What are RSS Feeds
Also known as news aggregators. It is a way of wrapping up all of your content that you blog about, putting it in one file, sending it to third party news aggregators to distribute online to get massive exposure. It also means that you get a wider audience, obviously if your content is good.
Think about it another way, freelance photographers at Wimbledon last night will have been happy snapping away at Andy Murray during his epic match against Fernando Verdasco. Those photos will have been distributed to hundreds of newspapers across the world for any of them who fancy buying a licence to the image to use in this morning’s paper. RSS Feeds are a way of getting the content, like photographs, out to news aggregator websites to maximise exposure to readers, or in the example of the newspapers the readers of the newspapers.
What does RSS Stand for?
It was first coined back in the late 90s by Netscape as an abbreviation for “Rich Site Summary”, but can also mean “Really Simple Syndication” or “RDF Site Summary”. We prefer to go with Really Simply Syndication, however RSS feeds can also be known as Atom Feeds or XML Feeds. I think we should finish that there are the definitions part could take a long time – just go with RSS!
What to do with RSS Feeds
Once you have your RSS Feed set up, which by the way we are not going into on this post because there is a lot of content online about how to set up successful RSS feeds, you can submit your feed to RSS directories. This will increase the syndication of your blogging content.
Benefits of RSS Feeds
There are many benefits. Here are the top ones
- Increased syndication – it gets your content out there to more people. It is key to increasing visibility of your website.
- Increased readership – with more syndication comes more readers
- Benefits for SEO – with increased syndication comes the increased chance of more websites, businesses and people linking back to your unique content as a trusted authority
- More traffic to the blog – more people coming to your blog who could be potential customers. But if not don’t worry. If they find the content of use you never know they may remember it and refer you and your services to someone in an offline context. It can still be a success indirect sales tool.
- Increased branding – increasing exposure through syndication will increase the strength of your brand.
- Increase in validity of authorship – By increasing exposure, syndication, readership, traffic and strength of brand that all contributes to higher validity to you as a trusted authority and therefore credibility.
- Increased syndication means quicker indexing of your blog content – which again will help with search engine optimisation.
Beware that RSS submissions are only successful where content is generally neutral. Ie directories will only accept RSS feeds if the content is not self promoting, because the purpose of the RSS is to syndicate content that is beneficial to the user, not to the author of the content so much. Therefore beware not to go overboard with writing blogs that link back to your products or services because this can limit the success of submissions and therefore the reach of your content.
RSS Feeds should be highly considered for SEO strategies. With the growth in the importance of content and social media, content dissemination has become more important despite becoming more complex. This is a more natural form of SEO and should be considered instead of purchasing links like companies were doing 2 years ago. If you are still doing that I would stop right away and considered alternatives including RSS directories.
However, this method doesn’t suit everyone. Firstly, if you are only blogging once a month then there is very little content that you want to get more exposed so there are more effective SEO tactics to use other than RSS submissions. Additionally, if you are using your blog as too much of a self promotion tool then submissions are less likely to be accepted and therefore it will be a waste of time. In such circumstances we suggest rethinking your blog strategy to be more user engaging, useful content focused, and less self-endorsing.