It's to know what is working for your audience. Sure you can look at your downloads, email responses, and comments but there are other ways to look at engagement. Today in episode 738 I dig deeper.

Website Traffic

How many website visitors are you getting? You may be surprised that your top ten pages on your website are the same as the top ten episodes of your podcast? Why, you might have more keywords in your notes that attract google. People may be linking to your episode which can boost “Google Juice” (your rankings).


I was listening to The Business of Podcasting a great podcast with Charlie Valher from Valher media (Charlie will be on this show in the future), and he was interview Stephan Spencer who is one THE SEO people on the planet. While we often say, “This person wrote the book on…” Stephen actually wrote the book on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) The Art of SEO. It's 994 pages.

Here is what he had to say about transcripts:

But the key thing here is you're creating something in an audio format and although Google is getting better at taking that audio and doing something amazing with it, like turning that into searchable content on its own, you can't just rely on that. A lot of people don't have time to listen to podcasts and they like to just scan through articles, but nobody wants to read a transcript. Who's gonna get excited about reading a transcript with a bunch of the back and forth banter and not cutting to the chase? Having an article made out of the transcript, however, is a very powerful strategy and if you have an hour-long show or a half-hour-long show, that's a lot of textual content. –Stephen Spencer the Business of Podcasting show.

Transcribed by

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great free tool that enables you to pull insights about your website visitors. The best part is its free. It is very robust. There are ways you can flatten the learning curve with Google Analytics. One is to take the free course(s) offered by Google. One of my favorite tools that takes that data and creates easy to understand reports is Monster Insights.

Tracking Clicks

In WordPress many people use a plugin that is free/premium called Pretty Links. There is a free version and the premium version starts at $49/year. It's been downloaded over 2.5 million times. Thirsty affiliates is a very similar plugin for about the same price ($49/year).

If you want something even more powerful (especially for affiliate links) check out Lasso which can even check the stock at Amazon for your links, and much more. It starts at $19/month.

URL Shortener Pro is only $19.

The advantage of these plugins is they enable you to reinforce your brand's website while making an easy to remember. For example, will take you to my subscribe page. If someone asks me where to subscribe, I have one link with all the apps. If someone asks about the Podpage service, they can go to For my Patreon account that I promote on the Ask the Podcast Coach show I use

What if you don't use WordPress? How Do You Track Clicks?

Many people use which I did, but I found something that really changed my opinion of While you can setup a link to point at a long URL that makes it easier to remember, if later you want to change that link – you can't. This is why I started researching this topic. Then on August 13th, they added the feature to update a link see announcement. However, you have to pay for this feature ($35/month).


One company called Rebrandly was started based on the pain point of “I can't change my destination URL in Bitly.” With Brandly you can have up to 500 links and have up to 5000 clicks per month for free. You can have up to 5 custom domains. If you're looking for a free tool to track clicks this seems to be the tool. They have 550,000 happy customers.

If You Want to Do More Track Clicks (Marketing?) allows you to do A/B Split testing, and you can have one link for people in one part of the world, and another link used for others in a different part. For marketing people it adds the tracking pixel. So now when you send someone to a website that is not yours, you can add a pixel to retarget them. This is much more of a marketing tool and may be overkill for those who want to just have a link to give to their audience. is all about retargeting. It is the primary feature you see when you go to their website. For example, you could send people to a post on Medium and then they would see your Facebook ads when they go about the Internet. They have a tool where you can send someone to an Amazon site (for example) and make YOUR email pop up box appear. While they have some fun marekting tools if you want to change the destination URL (the feature that launched this invesitgation) it will cost you $24 a month. I did like some of their tools, and when it comes to marketing and tracking (which somewhat keeps your brand in front of your audience) it seemed to be a clear winner.

What You Can Learn?

Here is a list of things you might want to track:

A link in your email signature

Links in your emails

Links in your show notes.

Your Instagram URL (instead of using some third-party service)

Links to your subscribe buttons

A general idea of how engaged your audience is with your content.

Check How Far People Are Listening To Your Episode

What do Apple, Google, Spotify, and Stitcher all have in common? They all provide extra stats that show you how far your audience is listening. Also, if you are using Anchor and allowed them to submit your show to directories “for you” you have given away this option (they don't tell you that when they offer to do you a “favor”). Here is a video from Apple

Advertiser Practice Run

Last week I talked about the Zoom Podtrack P4, and 84 people clicked on it (11% of my audience at the time), but nobody purchased it. As many people feel that 3-5% click rate is “great” this seems to be a very interesting product for my audience. My feeling is due to it not being available yet (and only available for pre-order) this may mess up my affiliate stats.

By using an affiliate link, it has built-in click tracking and you can see how many units were sold. Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate program. The best thing is to find a product you like, and then see if the word “affiliates” or “partners” is at the bottom of their website. Sign up and promote it. As its a favorite product of yours, your sales pitch will be more heartfelt.

Mentioned In This Episode

Start your podcast at the School of Podcasting

Zoom Podtrack P4 Episode

Zoom Podtrack P4

Pretty Links WordPress Plugin

Thirsty affiliates WordPress Plugin

Lasso  WordPress Plugin (great for Affiliate marketing)

Easy AZON Plugin

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
1 comment on “How To Measure Your Podcast Audience Engagement
  1. Dave… IMO, split the difference:

    738: How to Measure Your Podcast Audience Engagement

    Google doesn’t care, but they are priceless to the audience. It’s only 4 or 5 characters.
    But, I totally agree that I wouldn’t do like we saw early on in podcasting… ie. Episode 738 – School of Podcasting – How to Measure Your Podcast Audience Engagement.

    I’d even say leave the ‘:’ off, but then certain numbers could get confused as part of the title. About the only question that has bothered me, is whether to put a leading zero(s). It doesn’t matter, I guess, aside from certain sorting algorithms… but I doubt it would matter in any podcast player (more for the file directory)?

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