How to Rank on Apple Podcasts in 5 Easy Steps

Learn how to rank on Apple Podcasts and grow your show’s audience while standing out from the crowd in 5 easy steps.

14 days ago   •   7 min read

By Yvonne Ivanescu

In the ever-evolving world of podcasting, learning how to rank on Apple Podcasts has become increasingly important for creators who want to grow their audience and stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

With over 2.6 million podcasts on the platform, having a high ranking show can significantly boost your visibility and attract new listeners. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to rank on Apple Podcasts, breaking the process down into 5 simple and easy steps. By following these strategies, you'll be well on your way to climbing the Apple Podcasts ladder and reaching your podcast goals.

Let’s get into it…

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How to Find Show Rankings on Apple Podcasts?

It’s easy, really. All you need to do is open Apple Podcasts and head to the Charts section. Here you’ll see the current top-ranked podcasts across various categories. You can choose the category from the drop-down located in the upper right corner. 

Alternatively, you can use the search function to find podcasts by title or keywords. If you type in the word “marketing”, for example, the top podcasts for that keyword will pop up. Ultimately, remember that rankings can change frequently, so check them regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest top podcasts.

4 Factors That Influence Ranking

If you want to rank on Apple Podcasts, you first need to understand the platform’s algorithm. By knowing which factors contribute to higher rankings, you can tailor your approach and optimize your show for success. And while the Apple Podcasts algorithm considers multiple factors when determining rankings, there are 4 main aspects that hold significant weight.

1. Number of Subscribers

Subscribers represent a loyal and engaged audience. Having more subscribers indicates to the Apple algorithm that your podcast resonates with listeners and offers valuable content. Apple Podcasts recognizes this and rewards podcasts with a solid subscriber base. 

2. Recent Ratings & Reviews

Apart from influencing algorithms, ratings and reviews also help establish your podcast's credibility and trustworthiness. Having multiple five-star ratings and a string of positive reviews will attract new listeners more inclined to trust your content and give it a listen. Genuine feedback and high-quality reviews can boost your podcast's rankings, enhance its reputation, and contribute to audience growth.

3. New Episode Downloads

Podcast downloads play a role in determining a show's popularity. These download stats reflect how many people have saved your podcast episodes to their devices. When the download rate is higher, it suggests a broader audience is eager to listen to what you have to offer.

4. Episode Engagement & Completion Rate

Episode engagement and completion rate refer to how long listeners stay engaged with your content and whether they listen to the entire episode. High engagement and completion rates indicate to the algorithm that your podcast provides value and keeps audiences interested.

How to Rank on Apple Podcasts in 5 Easy Steps

Now we've identified the key factors Apple Podcasts uses to determine podcast rankings, let's explore how you, as a podcaster, can ensure your show climbs the charts. 

Step 1: Create Quality Content (& Categorize It)

Content is the key to your podcast's success. When you produce engaging and high-quality episodes, you'll improve your chances of ranking on Apple Podcasts. But creating binge-able content isn't just about using a fancy microphone. 

First, you need to build the foundation of your show. You’ll need to ask the important questions, like, who is listening? Understanding the interests, demographics, and preferences of your target audience is essential. Other things to take into consideration include your niche and USP (or, unique selling proposition) - in essence, how will your podcast be different? 

This should also be the time when you decide your categories. Apple Podcasts offers over 100 categories - including main and sub-categories, for accurate classification. Proper categorization helps Apple Podcasts recommend your show to users with similar interests. You can choose up to 2-3 categories, so be strategic, as this can help people find you by your specific topic

Once the basics are done, the next step is creating quality content, which is at the heart of any successful podcast. Great production quality and clear audio are important, but your content should also provide your listeners with value. Why are they tuning in? Make sure each episode is well-researched, informative, and entertaining. 

To avoid podfade, brainstorm content, plan ahead, and establish a regular publishing schedule. And if possible, have at least six or more episodes already recorded and ready to go when you launch. Consistency is important, so if your podcast goes out every Monday at 11am, don’t mess with that schedule. 

Step 2: Optimize Your Show for Apple Podcasts

Quality content is key, but there are other steps you can take to optimize your podcast for increased discoverability. This ensures more people will click, download, and listen to your latest podcast episodes.

First, nailing your podcast name is important. Your name is the first thing people usually see, and it should describe - in 5 words or less - exactly what listeners should expect from your show. A well-crafted title will entice curious listeners to learn more, ultimately helping your podcast stand out. 

Along with your name, the second thing people will see while scrolling through Apple Podcasts is your cover art. It should be unique and eye-catching while conveying what the podcast is about, what kind of podcast it is, and what tone it has. 

Along with visuals, SEO (search engine optimization) is another critical thing to consider. Whether in your podcast title or your description, include relevant keywords to help improve your podcast's visibility in search results on Apple Podcasts. 

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Step 3: Encourage Listener Engagement

As you publish more episodes and start gaining a following, creating a community and encouraging listener engagement can boost your podcast's visibility and help build a loyal audience.

Begin by establishing a sense of community around your podcast through social media or email marketing. Remember that before you can ask for anything, you must first create authentic connections with your listeners. Building a community takes time and patience, but your effort will pay off in the long run as you cultivate a dedicated listener base.

Once you have that growing listener base, there are several things that you can do to encourage listener engagement and help your podcast climb the Apple Podcast rankings. 

First, ask your listeners to leave ratings and reviews, which can help your podcast gain credibility and visibility on the platform. Make it easy for your audience to rate and review your show by providing clear instructions and sharing direct links. Consider offering incentives, such as shout-outs or exclusive content, to thank those who take the time to provide feedback. 

Second, encourage your listeners to share podcast episodes with friends and on social media platforms to generate buzz and attract new subscribers. By leveraging social sharing and word-of-mouth, you can tap into your existing audience's networks and expand your reach. Create shareable content, such as episode highlights or promotional graphics, to make it easy for your listeners to spread the word about your show. 

Actively engaging with your audience and responding to their feedback can help foster a sense of community. Show listeners you value their input by incorporating their suggestions into your podcast content, format, or production. Your commitment to creating the best listening experience can also encourage positive reviews.

Step 4: Leverage Promotional Strategies

Guess what? Simply publishing your podcast isn't enough. You must actively promote it to ensure it reaches your target audience and grows in popularity.

If you're not already well-known, spreading the word about your podcast is essential for attracting listeners. Marketing your podcast plays a vital role in gaining visibility, driving clicks, and increasing downloads - all things that will boost your Apple Podcast rankings.

Along with launching an Instagram or TikTok account, consider cross-promotion. Cross-promotion is the process of collaborating with fellow podcasters for mutual promotion. You can share each other's content, exchange guest appearances, or create joint episodes to tap into new audiences and improve your podcast rankings. 

By collaborating with industry experts, influencers, or other podcasters, you can tap into their existing audience, potentially attracting new listeners and subscribers to your show. Be strategic in selecting guests that align with your podcast's theme and provide value to your listeners, ensuring a win-win situation for both parties.

Step 5: Track & Analyze Each Episode’s Performance

Finally, tracking performance and adjusting your strategies based on data and industry trends is essential to optimize your podcast for success on Apple Podcasts.

Regularly review your podcast's performance data on Apple Podcasts analytics. Analyze listener trends, episode downloads, and audience demographics. Then, refine your podcast strategies using these insights. Optimize episode length, release schedule, or content based on listener preferences and industry trends.

Remember to stay updated with podcast industry news, algorithm updates, and platform changes. Adapt your strategies to maintain your show’s competitive edge and maximize its potential on Apple Podcasts rankings.

Final Thoughts: How to Rank on Apple Podcasts

By following this guide on how to rank on Apple Podcasts, you'll be well on your way to achieving podcasting success. 

But above all else, remember that podcasting is an ever-changing landscape that requires patience, persistence, and adaptability. Focus on the entire process, from launching your podcast to marketing it effectively, to growing and developing a loyal listenership. Keep refining your strategies, focus on providing your audience value, and continuously learn from industry trends and developments. 

It might seem like a long and arduous process, but dedication and perseverance are essential. These efforts will ultimately pay off, boosting your Apple Podcasts rankings, expanding your reach, and solidifying your presence in the competitive podcasting world.

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