Introducing Paseo, a new tool to help understand and improve podcast app SEO for better discoverability

How searchable is your podcast? We built a tool to audit podcast search rankings in Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

. 4 min read


Podcast search matters.

According to the 2020 Canadian Podcast Listener study:

Between in-app and online search, more than 1-in-10 discovered their new podcast because they were looking for one on that topic.

Moreover, “searching the internet” was the most frequently-cited method of podcast discovery according to Edison Research’s The Podcast Consumer, which focuses on US listeners.

In-app search plays an important role in podcast consumption, even when listeners already know exactly which show they’re looking for. Podcasts travel by word of mouth. When friends or colleagues suggest new shows to me, my first stop is usually the search box in my podcast app.

Podcast search fields in Spotify and Apple Podcasts

What’s your podcast’s in-app search ranking?

Podcasters want their shows to be easily searchable (and findable) in podcast apps.

For example, if your show is all about user experience design, you probably want to your podcast to appear when listeners search for uxuiuser experienceuser interface, etc.

If your podcast is about the Ford Bronco, you probably want to rank highly for bronco. If you’re the Ford Motor Company, you probably also want your podcast to rank highly for ford and ford bronco.

Or if your show’s back catalog includes multiple guest appearances by Nobel-prize-winning behavioural economists, you probably want your episodes to rank highly in searches for richard thaler and daniel kahneman. And you probably want to rank highly for both behavioural economics and behavioral economics (note the “u”).

But here’s the question: how do you know if your show is findable? How do you know if (or where) your podcast appears in podcast app search results? How do you track your show’s in-app search ranking across different podcast apps, countries, and time?

Introducing Paseo

I couldn’t find the simple podcast app SEO auditing tool I wanted.

So I built it. It’s called Paseo.

Why the name? “Paseo” is sort of an acronym (Podcast App Search Engine Optimization). It’s also a mid-90s subcompact car. But perhaps most fittingly, “paseo” is an existing word that means “leisurely walk or stroll.”

Paseo is a tool that does one thing and one thing only: it checks Apple Podcasts and Spotify search results, automating the tedious work of searching every single keyword you care about in every single country you care about.

Here’s how it works. I give Paseo:

  • a podcast
  • a list of countries
  • a list of keywords

And within a few minutes — or about the time it takes for a leisurely evening walk or stroll — it’ll generate a podcast app SEO report:

A small sample of Paseo’s output (the actual report is significantly longer and more detailed)

Paseo can find search appearances in Apple Podcasts and Spotify across both shows/podcasts and episodes.

What’s more, because Paseo is automated, I can run the same search at regular intervals, and monitor our clients’ shows’ rankings over time.

Paseo a relatively new tool in our toolkit, and it’ll continue to evolve. But it’s already given us new insights into how findable our clients’ shows are across popular podcast apps, and in various territories.

A Pacific Content exclusive

Like our podcast neighbourhood analysis suite, Paseo is an in-house tool, and it’s currently only available to Pacific Content and our clients.

(FYI, Pacific Content offers standalone audience development services. If you have a podcast project that would benefit from this type of thinking, we’d love to hear from you.)

Whether you’re a Pacific Content client or not, I encourage all podcasters to think about in-app podcast search results, and how your show’s story selection, guests, and product packaging can help you reach the top of the list.

What search terms do you want your show to be the top result for?

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