Tips for a Better RSS Feed
Like anything else, a little work can pay dividends. Well-written RSS feeds are more useful to readers and result in more website traffic for the publisher. Below are several tips for making your RSS feed more effective.
1. Use interesting titles
Like a book is often judged by its cover, an RSS feed item is judged by its title. Make sure your title is interesting, and try to put the most important information early in the title, since some newsreaders truncate title beyond a certian length.
Also, keep in mind that some newsreaders are set to only show feed item titles. Don't assume that any feed item descriptions will be shown.
Some publishers put full content text directly in the feed item. The problem with including full text in a feed is that a reader has no incentive to click through to the publisher's website. Instead, write your feed item descriptions as 'teasers' that make a reader want to click over to the website to read more.
4. Keep your content fresh
Updating your feed regularly is a good way to keep reader interest. Feeds (like websites) that are not updated for months on end tend to lose repeat visitors. How often you refresh your content is up to the publisher. Keep in mind, however, that readers can set their reader to show as few as three feed headlines at a time. While it's not likely a problem, updating too often could mean that some items may get overlooked.
5. Make sure your RSS feed is compliant!
Content is king. Use these tips to keep your RSS feeds well-read and your website well-trafficed!
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