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Podcast Equipment You Need to Take Your Show from Good to Great in 2022

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Want to start podcasting, but feel intimidated by the podcast equipment you’ll need? Don’t be! Professional-sounding podcast equipment is more accessible than ever. 

With 26% of adults listening to podcasts weekly, the production quality of your show is important. In order to build a successful podcast, you need the right tools and services at your disposal.

Let’s review the top podcast tools and services to make your production more efficient and professional.

Below, we’ll break down the tools and services into four categories: podcast recording equipment, podcast recording software, podcast editing software, and podcast hosting sites.

Podcast Equipment

To take your podcast show from good to great this year, you need to have the right equipment.

1. USB or XLR Microphone

The first thing you need to record your podcast is a microphone. The two most popular options are USB microphones and XLR microphones. 

USB microphones can connect directly to your computer via a USB cable. They are easy to use and require minimal setup. 

If you’re looking to have a bit more control over your audio, you can opt for an XLR microphone and cable for higher sound quality. A popular podcasting microphone that allows for both USB and XLR connection is the Audiotechnica ATR2100 microphone.

The RODE PodMic is a cost-effective XLR microphone that gives studio-quality sound.

2. Audio Interface

For those who opt to use an XLR connection, you’ll need an audio mixer to connect your microphone to your computer. Not only does a mixer or audio interface connect directly to your computer, but it also gives you more flexibility in terms of volume control and editing.

A simple audio mixer is the Focusrite Scarlette 2i2 which connects XLR microphones to your computer via a USB-C cable. This mixer offers simple volume control for up to two microphones.

For more studio controls, you can opt for the RODECaster which can connect up to four microphones, has eight programmable settings, and has Bluetooth capability so you can interview guests via telephone. 

3. Windscreen or Pop Filter

Once you select your microphone, make sure you get a corresponding windscreen or pop filter to minimize popping sounds and record higher-quality audio that needs less editing to sound great.

4. Studio-Quality Headphones

Headphones are a must for podcasters, especially those who record interviews remotely. Wearing headphones while recording allows you to hear how the recorded audio will sound in real-time so you can make adjustments as needed to have the highest quality recording.

If you record virtual interviews on your computer, you’ll want to make sure both you and your guests use headphones to avoid having the mic pick up any sound that may come from your computer’s speaker causing an unpleasant echo.

5. Adjustable Microphone Arm Stand

Once you have a microphone, headphones, and audio interface, you’ll want to consider getting a microphone arm stand. A microphone stand will make it easier for you to record your podcast, so you aren’t chained to your desk or have to sit in an awkward position.

Most microphones will come with an adapter that’ll connect with any microphone arm stand. Before you buy a new stand, make sure you have that adapter.

Podcast Recording Software

Now that you have all the equipment to make your podcast the best it can be, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right recording software.

6. Skype

Price: Free

With Skype, you can record video and audio right in the program. When you’re on a call, you can click the three dots on the bottom right and then hit “Start Recording.”

Skype is a great option for podcasters because it’s free and easy to use. There are also other options, if you want better audio quality. For instance, you can download recording software on your computer or buy an external digital recorder.

best podcast equipment: Skype recording a podcast interview.

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7. Zoom

Price: Free+

Zoom is another excellent free option (for calls up to 40 minutes long). You can easily record right in the program, by clicking the “Record” button and choosing where you’d like to save your audio file.

Skype and Zoom are fairly similar options, however, the recording files differ. Skype will give you a mono file, which means both your and your interviewee’s side of the conversation is on one audio track. However, Zoom splits both sides of the call, giving you two separate audio tracks. This is helpful when it comes to cutting and editing in post-production.

best podcast equipment: Zoom recording a podcast interview.

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8. Ringr

Price: $8/month+

Ringr is a long-distance podcasting and broadcast interview recording program. Although this option isn’t free, it has excellent sound quality. If you’re focused on bringing higher-quality sound to your interviews, Ringr is a good choice.

Additionally, they have three different plans you can choose from. With the basic plan, you’ll get a mono audio file, and unlimited calls and storage. If you decide to go with the premium or enterprise plan, you’ll get a split-track audio file, plus better sound quality and the option to use conference calling.

9. Squadcast

Price: $5/hour or $20/month+

Squadcast is an easy-to-use podcast recording software. Once you sign up, all you have to do is set up a meeting, click “Record,” and you’re set.

One unique element of this software is that you can pay by the hour, if you don’t think you need a monthly plan. Even with the hourly plan, you can host up to three guests and will receive a high-quality WAV or MP3 file.

Additionally, Squadcast plans to add video recording and transcription, which will help with your show notes and posting your podcast to YouTube.

One of the top reasons to use a podcast recording software like Squadcast, as opposed to Skype or Zoom, is that you’ll have a library of all your recordings in one place, online, where you can access them at any time, any place.

10. Riverside

Price: Free+

If you’re looking for multimedia recording, Riverside could be a good fit for you.

This tool offers local recording of audio and video with up to 4K video quality. One of the most notable features is “Clips” which creates AI-generated video and audio clips of your recording that can be easily customized and shared on social media. 

Additional features include transcriptions, sharable links for guests, producer mode and controls, live streaming, one-click scheduling, and screen share recording.

11. Pro Tools

Price: $30/year+

If you’re ready to move beyond the beginner recording software above, Pro Tools is an excellent option.

Pro Tools is an advanced recording and editing software. You can record, edit, and mix numerous audio tracks. However, this is for the more advanced audio recorders/editors. The user interface (UI) isn’t as intuitive for beginners and may seem overwhelming at first.

Although, because it’s advanced, it also offers much more robust features. For example, since Pro Tools is known in the music industry, it has virtual instrumentation available, which can be helpful in creating the music to put in your podcast. Additionally, it offers plugins, collaboration, and hands-on audio mixing.

best podcast equipment: Pro Tools audio track editing software.

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12. Reaper

Price: $60 one time payment+

Reaper is another advanced recording, editing, and mixing software. This type of program provides higher-quality recordings and more capabilities when it comes to editing and mixing.

The UI isn’t as intuitive as programs like Zoom or Squadcast, but it offers higher-quality sound. With your audio interface and microphone attached, you can record directly into the program, with as many audio tracks as you’d like.

The recording feature is more robust, offering simultaneous recording inputs, a dozen audio formats, and recording tracks.

Additionally, it also has strong editing capabilities as well.

Reaper editing software.

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13. Logic Pro

Price: $200 one time payment+

Logic Pro is the advanced version of Garage Band for Mac users. It’s a higher-quality recording program offering an easy-to-use UI.

Recording is as simple as setting up your microphone and USB audio interface and pressing record.

Logic Pro offers up to 1,000 audio tracks, software instrument tracks, and hundreds of plugins to complete any project.

Additionally, it has advanced editing capabilities.

best podcast equipment: Logic Pro editing software for podcasts.

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14. Whereby

Price: $10/month+

Whereby is another option for recording remote interviews. It’s excellent for beginners and is easy to use.

Although there is a free plan, recording is only available in the Pro or Business plan. Recording is as easy as hitting the “Record” button, once you’re on a call. This will record both video and audio, so it’s easy to post to YouTube if you want.

While this is an easy option, it isn’t the highest quality recording.

best podcast equipment: Whereby records remote interviews.

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15. Zencastr

Price: Free+

Zencastr is a web browser-based recording software that offers live sound editing, automatic postproduction, and automatic cloud backup of recordings. 

The app recently launched a beta HD video recording feature and also has built-in chat and footnote features that make sharing information with guests and producers a breeze.

Podcast Editing Software

Once you record your podcast, it’s time to edit it. As you’ve read above, many software includes both recording and editing capabilities. Below are some tools known for editing, rather than recording.

16. Adobe Audition

Price: $20/month+

Adobe Audition is an excellent mid-level audio editing software. You can create, record, mix, edit, and restore audio content.

It offers high-quality sound, plus comprehensive tools to deliver polished sound. For example, Adobe Audition comes with a podcast template, which helps you set up a multi-track recording so you can mix and edit different audio tracks and voices. Plus, you can work in both waveform and multi-track editors, for more well-rounded editing.

basic podcast equipment: Adobe Audition editing software for podcasts.

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17. Audacity

Price: Free

Audacity is an excellent free option for editing your podcast. It’s especially easy if you plan to use only one take, with few cuts. The UI is easy to use and beginner-friendly. However, if you have to make a lot of cuts or move audio around, it’s a little more difficult because of the simplicity of the program.

This option is great for beginners because of the simple cut, copy, and paste functionality. It isn’t the highest quality sound, but it gets the job done.

Audacity editing software for podcasts.

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18. Garage Band

Price: Free

Garage Band is a free editing software that is available on and comes with most Mac computers.

It’s mostly used as a beginner editing program, but is capable of mixing up to 255 audio tracks. It comes with basic editing features including volume levels, cut, copy, and paste. You can use plugins to finish off your track and use audio effects such as compression.

Additionally, it features a sound library with effects that you can include in your podcast.

podcast equipment for beginners: Garage Band for Macs editing podcasts.

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19. Descript

Price: Free+

If you can edit a Google Doc, you can edit a podcast. That’s the premise of Descript, a text-based audio, and video editing tool.

To use Descript, upload your file to the tool to get an AI-generated transcription. You can then review the transcription to make changes in real-time. Descript also has a feature that uses an AI-created version of your voice, so you can add words to your audio simply by typing. 

Descript is incredibly easy to use for new podcasters and those who don’t have audio editing experience.

podcast equipment for beginners: Descript Editing SoftwareImage Source

Podcast Hosting Sites/Services

Now that you’ve bought your equipment, recorded, and editing your podcast, you may be wondering what’s next? After you’ve produced your podcast, it’s time to find the right hosting site and service to publish it on.

20. BuzzSprout

Price: Free+

BuzzSprout is an excellent hosting option, because it gets your podcast listed in all the top podcast directories including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Additionally, it offers advanced metrics, so you can track the progress of your podcast. You can see statistics about your listeners, total plays over time, and where people listen to your podcast. Plus, you can transcribe your podcast in BuzzSprout.

With paid plans, you’ll have unlimited storage and episodes hosted indefinitely.

basic podcast equipment: BuzzSprout is a podcasting hosting service.

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21. Libsyn

Price: $5/month+

Libsyn is a hosting service that will get your podcast published on your audience’s favorite apps and platforms.

A unique feature is its monetization options. For example, it offers premium content subscriptions and opt-in advertising. These options keep you in control and allow you to customize your monetization.

You’ll also have access to detailed audience statistics, so you can also see what’s working and what isn’t.

Libsyn is a podcasting hosting service.

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22. Anchor

Price: Free

Anchor, owned by Spotify, is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to create, publish, and monetize in one place. 

One standout feature of Anchor is its robust analytics system. Powered by Spotify, podcasts hosted on Anchor have access to powerful metrics allowing you to see exactly what the listening behavior of your audience looks like. This level of detail can help you tailor your content toward what your audience likes to hear. 

Anchor also offers monetization options such as host-read ads, paid subscriptions, and dynamically inserted ad spots.

podcast equipment for beginners: Anchor Image Source

How to Set Up a Podcast Studio

Once you have your equipment, recording and editing software, and hosting services, it’s time to figure out where you’re going to record your podcast.

You’ll want to set up a podcast studio. This can be as basic as having the right equipment in any room or as advanced as creating a dedicated space for recording.

To set up a podcast studio, follow these steps:

Step 1: Buy the equipment — Before you can get your studio set up, you need the equipment. You’ll need a microphone, microphone arm, headphones, audio interface, desks, and chairs. You’ll also want to consider buying more than one of these items, in case you decide to bring people in for interviews.

Step 2: Set up room for sound conditioning — In order to achieve the best sound, consider buying soundproof foam wall panels to attach to the walls. This will stop the sound from bouncing off the walls. Additionally, you can buy pop filters for the microphones to reduce popping sounds.

Step 3: Set up lighting and cameras — Many podcasters choose to film their podcasts so they can post to YouTube or other social media. If you want to do this, you’ll need to set up lighting and cameras.

Anyone can start a podcast. That’s why you want your podcast to stand out among the rest. To take your podcast from good to great, make sure you purchase the right equipment, software, and studio setup.

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

You learn about a C-suite decision that will have a transformative impact on your content marketing team. Perhaps, the announcement included one or more of these directives:

  • “We must produce more content and manage multi-platform distribution with greater agility. We plan to add ChatGPT to our editorial capabilities and implement a headless CMS.”
  • “We’re updating our three-year business strategy and need all teams to align their operations around achieving a new set of goals.”
  • “We’ve been acquired. We will be merging many of our business units and will need to relaunch our website so we can tell a more unified story.”

Or maybe it’s another substantive shift in strategy or operations. As a content team leader, whether excited or terrified, you must get your team on board and ensure the initiative succeeds.

Transformational changes are nearly impossible to implement without a clear plan that communicates the desired destination, the motivation to pursue it, and the path to reach it.

Jenny Magic, marketing strategist and professional coach, shares how to do that in a Content Marketing World presentation she co-developed with Melissa Breker.

You can watch the conversation (beginning at 2:30-minute mark) or scroll down to read her recommendations to gather support, clear obstacles, and keep efforts moving in the right direction.

5 sabotages that disrupt transformational changes

Every organization has unique conditions and challenges, but Jenny points out five common barriers that prevent the successful adoption of new priorities and practices:

  • Forced change. When workers don’t understand or agree with the change, they won’t invest in the process, especially if it requires a lot of effort or a long-term investment.
  • Misaligned goals. You can’t sell a change that benefits the company if employees don’t see how it helps them reach their personal or professional goals.
  • Group-speak. Your team may nod in agreement when the CEO says, “We’re all going to do this together, right?” But that enthusiasm might not hold when the boss’ eyes are no longer on them.
  • Rushed process. Team members already overwhelmed with responsibilities don’t give new tasks top priority. Jenny says if you can’t take something off their plate, communicate they won’t be pressured to rush it through.
  • Lack of team alignment. Everyone must be on the same page regarding the direction, intention, and actions required. Without this alignment, tasks fall through the cracks, and all the hard work may not lead to achieving the goal.

Forced change, group-speak, rushed processes can all disrupt transformational changes, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For your change mission to succeed, your communications plan should account for how you’ll address (or avoid) these obstacles. These details will minimize the friction, lack of participation, and flagging enthusiasm you could have experienced during implementation.


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Plan for the transformation journey

Jenny shares a three-part approach she uses to help her consultancy clients get big ideas off the drawing board, onto team members’ priority lists, and into the marketplace.

1. Establish the destination: What’s changing, why, and what’s involved

To get your team to join the journey of change, they need to know where they’re going. Create a change summary to help with that. The simple map summarizes the relevant details about the change, the phases of implementation, and the benefits gained when the goal is reached.

First, identify the most critical details to communicate. Answer these questions:

  • What’s the nature of the change? What is being done differently, and what does that mean for the business and team? What isn’t changing that might be the stability anchor?
  • Why is it happening? Why does the organization think this change is critical? Why is now the right time to do this?
  • Who’s involved? Who will the change affect? What will they be expected to do? What about their roles, processes, and priorities? Why would they want to participate, and why might they be reluctant?
  • When will it happen? Will the change occur all at once or gradually? What happens at each stage, and which ones will require the content marketing team’s involvement?
  • What are the expected results? What is the organization looking to achieve? What benefits or advantages will it bring? What will the company and team see when the goal is reached?

With these answers, you can build a change summary to share in stakeholder and team member conversations. Any spreadsheet or presentation tool will do, though you can create a template based on the document Jenny uses for her client engagements (below).

The summary of what’s changing appears at the top of the page and details of the most critical elements appear below it. Bulleted notes detail what to expect with each element and the benefits for the business and your team. Lastly, a general timeline outlines each project phase.

2. Load up the crew: Gather support and communicate benefits

To achieve the change goal, all players must agree to travel together and move in the same direction. “If our team is not aligned on where the heck we’re going, there’s literally no chance we’re going to get there,” Jenny says.

Team members who immediately see the value in the initiative might follow your lead without question. But some key players may need a little more convincing. Jenny offers a few ideas to get them on board.

Enlist the support of an active, visible sponsor: Social media shows putting the right influencer behind your pitch can move minds. The same goes for pushing through a big change within an organization. Research from Prosci finds projects with an extremely effective sponsor met or exceeded objectives more than twice as often as those with a very ineffective sponsor.

If you have the support of senior team leaders and high-profile company personnel, ask for their help socializing the change to others. They might seed relevant information in their newsletters and other content they share internally or help shape your change activities and messaging to improve their appeal.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations: Some team members may reluctantly participate because they perceive an impact on their role. For example, workers may think the added work will strain their already demanding schedules. Others may be skeptical because of negative experiences with similar changes in the past or disbelief that the change might benefit them.

A series of stakeholder conversations can help identify the significant concerns and disconnects that might prevent them from engaging. They also can reveal specific challenges and motivations that you can address with more resonant and appealing messaging.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations so team members can see how they’ll benefit, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Some marketing tools you use to influence an audience can help you facilitate those conversations. For example, Jenny says, personas can surface critical insights about who may be impacted by the change and what it might take to nurture them onto the path.

Her personas checklist includes these questions:

  • Who’s leading the change? Do any key sponsors directly relate to the persona’s role?
  • Will this persona be impacted more or less than others?
  • Will they need information more frequently or in greater detail?
  • What reactions will they have?
  • How will you approach training for this persona? What support will be provided?
  • At what phase of the change will they be most affected?

Jenny also recommends using your marketing communication and engagement tools. For example, the simple tracking sheet she developed (below) can help visualize the audience, delivery formats and channels, optimal messages, and approval and final sign-off requirements to mention in your stakeholder discussions.

Choose the right messenger – and a customized message: Sometimes, a disconnect occurs not because of the message but because of the message’s deliverer. For example, employees expect to hear about significant corporate initiatives from executives and senior leaders. But for changes impacting their day-to-day responsibilities, they may prefer to hear from a manager or supervisor who understands their role.

Other times, preventing a disconnect could require tailoring the message to the team’s needs. Jenny suggests focusing on the direct benefits once the initiative is activated. “Consider how it might help them further their career, address something they’re struggling with, or offer an opportunity to explore an area they’re passionate about,” Jenny says.  

Surface hidden issues with confidential interviews: Valid concerns can remain hidden, especially for team members who are reluctant to voice their objections in team meetings. Working one-on-one with a neutral or external moderator – someone with no stake in the decision for change – might help them open up.

Ensure they know the confidential interview results will be aggregated so no individual responses will be identified. “It’s really helpful to get that confessional energy,” Jenny says. “It can help you surface individual reservations, causes of their reluctance, and personal motivations. “

A confidential one-on-one interview with an external moderator can help surface concerns from reluctant team members, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Jenny shares in her checklist (below) some preliminary questions for a moderator to assess during a confidential interview:

  • How does the individual feel about the change?
  • Is it the right change?
  • Is it the right time?
  • Is it supported enough to succeed?
  • What risks do they predict?
  • Do they have ideas about how we could reduce obstacles and challenges?
  • What lessons from past change efforts can they share with us?
  • Could they become a change champion?

The process can fuel opportunities to shift messaging, positioning, or delivery approach to help the outliers see how the change can benefit them and get them more excited about participating. Jenny says it can also reveal valid concerns that need to be solved so they don’t hinder progress.

3. Hit the road: Position and prepare your team for success

Big changes are always risky. They disrupt the status quo, and if they involve multiple teams and business functions, some changes may feel like a win for some at the expense of others.

Taking a few extra steps before executing your plans can keep those issues from diverting the goal or leaving any team members stranded along the way. “This is where we establish commitment and accountability and think about what could go wrong and how we’re going to deal with it,” Jenny says.

Own up to what you do and don’t know: Ultimately, you can’t plan for every contingency. “You’ll lose trust rapidly if you pretend you do,” Jenny says. She offers a few communication tips to set the right expectations from the start:

  • Be clear and candid: Directly address what you do know, don’t know, and what is and isn’t possible with this change. Outline how you will communicate status updates and new information as they arise.
  • Be receptive: Don’t take resistance personally. Listen to your team’s questions and respond to their feedback with an open mind.
  • Be visible: Socialize progress across your team’s preferred communication channels, and make sure everyone knows how to reach you if they encounter a problem. You can regularly host town hall meetings, road-show presentations, or open forums to ensure everyone stays informed and has a chance to share their thoughts.

Position project requirements as opportunities and advantages: Jenny suggests exercising creative thinking to help concerned team members see the new responsibilities as a chance to benefit personally.

For example, if they need to learn additional skills to accomplish their tasks, provide in-house training or access to third-party educational tools. Position the opportunity as a chance to expand their capabilities to help them be more prepared for this change and to advance their careers in the long run.

You can also use the big change to rethink your org chart and rebalance team member responsibilities. “Every single person has work that they hate on their to-do list. I’ve found folks become more open if they’re offered an opportunity to do a task trade-off,” Jenny says.

Incentivize the journey – not just the destination: A lengthy and gradual implementation process should include incentives at regular intervals to motivate team members to stay the course.

Rewards can be specific and tangible, such as bonuses or loyalty program points. Or they can be intangible, such as shoutouts during monthly meetings or in internal newsletters. Arrange team happy hours or give comp time for extra hours worked. These appreciation efforts can make the added burden feel worthwhile.

Overcome obstacles in predictive planning: An element of science exists in the journey of change. You can’t reach your destination if the forces of resistance are stronger than the forces propelling you forward.

Jenny shares an innovation tool from a company called Gamestorming that can help quantify the balance of those forces at each phase. By working through this force-field analysis, you can take steps to ensure the winds of change will be in your favor.

An example of how it works is shown below. In the center, an illustration represents the change you want to implement – transitioning from hierarchical to more transparent hubs.

On one side, the forces of change – all the elements of the vision that characterize the importance of the change and how it works in your favor – are listed. In this example, those forces are:

  • Improve long-term revenue
  • Help meet market demand
  • Satisfies customer expectations
  • Addresses current unsustainable costs
  • Give a competitive advantage in the marketplace

On the other side, the forces of resistance – conditions and constraints that may prevent realizing the vision – are listed. In the example, these forces include:

  • Company culture
  • Time constraints
  • Viability of new tech
  • Client adoption
  • Current costs

Rank each element’s impact on the project’s success on a scale of one to five.  Then add the rankings on each side and compare the scores to see whether you have a stronger chance of success than failure and identify where efforts should be made to overcome obstacles.

Plan the journey for a smoother arrival

Convincing your team to jump aboard the organizational-change train is rarely easy. But with a clear operational plan, aligned support, and open communication, you’ll help them see the benefits of participating and get them excited to reach their destination.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckomail från CMI.

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Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Alternativa sökmotorer: varför de är viktiga och hur man rankar dem

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Alternative Search Engines: Why They Matter and How to Rank on Them

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

12 billion, 3 billion, 1 billion. That’s the number of searches made in some of the top alternative search engines monthly.

While Google still holds more than 80% of the market share, ignoring search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo can make you lose out on relevant traffic. So don’t limit yourself to Google’s algorithm as you plan the next year’s SEO strategy.

In order to grow in the digital economy, we have to diversify our efforts. What better way to do that than by making sure that you rank on all the top search engines relevant for your audience?

Generally, there’s two reasons why your audience would choose an alternative search engine over Google: geopolitical reasons and/or privacy concerns.

As such, I’ve categorized the search engines below by global market share and by data privacy.

Top alternative search engines by global market share

When analyzing the global desktop market share of search engines throughout the last decade, there are a few small but mighty search engines that stand out. These are:

1) Bing

2) Yahoo

3) Yandex

4) DuckDuckGo

5) Baidu

These are the engines you want to give extra consideration if you intend to expand internationally. They all have their own unique search algorithms that are in many ways as complex and developed as Google’s.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

If you’re like me a few years ago, a die-hard Apple fan remarkably repulsed by Microsoft’s products (I’ve now converted to the seamless team of PC), you might think prioritizing resources to optimize content for Bing or other engines is a waste of time. What I failed to consider then, and what you might be overlooking, is geographic segmentation.

Do you want to reach the American audience using voice search? Consider Bing.

Are you expanding into China? Check out Baidu.

Each search engine matters because of its unique user types. Regardless of how small that market share might look on a global scale, if there’s regional search volume from your target audience, it’s worth the optimization.

Let’s go through them one by one.

Bing and Yahoo

Screenshot of bing.com, November 2022

Since 2018, Yahoo is exclusively powered by Bing Search. So as long as you rank in Bing, you’ll rank in Yahoo.

Bing Search, in combination with Yahoo, is without a doubt the strongest player after Google. Together, they have more than 10% of the global market share for desktop.

Now, some say that Bing’s market share will increase due to mergers and acquisitions, while others argue for its decline due to the death of Internet Explorer.

Still, all Microsoft browsers, such as Microsoft Edge Legacy and Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, have Bing as the default search engine, making Bing Search the natural choice for Microsoft product users. Yahoo, which is powered by Bing Search, is the default search engine for Mozilla’s browser Firefox, adding billions of impressions to Bing’s search results each year.

If we look at the United States alone, Microsoft sites own over 18% of the market share.

This is much due to their partnership with Amazon, where all voice-activated searches on Amazon Echo and Alexa are made with Bing Search.

Microsoft also pushes Bing further by offering easy rewards for searches och more advanced image search capabilities than Google.

Although the algorithms differ, optimizing for Bing search results is not much different than optimizing for Google. With a bit of fine tuning, it’s more than possible to come up with a strategy that allows for high rankings on both.

To rank on Bing, and thus Yahoo, make sure to do the following:

Infographic by AS Marketing, December 2022


1. List your business on Bing Places

Bing Places is the equivalent of Google My Business and is the fastest way to get your business ranking for local seo. Many even consider Bing Places to favor small business owners as Bing puts their information more prominently on display.

2. Upload an XML Sitemap using Bing’s Webmaster Tools

While the debate on how much sitemaps really do matter for Google SEO continues, uploading one with Bing’s Webmaster Tool for XML Sitemaps allows the algorithm to better categorize and manage your content, making it more visible and relevant to the search audience.

3. Match keywords in your content

Check that the exact keyword match can be found in your page titles, meta descriptions and overall content. It’s known that the impact of on-page tactics as a ranking factor is much greater in Bing than Google.

4. Keep your social media profiles up to date

Go social! Bing considers your social media presence more than any other search engine. The Webmaster Guidelines specifically states that Bing considers social signals from third-party platforms to rank your content. Bing might even extract certain information directly from your Facebook company page to your Bing Places display.

5. Use high-quality images to enhance your content

Bing’s image search is much more advanced than Google’s. If you want your landing page to rank, add high-quality design assets to showcase your offerings. If you want your blog to rank, attach too-long-to-read infographics to highlight your points. Like the one above.

Yandex

Screenshot of yandex.com, November 2022

Second to Bing is Yandex, having a total of 1.5% of the market share in global desktop search.

While it looks a lot like Google, its algorithm is different in many ways. Most prominent is the way Yandex indexes pages. Unlike Google’s almost continuous indexation, Yandex indexes pages sporadically. That means that you might have to wait around for a while before your site shows up on Yandex.

Despite this, it is still possible to rank on Yandex. You just need to have a bit more patience.

While waiting for your site to be indexed, take a look at the following:

1. Focus on tags over internal site structure

Enligt The Ultimate Guide to Yandex SEO, your header tag, title tag and slug are way more important than your internal site structure. In fact, it was only recently that Yandex started to support hreflang tags. Before that, Yandex only allowed the <head> hreflang implementation.

2. Consider search intent to rank

Some argue that Yandex meets search intent better than Google. The modern ICS score, which replaced the Thematic Index Citation, is determined by how relevant a site is to the query. Yandex uses its own version of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) test to determine relevance.

3. Eliminate toxic links

Many do not know this, but Yandex was actually the first search engine to roll out a link-based algorithm. Already in 2005, 7 years before Google’s Penguin algorithm, Yandex introduced the Nepot filter, which specifically looked at the impact of toxic link exchanges and spam links.

Baidu

Screenshot of baidu.com, November 2022

With over 3 billion searches daily, Baidu is the Google of China. If you want to do business in China, it’s the place to be.

While the site is available worldwide, the site predominantly favors simplified Chinese. So before taking any other steps, hire a native speaker to help you along the way. To win at global, you have to ditch translations.

Here’s a few steps to get your content ranking.

1. Localize your keywords and content appropriately

As with all multilingual SEO, you need to work with a native language expert to ensure proper keyword localization and content optimization. If your site experiences high bounce rates, Baidu will tank your rankings immediately. As with any search experience, localization matters.

2. Position relevant content and keywords to the top of the page

Baidu favors a completely opposite layout than the Westernized one. The sooner you get to the point the better. Therefore, it is important to position your keywords as early as possible in the text and introduce all relevant content already in the top of the page to rank.

3. Obtain a verification level and get certified

By registering and paying a small fee you can obtain a verification level to improve your domain authority and rankings on Baidu. If you want to secure top ratings, you can get certified and obtain an ICP license, which is much more difficult than getting verified.

Top alternative search engines by data privacy

While most of the search engines mentioned above are tied to big corporations or political forces, global initiatives are setting the stage for more privacy-focused search engines. Among these is DuckDuckGo, the forefront runner with over 130 billion searches processed since launch.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

In many ways, the movement is a response to Google’s invasiveness on privacy. Many are fed up with how they are capitalizing on personal data and controlling the narrative with targeted search.

On a macro scale, the European Union continues to protect data privacy with strict GDPR regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act indicates similar trends for Americans.

From a micro perspective, documentaries such as The Great Hack shine a light on how global companies monetize on personal data. As a result, privacy-safe search engines continue to rise.

If you’re working for an innovative SaaS startup, there’s a high chance your ideal customer persona is using one of these search engines.

Let’s go through how you rank on DuckDuckGo and two alternative equivalents.

DuckDuckGo

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

DuckDuckGo aims to make your search experience as simple and true to its cause as possible, i.e. no tracking for personalized search results and filter bubbles. Instead it uses semantic search to determine search intent for your queries from over 400 sources.

Consequently, this attracts tech-savvy experts with a lower bounce rate. Once they commit to a search, they stay.

Here’s how to optimize for it:

1. Sharpen Your User Experience

UX continues to make an impact on SEO, not to mention for DuckDuckGo. Make your content easily scannable and stay away from intrusive pop ups that harm your users’ experience and ease of navigation.

2. Focus on High-Quality Backlinks

As with any SEO, high-quality backlinks play a huge role for ranking. If you already have a solid backlink profile from your Google strategy, you should be good to go. If your backlink profile has a high level of toxicity, do some cleansing.

3. Rethink Local SEO

Since there’s no location tracking available for searches, location-specific searches such as “services near me” don’t work. If you like to rank for these types of searches, include a specific location in your keyword strategy. Otherwise, you won’t be able to optimize for local seo.

Startpage

Screenshot of startpage.com, November 2022

Startpage could be my personal favorite among the alternative search engines. It basically is Google without the tracking.

And while many consider DuckDuckGo to be the forefront runner of the privacy-focused search movement, many forget how Startpage ‘blazed the trail in 2006’. Offering a search experience without IP recording or tracking back when it was more or less unheard of. Now, it is the common denominator among all privacy-safe search engines.

So, how do you rank in Startpage? Simple. You rank in Google.

SwissCows

Screenshot of swisscows.com, November 2022

There are many more privacy-safe alternatives to search engines than the two mentioned above. Perhaps one without equal is SwissCows – a search engine that prides itself on being the only family-friendly, privacy-safe semantic search engine available on the web.

This means that any intrusive search results, like adult entertainment or offensive content, is naturally censored from the search results. At the same time, they never store any data nor track user specific information.

SwissCows SERPs bring up organic results and paid ads directly from Bing so in order to rank in SwissCows, you need to rank in Bing. Just make sure to omit any content that’s not PG-13.

What do they all have in common?

In the end, none of these alternative search engines can replace Google. As an SEO, I’ll never advise starting out with anything other than a Google strategy.

But when you are ready to branch out and extend your reach, give these alternatives a try. Analyze where your target audience hangs out and optimize thereafter.

Many of the privacy-focused search engines require little optimization as they pull their search results directly from other sources anyways. Simply do a quick check to see how you rank on each one.

And who knows, perhaps Microsoft will continue to steal more of the global search landscape. If that happens, you’ll be there — ranking in first position, ready to reap the rewards of your diversified efforts in an ever-changing search landscape.

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