Tools to Master the New Content Workflow

Content creation has never been static. Since the early days of social, the relationship between publishers and readers has blurred and warped into what's now the state of digital publishing in 2019. At RebelMouse, we started out as a social feeds aggregator and subsequently went viral as the "social front page." Since then, we've obsessed over the best ways to share content in today's social world despite its unpredictable seasons.


For years, the role of the publisher was isolated, and the inner workings of how content was created was confined to the hands of creators. Publishers once operated a behind-the-scenes news desk that facilitated content for its readers. Now it's become a gigantic whiteboard meeting attended by the entire social ecosystem.

Today's audiences are craving authenticity and transparency, which has created the rise of the social influencer and birthed a universe of creators. Whatever your message may be — whether it's to sell a product or simply inform your users — it must be validated by others.

That's why we've created a workflow for our publishing solution that nurtures a community of creators. Because in the current climate, it takes a village to build user loyalty. Here's what it entails:

A Synergetic Platform: We've created an intuitive process that allows each article to be created as a collective process between team members, influencers, or any contributor to your content experience.

Detailed Approval Workflows: A post submitted by a community member never goes live without the review and approval of an administrator. Writers with zero publishing rights can submit drafts for approval rounds, and drafts can also be saved at every stage of the editorial process.

Built for Creators

No matter how big your content team may be, each article likely starts with a core creator. Once completed, their draft content is typically submitted for review and revisions before publish. RebelMouse's Entry Editor now makes this process seamless for creators, so they can spend more of their time focusing on creating quality content that's optimized for both search and social.

The workflow for a creator is comprised of:

Content Creation: A creator begins crafting a post using our powerful publishing software, taking care to get the most out of our integrated media bar to increase reach and the likelihood of a click.

Tagging: The creator then organizes their content with applicable tags to make sure it shows up in all the right places on the site. These tags are also used as search keywords.

SEO Best Practices: Next, the creator optimizes their post for the search phrase they want to win in the SERPs. By targeting a specific phrase for each article, each piece of content has a better chance of ranking high against Google's search algorithm.

Submitting for Review: Finally, the creator submits their post for review before heading off to their next assignment.

Dynamic Collaboration

Creators can add annotations to drafts at any time during the editorial process. Within the platform, there's a companion notifications-and-comments feed for writers and editors to review annotations, as well as a timeline that tracks edits.

Add Annotations: If you're reviewing a post in the Entry Editor, you can add annotations to any part of the content for the author to see.

Receive Notifications: There's an alert icon that appears in the top-right corner of the Entry Editor each time there's a new annotation or comment added to the post.

Comment Thread: Keep the communication open with a thread of all comments and annotations that've been left on a post.

Methodical Transparency

The dashboard is where content creators, administrators, and contributors can see the current queue of posts and where each article stands in the content lifecycle. Based on a users' rights, they can also look at real-time stats to keep track of trends and any potential peaks or dips in traffic.

Stay up to Date

Never wonder where a post stands. Every phase of the workflow is clearly marked in the dashboard. If an article is still in review, it's marked with a yellow bar across the top of the draft.

Monitor Every Post

Within the dashboard, users can see the latest pieces of content in the queue, their status, and when they were created. Preview, edit, or search for any article right from within the dashboard.

Stay on Top of Stats

The post dashboard houses not only the post queue, but also customizable statistics on performance, including the number of pageviews for each post and on site overall. Posts can be further filtered by date published, author, and keyword. The metrics available to each user are dependent on a member's role on the platform. For example, an editor may not be able to see as many stats as a user with administrative rights.

Improve Your Content Workflow

The new content workflow is designed to make each step of the content lifecycle intuitive and easy to control. Administrators are able to see the flow of content being published, and can quickly note any turns in reach, engagement, or even publishing cadence.

At RebelMouse, this workflow is just one part of our CMS that's helped launch new media powerhouses like Axios and The Dodo. It's why legacy brands like United chose our platform to launch their content hub.

Start optimizing your content and its lifecycle today. We launch sites fast. We also offer strategy services to make sure your media property reaches its biggest audience at scale while still generating revenue. Let's create something together today.

Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

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RebelMouse Outperforms Every Other CMS. Here’s the Data to Prove It.

Our Core Web Vitals drastically outpace every competitor, and we have the receipts

In an effort to build user retention and increase conversions, publishers are making a common mistake. They're adding more features to their websites, including ad placements, but losing sight of the main revenue driver: user experience.

The key to unlocking user retention lies completely in site performance. Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but fail to deliver an experience that checks all their boxes and prioritizes their readers. It takes less than a second of delayed load time to turn away a user. This is why Google has made page speed a top ranking factor on search, and shepherded the entire open web's newfound prioritization on site performance.

Game Changer: Google's Core Web Vitals Announcement

Google cemented its seriousness about page experience with the announcement of its Core Web Vitals measurements in Google Search Console. Core Web Vitals are three specific metrics that Google uses to determine a site's overall usability. While these data points will evolve over time, the 2020 version of vitals consists of three specific metrics:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A website's LCP is the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.

First Input Delay (FID): This metric quantifies a user's experience when trying to interact with unresponsive pages. This usually occurs between First Meaningful Paint (FMP) and Time to Interactive (TTI) (more on what these two mean below). You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should haven an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift Score (CLS): CLS determines how often your users experience unexpected layout shifts or changes on a page. To ensure visual stability, you want your CLS score to be low. Google wants pages to maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1.

From Google.

Google says Core Web Vitals scores will be considered across every page, and will be a ranking factor in its Top Stories feature. While relevant quality content will always be the most important, the page experience ranking is now a make-or-break metric for your site's survival.

"A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search." —From Google's page experience announcement, May 2020

Core Web Vitals will determine every site's performance score. You can see your site's Core Web Vitals specifically via Google Search Console, but your website's overall page performance is measured using Google's PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse tools.

At RebelMouse, we guarantee a performance score of 90 or higher via PageSpeed Insights. To do this, we've built out a platform infrastructure that exceeds industry standards on Google's key metrics, particularly its Core Web Vitals, outperforming most industry leaders.

You can read more about how we've mastered Google's KPIs here. But the truth is in the data. Below is table that provides a snapshot into how RebelMouse-powered sites score:

And here's what the scores look like for some of the biggest sites on the open web:

As you can see, there's a lot of data Google takes into account even outside of Core Web Vitals. Here's a quick summary of the other important metrics that Google trusts to measure page performance:

First Contentful Paint (FCP): This metric measures the time from click to the time when a user's browser renders the first bit of content from the Document Object Model (DOM), which is your site's HTML structure. According to Google, this is an important milestone for your readers because it provides signals that your page is loading.

First Meaningful Paint (FMP): This is the amount of time it takes the most important content, what Google calls "hero elements," to load on site. Hero elements are different for every site, but should be intuitive based on your content. This metric helps determine your site's usability.

Time to Interactive (TTI): This is the most important metric to keep an eye on. This is when the site is fully rendered and ready for user action. This is a critical point when slow load time can occur, usually because JavaScript or other complex content hasn't fully rendered. So, in short, think of TTI as how long it takes for your site to load in its entirety.

Total Blocking Time (TBT): TBT measures a page's load responsiveness to quantify how long a page is non-interactive prior to becoming interactive. You want your site to have a low TBT to maintain its usability.

Speed Index (SI): SI is the measurement of how quickly the contents of a page are populated. You want your speed index score to be as low as possible.

Creating quality content is only half the battle in 2020, and publishers are already burdened with the around-the-clock task of creating content that resonates. This is why quality content must be supported by modern technology that can keep up with the speed of the web. RebelMouse provides publishers with a CMS that supports the new content lifecycle with an editorial suite designed for reach on site, search, and social.

Click here to read more about our modern approach to web performance. If you want to make performance a priority, request a proposal today. We can easily transform your site into one of the fastest on the web, giving you increased user retention and better conversion rates than ever before.

A Modern Story of Web Performance From RebelMouse Founder + CEO Andrea Breanna

If I had more time, this website would have loaded faster

In the first months of 2020, we've focused at RebelMouse on page speed and performance. We worked very hard and found ways to take 90% of the sites we power to 90+ performance scores via Google's PageSpeed Insights tool — even with sites that are loaded with ads, embeds, third-party analytics, and other typical slow-loading elements. You can read more about our victories here.

A few months after we started this process, COVID-19 hit the world very hard. Suddenly, every media company was faced with a huge problem: Advertising fell off a cliff in what seemed like seconds. The only way to survive this unprecedented downturn is to grow traffic and control costs at the same time. So we started to shave our code and made our websites faster. We dropped costs just as dramatically as we were increasing scores.

Here are some surprises we found when doing this: If you want truly exceptional performance, none of the JavaScript and CSS frameworks that developers love so much make the cut. We thought the React version of RebelMouse was going to be the huge page speed breakthrough, until we realized the only way to achieve this goal was to write the code carefully and refactor it endlessly until it was as short as possible. As any author will tell you, like editing a book or a blog post, the revision process is never really done. By stepping away from frameworks, and methodically shaving vanilla code, our customers continue to see major improvements in performance.

As we announced this to our site network and rolled it out publicly, many of our clients asked me personally, "How did you do it?" The answer is easy to understand regardless of how technical you may be. It's perfectly summarized in this wonderful quote attributed to Mark Twain:

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."
—Blaise Pascal, 1657 (and later, more famously Mark Twain)

The universe is sometimes very beautiful, and especially when you keep it simple. If you would like to start publishing on a site optimized for both speed and sustainability, request a proposal and let's start working together.

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