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Why Premium Creative Agencies and CTOs Choose to Develop on RebelMouse vs. WordPress and Drupal

The Intersection of Design and Development: Where Your Clients Thrive

We started RebelMouse seven years ago knowing that there was a fundamental design flaw in the world of traditional CMSs: Every instance, on every platform, had to be updated independently. It's similar to an era when users had to manage their own Microsoft Exchange Server for email. The costs of managing, maintaining, and iterating on a CMS to keep it awesome and world class is typically a $10 million-a-year endeavor. But even then, these cost-prohibitive CMSs are still behind the times.


RebelMouse has solved this problem in a way that combines a creative expression layer on top of an iterative, highly secure, and scalable platform that is developer friendly. We enable content marketing and media teams to be lean and efficient so they can focus all of their time and energy on driving success. It's why we're the best CMS platform you could choose to help move your company forward in 2019.

RebelMouse: Cloud-Based and Always Iterating

In 2019, publishers need a high-performance site that produces sustainable reach and consistent revenue for publishers. Users need a straightforward content experience that travels easily across channels and platforms, including site, search, and social.

Our platform is the sweet spot in between those two needs. Needs that drive agencies made up of experienced WordPress and Drupal developers to create the best and highest-performing sites possible. But with RebelMouse, you get a cloud-based, API-driven, extensible, scalable, and secure environment that gives development agencies, CTOs, and technical teams a huge advantage in what they can deliver to their clients and teams.

Trying to manipulate big-box CMS platforms into something completely new and aesthetically pleasing requires design overhauls, numerous plugins, and frequent troubleshooting. On top of all this, every WordPress instance is totally distributed. This means that every single upgrade has to be applied individually to each instance — leaving 80+ million versions of WordPress outdated at any given time if left unattended.

This antiquated administrative process requires heavy, ongoing site management to keep these behemoths stable and updated. It's why there are entire agencies dedicated toward only managing and monitoring them. It could cost as much as $10+ million a year to keep a WordPress, Drupal, or custom CMS modern. And even then, these sites would still fall drastically behind what RebelMouse offers.

But it doesn't have to be this way. At RebelMouse, we blur the roles of designers, developers, and strategists to create a publishing experience that is built to support content creators, optimized for distribution and speed, and monitored and protected around the clock — all at a reasonable cost.

​Stay Ahead of the Algorithms

Media powerhouses like Google and Facebook are constantly changing and updating their algorithms. While these shifts may not always be as explosive as the friends-and-family update of January 2018 that devastated some publishers, even the smallest of tweaks can impact content strategy. It can be tough to keep up with these updates on top of creating quality content capable of sustaining reach across social.

Thanks to the massive scale of our platform, RebelMouse has access to deep data that often sheds light on the evolving algorithms of Facebook and Google. The dupoly generates more than 400 million page views and billions of impressions, and our insights allow us to see how that data shifts as the algorithms change. We then take this data and use it to fuel helpful platform updates and strategic recommendations for our clients.

For example, Facebook and Google both implemented heavy penalties for full-screen light boxes and pop-ups. Many media sites and brands didn't understand this update when it first went live and assumed it meant that they could no longer succeed on Facebook, accepting massive declines in organic traffic. At RebelMouse, we were able to quickly help clients understand the update when the algorithm changed so they could update their promotions accordingly, primarily by moving full-screen takeovers to second and third clicks so they are out of the view of Facebook and Google's crawl. It was also at that time that we discovered Instant Articles with a video in the lead media position has a massive advantage over other articles, so we updated our platform quickly to make it easy for editors to take advantage of this feature.

RebelMouse updates its platform weekly to keep up with the algorithms. As other publishers miss opportunities and windows for growth, content fueled by RebelMouse has already adapted.

If you're working for an agency, or your site is currently powered by one, here's more about the kind of experience you'll get by making the switch to RebelMouse.

The Perks of Custom Tech at a Fraction of the Cost

As you'd expect, we have a team of developers and designers ready to create a website from scratch that can meet any client's needs. But for agencies, our role as custom site builders expands and contracts as much as needed. We work with the languages of the open web, and help agency developers and freelancers acclimate to our platform quickly, allowing them to let their creative talent shine with full support from us.

No Developer Operations (DevOps) or System Operations (SysOps) Required

  • We are massively scalable, redundant, and secure. We have multiple CDN contracts, and have every New Relic and monitoring scaling tool plugged in to ensure that your site experiences massive, scalable performance for far less than custom builds.
  • Our infrastructure is hosted on Amazon Web Services' (AWS) cloud. Our 24/7 support team can help you track any errors that occur to help provide as much visibility as possible into every potential issue.

Multivariate (A/B) Testing Tools With Dynamic, On-the-Fly Staging Environments

  • Each new product update and feature release is deployed to a small percentage of traffic, and then A/B tested for performance impact.
  • Our testing includes how each version affects page speed and user experience. We then take these results and see how they correlate with conversion to goals — such as new shares, subscriptions, and purchases.
  • It's extremely fast to make changes to staged layouts, and easy to compare their performance to your or your clients' key KPIs.
  • RebelMouse testing tools are not a JavaScript plugin that rewrites script from the server. Our solution is full-stack and extremely powerful.

RebelMouse Design Is Flexible and Performance Focused

If you're an agency or freelancer operating as your own agency, our content and design suites offer ample flexibility to create enterprise-level experiences for your clients.

  • You have full control over logos, fonts, and color palettes out of the box, and you can completely customize these aspects and more to your liking with advanced HTML/CSS tools and flexible control over JavaScript.

RebelMouse Is a Creative Platform

Often times, agency developers may not be up to speed on the latest winning content strategies. By switching to RebelMouse, you don't just get full product support. You also gain access to a creative agency that's able to guide your site's strategies around content optimization, and drive success across all platforms.

  • Use a premium editorial suite with intuitive, sleek content organization capabilities that require just a few clicks from content creators.
  • The only limits are your imagination. Our team can build any custom features, or creators can leverage the premium suite already available, including contests, e-commerce options, collaborative networks, dynamic ads, and pixel-perfect placements. Between our design tools and APIs, there is virtually no limit to what content creators can do without special requests.

Proprietary Editorial Tools to Propel Your Content Ahead

Wouldn't you like to give your editorial team their dream tools?

  • Real-Time Insights: Adjust content strategy as needed with native stats like page views and time on site, visible right from within our Entry Editor.
  • Organic SEO: Leverage proprietary technology to see how an article's topic is already performing on Google's page one. Then, take that data and use it to set up every article for success in the search rankings.
  • Social: Make the most out of distribution through a proprietary, built-in influencer database that lets you define and reach out to your content's organic audience.

Agencies — treat your clients to a new kind of sustainable growth this year, and join our growing league of successful media properties. Request a proposal today to see what it'll take to include our platform in your portfolio of game-changing solutions.

If you're not an agency or freelancer currently working on premium sites, but you are interested in a site replatform, contact us today and let's create something viral together.

NEW: Page Views per Particle Enabled for Google AMP

Increase mobile page views for every particle using Google AMP

RebelMouse has deployed an exciting update: We've enabled particle tracking in Google Analytics for articles using Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format, which means every particle now triggers a page view event upon scroll. Before, just one page view event would be logged when the mobile page initially loaded.

Not Familiar With What This Means? Read On

The days of static, flat media are over. Sites with low performance scores, obtrusive ad experiences, and poor content structure simply won't make it. Knowing these truths, the way we think of an article can no longer be static either.

An article today now takes several forms: short-form, long-form, listicle, slideshow, etc. Because of this, we've created a simple framework called Particle Assembler that accounts for all possibilities when building out content.

We playfully call each piece of your content a "particle," which is quite literally a "part" of an "article." These particles have become the core way to author content on RebelMouse, and are standalone elements that use their own imagery, title, and copy. For example, let's say you create a post that's titled, "The Best Place for Tacos in Austin." Each taco destination in this article will have a lead image, the name of the restaurant, its location, and a description of the restaurant with images of their food. Each of these restaurant highlights contain enough information to stand by themselves as individual posts.

Building particles in RebelMouse's Entry Editor.

And they do stand alone successfully when you're on RebelMouse — each particle can be shared separately on social and each will register as a unique page view thanks to our latest update. This is a critical part of our modern pageview methodology that ensures our publishers deliver an elegant user experience to readers while still capitalizing on a meaningful monetization strategy. For instance, not only is every particle now a page view on Google AMP, but it's also a new revenue opportunity. This is thanks to the various placement opportunities for ads we offer within our Particle Assembler.

ICYMI, Google AMP is the search engine's lightning-fast mobile experience. With this update, sites powered by RebelMouse will not only deliver the best AMP experience to their users, but they'll also earn the page views their content deserves, too.

See the Massive Difference

In just a short period after implementing this change, one client experienced a massive spike in AMP pages per user, where it jumped from 1.6 to 8.2:

Here's what their AMP pages per user looked like just prior to the update:

If you're interested in experiencing this type of growth and getting more page views for your mobile content, request a proposal today and let's start working together. If you're already on RebelMouse, email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager to learn more about particle views for Google AMP.

Primary Tags: Structure Your Site for Success

Dynamic taxonomy improves usability and propels SEO strategy

It's not a surprise that quality content can easily be spoiled by a poor site experience. This is why we're extremely proud of the lightning-fast sites we power. But speed is only the beginning of the user experience.

The temperature on platform dependency has cooled in recent years, revitalizing the value of site visits and search strategy. This is good news for both users and publishers who need site stability to survive. Because of this shift, RebelMouse focuses on three primary key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure site usability and health:

  • Sessions per User: The average number of site sessions that each user has in a given time period.
  • Pages per User: The average number of page views that each user has in a given time period.
  • Time per User: The average amount of time spent on site by each user.

In order for these metrics to shine, a site's architecture must be organized in a way that increases every user's time on site. The logic is simple: If a site is easier to navigate, the user will likely stick around longer. This is the gateway to user loyalty.

One important way we support these KPIs is through our intuitive tagging structure for content. Let's take a look at our primary tag functionality and how it can set up any site for success.

What Is a Primary Tag?

On RebelMouse, we give you the ability to use as many tags as needed on every article to help keep you organized. But there's also an option to assign one primary tag to a post. A primary tag is built on the same principle as a primary section. One tag lets you assign higher importance to certain pieces of content when processing and organizing your posts.

The Primary Tag and Tags sections in RebelMouse's Entry Editor.

The Benefits of Primary Tags

Dynamic Taxonomy: One of the primary benefits of using a primary tag is that it exposes the depth of content available to your users. Many publishers do this through the use of sections, which often turns out to be redundant and, in turn, ignored:

Sections can often be annoying to navigate and repetitive.

Using a variety of relevant tags for every article, rather than just repeating the same handful of sections, opens up more opportunities for targeted descriptors. For example, instead of using "Recipes" as a section over and over again, a primary tag can be used to create specific content flows for topics like "Vegetarian," "Soups," or "Cocktails."

Richer SEO: Since a primary tag exposes more information about your article, it also supplies more relevant data to Google's algorithm. Surfacing content in usable ways supports Google's mission to serve content based on audience behavior and intent instead of outdated and frowned-upon SEO methods like keyword stuffing. This approach is called white hat SEO, or ethical SEO.

By targeting specific interests, your dynamic tag structure will allow Google to more accurately understand your article's content and rank it accordingly. On RebelMouse, this creates a trickle-down effect, because users can click a tag and quickly get directed to more relevant articles, which boosts your SEO efforts further.

Here's how the site experience looks on RebelMouse-powered EcoWatch when viewing their primary tag "Plastics."

RebelMouse-powered EcoWatch takes advantage of a primary tag construct.

Improves Crucial KPIs: As mentioned before, RebelMouse traffic experts are constantly focused on improving the three KPIs that matter most to site usability and building audience loyalty. These metrics answer the following questions:

  • Frequency: How often are users coming to the site?
  • Depth: How many articles does each user consume?
  • Duration: How long is each user staying on the site?

Looking again at EcoWatch's use of primary tags, it's important to note that a primary tag is exposed on every one of their articles. They're also used in a left-hand navigation module that features the latest stories and trending topics:

Start Leveraging Primary Tags on RebelMouse

If you aren't on RebelMouse yet, request a proposal today and let's start working together to make sure your site is optimized for user growth. If you're already publishing on RebelMouse, and want to learn more about tagging best practices, contact your account manager or email support@rebelmouse.com.

Page Speed Is Crucial to Your Marketing Efforts

Most marketers don't prioritize page speed because they don't think it impacts their bottom line. However, page load has a direct impact on conversions and revenue.

Here's a very simple scenario, supported by industry data, to underscore why the way pages are built and powered is crucial for paid media initiatives and your overall business:

Let's say a paid media campaign drives 100,000 new visitors to a landing page that takes five seconds to load. Google says that 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. So of the 100K mobile site visitors you paid to bring to the page, ~50K are leaving immediately due to poor page performance alone.

Some studies even show that bounce rate increases approximately 100% for every two-second delay. So, if site load jumps to seven seconds, you'll pretty much lose all of the visitors your paid strategies brought in.

A Poor Site Experience Costs More Than You Realize

Page load plays a huge part in customer dissatisfaction, too. Continuing on with our previous example, let's classify the ~50K that didn't abandon the page as dissatisfied due to poor page performance. As HubSpot points out, 79% of them are less likely to buy again from the same website. That's ~40K visitors never coming back to the site due to poor page speed. The loss is even greater when you consider how valuable returning visitors are: They represent up to 48% of all transactions and spend almost 2x more than new visitors, according to Business Insider.

Plus, people love to spread the word about a bad experience, probably more than a good one. 40% of visitors who had a bad experience with a website's performance would tell a friend or a family member. So of your 50K dissatisfied visitors, 20K are talking negatively about your brand. If they tell only one person each, that's an opportunity cost of another 20K potential site visitors and customers.

The main takeaway? Your paid media has to work much, much harder when you neglect to optimize your site for performance.

Owned and Paid Media Should Work Together for Better Efficiency

And speaking of site improvements to help the bottom line, marketers can't overlook the value of owned content (e.g., articles, reviews, social feeds, etc.) and its impact on overall traffic and lead generation strategies. Sites tend to see significant lift in audience reach and conversion when content is paired with commerce: For e-commerce companies, content can account for up to 69% of total organic traffic. And, even more compelling, conversion rates have been 6x higher for companies that adopt content marketing.

RebelMouse's CMS makes it easy for brands to systematically optimize page speed performance and organic reach, which allows paid media to be more efficient.

RebelMouse allows clients to easily manage website layouts and components at any time, ensuring sites remain fast and are rewarded by Google and Facebook. Our platform features proprietary SEO tools designed to help clients optimize organic search with every post and better align paid and organic search strategies for increased efficiency. Similarly, our platform also includes proprietary social tools to organically build community and growth, and our data helps clients spot winning organic trends that can inform paid social media.

RebelMouse Is a Partner That Can Guide You

When it comes to content marketing, it's important to be mindful of the relationship between owned, earned, and paid media — it will only help your teams engage and convert more audiences into customers and brand loyalists. At RebelMouse, we're proud of how we work with brands and our ability to provide the expertise, best practices, and modern technology that help teams become better content marketers. If you're a brand marketer, feel free to reach out to us to learn how RebelMouse can help you be more strategic and effective in your content marketing efforts.

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Target High-Value Users With Affinity Categories

Unlock valuable audience data and shape a new strategy

In today's landscape, quality content isn't enough — it's half the battle. Publishers need to produce shareable content backed by data to experience sustainable growth. At RebelMouse, we have a unique pageview methodology that provides an innovative user experience for every reader without sacrificing revenue and growth opportunities for publishers.

To do this, we track massive amounts of data across our platform through the use of custom-built Google Data Studio dashboards.

Click here to see the kind of growth our clients experience every day.

One of the best ways to discover more about your audience is by taking advantage of Affinity Categories. This feature breaks down audience demographics, including age, location, interests, and more. Affinity Categories are usually used to target audiences for ads, but we also use them to gain insights on what topics a site's visitors are interested in overall.

Normally, each category is listed out separately in Google Analytics. In the example shown above, our data experts split categories into separate levels to reveal different levels of audience depth. For instance, by splitting up the category News & Politics, we can better explore the detailed distribution of users interested in specific types of news:

  • News & Politics/Avid News Readers/Avid Political News Readers
  • News & Politics/Avid News Readers/Entertainment News Enthusiasts

From an editorial standpoint, this is useful because it allows publishers to determine and target varying levels of high-value users, improving the efficacy of a new content strategy or ad campaign.

If your site is already powered by RebelMouse, email support@rebelmouse.com to get a breakdown of your audience's Affinity Categories. If you aren't powered by RebelMouse yet, request a proposal today and start receiving the data you need to grow loyal followers at scale.

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