Using RSS on your website is a good way to spread your company message and increase your search engine position. But if you don't have subscribers to your newsfeed, the benefits of news syndication are lost.
This article will provide you with 4 proven ways to increase the subscribers to your newsfeed.
1. Use an RSS Auto-Discovery Tag
Embedding an RSS auto-discovery tag into your webpage can allow newsreaders to automatically detect you serve RSS newsfeeds. Web browsers such as Firefox and Safari now detect RSS automatically, and ask the visitor if he or she wants to subscribe to your feed. This way, you don't have to push your RSS feed - the web browser does it for you. Also, Yahoo search results will include an “Add to My Yahoo" link if you use an auto-discovery tag.
Global Syndication offers a tool that makes creating RSS auto-discovery tags a snap: http://www.globalsyndication.com/rss-autodiscovery-tag.
2. Submit Your Feed to RSS Directories
When people look for information on websites, they use a search engine such as Google. When they are looking for RSS newsfeeds, they go to an RSS directory. That is why it is vitally important to submit your newsfeed to as many directories as you can. Robin Good has published a definitive list of directories that you can submit to: http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/.
If you are looking to save time with the RSS directory submission process, Global Syndication can submit your feed to the top 45 directories for under $10:
3. Create An RSS Landing Page
To many people, RSS is a completely new concept they know nothing about. When those people click your RSS link, what do they see? A bunch of meaningless XML code. Needless to say, this does not give a good first impression of RSS. You need to make it easy for your site visitor to start using your newsfeed - now.
The best way to do this is to create a separate page on your site describing the newsfeeds you offer and information about RSS in general.
Some things you should cover on this page include:
- A quick overview of how RSS works
- Why subscribing to your feed will help them
- Where to obtain a feed reader
- How to subscribe to your feed using a feed reader
- How to display your feed on their site
CNet and the New York Times provide good examples of RSS landing pages:
4. Create a Branded RSS News Reader
If your website offers many diverse newsfeeds, consider creating a custom news reader that is branded with your company logo and preloaded with your newsfeeds. This saves the beginning user the time and hassle of figuring out how to get a feed reader and subscribe to your feeds.
Some companies that offer RSS newsreader branding include NewsGator (http://www.newsgator.com/custom.aspx), Deskshare (http://www.deskshare.com/ awrc.aspx), and CustomReader (http://www.customreader.com).
By following the tips mentioned in this article, you will receive an immediate boost in your RSS subscribers, and in turn, drive more traffic to your website.
Josiah Mackenzie is an RSS syndication consultant and founder of Global Syndication, a company providing a wide array of practical RSS solutions: http://www.globalsyndication.com