How the Feed has changed content

How the Feed has changed content

Many moons ago, I gave a talk on the mysterious ‘RSS feed’ and how it would change web content writing. This was before Twitter, before Facebook’s News Feed, when RSS stood for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and just referred to search engine results, and lists of blog posts.

Even then, back in my naive, student days, I knew that to get somewhere in web copywriting, I would have to tailor every story I wrote so that it looked great in Google and Yahoo’s search results, and in the website’s own feed. Now, we write for feeds every day, without even thinking about it. This brilliant infographic shows how RSS feeds (or ‘Rich Site Summary’ feeds) have moved from being how we find the content we want, to how we consume the content.

I won’t bore you with rehashing what’s in the image below – just enjoy a history lesson in digital marketing! Three wee tips of my own though:

  1. One of my rules for writing a web page, or article, or even product description is, if you can’t describe the topic to a stranger in one sentence, you don’t understand it. Following the same principle, if as a web copywriter you can’t pitch your article or page in 140 characters, you may as well go back to a blank sheet because no one will want to read what you’ve written.
  2. SEO copywriting 101 – just because you’re no.1 in Google doesn’t mean people will click on your link. Your feed snippet needs to be the most interesting of the top5 results to really convert – and your page better live up to it! Which brings me nicely onto:
  3. Just because a feed post is excellent and people come flooding through to your website, all you’ll achieve is a massive bounce rate if you haven’t planned the next stage of the journey. Your page content needs to be exactly relevant to the feed extract and have a strong next step call-to-action.

That’s my two cents – enjoy the infographic (click to enlarge)!

Sharethrough_HistoryFeed_20130115Source: Sharethrough

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