How to choose the right category on Apple Podcasts

July 26, 2021

When you first create your podcast, you typically choose a podcast name, upload an artwork, add a description and choose a category. These are highly important for your discoverability on podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Podcasts, Spotify and so on.

We’ve covered the importance of choosing the right podcast name, and what it means (together with the description) for your podcast SEO. In this article, we’ll review why the podcast category you choose is so important. We’ll also give tips for choosing the best category for your podcast.

Why is the podcast category so important?

Each podcast platform like Apple Podcasts and Spotify includes different “featured” lists of podcasts with the top shows in each of the different categories. Most platforms have a primary and a secondary category you can choose from, and this combination can affect your discoverability on those platforms.

When you rank high in your category, you can be featured in one of the “top podcasts” for each category. There’s also a separate list for “new podcasts” under each category. Lastly, when people simply browse podcasts by categories on Apple Podcasts or Spotify they can find your show.

If you get to the point where your podcast is top 10 in a certain category, it can really help drive more listeners to your shows so it’s key that you pick the right category.

podcast category ranking

How to choose the right category for your podcast?

On Apple Podcasts, you can choose a primary and a secondary category. Some other platforms also support multiple categories. No one but you knows the best category for your show. With some trial and error, you can find the one that works best for your show.

We recommend to use the following approach:

When your show is first being published, pick the categories that can best represent your show and what you’ll be discussing. A good rule of thumb is to try and avoid the busiest categories, and try to find your way to rank higher in other “upcoming” categories.

You can browse through the list of all Apple Podcasts categories, and write down a list any category that could fit. There should be at least a handful that can work for your podcast. You can also browse the Spotify charts to find ideas.

For example, let’s assume your podcast is about coffee. You can easily write down a few categories such as: Leisure, Hobbies, Food, Business, History, How To, and more. It all depends on the nature of your show, and the topics you discuss during your episodes.

In the past couple of years, new categories have been added. It’s still possible to fit in one of those newer categories and it might be easier to rank higher. The more specific and relevant the category – the more chance you have to rank higher. Choosing a broad category like “Tech” or “Comedy” could be very hard for new podcasts.

The importance of a good title and artwork

As mentioned above, a good podcast name/title and artwork are also key. There are already so many podcasts available on the popular platforms. You really need to make yours stand out and catch the attention of the users who browse the directory.

A professionally looking artwork alongside a good title and category is a great combination to boost your podcast discoverability.

Tips for finding the perfect category

There are no secrets around picking podcast categories. One “hack” you should definitely try is to change categories every now and then and see how it affects your rankings.

Since there are many categories, your podcast can fit more than just one. You can start hopping between categories and learning how it affects your ranks. It’s great way to find the one that works best.

Apple Podcasts works with different categories and different regions/storefronts. (different ranks for each country). This means you can play around with the categories until you’re the #1 podcast in the “X” category of country “Y”. This can take a little while to completely figure out, but we do recommend testing different categories.

You’ll end up in a much better position if you’re listed in the right category. You could potentially find a bunch of new listeners just from being ranked high in certain categories.

Outside of the podcast platforms

Even if you look beyond the popular podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, choosing the right category for your show and episodes can help you rank better on search engines. Furthermore, if you have your own podcast website, you can easily filter your podcasts and episodes by categories, create different pages for each category and so on.

This can help quite a bit in terms of SEO. By categorizing your podcast properly, you’ll boost both your potential ranking on the podcast platforms and search engines. It’ll eventually help listeners navigate with ease and find the right shows and/or episodes for them.

Conclusion

A good category for your podcast can help improve your show’s discoverability and find new listeners.
At Podcastpage.io, we usually recommend our users to add categories for all their shows and episodes. Being as specific as possible when choosing a category is key to get ranked higher in later stages.

Lastly, you can always hop between categories – We highly recommend on doing so until you find one category that suits your podcast best and ranks you higher on the different podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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