Not all visitors to your blog are the same. Some readers find you randomly through search engines while others seek you actively each time you post new content. RSS (really simple syndication) subscribers are some of your most loyal readers and are truly the types of relationships that are worth having. I use Feedburner to provide readers with a way to subscribe to Squarespace blog via RSS. Today I'll tell you why you should too and how to integrate Feedburner effectively with your Squarespace blog.
Why Use Feedburner with Squarespace?
You may think, "Why use Feedburner to handle my RSS when Squarespace already has great RSS support?" While I do think Squarespace has done a great job with the RSS feeds, there are a few key advantages to installing Feedburner on your Squarespace blog to compliment Squarespace's existing RSS functionality:
- Subscription Interface - Clicking on the standard Squarespace RSS integration results in a basic XML page which makes users go through the cumbersome process of copying and pasting the feed URL into their RSS reader. The Feedburner subscription process involves a few clicks for seemless integration into Google Reader and other popular RSS readers.
- Feedburner Onboard Tracking - Feedburner features a growing set of tracking and analytics tools that allow you to monitor the growth of your RSS subscribers.
- Feedburner Integrates with Google Analytics - Best of all, Feedburner integrates seemlessly with your Google Analytics data. If you've installed Google Analytics on Squarespace, you can quickly identify your RSS subscribers within your visitors.
Creating a Feedburner Account for Squarespace
To set up Feedburner on your Squarespace blog, you must first create a Feedburner account. The setup process for Feedburner is very simple. To begin, enter your existing RSS feed URL address and existing Google Account information at the Feedburner signup screen. Your existing RSS feed URL should be as follows:
Your domain name + / + Your Blog URL identifier + / + "rss.xml"
Use this URL in the first step of the Feedburner setup process.
Next, give your RSS feed a title and set your custom Feedburner URL.
Configuring Your RSS Syndicate Squarespace Widget
Your RSS Syndicate widget within Squarespace is the widget that produces a link for people click on to subscribe to your blog via RSS. This is the widget you'll want to integrate with your Feedburner account.
Log in and go to the configuration screen of your blog. Enter your new Feedburner Feed Address into the (optional) Fixed Feed URL field within your blog's configuration screen.
The Social RSS Widget and Feedburner
The RSS widget within the Social Widgets tab of the Squarespace widgets menu is different from the RSS Syndicate widget on the main widget tab. The Social Widgets RSS widget displays a list of recent blog posts given an RSS feed URL while the RSS Syndicate widget allows people to subscribe to your blog.
To configure your Social RSS widget, I recommend using the default Squarespace RSS feed URL instead of the Feedburner feed URL because the former helps provide links and search engine optimization (SEO) benefit to the blog posts in your feed.
By using the Feedburner URL for the RSS Syndicate widget and the default Squarespace RSS URL for the Social RSS widget, you maximize the ability to track your blog's ability to attract new subscribers as well as create an optimal RSS experience for both your readers and search engines.
What are you using to manage your RSS feeds with your Squarespace account? Are you using Feedburner or something different? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.