Growing Epicenter: Optimizing iTunes

November 26, 2014

What Google search is for blogs and Youtube is for video, iTunes is for podcasts. At least, that is often touted. And while the other platforms are gaining in relevance for us since we started doing video and plan to do more with our website, iTunes (most likely) remains the most important channel through which people find Epicenter Bitcoin.

It’s interesting, of course, that I can’t even make a clear statement on something as simple as that. And that also points to the biggest hurdle when it comes to optimizing iTunes: Apple provides no analytics whatsoever. We don’t know what keywords people search for. We don’t know how many people see our podcast or what percentage of them subscribe. The only thing we do know is that according to Podtracs analytics service (which isn’t great), just over 50% of all downloads have come through iTunes.

But there are some obvious thing we can do to optimize our iTunes presence that, most likely, will pay off.

Titles: It’s All About Keywords

If we look at popular podcasts of people for whom online marketing is their lifeblood like Pat Flynn or Cliff Ravenscraft, one notices that the titles of their podcasts look very similar:

  • Podcast Answer Man | Podcasting & Internet / Online / Social Media Marketing – Cliff J. Ravenscraft PodcastAnswerMan Answerman
  • The Smart Passive Income Podcast: Online Business | Blogging | Passive Income | Pat Flynn

And let’s do one more random podcast ranked highly for ‘online marketing’:

  • The $100 MBA Show – Daily 10-Minute Business Lessons | Online Business | Entrepreneurship | Marketing | Business School

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on here. These people are putting all the keywords that someone could use in iTunes search in the title of the show. They won’t actually ever say the full title, but it’s apparently used by iTunes to determine which podcasts are shown when people search. So they end up with 14, 12 and 13-word long titles respectively.

Contrast that to ours:

  • Epicenter Bitcoin

Ideas For Epicenter Bitcoin

So let’s follow the crowd and hope and see how we can improve this title by giving a key-word rich description of what we do. Here are some candidates.

  • Epicenter Bitcoin | Startups, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Applications

That is a start, although even that is only half as long as the examples from above. We could, of course, add our names:

  • Epicenter Bitcoin | Startups, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Applications – with Sebastien Couture and Brian Fabian Crain.

It’s admittedly unlikely that people will search for our name on iTunes. That is different for minor internet celebrities like Pat Flynn and Cliff Ravenscraft. So apart from flattering our vanity, this is probably not the best idea. Perhaps a better way would be to give a description of our content. That might not help with search, but could improve conversion.

  • Epicenter Bitcoin | Startups, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Applications – In-Depth Conversations

I’m not sure if ‘in-depth conversations’ is very appealing. Maybe ‘Conversations and Analysis’ would be better, although it frankly sounds very dry as well…

We could give a high-level description of what this is:

  • Epicenter Bitcoin | Startups, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Applications – Technology and Startup Podcast

Also sounds dry, although admittedly on a scale that has educational on the left side and entertaining on the right, we’d be very far left.

We could also share a message. Something that relates to our values. We think of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as revolutionary. We could exclaim that:

  • Epicenter Bitcoin | Startups, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Applications – Join the Crypto-Revolution!

Maybe a bit too much…But something that shows values and includes a call-to-action sounds promising.

Description

With regards to description, our task is easier. Looking at other podcasts, there doesn’t seem to be systematic method of doing it. Currently, this is our description on iTunes:

Epicenter Bitcoin is a weekly podcast which talks about the latest news and developments in Bitcoin and crypto-currencies. Hosted by Brian Fabian Crain and Sebastien Couture.

That’s definitely far shorter than most, but more importantly it’s out-of-date. We stopped covering the latest news long ago. But we do have a pretty solid and up-to-date description on our website about page:

Epicenter Bitcoin is a podcast about the technologies, projects & startups driving decentralization and the global cryptocurrency revolution.

Every week, hosts Brian Fabian Crain and Sébastien Couture talk to some of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency space about their projects and get their perspectives on recent events. Their guests, which range from entrepreneurs, to academics, to industry experts, join the conversation from different locations around the globe, which gives EB a truly international scope.

This is a good basis, although a call-to-action at the end would help. And there isn’t enough emphasis of what people get from listening to our show. But that’s a bigger topic that remains to be covered another time. It points towards a deeper problem, which is that we may not be thinking enough in terms of what our listeners get.

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