Podcast RSS Feed: Why It Matters and Why Should You Care

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Just like in websites, a podcast RSS feed is a key pillar of optimization.

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A well-optimized podcast will not only become more visible on the search results but also makes it easier for others to subscribe to it.

Now in the congested and competitive world of podcasting, you should leverage any method or process that gives your podcast an edge over your peers.

And that’s why I decided to focus on the topic of RSS feeds.

Many podcasters you see are not fully aware of how RSS feeds affect search optimization and how users interact with your podcasts.

What Is A Podcast RSS Feed

To start with, RSS is an abbreviation of “Rich Site Syndication”.

It is a script that allows anyone to subscribe to your content; granting them instant access to any update you may have for said content.

When a user subscribes and RSS feed, podcast, or site content, the software will automatically search for any update on the said feed and continuously update its content.

Why Do You Need A Podcast RSS Feed

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The primary purpose of an RSS feed, be it for a podcast of blog feed, is to make distribution much easier for the end-user.

When a user subscribes to your feed, he/she is instantly given access to all the content within said feed without visiting your main website.

It also serves the function of updating subscribers whenever it detects new content, which if you think about it plays the role of your own personal marketing assistant.

For example, if you were to subscribe to my podcast you no longer have to go to my website, or where I upload my episodes to listen to it. All you need to do is check my RSS feed and everything is there.

How To Create An RSS Feed For A Podcast

There are a couple of ways you can create a podcast RSS feed. You can either make it from scratch or go with a podcast hosting service.

Using A Podcast Hosting Service

With this method, you are instantly provided with an RSS feed the moment you sign up.

Each time a new episode is added, the system will automatically add the new episode to your feed.

A podcast hosting company grants you access to your personal RSS feed. You can then get the unique code to your feed and use it on your site or submit to podcast directories.

Manually Creating An RSS Feed

If you know how to code, then you have the option to create your own RSS feed using a third party RSS feed generator like fetchrss.com, or by coding it yourself.

Personal Note: Though creating an RSS feed from scratch is absolutely doable, even the most competent of coders do not bother with this – as it is not a practical use of their time.

Thus I strongly suggest that you either use free online RSS generators, a podcast hosting company or have your website dev create one for you.

How To Leverage An RSS Feed

The most important thing you can do with your podcast RSS feed is to submit it to podcast directories or aggregators like Google Podcasts, Spotify, and of course iTunes.

These platforms gather podcast feeds so that their users will be able to easily see, subscribe, and play podcasts.
For said podcast directories and aggregators to include your feed in its directory, you should submit your RSS feed to them, as well as other information associated with your podcast.

Another thing you should do is create a link on your website that redirects visitors to the RSS feed of your podcast – and explain to them the benefits of doing so.

List Of Podcast Directories & Aggregators You Can Submit Your Feeds To

Keep in mind that this is only a handful of podcast directories and aggregators out there.

If you really want to ensure maximum visibility for your podcast, then I suggest that you allot a couple of weekends to search Google for them – and submit your RSS feed to each one of them.

  • Apple Podcasts / iTunes – Without a doubt the top directory you should submit to. Other directories use Apple Podcasts to fill their database as well, so having your feed on iTunes is a must.
  • Google Play Music
  • Google Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn
  • Stitcher
  • Pandora
  • Podknife
  • RadioPublic
  • Pocket Casts
  • AnyPod
  • Podchaser
  • iHeartRadio
  • Plazoo
  • Miro
  • Digital Podcast
  • Acast
  • Blubrry
  • Overcast
  • Deezer
  • PlayerFM
  • PodBean
  • Podkicker
  • Podcast Republic
  • Downcast
  • iPodder
  • doubleTwist
  • Spreaker
  • Listen Notes
  • PodcastBlaster
  • Castbox
  • Radio.com

RSS Feed Podcast Directory & Aggregator Submission

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Like what I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of podcast directories and aggregators that you can submit to.

And though I suggest that you at least try and submit to all of them, you should prioritize these:

How To Submit To Apple Podcasts

Requirements:

  • Your podcast artwork needs to be a square, with minimum dimensions of 1400 x 1400 and max dimension of 3000 x 3000 – and should be in either png or jpeg format.
  • Podcast title must be completely unique and has not been used in any other podcast with the platform’s directory.
  • Your podcast must be included in at least one category within Apple Podcasts.
  • Make sure that the email you use to register is valid as Apple will be sending notifications and information to this email.
  • You need to have at least one (1) published podcast in mp3, m4a, mp4, m4v, pdf, or epub format

Submission Process:

  • Using Itunes Connect, create one, or log in using your Apple ID.
  • If you are not connected automatically after logging into Podcasts Connect, click on the “Podcasts Connect” option.
  • For new submissions, you will be shown a box where you input the RSS feed of your podcast. If this is not your first time to submit, then click on the + icon found on the upper left corner and enter your RSS feed.
  • Once RSS feed has been keyed in, click “Validate”. If things are in order, you will see information about your podcast like host, category, artwork, etc.
  • Click the “Submit” button
  • Check your email as Apple will send you a confirmation email stating that your podcast has been accepted into its database.

Each and every podcast submitted to Apple goes through a review process that can last from three to ten days after submission.

How To Submit To Google Podcasts

Requirements:

  • You should have your own website
  • The website for your podcast, and the feed for your podcast, must be accessible to Googlebot.
  • You need to have an authenticated RSS feed on your site that is pointing to your podcast.
  • Your RSS feed must have a link pointing to your website
  • A valid email address
  • You need to have at least one (1) published podcast in mp3, m4a, mp4 format.

Submission Process:

Technically, there really isn’t a submission process associated with Google Podcasts. Rather, the platform treats your podcast as it would a regular website or blog post.

This is why it is important that you make sure that Googlebot will be able to read the RSS feed on your website. This is something that you should inform your developer about.

How To Submit To Google Play Music

Requirements:

  • A verified Google account.
  • Must agree with the TOS for Google Play Music Podcast Portal.
  • Valid RSS 2.0 feed – with all the tags associated with it.
  • Must be the verified owner of the podcast
  • Need to make sure that your podcast adheres to the Google Play “Content and Conduct Policies for Podcasts” terms of service.

Submission Process:

  • Go to the Google Play Music Podcast page.
  • Click on “Publish”.
  • Enter the portal using your Google Account. For new submissions, Google will first prepare your account for submission. This can take a few minutes.
  • Read and accept the TOS (terms of service)
  • For first time submissions, you will be redirected to the “New Podcast” page and asked to enter some information. If this redirection takes a while, click on the “Add a Podcast” option found on the right part of the page.
  • Submit the RSS feed for your podcast and click on “Submit RSS Feed.”
  • Verify that you are indeed the owner of the feed. Check your email for a link, or verification code.
  • Review the information you have for your podcast and click “Publish Podcast.”
  • Wait for your submission to be approved.
How To Submit To Google Home

Requirements:

  • You should have your own website
  • The website for your podcast, and the feed for your podcast, must be accessible to Googlebot.
  • An authenticated RSS feed on your site that is pointing to your podcast.
  • Your RSS feed must have a link pointing to your website
  • A valid email address
  • At least one (1) published podcast in mp3, m4a, mp4 format.

Submission Process:

Just like Google Podcasts, there really isn’t a submission process aside from allowing Googlebot to index your site.

So again, make sure to remind your developer to make sure that Google will be able to crawl your site.

As for Spotify, we already created an article that details the entire process.

So I suggest that you go and read our How To Upload A Podcast To Spotify (Step By Step In 2020) article.

Anyway, if you need further help with ensuring that your podcast is syndicated correctly – or if you need help with managing and editing your episodes – we can help you with that.

If you need any assistance, go and schedule a FREE consultation call with us and tell us how we can be of assistance.

And if you have anything to add to this podcast RSS feed article, or maybe have a few questions you want to ask, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

As always, stay safe, and we will talk again next time.

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