Why Your Podcast Needs Reviews & Ratings

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Podcasting

Anyone who’s listened to a podcast has heard the spiel, usually uttered by the podcast’s host in the closing moments of the show: “If you could rate and review the podcast, it would really help us out…” While there’s no evidence that podcast reviews directly factor into how podcasts are ranked on streaming platforms, they have a number of benefits that can help you grow your audience, get better advertisers, and more.

How Reviews Contribute to Your Podcast

At some level, every podcast host wants to see their show rise up the podcast rankings. While not all aspire to perch atop the Apple Podcast charts like Joe Rogan or Dax Shepard, ranking higher leads to better visibility, more listeners, and additional influence. There’s no concrete proof that podcast ratings and reviews “game” the algorithm, but they can help your show in several ways that can improve your rank in the long run.

Social Proof

Reviews are a socially-validated nudge that could influence someone to listen to your podcast for the first time. Before committing to a new podcast, many people turn to fellow listeners for advice. If other people like the show, they’re more likely to give it a try. Positive podcast reviews may not necessarily help new listeners find your show, but they can influence them to press play for the first time.

Thought Leadership

Whatever topic you choose for your podcast, you want to be viewed as a go-to resource in your given area or industry. As you get more positive reviews, people will start to recognize that your podcast has authority and you have some expertise. As your podcast gains support, it’s increasingly easier to grow your following and attract interesting guests—if your podcast format includes interviews, that is.

Advertiser Attention

If you want to get involved in podcast advertising and make some money off your show, you must have proof for advertisers that your show has a following and people enjoy it. Podcasts with tons of positive ratings and reviews are more likely to impress potential advertisers and earn higher podcast advertising rates.

Listener Insight

Unlike radio hosts, podcasters don’t often get the opportunity to directly interact with their audience. Reading reviews allows you to gather opinions about the show: what listeners like, the types of guests they enjoy, what your podcast might be missing, etc. You can use these insights to highlight your podcast’s strengths and improve its weaknesses, creating a better overall product.

How to Get More Podcast Reviews

Podcast reviews rarely occur organically. In fact, many listeners don’t even know they can leave a review or rating for podcasts, which is why it’s necessary to give them a little reminder. Here are some ways you can educate your loyal listeners on how they can leave a review for your podcast.

Ask on the Show

Wait until the end of each podcast to request podcast reviews. Your most engaged listeners—the ones most likely to leave reviews—typically listen to the entire episode, and the show’s conclusion provides a convenient stopping point to take action. Be honest about how the reviews help. Describe how star reviews help encourage new listeners to try the show, and emphasize that you read every comment and use the information to try and make the show better.

Utilize Social Media

Use both personal and podcast social media accounts to ask followers to review your podcast. Anyone who’s invested enough in your show to follow the podcast’s account is more likely to leave a review, while personal friends and family will likely want to help you out.

Reach Out to Your Email List

If you have an email list or newsletter for your podcast, this is a great place to ask for reviews. Your subscribers are already top fans and engaged with your content, so they’re more likely to take time out and review your show. Include specific directions in an email and outline in detail how much reviews help.

Provide a Link on Your Website

Make it as easy as possible by directing fans to the exact place they need to leave a review. Include a link on your podcast website, as well as in your show pages on various podcast platforms. You might also consider including brief instructions (and maybe a screenshot or two) on how the review process will go.

Give Shoutouts

Imagine if your favorite podcast host or TV star read your name on-air as a positive example for the entire audience. That’d be pretty awesome, right? That’s how your listeners feel when you give them a quick shoutout as thanks for leaving a review. They feel like they’re not only a part of your podcast’s community, but they’re a valued piece. Shoutouts can also encourage others to leave reviews as well!

Looking for more help to get reviews, grow your podcast’s audience, and rise up the Apple Podcasts charts? Hurrdat Media is a comprehensive solution that can help with production, hosting, advertising, and more! Check out our various podcast services and join our media network today!