For most marketers RSS metrics are still a gray area, although in fact RSS is completely measurable, even more so than e-mail.
As complexity grows with added capabilities, we’re only taking a look at the absolute basics of measuring your RSS feeds today. These are the basics you can implement immediately to see how you’re doing, and then gradually move on to more complex analyses.
As always, the key point is just to get started and then move on from there.
1. The Reasons For Measuring RSS
The most basic reasons for measurement are quite simple:
A] How many people are subscribing to my RSS feed? Is the number increasing or decreasing?
If the number of readers is decreasing, it’s a sign that your content is not meeting the needs of the target audiences your site attracts, consequently meaning that you need to consider improving your content strategy.
Optimization possibilities include:
–> More practical how-to articles
–> Different content topics
–> More “personal voice”
–> Greater publishing frequency (more frequent posts)
–> Less frequent posts
–> Longer or shorter posts
–> More news coverage within your industry
Also, based on your readership you’ll be able to calculate your “readership –> purchases” conversion rate, if you’re using your site to sell products online. The simple formula to calcuate this is “the number of orders / number of readers * 100″.
B] Are my subscribers actually clicking on the content items in the RSS feed?
If you find that your subscribers are actually opening the feed, but not clicking on individual content items it’s a clear sign that either your content item headlines need to be improved, made more attractive, or that the actual content is not strong enough to entice readers to clickthrough.