SEO Your Show: Search Engine Optimization

Posted on December 14, 2011


One trick several presenters used at last week’s Arbitron Client Conference was referencing how many search results there are for a specific term. For example:

If you type “radio” into Google you get a list of 3,460,000,000 possible hits.

If you type “DJ” in Bing you get 641,000,000 hits to look through.

If you type “on-air” into Yahoo! (Hey, at least I didn’t go AOL on you) you get 63,100,000 results.

We all know no one goes through all the listing that come up when they look for something in a search engine. Most people look at the first two or three pages at most.

That’s where the art of SEO – Search Engine Optimization – comes in.

SEO is the practice of optimizing your site so when people are searching for topics related to your area of expertise it will appear higher on the list of results Google provides.

A post on the Web site Interspire called “Google SEO Basics for Beginners” talks about a few important SEO tactics:

  1. Keyword Selection: It’s important to use key words throughout your site that match what people are likely to be searching for so that when a search engine comes looking around it will notice those words and give you a higher ranking. Effective key words strike a good balance between standing out from the crowd and being too obscure.
  2. Keyword Density: If you overload your site with a particular key word search engines may think you are a phony and lower your ranking because they don’t trust you.
  3. Links, Links, Links: Search engines like Web sites that other people are linked to. It gives off the appearance of being a trusted resource and will improve your rankings.

Now I realize you didn’t come here for a tutorial on building Web sites but take a second and consider these three basic SEO tactics in the context of your show:

  1. Consistent Keywords: Consider what are you talking about on the air each day. It’s important to talk about topics consistently enough so that the listeners — who in this analogy are the search engine — will put you high on the list of results.
  2. Unique Keywords: Choose topics that are unique enough so you stand out from the crowd yet mass appeal enough so a lot of people are likely to be searching for them.
  3. Keyword Density: Talk about topics enough to get recognized for being an expert but not so much that you are perceived by audiences as a one-trick pony.
  4. Links to Your Audience: You can’t have other shows link to yours but you can establish a strong web of links by building up your social media following. If you have a large and engaged group of Facebook friends or Twitter followers it will make you look respectable to new listeners.

If you need help with SEO for your show I happen to know a good mechanic whose managed to build a few Web sites (and a lot of good radio shows) who could help.