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Promote Your Website or Your iTunes Directory?

Is best to promote your website or your listing in iTunes (Apple Podcasts is the new name)? If you’re thinking the answer is obvious, apparently it isn’t. It’s a question that sometimes comes up in the various podcast groups. Furthermore, people in the industry can disagree on this. So let’s look at some podcast websites with this question in mind. Do I promote my website or do I promote my listing in iTunes?

2-Minute Tour of Podcast Sites that Use WordPress

Browse the Websites

The websites mentioned in the video above are listed below. You can learn a lot by looking at what others are doing. For example, by looking at 600 Second Saga, I realized that I wasn’t linking my Stitcher subscribe button to the optimum page.

Features

Here are some of the things we saw on the websites above.

  • Show notes – The show notes are whatever extra information you want to provide about a podcast episode. They can be as brief or detailed as you like and include pictures and links just like any blog post. If you have show notes, you have a better chance of being discovered by search engines. So even if podcast listeners don’t commonly read the show notes, it could still be worth it to give them some attention.
  • Links to social media
  • E-newsletter subscription options
  • Podcast networks
  • Supplemental blog posts
  • Supporting other endeavors – sometimes the podcast is supporting other endeavors such as a book, movies, service, etc.

I Promote my Website

It’s easy to find conflicting advice about podcasting best practices. For me, this was an easy one. I promote my website. It’s the thing that I control. It gives people more subscription options as opposed to funneling them into an application that they might not even use (i.e., Apple Podcasts). It just makes sense. So why promote Apple Podcasts instead? I think the theory goes that if you get a bump in subscribers within a certain period of time, you could get featured in the directory. Of course this would potentially give you a big boost in downloads and – hopefully – subscribers. However, I would still rather have my own domain name out there in the world as opposed to a link to a listing in just one of many podcast directories.

So how do you get a boost in Apple Podcasts?

As for getting a boost in Apple Podcasts, industry experts will tell you that their data shows that getting that boost is determined by the number of new subscribers you get within a certain period of time, let’s say a week, but they break it down even further. On the other hand, there is no correlation between a boost and the number of reviews you get.

While I still see no reason to promote Apple Podcasts instead of my own website, it might be worth experimenting with ways to get that boost in other ways. I can imagine a scenario that’s sort of like a pledge drive week where you promote iTunes subscriptions. You could work with other podcasters to do some cross promotion around this. What if as a group we could “deliver” 2000 (or name your number, 1000?) real subscribers over two weeks? By real, I mean that subscriptions are developed through personal contacts as opposed to through paid “click farms”. Is this possible with some organization? Is it worth it? I don’t know.

All of this aside, for me it’s generally not worth being preoccupied with Apple Podcast rankings. Right now I’m still figuring out how to produce my podcast. So it’s possible that someone else is ready for a more aggressive marketing plan around this.

PowerPress SEO

The PowerPress plugin’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features make it easier for search engines to find your podcast. This is yet another reason why I love PowerPress. The developers over at Blubrry stay on top of these things so that I can focus on making a podcast.