Updated: June 2020
I listen to a lot of podcasts. I love them.
As you’d expect there is a strong SEO-slant here but they cover a range of topics and marketing advice. I’ve updated this list as some podcasts I really liked have fallen by the wayside (turns out producing a great podcast is hard and time-consuming!)
Here’s the list (in no particular order):
Experts on the wire
Style: In-depth interviews
Length: Around 1 hour
Theme tune: 8/10 | Cool synth mix
Listen out for: That theme tune – host Dan is also a musician!
Dan Shure’s Experts on the Wire podcast is terrific. It’s the podcast I wish I could have made.
Dan is an effortlessly cool host (the incidental music is, of course, great) but extremely knowledgeable too. He knows enough as an SEO’er to ask tough, interesting, probing questions to draw the best real gems of advice and insights from his all-star guests.
He also knows enough, as a host, that once he’s asked that question he can give those expert guests the space to deliver great answers.
That guest list reads like a bit of a ‘Who’s Who’ of SEO. Name a top SEO and they’ve probably been on the podcast.
Check out Experts on the Wire podcast
Search With Candour
Style: Topic-focused chats, interviews or presentations
Length: 30-40 minutes
Theme tune: 10/10 | Retro-cool modem mash-up
Listen out for: The head-to-head episodes with PPC expert Rob Lewis
A new addition to the list, Search With Candour is the brainchild of Mark Williams-Cook, the Digital Marketing Director at the Candour agency.
Mark also runs SearchNorwich an SEO event north of the Optimisey events, in Norwich.
The theme tune to this one is brilliant – if the podcast was terrible I’d almost listen just for that.
Happily, the podcast is terrific too. Mark hits that sweet spot of being experienced and clever enough to know lots about search and marketing himself but, when he has a guest on, he resists the urge to show that knowledge off and allows his guests to shine prompting them or steering them with astute, well-thought out questions.
Personally, I don’t know as much as I’d like about PPC so the episodes with Candour colleague Rob Lewis (their in-house PPC expert) are a real highlight. With Mark as the ‘SEO’ side and Rob as ‘PPC’ the duo talk all sorts of sense, ideas and suggestions but without it being SEO vs. PPC, definitely more towards ‘How and when can you make both work brilliantly for you or your clients?’.
Mark does do the occasional ‘solo show’ where he’ll just talk through an idea, almost having himself as the ‘guest’ as it were. These episodes are also favourites of mine. Mark’s a brilliant marketer and these insights into how his mind works are always insightful.
Check out the Search With Candour podcast.
Search News You Can Use
Style: ‘Spoken newsletter’-style, with Marie
Length: Just under 1 hour
Theme tune: 4/10 | ‘Mom Rock’
Listen out for: Marie’s sign-off: “Good luck with your rankings!”
Marie’s name will be familiar to many who work in SEO (I also thoroughly recommend her Search News You Can Use newsletters).
The podcasts are Marie talking through her most recent newsletter. However, as someone who doesn’t get enough time to read the emails I do get (even ones that I mean to read like Marie’s), this new format for the content is a welcome part of my commute to work.
To be clear, it’s not Marie literally reading her newsletter out she adds a tonne of value, insight and interpretation too.
Marie’s smooth and wonderfully warm presentation style makes listening like having a really (really) smart friend explain to you what’s happened in search recently, why you should care and what you should do about it.
And, despite being astronomically more clever than the average SEO’er, Marie’s style never makes you feel stupid – on the contrary, being able to quote from it to colleagues or clients will make you feel pretty clever.
The theme tune was submitted by a fan of the show and the buzzing soft rock guitar isn’t my cup of tea but it’s certainly unique and ‘fan art’ music is a pretty cool endorsement of the show!
Check out Search News You Can Use podcast.
Style: Shock-jock-style news & interview
Length: Around 1 hour
Theme tune: 6/10 | ’90s radio-show guitar anthem’
Listen out for: The well-produced ‘radio stings’ in the show
The In Search podcast is the work of the Rank Ranger team, specifically Chief Marketing Officer, Mordy Oberstein.
Cards on the table, I was one of (the?) first interview guest they had on the show (here’s that episode) the ‘canary in the coal mine’ if you will, before they asked more important guests on!
That means I know host, Mordy, won’t mind me saying he is a frustrated 80/90s radio DJ. Shock-jock Howard Stern is a bit of hero of his in some ways – and that comes across clearly in the show format and style.
It’s very fast-paced and rapid-fire, not one to listen to if you’re trying to wind down! It’s also really well produced and thought out. There are clearly delineated ‘sections’ of the show: updates on news; some SERP/search examples and ‘rants’ by Mordy; fun ‘If Google was a movie/pet/theme park – which would it be?’ questions – as well as terrific in-depth interviews with industry luminaries and rising lights alike.
The show has had a few co-hosts but has settled on the achingly dry Sapir Karabello and it’s a great choice. Sapir plays the perfect ‘straight (wo)man’ to Mordy’s shock jock, you can almost hear the eye-rolls when Mordy launches into another rant about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ SERPs!
He’s another accomplished interviewer though, not only getting great guests but also giving them the prompting, questions and then airtime to get their knowledge out. Far too many hosts start podcasts because they like the sound of their own voice – Mordy may toe that line at times but always stays the right side.
It’s a great fun, informative romp.
Check out the In Search podcast
Last Week In LOcal
Style: Expert panel discussion
Length: Around 30 minutes
Theme tune: 7/10 | Short ’70s-style guitar twang
Listen out for: Mary’s brilliantly contagious laugh! (and her counting the other hosts in at the start!)
Last Week in Local is created by the team behind LocalU (the Local University) so, unsurprisingly, has a large focus on local SEO, though they do cover many topics so long as they at least touch on or affect local or small businesses (the money-grabbing ‘screwing the little guy’ habits of companies like GrubHub and Uber never go unpunished by Mike’s eviscerating commentary).
Co-hosts Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling and Carrie Hill have probably forgotten more about local SEO than most will ever know so listening in whilst these three discuss curate a list of the best and most useful news to know is terrific.
Despite being scattered across different US locations, the hosts work really well together rarely talking over one another but often have useful, insightful and interesting interjections on one another’s stories.
The format supports this with each host usually bringing a selection of stories, blog posts or updates which caught their eye to discuss with the group; and the presenters play well off one another. Mike’s almost painfully dry, laconic wit is off-set by Carrie’s apparently unshakeable joy and optimism about the world and Mary’s matter-of-fact practicality plays right down the middle.
The format is mixed up now and again too, with guest hosts (often equally brilliant local SEO luminaries, like Colan Nielsen) or a ‘Local U Advanced’ session where they interview someone about a particular topic.
The catchy theme tune is neatly short, serving as a sufficient sting to introduce the show, often accompanied by Carrie counting in the other hosts “3, 2, 1 and… go.” as they also record the shows for their YouTube channel.
As you might expect with three US-based hosts the show does have a significant tilt towards matters in the USA but the items discussed are rarely US-only and when they are, it’s often a good insight into something rolling out in the States but about to come to other markets later.
If you (or your clients) brush even close to local SEO or small business matters, this show should definitely be on our playlist.
Check out the Last Week in Local podcast.
Some other Podcasts
Digital Marketing Podcast
Happily not all my podcast recommendations are by our American cousins, the Digital Marketing Podcast is by the very British Daniel Rowles and Ciaran Rogers.
Their presenting style is much more light-hearted (Ciaran the comic relief to Daniel’s straight man) but the result is entertaining insight, which makes that insight all the more engaging.
Though they do have the occasional guest (more so recently as they’ve stepped up the frequency of the podcasts) generally it’s Daniel and Ciaran talking you through a specific topic like: Local SEO; Google Search Console; or more recently User Journey Mapping.
They’re both smart guys that have spent a lot of their careers walking the walk so when they talk it too you can learn a lot.
Check out the Digital Marketing Podcast.
If Experts on the Wire is a little too advanced for you, MozPod is a great alternative. If you’re an SEO-nerd like me you should add it to your playlist as well, not instead. They haven’t published any new episodes for quite a while now but the archive is well worth digging out.
MozPod is quite a new arrival on the podcast scene. Made, as you might expect, by the team behind the famous SEO tool Moz and (most often) hosted by Brian Childs.
Brian has a lot in common with Dan Shure – a super-smart host with the smarts to know when to shut-up and let a guest speak and when to nudge and prompt them towards that great answer that’s lurking in there somewhere.
Check out MozPod.
The Izzi & Nils Show
Izzi and Nils burst into my playlist with their fun irreverent but engaging style. With the co-hosts quite literally half a world apart planning and coordinating the shows must have been tricky at the best of times and, unfortunately, that means this show is ‘on pause’ for now.
The biggest compliment I can pay them is they’re on both of my ‘playlists’ – I have two, one for ‘business mode’ on my way to work and one for ‘relax/fun’ when I’m on my way home from work.
The show is a great mix of practical and useful but great fun too. They clearly have a lot of fun putting the episodes together and that really comes across. Their slightly juvenile humour (filled with puns and “That’s what she said…” malapropism-style gags) are… right up my street and perfect for my own puerile sense of what’s funny!
Izzi gave one of my favourite talks of Brighton SEO in April 2018 and is a super-smart SEO. Nils is a CRO (conversion rate optimisation) expert and the two regularly joust about which is more important and how the two disciplines can work together.
Definitely worth a listen.
Check out The Izzi & Nils Show.
The Page 2 Podcast
Another relative new-comer on the podcast scene, the Page 2 Podcast team of Jacob Stoops and Jeff Louella gives a refreshing new angle on SEO.
They get many of the familiar industry names (and lots of up and comers, including yours truly) and rather than just talk about SEO they discover the many tangled and varied ways they got into the search world – with some fascinating stories!
Check out the Page 2 Podcast.
I love the Freakonomics books so when I heard they had a podcast it was straight on my playlist.
Freakonomics Radio is hosted by Stephen Dubner, one half of the book-writing team.
Freakonomics boast they uncover ‘the hidden side of everything’. The slanted look they take at everything helps me to think laterally or ‘outside the box’ as management speak would have it.
There’s business insight (like the series on ‘The secret life of CEOs’) and the investigation into gender equality in the workplace; and startling insights into economics and people’s motivations (or incentives) to do or not do certain things (like donate to charity, give up smoking or save for a pension).
It really gets my brain working in the morning.
Check out Freakonomics Radio.