Today we want to talk about the true value of a great podcast episode title. Great podcast episode title ideas are much more than just writing down the first thing that comes to mind! Episode names are the first piece of information that potential listeners will see about your show. It’s the first thing they see when an episode is shared on social media or recommended online. It can be the defining moment for whether or not they decide to tune in.  It can either suck them in or allow them to scroll on by. Quality episode titles also help your show with search engine optimization and the podcast’s overall reach. So that title better be catchy and unique or you’ll miss out on new listeners!

We all wish for the perfect episode title. But unless you put as much thought into the titles as you do with the actual episode content, it’ll probably feel like an uphill battle. Lucky for you, we know one or two (or many, actually) things about the process of titling podcast episodes. And we’re here to guide you through it! In this post, you’ll find our best tips and tricks on how to title podcast episodes. Keep reading for the scoop on creating a podcast episode name, AKA TITLE!

How To Title Podcast Episodes

A podcast episode title can be chosen before you record.

It all starts with compelling content. If your episode doesn’t have a clear direction or purpose, it’ll be much harder to pull off a solid title. The stronger episodes of your show probably have their own name ready even before hitting that record button. Why? Because that piece of content is going somewhere! So plan your content ahead of time. Brainstorm episode titles as you write down what you’re going to talk about. Once you’ve got a couple of options, analyze which one will entice listeners the most. And if you’re stuck with the type of content you want on your show… Then head over to THIS article to get podcast topic inspiration!

Your episode title should explain the value the listener will gain from listening.

Titles can help you manage your listenership’s expectations. So all the important details about the episode should ideally be included in the name! Things like the main topics you talk about, if you have any guests, you’re doing a Q&A, listening to voicemails, and pretty much anything special. Make room for these items in the podcast titles and your listeners will be much more intrigued by them! Also, if you feel like you have too many ideas but don’t know how to focus that energy on creating a podcast title, we have just the episode for you to listen to. Tune in to The Femails to listen to Lauren McGoodwin on creating powerful content that leads to a successful career.

Ask yourself: Would I click on this?

It sounds simple, but this quick and easy tip really does the trick. Put yourself in the mindset of your potential audience. If you were scrolling and randomly came across your episode title, would you click? Would you save it for later? Would you want to listen? If the answer is no, you may want to work on your title.

Avoid random phrases that don’t mean anything.

One of the biggest title mistakes we see in the podcasting industry is completely random titles. Or titles that are pulled from the episode almost like an inside joke. This might work for your die-hard audience, but it makes it harder for new listeners to feel inspired to tune in. So keep our point above about showcasing value in your titles in mind at all times.

Limit your podcast episode titles to no more than 60 characters.

Concise, high-quality episode titles aren’t stuffy and repetitive. Audio listeners should be able to read your podcast title quickly. Think elevator pitch, but shorter. You’ll really want to add any major details in your episode descriptions. So, your podcast title should take just a second to read and still be able to pull people in. Now, even though podcast episode titles are usually pretty short, they’re getting a bit lengthier over time. The medium episode name jumped from 5 words to 7 during 2020, and this trend seems to be on the rise. Still, 7 words are still just 35 characters. Unless you want podcast listeners to just skip reading the descriptive title altogether, keep it under 60 characters. This should be around 13/14 words!

Choose a title format and stick to it.

The layout of every podcast episode title should be the same during each particular season, at least. It’s always best to give the listeners a sense of consistency, as it shows the podcast it’s a steady endeavor. You don’t want them to think you’re not serious about the show as the podcast host! So the episode number (if you decide to include it) should be either at the very beginning or end of the titles. This makes the name much easier to read and provides nice organization for those looking to binge your show. It’ll help a lot when the episodes are shared on social media! Which as we all know, is a fantastic tool for podcast exposure and distribution. For more information on the power of social media related to podcasting, head over to THIS episode of Everything is the Best.

Add relevant keywords for better search engine optimization.

We mentioned SEO (search engine optimization) a couple of times already in this post. It’s because it plays a huge role in your podcast’s reach! Episodes with good titles boost your exposure both in Google’s search engines and in major podcast apps, like Apple Podcasts. So in order to reach more podcast listeners and appear in more search results, you need to add relevant keywords to each episode name. Think about what people would search for on Google. Add those search phrases to your title. If you want to get professional, you can conduct keyword research and draft your titles accordingly. Though avoid keyword stuffing! This actually hurts your SEO efforts and can annoy potential listeners. Be authentic. It really is all about showcasing the value the episode contains at the end of the day. If you feel like you’re doing something sneaky, it probably won’t work anyway.

Avoid putting your show’s name in the episode title.

There’s no need to be redundant. It’s 100% pointless to waste title characters on the name of your show. Your usual followers already know it, and the show name shows up in the show name section on search engines and directories. So you’re just wasting space if you add your podcast name in the title. Instead, use that valuable character space to explain the value the listener will gain from tuning in. Also, read this post if you need advice on how to name your podcast.

Don’t be afraid of doing a little trial and error to make adjustments as you go.

Whether you just launched your podcast or you’ve been doing it for years, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s okay to shift strategies if you find something else works better! Brands can and should evolve over time. Maybe you’ve been doing your episode titles in a certain way but you’ve recently tried something new. And now you look at the stats and that new type of podcast episode title has performed stronger than your original names. That’s fine. It’s great, actually! It’s time to adjust all your future titles and aim for those higher stats. And if you don’t know how to gauge what is working, read this post on how to measure podcast performance. You’ve got a lot of fun work ahead!

How do you come up with your podcast’s episode titles?

Those were our favorite strategies for how to title podcast episodes! As you can see, all it takes it’s a little brainstorming and planning. The key is to always make them unique and have them add value to the episode instead of just a few random words put together. What do your episode titles look like? How do you create them? Let us know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog posts for more podcasting tips and insightful advice!