From the December 2009 issue of Entrepreneur

In search engine optimization, great content increases the likelihood of your website receiving and maintaining a high search engine rank, which ultimately drives qualified traffic and leads to your company's website. But great content requires great distribution to really shine.

Placing your content in front of the right customers at the right time is critical, especially when your customers and prospects have so many choices online for learning about the exact same products and services you sell. While there are many ways to drive traffic to your website, one of the more successful methods--syndication--also happens to be one of the most cost-effective.

Content syndication for the Internet refers to the controlled placement of the same content on multiple sites or the process of pushing your content to your customers, prospects and other opt-in subscribers.

 

Setting Up an RSS Feed

Enabling your website for RSS may seem like a highly technical proposition, but it really isn't. Many websites with a content management system, or CMS, have the capacity to create RSS feeds on the fly, as do popular blogging platforms such as WordPress, TypePad, MovableType and Blogger.

To create, edit and publish an RSS feed for your website, consult your site designer or visit FeedForAll.com, where you can download affordable RSS-generating software for a do-it-yourself solution.

The easiest and most effective way to syndicate your website content (and by "content," I mean product descriptions, company news, blog entries, service announcements, etc.) is to make it RSS-enabled. RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, lets people opt in to receive automatic updates whenever you post new content on your website. The updates, delivered by an RSS feed, show up on subscribers' desktops or web-based feed-reading applications, also known as "news aggregators," where snippets of new content from your site are on display along with a link to the source.

 

If you would like your customers to be informed anytime you change your product or service line, add a new feature set, or make a call-to-action-related announcement, then ask your website programmer about RSS enabling your company's website.

By choosing to syndicate your website content with RSS, you reach a wider audience, inform your audience sooner of your latest news and give people a choice of what information they receive, which ultimately creates a trusting relationship between you and your customers.

Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. When he is not working or ghosting blog entries for clients, Mikal can be found musing about the world on Belicove.com and can be reached atMikal@Belicove.com.