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October 8, 2010

The Entrepreneur’s Advisor | SEO Basics of RSS Feeds and Directories

We sincerely apologize for the delay in publishing the next article in the series, The Ultimate Checklist for Entrepreneurs, but sometimes life in the way of even the best SEO writing calendars. This post will talk about how to establish your web presence using Internet Directories and RSS feeds. The guest post on linking strategies will shortly thereafter.

SEO Basics of Directories

Internet directories are much like the old telephone books. There are the equivalent of white pages, yellow pages, blue pages. Many directories are free, some charge a nominal fee and others can be very expensive. For example, I have seen medical professional practice directories that charge $4,000 per month to be listed. Some directories like DMOZ are free but to approved for listing can take a year or more.

The concept of Internet directories is two-fold; the first is, being listed gives you a backlink to your website. If the directory has a high page rank this increases the value of the directory and the value to you for SEO purposes. Creating links to your website is the number one reason to search for quality directories.

The second reason is to be found by people that might use these directories. This is really more for specialized businesses or professional practices such as Attorneys, Doctors, CPAs etc. If you have the start-up capital available, being listed in a directory on a prestigious website or professional association in your industry can certainly add credibility to your practice. For example, a physicians practice may need to be listed on a local hospital’s website or a roofing contractor on the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Unfortunately, the reality is most people just Google the type of professional practice or services they are seeking. In the last ten years I have never used a directory to search for someone or something. Unless you have a lot of start-up capital to waste or must be listed in a specific industry/professional practice for credibility, paid directory listings are a waste of money.

Companies promising you or claiming they can list you in 100 different places for a fee are not doing anything that you can not do yourself. Use of such paid SEO service companies is only likely to generate marginal SEO links and can possibly hurt you if you are not careful. Make sure you know where they are placing your information. For example, if you are a Physicians practice, you may not appreciate it if your company is listed on an adult website, drug spam site or a website promoting violence etc.

SEO Basics of RSS Feeds

An RSS Feed is a method used to publish or track frequently updated blogs, news and videos. It can be a great way to share information on a disruptive technology or read about the latest news on protecting Intellectual Property (IP). It is one of the most important and easiest SEO tools that you can set up. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and almost every website has an RSS feed. These are the little orange buttons on web pages.

On The Entrepreneur’s Advisor website it is located in the upper right corner next to the word subscribe. Clicking on the link brings up my Feedburner RSS which is This URL can then be added to any reader (I use Google reader) or just saved as a favorite. For example, I currently follow over 200 hundred key search terms, blogs, and news items. I do this by adding the RSS feeds for specific sites to my Google reader. This allows me to stay current on the things I am interested in most.

Every website that publishes a blog, news or product information should have an RSS feed. Some websites such as those created using Thesis Theme for WordPress or other templates make it easy for you to add your RSS feed to your website.

Setting up an RSS feed is very easy and free, just follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Feedburner
  2. Log on with your Google account or create one
  3. Follow the steps listed to create the Feedburner URL
  4. Once you have your Feedburner URL insert the code into your website.

Articles in The Ultimate Checklist for Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Micro-enterprises so far are:

  1. The Ultimate Checklist For Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Micro-enterprises
  2. Choosing Your New Venture Legal Entity
  3. Choosing Names for New Ventures, Domains and Social Media
  4. How Entrepreneurs Can Determine Their Web Presence Needs
  5. The Entrepreneur’s Advisor | Choosing What To Do With Your Website
  6. The Entrepreneur’s Advisor | Learning the Basics of SEO