Your name is important. It’s your identifier. It’s what old friends use to look you up on Facebook, or potential clients or even employers use to find you on LinkedIn, and it’s what you sign at the end of all your important emails. Your name is part of what makes you you, it might not be 100% unique, but coupled with your winning personality, it’s what sets you apart from anyone else.
And your podcast name is just as important! It is one of the first conventions used to identify your show. It’s what your loyal listeners will use to tell their friends and family about you, and it’s what your target audience will use to search for you. There are no two ways about it! Your podcast name is a vital part of your show’s success!
But it can’t just be any old name. It must be engaging, memorable, and have a high SEO value. It must also capture the focus and tone of your podcast and encapsulate your brand. Phew! That’s quite a tall order!
With so much riding on your name alone, the question is, how to go about finding the right name for your podcast? You may be feeling all sorts of pressure right about now to find the right name, and it’s easy to let this dilemma become a debilitating hurdle that stops you from actually getting your show up and running. Not if we can help it!
We’ve got 10 key questions you should focus on to help you come up with the perfect name for your podcast in 2021. Think of the answers to the questions as the circles of a, albeit rather elaborate, Venn diagram, helping you land on that perfect name for your show. Find the answers to these, and you’ll conquer the name game and ensure that your podcast name helps you stand out from the crowd.
Get your pen and paper ready! Your perfect name awaits!
10 Questions to Help You Find the Perfect Podcast Name
1. What Is Your Niche?
The first circle of your Venn diagram, question Number 1: What is your podcast’s niche? The answer to this question should focus on your topic. Understanding your niche and the role of your podcast within that niche will help you zero in on what your name needs to communicate to your potential listeners.
At its heart, a good podcast name is one that accurately reflects what your topic is about. It’s all good and well to want a catchy name, but if it doesn’t help to, at least in some way, let your listeners know what your podcast is about, your catchy name will not be catching you any new listeners any time soon! This is okay if you’re confident your podcast audience will grow simply through word of mouth, but if you’re hoping your show pops up when your target audience searches podcasts in your niche, your podcast name is going to need to have some sort of niche identifier to get you showing up where you need to.
Related reads: 8 Strategies to Build Authority in Your Podcast Niche
2. Who Is Your Audience?
Consider such things as the general age of your listener. Will they be Baby Boomers, Gen X, or Millennials, for example? What industry or profession are they likely to be involved in? The answers to these questions will help you focus on who your podcast name needs to appeal to. People of a similar age or in a similar age of life are likely to have had many shared experiences. These experiences can be leveraged in your hunt for your podcast name.
As an example, a podcast called “Tear Down That Wall – A guide to starting over” could focus on overcoming the challenges and obstacles of starting over in your 50s. People in their 50s now would understand the reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991 and the challenging but ultimately positive outcome that occurred as a result. Understanding your audience and what references may appeal to them could provide a plethora of potentially great podcast names!
3. What is the Focus and Tone of Your Podcast?
A great podcast name should also capture the focus and tone of your podcast. If your podcast is a serious, academic discussion on a topic, a tongue-in-cheek or a play-on-words title would not capture the tone correctly. The name may even deter potential listeners from ever choosing your show in the first place, as they may perceive, from the tone of the name, that your show is not the no-frills discussion they are after. When in reality, that is exactly what your podcast offers!
No matter how clever a name may seem, if it does not capture the tone of your podcast, a new idea must be found. You don’t want your seemingly super cool and clever name to mislead, or worse, frustrate your listeners! By keeping the tone and focus of your podcast in mind as you’re brainstorming ideas, you’ll be able to add another circle to that Venn diagram, which will eliminate some of the contenders that now don’t meet the brief, and you’ll start honing in on those names that hit every requirement.
Related read: How to Find Your Podcast Topic: 8 Unique Topic Ideas
4. Is There a Strong Correlation Between Your Topic and Name?
A core principle for finding the right podcast name is ensuring that there is a strong correlation between the name of your show and your podcast topic. Using the ideas from your brainstorming sessions, find the options that best encapsulate your topic and your overall brand.
You should also think about terms relevant to your podcast niche. This could be specific jargon used in your field, terms or phrases closely associated with your topic, or references related to your content. These could help clue in your target audience – who would understand these terms or references – as to what your podcast is about. Having a clever reference can also help make your podcast name memorable, which brings us nicely to the next circle of our already-rather-impressive Venn diagram…
5. Is Your Name Memorable?
It should come as no surprise that a great podcast name is one that is memorable. Listeners need to remember your name so that they can share it with others, and find it again if, Heaven forbid, they forgot to follow your show on their podcast app of choice!
One of the top ways you can create a memorable podcast name is by keeping it short and punchy, as too many words can make recall tricky. A memorable name is one that perfectly captures the tone and spirit of the podcast, as this strengthens the association between name and topic. You want a name that rolls off the tongue and sticks in the mind; not one that slips through the mental cracks. Think of using writing techniques such as alliteration, rhyme, plays on words, or puns to help make your podcast name catchy and highly memorable.
6. Is Your Name Optimized for Discoverability?
You also want your podcast name to have a high SEO value. This means that it will be likely to show up as a result when your topic or niche is searched online. One way to optimize your podcast name for discoverability is to use a niche-specific term or keyword highly-related to your niche as part of your title.
Practically, this means that you need to look for words that turn up regularly when your topic is searched. It is important that you use this keyword as part of your actual title, and not as something that’s tacked on as some from of description. This is often viewed as keyword-stuffing and is usually frowned upon by the powers that be. More on that later…
Related reads: How to Improve the Discoverability Of Your Podcast
7. Does Your Name Avoid Ambiguity?
Your next step is to eliminate options that cloud your podcast’s discoverability rather than being the perfect podcast name. You can start this process by keeping a sharp eye out for homonyms, homophones, and homographs. Sound like an English lesson? Well, these are important concepts to consider when naming your podcast. Homophones, for example, are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings, and could cause some interesting mix-ups if you’re not careful. There’s a vast difference between Sew Right!, a podcast about the joys of needlework and So, Write!, a podcast about overcoming writer’s block. The titles sound exactly the same, but will yield completely different results!
Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that you can use fun plays on words, clever puns, and other such techniques in your podcast name. You should! (See above!) Especially if these also help showcase a little more of your and your podcast’s personality! But you do need to be mindful of any ambiguity or unwanted association your name may invoke.
8. Have You Made Use of Internet Searches?
As you start to zero in on potential names for your podcast, it’s time to do a little recon with your top picks. And by this, we mean do some serious Internet research. You should always run your options through an Internet search and eliminate those which have already been taken by other podcasters. Use Google, as well as podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher to see if there are any podcasts that already have one of your names.
It is important that when listeners search for your podcast, they actually find yours – not someone else’s who happens to have the same name! This search should also extend to social media platforms as some of your options may already exist in those realms. In order to build your brand, you would want your podcast name to extend across all the platforms you use. So if the name is already taken on one of those, it would be best to go back into brainstorming mode to come up with some potential name candidates.
9. Have You Used “Podcast” in Your Title? (Hint: Don’t Do This Unless You Absolutely Have To!)
This may come as a surprise, but having the word “podcast” in your actual podcast title is not recommended by many podcasting experts. It is often seen as an unnecessary use of characters, as potential listeners would most likely already be looking in podcast directories for podcasts, rendering “podcast” in the title irrelevant, and really, a waste of precious characters!
The one possible exception maybe if there is already a podcast with a similar name to the one you have your heart set on and adding “podcast” to the title would serve to differentiate yours. However, with that being said, if there is another podcast with the same or similar name to yours already, it would perhaps be wiser to go back to the drawing board and take another swing at finding the perfect name for your podcast.
10. Have You Avoided Keyword Stuffing?
You may be tempted to try and cram as many keywords as possible into the title, under the assumption that this will help boost your podcast’s discoverability. However, the opposite effect is likely to happen. Apple Podcasts, in particular, does not take kindly to keyword-saturated titles and has even taken to removing these from their directory!¹ Definitely not the outcome you were looking for!
You, therefore, obviously want to avoid a keyword-stuffed title. And should save those keywords for your description or your show notes to avoid running the risk of your show being removed altogether. Rather aim for a punchy, relevant title and then add a brief, readable description in the title tag to help your podcast show up in search results.
Finding the right name for your podcast can be an overwhelming endeavor. You can get so caught up in “finding the one” that it prevents you from ever launching your show. And the worst thing you can do is not start! So let us help you simplify this process! Use these 10 questions and you’ll find that your perfect podcast name is just one idea away!
You should already have a thorough understanding of your show and its audience, and that’s exactly where to start! And as you jot down the answers to each of these questions, you’ll get closer and closer to your goal. Keep that Venn diagram analogy in mind, and you’ll soon find yourself zeroing in on the perfect name for your show.
1. Podcast Websites: Important Apple Podcasts Update: https://podcastwebsites.com/2018/09/important-apple-podcasts-update/