Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 12, 2008
Although I first mentioned it here, I didn’t talk much about either Feedburner or Feedburner Feed Smith, so I’m going to talk about both of them now.
First, most everyone has heard about Feedburner, but that doesn’t mean everyone. Basically, if we have blogs, or webpages that will be constantly updating information in some fashion, it’s a good idea for us to have some type of RSS (random simple syndication) on our site so people can subscribe to our content. That way, when we update something, they can receive it in some fashion, most probably through a reader, instead of having to constantly come back to our site to see if we’ve added anything new.
Your blog may already have something set up for you using RSS1, RSS2, or Atom, and that’s fine. However, the problem you have is that you don’t have any way of tracking to see if people are actually subscribing to your blog. That’s where Feedburner comes into play. What you do is put in your web address and it will create a unique Feedburner address that you can put onto your site, and it will then track and calculate statistics for you. What you can also do is add a way for people to subscribe to your feed by email, something I’ve just recently added. Now, if you want it coming from different email addresses, you’ll have to create multiple accounts. I decided that I’d rather track all my Feedburner accounts from one place rather than having to sign into two different accounts, but I might change that up later on down the line, because people will receive my feeds from my business email account, though they’ll know which blog it’s coming from and should probably click on the blog link if they wish to leave a comment.
If you already have something else, one of the other RSS types, you’ll still have no idea how that’s performing for you. That’s where Feedburner Feed Smith comes into play. Now owned by Google (who also now owns Feedburner), this WordPress plugin takes all your feeds and combines them into one place, so that if someone decides to pick one of your other feeds, Feedburner will still track it.
Most SEO experts and internet marketers will tell you that you need to know what your traffic figures are and where they’re coming from, and Feedburner will tell you that and more. They have some extended statistics that you can subscribe to for free if you choose to, and since it’s free, why wouldn’t you. To me, this is a must have feed and plugin to have.