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  • RSS Feeds – Should You? Can You? YES!


    RSS feeds are a terrific way to get repeat traffic to your site. RSS stands alternately for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, depending on who you are talking to. Basically, it is a way to let visitors to your site tag it on their browser (not unlike a bookmark) but in this case they will be able to access your new content remotely.

    To set up an RSS feed, you will need to implement some RSS code onto your site. There are only about a million ways to do this – the easiest is to start a blog, as many blogs come with the HTML built in.

    To start your feed, you need an item. The item is usually the page you want the feed to feature – in case of a blog, usually the home page where new content is added on a periodic basis.

    For example, you can have a section of your site devoted to news, new products, specials, sales or upcoming events. These types of pages are good to display an RSS feed from, as some of your customers will appreciate the convenience of the news being delivered to their doorstep rather than having to get out and pick up a copy.

    Once you have the button on your site, people will be able to subscribe to your feed. You can use a feed tracker to monitor who subscribes and when and why, much like you track traffic to your website itself.

    This will let you know what areas are popular, and even let you know when it is time to slit a feed into to distinct niches. A pet site may gradually gravitate into a dog crowd and a cat crowd, for instance.

    Setting up a feed to provide a teaser instead of each whole article is the smartest way to do things — than they have to click through to your actual site for ‘the rest of the story’ and you can maybe lure them into browsing for a while, or even clicking an affiliate or making a purchase.

    The main reasomn for providing a feed on your site is to promote interest, so you have to be interesting. Don’t set up a feed unless you are prepared to update regularly, and with fresh content that will keep people coming back for more.

    On the other hand, don’t overflow your feed – if you have 22 items per day t may feel unwieldy, like the user can never catch up!

    Between four and eight items per day, depending on length, is quite sufficient. If you have many more then that, consider splitting the feed. You can target more specifically and keep your audience’s attention.

    Once you have started getting feed subscribers, you will be amazed at the difference they can make. Look to get more links, more bookmarks and more repeat customers. You are keeping yourself right under their noses, so they can’t ignore you – it’s like a daily billboard that they drive by on the way to the office!


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