It is no secret that search engine optimization is a hot topic for website owners. And with all the competition out there, SEO pros are always looking for additional ways to increase search visibility and traffic to websites.

One proven way to gain more website traffic, even when you don’t rank well in search results, is through consistent, quality, keyword-rich content– especially when blasted through your preferred social media channels.

Since lack of time often prohibits us from staying on the ball with content creation, many business owners opt to add external RSS feeds (Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication) to their website for a steady stream of traffic. But is this really helpful?

Because RSS feed items are syndicated and not unique content, don’t count on a higher ranking in search results. If you are looking to boost your rankings, start with providing your own fresh, unique content with your website’s blog. However, you can likely see a slight boost in website traffic because visitors will see you as a good “go-to” source for information on a given topic and may visit more frequently. Additionally, visitors may spend more time on your site viewing the latest feeds. These are metrics that search engines keep track of, so more traffic and longer time on site can boost your SEO.

Here are some tips for finding an RSS feed that benefits your website:

  1. Make sure the RSS feed you choose shows up-to-date content. Outdated content will not appeal to visitors to your website.
  2. Ensure that RSS feed topics are relevant to your website content. For example, if you have a legal website, your feed should show related legal topics. Google doesn’t crawl the feed content because it is recognized as syndicated, but it does consider the links within the feed just as it does with other links on your website. If the links don’t look relevant to the website, it can actually be detrimental.
  3. Be sure that the RSS feed is not the only content on the page.
  4. Set RSS feeds up with a “nofollow” for outbound links. This way, any link anchor text that is not in line with page content doesn’t get you penalized.
  5. Look for an RSS feed with a high number of subscribers.
  6. Make sure your feed can be discovered by testing your feed URLs with the Google Search Console.
  7. If you have your own blog, consider adding your own feed to other areas of your website like your home page, footer, or inner page sidebars. Since the source of the RSS feed is rewarded with a much greater SEO value than the feed publisher, leverage your own posts by including them in highly visible areas of your website. Need more content? Consider enlisting guest bloggers.

Example of a blog feed and an RSS feed

Ultimately, the user experience trumps all! Make sure the RSS feed you choose is valuable to your visitors. They will thank you for it, and, in turn, search engines will reward you.

Looking for ways to improve your Search Engine Optimization? Whether you need a new website, current website modifications, content creation and distribution, advertising, or anything else related to increasing your traffic to your website, OpenVine can help. Get a free quote on any of our services or contact us to learn more.

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