Show notes give you a way to connect with your audience, enhance your SEO, share resources with your listeners and reinforce your call-to-action.
By putting a little bit of extra effort into writing better show notes, the benefits will undoubtedly pay off.
Show notes are a summary of your podcast episode. They include the main topics you discussed in the episode, some key takeaways, some background information about any guests you have on the show, and your call to action. Any links to products, websites, videos, or guest profiles are also included in your show notes for your listeners to easily access.
Show notes are not just a word-for-word transcription of your episode, nor are they a blogpost based on your episode. While we suggest you have a transcript and blogpost, these are separate from your show notes.
Check out our Top 10 Podcast Hosting Platforms here
1. One of the main reasons to include show notes is to boost your SEO and therefore grow your listenership. When it comes to SEO, written content is still the best way to get onto search engine results pages. Make sure to include your keywords throughout your show notes to maximise your SEO.
Check out our Podcast SEO tips- How to rank your podcast on search engines post here.
2. Your show notes can give your audience a better listener experience by providing them with the information they need. For example, this could be providing more information about a topic discussed on the show, a link to the product/service you mentioned, or timestamps so they skip to the parts they’re most interested in.
Having all this information available in one place in a format that makes your listeners’ life easier is a win.
3. Show notes can also help you gain new listeners and can be a great introduction to your show. New listeners that are browsing for a new podcast to listen to can easily see what your show is about and what kind of topics you and your guests discuss in your episodes.
4. Another way to use your show notes to your advantage to grow your podcast is to include a link to sign up for your mailing list. You can also share your show notes on social media with your existing audience to let them know about your latest episode. You can also take the memorable quotes you’ve included in your show notes and share these to generate interest in the show.
5. Show notes help you to find future guests for your podcast. If you are cross-promoting guests in your show notes, potential guests can see this and agree to be on the show for the same exposure to your audience.
6. If your podcast is data-heavy, your listeners might find it difficult to consume the information by listening without any visuals. Including data, graphs, or links to reports in your show notes allows your audience to engage with the content more. Having the data available to them in a format that they can visually interpret as they are listening will help them to digest the information and improve their understanding.
7. You can keep older episodes relevant by linking them in your show notes. If the topics in older episodes are related and/or complimentary, you can promote them in your show notes and direct listeners to them.
You can choose to have your show notes in either short-form or long-form style.
As you would expect, the main difference will be how much information you want to include in your show notes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Generally, we prefer to have short, concise show notes. Usually, listeners are not looking to read long pieces of text. They want a quick way to see what the episode is about, decide if they want to listen to it, and then follow up with any links or resources they are interested in. Including too much text can confuse and make it more difficult for listeners to find what they are looking for. For this reason, we recommend short-form show notes.
On the other hand, long-form show notes can often be the better option for boosting your SEO. Long-form show notes usually include more information about the topics discussed and the transcript of your episode. This gives you more opportunities to appear in search results.
They also improve the accessibility of your podcast, for example for those hard of hearing or non-native listeners.
Choosing to not include your transcript in your show notes does not mean you cannot include it elsewhere and still reap the benefits of improving your SEO. We feel you are better off including them in your episode page on your podcast hosting platform and keeping your show notes concise.
1. Include all the basics:
Always start with the basics. The first thing you need in your show notes is your episode title. As mentioned previously, make sure this is optimised for search engine results. Check out our post on Podcast SEO tips- How to rank your podcast on search engines. You will also need your episode number, the date the episode was released, and the names of any guests that appear in the episode.
2. Episode summary:
The next thing you want to include is an episode summary. Give your audience a brief outline of what they are going to hear discussed in the episode but be sure not to reveal all! You don’t want to give everything away so that they feel they don’t need to listen to the podcast.
3. Add key points, main takeaways, and quotes from the episode:
Include 3-4 key points of what is discussed in your episode. Use bullet point style for this to make it easier for your listeners to skim. It is always a good idea to let your audience know why they should listen to your episode. Including the main takeaways from the episode will help to hook your audience and entice them to listen to the show. Inserting funny, thought-provoking, or controversial quotes also helps you to convince people to listen and should be included in your show notes. You can choose to include time stamps here to make it even easier for your listeners to jump to the parts that interest them most.
4. Link resources:
Any data, articles, quotes, or other material that you referenced in your episode should always be linked in your show notes. It makes it easy for your guests to explore them further, gives credit due to the sources, and builds your own credibility.
5. Include keywords:
When it comes to podcast growth, maximising your SEO is crucial and using keywords correctly throughout your content is arguably the best way to do this. While we already mentioned having a search engine optimised episode title, including your keywords throughout your episode summary and main takeaways will only make it easier for search engines to find your podcast and help grow your listenership.
6. Guest bios:
If you have guests on your show, don’t forget to include a short summary of who they are and what they do in your show notes. Highlight their achievements and include links to their socials. You don’t want to divulge what the guests are going to say on the show but rather create excitement around why your listeners will want to tune in.
7. Include promotions, discount codes, and affiliate links:
If you have any promotions or discounts to offer your listeners, you will want to mention them in your episode and then also include them in your show notes for your listeners to make use of. These offers can be very effective in growing your listenership. If you mention a product or service in your show that you have an affiliate link for, you can include this link also in your show notes and is a great way to monetise your podcast.
You should always have a Call-to-Action in your podcast. This could be asking listeners to sign up to your mailing list, leave a review, or check out a video. Whatever it is, follow through with your Call-to-Action by including it in your show notes too. Write your Call-to-Action and include the relevant links or steps that will make it as easy as possible for your listeners.
Find more detail on How to Create Effective Calls-to-Action in your podcast in our blog post here.
9. Be concise and consistent
As we said before, our preference for writing show notes is to keep them concise. Most listeners just want a short synopsis of the episode and links to resources. Find the balance between hitting all the key points and giving your listeners what they are looking for, without giving the whole episode away. You should also be consistent with your show notes for each episode. Not only does a consistent template save you time but listeners will know what to expect. Keep the style and format the same from one episode to the next and maintain a similar length to your show notes.
Great show notes are a win-win for you, your podcast growth, and your listeners. Think about what kind of information your audience will want, and what you can include encouraging people to listen to your show.
If you would like to outsource writing great show notes, contact us here at Zorbiant.