Digging Deep To Get The Most From RSS Technology
An integral part of getting the most from RSS is really understanding
how RSS works as a technology --- basically understanding its structure
and how to best use it to get more readership and better search
The good part is that it's easy and quick to do, without needing
any technical expertise and just using standard RSS publishing tools.
A) HOW RSS FEEDS ARE STRUCTURED
RSS feeds contain the basic information about the RSS feed itself
and the individual RSS feed content items that actually carry the
content you want to deliver to your target audiences or syndicate
to other websites.
All of this information is carried within different perscribed
RSS feed elements that are used for different purposes.
But how you use these elements may actually define whether you
are getting the most from RSS or not.
Now you don't actually need to know how to create an RSS feed,
since your RSS publishing software will do that for you, but you
need to know what to put in these elements to make the most from
B) RSS FEED ELEMENTS
RSS feed elements describe the RSS feed.
Each element encloses the actual descriptionary information, just
like an HTML tag.
The most important elements you need to pay attention to for increasing
marketing results are:
1. RSS FEED TITLE
The name of the RSS feed, which will be displayed in the RSS Reader
when someone accesses your feed, as well as the search engines and
You need to craft your title so that it stands out among other
feeds in your subscribers' RSS Readers and attracts them, and is
at the same time rich with your most important keywords to assure
you achieve better search engine placement for your feeds.
2. RSS FEED DESCRIPTION
A short sentence that describes the RSS feed. Just as with the title
element, the description needs to attract your target audiences
(in many RSS Readers the description is displayed just below the
feed title) and at the same time assure better placement within
the search engines.
So keep it user-attractive, conveying the main content points covered
in your feed and the key benefits for your readers, as well as search-engine-friendly,
with your most important keywords.
3. RSS FEED IMAGE
The image element is used to display your logo on the RSS feed presentation
in RSS Readers. The default width for the logo is 88 px and the
maximum width is 144 px. Default image height is 31 px and the maximum
height is 400 px.
Including your logo in your feed will make your feed more memorable
for your subscribers, thus helping you increase actual readership,
as well as provide additional branding for your business.
C) RSS CONTENT ITEM ELEMENTS
While the RSS feed elements define and describe an RSS feed on the
level of the entire feed, individual content item elements describe
and carry the actual information you want to deliver to your audiences.
And if there's any question about it, RSS content items are contained
within an RSS feed.
Each content item may then contain some or all of the elements
that describe that content item and provide information.
1. RSS CONTENT ITEM TITLE
The title of the specific content item that is of course displayed
in the RSS Reader and everywhere else where your content appears.
Your content item titles are one of the most important things in
your RSS feed, determening whether your readers will actually read
the rest of the content or whether the search engines will rank
it high enough for you.
Just think of the title as an e-mail message subject line and webpage
title in one. The e-mail subject line is what makes your recipient
decide whether he's going to read the entire message or not. You
need to keep it to the point and give just enough information to
make it inviting to read on.
The webpage title has much weight with the search engines, helping
you get higher rankings for your content for the keywords you're
trying to optimize your webpage for.
The RSS content item title performs both of these functions for
you at the same time.
2. RSS CONTENT ITEM LINK
The URL pointing to a webpage on your website where the user can
read the entire content of the content item, if you're publishing
your RSS feeds in summary format. A "read more" type of destination.
If you're publishing your feeds in full-text format the link can
serve for archiving purposes, for example if your customers would
either want to clickthrough to your site and then bookmark your
content in their internet browser.
Of course, if you don't want to provide a backlink to your site,
you don't have to, as the link element is optional. This could come
useful if you're using your RSS feed meerly as a direct communicational
channel to send a quick message to your customers or anyone else,
without also providing that content on your website.
But since most RSS users actually expect to be able to clickthrough
it's highly recommended that you always provide the link.
3. RSS CONTENT ITEM DESCRIPTION
This is where the actual body content of the information you're
trying to deliver comes in … the actual story you're trying to tell.
The description element can either be a short summary, or can contain
full-text content of the story, with images and almost everything
else (there are some restrictions).
Depending on who you ask, some will say that summary feeds are
better, while others will vouch their head for full-text feeds.
What you decide for actually depends completely on your business
model and what you are trying to achieve with RSS. In short, there
are no rules.
Also, you might not even need a description.
--> If you just want to deliver headlines of your latest content
and have people clickthrough to your site to find out more you could
easily do that. This would usually be useful for syndicating your
content to other websites, if you didn't want them to publish anything
else but your headline.
--> Or the content you are delivering might not even need a description.
For example you could create an RSS feed with the latest stock-market
updates where the update would be quickly delivered just using the
title element. More on this in later chapters. What you do need
to know right now is what kind of content can actually be included
if you decide for full-text content.
For starters, if you do it right, standard text formating, such
as bolding, works just fine in most RSS Readers, although some may
even ignore that. Links within the content and images are also not
a problem, although again, some RSS Readers might just ignore them.
But still, most of the new ones won't, so adding some flavor to
your full-text content should not be a problem.
If you want to go even further, even tables in content should work
in most cases, actually enabling you to post a full e-zine issue
right inside of a single RSS feed content item.
The worst problem is that different RSS Readers will display this
content in different ways, some even not displaying tables at all.
And finally, if you want to syndicate your content to other websites,
they might just want a summary instead of full-text content, so
you might need to prepare a summary version of the feed as well.
About the Author:
Rok Hrastnik is acknowledged as one of the top worldwide experts
on RSS marketing. Get the easy way to mastering RSS marketing today.
Click here now to get all the details on how to make RSS marketing
work for you and help you increase your online profits: http://rss.marketingstudies.net