Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Basics of RSS

What is RSS?

You probably have seen this three-letter acronym in the course of your internet surfing. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary; syndicating means republishing an article that comes from another source such as a website. A RSS feed is a means of publicizing updates about websites. It may or may not include a summary and photos of the latest posting. But those that provide summaries (thus Rich Site Summary) allow users to skim through the article so that they can decide later on if they want to access the website source. The RSS feed usually contains the title of the update originating from the website. It is also usually the link to the website source.

What are the Benefits of RSS?

RSS provides benefits to both readers (users) and web publishers.

1. It gives you the latest updates. Whether it is about the weather, new music, software upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updated site, you can learn about the latest as soon as it comes out.

2. It saves on surfing time. Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the user's time by helping s/he decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net.

3. It gives the power of subscription to the user. Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe to in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently.

4. It lessens the clutter in your inbox. Although your email address will be required to enjoy the services of online RSS aggregators, RSS does not use your email address to send the updates.

5. It is spam free. Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails.

6. Unsubscribing is hassle-free. Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked questions on why s/he is unsubscribing and then the user is asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you have to do is to delete the RSS feed from your aggregator.

7. It can be used as an advertising or marketing tool. Users who subscribe to or syndicate product websites receive the latest news on products and services without the website sending spam mail. This is advantageous to both the web user and the website owner since advertising becomes targeted; those who are actually interested in their products are kept posted.

What are the Drawbacks of RSS?

The disadvantages of RSS stem from user-preference concerns and the fact that it is a new technology.

1. Some users prefer receiving email updates over an RSS feed.

2. Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds. For conciseness and ease of publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for some web-based aggregators.

3. The identity of the source website can be confusing. Since RSS feeds do not display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what feed a user is actually reading.

4. Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they do not know the reasons why users unsubscribe which could be important in improving their advertising.

5. RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server. Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.

6. Since it is a new technology, many sites still do not support RSS.

How Do I Start Using RSS?

There are two things needed: an RSS feed and an RSS aggregator or reader. The RSS feed comes from an RSS-supported website. There are also websites that provide a list of RSS feeds from different websites. An RSS aggregator is used to read the RSS feed from the source website. It scans and collects data on the latest RSS feeds from the worldwide web.

n aggregator comes in two forms: a downloadable program, also known as a desktop aggregator, and an online or web-based aggregator. Downloadable aggregators may require payment before they can be acquired, while internet-based aggregators are usually free of charge. All you need to do is to register an account and you are ready to use their services. Both versions allow you to customize, or choose, which RSS feeds to enter. Paid aggregators are usually chosen by more experienced users and they usually allow more freedom in customizing feeds.

1.Choose an RSS aggregator to use. For beginners, web-based aggregators are recommended since they are usually user-friendly.

2. Scan the homepage of your target website for the RSS or XML button. It contains the RSS code you need to enter in the aggregator. Copy this code. Syndic8 provides a directory of websites that support RSS.

3. Paste the code (which contains the URL of the website) in your aggregator. There is a space provided for pasting the code.

After you have done these three easy steps, you can start reading the RSS feeds coming from the website. New postings appear as they are published in real time at the source website.

RSS and Internet Marketing -

The original idea of RSS came from Netscape, where the intention was to provide a means for users to customize their personal homepages with links to websites that were of interest to them, similar to bookmarking websites.

The application of RSS to internet marketing was an unforeseen development to RSS technology developers. Since users are given the freedom to add RSS feeds to their aggregators, those who are interested in particular products and services available on the internet can now be notified real time. Marketing becomes more specific to interested people and not a hit-and-miss operation.

Medium to big-scale companies who intend to use RSS for marketing their products and services should consider linking up with email account providers, (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google mail); networking websites (e.g. Friendster, Multiply, My Space, Hi5); websites of newspapers and television network websites (e.g. New York Times, CNN). Smaller companies can also look at networking websites as well as personal blog websites (e.g. Blogspot) and websites of clubs and organizations that would probably make use of their products or services e.g. a fishing supplies store can look for the website of their local fishing club for possible RSS marketing.

Clearly, RSS is an innovation in worldwide web information management as well as online marketing. We can expect better RSS technology in the not-so-distant future as its popularity increases among users and website owners alike.

News Source: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2008/jan/2.html

Top 10 Internet Marketing Tips for 2008

Internet Marketing has grown phenomenally over the last few years but the shift has quite clearly moved to a market that is driven by the consumer and that is no longer dictated by journalists and corporates. Online consumers are responding more favourably to non-intrusive, relevant and socially attractive campaigns and have quite frankly had enough of intrusive, forced online advertising campaigns.

The top 10 internet marketing tips for 2008 are:

1. Optimize your website's content
2. Create a content development strategy for your website
3. Invest in a paid search (pay-per-click) campaign
4. Publicize your website through article marketing
5. Develop a social media marketing strategy
6. Create a Company Blog
7. Experiment with video marketing
8. Engage your audiences with web widget marketing
9. Discover the benefits of mobile marketing
10. Create an effective email marketing strategy

Let's look at each of these in more detail:-

1.Optimize Your Website's Content:

First and foremost, get your website content right. Make sure it is easily read by both humans and search engines. An essential variable applied by Search Engines in the way in which they rank websites is based on the relevancy of the content that the search engine is indexing.

2. Create a Content Development Strategy for Your Website:

In addition to optimizing the existing content on your website, it is essential that you develop a strategy to continuously increase your website's content on an ongoing basis. All new content should be written specifically with the web reader in mind and should also be optimized for the search engines.

3. Invest in a Paid Search (Pay-Per-Click) Campaign:

When you pay for traffic (visitors) that click on your advertisements that are being advertised on search engines, this is called pay-per-click or search engine advertising. Paid search allows you to quickly leverage search engine traffic by bidding for keywords that are related to the products or services that you promote and sell on your website. Paid search advertising is particularly beneficial to companies who are not yet well ranked on search engines through natural search.
4. Publicize Your Website Through Article Marketing:

Article marketing is regarded by Internet marketing experts as one of the most effective promotional methods to publicize your website and to increase the number of back links (incoming links) to your website content. To ensure ongoing awareness, articles should be submitted to suitable article directories, content publishers, article announcement lists and content syndication (RSS feeds). Each article should be published on your own website first and should include a bookmark button to encourage social bookmarking.

5. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy:

Studies show that by the end of 2007 more than 60% of top global companies will have had some form of social media marketing strategy in place. Corporates and small business owners should create a clear social media marketing strategy as part of an integrated communications and marketing strategy. Social Media has become an essential component of online marketing and search engines are adjusting their rankings to include search personalisation. One of the effects of the social media revolution is an exponential increase in the amount of content online.

6. Create a Company Blog:

In the past, corporates have focused marketing and communications efforts on becoming faceless. This has changed significantly. Where the online consumer has become very much in control, companies will no longer be able to connect with their customers in a meaningful and emotional way without having a personality. More and more companies are starting to realize the significance of establishing a company personality and we are starting to see more Corporate Blogs coming alive. Business Blogging will continue to become more lucrative as more and more people look to new media such as Blogs and social websites for insight.

7. Experiment With Video Marketing:

There is tremendous power and revenue-generating potential in Video Marketing. With the rapid ongoing growth of YouTube's traffic in addition to the emergence of Internet Television websites, streaming video is dominating the international web and marketers are quickly scrambling to capitalize on this exciting channel. As companies seek to simplify video sharing, video marketing will become more interactive which could have huge implications for Affiliate marketing.

8. Engage Your Audiences With Web Widget Marketing:

Widgets have made significant strides as an accepted marketing technique in recent months. Many new Blog oriented services are launching Widgets providing businesses with the opportunity to quickly introduce their services and new products to audiences.

Web Widgets are small applets that live in HTML and provide miniature versions of a specific piece of content outside of the primary web site. Web Widget Marketing is not only an exciting new marketing technique; it is fast becoming one of the leading brand-building marketing strategies for businesses advertising online.

9. Discover the Benefits of Mobile Media Marketing:

Mobile media marketing has continued to grow at a meteoric pace as many web companies recognize the huge potential in mobile marketing. As new technologies emerge and standard websites are converted to ones that can easily be accessed by mobile devices, companies will need to ensure that their websites are mobile-friendly. This leads the way for new and innovative opportunities to provide the consumer with improved brand and marketing experiences.

10. Create an Effective Email Marketing Strategy:

Introduce an effective Email communications strategy as part of your marketing strategy to grow your existing customer base and to expand your client base significantly through permission marketing and regular targeted communications. Engaging your customers with relevant, targeted information when, where, and how they want it is crucial to marketing success. By combining technological advances with tried-and-tested best practices, the future still looks bright for email marketers.

To conquer commercial combat, a significantly powerful Internet presence, supported by a brilliant E-Marketing Strategy, is paramount to ensuring that you remain competitive, increase revenue and magnetise your customers!

News Source: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2008/jan/9.html

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SEO Tools Are Real Time Savers

Search engine optimization requires many hours of research before the process actually begins. SEO tools are a great time saver, often offering information and data in seconds as opposed to hours of manually checking for specific SEO related information.

Though an SEO tool offers an opportunity to save time in gaining needed data quickly, tools do not replace the need to become familiar and experienced with SEO guidelines. Before an SEO tool can prove to be useful, one must first become accustomed to each of the major search engines and their algorithms to best understand and implement the data that you are researching into your own SEO project.

Example tools that help a webmaster safe time are the sandbox detection tool, ranking tool, back link tool, keyword popularity tool. Search engine seo tools are tools that can make a web master successful in achieving information in a short period of time.

There are many seo tools that can be found on the internet. I would suggest that you research each tool web site and make sure that there are no restrictions to that particular tool. Check for any copy rights before downloading a tool.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Hargrove

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Quick RSS - 5 Steps to Make a Profit With RSS

Online users are constantly in search for new methods and techniques that will make their researching online much easier and faster. They tend to dislike jumping from one website to another. They prefer to be spoon fed and would like to have the information right in their finger tips. This was probably the main reason why RSS was developed. It offers readers news feed for free right in front of their computers or on their browsers without the need to access any website.

1. Make use of keyword-rich titles and descriptions. Make sure that your main keywords are included in your headlines and your brief summary. Most online users are using these words when they are searching for information in the internet. Thus, if you know how to properly incorporate keywords to your titles and descriptions, your feeds will be most likely to be included on the search result page.

2. Include publish dates. This will help your online readers determine if your information is fresh or outdated.

3. Make your feeds visually appealing. Bring out your artistic side and design your feeds appropriately. Incorporate attention-grabbing images that will help your feeds stand out from the rest.

4. Post original content. Don't try to get credit for something that you did not write. It is not only unjust; it can also greatly ruin your online credibility. When you copy other's content, you are directly telling your subscribers that you don't have valuable information to share and that you are not an expert on your field.

5. Host your own feed. You will reap a lot of benefits if you won't rely on other company and you will have complete control over your RSS feed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sean_R_Mize

Social Bookmarking: How to Excel in Social Bookmarking

Have you ever heard of social bookmarking? This is yet another traffic-generating tool that works exactly the same as how you would bookmark your favorite website. However, the favorite websites are stored through social bookmarking services like digg, reddit, and stumbleupon. This allows other users who share the same interest to view the same website. When your website is bookmarked, there is a great chance that it will be viewed and accessed by millions of online users and this will surely result to increased traffic. Here are the advanced ways to excel in social bookmarking:

1. Bank on your content. To increase the chances of your website being bookmarked, make sure that your content is useful, interesting, and relevant to your target niche. In addition, your content must be easy to understand, flows naturally, concise, and most importantly it must be original.

2. Use relevant keywords. Know the keywords or key phrases that are usually being used by your potential clients when they use search engines. Use these and include them on your content so they will be directed to your website the next time they search the net for these keywords.

3. Update your website regularly. When online users bookmark your website, they are most likely to visit it everyday. If they don't find fresh information, they might be discouraged to come back or worst, won't recommend your site to other people. To avoid this from happening, I suggest that you upload new content on a regular basis so your readers will be glued to your website and they won't have reasons to check on your competitors.

4. Write about tips, how-tos, step-by-step guides, and DIY topics. Based on studies, these are the most searched topics online because they empower online users to do things on their own. Join the bandwagon and start writing these kind of topics to increase your chances of being bookmarked.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sean_R_Mize