SEO Articles

RSS feeds – what are they and how do I optimise them?

Really Simple Syndication or RSS is a technology that has been around for a while now. Millions of web users around the world use it to keep up to date with their favorite websites or blog posts. In a nutshell, an RSS feed is made up of simple text files with basic but updated information, such as articles, news pieces, blog posts, and the likes. With a feed-reader or interface, the stripped-down content can quickly convert the RSS text files into a flood of the latest updates from around the web.

As internet content has continued to evolve, so too has RSS file content, which can now adopt images, videos, and more – but still in a stripped-down format that makes it easier to download and ensures it is compatibility across all feed readers. Usually, feed readers automatically update so they can continue to deliver the newest content to any device. This approach lets users create their own online feeds filled with updates from their favorite websites.

To be able to maximize the benefits of your RSS feeds and to provide the best value to your followers, you have to optimize it. Here are several ways that you can do just that.

Publish the full RSS feed

If you publish just partial RSS feeds, your followers will need to first click the link before they can read through it, and many users simply don’t have the patience to do this, especially if they have other RSS feeds to check out. But if you publish the full RSS feed, your followers can easily read through it without having to click the link. This makes the information you want to share much more accessible to your followers. It optimizes the whole process, keeping your current subscribers and helping you to gain more.

Optimize your description and feed title

Optimize your meta description or feed title so that it becomes user-friendly. You can use some free and easy to use Google tools, such as Google Analytics and Google Keyword Tool to help you create appropriate tags and SEO data for your RSS feeds. You can edit the title and description in the Title/Description burner.

Use Google’s Feedburner

Feedburner isn’t just another trendy application from Google. It has powerful capabilities that provide you with an extensive analysis of your site’s traffic. That’s because when you add an RSS feed to Feedburner, it gives your feed a new URL, which enables it to track your subscribers. Pretty cool huh!

Offer email subscriptions to your feeds

Always, always offer email subscriptions to your RSS feeds to help ensure your subscribers stick with you.

Feedburner allows you to create an email subscription form and once you’ve set it up, Feedburner will send out regular and pre-planned emails to your subscribers every time you publish new content. A great strategy to make your emails appealing is to add your logo and customize your confirmation email. You can also set the delivery time for your emails for those time periods that your readers are most actively engaged with your news.

Don’t forget your email signature

To help attract more attention to your website, a small HTML snippet can help. Always make sure that you include your email signature in all your emails, or anywhere on your website. You can create professional-looking and quality email signatures by using Feedburner’s headline animator. Your signatures will show as an animated banner that cycles through all your posts.

Use feed-boosting plugins to enhance your blogs

If you have set up your RSS feeds on Feedburner, you can use plugins to enhance your blog platform or CMS to help direct traffic to your site. Some of the most common plugins are the FeedBurner plugin and Yoast.

Cross-pollinate your feed content

To gain a lot more traffic, cross-pollinate your feed content. You can use BuzzBoost to help you republish the burner’s feed content as HTML. From there, you can set up the code snippet generated from your other websites. It’s a perfect way to gain exposure, and help you ensure that people actually read your blogs, and subscribe to your feeds.

Share your posts using programs

Programs such as FeedFlare can help your subscribers share your content to whatever social media platform they want. These types of programs place bookmarking and social sharing links right at the footer of your RSS post. You can then choose what sorts of social media platforms you want to display, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Ask for help from professionals

These are just some of the ways to optimise your RSS feed but it can be a complex subject and there’s really a lot more to it. If you want to ensure that your RSS feed is working as hard for you as it can, don’t hesitate to ask for the help of the professionals. Optimising your RSS feeds can be technical, but our team of experts live and breathe this stuff so we can help you to optimise your feeds in next to no time!. Check out some of our works here or contact us for a chat about how we can help you to make the most out of your RSS feeds.


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