Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Introducing you and your website to RSS

RSS which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is a great way for your online business to keep in touch with your website visitors once they have been to your website and keep your website 'sticky'... meaning that once you have had the visitor to your site, you can encourage them to receive ongoing information about your company, news, information, new deals or services and keep your clients engaged.

It is actually very easy to implement RSS into your site! By including the following piece of one line HTML code in the head section of your webpages you'll be all set:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="ENTER_RSS_URL">

By doing this visitors to your website will then see within their web browser the RSS icon glow orange and become active - meaning that they can then subscribe directly to your feed, which is like book marking your specials or info page so that they will continue to receive this information from you each time you post out an RSS update.

So RSS is a bit like having an email newsletter subscription service for your website, but only better.

Because RSS was created a few years back as an alternative method to email delivery to get around some of the problems related to email marketing. RSS is automatically opt-in, as the user is choosing to subscribe. There is no spam filters that block your message getting through, nor delays in delivery that can happen with email - RSS is immediate, so a great way for speed to market of your business information or new deals.

A lot of people will actually have RSS available in their email clients like Outlook 2007 and above. So they can subscribe and follow your business information from the comfort of their email application. Once you have RSS set up, you can also provide your clients with a long list of other marketing tools that take advantage of RSS, and which can receive and display RSS. So you could actually create and provide downloadable Google Gadgets, Yahoo! Widgets, iPhone & iPad applications, even Screen Savers that receive and show your company information via RSS. These are some great brand building and marketing tools to help disseminate a brand awareness campaign and attract more eyeballs to your products and services. If you would like some further information about any of these just drop me an email.

So why am I harping on about RSS for your website?

Quite simple really as I'm all about driving more traffic to your online business, and retaining client interaction as well as pointing out ways to create better leverage with Search Engines. We're here to work for you and improve your online business.

RSS feeds can be crawled by Search Engines, they can even be submitted to Search Engines, along with a long list of RSS aggregator websites or online directories. This generates more exposure, and a better interaction with Search Engines encouraging them to find all your content, and particularly any new content you create and get this added into their Search Directories so your site is found more.

And here is a simple tip to actually manage and update your website's RSS feed...

Use Twitter! Yup, signup for your free Twitter account for your business at and subsequently Twitter provides a RSS feed of your tweets. This RSS address can be put into that one line of code I provided you with at the top of this email and you are away. This means that you are using Twitter and getting your business information and website links out into Twitter and being seen there as well, and having it generated at the same time into your webpage. Bit like two for the price of... nothing!

Did you know that Twitter has a content relationship deal with Google - meaning, that Google trawls through all the data generated on Twitter. So when you tweet a new deal, a special, a new page added to your site or information about your business it will be found by Google and added very quickly into Google's own search index. This is one of the key reasons I recommend the use of Twitter for your business!

Okay, so a bit of information for you to digest this morning. I hope it makes sense. Of course if you have any further questions shoot me through an email.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Careful with your choice of Domain Name

Such a simple thing, and yet one of the most important and fundamental decisions a business will make initially in their foray into the online space will be the selection of an appropriate domain name.

The Search Engines will look upon this as one of the most important factors in determining what your website is going to be about and hence presenting your site in the Search Engine Result Page relevant to audience queries.

Unfortunately since the internet has now been around for so long, there is relatively limited choice in some aspects for good domain names that still exist. Be careful the choice of Top Level Domain structure and ensure it is appropriate to your location (localised search factor) eg. for Australia, and not just going for a domain extension because it is available... as this may lead to consumer confusion as they expect the 'norm'.

Keyword rich domain names are the ideal choice that match your business segment. Hyphen separated domains are okay, but do and can add to confusion for typing in the name by the consumer so aren't an ideal first choice, but a good second when nothing else exists.

But beware the acronym, the abbreviated version of your business name purely based on its initials. Particularly if this is not a brand naming convention that users may be aware of. Firstly it is most likely, and certainly not keyword rich, so a back step from the very beginning. However I can understand the use if you have a very long business name. But my concern comes from what sometimes is over looked, in that what does that acronym or abbreviation perhaps mean in another context or even another country? Do your research, search particularly across the Social Media sphere just in case your particular acronym has sinister connections and associations that may already be established and which then may make you reconsider your choice... Research really is an important element of your initial steps into the online space, so step carefully and wisely.