Episode Explained: Keywords

Hello Episodians!

In this installment of Episode Explained we are going to discuss the use of Search Keywords in your story scripts. Keywords are an often underused feature for authors and can be helpful for getting your story noticed on the app.

How are Keywords used in the app?
Keywords are entered by authors in a special section of a stories script page. You can find the space to enter them by clicking “More Options” underneath your story’s title.

Keywords are used to pull your story into search results when a reader searches for a term in the app. For example, if a reader searches for the term “cheerleader” in the search bar of the app, stories with the keyword “cheerleader” on their script page can be pulled into the results. Stories without keywords are less likely to show up in search results.

How Episode uses Keywords
Aside from the Search function in the app, Episode uses Keywords to identify stories for promotion or possible purchase and featuring. When we are looking for stories to populate our weekly themed shelves, we use Keywords to help us locate stories to review. When we are looking at stories we might like to buy, we use Keywords to help us find stories with specific plots, characters or other features we might be interested in.

Tips for using Keywords effectively
Using Keywords effectively is not too difficult. Some tips to use them are:

  • Keywords should first and foremost be true and accurate indicators of the plot and characters in your story.
  • Make sure you spell your Keywords correctly. Misspelled keywords may not show up in search results.
  • Use keywords that cover both the broad aspects of your story as well as the unique details. It is more important for you to use accurate keywords than it is for you to fill up the space for keywords with less accurate terms.
    • Examples of broad aspects might be: bad boys, love triangle, mafia, college, high school, neighbors, vacation, billionaire, beach, etc.
    • More specific or unique details might include background information about your characters, the location of the story or details about the author. For example: LGBTQ+, New York, BIPOCMC, BIPOCcreator, etc.

What not to do with Keywords
Here are a couple of things to consider and avoid when using keywords in your stories:

  • You do not need to include the genre for your story. This is already pulled into search when you select that on your story script page. Including it in your Keywords takes up valuable character space that you could use for other terms.
  • Adding keywords that are not accurate or reflective of your story can significantly hurt its performance. If you include the Keyword college, but your story actually takes place in high school, you may attract readers who are looking for college stories and who will be disappointed and stop reading your story when they see it is not what they are looking for. This can harm your story’s reputation, retention and the number of reads you get.
    • This is especially true if you are using keywords that address the identity, orientation or racial or cultural background of your characters or you as the creator. For example, it is not okay to use the LGBTQ+ keyword in your story if you don’t have that as an option for your readers.