Alacrify Ltd

Keeping It Fresh - RSS and Twitter Integration

Published on: 2nd November 2010
By Alacrify



Keeping It Fresh - RSS and Twitter Integration

Search engines like sites that are active and current, just like people do. They ascribe more importance to websites with new and regularly changing content than to sites on similar topics but with static or out of date content. In the race for the top spot in search engine results this can provide a key competitive edge.

With our site we have always striven to provide easy ways to keep the site fresh and up to date, but for relatively little effort. A key part of the picture has been our blogs, like the one I'm writing now. It is a simple way to add content easily to our site, and because it appears on all the pages, they all have up to date content on them when Google and the others pay us a visit.

Making the most of the 15 minutes that I set aside to write these little items every couple of days has also been a key concern. Within this site we reuse and recycle the same content in a number of different ways.

Firstly we use RSS to syndicate our stories to news readers. It's impossible to know how many people subscribe to our feed, but we usually can spot a small "spike" in visitor numbers whenever we publish a new story; so someone's watching!

Secondly we make sure that the stories are listed in our search engine sitemap to make sure that the search engines pick up the stories as soon as they're published.

Twitter

Using Twitter Feed

Recently we have also subscribed to Twitter Feed to convert our rss feed into tweets on Twitter. Basically Twitter Feed regularly visits the site and checks for any new stories in our feed. If it finds one it will then convert the title and first few characters of the story into a tweet, including a short URL for people to click if they want to read more.

Twitter Feed

These all happen automatically as soon as the story is written. To replicate these automatic updates by hand would probably double or triple my initial time investment in writing the story.

We employ many of these solutions to our clients' websites too, helping them to make their sites lively and up to date for minimal effort. As with pretty much all of our work, some clever planning in the design can lead to really economical and efficient solutions.

If you're interested in seeing whether our approach would suit your website then do get in touch: jon@alacrify.co.uk | 01300 320076

 

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