Who's heard a podcast host beg and plead for podcast reviews? Why are they doing this?
SEO? Maybe. I think there are urban myths around what ratings and reviews can do for you. I think a line that I hear a lot is please leave us a rating or a review. It really helps new people find the show. Maybe. I have seen, I've worked in this world for a very long time. I have seen no concrete evidence that leaving ratings and reviews does much of anything in terms of your chart position. Apple knows how their charting algorithm works. They're not telling anybody, and I think it is this urban myth around leave us a rating and review and it really helps us. I would argue that you should encourage your listeners to leave a rating and review, but not because it's necessarily going to help you in the charts. I think you should ask for ratings and reviews because they are part of your product's packaging, right? So what does that look like? Here's Grown-Ups Read Things They Wrote as Kids. We h...
ave 863 ratings. The average rating is five stars. What does this tell you about the show?
People like it.
People have listened and people like it. This is almost as big as the category. This is a piece of your show's packaging that you don't have a whole lot of control over, but you can encourage people to contribute to. This is like star ratings on Amazon. This is like written reviews on Airbnb. Your show's ratings and reviews are a public-facing signal of quality. You might not have control over this, but they are displayed prominently and you need to think about them as part of your podcast's packaging. A very important point, especially if you are launching a new show, some apps will show your ratings and reviews, actual written reviews, in chronological order where the first review shows up first and will haunt you forever. The first review that you are ever left is probably going to get an out-sized amount of attention in many podcast apps. So if you are launching a new show, maybe get a friendly person that you like, who likes your show, to leave you not just a star rating, but a written review, and I'm not saying buy reviews. I would encourage you not to do that. But I am saying that that first review is gonna show up for a lot of people. You don't want it to be a bad one. So you can solicit ratings and reviews from your listener base, from your most engaged listeners, and you can also monitor the ratings and reviews that come in, so there are services like Chartable and services like Podkite, that allow you to track ratings and reviews all across territories, so it's not just, it is not just, in the United States of America, you're looking at US reviews. In Canada there's a whole separate set of reviews. In the UK, there's a separate set of reviews there. There are many, many, many, dozens and dozens of territories, and if you want to track all of your ratings or reviews around the globe, a service like Chartable or Podkite could really help you do that and aggregate them, 'cause you do not want to spend all of your day changing the territory in iTunes, in the lower right hand corner of desktop iTunes. You will spend a lot of time. Use one of those aggregator services.
<b><p dir="ltr">Dan Misener makes podcasts. By day, he heads up audience development at Pacific Content, a Vancouver-based podcast company. By night, he produces the award-winning series Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids.</p></b>