Big podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify are important if you want to promote your content. But you also need to have your own podcast website. In this article, we'll show you how to set it up with WordPress.
A podcast website is an important part of your brand for potential listeners to discover your content. Further advantages include:
- Other media may take notice and report on your program
- Sponsors decide if the content fits their advertising needs
That's why a website is a key part of getting your podcast off the ground. We're going to explain why you need a podcast website today and give you some tips on what it should contain and how you can create it with WordPress.
Why a podcast website?
The podcast website is your base. In other words, your personal platform on which you can publish everything and thus expand your audience as you wish. The most important advantages of having your own podcast website are:
- It ensures your content is always available. With a website, you don't have to rely on someone else's platform. Apple could shut down its podcast app at any time and your show would still be available to your audience.
- Creating sites with content shows Google that your website is a good place to learn about the topic of your podcast. A better ranking means more traffic and more listeners.
- An engaging website supports the image of your brand, offers your audience a comprehensive user experience and helps them identify with your program.
- You can capture listeners' email addresses for your email marketing.
- If you already have a website for your brand, embedding your podcast into this existing website complements the rest of your business.
In addition, you can get your listeners to discover and buy other products, such as courses, e-books, coaching sessions, merchandise, premium content or other products.
Create WordPress Podcast Website
Creating a podcast website with WordPress is similar to creating any other blog, but with a few important differences. Here are the key steps to creating an engaging website that attracts visitors and converts them to listeners.
WordPress Hosting and a Podcast plugin
We recommend that you install WordPress. It is a flexible tool that allows you to create complete websites without writing code. WordPress is free and you can extend its features with unique WordPress themes (website designs) and WordPress plugins (additional features). If you use the Managed WordPress Hosting from Raidboxes, the management of your projects is also particularly easy.
Next you need a theme. WordPress comes with a default theme, but it's pretty plain. You'll need something that is more appealing for your own site. We recommend you install a WordPress theme that is specifically designed for podcasting.
Take your time when looking for the right theme. There are many free options out there, but if you spend 40 to 80 euros on a premium theme, you can give your potential users a great experience. Check out our list of the best podcast website themes.
Finally, you need a few plugins to get the most out of your podcast website. Start with a podcasting plugin, such as Seriously Simple Podcasting. It's a free plugin that allows you to upload your audio files directly to your WordPress Dashboard.
Seriously Simple Podcasting creates an RSS feed that's compatible with all podcast platforms. You can set the title, subtitle, description, category and other details of your podcast. You can even manage all updates to your podcast's RSS feed from WordPress. Here's how it works:
If you use the Castos platform, the changes are automatically synced to your Castos hosting account when you update your podcast or upload a new episode. Learn how Castos and Seriously Simple Podcasting work together in this guide.
Once you have a podcasting plugin installed, you'll need a few more things in your toolbox. Here are some WordPress plugins I think every podcast website should install:
- Yoast SEO so you can optimize your sites for search engines.
- Elementor to design high-quality sites.
- With CSS Hero you can make CSS adjustments to your site without coding.
- W3 Total Cache to cache pages and improve website performance. Even better a server-side caching as with Raidboxes.
- Monster Insights to view your Google Analytics data in WordPress.
- OptinMonster to collect email addresses for your list (this is called lead capture).
- BackWPup to back up your website files in case something bad happens. Customers of Raidboxes can also use the integrated solution here.
Important elements of your podcast website
Your homepage is an important opportunity to convince visitors to explore the rest of your podcast website. If they find your homepage interesting, they'll be more willing to go to the subpages or episode pages.
Your homepage should start with an elevator pitch. This is a short summary of who you are and why someone should listen to your show. Try to use the language of your listeners so they know they're in the right place.
Take a look at the Wellness Mama podcast website as an example. Their homepage states clearly what the podcast is about:
What you should include on your homepage:
- Links to the latest or best episodes (more on this in a moment)
- Links to subscribe to your show on the major podcast platforms
- Information about the team of presenters and producers
- High-quality photos on the topic of the podcast and/or from the production team
Make sure your site is optimized for mobile
The following point should go without saying, but I didn't want to leave it out. Already in 2020, over 68 per cent of all website visits came from mobile devices, so you need to be prepared for this traffic. If your website doesn't work on small screens, visitors will leave and look for another website.
How do you optimize your sites for mobile devices? The easiest solution is to choose a WordPress theme that's suitable for use on mobile devices. Before you publish any site, however, you should make sure that it actually displays well on small screens.
Branding to match your theme
Is your program about health and organic food? Then your website branding should use earth tones and images of plants. Is your show dark and sinister? Then your website design should reflect that too. Ask yourself what you want your fans to think and feel about your show – and design a website to match it.
Create a separate episode for each episode of your podcast. site
Each episode of your podcast deserves its own sub-page on your website. These pages give listeners the opportunity to learn more about your episodes before they commit to listening. Plus, these pages create valuable written content that Google needs to rank your website properly. Each episode page should contain the following:
- Title and number of the episode
- The date of publication
- An audio player
- Description of the episode
- Your podcast show notes
- The full audio transcription
The great thing about these sites is that you have full control over the content, unlike the subpages on a listening platform like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. You can include images, links to sources mentioned in the episode, or anything else. It's a great way to give your listeners a better experience.
If you are using Seriously Simple Podcasting, you can create a new site by clicking Podcasts > Add New in the left menu. There you will find the typical WordPress options and a menu to upload a new audio file.
Links to the major podcast directories
Listeners may discover your podcast for the first time on your podcast website, but they will hear it regularly through their favorite podcasting app like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or one of many other directories. We strongly recommend adding links to your episode pages on the platforms your RSS feed is set up for.
For example, here is an episode page of our podcast "Audience". Note the series of subscription links that take you to the main podcast platforms:
Make it easy to share your site on social networks
Add share buttons to each episode page so that users can recommend it with a single click. It's hard to say how effective this technique is, but 66 per cent of podcast websites use it. And the share buttons certainly can't hurt. Just make sure your sharing plugin is configured correctly so your posts appear on social media with the right titles, descriptions and images.
Show your best episodes
Many people who produce a podcast display their latest episodes on their homepage. While it's good to make your episodes easily accessible, not all of them are equally successful. Some will be better received than others.
Instead of showing the latest episodes, present your visitors with a selection of your best podcast episodes – those that have been downloaded the most or have the highest engagement. These episodes are more likely to turn casual views into regular listens.
Note how the Criminal Podcast, for example, offers a custom selection of episodes that are not in chronological order:
Create important pages
Fortunately, a podcast website doesn't have to be complex. You don't need to have a lot of pages, but you do need a few important ones:
- About the podcast: Introduce yourself and explain why you are the right person for the topic.
- Contact: A general contact page where people can get in touch with you.
- Press/media: Show the media how they can contact you and give them material (images, logos, photos, texts, etc.) that they can use.
- Sponsors: Explain why other brands should sponsor your podcast.
Use a lead generation tool
Building a lead generation email list is an important part of growing your brand. You need a reliable way to reach your audience at all times. You'll want to send an email when you publish new episodes, but you can also use your email list to sell other products and services. Make sure you pay attention here to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Earlier in the post we recommended OptinMonster to capture email subscriptions. But you can use any tool that allows you to create forms and embed them on your pages. Check out this post for more information. Just make sure your plugin also integrates with your email marketing tool so that emails are forwarded directly to your list.
Where should you place your forms? You can embed them anywhere you want. But most have success embedding their forms at the bottom of their posts, in the sidebar or in pop-up overlays.
Conclusion: podcast websites
Your brand isn't complete without a professional podcast website. Use the tips from this post to create a website that attracts potential listeners and converts them into subscribers. An engaging podcast website takes your message to the next level.
Are you ready to create your own podcast website? Raidboxes will save you time and money on WordPress hosting, development and management of your projects. See our post Managing 5 to 100+ WordPress Projects.