Website, You Lost Me At “No RSS”

Congratulations, through some source or search I’ve conducted, I’ve landed on your website. I like what you have to say about the particular topic I’m currently reading. I want to hear more from you in the future, but I’m lazy, I like to have content force-fed to me, so, since you don’t seem to believe in RSS and its magical wonders, I won’t be back (most likely).

The number of news and information resource sites on the web that still don’t use RSS technology overwhelms me. It’s such a simple thing to implement, and it is such a great way to encourage that oh-so-sought-after returning visitor. Sure, there are some sites that people will naturally return to because of their very nature, i.e their local news site. Before lubbockonline.com had RSS, I did return to the site, but not nearly as often as I do now that they have RSS enabled.

Just Enabling RSS Isn’t The Answer

Okay, so you’ve realized that RSS is important, and you’ve enabled it. However, you’re stingy with your content. You’re afraid that if you put all of your post/article into the feed, then I won’t actually visit your site any more. So instead, you decide to just allow the headlines and a brief (and undoubtedly) vague summary of the post/article. Or worse, you just put the headlines in to the feed. WRONG.

Let me read what you have to say. I subscribed for that very reason. Don’t annoy me (and potentially cause me to unsubscribe) because you are stingy. “But, my advertisers want traffic to the website” you might be saying. True, advertisers are focused on maximizing their exposure, and for good reason. The way I see it, there are three ways to look at this:

  1. Pretend you’ll get more website traffic by not encouraging RSS subscriptions (wrong).
  2. Realize that more RSS readers equals more return visitors (and therefore more engaged and qualified visitors). Advertisers don’t just want traffic, they want traffic that is the right kind – return visitors offer them much better touch-point abilities.
  3. Use RSS as an opportunity to get MORE advertising revenue by selling advertising inside your RSS feeds. There are multiple companies that provide this service. Google AdSensePheedo, and I’m sure there are others.

I usually read the articles in my Google Reader every morning (even on the weekends). If you don’t offer an RSS feed subscription when I get to your website, you are missing an opportunity to put your website, your brand, and your advertisers in front of me on a daily basis.

Did I miss something, though? Do you have a good reason for not including an RSS feed on your website? I’d love to hear what it is; maybe you can open my eyes to something I didn’t think of before. Let me hear about it in the comments below.