Through show notes, you have an opportunity to engage with your audience, boost your SEO, provide your listeners with helpful resources, and reinforce your call-to-action. It's worth spending a little more time and effort to create engaging podcast show notes that will bring valuable returns.
If you want to write great show notes, you need to have a clear understanding of what podcast show notes are, and what they are not.
Podcast show notes serve as a written summary of your podcast episodes.
For every episode of your podcast, you will need show notes to give:
To write great show notes for your podcast, your show notes should not simply be a verbatim copy of what was said during the episode, nor should they be just a blog post that summarises the episode. Although we recommend having an episode transcript and blog post, these are distinct from your show notes.
Check out our blog post on Podcast Transcripts here to see how and why you should be including them for your own podcast.
You can certainly link to your podcast transcription within your show notes for your listeners who will like to read them. Your episode-related blog post will be a separate piece of content on your podcast website.
Your podcast show notes can appear in multiple places. Usually the first place to save your show notes is on your podcast hosting platform.
Check out our recommendations for our Top 10 Podcast Hosting Platforms here.
This will ensure your podcast notes appear on podcast listening apps such as Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.
Your podcast show notes should also appear on your podcast website on your episode page. You can also share your podcast show notes with your audience via your mailing list.
There are many benefits to why you need to write better podcast show notes for your listeners if you want your own podcast show to grow and succeed long term.
1. Firstly, you need great show notes to enhance your podcast's search engine optimisation (SEO). Although podcasts are in audio form, written content remains the most effective way to get noticed by search engines. By adding a brief summary of your podcast's content in written form, search engines can better understand what your episode is about and rank it accordingly, which can help increase your listenership and show's growth. Therefore, it's important to be mindful of how your show notes can boost your search engine ranking by including relevant keywords to optimise your podcast’s SEO.
To learn more about how to boost your podcast’s SEO, check out our blog post on Podcast SEO tips- How to rank your podcast on search engines.
2. Better show notes can make a big difference in your listeners' experience. By providing the information they need in a clear and concise way, you can make their lives easier and ensure they have a positive experience with your podcast.
For example, you can include links to additional resources related to a topic you covered, links to products or services you mentioned, or timestamps for different segments of the episode. Having all the necessary information in one place and presented in an easy-to-understand format benefits your audience and contributes to the success and growth of your show.
3. Having show notes can be advantageous to attract new listeners and serve as a useful tool to introduce your podcast. Potential listeners can easily grasp the essence of your show and the type of discussions you and your guests engage in during each episode.
Show notes serve as a great tool to provide interested individuals with a brief overview of each episode. This helps them pick and choose which ones to listen to first based on their preferences. In turn, this can attract increased engagement from new listeners who might become dedicated followers of your podcast and eagerly anticipate every new episode release.
4. It's possible to use your show notes to increase your podcast's reach. You can add a link to your mailing list signup page in your show notes, which is an effective way of informing your listeners of each new release. It is also an intimate way of communicating with them outside of the show, building a rapport.
Additionally, you can share the show notes on your social media accounts to expand your show's reach. Posting snippets of your show notes, such as an episode summary or memorable quotes, can inform your followers of your latest episode. Your social media posts also have the potential to reach those who are not your direct followers through various algorithms. Creating a buzz about an upcoming episode release will encourage more people to tune in and listen to the episode.
5. Through the use of show notes, it is possible to entice prospective guests to join your podcast. When guests are highlighted in the notes, it is a form of exposure and advertising for them and their brands. Guests are more likely to accept the invitation to be a part of the show, as they are aware that they will gain exposure to your audience.
6. If you're dealing with lots of data in your podcast, it can be hard for your listeners to take it all in without any visuals. You can help them to engage with the content more by providing data, graphs, and links to reports in the show notes. This way, they can view the information as they listen, which will help them to comprehend it better. This is another way to enhance their positive experience with your podcast.
7. Linking older episodes in your show notes can help them stay relevant. If the topics in those episodes are connected to each other in some way or support one another, you can mention them in your show notes and direct your audience to them.
The choice of show notes format is up to you - either short-form or long-form.
When it comes to podcast show notes, there are varying degrees of detail one can include. Each approach has its own set of pros and cons.
It is usually preferable for podcast notes to be brief and succinct. Most listeners don't want to read a lot of text; they need a fast way to determine what the episode is about, if they should listen to the episode, and then to access any related resources that they are interested in. Having too much writing can confuse and impede listeners from discovering the information they need. Therefore, it is suggested that show notes be kept short.
Contrarily, long-form show notes are more likely to enhance SEO. They often contain a greater amount of information about the episode. They also tend to the podcast episode transcript as well. This affords more opportunities to show up in search results when your listeners are looking for something you spoke about during the episode.
Having longer show notes can enhance the accessibility of your podcast. It can prove to be advantageous for individuals with hearing impairments or those who are not fluent in the show's language to have a more comprehensive and detailed episode summary.
You can choose to exclude your transcript from your show notes, but it doesn't mean you can't add it elsewhere to enhance your podcast’s SEO. Our recommendation is to add it to your podcast episode page on your hosting platform and keep your show notes brief. This way, you can still enjoy the benefits of SEO optimisation without compromising the brevity of your show notes.
Now that you understand what podcast show notes are and the benefits of writing better podcast show notes, what do you need to include to write great podcast show notes every time?
What you decide to include in your show notes will differ slightly based on whether your podcast is B2B or B2C and what your ultimate goals are for your podcast show. For a more in-depth breakdown of what should be included in B2B and B2C podcast show notes, check out our blog post here: Show Notes for B2B and B2C podcasts – what’s the difference?
To ensure that your podcast is well-organised, it’s vital to start with the fundamentals. One crucial aspect is to incorporate the episode title, optimised for search engine results, in your show notes. You can refer to our comprehensive guide on Podcast SEO tips- How to rank your podcast on search engines for more information.
Moreover, it's essential to include the episode number, date of release, and names of any guests featured in the episode. These details are significant as your podcast grows, making it easier for listeners to determine the age of an episode.
When producing an episode, make sure to incorporate a summary. The episode summary is the crucial component of your show notes. Give your audience a concise overview and episode description of the content without revealing the entire plot. Keep some details under wraps to encourage them to listen and experience the full episode.
Make sure to summarise 3-4 key takeaways from your episode and use them to attract your audience to listen. These highlights can help to draw in your audience and encourage them to tune in to your episode. Additionally, you can include amusing, thought-provoking or contentious quotes in your episode notes to convince people to listen. To make it easy for listeners to scan the content, use bullet points and consider including time stamps for the segments that interest them the most.
In your podcast episode, you should always include links to any data, articles, quotes, or other material that you used. This makes it easier for your guests to explore them further, grants appropriate recognition to the sources, and adds to your own credibility.
To improve your podcast's growth, it's important to focus on maximising its SEO. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using relevant keywords throughout your show notes. It is recommended as a minimum to have a search engine optimised episode title. However, including your keywords in the episode description and summary, as well as in the bullet points for key takeaways, can improve your podcast's ranking on search engine results pages. This, in turn, can help attract more listeners and achieve greater success for your podcast.
It's always a good idea to give your podcast guests a proper introduction in your show notes. Highlight their accomplishments and successes to build excitement for the upcoming episode. While you don't need to reveal specific details about what they'll be discussing, create anticipation around why your listeners should tune in to hear from them.
Including links to your guests' social media accounts is also a smart move. This allows your audience to learn more about them and gives your guests more exposure and growth opportunities.
It is important to include any promotions, discounts or affiliate links that you mention during your podcast episode in your show notes as well. This will enable your listeners to easily access the information and links they require. Incorporating such strategies is a wise way to monetise your podcast. Additionally, it can attract more listeners to your show as they are often drawn to discounts.
A Call-to-Action (CTA) should always be included in each of your podcast episodes. This could involve anything from encouraging listeners to subscribe to your mailing list, leave a review or watch a video.
Check out our blog post on How to Create Effective Calls-to-Action in your podcast.
After deciding on what your CTA will be, make sure to include it in your show notes for each episode. Also, provide the necessary links or steps that would make it simpler for your audience to follow through.
It is always important to establish a strong connection with your audience and build a rapport with them. To achieve this, it is recommended to provide your contact details in your show notes so that your listeners can reach out to you. This will give them a sense of involvement and connectedness with your show. They might want to share their feedback, provide suggestions, or share their own experiences related to your episode's topic. Therefore, it is crucial to give them the opportunity to communicate with you.
Also, it is advisable to make it easier for your listeners to find you on their preferred social media platforms. Including links to all your social media accounts in your show notes can be helpful in increasing your followers and expanding your podcast's reach. This, in turn, can contribute to the overall success of your podcast.
We mentioned before that your writing style for show notes should be brief. Many listeners are only after a summary of the episode and any relevant links. It is necessary to find the balance between mentioning the major points and giving the audience what they want, while still not giving away too much.
Additionally, it is important to keep the same style and format for each episode. This not only saves time, but listeners will know what to expect; the length and formatting should remain constant.