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Understanding Podcast Rankings, Charts, and How to Get to the Top

Your podcast’s ranking can make or break your show as it plays a crucial role in increasing the visibility and findability of your podcast and podcast episodes. It’s the secret sauce to getting noticed, attracting more listeners, and growing your audience. 

You don't want to miss out on the benefits that come with being at the top of the charts, because the truth is, top-ranked podcasts benefit from exposure, which ultimately translates to a higher ROI.

So, let's get to climbing those charts.

Understanding Podcast Rankings and Charts

Podcast rankings are essentially popularity charts that rate and highlight the top-performing podcasts within a specific category and time frame. For podcasters, rankings are indicators of popularity and success, as they help increase visibility and growth. As a listener, rankings offer valuable insights into the current trending podcasts and provide an opportunity to discover new shows.

Each of the big podcast hosting platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and Amazon Music have their respective charts (top shows, top episodes, and trending podcasts). Each platform has different ranking factors that vary between downloads, ratings, listens, follows episode completion rates, unique listeners, and growth. 

Regardless of which platforms you use, let’s take a look at the general key strategies you need to be thinking about to get your show to the top of the charts.

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5 Universal Ways to Get Your Show to the Top of the Podcast Charts

Here are five sound methods to up your listens, followers, and growth, and get your podcast to the top.

1. Keyword Research 

Podcast keyword research is the act of identifying and selecting the most relevant, high-traffic and achievable keywords related to your podcast niche, to help guide your podcast content.

To conduct podcast keyword research, start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords and phrases that accurately describe your podcast content, topics, themes, and target audience. Then, use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to gather data on search volume, competition, and relevance for each keyword.

By conducting regular keyword research on your podcast niche, you can stay up to date on the latest trends and search queries related to your content and adjust your content calendar accordingly by planning episodes around these keywords.

You can also use these keywords to optimize your podcast titles, descriptions, show notes, and tags to help search engines better understand the content and rank it higher in relevant search results. Remember that in addition to well-researched keywords, your copy should include an accurate description of what listeners will find on your show.

2. Reviews and Ratings

Podcast ratings and reviews are not the sole ranking factor on most of the big platforms; however, quality reviews should be considered to get to the top of the charts for several reasons.

  1. Depending on the hosting platform, reviews and ratings are part of the algorithm that ranks your podcast. 
  2. Reviews and ratings also serve as a form of social proof that help persuade potential listeners to give your podcast a try. It gives potential listeners confidence that your show is worth their time. The more listeners, the more potential to make it to the top of the charts.
  3. Reviews and ratings will provide you with valuable feedback on your podcast's content, production quality, and overall appeal. By paying attention to what listeners are saying, you can make improvements and adjustments to your show to better meet their needs and preferences. The better the show, the more listeners, the more subscribers, and the more downloads.

3. Social Media Promotion

Social media promotion will help get your podcast to the top of the charts by increasing its visibility, reach, and engagement with potential listeners. By leveraging the power of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can connect with your target audience, build a community around your podcast, and drive traffic to your website or podcast hosting platform. 

Plus, social media provides an opportunity to share clips, teasers, and behind-the-scenes content, which can help generate buzz and excitement around your podcast. 

4. Podcast Metrics and Analytics

Understanding your podcast’s metrics and analytics will provide you with insights into key performance indicators such as downloads, subscribers, and listener engagement. By tracking and analyzing these metrics, you’ll be able to identify trends, spot opportunities for improvement, and make data-driven decisions about your podcast content, marketing strategies, and overall growth. 

5. Subscriptions

Number of podcast subscribers is a key metric that many podcast platforms use to rank and recommend shows to listeners. Subscriptions indicate a loyal and engaged audience that is interested in regularly tuning in. As your subscription numbers grow, so does your visibility and credibility, making it more likely that your podcast will be featured in recommendation lists and charts.

Get to the Top of the Charts with Casted

It’s no secret that podcasts that grow their audience, downloads, and subscriptions make it to the top of the charts. From easy amplification of your episode’s content on social media to in-depth metrics and analytics, Casted’s podcast hosting platform has all of the features to help you grow.

For more podcasting insights, tune into The Casted Podcast.

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