When you’ve gone through all the steps, your first podcast episode is pretty much ready to be published. Before we do that, it’s a good idea to start thinking about the metadata for your podcast. Metadata is information that describes your podcasts and makes them easy for listeners to find. It’s also information you can use to attract listeners. Two examples of this have already been mentioned, these are the name and description of your podcast. These are examples of metadata at the series level. Some examples of metadata that are relevant at the episode level are the episode titles and descriptions and show notes. There is also data that is relevant at both levels, such as cover art.
When choosing a title for your episode, it’s helpful to keep some of the same principles in mind as you do when naming your podcast. A good episode title makes you curious, gives an impression of the content, is memorable and easy to find with search engines. Preferably the title isn’t too long either. Sometimes you see podcast creators putting the name of the podcast in the episode title. It is worth considering not doing this. It doesn’t always add value and can draw attention away from the actual title. It’s also worth bearing in mind that many platforms impose restrictions on the length of titles. If you go over this limit, the title will be displayed in a shortened format. For the same reasons, adding episode numbers in the title is sometimes discouraged. However, these numbers can be useful if you want listeners to listen to your podcast in a certain order. They can also help listeners when they want to listen back to, recommend, or share episodes.
Descriptions and show notes
The episode description is similar to the back cover of a book. It gives listeners a quick impression of the content of the episode and any guests. You are trying to get potential listeners to hit the play button. Show notes can contain different elements. They can provide listeners with more in-depth information about the episode, such as a more detailed description of the content and guest bios. Sometimes full transcripts are posted as well. You can also use them to link to relevant information. For example, you can link to guests’ social media pages, relevant background information, or resources mentioned in the podcast. This can help you draw listeners further into the topic you want to discuss. Do you want to motivate listeners to do something? Then you can also put a ‘call-to-action’ in the show notes. For example, you could invite them to share their thoughts on the episode. Finally, you can put a sort of table of contents in the show notes that allows listeners (via so-called ‘timestamps’) to play the episode directly from a certain moment. An important benefit of including show notes is that it can make your podcast (episode) easier to find.
Your cover is probably the first thing many listeners see when they come across your podcast on a platform. With a cover you give a visual first impression of your podcast and what it’s all about. You can also create covers for specific episodes. You can keep it to a logo, or you can turn it into artwork. Either way, it should appeal to your intended audience, make them curious, and motivate them to play your podcast. You also want the cover to be recognizable. When making a cover, keep in mind that it should also be clearly visible in icon format. As a rule, an image of at least 1400 x 1440 pixels and no more than 3000 x 3000 pixels is required. It should also ideally not be larger than 512kb.