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RSS Revolution – Are You Up to Date?

In a rapidly changing world of technical jargon, many terms are popping up in everyday conversations and the non-technical professional might be overwhelmed. Podcast, blog, IM, domain, URL… the lingo can make your head spin. However, one such term, RSS, has frequently been showing up everywhere and seeping into the world of Online Marketing as well. For business professionals today, the terminology might be a daunting task to keep up with, but utilizing the Web to your advantage doesn’t have to be.

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a Web format that allows for certain information to be pulled from multiple Web sites into a central location. What exactly does that mean?

Well, for marketers it means that RSS can be used to either:

A.) Keep prospects up to date with information that your business is constantly updating, like press releases or events.

B.) Increase returning visitors to your site by setting up an RSS feed to display current, pertinent information from other Web sites on your Web site.

For example, let’s say that you manage a local community Web site. An RSS reader could be set up within your Web site to display items like current headlines from the local newspaper Web site or school closings from the local school district site. Also, if sections of your Web site were RSS-compatible, like the news and events section, community members who have RSS readers could keep up to date with local information easier, and encouraged to visit your Web site more often.

RSS feeds are created in a language called XML (or eXtensible Markup Language), a technology already used for various other purposes on and off the Web. Since it is so widespread, many Web developers find it relatively easy to set up these indexes on existing sites. Not only can you keep your existing patrons coming back more often, it can help boost SEO to increase new site traffic by providing another way for Web users to experience your content.

There are many different reasons to use RSS feeds today, from making your Web site’s articles easily accessible to a wider audience, to making it easy for clients to keep up with your company’s blog. The possibilities are endless and so are the sites that are adding RSS everyday.

The best way to learn about how RSS works is to setup your own personal RSS reader. There are a number of readers out there, an example of which is Google’s new Reader. To try it, go to http://reader.google.com (you need a Gmail account) and follow the instructions — it is easy to setup and starts out with a quick video tour. Once you do this, you’ll have a feel for how RSS works from the perspective of someone using it to view your content, and how setting up RSS capabilities on your business Web site can help you boost Web traffic.

Heather Jewell is the Manager of Planning and Administrration of NuRelm. NuRelm is a Web software and services firm that focuses on helping non-technical people compete on the Web. For more information on the benefits of RSS feeds, how to integrate them or any other interactive capabilities for your Web site, Click here to contact us or call 1.877.2NuRelm ext. 204. Don’t forget to visit: http://www.NuRelm.com

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This entry was posted to Pro Blog Tips on Thursday, October 25th, 2007 at 5:53 pm and is filed under... General Interest. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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