Link building

How to use podcasts for link building


Podcasts have gone from relative obscurity less than a decade ago to one of the fastest growing marketing channels available today.

But the power of podcasts doesn’t stop at reaching the people who listen to them.

When properly leveraged, podcasts can have a powerful impact on organic search as well.

There are two main reasons for this.

  • Podcasts can make people search for the name of a person or business. This type of branded search can send positive signals to Google that can influence search suggestions, as well as improve overall rankings.
  • Most podcasts are also available outside of aggregators like iTunes and Stitcher, most often on someone’s website.

This usually leads to two-way links.

The website hosting the podcast will generally be linked to its guest’s website from the time that episode is posted.

The guest, and in some cases their fans, will link to this episode on the podcast’s website.

In other words, having a podcast and being invited to other podcasts can be an effective way to gain quality links.

Often times, these links will generate valuable referral traffic as well.


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Hosting your own podcast

Hosting a podcast is a great way to get your name known while building a loyal following.

It’s also a great way to develop meaningful relationships with people in your industry. I’m talking about a first-hand experience.

I started my podcast about a year ago and quickly realized that it made communicating with strangers a lot easier and a lot more efficient.

We’re not going to get into how to start a podcast. It’s way beyond the scope of this article, and frankly, even though I pitched mine, I don’t consider myself to be an expert on the subject.

If you need any advice on this, I encourage you to check out John Lee Dumas’ guide to starting a podcast.

Our focus in this article will be on how to use your own podcast to gain high quality links.

The first step, once you’ve got all the technical details sorted out, is to create something that people really want to listen to. It means sharing useful information, rather than saying how awesome you are.


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You can use a monologue format or, as most people seem to do, an interview format.

The choice is yours, but interviewing other people is usually a more effective way to build connections.

It is also much easier.

My very first podcast episode was a monologue.

It was just me talking about the importance of differentiating your business from its competition. The topic was useful, but I was alone in my office talking to myself – and i felt like a complete asshole.

On the other hand, interviewing someone or having a co-host makes things a lot easier and more natural. It’s just a conversation, rather than a lone nutcase in a room talking to himself.

Here are some good examples of this format in our industry:

Whatever format you choose, the key is to always deliver original and valuable information.

From there, it’s relatively easy to reach out to the people you want to interview. People who have something useful to say that others want to hear.

In many cases, if you interview someone, they’ll link to their episode as soon as it goes live without any prompts. But you can avoid the uncertainty and just ask them to do it.

The right time to do this is right after you have finished interviewing him, while he is still emotional.

Obviously, they won’t be able to do this until it goes live, but you’ve put the seed in, which will make it more likely when the time comes.

You can also ask them to encourage their audience to connect with it.

Be a guest on other podcasts

Being a guest on other podcasts is a great way to build publicity for you and your business, but it can also be a great way to gain links. This is because most hosts will link to your website from the episode post.


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Most podcasters who follow an interview format are always on the lookout for interesting and knowledgeable guests. This means that if you have special skills, unique knowledge, or an interesting opinion, it should be relatively easy to be a guest on relevant podcasts.

It assumes that you can present your story in a way that the host cares about what you have to say.

Popular podcasters usually get a flood of emails asking them to interview people. Many of these emails are ignored because they are purely selfish.

The key here is to present their audience’s perspective rather than your own interests.

You need to figure out what their audience is really interested in, then send out a pitch explaining why your story will interest them.

And while you’re at it, avoid false compliments and share how you stumbled upon their podcast. Everyone knows compliments are wrong and they don’t care how you found their podcast.


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Instead, keep the pitch short and to the point.

And don’t waste your time with constant email follow-ups. If they are interested, they will respond. The only thing you’ll accomplish by harassing them is making sure they never interview you.

And if you’re particularly aggressive, they might even tell other people, which would hurt your chances of appearing on other podcasts.

If you have a large following, maybe on social media, columned in a major publication or podcast of your choice, it might help to mention this, but don’t go overboard – a short mention will suffice.

When you ramble endlessly on yourself, you will disable the host and kill your chances of participating in the podcast.

Which podcasts should you target?

It can be tempting to compile a list of podcasts and sort their websites based on one of the myriad SEO metrics.


While there may be some benefit in targeting high traffic websites, you are much better off sorting them by relevance as hosts will be more likely to interview you.


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Beyond that, you might want to sort them by engagement, which you can identify based on reviews and social media activity.

An added benefit is that their audience will be more interested in what you have to say. This means that they will be more likely to listen, click, link to your website, and even purchase your products or services.


Time range: This is a pretty straightforward and straightforward process – compile a list of relevant podcasts and feature them on you (or your client) as a guest. It can take as little as an hour depending on the niche and how many podcasts you want to launch. Some niches may have only a few

Results detected: You could start earning links in a matter of weeks, but some podcasts are booked months in advance, so it can take a lot longer. They can start to impact rankings just as quickly, depending on what topics you want to rank for, the authority and relevance of the websites that are linked to, but in most cases, you should expect a lag of several months.


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Average links sent per month: It will depend entirely on how many podcasts are in your niche and how many you can fit into your schedule. After all, there are only a limited number of hours in a day, and you can’t spend all of them being interviewed on podcasts. Most niches will have at least a dozen podcasts, but some niches, like business or digital marketing, might have hundreds.

Necessary tools:

  • Google or Bing
  • E-mail
  • Thick skin (you will probably be told ‘no’ a lot.)


  • This can be an effective way to gain the kind of relevant, high quality links that can dramatically improve rankings. These are often links that your competition may not have considered, giving you an edge in search.
  • Podcasts tend to have a very engaged audience, which means these links are more likely to generate referral traffic.
  • This tactic goes beyond SEO by creating positive publicity. And as more and more people hear about your brand, brand search will also increase, which can be a positive signal for Google.


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Image credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita