“Hey Google, what’s the impact of audio content on SEO?”
“Here are the results for Willem Dafoe.”
Love it, hate it or simply struggle to use it, the rise of voice search is changing the SEO landscape. More and more devices include ways for us to search the web and find what we need when our hands are covered in flour or filled with groceries.
If you’re building an online presence and trying to grow your audience through organic visibility, adding audio content is a powerful way to reach voice searchers and keep up with Google’s latest algorithm changes.
Google Is Becoming an Audio Search Engine
It all began back in the beginning of 2019, when Google announced they would begin showing audio content in search results. Since then, we’ve seen audio content and video content show up more frequently in search results.
If you want to start adding audio, feel free to fill your hours by launching a podcast (we’ve explored the pros and cons of starting one here). It’s an expensive time investment and an increasingly crowded space.
Or you can experiment with a tactic called audio blogging – which utilizes and repurposes the content you’ve already written – to establish your online audio presence.
The SEO Benefits of Adding Audio Content
Adding audio to your written content works a bit like compound interest. Bear with me, here.
- Start by adding an audio track to the top blog posts you’ve already written. That opens the door for your existing audience to experience your content in a whole new way. Don’t settle for an automated voice. Use your own, so that your audience gets to know who you are.
- Google will crawl your top blog posts with added audio content, and the additional engagement will give them extra SEO weight. Google values higher levels of engagement and accessibility. More engagement across channels and devices means more visibility.
- With more SEO weight, these blogs will get more visibility. With Google showing your posts more often in search results, you’ll get more clicks and visits.
- With more visibility, and more time on site, you’ll get more SEO weight. Just as compound interest grows at higher increments over time, the more visibility and engagement you get on your audio-backed content, the more Google will view it as a good option to show to its searchers. Thus, more SEO weight, and exposure.
This flywheel can turn and turn as you optimize your biggest hits. However, there are a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross to get the most bang-for-your-buck from each audio recording.
How to Make Your Audio Content Search-Friendly
When you can easily create an audio recording from a tool like, I don’t know, Allears, and add it to your blog, there are a few important details to be aware of:
1) Make sure your audio player accounts for different devices.
With a tool like ours, you don’t have to worry about this. The easily embeddable player accounts for different devices and browsers already. However, if you’re DIY-ing your audio recording through Adobe or a different tool, make sure whatever you add to your site plays nicely with all the other kids.
2) Don’t get too meta with your metadata.
Use intentional file names and make sure you account for how your audio files and player show up in your html. Clear labels and descriptions help make sure Google views your file as a value-add and not a clunky setback.
3) Use the Power of a Human Voice
There are more and more audio tools out there that will auto-generate a robotic text-to-speech (TTS) recording for you. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Here’s why you should be wary of instant auto-recording and text-to-speech solutions:
Just as Google has increasingly devalued keyword-stuffed content that sounds like it was made by robots for robots, the push for more compelling and personalized content on all channels means that you’ll likely get less SEO value in the long-term for using an automated robotic voice.
Plus, you’ll save your audience from the grating sound of Siri reading to them like they’re kids in a robot family.
Using the power of your own voice – or the most soothing, sultry voice on your team – will help listeners connect to your brand in a whole new, personalized way.
Personalized Audio Can Unlock Your SEO
Opening the door to listeners, not just readers, is an excellent way to grow your online presence. Plus, Google loves higher engagement numbers – and playing by Google’s rules can help you reach new audiences while you go the gym, run errands, binge a show, sleep… you get the idea.
So, step into your virtual living room, grab a cup of virtual tea, and virtually sip away while you explain why your chocolate lava cake recipe is the perfect one for your latest listeners’ Friday night dinner date.
If you’ve got something to say, don’t just write it – record it too.