Below is part one of a podcast series that we recorded in order to create our book, Talk Marketing – How to Gain Authority and Expert Status, Even If No One Has Ever Heard of You. In this episode, John McDougall and John Maher give an introduction to Talk Marketing as a mechanism to create powerful content for SEO and to position you and your team as experts. Listen as John McDougall explains what Talk Marketing is, and how it can help companies of any size create powerful content for the search engines.
Following the audio file is the transcript of the podcast, which we would normally simply edit and add sub-headings to in order to create a simple blog post from a podcast. However, here we’re presenting the fully edited, prose-version of the transcript that we used in the book.
Creating high-quality content consistently can be challenging but critical for marketing and SEO. In this chapter, we look at the importance of content and explain how you can create powerful content just by talking.
Talk marketing simplifies content creation. It allows you to create effective content for Google and positions you and your teams as experts. You can literally talk yourself into being successful!
High-Quality Consistent Content: The Most Critical Element of Successful Web Marketing
If I had to boil down twenty-seven years of search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing into one big gold nugget, you need to be consistent with generating high-quality, optimized content. This may sound cliche, but it’s what great content marketers like Neil Patel, Brian Clark, Jon Morrow, Pat Flynn, and Gary Vaynerchuk do. As Tony Robbins says, “Repetition is the mother of skill,” and when you create content day in and day out, it takes you to the next level.
You’re invisible if you’re not consistent about creating content that positions you as a thought leader. Customers and Google don’t really give you full credit for what you did months or years ago. You have to be religious about creating new content, and it has to be good.
In the interest of full transparency, I learned this the hard way — by making mistakes. I’ve seen some of my neglected marketing projects fail. It’s not pretty. Luckily, you don’t have to learn the hard way and waste years in the process. I’m telling you now — consistent, high-quality content is key for successful web marketing and sales persuasion. If you’re not creating content, you’re missing out on leads and web traffic, and you will be dependent on the rising cost of paid ads.
Certain technical elements must be in place for your website to succeed. For example, it’s important to have a fast-loading website without broken pages. But the technical elements are just prerequisites at the end of the day. You need those basics to get started, and then, you need quality content to thrive.
It’s still important to select keywords and put them in the title tags of your pages and throughout the headlines, body text, and alt tags. Links to high-quality pages can also still help. All of these elements are necessary to have wildly successful SEO.
However, these elements are slightly less critical than they used to be because Google has very advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning. Google has improved its processes. It has gotten smarter and looks more closely at the content itself. If your site doesn’t have volumes of ongoing and in-depth content, nothing else matters.
If you don’t have an ever-growing list of helpful website pages, you will most likely resort to tactics that hurt your SEO more than help it. You can ask any of our clients that have had low-level SEO agencies pretending to do “secret stuff” on their site every month but never got results. They can tell you that the “secret stuff” doesn’t work and is like trying to ride a bike with only one pedal. You need high-quality, consistent thought leadership to keep the wheels turning.
How Should Business Owners Generate Content?
Business owners can write blog posts, website pages, and resource pages themselves, but we all know how that story ends for most people who are not professional writers. You can hire a full-time writer in-house, but most companies don’t need a full-time writer, so they end up giving them a lot of other tasks. Additionally, these writers often lack the deep industry knowledge you need to write in-depth content.
You can outsource your writing to an agency, but unless their writers specialize in your niche, you can end up with weak content that makes you look bad. You can use artificial intelligence software to do your writing, but these robots aren’t really ready to replace writers yet. They’re currently just good at supporting writers and speeding up their process.
To generate great content, you don’t have to do any of that. You can just talk for twelve minutes a week into a microphone or in front of a video camera and turn that into amazing content. You have in-depth knowledge about your industry — more than an inexperienced writer or a marketing professional. So, when you create content by talking, the content has a lot of authority. It isn’t just fluff and filler to lure people to your site. It’s correct. It’s in-depth. It draws people to your site and keeps them there.
In the past, you could get people to your site with subpar content, but Google has changed over the years to require authority. It uses advanced algorithms with over two hundred factors to determine search engine rankings. Still, there are also actual people rating whether you’re a thought leader or just churning out content to satisfy a marketing quota.
Google has people look at the content online and rate its quality and usefulness. The company has an internal document called the Quality Rater’s Guide, and it asks quality raters to look for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness when judging the content on a page. This is referred to as the acronym EAT.
You need a lot of content to be found on Google, but beyond volume, the content needs to be high-quality and authoritative. Creating content through podcasts is an easy way to do this.
Using Podcasts to Generate Content
Before we go any further, let’s define a podcast to ensure everybody is on the same page. A podcast is a series or a collection of digital audio files you can listen to or download from the internet. They’ve become wildly popular over the last few years, but they’ve been around for almost 20 years. Sometimes people release video versions, but historically, podcasts have been mostly audio.
Many people think their podcast must be done in a way that makes it extremely popular to be successful, but I don’t think that’s true. It’s easy to set up an RSS feed so people can sign up and get your latest podcast, and it’s fairly straightforward to feed that into Apple Podcasts. Many people are now also using YouTube as a podcast platform.
According to a new study by Cumulus Podcast Network, YouTube is leading the pack in where podcasts are listened to or watched. Here’s the audience share breakdown of the top three sites:
- YouTube 24.2%
- Spotify 23.8%
- Apple Podcasts 16%
As of October 2022, Buzzsprout says the following are the most popular podcast apps. Take a look at their market share of podcast listeners and the number of monthly podcast downloads:
- Apple Podcasts 39.3% and 49,500,235 downloads
- Spotify 26.4% and 32,852,295 downloads
There’s big business on all these platforms, and you can be on them overnight.
However, from an SEO perspective, turning the podcast into content for your blog, homepage, and other key sections is more important. You should leverage your podcast to help your website overflow with incredible insights.
Admittedly, it can be hard to get started even when you have the knowledge to make a podcast and turn it into content. A world full of distractions can get in the way and throw you off course. The most important first step is to schedule some time for this process. You can schedule a monthly one-hour session, twelve minutes a week, or twenty-four minutes every other week. Many of our clients and students can do six business podcasts in an hour and a half, so they only need to do a session every other month to have a weekly stream of content that improves their SEO.
If you can’t give up that much time for such a critical marketing task, you should probably skip the idea of having great SEO based on your insights, much less writing a book from this type of marketing. It’s just a few minutes here and there, and you need to find the time.
Remember that every twelve minutes of podcast conversation generates about fifteen hundred words or more of text because the average person speaks roughly one hundred thirty words a minute. This is the ideal length for a page of in-depth keyword-rich web content. Many SEO experts say that web pages with 1,500 words or more are what you need to get consistent success with your Google rankings.
As we discussed earlier, creating consistent, high-quality content can be challenging. There are pitfalls to writing it yourself, hiring in-house writers, and working with freelancers who lack in-depth knowledge about your industry. However, when you embrace talk marketing, you can generate high-quality content just by talking. One blog a week created by twelve minutes of talking is a consistent foundation you can build on.
After you record the podcast, you can turn the transcript directly into website content. If you don’t love the idea of posting transcripts, you can still do the audio interviews, but then you can hand them off to a ghostwriter who can turn them into prose. With this setup, the writer uses your actual words and knowledge when writing — which is far more effective than having someone who doesn’t understand your industry write from scratch.
The Value of the Interview-Style of Podcast
What style should you use for your podcast? You can certainly do a monologue if you don’t have someone to interview you, but I think it’s helpful to schedule one of your team members to ask the questions and keep the energy up. Then, you could also assign that person to edit and post that content on your blog or send it to a freelancer.
If you’re doing a podcast on your own, it can be hard to make the podcast exciting for the listener. An interview helps to ensure that you cover everything, making the podcast more enticing for listeners. With that said, check out Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy, where many shows are just her. She does a great job of keeping things fun, informative, and concise.
Finding Topics for Your Podcasts
To develop topics for your podcasts, spend some time thinking about what keeps your customers up at night. Keep a journal at your desk or download a note-taking app on your phone. Then, write down what your customers tell you about what bothers and intrigues them. These are the things that your customers want to hear about in your podcast.
You should also look at other industry podcasts and competitors’ blogs to see what they’re writing and podcasting about. To get ideas, you can make swipe files. These are lists of the headlines on your competitors’ pages that commonly get linked to and shared on social media. That will help you generate ideas for content creation.
AHREFS is a great tool where you put in the URL of your competitor, and it shows you the powerful subpages of the website. Some of the site’s best-performing pages might even be podcast pages. Then, you can export the URL and titles into Excel and the keywords these pages rank for. And you can use that spreadsheet to guide you as you select podcast topics.
SEMRush is another excellent tool. It can give you the top pages on your competitors’ websites based on which ones have the largest number of keywords ranking on Google. Looking at these pages can be really helpful. You can use the topics displayed in the headlines of these pages when selecting podcast topics, but you can also look at the subtopics on these pages to create podcast topics and questions.
This same tool, SEMRush, also has a content marketing tool for topic research. You just pop in a phrase such as “best rooftop solar panels,” “wall mount air conditioners,” or “how to file a trademark.” Then, it will show you a credible mind map of all the main subtopics that Google’s robots would like to see in your content. It also generates a list of headlines and a list of common questions that go with each topic.
Then, you can use these questions to make a podcast on your target keyword. These tools can help you narrow in and create the type of content that the search engines want to see.
Choosing Keywords for Headlines
When creating content, you need to use keywords in your headers if you want to rank well in Google. If you use these keywords in the questions while creating your podcast, it will be straightforward to turn them into keyword-rich headers for your website content.
An unfortunate number of writers blog but don’t take the time to think about how people might search for their article before they write the headline in the text. When creating content, you need to consider what people are looking for — then prioritize those elements in your headlines and your content.
The AHREFS free keyword tool can help with this process and is easy to use. It’s as easy as searching with Google. You throw in a phrase, and it kicks back a list of how people search relating to that term. It also shows you the number of monthly searches that each phrase gets.
Alternatively, you may want to check out Ubersuggest from Neil Patel or SEMRush’s keyword magic tool. These are my other favorites for day-to-day blogging keyword research.
Turning talking into content only requires about twelve minutes a week or an hour a month, but what exactly do you do? How do you record a podcast? How do you make it sound good? Where should you post it? And how do you create the transcript? Keep reading — these are the questions I will answer in the next chapter.