The purpose of writing show notes for your podcast is to enhance the listener’s experience. It’s about providing an easy way for your audience to find and consume the information that was just discussed.
Many podcasters get this wrong, we’ve been taught to write show notes because it “might” help with SEO but the truth is that it likely won’t make a difference.
This is because, while show notes can help search engines better find and categorize your podcast episodes, it won’t make much of a difference in rankings unless you are also actively building backlinks and doing all of the SEO activities required to generate significant traffic.
So, instead of writing show notes for the search engines, we should focus on having our show notes do three things:
- Complement the audio
- Make the listener’s life easier
- Provide additional content
Below you’ll find the EXACT show notes template that I will be testing across all of my client’s shows over the next three months based on these three criteria.
It’s also the same show notes template that we use in-house for all Buzzcastr shows because we believe it is the strongest balance between complementing the audio and making our listener’s lives easier.
The purpose of this section is to find 3 to 5 moments from the audio and summarize the main points from each.
This section’s focus is to highlight the best quotes from the episode from either the podcast host or the podcast guest.
Your guest will share quite a few resources that they personally use. This section is a place to collect these links so that the listener can quickly find them.
In this section, you should try to collect the easiest contact method for your guest and share it with your audience.
So let’s talk about why this works and how it relates back to the three criteria above.
Remember, our goal is to enhance the experience of the podcast for our listeners, this means trying to strike a balance between providing valuable information and providing too much information.
The outline above does four things well:
- The Key Takeaways section focuses on summarizing information from the show rather than on hinting at what is to come. This is a major difference in approach from the majority of show notes out there. Rather than using your show notes to entice people to listen, you should focus on using them to support the listen that has already happened.
- The Best Moments section highlights the tweetable and valuable things that each participant has said. This section can serve as a means of promoting the listen but really should be viewed more as a way to let listeners easily find and share the quotes that they loved.
- The Valuable Resources section allows listeners to quickly jump to the links and resources mentioned within the episode. It’s important to note that the goal here isn’t to capture everything that is mentioned, rather it’s to capture the resources and links that are MOST valuable to your listener.
- The Contact Method section gives listeners an easy way to get in touch with the guest. In this section, you should focus on providing the one or two most direct sources rather than every method possible. Doing so will allow the listener to quickly make decisions while allowing the guest to focus their attention on the platform they most care about.
There you have it, one show notes template to rule them all.
There is one final thing to note, the purpose of show notes should be to support your episode and make your listener’s lives easier. It’s for this reason that I recommend you take the entire template above and use it as a part of your episode description rather than just posting it on the website and asking people to go back to the site.
I make this recommendation because if your goal truly is to make your listener’s lives easier, then you should provide the content to do so on the platform they want to consume it on rather than forcing them back to the platform you want them to consume it on.
Doing so may mean that you get less traffic, but your audience will be much more engaged because you are giving them what they want.