get maximum benifit from RSS Feeds for Your Web Site

To know what is RSS and why it is useful check Introduction to RSS.

Benefits of RSS Feeds to Web Masters :

RSS is a good idea for webmasters because it allows them to provide their visitors with up to date content so that visitors come back again and again.

  1. Your viewers will thank you, and there will be more of them, because it allows them to see your site without going out of their way to visit.
  2. While this seems bad at first glance, it actually improves your site’s visibility; by making it easier for your users to keep up with your site — allowing them to see it the way they want to — it’s more likely that they’ll know when something that interests them is available on your site.
  3. News is similar; because there are so many sources of news on the Web, most of your viewers won’t come to your site every day. By providing a feed, you are in front of them constantly, improving the chances that they’ll click through to an article that catches their eye.

How to Create an RSS Feed for Your Web Site :

If you have a Web site and would like to include relevant and frequently updated content from other Web sites, then you may want to set up an RSS feed. Here's how :

  1. Find an RSS reader that suits you by searching for "RSS reader" in any Web browser. Download RSS reader of your choice.
  2. Visit your favorite Web sites for information and news. Look to see if they have an orange button that reads XML or RSS.
  3. Right-click (or control-click if you're on a Mac) the orange button and choose "Copy Shortcut" or "Copy Link."
  4. Open the RSS reader you previously downloaded. Right click on the button reading "Add Feed" or "Add Channel" and select "Paste."
  5. Select the place on your Web site where you want the feed to appear, or create a new page to devote to feeds. Copy and paste the RSS code into the HTML code of your Web page in the appropriate place.
  6. Follow the same steps to add additional RSS feeds from other Web sites according to your wishes.

Inform People about Your Feed :

An important step after publishing a feed is letting your viewers know that it exists; there are a lot of feeds available on the Web now, but it’s hard to find them, making it difficult for viewers to utilize them. Pages that have an associated RSS feed should clearly indicate this to viewers by using a link containing like ‘RSS feed’. For example,

<a type="application/rss+xml" href="feed.rss">RSS feed for this page</a>

where ‘feed.rss’ is the URL for the feed. the ‘type’ attribute tells browsers that this is a link to an RSS feed in a way that they understand.

Finally, there are a number of guides and registries for RSS feeds that people can search and browse through, much like the Yahoo directory for Web sites; it’s a good idea to register your feed.

How to get maximum benifit of your RSS feed:

Users should be able to maximize its use for their greater benefit and convenience.

  1. Set up a plan for your RSS feeds. Planning one’s RSS feeds is very important since it can be used for various purposes of the user. An RSS feed may be needed for e-zines, news section and articles.
  2. Make a list of RSS Marketing Requirements. There are several basic questions that need to be taken into consideration when you push to publish your feeds. Some of which includes whether RSS publishing is to be integrated with existing content management system, whether your feed requires personalization particularly the RSS content or whether you would want to provide subscribers with the ability to select the content they would prefer to receive.
  3. Choose among available publishing tools in creating a Feed. Marketing and publishing tools come in a few general categories namely desktop feed generation tools, hosted on-line RSS publishing solutions, advanced RSS marketing solutions plus a few other options.
  4. Be sure to promote your RSS feeds through your own channels. This is best done through the creation of an RSS presentation page which should contain an explanation of what an RSS is, the benefits to be expected from it use, recommendation of a free RSS aggregator, the manner of subscribing to these feeds and the reason why people should subscribe to your RSS feeds.
  5. Promote your feeds as well through external channels. This can be done by submitting your feeds to appropriate search engines and directories where the best lists are found.
  6. Allow syndication of your RSS feed. RSS as one of the potent marketing channels needs to be used to leverage the most out of its format. Allowing others to take your RSS feed and use it to refurbish your news in their homepage will work to your advantage.
  7. People who adopt RSS are in it primarily for the information. No one in particular would want to adopt RSS.
  8. RSS, Blog, E-zines and E-mail can work together. Most marketers still depend mostly on e-mail as their key marketing and communication tool. However, getting e-mail through is becoming increasingly difficult due to spam filters and spams itself.
  9. Use RSS potential for providing value in market research. RSS holds much potential when it comes to its capability in reaching new customers. However, the best approach is to walk carefully rather than running head-on as there is much danger in over-hyping this medium.

RSS makes possible the certainty of receiving the content users would want without the inconvenience brought about by spam filters. It also has the ability to receive content directly to desktops including audio and video content.