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RSS For Your Business Websites

Posted by on Mar 24, 2010

Oddly enough, I guess I owe this post to much of the spam I’ve been receiving lately. Much of it asks, stupidly of course, how they can subscribe to my RSS feed for this blog, which is pretty much all over the place, especially if you use Firefox.

However, it got me thinking about RSS feeds in general, especially as they apply to business websites. I have enough websites, I figure, but in reality I have 3 business websites. And I don’t have RSS feeds on any of them.

I’ve started wondering if I should have feeds on them. After all, I don’t do a lot of updating to those sites. One of them I have my business blog attached, and it obviously has a RSS feed, so I’ve just assumed that site didn’t need one. For my other two sites, though, I do add something here and there, and those are mainly articles, and maybe I need a RSS feed for those. After all, who doesn’t want more RSS subscribers?

The question of course is why anyone would subscribe to the RSS feed for a business site. It’s not news, and since most of us assume that most sites are fairly static, what would compel us to subscribe? Or is this a case of “if you build it they will come”?

I’m not the only one who thinks about this sort of thing. A woman named Sarah wrote an article titled Why RSS Is So Important For Your Business That You’re Probably Already Using It (whew, long title!), and she talks about the importance of having RSS feeds if you’re constantly updating your information. That’s easy to agree with, but what about if you’re not constantly updating your content?

Actually, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? As a consultant, I often advise potential clients that they need to have constantly updated content in some fashion. Of course I usually recommend blogs first, and most blogging software comes with the ability to easily add RSS feeds so you’re covered there. But what about the website itself? Other than news sources and sales pages, are there any other reasons for a business to syndicate their site?

Something more to think about, I guess. Meanwhile, the palm trees are for my friend Sue. 🙂

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I alaways thought an RSS feed is for something dynamic as opposed a static site unless you have a periodic newsletter on that site which goes out to customers
.-= Peter Davies´s last blog ..How Often Do You Mail Your Lists? =-.

March 24th, 2010 | 11:14 PM

I guess that’s kind of the question, Peter. For instance, on my site, I have an articles page, and every once in awhile I add a new article to the site. So, could I create a RSS feed for just that page so people who decided they like what I write can get updates whenever I add a new one? Or should I even think about doing it? Or can I even do it, as in, would I have to create a RSS feed for the entire site rather than just one page?

March 24th, 2010 | 11:30 PM

Mitch I am confused can we really can get RSS feed for website also? I know that RSS feed only for blog. Well how it work actually?
.-= chandan´s last blog ..10 Work from Home Money Makers =-.

March 25th, 2010 | 12:50 AM

Chandan, you can always add RSS feeds to your website. It’s whether it’s worth doing it or not that one has to decide. It works the same as with a blog, but if you don’t have a lot of changing content, it might not do much good. That’s why it takes some thought as to whether it’s the right way to go or not.

March 25th, 2010 | 2:01 PM

If nothing else it may help with SEO

March 25th, 2010 | 1:21 AM

Can you expand on that thought, JC?

March 25th, 2010 | 2:01 PM

Through a lot of my reading on things like Warrior Forum, a trick for getting bots to crawl your site, pull stuff into their search engine, and ranking, involve rss feeds.

Sorry, I’m not finding any of the threads very quickly here. What I’m seeing is for indexing. I’m sure I’ve seen it under improving rankings in searches. Maybe I’m wrong on that front.

March 30th, 2010 | 12:53 AM

You have to help me, JC: I’m not sure what your second paragraph means.

March 30th, 2010 | 12:56 AM

i don’t think an RSS would be of help for those sites. however,you can use your blogs’ RSS to help your readers become aware of those business websites.

You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) using the right keywords and anchor texts to promote your sites.

March 27th, 2010 | 5:29 AM

Thanks Novz. I do that already with my business blog, but wondered about doing the extra step.

March 27th, 2010 | 8:57 PM

Mitch – I agree, we should try to keep our content up to date – for lots of reasons. Though it can be hard to set the time aside to create the content for our blogs, especially when it’s another part of the overall business operations and so many of us are so strapped for time.

I like to advise that people have RSS feed options for readers as well as by email subscriptions since our readers tend to have different preferences.

My Google Reader is always brimming with many unread articles so the sites that I really, really want to keep up with for one reason or another – those I will subscribe via email so that I never miss an update.

.-= Project Center´s last blog ..What Are Line Screens In Printing? =-.

March 27th, 2010 | 4:04 PM

I’m with you on content, PC. Actually, I probably need to add more articles on my main website, but I put on a bi-weekly newsletter, and with everything else I write I just haven’t had the time to write anything extra. But I need to find the time one of these days.

March 27th, 2010 | 8:59 PM
Dennis Edell:

It’s free. It don’t take long. You might catch one here and there.

Why not?
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Holy Power Outage Batman, Not Again! Yep, Another Two Days Shot to Hell… =-.

March 27th, 2010 | 7:51 PM

That’s a way of looking at it, Dennis. I’m definitely going to think seriously about it, for sure.

March 27th, 2010 | 9:01 PM

RSS, which stands for really simple syndication, can be used to syndicate any type of content (and is). Ideally you’d want to use it for content that you’ll be changing at least occasionally, which is why most people think of Blogs when you say RSS. But RSS is also used to syndicate podcasts, video, products, etc. RSS feeds for products is pretty important for eCommerce sites because it can help shopping search engines pick up on your products to list them across the web. RSS is also used in all sorts of manners behind the scenes, so as I mentioned in my article, you’re may be already using it without realizing it. 🙂 Thanks for the link and comments.
.-= Sarah Worsham´s last blog ..Sazcast Episode 24: Is Google Stockpiling for a War Against Apple? =-.

April 1st, 2010 | 1:03 PM

Glad to give you some props, Sarah. I’ve always wondered if some sites have hidden RSS feeds in them; I know mine doesn’t, and I just have to decide whether I need to go that route or not.

April 1st, 2010 | 4:15 PM

Do you have reasons why you wouldn’t?
.-= Sarah Worsham´s last blog ..Sazcast Episode 24: Is Google Stockpiling for a War Against Apple? =-.

April 1st, 2010 | 7:26 PM

The main reason I wouldn’t is in figuring out how to do it. Years ago, before blog templates had RSS feeds automatically, one had to create RSS feeds to add, and I remember that process being cumbersome. I got it done, but I don’t know if the process has been made easier for websites or not.

April 2nd, 2010 | 3:41 PM

Most blogging software will create RSS feeds automatically for you. I see you’re using WordPress, so you probably already have a RSS feed, unless you turned it off.
.-= Sarah Worsham´s last blog ..What Would You Put Up with for Free Airfare? =-.

April 5th, 2010 | 11:15 AM

Oh, I have it for my blogs now, but back in 2005, when I started, my main blog didn’t come with RSS set up for whatever reason.

April 5th, 2010 | 11:20 AM
Brian P:

RSS feeds and using twitter is just really hard for me to grasp.

When people subscribe to your rss feeds where do they get them and where do they read them?

I know you can get them to your email. But if your website is based on advertising with PPC and CPM and sales doesnt RSS feeds make the readers not see ads?

Just trying to totally understand the benefit from it.
.-= Brian P´s last blog ..Check Out These Free Giveaways! =-.

May 31st, 2010 | 4:38 PM

Brian, some readers will show the ads, some won’t. Something you can do with your feed is set it up to only send out a few lines, so that if people are interested and want to see more they actually have to visit your site to see the rest. That would help if it’s your intention to get visitors for your PPC & CPM. And those folks would be more targeted because you’d know they cared enough about what you had to say to come to your site instead of staying in the reader.

The main idea, however, is in letting people know you have new content. A subscriber means they see new stuff and know to visit, or at least read. Without RSS, people might visit then totally forget about you. Where they get them; you might want to read this article of mine:

May 31st, 2010 | 6:23 PM

Ok so showing partial content is awesome. I see how that would work awesome now. Thanks…

And yes that is true if I was updated about blogs new entries I would visit more. My favorite blogs I visit a lot to see but the ones I do occasionally I forget about them and then show up like weeks later.

I might have to try out the RSS…. It is still new to me so I am still learning. but thanks for the explanation!

Brian P
.-= Brian P´s last blog ..Looking For Blogs With Free Giveaways? =-.

June 5th, 2010 | 8:43 PM

Glad to help out, Brian. Happy reading!

June 5th, 2010 | 8:49 PM