thought. I wouldn’t stress too much about this. We’re talking about it because each month we break down some subjects and take a little deeper dive into them.
We’re just trying to help each one of you to make minor modifications as you grow with your show. This is something that we found. Sometimes it’s just some critical analysis, some sitting back and thinking about it. For instance, we did not only a podcast but we did a client call about Ego Bait™ and about how you can better introduce guests and/or post-discuss guests. We’ve been seeing some clients take that to heart and do some amazing work and they’re so much better now. They’re so much to the point where they’re making them more and more relevant to their show itself and introducing about why they brought a guest on. It’s doing a lot more power for their sites. Because it’s having power, the guests are loving it and that’s working for you. We want to try to keep these little minor tweaks that you can keep doing and keep in mind little things each month. You have a month to incorporate them and test them out.
None of these are fatal issues. It’s not like if you do some of these things that we’re suggesting, and you don’t do that, it’s a deal breaker. That doesn’t mean that. We’re just saying to consider it. We’re working with all of you in terms of the content of your show and the kind of subject that you want to talk about. We want to make them very attractive subjects and people are going to want to continue to listen to it even if they encounter it three or six months from now. That’s the most important thing. It’s the content that is of interest to your audience. In these date issues, there are good and better things you could do, but it’s not fatal. It’s not a deal breaker.
We just want to help you move things along and get more power. These small changes are a big win on Google. It can make a 10% shift. It can make a couple of percent shift. It makes things more clickable. You’d be surprised by the power of that. We want to try to help you make some continuous improvement to how you operate your show. We also want to give you some insights into why we recommend some of the things we do behind the scenes. I’m getting a lot of feedback as I go out and speak about podcasting and brandcasting. One of the feedbacks I have is that what we’re saying to people is very counter to the passive income podcast community. Those that have been teaching the courses the longest. If you’re coming to us with a transition show and learn how to podcast from Podcasters’ Paradise, Adam Carolla, Pat Flynn, any of those people, what we’re doing is different. That doesn’t work and there have been tons of news about how that doesn’t work anymore or works for such a small percentage of people. They’re getting a lot of diminishing returns in passive income podcasting like, “You can podcast your way to more than a million dollars a year type of thing just by podcasting about podcasting.” This is not what it once was.
That’s why I of want to remind you all that we don’t teach podcasting. We’re coaching, we’re helping, we’re mentoring and we’re moving you along, but this isn’t costing you extra. It’s part of the services because we want your show to be better. We want you to keep producing. That’s our reason for doing it. Our course is free for getting started. Everything that we’re doing is about helping you market and grow your business using this wonderful medium of podcasting as a tool, but it’s not the end goal. It’s just one tool out of many that we do and use for you to get you more exposure to get more out of the podcast. When you see people who are shifting into selling their courses rather than doing more of the podcasting or making more money from that, that’s a sign that you have diminishing returns. That’s what we’re seeing significant here and in the marketplace in general. That’s where it’s not working and that’s where it’s been breaking down, but we aren’t here for that. We’re here to build your business, podcasting. This is not about passive income. We’re also here providing more done-for-you services. The course is a DIY. For someone that’s going to go in and edit their own podcasts and deal with all the details themselves, that’s a little different thing.
Timelessness is important. We just want to emphasize that because this is something critical. It’s also something that has come up. Inc. columnists have monthly calls as well and best practices are going on and they have been deterring people from doing like, “The 25 Best Podcasts of The Year.” You can say that but saying 2018, they don’t even want us to put stuff like that in there. We had a big call about that with the transition between 2017 and 2018. They didn’t want us to say the dates of the year, they wanted to call us this year and last year. They do thousands and thousands of articles every week. If they’re saying that they don’t want to see this, it means that they’re seeing lots of traction on older posts but not on ones with dates in them. They’ve analyzed that to death. When they’re coming back and telling us guidelines to do that, I want to pass that along to you and that’s what we do here.
We had one write-in question and it has to do with statistics of your podcast and also your website hand in hand. The questions were, “Which of the statistics are important to keep track of and how often should you be looking at them?” Then some questions about the stats we’re offering on our platform, which most of you are on. Not all of you who work with us are on our podcast hosting, but most of you are. Those are good questions. Statistics are important. We believe that looking at statistics month over month, measuring them and tracking progress is a very good thing. We do it for ourselves. We do it for all of you. Each of us here in the office takes responsibility for auditing several of our clients’ podcasts each month looking at the statistics. Not only their podcasts but their website because we have tools to do that. We make sure things are going in the right direction and make some suggestions if they’re not. Fortunately, we haven’t had it happen where things are not going in the right direction. All of our clients continue to be progressing in terms of website traffic, keywords they’re ranking on and backlinks they’re getting. In their podcast, it’s the number of downloads they’re getting every month, how many listeners they have, how many countries they’re reaching.If the content is fantastic, it continues to pay dividends six months a year and even more down the road in terms of value to others. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about the statistics. I would not obsess over them but I do think it’s important to be mindful of them. This comes to how often you might look at them. It’s important to be looking at your statistics monthly for sure. You can look at it weekly and there will be changes week over week, but monthly is a little more practical and a little more meaningful. Things happen with seasonality sometimes that can give you a false indication. If you look month over month, you can get a good read. That’s in terms of how many plays you’re getting per episode, how many total plays on all your episodes are getting month over month and how many countries people are downloading your podcast in. All those are things that you can track right on your user dashboard at Podetize.com. It’s our hosting platform URL. You can look at that. Right on your dashboard are the global stats. It tells you how many total downloads you have and how many unique downloads you have.
Oftentimes, people will listen on more than one device, but they have one account with iTunes or one account with Google Play. It might go to their phone and their tablet or they might look at it on their desktop or their laptop. With one account, people will be logged in sometimes on more than one device. That’s why you would get two downloads because it’ll automatically push to both devices but it’s only one person. The system knows that. That’s where your unique download is a little more accurate picture of how many plays your podcast is getting. Bear that in mind.
Our geographic stats have gotten a lot better and also our platform. If you’re wondering how many people are listening on a Windows machine versus an Apple machine or even a Linux tablet, you can track all that. It’s interesting but it’s not that important. Especially how many downloads you’re getting within the first week in an episode is up there, that’s something that’s great to look at. If you click into the detailed stats of a particular episode, you can see it exactly. You can measure over the graph there how many downloads you’ve got in that first week. Look at these things month over month.
I’ve got another exciting thing to tell you about regarding stats and it has more to do with your website. This is something new that we’re developing and by the end of March 2019, it will be something that is live for all of our clients who host with us. Even if you don’t host with us, if you host your podcast on Libsyn, still you have dashboard access to your account with us on our platform. You’ll still be able to get this even if your podcast isn’t hosted with us. You’ll be able to see the key statistics of your website. That is coming. We’ve been doing this just on a one on one basis. When we have a call with a customer, we will look up their web stats and see where it is. You can track how it’s growing month over month. We’re building those things into our own website, to our own dashboard access. You will be able to, as a customer, log into your dashboard. There will be a place for you to enter the URL for your website that contains your podcasts blogs. You could put any website you want but our intention is it would be your website that is the home for your podcast and the blog posts that we’re creating for you.
As long as you enter in that URL, it will populate the key stats: your website rank, your backlinks, and your keyword rankings. It will track those things over time. There will be graphs where you can see how it’s trending. You’ll be able to look at week over week trends also month over month or a series of months. You’ll be able to look at this. This is very valuable information that is not contained on any other podcast hosts. All the other podcast hosts out there are all about the podcast and not about the website. We are all about helping you market and grow your business using podcasting, but a big part of that is your website. We feel you can’t get a good glimpse at how you’re doing overall without looking at those stats from your website and your podcast. It’s in development and it’s looking good. Hopefully, by the time we have our next client call, I’ll be able to confirm that that is live. If not, I’ll be able to give you a date and how many more days or another week or whatever it’s going to be. It’s on the way and in process. That was the question.
We recommend a month over month, but you can look anytime you want. The key ones for your website are just going to be your overall rank which is based on your increase in backlinks. Referring domains is closely related to that and keyword rankings on Google. That’s the most critical. Then your podcast unique downloads and how many you get within the first week of an episode. Don’t discount overall plays across all your episodes. Here’s another interesting stat. We’ve learned it from our experience with all of our customers, 60% of the total downloads you get in a month don’t come from the latest episodes that you just published within that month. They come from previously published episodes of prior months. More than half of your total downloads will come from past episodes.
That shows that people are finding your podcast new this month, liking it and then they’re going back. They’re looking and listening to previous episodes because they learn about your show. They come to like you and they want to know about your past episodes. They research the subjects and start listening to the ones that appeal to them so you get a lot of downloads on past episodes. That’s the other great thing about our platform that most of you may know about. If you host with us, you can put sponsorship paid ads or even just promotions for your own calls to action or your own products. Maybe you have a course, maybe you have a book you’re launching or you have upcoming events you’re speaking at. You want to make sure all your listeners know about that. You can put audio ads across all your episodes, not just your newest ones but all of your entire catalog of episodes on our system. It’s just by uploading an ad and pushing a button. It’s not that difficult and we have a new tutorial video about how to do that. You can go to the help resources section of our website where you use your dashboard. You can watch that video and see what it’s like to put ads across your episodes.
That’s an exciting thing to take advantage of all your plays. It’s not just the old way was. You would put ads or calls to action in just the ones you published this month and you’d have people listening to past episodes hearing an old outdated and if you put that in there. You don’t have to do that. You can replace them on demand. No one has to listen to an episode with an old ad. There you go for that. I’m not meaning that to be a big promotion but to me, it’s related to this whole issue of statistics. That stat of how many are on back episodes is something we had looked at. It bears emphasis. We’re always out every month. We have planned for either speaking at or attending digital marketing conferences around the country. If we’re in your area, we’ll let you know because we’d love to catch up with you. We’re going to Traffic & Conversion on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of the last week of February 2019. We’re going to Traffic & Conversion and we know there are some other podcasters that we know that will be there. Any brilliant information or things that we learned or trends that we see happening, we’re going to bring that back to you. We’ll be talking about it in some upcoming episodes of Feed Your Brand. We can also address some of those issues in next month’s client webinar.
If you have other issues that are non-podcasts related that you’re looking for, we can keep our ears out and eyes out for you, let us know. Just ping us and send us messages. If you are looking at considering going to some digital marketing shows, sometimes we have discount codes. I’m speaking at the end of March 2019 at Lifestyle Hackers event up in LA. It’s an awesome event for life coaches and those trying to build businesses around that. I have some seriously discounted VIP codes that take $400 or $500 off of the cost of the event bringing it down to $47. I have some of those because I’m a speaker. Ping us if you’ve got something that you’re interested in and if we’re attending or if we’re going or if we have a connection, we’ll be happy to see if we can get you some discounts to some of these places.
This is a good example of why you might want to read this because that’s something we would not put in our podcast. We don’t want to ground it in time the podcast is public not just for clients. We wouldn’t put that information on discounts. We want to share it with any of you that are working with us and give you that opportunity if you want to go to these conferences to take advantage of that discount. You need to read this at some point in order to get that. I have ten or twelve of them so I’m happy to give it out to our clients and to people who could use them. There are some others coming up, some virtual summits. I know I have discount codes too that’ll be coming up that are on digital marketing related. When those happen, we also will put them out in the newsletter.There's a way you can talk about the important subjects that you want to communicate to your audience without dating it. Click To Tweet
Brielle and Jeremy have a course discount that they’re running for their course on how to be a better guest and a whole bunch of other prep things that they provide in there. They have a discount that they provided us, which we’ve put out in our email. It’s called Command Your Brand, which is their company name. You should check that out to learn more about them, especially if you’re interested in high-level guesting like being a guest on other podcasts or perhaps getting some high-profile guests. Getting some assistance, obtaining some high-profile guests for your podcast. Those are some of the things that they do. Our connections with all of these people in there running courses and their running programs just running by us. If you’re looking at that, we can see what we can get. These are private. These aren’t public.
As always, please message Alexandra and let her know what you’d want for the next client call. If you have questions but can’t attend the call, make sure you send them to her and she’ll collect them for us over the course of the month. Thank you, everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. You can always email us, Hello@BrandcastingYou.com. If you don’t have our personal emails, that’s the best general one to email with any questions or feedback on this. Thanks so much.