The Basics of Measuring Your RSS Feeds

 


Visitors: 343

For most marketers RSS metrics are still a gray area, although in fact RSS is completely measurable, even more so than e-mail.

As complexity grows with added capabilities, we’re only taking a look at the absolute basics of measuring your RSS feeds today. These are the basics you can implement immediately to see how you’re doing, and then gradually move on to more complex analyses.

As always, the key point is just to get started and then move on from there.

1. THE REASONS FOR MEASURING RSS

The most basic reasons for measurement are quite simple:

A] How many people are subscribing to my RSS feed? Is the number increasing or decreasing?

If the number of readers is decreasing, it’s a sign that your content is not meeting the needs of the target audiences your site attracts, consequently meaning that you need to consider improving your content strategy.

Optimization possibilities include: -> More practical how-to articles -> Different content topics -> More “personal voice” -> Greater publishing frequency (more frequent posts) -> Less frequent posts -> Longer or shorter posts -> More news coverage within your industry -> Etc.

Also, based on your readership you’ll be able to calculate your “readership -> purchases” conversion rate, if you’re using your site to sell products online. The simple formula to calcuate this is “the number of orders / number of readers * 100”.

B] Are my subscribers actually clicking on the content items in the RSS feed?

If you find that your subscribers are actually opening the feed, but not clicking on individual content items it’s a clear sign that either your content item headlines need to be improved, made more attractive, or that the actual content is not strong enough to entice readers to clickthrough.

Knowing your feed-to-website clickthrough rates will also enable you to introduce gradual changes in your content strategy and actually see how they improve or hurt your key success metrics.

These two questions are of course only the most basic, but will enable you to build on them in the future and start developing more advanced measurement & optimization procedures.

2. THE TOOLS

Now that you know what you’ll start tracking you’ll need appropriate tools to actually help you measure your RSS feeds.

If you’re using any of the more advanced RSS marketing & publishing solutions (http://www.simplefeed.com, http://www.nooked.com, http://myst-technology.com, http://www.rssautopublisher.com, http://www.press-feed.com/, http://www.market-soft.com/bypass/, http://www.silverpop.com), the key metrics will already be provided to you out-of-the-box.

If not, you’ll need to use a specific service just to conduct your measurements. For small-business marketers, the best choices are http://www.feedburner.com or http://www.pheedo.com, which come at no charge for the basic toolset.

Using them is quick and simple: just go to their site, register for a free account, enter your existing RSS feed URL, start promoting the new RSS feed URL (given to you by the service) on your site, instead of the one you are using right now, and start measuring.

But be careful! These two RSS measurement solutions actually create a new RSS feed URL for you, which is hosted on their own server, meaning that you only want to use it to generate “real” subscribers, and not actually submit the feed to any RSS search engines and directories. If you do so, some of the SEO benefits of RSS will unfortunatelly be wasted.

Copyright 2005 Rok Hrastnik

Learn how to take full marketing advantage of RSS and get all the expertise, knowledge and how-to information for implementing RSS in your marketing mix, from direct marketing, PR, e-commerce, internal communications and online publishing to SEO, traffic generation and customer relationship management. Including complete interviews with more than 40 RSS marketing experts. Click here now: http://rss.marketingstudies.net/book/

(708)

Article Source:


 
Rate this Article: 
 
RSS Feeds, What They Are and How to Use Them
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes
ArticleSlash

Related Articles:

The Basics of RSS Feeds File Type-RSS

by: Stephen Pavis (February 11, 2007) 
(Internet and Businesses Online)

The Basics of RSS Feeds

by: Halstatt Pires (June 01, 2007) 
(Internet and Businesses Online)

Top RSS Feed Secrets Revealed! 4 Steps to the Money With RSS Feeds

by: Fabian Tan (August 13, 2008) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)

Update Your Websites Content 'Automatically' 24/7 Using RSS(Real Simple ..

by: Cory Threlfall (April 01, 2005) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)

The On Site RSS Feed - The Output Side of RSS Feeds

by: Richard Keir (September 12, 2006) 
(Internet and Businesses Online)

Reading RSS Feeds With An RSS Aggregator

by: Jeremiah Patton (December 09, 2005) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)

What Are RSS Feeds?

by: Sean Felker (April 18, 2005) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)

What Are RSS Feeds

by: S. Housley (August 03, 2004) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)

RSS Feeds and How to Use Them

by: Allan Burns (June 12, 2005) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)

RSS Feeds, What They Are and How to Use Them

by: Jennifer Shatos (July 18, 2005) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/RSS)