Everything that we've talked about so far is a piece of metadata, but when I say show metadata, we're talking about your entire series, and for the purposes of this conversation, the things that you write. The text that you are going to enter into your podcast CMS or hosting provider. This is series level, show level, the metadata for your entire show. And the important thing you need to keep in mind about your show metadata is that you are writing for two different and very important audiences. You are writing for human beings, and you are also writing for machines. Humans are going to read all of your metadata with their human eyes through an app. Machines are going to read your metadata with their robot eyes, and they're gonna use it for things like search and indexing and showing your show to people when people are looking for it. And you really do need to write for both of these audiences. If you focus entirely on your human listeners, you're gonna miss out on SEO, and if you writ...
e entirely for the machines, you're going to have a very spammy looking (laughs) set of metadata. So write for both audiences. Let's look at an example of a show. This is a show that, in my day job, we make with a company called Red Hat. It's called Command Line Heroes. It's a really good show. It's listed in the Software How-To category. Just, you could shout it out. Who do you think this show is for?
Techies and programmers.
Techies, programmers. Say again?
Yeah. Hackers, absolutely. This is a show that is made very precisely for open source software developers, CIS admins, IT decision makers. This is a pretty geeky show. What are you basing that on? What are you basing who you think this show is for on?
The command line.
The Command Line Heroes, absolutely. And I would say that we've got visual artwork, show level artwork that really backs that up. What else are you basing the sort of geeky nature of the show on?
Red Hat. Yep. Red Hat. So, whether you know Red Hat or not. If you do know Red Hat, you know that they're an open source software company. You could look at the category that the show is listed in. You could read the first few sentences of this. Like a lot of this, who's ever heard a single episode of Command Line Heroes? Nobody in this room. I think you've got a pretty good idea of what this show is. You have used your eyes long before you have heard an episode of Command Line Heroes. Which you should listen to, 'cause it's actually very good and you don't need to be a nerd to listen to it. (audience laughs) So these are all pieces of metadata that are pulled from your RSS feed. And you can go change them at any time. You can change the title of your show. You can change the author of your show. You can change the description of your show. And you can do that in your podcast hosting platform. But again, another illustration of like the words that you write carry weight and are going to impact how people perceive your show. Let's talk about your show's title. Couple things that you want to avoid. You wanna avoid redundancy. The Dan Misener Podcast probably doesn't need the word podcast in it. Because people are going to listen to my podcast in a podcast app, and they know it's a podcast. So you wanna avoid redundancy. You also wanna be unique, right? Avoid stepping on anybody else's toes. You wanna choose a name for your show that belongs to you and is ownable. You also wanna be specific. Apple says that if you name your show Our Community Bulletin, that is way too vague to attract many new listeners. Which community? Who is our referring to? What is a bulletin? Right, so you wanna make it as specific as your audience needs. And I think, and this is an increasing important point, you want your show title to be unambiguous. What does that mean? (laughs) You've gotta be very careful if you are considering a show title that includes things like numbers. Is that two like the number two, or is that T-O, or is that a clever use of the number two to mean the word T-O? Right? Making up words. Non-dictionary words. That you have invented, that you think are clever. Many people may have difficulty spelling. And podcast search is not great. So if somebody mistypes your made up show name, that is a clever portmanteau of your name (audience laughs) and some genre, people might have a hard time finding that. So, podcasts travel by word of mouth. I think we all know this. We recommend them to one another. Podcasts travel by word of mouth, and if there is ambiguity in how you say or spell your show name, that is a speed bump. That could be a problem. Also, we've got huge growth in the smart speaker world. And not a lot of people are listening to podcasts on smart speakers. Part of it is discoverability. Part of it is the user experience of listening to a podcast on a smart speaker. But, ambiguity, when you're talking to a robot assistant, saying play me this ambiguously titled or spelled show or play me the show where they made the name up, and it's not a dictionary word, that's gonna cause you headaches, because these major vendors are not going to adapt to your show or understand how your weird, made up name is actually pronounced when you say it. So, ambiguity. Another thing to think about, and this one hits particularly close to home for me, is the length of your show name. So, I make a show called Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids. And it's based on a live event that we've been doing for 12 years. And we didn't have a podcast 12 years ago. And if I could go back in time and make it shorter, I would. Look what happens in Apple Podcasts. You can see the full name of the show when you look at the artwork, but Grownups Read Things They Wrote dot dot dot. Our show's really, it's got a long name. It's gonna get cut off in podcast apps. And I think this is a really good example of the difference between writing for humans and writing for robots. The robot audience, or the machine audience, knows the full name of the show. It's just being cut off for humans, right? A human using Apple Podcasts might have trouble knowing what the name of this show is. And in fact, I've seen this happen. People say, oh you do a podcast. What's it called? And then they'll search for it and they'll say it's called Grownups Read Things They Wrote dot dot dot? No. That's not the name of our show. So be aware of the length of your show. I'm gonna show a podcast show title, and I want you to tell me what you think about it. Is this a good show title? (audience laughs) It's got lots of things that people might search for in it. I've put them together with pipes. Have you seen this kinda thing?
Is this a good idea? I do not think that this is a good, What is wrong with this? What is wrong with my real estate mastermind podcast?
It's a wall of words.
It's a wall of words.
It doesn't seem very specific.
It's not very specific. It's also scammy as all get out, right? (audience murmurs in agreement) Like this, I don't know. This is not a good look. (audience laughs) And I think you could probably put this into your title field and maybe some of the podcast apps would let you in. But even if they did, the fact that it's this long and stuffed with keywords, says something about you and the quality of your show. So, I would avoid stuff like this. This kind of thing also tends to crop up in author fields. So it's not just Dan Misener, the author of this podcast. Or Red Hat, the author of this podcast. But Dan Misener, SEO expert. Be really careful with this kinda thing. You wanna avoid keyword stuffing. Let's talk about the author field. The author field here says Dan Misener. Who should be in the author field? The author of the podcast. That could be a human being. It could be an organization. It could be a collective of individuals. People's names, organization's names, that's what belongs in here. Do not put anything else in here. Again, avoid the keyword stuffing. It is not a good look and there've been stories floating around for a very long time of shows getting banned or kicked off of platforms because they're doing spammy or scammy SEO optimization. So avoid the keyword stuffing. What about your show description? What should be in there? It should be a pitch, right? Most of the people who see this are gonna people who are not subscribed to your show. And again, another example of writing for humans versus writing for robots, a human being who uses the built in podcast app on their phone, is gonna see the first three-ish lines. Make sure that you are front-loading the most important human readable stuff at the very beginning of your description, because in a lot of podcast apps it's gonna get cut off. And yes, people can hit more to disclose the rest of the text, but you want this, and in particular you want the first sentence, or two sentences, or maybe three sentences, to be a pitch. You wanna avoid redundancy. Again, you don't need to put the name of your show in your description. It's already there. It's already part of the packaging. You probably don't need to mention that Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids is a podcast. Because people are going to read this in a podcast. But I see tons of descriptions all the time that include the name of the show, and the fact that it's a podcast. Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids is a new podcast from Dan Misener. That's all repetition and I've suddenly blown through the first part of my description. So, avoid redundancy. And again, you wanna write, of course, for human beings but for robots. So make sure that it is descriptive and includes all the details that you want. Avoid keyword stuffing. But a well-crafted description should be a pitch to somebody who is not yet subscribed to your show.