Boost your visibility in 6 weeks – The Ultimate Podcast Visibility Optimization Checklist

Boosting your podcast’s visibility is not rocket science, but it is a science. A science we teach during the training sessions of our pilot program.

As clients report, this training is both very strategic and operational. This means that the sessions are packed with information. To help clients get the most out of their training, we came up with the idea of a visibility checklist that will act as a refresher and a roadmap.

Don’t worry if you are not a client, you will still get a lot of value out of this article. And if you don’t have a Voxalyze account yet, create one now. It’s free and you will need it to follow along, complete the checklist, and boost your podcast’s visibility.

You can see a preview of the checklist down below. If you keep scrolling, you will also find:

  • A button to download a high-resolution version of the checklist in PDF format.
  • A detailed walkthrough of the checklist, week-by-week.
Podcast Visibility Checklist 6-week roadmap

Week 1: Defining your keyword strategy

Brainstorm a list of 30-50 target keywords:

What terms do you think your show should rank for when users type them in the search bar of their listening app? Ask yourself simple question questions: what is the show’s main topic? What does it help listeners with? What are recurring talking points? What prominent guests have come on the show (if any)? Try to come up with about 30 relevant terms, and select your top 3 keywords.


If you like to brainstorm with a pen and paper, great, but eventually, you must enter your list in an Excel sheet.


How to choose the best keywords for your podcast?

Spy on your competitors

Type your #1 keyword in our Keyword Explorer tool. Doing so will tell you which podcasts are ranking for this term. Now, add the top show to your projects and go to its keyword section. You will be able to see all the keywords your #1 competitor ranks for. What are interesting keywords they rank for that you didn’t think of? Add them to your Excel sheet. Conversely, are any of your top keywords absent? Great, this will make your job easier!


  • Voxalyze Keyword Explorer
  • Voxalyze Keyword section

Decide on the 10 most relevant keywords:

Now that you have the list you brainstormed, augmented with your competitors’ best keywords, take the time to figure out the ten most relevant keywords for you.

Volume and difficulty check:

Go to our Keyword Explorer and check the volume and keyword difficulty of the 10 terms you have selected. Pick the 5 most promising keywords based on two criteria:

  • Volume >= 2 dots
  • Difficulty =< 75

Add this information in new columns in your Excel sheet.


  • Keyword section
  • Excel


What is keyword difficulty

Week 2: first round of metadata changes

We are now done with keyword research. Let’s proceed with the first round of optimization. To give you a quick overview of podcast metadata, five types of tags influence rankings. Here they are in order of importance:

  • show title
  • publisher name (especially for Apple)
  • show description
  • episode titles
  • episode descriptions

To keep things simple, we’re going to focus on the show title and the show description.

The show title

The show name is by far the most important tag for algorithms. If yours didn’t already contain at least 2-3 of the essential keywords you selected in the previous step, insert them now.

Doing so will not only help with your search visibility. Users who stumble upon your podcast are less likely to give it a listen if the show title doesn’t explicitly mention the main topic. We, too, love witty and catchy titles, but you need to add additional information for bots and humans.

Here’s how to modify your title tag:

show title -> show title – some short sentences containing your 2-3 main keywords.

Example: Pod Save America -> Pod Save America – Daily news and politics.

How to craft a good show description:

You should structure your show description in 2 sections.

The first section is there to convince potential listeners. Tease them and tell them why they should listen. Answer the question “what’s in it for me?”.

Do include: the main topic, recurring themes, and past famous guests.

Don’t include: the detailed publishing schedule, the sound engineer’s name.

The second section is primarily written for search engine crawlers. Don’t engage in keyword stuffing though. Elegantly string together the remaining 30-50 keywords in your keyword list. Be as exhaustive as possible. The show description can be up to 4000 characters long. A tool like ChatGPT can be a great help with that section of the description.

Publish the changes in your hosting provider’s interface and…wait. Give it a full 1-2 weeks to give bots the time to crawl your new metadata and for algorithms to update rankings. Set yourself a reminder to check in 2 weeks.


  • Hosting provider’s interface
  • ChatGPT


The ultimate guide to optimizing your podcast metadata?

Week 3: Review results

Go to your project in Voxalyze and check the following things:

Visibility score and rank:

Have they started going up on Apple and Spotify? Make this a weekly habit.

New positions for your top target keywords:

If you are not ranking at least in the top 20 for your main keywords, there are several potential explanations. The good news is, for some of them, there are levers you can pull to improve your positions.

  1. You used a top 3 keyword in the show description but not in the show title (or vice versa) -> add it
  2. The main keyword appears too late in the show description -> reformulate the beginning of the description to include your top keyword in the first sentence.
  3. Your show authority needs improvement. You can boost it by systematically asking listeners to rate and review your show. If you can, give them an incentive to do so (e.g a free bonus).
  4. The competition is too tough given your authority. If the top keywords you targeted have a keyword difficulty of 75 in Voxalyze, consider replacing them with terms with a difficulty of 70 and below.
  5. You need to give algorithms more time. Positions sometimes need more than two weeks to evolve, especially with Apple Podcasts. Wait another week before making changes.


  • Voxalyze Visibility dashboard
  • Voxalyze Keyword Section


What is podcast authority?

Bonus lever:

though this is not possible for media groups with several podcasts under the same publisher name, creators can boost their Apple ranking by including their main keyword in their publisher name.

Example: Marie Kondo -> Marie Kondo – Organizing consultant

Week 4: Second round of optimizations

Note: if you’re already ranking high for your top keywords, go directly to Week 5.

First things first, let’s have another look at your visibility rank and score. You should now see the full benefits of the changes you made to your metadata during step 2.

Now, let’s turn our attention to your top keywords. If you are still not seeing significant improvement in positions, it’s a sign you did aim too high after all.

Go back to your Excel sheet and pick your 4th, 5th and 6th most important terms. Confirm that they offer enough search volume and that their keyword difficulty is at most 70.

If you didn’t note down this information, you can check it with the Keyword Explorer in Voxalyze.

Can’t find any? Keep going. Define your top 7th, 8th and 9th keywords and repeat the process.


  • Voxalyze Keyword Explorer
  • Excel

Week 5: Episode-level optimization

This time, we will take optimizations one step further and look at episode titles and descriptions. These tags that are not that important taken individually but make all the difference when looked at as a whole.

Optimizing episode titles and descriptions will help in 2 ways:

#1 Episode level

Search results showcase both podcasts and episodes. As a result, your episodes can rank for keywords individually as long as the difficulty doesn’t exceed 30-40. This low-volume, low-competition keywords form what is called the long tail.

One of the examples I like to highlight to show the power of the long tail is Stuff You Should Know. I’ve talked about it in a visibility ranking (link). To summarize, SYSK excels at episode descriptions. As a result, they rank for thousands of keywords in the search results of listening apps. This is why training your editorial team to write episode metadata with search engines in mind is essential.

#2 Show level

Regularly including your top keywords in episode titles will help the show rank for them. It acts as an overall topical relevance boost. Make sure to include the main topics of episodes in the episode titles. This will not only help with visibility, but it will also help set expectations with listeners.


Voxalyze Keyword Explorer


Long-Tail Keywords for Podcasts: How to Leverage Them to Grow Your Audience

Week 5 is also the week where we get even more data-driven. You see your visibility score rising and your downloads going up, but you’re wondering how many downloads exactly your PVO efforts are yielding.

There are several ways to go about measuring that uplift; we recommend you follow our easy guide. It was designed for all audiences. Even if you don’t have a background in data/analytics or you’re not an Excel pro, you should be able to get to a number.


The easy guide to measuring the impact of podcast visibility optimization

Week 6: Review and keep the momentum going

As usual, monitor your visibility rank and score. By now, your rank should have significantly improved. To give you an example, we have seen clients with high show authority (10,000 daily downloads) jump 1,000 positions in the US in 4 weeks.

Check your positions for the new top keywords you defined during step 4. If you selected them correctly, your show should now rank in the top 5-10 for these terms.

Keyword count:

We didn’t look at this metric during previous optimization rounds because it only becomes relevant once you start optimizing your episode metadata. The goal is to keep this number growing steadily over time and reap the full benefits of PVO. Ensure your editorial team keeps following metadata best practices when releasing new episodes. If they have time and the content is evergreen, have them progressively update the metadata of past episodes.


  • Voxalyze visibility dashboard
  • Voxalyze Keyword section


What if my visibility score is improving on one platform but not on the other?

The first question is: how long have you been monitoring your score? If you made your first major metadata changes less than four weeks ago, you might want to give it a bit more time.

Apple’s and Spotify’s work differently so the same changes might not yield the exact same results as can be seen in our case study with APM Studios.


Send them to hello@voxalyzeand we will do our best to answer them in this FAQ.