How to Title Your Podcast Episodes

get smart with your podcast seo

When podcast listeners search for specific content, they usually use the podcast app’s search feature to find it. And the results that pop up, come from three different spots in your podcast RSS feed, including your episode title. Which makes your podcast title pretty important. And there are some other things you should consider as well to grab people’s attention and help them press the play button. Today we’ll reveal all the tips and tricks for creating effective episode titles for your podcast!

Here’s what we’re talking about today…

  • Why do your episode titles matter?
  • What should you consider when writing your episodes titles?
  • What are the biggest mistakes podcasters make with their episode titles?

What should you include in your podcast promo?

The guide breaks down things to consider when creating your podcast promo, as well as ways to use your promo to help grow your audience.

Sunny Gault | Podcast Coach and Mentor | Independent Podcast Network

Episode Transcript

When podcast listeners are searching for specific content, they usually use the podcast apps Search feature to find it. And the results that pop up come from three different spots in your podcast RSS feed, including your episode title, which makes the podcast titled pretty important, and there are some other things that you should consider as well. To grab people’s attention and help them press that play button. Today will reveal all the tips and tricks for creating effective episode titles for your podcast. Take it away, Mr. radio man. Podcast Your Business.

Hello, welcome to Podcast Your Business. I’m Sunny Gault. I am a podcast coach and mentor. And I’ve been podcasting for about 17 years now. I am also the founder and CEO of a company called Independent Podcast Network. You can check us out at And our network is all about helping podcasts whether you are brand new to podcasting or you are ready to monetize your show. We are there to support you. Today on today’s podcast, and every podcast for Podcast Your Business, I am here to help you create amazing shows that are specifically designed for your business. But some of the topics that we discuss kind of cross over. And today is one of those topics because every podcaster needs to know how to title their episodes. So the way we create amazing podcast is we master what I call the five P’s of podcasting. And those five P’s are prep, plan, produce, promote, and profit. These are the five P’s that you need in order to have a successful show. And there’s lots of different topics we can talk about within those five Ps, today’s topic falls into the category of what Mr. radio man? Promote.

Yeah, you know, this was a hard one to categorize. Because creating your podcast episode titles, could arguably go into the production process. It’s just like when you’re in production mode, and you’re getting everything ready. Part of that is titling your episode. But the importance behind your title is really all about promotion. So that’s why I stuck it in promote. How do you get as many people as possible listening to your podcast, when they’re basically just looking at a bunch of text? Right? So here’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode. First, why do your episode titles matter? Why are we doing a whole episode on this? What is the benefit to you? As the podcaster as well as your audience? What should you consider when writing your episode titles? And finally, perhaps my favorite, what are the biggest mistakes podcasters make with their episode titles, because they see it happen all the time, hence, today’s episode, we’re gonna get started on all of this good stuff right after this quick break. I have to say, guys, I don’t have a lot of bullet points on my little note sheet today. But I really wanted to do today’s episode, and I wanted to call it what I called it about titling your podcast episodes, because this is such a big mistake that I see so many people making. And so I wanted to put it in the title of today’s episode, you’re gonna find out why, right? Because we’re talking about titling our podcast episodes. And so I practice what I preach, guys. Why we’re doing today’s episode.

All right, let’s jump into this by asking the question, why do our episode titles matter? Well, there’s two schools of thought on this. Okay, we have more of our clickbait group, right? You guys know what clickbait is? You see it all the time online, whether it’s for blog posts, sometimes you see it on YouTube videos, and yeah, you do see an on podcast occasionally. But the whole idea is to stir up some curiosity. Now clickbait gets a bad name, because sometimes the content does not match the clicky ness of the title, right? It’s like, whoa, they way oversold it, but there are still things that you can do to draw people in. Okay, so that is one school of thought whether you’re doing a blog post, or a video or a podcast episode, you have these kinds of titles that really kind of catch people’s eye. Now I will say, I have done this before. It’s rare that I do it and I usually only do it if it’s in association with paid media. So for example, when I launched podcast your business in order to kick things off, I hired a podcast company which will remain been named for now. But we may talk about it later. And the goal was to kind of give my podcast a boost. And we ran some ads on Google to promote it. And I knew this was how the first couple of episodes were going to be promoted. So I, you know, I was paying in order to have headlines essentially put up there, and it had to draw people’s attention. So if you go back into the RSS feed for Podcast Your Business, look at the first two episodes, I’ll tell you what they are right now. But look how I did this. Because the first episode I released was called “Three Reasons You Should Start a Podcast for Your Business”. So it kind of draws you in. It’s like, oh, you’re not just giving me a topic, you know, you are drawing me in a little bit, I want to know what those reasons are. So it’s not click-batey, per se, because it was good information. But it’s just presented in a different way. Another example, second episode, I released “How I 10xd My Podcast Revenue”. Now that’s a little bit more interesting. I did that on purpose, because I knew there was going to be paid media behind this. And this was just going to show up because I paid money to get on people’s web pages that they were exploring, right. So that’s one school of thought. But for most of us, we are not going to be paying to promote our podcast episodes. It’s just not in the budget, right? And there’s also not a lot of different places where you could actually do this effectively, as I learned with that unknown company, it really didn’t work out in my favor.

Okay. So the second school of thought is this. And this is what I lean on. For 99.9% of all episodes that I release, titles that focus on search engine optimization, SEO, which basically boils down to key words, because here’s the deal, guys. There are more than 5 million podcasts out there. I’m not talking about episodes, I’m talking about podcasts. Now, are they all producing? No, you know, we could probably knock off a few million, if not more. If we’re talking about actively producing podcasts still, that’s a lot of content to go through. And a lot of people you know, are still trying to figure out podcasting. Oh, I want to listen to a podcast, where do I listen to a podcast? Oh, this apps already on my phone? Let me just do some searches. And what are they searching by key words? And those are the key words that need to be in your title. Can you do both? Can you have more interesting titles, kind of click-batey, but you know, live up to the potential. And titles that include SEO? Yes, you can, you may need to get creative. But it is possible. In fact, I think some of the titles that I gave you earlier, not only were they interesting, but they also had keywords that I was looking for, for podcast, your business, the words podcast, business, podcast revenue, those are good search terms. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. So if you got the skills to write an amazing podcast episode, they can do both do it. Why not? What should you consider when writing your episode titles? Now, for a lot of people, myself included, I definitely think about the content, as I’m writing my title. So when I’m coming up for Podcast Your Business, when I’m coming up with episodes, I automatically think about the content that I want to produce. And then one of the things that I do, and I I’ve done this for a long time, is I will see what other people are talking about when they’re talking about the same types of content. So I will do a basic Google search and see what else is out there. And I try not to make it exactly like what everybody else is posting. But you can see really quickly where the group is going. And it’s usually because those are the search terms that are coming up more frequently. So that’s a really good tip. If you guys you don’t have to pay for any really expensive software in order to do this, just do some Googling and see what else pops up if you pick something and it ends up being a complete flop so you obviously have to check your stats and see if people are actually listening to the episode but if you have a huge drop in listenership, then you may want to take a look at your title. I’ve done this a few times where the original title kind of missed the mark. And by the way, guys, I’ve done this years after an episode was released, not necessarily for podcast your business but for some of the parenting shows that I work on. You know, I’ll just look at the stats and go is there a better way to word this? Or maybe something has changed in the space and a different term is being used now or something like that something that people would be searching for. So don’t think just because You know, you put the episode out there and asked to be written in stone? No, absolutely not, you can go back literally years later and change it. So make sure you’ve got some good SEO in there and make sure that SEO is reflective of your content. Don’t say it’s about one thing, don’t be click-batey, say it’s one thing, and you talk about that for two seconds. But really, it’s about something else people do not like that you’re wasting people’s time.

The next thing to consider, how long is your title. So here’s a little quick tip. If your title is 60 characters, or longer, it will cut short on certain apps and other words, you won’t be able to see the full episode title, you’ll just see that you know the dot dot dot the ellipses. So in general, and it depends on how big your words are. But I usually try to make my podcast titles eight words are less. Now when you do that, try to avoid what I call throw away words. These are usually the small A and the cause. In other words, like adjectives, things like that. Only use words you need because your space is limited, as is the patience of your audience that is trying to decide if they’re going to push play. So those are some of the things that you should consider when writing your episode titles.

Now, let’s talk about the fun part. What are the biggest mistakes podcasters make with their episode titles? Well, failing to do everything we’ve already discussed is obviously a pretty big deal. But let’s kind of get granular here. Because I really want to call out some stuff that I see that just makes me cringe. As a podcast coach, I’m like, What are you doing? You can have five times as many listeners or viewers if you just changed your podcast titles. Okay, so the biggest issue I see is adding extra stuff to your title. Okay, this is not the time and I know when I say SEO, I was like, let’s keyword stuff, please do not do that. Okay, keep your title as clean as possible. Some questions that you may have, do I need the names of my guests? Well, that that depends. Because you are looking for the SEO value. So did you interview somebody that at least within your group, whatever genre you’re in, would that person be recognizable? Would people your audience that’s listening or viewing your podcast? Would they be interested in that expert? Would they know that name? And if the answer is yes, then yeah, included in the title. Now, there’s only twice that this has happened to me. And I’m talking about with my parenting shows, where I have interviewed people that my community would know one was a pediatrician. And one was a midwife slash doula. Both had written a bunch of parenting books, and everybody knew who they were. And trust me when I release those episodes, I definitely put their name in the podcast episode. Otherwise, why would you do that? It’s just taking up space. So honor your guests in other ways, right? Maybe you could put their bio and their photo, things like that on your website. But in the title, no, that is really important real estate. So you want to keep that as short and sweet as possible. If it serves you, then yes, add their name. If not don’t What about episode numbers? Because this is something else I see creeping up in people’s titles. So my opinion is don’t include episode numbers unless you refer back to episodes using the episode number. So if you already have a habit of saying, Hey, if you check out Episode 131, in the show notes, you’ll see blah, blah, blah, then yeah, you’re gonna have to keep using those episode numbers. That’s how people are finding the stuff that you’re referring to. If you took that out, it wouldn’t make any sense. But if you’re not doing that, so for example, in the beginning, from the very beginning, with my parenting shows, I knew I didn’t want the episode number in the titles. So I would just say, hey, go back. Listen to our episode called “Why You Should Never Change your Kid’s Diaper in an Airport”. Okay? So you give them the words that they can just type in and find it that way. So that’s what I did with my parenting shows works great and I don’t have to worry about episode numbers. If you are set on doing episode numbers, or like I said, you have to do it because you’ve been referring back to it. Please don’t use the word “episode”. Make it as simple as possible. The best thing that I’ve ever seen is hashtag used to be called the pound sign. Remember that old school people out there, hashtag, then whatever the number of the episode is, and then the actual words for what your title is, that is the most simple way uses the least amount of characters. But please don’t do “Episode 104”. It’s just wasted space, don’t do it. Also, podcast host providers have kind of got savvy to this when Apple came out because Apple like kind of makes all the rules for the podcasting space, kind of sorta. So when they came out, and were like, simplify all of your titles and get rid of all this extra stuff, they, meaning the podcast host provider started creating separate sections, you’ve probably seen this, depending on who your podcast host provider is. But when you go to upload your episode, and you’re entering in all the information, sometimes they will have a separate section for the episode number. So if you really want to get it in there, just put it in that extra little place. Okay, don’t put it in your actual title.

So we’ve talked about people putting way too much stuff in their title. And then there’s other people that do the exact opposite, where they hardly put anything in their titles. And this is equally frustrating. Because I’ve seen people just put the date. Like, what do you? What is that about? Sometimes people just have the names of their Ghast, and not what they’re talking about at all. And these aren’t necessarily people that are really, really well known, even if they were really well known. I may want to listen to Elon Musk talk about the future of AI. But I don’t want to listen to Elon Musk, tell me how to change my kid’s diaper, right. So please give your audience as much information as you can, obviously, following the rules that we talked about today. Think about it this way, if you were just perusing YouTube, and you just saw the title as a date or somebody’s name, would you really click on the video? I know it depends on the thumbnail, right? But probably not, you need a little bit more information. And that, my friends is how you title a podcast episode. I’ve got some free stuff for you. We’ll talk about that on the other side of this break.

So it was definitely a shorter episode today. But again, so many people are violating these basic rules for titling their podcast episodes. I wanted to just come out with one episode just about this, again, following my own advice for SEO and everything. And now you guys know what to do when you’re writing out those podcast episode titles. Right? So that’s all about promotion, right? We’re trying to get people to find your podcast who wouldn’t otherwise find it, and they’re finding it through SEO, another great way to get your episodes out there. Another great way to get more traction for your podcast is by promoting your podcast on other podcasts, sometimes known as cross-promotion, or maybe just out of the goodness of their heart. They just want to promote your show. Or maybe you pay for promotion on another show. Either way, you are going to need a podcast promo. And I have a free download for you guys that goes over what should be included in your podcast promo. And also, what do you do with your promo afterwards, and we did a whole episode on this as well for podcast your business. So since I title my episodes correctly, you can go back on our website And you can search for podcasts promo, and some amazing stuff is gonna pop up for you. While you’re there, guys, check out all of our amazing blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, lots of free handouts. I even have whole courses available for free video courses on how to podcast we cover the five Ps that we talked about earlier. And I also have a free course that’s on dynamic ad insertion and why I think it’s important, but also how do you convert your episodes and what are some of the things that you need to know when dealing with advertisers as well. So amazing stuff all free for you on Until next week, remember…. you should start a podcast!

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