Summer 2017: 5 Social Trends of the Season

Platforms, users + publishers have a need for speed.

The world of digital has gotten so much more complex. As social bleeds into sites and vice versa, the ecosystem between digital and real life has become even more intertwined. It's even impacting elections.

If there had to be one word to summarize this summer on social it would be speed. Platforms are getting better about delivering content in non-intrusive formats that load before you can blink. Websites are also following the trend of usability and personal experience more than ever. Gossip sites that once delivered articles oversaturated with ads now publish on Instant Articles.


At RebelMouse, clients like Axios are melding the fast + content-friendly social experience with their own site and newsletters. It's a refreshing need for speed that can only continue into the next year.

Here are five trends that marked the summer for us:


1. Twitter: Time to Get AMP’ed

Relay's Twitter referrals spiked once the Google AMP rollout on Twitter was completed.

This summer, Twitter's rollout to Google AMP was completed. Twitter's native app now uses Google AMP links exclusively, eliminating the platform's previous, slower mobile viewing pages. AMP articles load two times faster than other links returned from Google search — and now Twitter is reaping those swift load times too.

Relay Media, a strictly AMP-based platform, reports that since the switch to AMP, sessions have spiked from 4% in December 2016 to 20% in June 2017. They also found that since the shift to AMP, 10–15% of their AMP visits are not sourced from Google search, but rather from platforms like Twitter.

The dramatic shift to a faster-loading experience means that publishers who aren't publishing on AMP are missing out on vital traffic. If your brand or media company can't iterate on AMP pages to learn how to effectively send traffic to your full site, you are increasingly crippled. We can help you integrate Google AMP for your content and optimize the feature to its full potential.

2. Facebook: Fighting Fake News

Facebook's metadata is no longer customizable.

Nobody has felt the brunt of being immersed in our complex digital ecosystem more than Facebook. Now combatting the fake news fiasco of the 2016 election, Facebook is taking steps to make sure that fake news doesn't ever spread as quickly as it did this past year.

Facebook changed the rules this summer for media on its platform. Facebook's latest update eliminated the ability to change an article's metadata — in other words, you have to keep and use the Open Graph (OG) metadata and image that was set up when the post was originally written. It's a way to ensure that misleading or polarizing information isn't inserted into the metadata causing it to be shared and spread incorrectly.

This change means your CMS matters more than ever. Our Facebook meta data is customizable right from our platform's Entry Editor.

3. Facebook: Instant Article Improvements

Also this summer, Facebook prioritized enhancing its own fast-loading experience: Instant Articles. Despite having a bit of a rocky start, Facebook made meaningful tweaks for publishers to get the most out of the feature. There is now more ad flexibility for publishers, and the platform announced that it will start prioritizing faster-loading experiences in the feed.

At RebelMouse, we're reaping the benefits of these positive changes to Instant Articles with every publish. We have clients experiencing up to $25 CPM — and even $35 — on Instant Articles now. They're achieving those numbers not through a sales team, but rather with effective content on sites that are perfectly optimized for social — and this absolutely includes a seamless Instant Articles configuration. Across the board, we're seeing sites hold a healthy $5 CPM a day, and some even regularly come in at $10.

We can share our monetization secrets with you anytime. We are a creative agency that offers Facebook Instant Articles configuration, implementation, and strategy services.

4. Instagram: The Kingdom Is Real

The days of only uploading beautiful pictures of your brunch and hiking trips are long gone. What started as a simple, social photo-sharing app has turned into a daily staple in the lives of 400 million people. Instagram continues to shatter new benchmarks and establish its dominance in the age of social, with no signs of slowing down.

Instagram's success hasn't gone unnoticed. Influencers, advertisers, and brands are going all in, capitalizing on all the eyeballs using the platform as yet another means of monetization. Publishers are piling into Instagram video, too. 2017 has certainly been the year that businesses take notice of Instagram.

The best part of Instagram is that it can be easily managed, optimized, and, most importantly, monetized with a small and dedicated team. This summer, we identified a strategy on how to "do" Instagram.

In addition to our Instagram growth hacks that anyone can use, the RebelMouse CMS also makes finding and maintaining social connections on Instagram easy.

Our social amplification tools were built in the age of the influencer, not before. So they are constantly changing and adapting to the industry's current climate.

5. SEO: I’m Still Here

Even though it's become social media's world and we're merely along for the ride, SEO still has a very important part to play. In fact, the two work together. After all, it's an age-old question that's haunted digital marketers for years: Does social media impact search rankings? There's a varying degree of answers, but we've nailed down the details.

Social has changed every aspect of digital publishing. Still, you can leverage social to win in today's age of search. Search is now a space for solutions, rather than a place for discovery and exploration — those now all happen on social. But both need to work together and do so quickly. We've mastered the best ways to leverage social to improve your SEO in this free guide.

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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:

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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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