When reviewing search marketing blogs each week for inclusion in our big list, one of the most consistent problems we see is that blog owners don’t make it easy to subscribe. Either there is no icon for the RSS feed or it’s hidden way below the fold.
Something as easy as adding a prominient RSS button near the top of the blog template with the word “Subscribe” near it can increase the number of return visitors substantially. We’ve done this ourselves and we’re now just under 6,000 subscribers.
A study by Yahoo and Ipsos Insight supports the need to display RSS subscription options as blog readers were found to be far more likely to subscribe to a blog if they say a familiar graphic for their favorite RSS reader, whether it was Bloglines, MyYahoo or Google Reader. One solution is to use our free RSS button tool which has been used by over 50,000 blogs so far.
The popularity of this button tool also caused some traffic issues for our current blog host. Several months back we made sure all the RSS subscription buttons for the various feed readers referenced the original sites rather than being hosted with us. However, the tiny RSS button icon was still hosted by us and that one graphic has been hotlinked by a huge number of sites.
As a result, we’ve had to update the RSS Button Maker tool so that blog owners will need to host that little RSS icon on their own site rather than linking to the graphic on our server. Anyone who has used the TopRank RSS Button tool should revisit the page and update their code along with downloading the RSS graphic for placement on their own site.
Additionally, if your blog does not place a RSS graphic high on the page, then you’re missing out on a substantial amount of return traffic and visibility. Use the free RSS button tool and make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your content. You can output a list of RSS reader graphic buttons or just display one large RSS button as we do at the top right of this page.