How to optimise audio referencing?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on Google and other search engines has become a real battle. SEO is a digital marketing technique that corresponds to the websites on the result page that Google displays when we do an internet search with specific terms. But today, audio content is having difficulty becoming visible and attractive through consumer searches. Indeed, while users are increasingly turning to audio, Google does not read this type of content. Audio has not been a priority for search engines until now. Nevertheless, with almost 200 million podcasts listened to per month in France, the question of audio referencing is back on the agenda. So how can we optimise this audio referencing? 

Audio referencing in the spotlight

# Difficulties encountered in audio referencing 

As they do not read audio files, search engines do not understand this type of content. However, there is a desire, particularly on the part of Google, to get around this obstacle. Today, in order to reference your podcast, it is necessary to add a text transcription of the content in order to identify key expressions. 

The problem is that even automatic speech recognition technology Speech-to-Textbased on Google's artificial intelligence technology, does not reach the level of accuracy that transcription requires. Indeed, this technology still has difficulty deciphering and transcribing named entities. For example, in a piece of audio content from KQED radio, the presenter refers to "the Peninsula" as the peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. The Speech-to-Text artificial intelligence had trouble understanding what this was about. So if the transcription of an audio is poorly written, it can completely change the meaning of the content. Nevertheless, it is the most accurate technology available today and it continues to evolve. In addition, it is possible to transcribe named entities manually to ensure a reliable transcription.  

# How to optimise audio referencing? 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to all actions that improve visibility in search results. These optimisations allow us to show the algorithms that our content is qualitative and that it meets the expectations of consumers. Audio search engine optimisation is therefore the optimisation of audio files so that they are displayed in the right place following an internet search.

audio referencing of the podcast
Optimisations in podcast internet searches

Google processes more than 7 billion queries per day worldwide. For example, in order for podcasts to rank highest in the SERPs (search engine results page), Google's criteria must be taken into account. The algorithm takes popularity and niche sector as the most important criteria, but also the length of the podcast. All these criteria allow Google to identify the relevance of your content. In order to make your podcast even more visible, it is necessary to add tags such as titles, descriptions and tags so that Google can understand the subject of the audio. It is also important to target the podcast. For example, if the audience likes short content, adapt to increase its popularity and visibility. 

To improve your SEO, you can also ask listeners to write reviews. This technique will show the algorithms that your content is appreciated and this will contribute to the success of the audio. In the same vein, it can be useful to share the podcast link on social networks. This will increase the number of listens and comments and thus increase the popularity of your content. You can also share your podcast on Google Podcast to increase your presence on the search engine.   

The same principle applies to the referencing of music or other audio content. In order to be well referenced on Google, you need to fill in as much information as possible. For example, you need to write a description, add tags and keywords. Encouraging the public to share and comment can also help visibility.

# Google is working on audio search engine optimization 

At his annual event in 2019, the CEO of Google announced that he wanted to expand the popularity of certain audio content, such as podcasts, by displaying them in the results pages . Since this event, it is possible to find podcasts when searching in several different languages. 

From now on, if we put particular queries in the search bar, Google will display carousels of podcasts. These are series with podcasts retrieved from Google Podcasts. 

audio referencing in Google
Example of a podcast carousel

Today, a team at Google has the mission to increase the accessibility and visibility of audio. This team has set 3 goals. First, to dedicate a section to audio files. Second, to improve the consumer experience between different devices (computer, voice assistants...). Finally, to improve the understanding of audio content. Facebook is also getting into audio technology by planning to release new features such as voice clips, podcasts or live audio rooms.

# SEO and voice assistants 

By 2021, 20 million French people were using voice assistants. This figure is growing every day. But how does voice search fit into an SEO strategy? 

audio referencing with voice assistants
Voice assistants and SEO

Voice assistants each have a different way of working: 

-Google assistant finds its results via Google searches. This assistant will therefore answer queries with the first ones in the SERP.

-Siri is based on Apple Maps, so these are local results.

-Alexa is not as smart as Google Assistant, it draws on its own data resources. 

Voice SEO requires a few optimizations. First of all, websites need to use more conversational language since voice queries are in the form of discussion and exchange. It is also necessary to insert more interrogative sentences in your content. We will no longer write "best restaurant in Lille" but we will say "Ok Google, what is the best restaurant in Lille? We can then mention the importance of having a good local SEO and also to reach the 0 position (or featured snippet) in Google results. There are, of course, other optimizations to adopt for voice SEO. However, if we are already well positioned in the search results it allows us to be also well positioned on the voice results. 

Even if audio referencing is still in its infancy, we can already see the will to give more space to audio in search engines. We therefore hope to see a development in this area in the future. Ekoo has clearly understood that audio referencing is at the heart of current events. It uses Speech-to-Text technology to transcribe its audio content into text. A good technique to be well referenced!

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