Are landing pages really that helpful to our businesses? Did we really increase our audience through it, or did it perhaps only annoy them and make things worse? In this episode, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard discuss all things about podcast landing page, what it really does for your business, and what its best components are to achieve the best results. Tune in to learn the dos and don’ts when creating your landing pages and how to effectively gain audience traction!
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Creating Effective Podcast Landing Pages To Drive More Traffic To Your Show
We have an important topic for a lot of you podcasters in this episode. Tracy is going to introduce the topic but I want to set this up slightly because I meet with about ten podcasters every day that are not working with us at Podetize. I’m either auditing their podcasts, which, by the way, those of you that want an audit, go to Podetize.com/audit, and you can sign up to get one to learn what you may not know about your podcast.
It’s probably holding you back from being found by more of your ideal readers. I want to share this because like I said, I meet with about ten podcasters every day. I can’t tell you how many of them who have been podcasting for quite a while, 25, 50, 100 or more, are not following a best practice on this issue. Tracy, set this up for what we were going to share with our readers.
We are going to talk about podcast landing pages and a landing page, particularly. When we say landing page here, we mean on your website. I want to clarify that. This isn’t like a funnel landing page. This is a website landing page for your podcast. The reason we recommend this is that when someone finds your podcast, they might want to check it out.
When we create these landing pages for our clients on their websites, what we see happen is that they get about 60% of what you would consider being outside traffic going in to find their podcast comes from Google or search outside of the podcast listening apps. When we don’t see someone with this landing page, they don’t get it.
That means they are leaving listeners and potential organic traffic on the table that they are not getting into their show. You are missing out on subscribers because you don’t have this page that someone can go to. I wanted you to encourage it to call it your podcast home base. That’s what we are going to call it here. It’s technically a podcast landing page but it’s your podcast home base. It’s a part of your main website.
This is a part of your total platform as a podcaster. You need to think about it that way. If you have been thinking, “I have a podcast,” it’s all within the podcast ecosystem. It’s all within the listening apps. You are limiting your platform. You are holding your show back from being found by more listeners. It’s shocking how many people I meet that are podcasting, putting a lot of effort into it and all they are doing is posting to the listening apps. Posting on social media but then sending all that traffic to one of the listening apps like Apple or Spotify.
Having a podcast landing page or this home base allows you to send them to one place you control so you can see where they came from if you have your Google Analytics set up. If you have tracking, you can use UTM codes. For those of you who are more sophisticated in the tracking links that you utilized, you are now trafficking them to your website, where you can know who they are before they go out and hit the subscribe button and link on Apple.
If you send them straight to Apple, you are giving Apple new members. Apple isn’t going to share that with you. You gave them people to subscribe to your show. Hopefully, they didn’t get distracted and do subscribe but even still, you have no idea that they did that. That’s directly associated with the posts that you may have put out somewhere.
That’s why we use the podcast landing page. It’s super simple. Now, if we are posting about an episode, we are going to use our blog pages that go with those. If you don’t have a blog, this podcast homepage is the best idea for you to utilize in one place. What I do want to be clear is that this is not the podcast hosting page from your hosting service. It’s not a Libsyn page. It’s not a PodBean page. It’s not an Anchor page. It’s none of those things. It is on your website.
I want to do something here with all you readers or viewers out there on YouTube Live or LinkedIn watching this. I want you all to raise your hand if you have a landing page, whether it’s an Anchor, a Libsyn or a PodBean landing page. It’s okay to raise your hand because I can’t see you doing it now. This is a one-way communication but if you are raising your hand or nodding, you are like sheepishly, “That’s me,” wake up, people, because that is not serving you.
In fact, you are allowing your podcast hosting platform to hijack your traffic from Apple, Spotify, and all the listening apps and bring it to their website. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve got a custom URL. There are some of them out there, “I don’t need a website. They are giving me one for free. They are doing me a favor.” They are not doing your favor. They are helping themselves at your expense. Don’t do it.
They are giving no value to what you are doing there because it sends them no information about you. It only gives them what a listener already got from the listening app. It’s a duplicate of it. There is no additional information that is about you at the end of the day.
In fact, in speaking with many listeners who are not podcasters and I try to do that as much as I can. How do you listen? What are you using? These listeners, when you are using and only having that landing page that’s made available by your host, and as Tracy said, when it’s a duplication of the same information that’s in their favorite listening app, when they click that episode webpage link in Apple, for example. They are listening to you there.
They leave the listening app and are going to the landing page. It opens up even on their phone. That landing page in their browser, if it’s Safari on an iPhone or if you are listening with another app and you are on an Android phone, it’s going to open Chrome on your phone and go to that landing page. That has the same information that it did in the listening app that they were in. It annoys them. It frustrates them. You are providing no additional value. You took them from a display of it on the listening app to a display of it on a webpage in their browser and it’s like, “Why did I come here? What is this doing for me?” Annoying your listeners is not recommended.
If they are taking the time to click through, they are interested in getting to you and not getting to Libsyn, SoundCloud or Anchor. They were interested in getting to you, and you didn’t let that happen. That’s why we are such big proponents of what we call this podcast home base or podcast landing page. We wanted to talk with you about what makes great components of it but there are a couple of structural things that I want to know.
This is not for someone who only has a podcast website. You have an entire website that is for your podcast. I have TheBingeFactor.com. The homepage of that is my podcast page. It’s its own entity. The whole website is focused on the podcast only. This is different. This is if you have your podcast as a component of another website. It could be your speaker site. That’s perfectly fine. It could be your business site. It could be some other type of site that you have.
We highly recommend WordPress here. We’ve done, I don’t know how many dozens of episodes about why that matters but even if it’s not, these rules still apply to what we are going to talk about. That is that if it’s a component of an existing website, you want a top menu item that says the word, “Podcast.” Not the name of the show. It says the word, “Podcast.”
Why wouldn’t I want the name of my show there, Tracy?
The name of your show isn’t necessarily something that I know yet. If I’m searching through your website and see the term Feed Your Brand, I don’t know what that means. It sounds like a sales message. It could be a course. I have no idea. I’m trying to understand who you are and what you do, and I’ve stumbled onto your website through some Google link or something. I see the term podcast there. That’s a sign I’m going to get free content that is easy for me to consume, and it’s something that I’m going to want to check out.
That’s why we use the term podcast. Plus, it’s consistent with how we navigate everybody else’s site. It’s like all of a sudden, not calling it a meet or an about page. That confuses people too. We’ve gotten more. I’m going to say systematized in how we create menu items to make them more accessible to your average viewer or listener and someone coming to the site.
It’s important what you said, Tracy. I want our readers to understand. You think about, “I should use my name for that menu item, the name of my show.” The difference is that you know the name of your show. Other people don’t, necessarily. You’ve got to think about the context of an uninformed site visitor and saying podcast is like, “Whoa.” That gets their attention. Whereas if it’s just a brand name of something or the name of your show may not, and I’m not saying the name of your show when it says podcast at the end either. That would make too long a menu item.
That’s why we don’t recommend that unless you have a short name for your show. We don’t recommend that because it’s simpler with the word podcast up there for everyone to figure that out. Now, if you are making verbal announcements about it, it’s great. We have FeedYourBrand.co or TheBingeFactor.com, and it’s going to forward to this page.
You can always do that when you are on somebody else’s show, when you are promoting it on a podcast or a videocast. You can always have a forwarding URL that hits you on that particular page straight on your website that you announce. That is easy because otherwise, you don’t want to say Podetize.com/podcast. You don’t want to give somebody that long URL. You want to give them something to forward to but that’s when you verbally announce places.
You can create that but this page is going to go under the top menu item podcast, and it’s going to be this page that lets people learn about and find your podcast. Our goal here is to get people to click and listen to some of the podcasts while they are there because the longer they spend on our website, the more site value we create over time as well.
This is one of the key components. The number one key component we want to have somewhere on this page should be what we call an archive player but it’s basically a player with all your episodes in it or a very decent-sized subset of them if you don’t have all of them on it. It should be at least a minimum sample of it, at least a dozen.
It’s not near as effective. In my mind, it doesn’t count if you say, “No, I have all these different pages on my site for each episode. I have a track player for that episode within there.” That’s great. Do that but if you are making people take multiple clicks through your website, you’ve got a home page, then click to the podcast page. When you are on there, you’ve got to click an individual episode link.
Before you get to a place where you could play it, you are losing many people with every click. You want to reduce the number of steps it takes for people to try and play your episode. That’s why we recommend this window player on the podcast page. Every episode is right there. The latest one is up top, just click play. If you want to look at an earlier one, people can scroll while they are listening to the latest one, read through descriptions then click play on those if they want to.
We have what we call the ShowCastR Player. We are going to link to some episodes that we did on the ShowCastR Player so you can understand because there are all different kinds of ways to do this. When we had our WTFFF!? Podcast, we had so many volumes because we have 650 episodes. It’s too overwhelming to put a single archive feed with 650 episodes, so we broke it up into volumes.
We have the opportunity to. You could have your best episodes in the first tab of the ShowCastR Player and say, “Basically, start here. If you are new to the podcast, start here.” You have your regular feed that follows in that place. You have lots of options with that ShowCastR Player. It was built for this landing page idea. It also has some of the many things that we recommend in a player. Even if you are not going to choose ours, that’s okay.
Everybody has stylistic differences and things that they want to accomplish with their website look, feel, and function. What we recommend is that you need to have a way to link out to an email. You need a way to link out to subscribe links. You should have a search function and also have, obviously anyway, play within it. It should have functions where anything that’s a Hotlink or an HTML link, where you can have a URL in there, should be showing and displaying. Some of them are plain text only, and you get no ability to click any of the links that are in them. Those are the few things that we recommended. Anything I missed, Tom?If your podcast is all within the listening apps, you're limiting your platform and holding your show back from being found by more listeners. Click To Tweet
There are some social sharing opportunities within that. That makes it easy for people to watch it there. They can click Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever, and it will open up in a new tab on their browser. If they are already logged in, then it invites them to share about your podcast on that platform. I don’t know how many people use that but that function is there.
At the top of the page, you are going to put the name of the show. You are going to have a picture of your cover art that’s nice and big, even though it’s maybe small on the player. You want to have that nice and big. At the top, remember we are under the podcast tab of our menu item. You are going to have the name of the show, and the cover art, so they know they are in the right place. You can format it differently. It doesn’t have to be the square.
You can make a rectangle version of it, so it spans the top of your webpage. You can do things like that. We like to have the description on that page. Now I recommend putting the first paragraph of your description or the first couple of sentences of it above the archive player. Maybe read more and have the rest of it but we do recommend somewhere on your website to use the entire 4,000-character description.
If you don’t have a 4,000-character description, there’s another Feed Your Brand episode where we tell you why you have to have one. That’s another thing but having that on that page is tremendous SEO, Search Engine Optimization for your website so that everyone understands the value of this podcast. All the keywords are associated with it. If you don’t put it on that page somewhere, there’s no way for that to get across to Google.
While we may not want everyone to have to see all of that language because there’s a lot of text on a page, we may want that opening paragraph, those first couple of sentences, and you could hit read more. It could drop down if they wanted to read it. Either way, whatever’s below in the read more, Google will still read it. That’s the important part of it. We would have a nice little short paragraph and then the player.
Below the player, we like to put large, nice-sized links to some of the popular apps. You might go out to Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. You might have a couple of those. You might have an email where they could click and get on your email newsletter list. Have some major links out to subscribe to the show. We would put, “Subscribe here” and click on these things that they could go out to. Don’t have too many of them. 3 to 5 are fine.
This can go too far. We differ a little bit on this. We don’t always agree 100% on these things. I don’t even like having them on that page personally because I don’t want to invite people to leave my webpage. Hopefully, there’s enough reason people are already playing an episode right there in the player. It’s only after they decided, “I like this show. I want to subscribe,” but they are going to those links.
There are more ways, and value people can get right there on your website from your podcast. It is important to provide the links. For those people that are new to listening to podcasts, you want to be able to point them in the right direction. Have them go to a link where they are going to find your show, either on an app built into their phone or maybe they’ve heard of an app. They probably don’t have a favorite app if they are a new podcast listener. The reality is that if someone is listening to a lot of podcasts, they don’t even need that link. They are going to go to their favorite app and search for the name of your show. Now that they have been on your website and they’ve seen it.
We have some heavy Apple users who are serious Overcast fans because of the playlisting ability, and some of the other things that you put into Overcast are so much easier to use. They will go straight to Overcast and do whether or not you list that. It won’t matter to them. They are going to go to their app. I like to have it, and this is my reason for it.
I want to explain to you because I told you we would tell you why we do it. I like to have them nice and big on the bottom there because the archive player on a mobile device can get small. The subscribed links can be relatively small there, so it’s not as easy to do it. We want to encourage them to follow you. We want them to get your episodes. Whether they are sitting there playing them on the player and listening right at that moment, if they are clicking the subscribe link and they subscribe out on Apple, Google Podcast or Spotify, now your episodes are going to be pushed to them, reminding them to listen.
If they didn’t listen on that page, now you’ve got a definite, distinct push reminder to them, so they are in your ecosystem. That, to me, is the important part of what we are trying to do. You are trying to capture their attention in some way, shape or form and get them to listen to your content. If it’s not happening on the page, the next best thing is for them to click that subscribe link and get it pushed to their phone later.
That’s why I like to have both at the same time. Now, I’m not a big fan of rate and review but that would come next. There are people who want the rate and review. I think you haven’t earned it yet. Again, I’m not a big fan of having it but usually, I will put it in a section that says, “If you love this show, please rate and review.” It’s got a link out to a page that is a whole rate and review that tells them how to do it because it’s complicated. It’s not simple to rate and review a podcast. Those who are sophisticated podcast listeners already know how to do it. They will do it within the app and don’t care for this piece.The longer people spend on your website, the more site value you create over time. Click To Tweet
I agree with you on that, Tracy. It is important to have a rate and review page on your website after your show is out there, launched, and syndicated everywhere. If you want to take a couple of screenshots of it there, have steps 1, 2, and 3. Here’s how you do it but it’s for that newbie listener, an uninformed listener who doesn’t have a lot of experience doing it. Where you put a link to that on your podcast page or on your website, there are a lot of different options, and it’s more of a personal choice.
I don’t like to put them up on a top menu unless your whole website is a podcast’s website. It’s all about the podcast. That’s the only time that I would maybe put a rate and review page up at the top menu. This page is the place to put it in there and link out to that page. It’s a less easily navigatable page within your website. We do it because if you run a rate and review campaign, you want to be able to have a page to which you can send people. If they don’t know how to do it, they go right there.
We do like to have them but again, this is a choice. That’s the one piece that’s optional but we recommend someplace to put it, and this is not a bad place. Now we have the branding of the podcast, a description paragraph, the player, and the big subscribe links, including your email newsletter list or your email list. That needs to be one of those links.
We have maybe the rate and review section. Below that, you probably want to have some. I’m going to call it a simple blog feed. It might be the top episode. It might be your most recent episode. You don’t want to have every blog and keep scrolling. You want to have a simplified feed because you probably already have a top-level. If you don’t, you should have a top-level blog section that’s completely separate so that you can go and navigate to all of the podcast blogs or all of the show notes.
Some people call them episode blogs. Whatever you want to call them. They are navigatable through either the topic area or through some major blog page section, which is top-level like your podcast. You want to have it where essentially anything that you do here is going to link you into that section. It’s enough to get an attraction in case someone doesn’t want to use the player. It gives them a bigger visual of the episode and some descriptive paragraph or something about it or information about the guest that’s on the title of this episode. Give them a sample in a much bigger way but below everything. That’s the bottom of the page. That’s it. It’s simple.
I like it when a podcast page lets me navigate to all the podcast blogs from them in that area.
Some of them do all of them here, and you click the link of the title section.
I agree on the podcast page. I don’t like it when it scrolls forever, and every episode is there. That’s information overload. I don’t think that’s very helpful but having 3, 5 or 6, depending on whether they are tiles or in a list. Having some there that update, the latest ones always there or, as you said, your favorite ones. Having a button or a text link down at the bottom where you can see older episodes or more episodes so that you can get that from there would be very useful and helpful. That’s what I like to do but you got to have some on that page so that it’s very clear, “There’s more content here.”
The other reason I don’t like to have a giant section of it is that I like to have this smaller section, whether you do it side-by-side carousel or have 3 to 5 like we were talking about. If you also then have a video channel or a video show, I like to put that below it at the bottom. There’s the YouTube channel, and it might be that playlist of all of your episodes in the playlist. It’s with the most recent on top, so the most recent is there.
That’s a great way to brand that Video Cast version of it. Now, you could swap the archive player and the video player if you are in a promotion period where you are trying to get more video watchers but it’s the podcast page, not the video page. Keeping it below the blog is a great strategy for this moment. Again, another place where they are going to scroll down, they are going to go, “I’m going to watch the video. I would like to see what they look like. I would like to get a little more detail or that sounded visual. Let me go down to the video player and play it.”
The other thing I want people to understand when you have your own podcast landing page is that you can change it up over time. When you have a page that’s from your hosting provider only, they have one way they do it, and that’s it. Take it or leave it. You can adjust it. You can change it up. You get feedback or you are tired of it, and you want to freshen it up or as Tracy said, you want to emphasize video versus the audio. There are lots of things you can do. When you have your own, that’s one of the benefits.
Move it up and promote it. It’s a little bit different message. The last thing I want to leave you with on the structure of this page is that this is not the page to have a sidebar or sales messages mixed in. This is not the page for that. The blog pages can have a sidebar, which has your courses, your books, and your programs. There should be no sales messages on this page.Don't confuse people. Get people to focus on you and your message to the world. Click To Tweet
This is a content-first page, so you do the full width, no sidebar, and don’t mix in extra messages. It confuses things, and it makes people think that your podcast is the sole vehicle to sell your book or a vehicle to only sell your programs and courses. That might be true. We don’t need to make that so blatantly obvious that that’s the only thing we care about by inserting sales messages onto this page.
Great point, Tracy. I agree. That is important. Don’t confuse people. Get people to focus on you and your message to the world, listen to your latest episode, and then they will get more on other pages. It makes perfect sense.
That’s all I got.
That covers it. I don’t think we need to elaborate on or overemphasize it but it’s important for you need to have it. Again, I know a lot of you podcasters out there who are reading this who are not already working with us. You only have an Anchor page or you only have a Libsyn page for your show, and you think, “I’ve got my website covered.” No, you don’t. You need a real website.
Whether you are bootstrapping it and you are going to make it yourself, perfectly fine or you want to get some support, either way, you need it. It’s in your best interest and the interest of your show to be found by more listeners at the end of the day. Providing them some real value, additional value outside of the podcast listening apps. I can’t emphasize this enough. You need it.
Let’s drop the mic right there. Thanks, everyone, for reading Feed Your Brand, and we will bring to you another interesting topic, deep dive into the tactics that are working in the podcasting industry.