Eric has written about using RSS to drive more traffic to a website,
best ways to do it etc, after reading through this great piece I felt
compelled to share these valuable pointers with you.
Eric starts off by talking about Google’s statement, telling webmasters all over the globe to make sure they’re keeping the content on their site fresh and up to date and how using RSS feeds is the simplest and most effective way of doing this.
To further enhance and promote your RSS feed Eric has kindly provided us with ten points, possibly golden rules on how a RSS feed can be optimized to promote and drive traffic to a website.
1. Title Optimization
Include popular, targeted keywords and search terms in the title, also include some branded terms, thus associating the feed with your brand.
How much text is displayed within your RSS feed can affect the visibility of the feed. As you may know the feed can be formatted to include a snippet of the content, driving the user to click through to the full version of the article. Eric recommends including all the text in your feed. RSS feeds can also be formatted to show the last 10 posts / articles, it is recommended that this be increased to show minimum of 20.
3. Multiple Feeds
It is recommended that a website uses multiple feeds if applicable e.g. an ecommerce website may want to break the RSS feeds up to “top sellers” and “new releases” thus giving the readers an option to opt in for the feed that most interests them.
4. Rich Media
Include multimedia files in your RSS feed such as a podcast enclosure, this is a simple way to subscribe to audio and video from the sites feed. This also increases the volume of directories and search engines the feed can be included.
Submit the site feeds to my.yahoo.com, my.msn.com and sites such as Technorati as these are some of the quickest ways of having the feed indexed.
As per a standard html page or blog post, link to internal resources on your website, make sure to include the full path and also use anchor text helping to increase page rank etc.
Check that your feed is free of errors, using tools like freevalidator.org.
Adding a simple section of code known as auto discovery to the header of a webpage:
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”INSERT FEED TITLE” href=”INSERT FEED URL” />
This code will help search engines detect the feed also making it easier for visitors to subscribe to the feed.
Promote your feed by including the feed URL in your signature file. This signature should be used in your email, forum and blog posts.
It’s also interesting to read that feed readers show feeds in alphabetical order, thus begin your feed name with the letter ‘a’ should see the content positioned up the top of a reader, not further down or worse at the bottom of a reader where the feed may not be seen.
The most important part of any promotion and optimization is measuring what you’re doing. Track the analytics of the feed, giving you greater insight into what your readers like, thus dictating what you write about in later posts.
In Conclusion Eric writes that there’s a variety of feeds, not only blogs and they should be treated accordingly. Other feeds that are popular are latest news, popular products, event calendars, search results and many more.