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RebelMouse Pageview Methodology

Throughout the evolution of media on the internet, there's been a constant struggle between design that provides the best monetization of articles and design that offers the best user experience. It's what has spurned the adoption of ad-blockers from the user perspective, and crazy 40-page slideshows on the publisher end.


The secret to strong, lasting growth is to focus on a strategy that strikes a balance between the two. At RebelMouse, we've built our technology around making it turn-key simple for our clients to create and deploy content in a way that will do just that. We accomplish this by employing a proprietary mix of functions that abide by a set of core principles of user-interaction. Here's a look at what we do and why.

Infinite Scroll, Particles, and the New Pageview

The early days of the internet were dominated by web pages. They had a finite beginning and a finite ending. But social networks like Facebook and Twitter have shifted the way people interact with the internet by providing content in a waterfall feed where you can spend five minutes or five hours consuming content.

Media has always hit a bit of a snag with respect to this style of content delivery for a number of reasons. How do we track pageviews? How do we serve enough ads to keep the doors open?

While these are partially technical hurdles, they also require a bit of a philosophy change in the minds of media professionals. We can no longer debate whether we should switch to an endless scroll feed. We need to treat it as critical to our success. User retention hinges on the ability of your audience to binge content beyond what brought them to your site in the first place.

RebelMouse supports an infinite scroll feed of posts that is mobile-friendly by using expandable posts. This way, your users don't have to scroll endlessly just to get to the content they would like to read. They can read the part of the post that is "before the jump," but instead of jumping to a new page, the story expands upon click to show the rest of the post.

That full post may take several forms: a short-form or long-form article, a listicle, a slideshow, or a combination. Because of this, we've created a simple framework for building your content called Particle Assembler.

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 unit of content authoring on RebelMouse, and are standalone elements with their own imagery, title, and copy. For example, you may have a post that is titled, "Top 5 Places to Eat in NYC." Each eatery in this listicle will have a lead image, the name of the restaurant, its location, and a description of the restaurant with even more images of food. All of these listicle items contain enough information to stand by themselves as single posts.

Because of their standalone nature, we assign particles their own unique URL, which fires a pageview on-scroll, and is uniquely shareable on social. It's an evolutionary change to the old tactic of paginating a multi-part article to increase ad visibility. Our methodology, however, keeps your user experience intact and includes robust ad serving technology so your articles preserve your monetization strategy. We also use industry standard rules for pageviews that require at least 50% of the screen space to change before it counts as a new pageview. So whether you use Comscore or Nielsen to verify your site traffic, you can rest assured that it will be above board.

So, not only will you record a pageview for the initial, collapsed view of a story, you'll also get pageviews for all of the particles within when a user expands it. Also, soon we'll be giving publishers the ability to control your own configuration depending on your environment and individual business needs.

The result is that you'll now be properly credited for all of your pageviews. Traditional infinite scroll designs on other CMSs are massively under-reporting view counts by treating the entire feed of stories as one pageview. With RebelMouse, you no longer have to choose between a great user experience and properly measuring your view data again.

The Real Goal Is User and Revenue Growth

The most important metric for media companies and content is the total on-target audience. It's important to us at RebelMouse that we're not just helping our clients take advantage of all the most sophisticated measurement systems and getting credit for the depth of engagement we create together. What we've found is that building engagement on a particle level — and creating unique URLs for this — creates a larger audience because it makes your content more shareable and searchable. It also creates valid and elegant monetization opportunities.

Platform Views: The Next Dimension

On-site pageviews are only a slice of the traffic pie. In the quest to make the internet faster and more accessible, the platforms have rolled out technologies to create clean reading experiences that load with lightning speed. Google has their AMP format and Facebook has Instant Articles, and both should be considered in the pageview equation. These often times go overlooked because they're off-site views, meaning they're not actually served via your website itself.

RebelMouse makes it easy to integrate into these platforms seamlessly without any heavy lifting. We can also assist in monetization strategy for both.

Adding Meaning to Each Pageview

By default, when sending a pageview hit to Google Analytics, it's just that. A pageview. You can gather some added insights like source/medium, and demographic information via Google's built-in functionality, but for media/publishing sites, it comes up a bit short out of the box.

Given that RebelMouse was born in the world of publishing, we look at things a bit differently. There is so much more to a pageview on a media site that is worth tracking. With minor additions to our client's GA account, we send along custom dimensions for author, section, publication date, and layout. This allows us to do advanced analysis of site data so that we can provide full reporting to each client without the need to purchase a secondary analytics solution.

One Dashboard to Rule Them All

Having all of this data piped right into Google Analytics is nice, but GA can still be pretty cumbersome when filtering data on the fly for analysis. It also is limited to just seeing data from GA without bringing in other sources.

To get over these hurdles, we use another Google product to bring it all together in Google Data Studio. Our custom Data Studio reports allow us to provide an easy way to filter your data so you can get immediate insights that are actionable and share them with anyone on your team, regardless of their knowledge of Google Analytics.

We can also provide some in-depth analysis that isn't available in GA such as moving average reports for pageviews and users over time. Seeing how your short, medium, and long-term trends are shaping up at a glance is critical to answering the question: "How are we doing?"

Data Studio also allows for the connection of multiple data sources, which means we can add in data from Facebook Insights, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Sailthru, and more. So instead of looking at your data in multiple places, it's all in one report.

Back your content up with the insights that make a marked difference. Our in-depth Google Data Studio dashboards can help steer your content strategy, monetization efforts, and user experience toward a path of growth. Request a proposal today and let's start working together. And even if a replatform is not on your current road map, we can make sure your current site is equipped with the tools it needs to leverage metrics that fuel success.

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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