One of the most overlooked aspects of podcasting is having a proper home online for your podcast that belongs to you.
But wait, you're creating killer episodes and are listed on Apple Podcasts, isn't that everything?
Far from it! In this article you'll learn the exact reasons why your podcast needs a real website with a domain that you own.
Until the day comes where Google can "hear" your podcast, you need proper long-form text content to pair with your episodes. This would be well-written show notes, and optionally, transcripts.
When people search for topics online, your podcast will be effectively invisible to search engines without this text content. Secondly, if you don't own the website on which the content appears, you can't take advantage of the benefits such as mailing list opt-ins, customization, or domain authority. Websites like the default page included with a Libsyn account simply don't cut it. Own the domain, own the website, and nobody can take away your hard work.
As well, anyone searching for your specific podcast online may be confused if they don't see an obvious website for the podcast in the search results.
Basic web pages from podcast hosts often don't include various content such as an area for host bios, reviews, comments, ads, contests, etc. Only by owning a real website can you achieve this.
Whether you want newsletter signups or to sell products from your site, you can't do it from a cheap podcast host page. You need a custom site on your own domain. Otherwise you'll be leaving opportunities on the table.
If you're serious about SEO and organic traffic, you'll want to understand where your traffic is coming from. Most podcast hosts provide some stats about episode listening, but not actual web page visitors. Knowing what content is bringing people in through search engines or other various channels, when you've gone viral, or who has been referring you lots of traffic is very useful data. Only by having your own proper website can this happen.
Even something like SquareSpace or Wix can work, though Wordpress is most ideal. You just don't want to rely on the sites like mypodcast.podbean.com or mypodcast.libsyn.com as they're very basic and will limit your podcast's success and the benefits you could otherwise receive.
To be clear, your podcast does not need its very own website necessarily. If your podcast is closely related to a personal or business project, then it could certainly live on an existing website of yours. The important part is that it's a site and domain that you own.
This is one of the many topics covered in Podcast Marketing 101, a course we designed after working with hundreds of podcasters and identifying repeated mistakes and areas for improvement.