You probably have a website for your podcast.
It’s your own little slice of real estate on the web – a digital gathering place for your listeners.
You can post show notes, share updates, and give other information about your podcast.
But can your visitors listen to your podcast there?
Yes, you read that right.
If you host a podcast, you need to have a podcast player on your website!
But why? Won’t people just listen on their podcast app?
The vast majority of your audience will subscribe to and listen to your podcast through a podcasting app or directory, like Apple podcasts, Google Podcast, or Stitcher.
But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your website.
Your website is your podcast’s home on the web. It’s where your audience can view show notes leave comments, share with their friends, and engage deeper with your show.
Your goal is to turn your website into the main destination for your listeners. You want them to visit your website as much as possible, and by adding a podcast player, you give them even more of a reason to come back again and again.
This is great for your show for a few reasons.
They see what else you have to offer
Having people listening to your podcast is great, but chances are you have more to offer than just your silky smooth voice.
You probably have products or services that you want to sell.
There’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. Creating a podcast that’s related to your product is a great way to build an audience of potential customers.
The problem is, if your audience is only listening to your podcast, you can only share your other products or offers by talking about it on your show.
This isn’t ideal for a few reasons:
- It’s easy to skip.
Your listeners can tell when a sales pitch is coming on, and when they do, they’ll hit that “skip forward 15s” button as fast as possible.
There goes your one and only chance to tell them about your product.
- Your reputation suffers
If you’re constantly promoting your products or services on your podcast, you quickly develop a bad reputation with your audience.
- You don’t get the best results
Don’t get me wrong, advertising your products on your podcast can be very effective.
But it’s only one method.
When your listeners visit your website, you can:
- Retarget them with ads through tracking pixels.
- Direct them to buy right there on the website.
- Offer a free opt-in to get their email and send an automated sales series.
The point is, the more often your listeners come to your website, the more opportunities you have to promote your products and build your business.
And the best way to keep them coming back is by allowing them to listen to your episodes right on your site.
It Boosts SEO
Growing your audience is all about traffic (aka, the number of people visiting your website, podcast, social channels, etc), which means you need to be intentional about increasing your traffic.
There are several ways you can do this, like:
- Appearing as a guest on other podcasts
- Paying for ads on Facebook, Instagram or Google
- Getting a spot in the featured section of podcast players
- Creating a press release that gets featured on news and media sites
Those are all valid options, and there are countless other ways to get traffic, but what you really want is organic traffic.
Simply put, these are people who organically find you online, typically through a search engine like Google or DuckDuckGo.
We all know how search engines work. You type in a question, phrase, or even just a word, and it spits out a big list of results that it thinks are the most relevant for you.
But how does the search engine decide which result is shown first? What criteria does it use to rank them?
While it’s impossible to give an exact answer (search engines look at billions of data points that are changing every second), there’s one thing that search engines highly value – engagement.
The more your website visitors engage with your website, the more search engines assume they’re getting value from it. It’s relevant. You can imagine each interaction sending a little signal to Google saying, “I’m getting value from this website. I’m interested in what they have to say.”
The more of those signals Google gets, the more your reputation as a relevant website that people want to engage with improves.
That’s where your podcast player comes in.
By adding a player to your site, you’re making your website more interactive.
Your visitors stay for much longer than an average browsing session. They click more to play or pause, change the volume, or skip ahead.
Pro Tip: If you’re using Fusebox’s transcription plugin, you can add the transcript to your episode page as well.
The end result is a much more engaging or interactive experience on your website that improves your search engine results and helps grow your traffic.
Builds your email list
Most podcasters are focused on increasing their subscribers and downloads.
While those numbers are important and deserve your attention, there’s one other area that’s even more important – your email list.
Building an email list is essential. It’s the only audience platform that you own.
With every other marketing platform or channel (including your podcast), you don’t own your subscribers, the platform does. If they decide to change the rules, you’re stuck.
Think of Facebook Pages. A few years ago, when you posted something to your Facebook page every single one of your followers would see it.
Then Facebook decided to change their algorithm so that only a small percentage of your audience would see your posts.
If you wanted to reach 100%, you had to pay.
With email though, you don’t have to worry about that. You have your audience’s email addresses – their actual contact information.
This gives you direct access to them in a way that no other channel offers.
People who join your email list are also typically more valuable and engaged members of your audience than other platforms, because there’s an exchange involved. They give you something – their email address.
On social media or a podcast app, they just click a button to subscribe or follow you. Nothing is required.
But an email address is a closely guarded possession. It’s personal, therefore it’s valuable.
So when someone decides to give it to you, what they’re actually saying is that they trust you. That they’re willing to give up something they value in exchange for whatever you’re offering.
What this means for you as a podcaster is simple – focus on building your email list!
You can do this by adding an email opt-in to your show notes page or as a banner on your website. Then, when your listeners visit your website to listen to your podcast (because you have a player there), they’ll have the opportunity to opt-in.
Pro Tip: If you’re using the Fusebox player, you can offer an email opt-in on the player itself, right next to the play button so they can’t miss it.
Which podcast player should you use?
By now it should be clear why you need a podcast player on your website.
It can help you grow your audience by providing a better onsite experience which boosts your SEO, increases your chances of being discovered, and gives you more opportunities to engage your listeners through email opt-ins.
But this begs the question – what player should you use?
You have two options:
- Use the default player offered by your podcasting host
This option is typically free and works great if you only need the absolute barebones. They have very few other features, if any, and don’t give you any customization options.
Even worse, they usually put their logo on the player, which essentially turns your podcast into an advertisement for their service.
Not the ideal experience.
That leads us to the second option.
- Use a player plugin like Fusebox
Podcast player plugins are much more robust, offering you customization, audio, and marketing features.
But there’s a problem – not many exist.
And for many years, the only options were ugly and didn’t truly serve the needs of a podcaster.
That’s why we built Fusebox – to give podcasters like you a beautiful player designed to help you give an incredible listening experience to your audience and grow your podcast.
Our basic sticky player (which sticks to the top or bottom of your website) is completely free and includes our transcription plugin.
To get all of the player options, plus every other current (or future) feature, upgrade to Fusebox Pro for only $12/mo ($8/mo when paid annually).