Apple Podcasts is the number one place people listen to podcasts. The higher a podcast ranks, the higher visibility the podcast has, which increases the chances that listeners will find the show. The first step to ranking on Apple Podcasts is understanding how ranking works.
To be clear, Apple does not publicly disclose the secrets to ranking and how their algorithm works. If they did, it would be easy for people to try to cheat the system. However, there are a few factors that are widely agreed upon that do contribute to how their ranking system works.
WHERE DO YOU RANK?
There are a few places where your show can rank. The first is the Top Charts. Ranking on the top charts is dependent on downloads and on being one of the most popular shows. The second place your show can rank is within search. Users can search for show titles, guests, or keywords. Third, there is the “New and Noteworthy” page, which is reserved for podcasts under 8 weeks old and that are handpicked by Apple. Finally, there are the curated collections. At the time of this article, there are curated collections for “Learn Something New” “Movie Fanatics” “True Crime” and more. Appearing in a curated collection requires being handpicked by Apple.
Having clean, clear, and attractive cover art will improve your chances of your show being chosen by Apple to be featured. Avoid adding unnecessary text or an overly complicated design. Remember, your cover art appears as a small icon on a phone, so it needs to be easy to read as a small size.
Apple requires that your cover art be:
- A minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels
- 72 dpi, in JPEG or PNG format.
- In the RGB colorspace.
There is mixed evidence on whether reviews can increase your ranking, but most agree that reviews can’t hurt your ranking. If nothing else, reviews help to legitimize your show and encourage new listeners to check it out. The simplest way to increase your number of reviews is by placing a call to action within your episodes asking listeners to leave your show a review.
DOWNLOADS AND SUBSCRIBERS
The average number of downloads and subscribers your show has plays a significant role in how your show ranks. Instead of becoming overly concerned with increasing your download numbers, we encourage you to focus on your current audience. Nurture your existing audience by creating content for them and focusing your attention on them. Don’t become so focused on growing that you forget about your existing fans!
CREATE QUALITY CONTENT
Remember that your rank on Apple Podcasts does not define the success for your podcast. Understanding rankings in Apple Podcasts is a tool for you to use to grow your show, but we encourage you to focus your energy on creating high quality content. At the end of the day, growing your show will always come back to creating high quality content. For tips on upgrading your podcast, check out 3 Tips to Upgrade Your Podcast!
If you’re ready to dive into creating a high quality podcast, sign up for a StartAPod subscription for unlimited access to our online courses and exclusive connections.