The RebelMouse Audience Development Playbook

Story trending? Here's how to take advantage

Introduction and Overview

The RebelMouse product suite is packed with tools to help you develop your audience. Our obsession is getting content in front of the people who are most likely to love and share what they read and see.

The purpose of this article is to highlight what you should be doing to take full advantage of our platform and grow your audience as quickly as possible.

A Story Is Trending: Now What?

  1. Don't be afraid to spend some money to boost or promote a trending story. Make sure you're using Discovery in the Entry Editor to get it in front of the right social audiences.
  2. Post the content to social five times over three days. If it's not timely news content that would be odd to promote past its expiration date, come back to it periodically. By doing do, you could go viral on social with it anywhere from one to six months (or more) later. And don't forget: If it was viral once, it can be viral again — especially if there are updates to the original story.
  3. Use email alerts to deliver the content directly to your loyalists. Send a "Going Viral" type of email linking to the story that reaches all of your subscribers.
  4. Feature it in the splash/hero portion of your site's front page to ensure that your loyal users won't miss it.
  5. Dig deeper into the Social Discovery tool to really get the most out of the different angles around the story.
  6. Look at the stats on the page and take advantage of the moment when lots of Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts are linking to it. Pick a post from the biggest accounts to share back to your own audience if you can. Try to find the email address of the person who runs social for these big accounts. Comment on their post and share their share of your post.
  7. Make sure the writer of the story knows it's trending — sometimes they realize too late. Ask them if they see any opportunities to come up with follow-up stories, or to add to the story as it develops to make its virality go further.
  8. Make sure there is a call to action on the story for social sharing!
  9. Use the A/B Testing tools built into the platform — both on site and across social — to optimize the story. During a big, viral moment, a small percentage increase in clicks can mean enormous growth for your property.
  10. Go into the body of the post in the Entry Editor and manually add related links to the story. In addition, you can add a bold header which goes beyond just outlining "Related Stories." If your story is about a penguin doing flips, you can change the header to say "More Stories of Animals FLIPPING OUT!" — something with personality and flair to grab attention. Taking a moment to do this with your top-trending story can radically improve your bounce rates in real time.

Social Discovery

To get the most out of our Social Discovery tool, you need to get really creative with tags and search phrases. If you write a story about a football team, find the key athletes on the team and search for them to get to their fans, the state they represent, the league they're in, and tags related to the sport itself. If you write a story about a dog playing piano, find tags like "beagle" and "music" and come up with creative variations of the two. If there's a story about a designer, research the styles they use and then find all of the social pages that love those styles, too.

From there, dig into the statistics and relationships. Figure out how to send traffic back to key sites and social accounts. The RebelMouse law of traffic exchange is: The more traffic you send out, the more you will get back. These people will notice, and you'll get paid back for paying it forward. You then grow exponentially as the cycle continues.

SEO

Use our SEO tools! The trick is to think about search on a sociological level. Don't try to win the obvious phrase that is too specific and is never searched for. Don't try to win short-tail keywords that are not specific at all and incredibly difficult to compete for, such as "food" or "football." Instead, try to win queries that are both relevant to your content and something someone would look for, such as "food for football games." Play with understanding the underlying search phrase beneath a story. Imagine if you were walking past two people talking about a story. What would you search when you got back to your desk? Now do the same for your content.

CTAs

The (call to action) CTA tool can be tremendously powerful, and causes properties to lift up their share rate by 80%. But how you use it is really important. Figure out a clever angle that gives readers a real reason to share your story. A classic example is the Dodo's story about the 103-year-old Orca that was spotted several years back. The CTA wasn't "wow, this is such a cool story" or "let your friends know Orca's get old," it was "Stop SeaWorld! They say Orca's die at 35."

Your content won't always have such a great, direct match, but there is always an underlying reason to share any story, and you can find it with a little effort. And when you do, you will see results.

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Maximize Your SEO Potential With RebelMouse’s Entry Editor

Take a peek into how our proprietary technology helps sites surge on search

The RebelMouse platform features a rich search engine optimization (SEO) toolset that guides writers and editors to think about the right search phrase behind every story, as well as how to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Our SEO technology centers around best practices for search, including detailed metadata that will help Google's site crawler identify, index, and rank your content quickly. It often leads our clients to experiences traffic surges that look like the following after launching on our platform:

how to increase search traffic

Here's a look inside our proprietary technology that helps our clients experience quick search boosts that turn into long-term SEO wins.

The Search Tab

how to find the right search phrase

Every new article presents a new opportunity to win on search. RebelMouse's Entry Editor features an SEO tab that's designed to help you optimize every post to give it the best shot at winning a targeted search phrase. Here's a glimpse into how it guides editors through a perfected search strategy before the "Publish" button is even clicked.

Define Your Search Phrase

search volume data

It can be tricky to nail down which search phrase you want to win. Within the SEO tab, you can brainstorm your ideas in real time. Through the creative usage of APIs, we ensure writes and editors are armed with the right information when optimizing content for SEO. In the example above, the drop-down list is suggesting search phrases that are already performing well on Google. The number next to each recommended phrase is its monthly search volume.

This helps you determine which phrases are easy to win, or perhaps too competitive to strategize for, on an article-by-article basis. Click here to read more about this feature.

Optimize Your Slug to Match Your Search Phrase

submit url to search engines

The SEO tab in our Entry Editor is designed to repeat your desired search phrase throughout your content so that Google's crawler has every chance to index it correctly for search. With this methodology in mind, it's a best practice to have your article's URL slug match your desired search phrase. From the SEO tab, you can click the Optimize Slug button to automatically match your URL slug to the search phrase you want to win. Click here to read more about this feature.

Pick Smart Recirculation Links

seo outlinks

After you've defined your search phrase and optimized your URL slug accordingly, you can select highly relevant links to add as related content to the end of your article. We call these Around the Web (ATW) links. The SEO tab allows you to pick the best links from your own site, as well as from around the web, which leads to truly amazing traffic boosts. This is a proven SEO practice that's rewarded by Google. Since your article will link to pages already winning your search phrase, it can increase your own post's relevance score in the eyes of Google's crawler.

We automate the surfacing of both ATW and internal links for you, so it's as easy as ticking a handful of checkboxes to add them to your post. We've also done the math, and the data is clear: Adding ATW and internal links to the end of your articles can increase traffic coming to your posts from Google by over 300%! Click here to read more about this feature.

Craft Metadata Before Publish

what is seo metadata

When it comes to Google's site crawler, providing clever metadata is one of the best ways to contextualize your content for search. From there, Google's search algorithm will rank your site for search queries that it determines are relevant to your content. Our SEO tab allows you to write your metadata right from within our Entry Editor. Plus, our character counter will help you make sure that your SEO headline and description match Google's best practices for metadata text length.

It's important to make sure your metadata is clearly written in a succinct way so that Google can quickly understand the nature of your content. Click here to read more.

The RebelMouse Particle Assembler

how to optimize an article for seo

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler is a content creation tool within our Entry Editor that makes it easy to transform your posts into media-rich micro pieces of content, which we call particles, that can both be shared individually and crawled separately on search. Our Assembler functionality gives your content more legs, which means more chances to generate more traffic.

The following steps demonstrate how you can use our Assembler to optimize an article to win a search phrase.

Use Particle Headlines to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

how to write headlines for seo

Assembler is accessible via one simple click in the formatting toolbar of our Entry Editor. From there, an organizational layout will be inserted into your article that will help guide you through building out the particles that will shape your Assembler. The best way to think of Assembler is by treating it as an enhanced list format. If your article is about vegan cooking trends, each particle can feature a new trend. But Assembler does not need to be a simple list. It can also cover the main points of your article and feature user-generated content or even related stories.

Assembler is a helpful SEO tool because it can generate a unique URL slug for each particle, maximizing your article's ability to get indexed by Google for more than one key search phrase. Click here to read more about this feature.

Make the Most of Google's "People Also Ask" Module

how to optimize for people also ask

Particle headlines are also a great way to make use of Google's "People Also Ask" module. This will help you identify search patterns of users who are interested in your search phrase. By tailoring your particles to those patterns, it's likely that your post will move up in Google's search rankings. Click here to read more about this strategy.

Add Media to Every Particle

alt text for seo

Each particle is another opportunity to add relevant media to your post, and Assembler makes it easy to add alt text to every image you upload. Alt text is very important for accessibility and can also have benefits for SEO. Briefly, alt text is text that is added to an image to describe it to search engines, and also to allow people using screen readers to be able to know what the image is without actually being able to see it. You can easily add alt text to any image in RebelMouse from our Entry Editor. Adding your search phase into every alt text field will only bring you one step closer to the top of Google Search's first page.

Make the Most of Our SEO Toolset

RebelMouse's proprietary technology works for any kind of site, whether you're a brand, a new media company, or a legacy publisher. SEO doesn't have to be something that only developers and analysts can understand and augment. Our product is designed to put the power of search in the hands of content creators, editors, and social curators, too.

Start winning on search with every publish. Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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