Request a Demo
Introducing Social UX for Media Learn More >
Rebel Insights

Content Creators: Here's a Look at The Publishing Experience That's Changing the Game

If you're a content creator or social curator, you know all about the challenges tied to algorithm changes, industry shifts, and the ongoing fight to sustain reach in an oversaturated market.

At RebelMouse, we create lean tech that's built to iterate alongside these fluctuations. Chances are the CMS you're using was created before social. If that's true, you may still view content on your website and in social feeds as two different entities you have to control and manage. We're here to blur those lines for you and take publishing where it needs to be in 2024.

Take a Guided Tour Through Our Powerful Entry Editor With RebelMouse Founder and CEO Andrea Breanna

Google redesigned how they measure page speed, an update which put site performance at the top of its ranking factors. So high, in fact, that over the months it's become clear that page speed can deeply impact your overall SEO ranking and even make your ad buys more expensive. RebelMouse proudly powers the fastest sites on the web. Check out our case studies to see how site performance can fuel growth.

Content Optimization: Decentralized models — such as WordPress VIP — lack the social integrations necessary to mimic the feeds, and that's why they continue to fall behind. We've created a toolset that not only distributes your content to the platforms (where all of the eyeballs are), but also lets your content travel across platforms easily.

Social Integrations: We have a saying at RebelMouse: "If you create quality content without distribution, does it even exist?" That's why we created Discovery, an integral part of our suite of sophisticated enterprise-level tools. Using proprietary technology, Discovery is designed to help you figure out the social ecosystem that's already having conversations related to your content. But before you can reach out to potential influencers, your content has to be set up for distributive success.

SEO Tools: The resurgence of search is becoming more relevant every day. We use our own SEO tools and methods to win phrases organically. Our proven strategies coupled with our quality content has helped us reach the top of Google's result pages on a number of occasions. This is your opportunity to use the same tech and strategies to make it to page one on Google, too.

Dynamic Content: We live in a universe of content creators, and this means you don't have to do all of the work yourself. We have incredible integrations that help you share content from influencers through an intuitive search panel. By immersing yourself in a workflow built around reciprocal sharing, your own content won't just be enhanced, but also validated within your target community.

Insights: Our CMS operates on a data-driven product cycle. Everything we release at RebelMouse is subjected to a small percentage of traffic and A/B tested for performance impact. Our testing includes how each version affects page speed and user experience. We then take these results and check to see how they correlate with bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, and conversion to goals — such as shares, subscriptions, and purchases. We also take big data and distill it into easy-to-consume insights that you can quickly act upon. You can view how each post is performing on search and social, right from within Entry Editor.

We've never made a complete overview of our Entry Editor public before now. This is your chance to see the same intuitive and robust platform that built Axios and The Dodo from the the ground up. It's also the same CMS that powers United Airlines and PAPER Magazine. See how the main features work below, and follow the links in each section for detailed tutorials.

Discover New Influencers

Through RebelMouse's social-amplification tools, our users find new influencers with every publish. By leveraging proprietary technology, our Entry Editor has single-handedly created a new content lifecycle that's designed to overcome content saturation and put the power of content back into the hands of creators. Powered by keywords, users can send a variety of social signals — including commenting, Instagram "liking," and email outreach — without ever leaving the platform.

Schedule to Social

Prepare your post to be published on social right from within Entry Editor. You can send out posts live or schedule them to be published at a later date. Social influencers you've identified through Discovery can be tagged via @mentions in the post's copy and emailed right from the Schedule Social Posts tab.

Power your Articles with Assembler

The core unit of content on the web used to be the article. Whether you called it a post, blog, article, or column, it's always been your core content. You created it and measured its performance. It's what fueled you to go viral.

Social has completely changed that paradigm. Now, the core unit is much smaller. It's a Facebook video, an Instagram post, a tweet, a YouTube video, an interactive element, or even just an image. The core unit is now a particle, and a particle is — quite literally — part of an article.

We've created a tool called the Particle Assembler to help you break down your content into particles that can then be amplified and optimized on social. Click here for a full look at what Assembler can do.

Take Advantage of Infinite Scroll

Let your users binge your content. By serving up an endless feed of stories, they're more likely to read more than just the article they originally came for. Everything is about the feed right now because that's where your audience lives. The comfort of scrolling through articles, news, posts, and videos took over social media, and we weren't about to let that ship sail without getting on it.

Just like Facebook, we wanted to give users the option to show either a snippet of their content or the entire post. Improving the reading experience is part of the heart of this layout. As you scroll down our Social UX for Media layout, the URL in the address bar changes with each new post that moves into view on the screen. Each URL change counts as a pageview.

Add Media to Enhance Content

Using dynamic content, RebelMouse gives you the ability to add embed codes both into a post's teaser image and within the article's text. The Add Media Bar offers a variety of choices to bring richness to your post's content — including GIPHY, Facebook videos, YouTube, Instagram, and our Digital Asset Manager. Inserting content from the Add Media Bar will help bring awareness to your content within the social ecosystem. We also believe in the social media law of reciprocity, which posits that shares from you will be returned by shares in kind.

Establishing a SEO Winning Strategy

Search engine optimization is a key component in the success and visibility of your content after you hit publish. Our SEO toolset is designed to help editors create data-backed search phrases surrounding every story, and focus on meaningful adjustments to improve organic search performance. Effortlessly update your SEO headline, description, and URL slug so that search engines can best crawl, index, and understand your content.

Transform Posts into Newsletters

Do you have a piece of content that is performing exceedingly well? Using the Send a Newsletter tab, you can schedule these posts as newsletters from right within Entry Editor. You can then view stats and Velocity Alerts per post, which quickly let you know when an article is going viral. Take full advantage of these features by sending out a newsletter to the right targets at the right time so your subscribers never miss out on stellar content again.

Categorize Content

In the Sections dashboard, you can create and manage sections for specific topics and content within your site. You can then assign tags to sections that allow you to monitor the content flow into each.

In the Channels tab of Entry Editor, we allow you to associate both a primary tag and regular tags to a post. The Primary Tag field only lets you assign a single tag to it. It's built on the same principle as a primary section, where you can assign higher importance to certain pieces of content when processing and organizing your posts. By contrast, you can assign as many regular tags to your content as needed.

Establish a Workflow

Using stages, you can easily optimize your workflow process by assigning a different stage to each post before it's published. You can create as many stages as you'd like to best align with your team's workflow in a thorough and efficient manner.

After a post draft is completed, utilize stages to notify your content peers that it's ready for the next step in the content creation process. To do this, save your article in an appropriate stage — such as For Review, Copyedited, or Ready to Publish — that appears in the Stage dropdown menu in the Channels tab.

View Insights to Make Decisions

Don't ever wonder if your strategy is working out or not. We like to take big data and distill it into easily consumable insights, putting the decision-making process back into the hands of content creators. They're the ones that can use the data to take reach and engagement to the next level. Once you publish a post, you'll be able to view top-line statistics using the Post Stats tab.

Adjust Quickly with Multiple Layouts

It's important to have a healthy mix of content on your site. From video posts to listicles to ad-oriented posts, there's a need for various layouts to exploit these divergent content types to their maximum potential. That's where our Layout tab comes into play.

Inside the Layout tab, you can select any of the layouts previously created in the Layout & Design tool as A/B tests. Click here for a full tutorial.

Maintain Control with Version History

We make it easy to keep track of edits, and if you happen to make a mistake, you can always undo it. By leveraging the Version History tab, you can view the last 10 saved iterations of your post and revert back to any of them with the click of a button.

Give Your Content the Support It Deserves

The concept of distributive growth is still misunderstood across the industry, resulting in plummeting page views and lost monetization opportunities because of old, clunky tech. The RebelMouse Entry Editor is constantly being updated to take advantage of the latest distribution strategies. It isn't just a platform to upload articles to and forget about them.This has been a quick glance at the powerful tools RebelMouse offers to publishers who want to stay on the cutting edge. It's why we've quickly become the #1 WordPress VIP alternative.

Let's start working together today to create something big together.

Engaging 404s: Keep Users on Site With AI-Powered Relevant Content

A 404 page can be a horrible user experience, but it can also be a delightful one. There’s no reason why a 404, also known as a “Page Not Found” error, can’t provide relevant, contextual content based on what the user was originally seeking out. That’s especially true now with the potential for AI to find and surface the best related content.

That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce a solution for this called Engaging 404s. It’s the latest in a string of AI-powered integrations we’ve launched that have improved the editorial and user experiences, including AI headlines, AI search, and AI recirculation. Instead of reaching a traditional “Page Not Found” error message, a user will land on AI-generated search results for the keyword phrase (URL slug) that the page was supposed to deliver on. Instantly, a negative user experience turns into a positive one, with relevant pages that match the user’s click intent.

Our team has built a custom layout for this, making sure that all best practices are incorporated and opportunities are maximized. Here’s how it works:

  1. It is clear to the user that this is a 404 page, but the text doesn’t take up too much space.
  2. Stories are above the fold, which allows users to see them before they lose interest.
  3. The URL slug is highlighted as the key phrase.
  4. Results are powered by AI, which is excellent with its command of language and how content is related to each other — it can even deliver results based on typos.

engaging 404s wireframe

RebelMouse-powered Brit + Co has a great example of this in action, which includes a custom design that we created for them. If you try to visit a page under the URL brit.co/hairstyle, you will find that no such page exists. But what you will find is the most relevant posts based on the phrase “hairstyles.”

hairstyles 404 page on Brit + Co

Likewise, if you go to brit.co/nail-polish, even though that page doesn’t exist, you still find relevant “nail polish” posts.

nail polish 404 page on Brit + Co

This new offering is sure to pique the interest of users to explore more on your site rather than become frustrated and bounce from it.

Intrigued? If you currently work with us, let your account manager know that you’d like Engaging 404s enabled for your site. We can even build a custom design if you’d like to maximize engagement.

If you’re not working with us, what are you waiting for? Get in touch and we’d be happy to change that.

Mastering the Art of Newsletter Subject Lines: Six Tips to Boost Open Rates

If you think about the promotional emails and newsletters in your inbox, they probably seem like a lot of noise. However, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to generate traffic and turn casual readers into loyal customers. In fact, one study found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $40, which is higher than other digital marketing channels like search and social.

It makes sense, too. If you think about it, most people check their email once a day at a minimum. However, lots of people are active across email throughout the entire workday, and many users check email even earlier than that. Data from OptinMonster shows that more than half of users check their email before doing anything else online for the day.

OptinMonster

Email provides plenty of opportunities to catch your reader’s eye. With dwindling attention spans and plenty of content competition, your email subject line needs to be perfect — a task that’s both an art and a science.

Here are six tips to write subject lines that stand out amongst the crowd and will compel your readers to open up and engage with your content.

1. Keep It Short and Sweet

As you know, it can be hard to grab a reader’s attention when there’s plenty of other content they could consume in their inbox alone. That’s why brevity is important for subject lines, and ideally they should be 30–50 characters total. Not only does this optimize for short attention spans, but it also ensures that your subject line is not cut off in the email preview so that readers can see the full impact of your message.

Example of a short and concise subject line.

2. Use Language That Inspires Action

Words that prompt action from your reader can boost your open rates. When crafting your subject line, try to use verbs that create a sense of urgency. According to HubSpot, emails that use urgent language like “breaking,” “important,” or “alert” have higher open rates

Example of subject line that uses actionable language.

3. Personalize When Possible

Personalization can make your audience feel valued and can quickly grab their attention. Campaign Monitor found that readers are 26% more likely to open emails with a personalized subject line. When possible, including the person’s first name and other details can make the email feel like it was customized just for them

A little personalization can go a long way when crafting email subject lines.

4. Use Numbers

Making use of numbers can make your subject line appear more eye-popping and specific. Clear and digestible information will give the reader a better idea of the email’s objective. A/B testing by Campaign Monitor found that numbers in subject lines resulted in 57% better open rates.

Numbers are a great way to make your subject line pop.

5. Be Clear and Specific

It’s always important to stay away from any sort of vague or mysterious language in your subject lines, and instead try to clearly communicate what readers can expect from your email. This will also build trust with your audience so they never feel like they were tricked into opening an email.

It helps to clearly convey the content of your email.

6. A/B Subject Lines

The best way to know if your email subject lines are resonating with your audience is through A/B tests. With each email sent, conduct A/B tests to compare which types of subject lines perform the best across your readers. Pay attention to open rates, click-through rates, and any other engagement metrics to see what performs well. It’s best to review this data after every send and refine your subject line strategy as you go.

How A/B testing works. From Zapier.

Make Newsletters a Part of Your Publishing Process

Creating effective subject lines takes creativity, precision, and experimentation. Since the subject line is your elevator pitch to your content, it’s important to prioritize it with each email you send. But that can be hard with the full plate already in front of content creators who are always trying to stand out from the competition.

RebelMouse is an AI-enabled CMS that’s also a powerful platform for optimizing newsletters. Our integration with major email service providers like Mailchimp and Sailthru include A/B testing, automation, responsive design, content curation, and tools to seamlessly weave your email strategy into your publishing process.

Easily schedule newsletters in RebelMouse’s editing interface.

Ready to up your email newsletter strategy with perfect subject lines? Request a demo and let’s start working together.

Rebel Insights

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Core Updates

We talk a lot about Google’s core updates at RebelMouse. These large algorithm changes can cause dramatic shifts in web traffic, which in turn has the potential to greatly impact the sites within our network. But as we anticipate these updates, and inform our clients about them, we felt it was important to define exactly what a core algorithm update is and why publishers of all kinds should monitor them closely.

What Is a Core Update?

A core update is a significant change to Google Search’s algorithm, aimed at improving the quality of search results and how websites are ranked. These updates are notoriously vague, and often leave website owners and SEO experts scrambling to figure out what kinds of pages Google is targeting with each update so that they can make changes accordingly. The only thing we do know for sure is that core updates evaluate web pages for factors that improve user experience, such as quality, relevance, and helpfulness.

Here’s a handy little metaphor on core updates from Google:

One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021. A few years later in 2024, you refresh the list. It's going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren't bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.

Core updates happen periodically throughout the year. But note that core updates are holistic updates to Google Search’s entire algorithm, and they differ from other kinds of periodic updates from Google, like spam updates.

Why Should Website Owners Pay Attention to Core Updates?

By nature, Google’s core updates are designed to dramatically change search rankings and visibility. That means any website could be vulnerable to a drastic downturn in traffic as soon as a new core update is underway. If this happens, it means your site is hosting content that Google has determined is low quality, or even spam.

To protect your traffic alone is a good reason to stay on top of Google’s core updates. But here’s a list of the reasons why it’s especially important:

✔ ️Rankings and Traffic Changes: Like mentioned above, core updates from Google have the power to completely tank your rankings across search, which in turn tanks your web traffic. Staying on top of core updates allows you to monitor fluctuations in real time so that you can take the right steps to reverse any major dips to your site’s traffic.

Here’s an example of just how much traffic can be impacted by core updates. This is an SEO expert analyzing web volatility during Google’s March 2024 core update:

✔ Quality Guidelines: Just like Google’s algorithm is evolving, so are its guidelines on how the search engine defines quality content. Remember, every core update has the same mission — improving the quality of pages that make it to the top of search results. By paying attention to core updates, publishers can make sure they are complying with the latest regulations from Google to stay ahead of major changes.

✔ User Experience: Not to sound like a broken record, but core updates are all about improving user experience. If your site makes it a priority to stay on top of core updates, you will always be auditing your site for maximum usability. Making frequent improvements to your site’s user experience will only increase traffic and nurture user loyalty in the long run.

✔ Competitive Advantage: Most publishers and website owners have a lot on their plate, and staying on top of the latest SEO strategies isn’t usually the first priority. By understanding the factors that impact core updates, publishers can make smart changes to content, website structure, and SEO strategies to ensure they’re staying ahead of their competitors who may not be paying attention.

How Can I Prepare for Core Updates?

No surprise here. The best way you can prepare for a Google core update is by consistently delivering what Google calls helpful content. Helpful content is written solely to meet the needs of users and not to game or trick search engines. You can read more about what Google thinks is helpful content, including questions you can ask to assess your own content, here.

Google also has a set of principles called E-E-A-T that helps determine which content is most helpful. E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This means Google is always looking to promote content that shows authenticity, demonstrates expertise on a topic, has been created by experts, and is trusted by readers.

From Moz.

In addition to creating quality content, you can also perform technical SEO site audits to identify any additional issues that could be impacting your site’s indexing across search. This could include eliminating spammy backlinks, unorganized site structure, duplicate content, or bad schema makeup. Click here to learn more about technical SEO.

Maintaining a website with people-first content that’s also optimized for user experience isn’t a one-and-done job. A successful SEO strategy requires frequent tweaking to make sure that your site is always optimized for maximum crawlability. Use insights from your site’s data to proactively make changes to your content and website to stay ahead of core updates.

What’s the Best Way to Monitor Traffic After an Update?

Monitoring your site’s web traffic when a core update is both underway and completed is the most critical way to see how your site is performing against the new algorithm. This is the exact data that can also fuel key insights so that you can stay ahead of the next core update.

Here are some of the best ways to monitor traffic after a core update:

✔ Google Analytics: Use Google Analytics to track changes to overall traffic and search-generated traffic. Analyze sessions, pageviews, bounce rates, and average session durations to get an idea if any user behavior has changed since the update. You can also monitor user engagement metrics like time on page and scroll depth to get a better understanding around if your user journey has been impacted by the core update.

Google Search Console: Google Search Console monitors how your site appears in search results, and breaks down data by each keyword or set of keywords that your site is ranking for. Monitor any changes in impressions, clicks, CTR, and average positions of these keywords to see if your search traffic has been impacted by a core update.

✔ Keyword Ranking Tools: Keyword ranking tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs track the rankings of your desired keywords before and after core updates. Use these tools to see if you’ve gained or lost any visibility across your site’s top keywords.

✔ User Feedback: You can also monitor social media, reviews, or any general feedback directly from your site’s users to see if they’ve noticed any changes in your site’s visibility or performance.

Monitoring your site’s performance from those various channels should help you see if your traffic was negatively or positively impacted by a core update. Paying close attention to any changes in user behavior should help you get to the bottom of any low-quality pages that could be the culprit of your site’s traffic volatility.

Conquer Core Updates With RebelMouse

RebelMouse is an AI-enabled CMS that’s designed to anticipate Google’s core updates before they even happen. Our intuitive editorial tools set up content creators for success before each page is even published, and our deep understanding of technical SEO frequently puts the sites in our network at the top of Google’s search results.

Click here to read our timeline of Google’s latest updates this year. And if you’re interested in publishing on a platform that’s built to keep up with the rigorous and evolving standards of Google, let’s talk and figure out how we can grow and transform your business.

Content Creation Trends to Watch in 2024

As we approach the halfway point in 2024, it’s a good time to check in on what is making waves in the content creation world. At this point, it’s common knowledge that quality content is the ticket to any successful website, but because the landscape is always changing, just great content isn’t always enough.

For years it felt like creators were constantly pivoting to chase the next social media trend, but now that social platforms have less prevalence than they used to, the world of content creation looks more different than ever before. In fact, a recent study from Gartner found that 50% of consumers plan to abandon or significantly limit their interactions with social media by 2025.

So with user behaviors changing, what does the future of content creation actually look like as we head into the second half of 2024? Here are a few trends to watch.

AI-Generated Content

No surprise here that the rise of artificial intelligence( AI) is the top trend to watch for this year, and likely many years to come. The explosion of AI and predictive models like ChatGPT have changed the game for content creators and editors who already have too much on their plate. AI-powered editorial tools can help writers by generating ideas, suggesting headlines, and even drafting entire blogs, articles, or social posts.

AI-generated headline suggestions on RebelMouse.

However, it is important to remember that there is no replacement for actual human creativity. Instead, AI can be a powerful tool to enhance human originality and productivity by helping creators deliver the best content possible to its readers. Click here to learn more about how AI can transform websites.

Voice-Optimized Content

Voice-enabled devices and voice search have become increasingly popular in recent years, which means optimizing content for vocal interactions is important to consider as 2024 chugs along. Creating voice-optimized content means tailoring your content to align with the way people speak to voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home, or Siri. This means using casual, conversational language that’s easy to understand.

One perk of creating voice-optimized content is that it naturally will help you with your SEO strategy as well. By creating content that's optimized for voice, you should:

✔ ️Answer Common Questions: Anticipating questions that your audience may naturally ask and answering them succinctly benefits voice-enabled devices and increases your visibility across search.

✔ Structure Your Content: Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make it easy for voice assistants to understand the most important information. Having a good taxonomy across your website will also increase your search performance.

✔ Optimize for Featured Snippets: Voice assistants will pull information and answers from featured snippets in search results, so it’s important that your site has snippets that are concise and helpful.

Here’s an example of a snippet answering a question from voice search:

Sourced from Semrush.

While optimizing for voice search seems a little unnatural to content creators focused on writing and editing, it can actually maximize your reach. Prioritizing natural language queries will only help your audience find exactly what they are looking for.

Personalized Content Experiences

These days users have the liberty to be more choosy — which means the more that content meets their individual needs, the better. By creating content with individual readers in mind, publishers can connect with their users on a deeper level, which will help nurture loyalty and repeat visits. Also, taking the time to craft personalized content experiences demonstrates to your audience that you have a deeper understanding of their needs, which can be a key differentiator from your competitors.

Here are some examples of personalized content that can enhance the user journey::

✔ Personalized Product Recommendations: E-commerce sites can use data like past purchases and browser history to recommend specific products to users. The advancement of AI is making this even more efficient and a bigger revenue driver than ever before. Click here to learn more.

✔ Targeted Email Campaigns: Once you have insights about your audience, you can easily segment them by interests for email campaigns. Personalized emails can feature articles that meet these interests, special offers, and unique CTAs.

✔ Customized News Feeds: Using content aggregators and news feeds is a great way to cater content to users based on everything from past reading history to social media habits. This is also a perfect way to personalize content for readers across different platforms.

Content Localization and Globalization

One of the best parts of the open web is that it dissolves geographical boundaries. On the flip side, sometimes content can isolate certain users if it's not adapted to resonate with different groups of people in different areas of the world. You can localize your content by offering your website in different languages, changing messaging to connect with other cultures, and finding authors in different geographical areas to create content.

On RebelMouse, you can easily transform content into different languages with just a few clicks.

While it may seem like a lot of extra work, investing in localized content can increase traffic to your website from different regions, which in turn will boost your site’s engagement and foster a stronger connection with a variety of users.

Technical SEO

Google is the most popular website on the open web, and every content creator knows that it takes a lot to win the phrases that their audiences are searching for. Primarily, the ticket to any winning search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is creating quality, helpful content. But it takes a bit more than that these days to win the SEO game.

The prioritization of technical SEO has become more important as the content race continues on — and it makes sense. With Google’s massive control of web referral traffic, publishers and content creators need to make sure that their website is set up to easily grab the attention of Google’s crawler.

Google owns 84.9% of U.S. search engine referral traffic. From SparkToro.

Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes actions you can take to optimize your website for efficient indexing by Google’s web crawlers. This includes fine-tuning your site’s performance, mobile-friendliness, crawlability, structure, and schema markup. If all of these technical aspects of a website are structured correctly, that tells Google’s crawler that your site is high quality — and that means higher rankings and more referral traffic from the web’s most important source. A good technical SEO strategy also improves user experience and makes it less likely for users to turn away from your site, which in turn will drive more conversions and secure growth for your business.

Click here to learn more about technical SEO.

Get Ahead of Content Creation Trends

If you were reading a list of content creation trends from several years ago, it would look totally different. There would likely be mentions of robust social media strategies and readable videos, and things like AI editorial tools and voice-friendly content would be nowhere to be found. Since the definition of what constitutes a successful digital strategy is always changing, so should your ability to embrace these industry shifts.

RebelMouse is a content management system (CMS) and creative agency that’s always anticipating these changes, often before they even fully take shape. Powered by AI, RebelMouse is poised to revolutionize your content strategy with an intuitive interface, intelligent editorial tools, and built-in solutions for technical SEO, personalization, and more.

Looking to engage new audiences through this year’s content trends? Request a demo today to check out how RebelMouse can help.

Best CMS for News Websites and Large-Scale Publishing [2024]

Explore the 11 best CMS platforms for news websites in 2024!

Key Findings

  • Selecting the right CMS is critical for news websites. Key features include intuitive interfaces, collaboration tools, SEO, security, scalability, and analytics.
  • The ideal CMS for news websites is based on your specific needs, whether for large-scale publishing, AI automation, omnichannel distribution, or smaller news outlets.
  • News publishers can seamlessly scale their operations to keep pace with a growing readership

Choosing the best content management system (CMS) for news websites is crucial for publishers since it impacts their online presence. The news industry is demanding and competitive, requiring innovation, creativity, and reliable systems for high-volume publishing.

According to statistics, digital publishing revenue is expected to exceed $27 billion by 2027, and the market is intensifying. Whether you're a publishing powerhouse or an independent news organization, you need a suitable CMS with robust technology for high-quality content.

This article will cover why a CMS matters for news websites, key platform features you should look for, the 11 best news CMS platforms, and how to choose the right CMS for news publishing.

Quality Isn't Enough Anymore. Publish With The Best Of The Web.

Click Here

11 Best CMS Platforms for News Websites

What Is a News CMS?

A CMS that caters to news publishing is an editorial hub that streamlines content creation for news of all kinds. The right CMS should offer unique tools and features that simplify creating, editing, and distributing content across news websites and social channels. With a digital news system, editors and journalists can collaborate, manage content, and scale their publishing capabilities beyond a typical platform.

Why Should Publishers Use a CMS for News Sites?

News websites can attract millions of readers by hosting thousands of articles online. Since large-scale news publishers post content every day, they require a high-performance system to meet demand. This level of content production requires a CMS that is fast, secure, and dependable for efficient output.

An efficient CMS offers several advantages for news websites:

  • Streamlined Workflow: A CMS makes content creation effortless for everyone without coding skills. The best news CMS provides a user-friendly interface and editorial tools to speed up work processes.
  • Collaboration: In a digital newsroom, editors and writers must communicate effectively. The right CMS supports communication channels for developing content drafts, monitoring changes, and making revisions, all within the platform.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM): CMS platforms that provide a DAM integration improve bulk asset uploads and automatically convert images to modern formats for optimal web delivery.
  • Customized Publishing: The best news CMS offers customization options that align with your workflow and brand identity. Features that improve news websites include content scheduling, social channel integrations, banners, and sticky positions.
  • User Management: User management allows you to create different roles for members with specific permissions. Editors can control CMS access, ensuring only authorized personnel can publish or edit critical content.

A news CMS can increase content production for publishers, but not all platforms are the same. Before selecting a CMS, consider if the features and services align with your publishing needs.

What News Websites Need to Succeed Online

As a publisher, you need more than a content management system to boost online visibility — you need the right platform and playbook for publishing success. While high-quality content is crucial for marketing and increasing traffic from Google Search, it's ineffective on a poorly designed website. News websites need a dedicated team for success strategies and better access to advanced search engine optimization (SEO) tools.

Here's why using an experienced support team and a modern CMS for news publishing is critical for media sites in order to build and grow brand exposure:

  • Expertise Across Functions: A strategy team can help you maximize CMS features by offering guidance on improving your marketing campaigns.
  • Access to Innovative Products: A team-supported CMS provides access to new software, helping users upgrade their content strategy with exclusive products like AI technology and automation tools.
  • Technical Know-How: Although a modern CMS simplifies content organization, technical tasks like custom web solutions or specialized security needs may require help from a web developer or IT specialist.
  • Data Analysis: To guarantee meeting your business goals, a news CMS should provide analytics such as user behavior, social media insights, conversion tracking, A/B testing, and first-party data reports to ensure that your efforts are on the right track.
  • Growth and Scalability: A CMS team ensures news websites operate at peak performance, supporting increased online presence and high-volume publishing for growth and scalability.

With a skilled support team, news publishers can optimize their CMS and website for strategic content creation, data-driven decisions, and audience engagement.

Essential CMS Features for News Websites in 2024

You've learned how a CMS helps news publishers, now let's explore some key CMS features that push the competitive envelope. Beyond content generation, a modern CMS should include tools for brand exposure, user behavior tracking, AI-powered enhancements, SEO, Core Web Vitals monitoring, and opportunities for earning revenue.

Consider the following CMS features to help you achieve publishing success:

1. Comprehensive Editorial Dashboard

The best CMS for news sites offers an editorial dashboard with a suite of tools to manage content. It streamlines actions like assigning stories, tracking progress, scheduling publications, and collaboration. This improves efficiency and ensures a smooth workflow, especially for breaking news.

Your dashboard should include:

  • User-friendly content editing tools
  • SEO content and metadata suggestions
  • Image optimization
  • Keyword search and discovery
  • Google Analytics and Google Search Console integrations
  • Access to HTML code
  • Structured data mapping
  • Mobile responsive testing

2. Multimedia Support

Today's audiences expect diverse content. A CMS that supports image and video embedding, audio, interactive elements, and customizable layouts allows publishers to present news in exciting ways. Impressing your audience with entertaining media will increase user retention and experiences.

3. User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly CMS enables staff to contribute content, regardless of technical skill. Intuitive interfaces with easy site navigation, color schemes, and layouts improve user satisfaction and help journalists focus more on creative creations and less on complex systems.

4. Advanced SEO Features

SEO is the backbone of capturing organic traffic. News websites profit from advertising revenue and SEO tactics can help boost clicks and impressions. Using a CMS with smart SEO tools built in, like keyword tags, metadata editing, sitemap generation, and keyword search volume discovery, can improve publishers' search rankings and reach.

5. Robust Security and Scalability

News websites are prime targets for cyberattacks. A secure CMS keeps hackers away from sensitive data and prevents breaches. Look for CMS platforms that offer security features such as SOC 2 Type 2 compliance, plugin hack resistance, and AWS GuardDuty to ensure site security.

Scalability allows the platform to handle growing or spiking traffic and content volume without compromising performance. If you are a high-volume news publisher, ensure your CMS can accommodate thousands upon thousands of articles and loadable elements.

6. Analytics and Reporting Tools

Understanding user behavior is key to driving interest. Built-in CMS analytics offer insights into traffic sources, popular content, engagement, and browsing patterns. Platforms leveraging first-party data can help you better personalize your website's content to your audience's preferences.

7. Audience Engagement Features

To build a loyal community, news websites must encourage visitor interactions. A CMS with interactive features and communication channels like comment sections, polls, quizzes, and social media integrations drive more organic traffic and promote strong reader engagement.

8. Omnichannel Publishing

Consumers read news articles on multiple devices and platforms. The best CMS for news websites enables seamless connectivity with other systems via omnichannel distribution. A compatible platform allows publishers to link to websites, social media, mobile apps, and email newsletters, ensuring readers can access content from anywhere.

9. Monetization Opportunities

News publishers must monetize to generate revenue and expand their business. A news-focused CMS easily integrates with ad platforms and subscription services, allowing publishers to profit from content and sponsorships.

Here are some revenue strategies that benefit publishers:

  • Membership subscriptions
  • AI-powered promotions
  • Email newsletters
  • Sign-up walls
  • Programmatic advertising

10. AI-Powered Technology

Using AI is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. AI automates repetitive tasks like content tagging, image optimization, scheduling, and personalization, saving time and boosting efficiency. A modern CMS can seamlessly integrate with AI, improving publishing performance beyond the limitations of older platforms.

The following AI-powered services enhance CMS publishing and the user experience:

  • AI-Driven Content Recommendations: AI-powered content recommendations keep readers engaged by suggesting relevant articles based on their browsing history.
  • AI-Powered First-Party Data: AI-powered first-party data analyzes user preferences, and then offers tailored content suggestions.
  • AI-Headline Generator: Headline generators create headlines, social captions, meta descriptions, universal AI prompts, and more to boost publishing.
  • Editorial Assistants: AI editorial assistants speed up content creation by tailoring it to your brand, tone, and style through programmed prompts, ensuring audience relevance.

11. Cross-Network Publishing

Managing multiple news sites and publishing stories across platforms can be time-consuming and costly. Cross-network publishing is distributing content across several web domains using a single platform. This CMS feature enables publishers to provide consistent messaging, saving time and effort.

12. A/B Layout Testing

Testing different website layouts helps publishers identify the content and design elements that appeal most to their audience. A platform that supports A/B testing is the top CMS for news publishers looking to make data-driven decisions, improve website design, and elevate the user experience.

The Top 11 Content Management Systems for News Publishers

When selecting a CMS, publishers should consider a modern platform that provides customization, cross-network distribution, performance, secure hosting, strong customer service, smart SEO tools, and an intuitive interface for streamlined workflows.

Here are the 11 best CMS platforms for news websites in 2024:

1. RebelMouse

RebelMouse CMS home page

RebelMouse is a dynamic CMS for news publishers looking to scale their site’s speed, engagement, and audience growth. Known as the fastest and most secure CMS of 2024, RebelMouse goes beyond content management. It's a digital experience platform (DXP) loaded with SEO-focused editorial tools for ranking higher, content performance tracking, customizable CMS features, and premium AI-powered web solutions to help publishers jump ahead of their competitors.

RebelMouse is the only CMS that guarantees green Core Web Vitals for top-level website performance, automatic site updates, 24/7 customer support, smart web analysis, and robust publishing functionality for driving organic traffic. With an intuitive interface that simplifies content management for non-technical users, RebelMouse is the best CMS for news websites, traffic growth, and building a loyal audience.

RebelMouse CMS Publishing Tools

  • Built-in keyword finder
  • SEO-optimized tags
  • Automated internal and external linking
  • One-click URL optimization
  • Streamlined external linking
  • Metadata optimizer

RebelMouse CMS publishing tools

Optimize Content With AI-Powered Integrations

RebelMouse AI headline and metadata generators

Team-Supported Engagement Analytics

RebelMouse engagement analytics dashbaord for No Film School

RebelMouse Benefits

  • Automatic site upgrades
  • Custom AI technology personalized per client
  • 24/7 client support
  • Enterprise-grade hosting
  • Optimized content delivery network (CDN)
  • Data analytics for web and content optimization
  • Integrated with Google Search Console for keyword ranking
  • Programmatic ad management
  • Multi-layered security
  • Built for growth and scalable publishing
  • Performs technical SEO reviews and improvements
  • Free website health check offered

RebelMouse Cons

  • Not suitable for beginning blogging businesses
  • Not open source; limited control over back-end codebase

Best For

  • RebelMouse is ideal for independent to enterprise-level news organizations looking for a high-performing, fast, mobile-responsive, highly customizable, and intuitive platform backed with 24/7 technical support and reinforced security.

2. Drupal

Drupal CMS home page

Drupal is an open-source platform built for news organizations of all sizes, especially high-volume publishers. It offers an advanced interface for teams, allowing for smooth content creation and management. Its customizable themes and site templates help publishers design news websites that reflect their brand identity. Large news organizations can leverage Drupal's robust features to manage complex content structures and workflows.

Drupal Benefits

  • Open-source platform
  • Customizable platform
  • Ideal for large-volume publishing
  • Free themes and modules
  • Detailed taxonomy for easy navigation

Drupal Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Setup may require developer-level expertise or technical support
  • Costly for small organizations looking to customize
  • Complex or difficult-to-upgrade platform
  • Ongoing hosting and development costs
  • Limited security support

Best For

  • Drupal is best for larger news organizations with complex content structures needing website personalization and the ability to scale.

3. WordPress

WordPress CMS home page

WordPress is a powerful and user-friendly platform for news publishing. It offers a balance of features, affordability, and scalability for publishers of all sizes, from bustling newsrooms to solo bloggers. WordPress has a vast library of free and premium themes for design lovers to craft a functional and aesthetically inviting website.

Whether you're a small blog or a larger news organization, WordPress can grow with your traffic and content volume for expansion or scalability. However, a different CMS may better fit news organizations with particular customization needs. WordPress shines with user-friendliness, but complex modifications require plugins that could impact performance and security.

WordPress Benefits

  • Simple, user-friendly dashboard for content management
  • Inclusive CMS for small bloggers or large media companies
  • Free themes and plugins
  • Cost-effective for beginners
  • Built-in SEO tools
  • Designed for scalability

WordPress Cons

  • Vulnerable to hacking and malware
  • Outdated plugins may cause performance issues
  • Requires regular platform updates for advanced security
  • Deep customization may demand coding skills or pricey plugins
  • Ongoing cost for maintenance, customization, or website upgrades

Best For

  • WordPress works well for local publications and news organizations that often need an easy-to-use dashboard to post content without extensive customization.

4. Joomla

Joomla CMS home page

Joomla is a free and open-source CMS designed for flexibility, customization, and functionality. Users can craft a unique website with free templates or custom designs, and easily manage content using Joomla's publishing tools, codeless editing, and categorization.

News publications can reach a global audience with multilingual publishing and smart user management, facilitating smooth collaboration between journalists and editors.

For technical support, Joomla's extensive documentation, tutorials, and supportive community ensure you're always on track. It's the top CMS for news websites seeking a unique, user-friendly, and feature-rich online experience.

Joomla Benefits

  • Easy-to-use interface for creating, editing, and scheduling news articles
  • Multiple extensions and templates for web customization
  • Create different user roles with varying access levels for journalists, editors, and administrators
  • Multilingual support
  • Fit for small news blogs to large news portals
  • Community of developers for technical help

Joomla Cons

  • Steeper learning curve compared to some beginner-friendly platforms
  • Lacks robust security features and maintenance compared to competitors
  • Requires extensions for full site functionality that may impact or slow down site performance
  • Self-hosted platform
  • Requires technical knowledge for advanced site personalization

Best For

  • Joomla is ideal for news websites that require a scalable, cost-effective, and adaptable platform, and are comfortable managing a self-hosted solution or hiring in-house developers.

5. Quintype

Quintype CMS home page

Quintype is a headless CMS and an all-in-one content management platform for digital newsrooms that streamlines your workflow with rich editing tools, multimedia support, and mobile-friendly publishing.

Quintype goes beyond content creation. It offers post scheduling and content distribution across the web, apps, and social media, all while gaining deep audience insights and generating revenue through subscriptions and advertising. This cloud-based platform scales with you so that you can focus on your journalism.

Quintype Benefits

  • Mobile-first design
  • Analytics for audience tracking and data-driven decisions
  • Integrates subscriptions, advertising, and other revenue streams
  • Secure access with features like two-factor authentication
  • Built for scalability and growth

Quintype Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Potentially costly for smaller publications
  • Difficult for users to migrate content or switch their CMS

Best For

  • Quintype is a strong option for news publishers seeking a modern and feature-rich platform. It's ideal for mobile optimization, content workflows, and monetization. However, consider the potential limitations around customization and the challenge of switching platforms before deciding.

6. Labrador

Labrador CMS home and book demo page

Labrador is a top CMS for professional newsrooms and high-traffic news sites that streamlines the publishing process with collaborative tools, AI integrations, and a user-friendly platform built for speed and efficiency. With Labrador's advanced editing features that accelerate workflows, journalists can focus on crafting exceptional content. At the same time, publishers benefit from the flexibility of a headless CMS and the ease of scaling with Labrador's scalable architecture.

Labrador Benefits

  • Paywall monetization opportunities
  • AI-powered features
  • Built for growth and scalability
  • Headless CMS functionality

Labrador Cons

  • Website lacks detailed disclosures about CMS
  • Less established compared to competitors
  • CMS pricing is unavailable without a consultant

Best For

  • Labrador is valuable for news websites that value scalability, speed, and teamwork. However, the lack of comprehensive CMS information and a smaller user base may make it worthwhile to look into other possibilities.

7. Ghost

Ghost CMS home page

Ghost is a CMS designed for news publications, emphasizing user-friendliness and audience interaction. It provides a simple editor, integrated membership and subscription features, newsletter administration, and an intuitive user interface. Ghost stands out for its focus on content creation, security, and building connections with readers.

Ghost is a reliable choice for independent journalists, smaller news outlets, and bloggers who prefer a streamlined publishing experience — even though it may lack extensive customization options and a large plugin library compared to some competitors.

Ghost Benefits

  • User-friendly interface
  • Simple learning curve
  • Paid subscription and revenue stream opportunities
  • Email newsletter targeting built into the platform
  • Free and paid hosted platform options
  • Ideal for small and independent publishers

Ghost Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Suited for basic web functionality
  • Poor functionality for complex websites

Best For

  • Ghost is ideal for news publishers who value a simple, secure platform with built-in membership and newsletter tools. Ghost may not be the best fit if you need a highly customizable website with a vast plugin library.

8. Arc XP

Arc XP CMS home page

Arc XP is a scalable solution for managing and distributing content. Designed for larger organizations with complex workflows, Arc XP streamlines content creation with advanced management tools and a headless architecture. Journalists benefit from a DAM-supported system for easy photo and video integration, omnichannel distribution, and subscription management for reader revenue.

Some downsides to Arc XP include high pricing and a difficult learning curve. Overall, Arc XP enables news organizations to create websites that perform well, target content wisely, and increase audience engagement across all platforms.

Arc XP Benefits

  • Supports subscription models for revenue generation
  • Provides tools to manage, store, and integrate photos and videos
  • Promotes targeted content delivery across platforms
  • Supports commerce functionalities
  • Built-in tools for omnichannel management

Arc XP Cons

  • Costly for smaller news organizations
  • Steeper learning curve

Best For

  • Arc XP delivers an agile CMS solution for large news websites. Its extensive features can improve audience engagement, personalize content delivery, and streamline workflows, even though it can be costly and complex for smaller publishing outlets.

9. BLOX Digital

Blox Digital CMS home page

BLOX Digital provides news publishers with tools for content creation, website management, and audience engagement. While it has a user-friendly interface, streamlined workflow, and newsroom-specific features, it may come with a higher price tag and less customization than alternative CMS options. BLOX Digital is a top choice for established news websites looking for a comprehensive solution for efficient content creation, website management, and audience growth.

BLOX Digital Benefits

  • Supports user management and collaboration
  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • Mobile-friendly templates and SEO optimization tools
  • Built-in commenting system, social integration, and email marketing tools
  • Tailored features cater to the specific needs of news publishers

BLOX Digital Cons

  • Costly
  • Steep learning curve for new users
  • Limited customization

Best For

  • Newspapers and other traditional news organizations that want to move online or improve their digital presence with a comprehensive platform.

10. Eidosmedia

Eidosmedia CMS home page

Eidosmedia is a CMS for mid-sized and large news organizations focused on digital publishing and print capabilities. Their system offers multi-channel publishing, AI automation, and subscription management to boost content output and accommodate complex layouts. This CMS is ideal for established newsrooms seeking to streamline workflows and content creation, but it may be challenging to learn and expensive.

Eidosmedia Benefits

  • Integrated paywall and subscription management
  • Multi-channel publishing
  • Decoupled CMS for layout design flexibility

Eidosmedia Cons

  • May present a challenging learning curve for users
  • Costly and geared toward larger news publishers

Best For

  • Eidosmedia is better suited for well-established news organizations with complex publishing needs that require valuable tools for efficiency and reach. For smaller news organizations seeking a cost-effective solution, Eidosmedia may be too expensive.

11. Hocalwire

Hocalwire CMS home page

Hocalwire is a digital newsroom CMS built specifically for news organizations. Hocalwire offers a streamlined workflow for managing content from creation to publishing. With collaboration tools, mobile app creation, and AI-powered personalization features, this CMS is ideal for news sites looking to increase efficiency, audience engagement, and revenue potential.

At its most basic plan, the starting price of $500 per month might be steep for smaller publishers, and its focus on streamlining may limit customization options compared to traditional CMS platforms.

Hocalwire Benefits

  • AI-powered features to personalize news feeds
  • Supports collaboration, growth, and scalability
  • Fast speed and performance
  • Streamlined content management and monetization

Hocalwire Cons

  • High pricing for smaller news publishers
  • Limited customization and web flexibility

Best For

  • Hocalwire is an ideal CMS for established news organizations that produce a large volume of content and need a feature-rich platform to manage their digital workflow. The pricing structure may be unsuitable for individual bloggers or smaller news outlets.

How to Build the Best News Website

Building the best news website involves a lot of strategic planning. To develop and launch the best website, follow these steps:

  • Target Audience and Content Strategy: Identify your target audience and tailor content to their interests. Develop a content strategy that delivers valuable and engaging news coverage.
  • User-Friendly Design: Prioritize the user experience with a clean, clutter-free design that is easy to navigate and visually appealing. Mobile responsiveness is crucial for today's audiences.
  • SEO Optimization: Optimize website content and structure for search engines to improve organic discoverability and attract readers.
  • Content Delivery Network: Cross-network publishing will position you for success to increase your digital footprint and site traffic. To optimize multi-domain publishing, make sure your platform uses a highly optimized CDN.

How to Choose the Right CMS for News Publishing

Choose a CMS that meets your news publishing requirements while accommodating your company's growth. Prioritize essential features within your budget and ensure that your platform is streamlined for high-volume publishing, analytics, social media, and marketing.

RebelMouse is the leading CMS for high-traffic news publishing. Our feature-rich platform provides the tools to streamline workflows, increase organic reach, unlock new revenue streams, implement AI personalization, and foster deeper audience engagement.

Ready to transform your digital presence with the best CMS for news websites in 2024? Schedule a demo today to see how RebelMouse can help your news organization reach new heights.

FAQ

For more information on CMS options, here are some commonly asked questions:

1. What security features should a news website have?

News websites require a highly secure CMS environment to fend off threats like malware and data breaches. Enterprise-level security features, such as SOC 2 Type 2 compliance and SSL/HTTPS, are essential. Developers may utilize SOPs for data encryption and tools like AWS GuardDuty and AWS WAF.

2. How does a CMS affect SEO for news publishers?

Fast loading times are critical for high-traffic news websites. To maximize SEO, your CMS must run at peak performance, ensuring rapid loading times and meeting Google’s Core Web Vitals standards. Regardless of SEO strategy, a poorly performing website may decrease Google's trust in a news site and reduce search engine visibility.

3. Which CMS is better than WordPress for news publishing?

Maintaining a modern WordPress site can be expensive due to technical SEO issues, plugin bugs, and malware. RebelMouse outperforms WordPress as a CMS by eliminating expensive updates and unsecure add-ons. RebelMouse ensures fast loading times and flawless technical SEO performance.

4. Should my news website be mobile responsive?

Mobile accounts for 58.21% of global internet traffic, compared to 39.76% for desktop. With mobile devices accounting for most of the web traffic, having a mobile-responsive news site is essential. A mobile-friendly website improves accessibility, expands reach, and keeps visitors informed and engaged.

5. How important is scalability for news publishing?

Scalability is vital for growing news websites. A CMS must support expansion to increase profits, reach broader audiences, adopt new personalization technologies, and enhance online presence without compromising speed or user experience. Scalability ensures smooth operations, even during traffic surges.

How to Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on RebelMouse

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication and Why Does It Matter?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security mechanism that requires users to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource, such as an application, online account, or a VPN. Unlike traditional authentication methods, which rely on a single factor like a password, MFA adds an additional layer of security by requiring extra verification from something the user knows (password), something the user has (security token or smartphone app), and/or something that’s unique to the user (biometric verification).

The significance of MFA in today’s digital landscape cannot be overstated. With the increasing prevalence of data breaches and cyber attacks, relying solely on passwords for security is increasingly risky. MFA enhances security by ensuring that even if one factor, like a password, is compromised, unauthorized access to an account is still prevented without the second factor.

For RebelMouse, implementing MFA means safeguarding user accounts and sensitive data from unauthorized access, which solidifies trust and reliability in the platform and your website.

How to Enable MFA for a User

To bolster security for RebelMouse users, enabling MFA is a straightforward process designed to be user-friendly and efficient. Here’s how users can activate MFA for their accounts:

First, navigate to the Multi-Factor Authentication Management page by appending /r/dashboard/multifactor_management to your site’s URL.

Then, tick the checkbox that says Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Upon activation, a QR code will appear on the screen.

The QR code can be scanned using any authentication app of the user's choice. Examples of authenticator apps include:

  • Google Authenticator
  • Authy
  • Microsoft Authenticator
  • LastPass Authenticator

After scanning the QR code, the authentication app will generate a temporary code. Every time the user needs to log in with MFA, they will need to open the app and copy the temporary code.

Login Process With MFA

After MFA has been enabled, the login process will include an additional step for verification:

  1. Enter your email and password as usual.
  2. When prompted, open the authentication app on your device and enter the code displayed for your account. This code refreshes periodically for added security.

Limitations

It's important to note that the current implementation of MFA for RebelMouse is designed to work exclusively with email accounts. This means that the primary method of user identification and authentication is through their registered email address. Users should ensure that their email accounts are secure and that they have access to their authentication apps to avoid being locked out of their accounts.

If you have any questions about MFA on RebelMouse, email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

Rebel Insights

RebelMouse for News Publishers

RebelMouse is the leading CMS for news publishers, providing a modernized, high-performing, and customizable CMS built for speed and innovation. RebelMouse helps news publishers take control of their digital future with technology that solves critical business challenges and leapfrogs their competitors. For news publishers needing better functionality, security, and scalable approaches, get with RebelMouse to help you own your destiny and punch above your weight.

Trusted by News Publishers Globally

list of trusted RebelMouse clients and their company logos

Technology That Keeps News Sites Modern and Cost-Effective

There’s no room for bad technical SEO, slow-loading pages, or bad Core Web Vitals. But the backlogs developers face under WordPress and Drupal paradigms are enormous. Keeping what seems to be a basic site modern can cost millions a year without RebelMouse.

The Platform and Playbook That Maximize Organic Reach to News Content

Producing fantastic content is key to marketing today. But trapping that content on a poorly built website is wasting precious resources and missing opportunities. We ensure the fastest, most stable, and most secure performance with perfect technical SEO. Our platform is strategic, guiding marketers to success across traffic and revenue.

A Powerful Editorial Experience: Strategic, Guided, and Efficient

  • Content creation and editing tools guide writers and editors to drive more traffic
  • Easy to publish beautiful long-form pieces
  • Works perfectly on mobile
  • Out-of-the-box workflow that is easy to further customize and configure
  • Empower editors with AI suggestions for metadata and headlines
  • Google Search Console data and stats are built into the editorial experience
  • Ongoing strategy support from the RebelMouse team for editorial success

Fully Capture All News Revenue Opportunities

  • Paywalls and memberships
  • Sign-up walls and email capture for newsletters, etc.
  • Self-serve ads for local or niche advertisers
  • Affiliate eCommerce integrations
  • Option for RebelMouse to handle all programmatic ads (or bring your own partner)
  • Native advertising integrated out of the box

The Best Platform for Technical SEO

RebelMouse is the only CMS that can guarantee green Core Web Vitals by contract. Our platform gives you the best SEO site health scores, and our strategy team trains teams to use the tools to create growth. AI is integrated natively to optimize structured data and taxonomies, as well as make editors efficient.

AI Natively Built Into the Platform

  • Readers get AI-powered content recommendations trained with stats data
  • Editors get insights and assists with metadata and optimizing content for distribution
  • Out-of-the-box personalized logged-in experiencing powered by AI

The CMS That Collects First-Party Data to Grow Your Business

  • IAB taxonomy support for content-related ads to boost programmatic revenue quickly
  • Progressive profiling for efficient creation of zero and first-party data
  • Support for any required integrations, such as Salesforce, SAP, HubSpot, etc.
  • Logged-in experiences for users to enhance the user experience and gather additional zero-party data for customizations

Optimized to Manage Many Domains With Smart Site Networks

  • Connect multiple sites across your portfolio for cross-network publishing and SEO boosts
  • Create once and publish X times to boost big cultural moments
  • Editorial workflow for smart and efficient content rewrites where needed
  • AI-powered content teasers across sites
  • Universal search across the entire site network
  • Frontend layout deployment can cross multiple sites at once

Leverage Our Distribution Channel Partners

  • Out-of-the-box technical integrations
  • A partner contact we can reach out to and get relationships started for you
  • Flipboard
  • Nordot
  • MSN
  • Yahoo
  • Apple News

Customize Editorial Experiences Extensively

  • Custom workflows and groups
  • Assign permissions depending on multiple factors
  • Customize content editors based on roles or content types
  • Share content between multiple sites
  • Tag content for smart rewrites or publish automatically across sites
  • Smart “Breaking News” banners

Manage Any Content Type

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Product pages
  • Events
  • Videos
  • Live blogs
  • Custom content editors
  • Build community content applications quickly

Native Access to AI-Powered Search

  • Natural language queries
  • Taxonomy opportunities
  • Search has been a pain point for websites for decades
  • Consumers expect Google-level experiences and are delivered less
  • AI solves this once and for all — it’s the leapfrog solution that makes website search a tremendous experience
  • Users can have typos in their queries or use the wrong words, and AI resolves it all to find what they were looking for anyway

Robust Digital Asset Management

  • Automatically convert images into modern formats automatically
  • Bulk upload of assets
  • Seamlessly integrated into content editors
  • Manage rights and permissions
  • Easy to delete images for fair use requests, etc.
  • Custom workflow support

Build and Deploy Multivariate Tests

  • Test layouts against each other
  • Integrated into GA4 for analysis
  • Server-side rendering for fast performance
  • Test (or automate with AI) multiple teaser headlines for articles
  • A/B tests for multiple frontend layouts or features
  • Manage split-traffic tests for data analysis
  • Use conditional layouts to isolate variables
    • This can be based on content or user variables

Built on a Modern and Elegant Infrastructure

  • AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
  • AWS-managed DBs
    • RDS, DocumentDB, ElastiCache
  • Vector database (AI Search Tools)
  • Istio (Routing System)
  • Let's Encrypt (SSL)
  • RabbitMQ (Event Bus)
  • Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD)
    • ArgoCD, GitHub Actions, TeamCity

Enterprise-Grade, Audited Site Security

  • SOC 2 Type 2 compliant
  • Penetration testing on demand
  • Highly secured CMS environment
  • The WordPress plugin ecosystem is a nest of security issues and stability problems that we’ve built a new approach to
  • DevOps/DevSec
    • SOPs (to encrypt secrets in GitHub repositories)
    • AWS GuardDuty
    • AWS WAF
    • GitHub Dependabot

RebelMouse Culture Matters

  • Global
  • Diverse
  • Empathetic
  • Talented
  • Kindness matters
  • Responsible
  • Very low employee churn rate
  • A positive culture to work at
  • A positive culture to work with

Join RebelMouse to Scale Your News Publishing

RebelMouse is the leading CMS for high-traffic news publishing. Our feature-rich platform provides you with the tools you need to streamline workflows, increase organic reach, unlock new revenue streams, implement AI personalization, and foster deeper audience engagement.

Ready to outperform your competitors and transform your digital presence? Schedule a demo today to see how RebelMouse can help your news organization reach new heights.

Empowering Publishers: The All-In-One Platform and Playbook Guide [Template Included]

Level the Playing Field: How Publishers Can Compete With the Big Guys

Publishers face an increasingly competitive landscape dominated by established media giants. But this doesn't mean success is out of reach.

As publishers, you can have top-tier content and journalism, but do you have the right platform, playbook, and blueprints to succeed?

You can have the right team, but without a game plan, solid platform, or understanding how to maximize your tools and resources correctly, it doesn't matter how great your content is.

Find out how an all-in-one content management system (CMS) can help publishers find the right tools and strategies to succeed and compete in the media industry.

Here are the top CMS tools publishers need to compete.

1. SEO: Be Found and Be Seen

Ranking high in search engines is crucial for attracting new readers. Unfortunately, navigating the evolving world of SEO can be overwhelming. With technical SEO as Google's latest ranking factor, it can be challenging to ascertain whether your content meets Google's requirements and adds value for users.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • Simplify Keyword Research: Save time on keyword research with RebelMouse's built-in SEO tools. Our user-friendly interface suggests relevant keywords, displays search volume, integrates with Google Search Console for ranking insights, optimizes URL slugs, and recommends linking opportunities to streamline your content creation for increased organic traffic.
  • Guide Your On-Page Optimization: From metadata, image alt text, tag generation, and smart-linking technology, your content is optimized for search engines through RebelMouse's on-page optimization guidance. This ensures your content is informative and discoverable by search engines, increasing your visibility and driving organic traffic.
  • Ensure a Mobile-First Experience: A website without mobile compatibility falls behind in the SERPs (search engine results pages). RebelMouse's platform is built with a mobile-first approach, ensuring your content is easily accessible and visually appealing on any device, directly impacting your search rankings and user experience.

RebelMouse's on-page SEO optimization sequence

2. Omnichannel Distribution: Reach Your Audience Everywhere

Publishing across multiple platforms expands your reach and audience engagement. However, managing content across different channels often becomes time-consuming and complex.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • Streamline Multi-Platform Publishing: RebelMouse has an omnichannel distribution approach to publishing your content across your website, social media, and email, all from one central hub.
  • Schedule Your Content for Success: Stop worrying about managing your social platforms. RebelMouse's social scheduling features let you link your email, Facebook, and X (Twitter) accounts to ensure publishing consistency and maximum engagement from a single hub.
  • Track Performance Across Channels: Gain valuable insights into how your content performs across various platforms. RebelMouse's comprehensive analytics tracking helps you understand what resonates with your audience on each platform, tailoring your content strategy.

 RebelMouse's CMS integrates social media scheduling channels

3. A Modernized Platform Without Plugins or Upgrades

While WordPress and Drupal empowered individual bloggers in their early days, they may not always be the best fit for today's demanding business needs. These platforms can become cumbersome as your website grows, requiring frequent updates and plugin adjustments that can potentially impact performance.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • Deliver Blazing-Fast Loading Times: Slow load times frustrate users and negatively impact your search rankings. RebelMouse prioritizes speed and performance and outperforms the top publishing platforms at Core Web Vitals. We ensure your website loads quickly and positively contributes to search engine rankings and user engagement.
  • Maintain Clean and Secure Code: Forget upgrades and plugins. RebelMouse is an enterprise-grade CMS built on secure and clean code. We utilize industry-leading practices to ensure your website is secure, trustworthy, and crawlable by search engines, further enhancing your search ranking potential.
  • Provide Ongoing Updates: Staying ahead of the curve is crucial in the SEO world. At RebelMouse, we constantly enhance our platform with the latest technology and perform automatic updates, ensuring your website stays optimized without manual intervention.

 RebelMouse tops big CMS publishers in Core Web Vitals 2024 report

4. Ad Opportunities: Monetize Your Content and Turn Your Passion Into Profit

Monetization is essential for any publisher's long-term sustainability. RebelMouse provides advertising opportunities and support to help you generate revenue, reach more audiences, and capitalize on your digital real estate.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • Unlock Programmatic Ads: Tap into a vast network of advertisers and automatically display targeted ads on your website, maximizing your revenue potential.
  • Test, Manage, and Track Your Ads: Easily manage your ad campaigns, test and track their performance, and analyze their effectiveness with user-friendly tools.
  • Expert Support: Benefit from a dedicated team of experts ready to answer questions, as well as implement, monitor, and guide you toward maximizing your ad revenue through data-driven insights.

Check out how our clients experienced a boost in eCPM revenue using our AI-powered programmatic ad technology.

 bar graph displaying how RebelMouse clients saw increased eCPM revenue with AI-powered ad tech

5. Advanced Platform Tools: Elevate Your Content and Engagement to Go Beyond the Basics

With any modern platform, you need advanced tools to streamline your output and stay competitive as an independent publisher. Working with a CMS that helps you create engaging content and build a strong audience connection with its innovative features is best.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • AI-Powered Insights: RebelMouse uses AI and first-party data to gain insights into your users, their preferences, and content performance to deliver content that resonates with your readers.
  • Drag-and-Drop Design: RebelMouse’s Layout & Design Tool allows users to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites without any coding knowledge. Customize your website's layout and elements to match your brand identity and enhance audience engagement.
  • AI Technology: RebelMouse leverages AI technology to streamline your content creation process and ensure brand consistency. Features like an AI headline generator and AI-driven content recommendations can significantly boost your content's effectiveness, increasing click-through rates (CTR), engagement, and conversions.

 AI headlines analytics show CTR increase 21 days post AI launch

AI-powered content recommendations boost CTR by 55\u2013159% across three client sites in 30 days

6. Navigate Digital Terrain With a Team of Experts by Your Side

Don't go at it alone. Benefit from the guidance and support of a dedicated team of digital experts that will answer your questions, offer strategic advice, and help you navigate the complexities of running a successful online presence.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • Industry Knowledge and Best Practices: Tap into the expertise of a well-versed team. Leverage their publishing knowledge and best practices to optimize your content, maximize your audience reach, and achieve your publishing goals.
  • Ongoing Support: With RebelMouse, a global team of experts is available 24/7, ready to assist you throughout your publishing journey.
  • Do-It-for-You System: RebelMouse offers fully managed website performance and tracking, taking the burden of monitoring and analyzing data off of your shoulders. This allows you to dedicate your time and energy to what matters most — creating content that resonates with your audience and propels your business forward.

7. Analytics and Reporting: Understand Your Audience and Make Data-Driven Decisions

Data is your friend. Gain valuable insights into your audience and make informed publishing decisions with RebelMouse's comprehensive analytics and reporting features.

What RebelMouse Can Do for You

  • Uncover Audience Insights: Monitor social media analytics, user demographics, content engagement metrics, and website traffic. Learn more about the interests and requirements of your audience.
  • Customizable Reports: Generate reports and website stats tailored to your specific needs, allowing you to analyze your data effectively and identify key trends and areas for improvement.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Leverage insights from your audience to refine your content strategy, optimize your website, and make data-based decisions about your publishing strategy.

client experiences percentage boost in users, views, sessions, and Google Search traffic 30 days after launching on RebelMouse

The RebelMouse Playbook Template: Achieve Publishing Success Faster

The following playbook empowers publishers to compete and thrive in today's competitive media landscape. By leveraging RebelMouse's platform insights, you can develop and execute a winning strategy to establish yourself and engage your audience.

Download the following worksheet to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and inform your strategic direction:

Download the RebelMouse Playbook Template

Developing Your RebelMouse Strategy

Now, let's leverage RebelMouse's strategies to address your specific needs and skyrocket your growth:

  • Identify Your Current Traffic Baseline: Analyze your existing website traffic data using a tool like Google Analytics. This includes metrics such as:
    • Total Website Visits
    • Unique Visitors
    • Pageviews
    • Average Session Duration
    • Bounce Rate
    • Top Referral Sources
  • Set Traffic Goals: Based on your overall objectives, define specific website traffic goals aligned with your SMART criteria. For example, aim to increase monthly website visits by 20% within the next quarter.

  • Utilize Analytics and Reporting Tools: Track your progress toward your traffic goals using analytics features that can:
    • Identify your top-performing content
    • Analyze evergreen trends you can use to increase traffic
    • Understand user behavior on your website with first-party data
    • Gain valuable insights into your audience demographics and interests
  • Refine Your Content Strategy Based on Data: Leverage website traffic analytics for your content creation and distribution strategies. This might involve:
    • Identifying topics with high audience interest
    • Updating existing content with new data and interactive research
    • A/B testing with different content formats
    • Tailoring content to specific audience segments

Achieve Publishing Success With RebelMouse

To become a top publishing company, you need the right platform and playbook to unlock your full potential. RebelMouse, an all-in-one CMS, empowers publishers to thrive and amplify their digital reach.

RebelMouse is an agile platform built for the demands of high-traffic websites. Our revenue-focused platform is engineered for lightning-fast page speed, maximizing SEO reach, and building brand exposure.

Ready to achieve your goals? Share them with us and schedule a demo. We'll map out a personalized game plan to supercharge your publishing success.

AI-Powered Content Recommendations Increase CTR

Picture reading a blog post on a new whipped coffee recipe or a DIY home improvement plan. Next, you discover another article recommending top coffee brands or ideal decor. Then, you dive into more engaging content, bookmarking a collection of tasty treats to try or a roadmap for your house project. It’s as if the site is reading your mind, tailoring each article to your preferences and delivering relevant information for success.

How is this possible? Through new, powerful artificial intelligence( AI) recirculation technology, we can recommend personalized content that will resonate with each user.

Use AI-Powered Content Recommendations to Combat Content Overload

When we think of the internet, we also think of information overload. According to research, at least 7.5 million blog posts are published daily, making it more challenging for credible businesses to get valuable information to their target audience.

Users are more likely to abandon websites that are difficult to navigate or require them to sift through tons of content. When users quickly leave your site, Google determines that your company does a poor job of answering search queries, leading to a negative user experience.

AI technology makes getting the right content in front of your target audience more manageable.

How AI Recommends Content That Matters

AI algorithms function as the "brain" of AI technology to understand user interests. When users explore your website, AI analyzes their behavioral data, including search history, content interactions, and online behavior patterns. The more time your audience spends on your website, the more AI gets to know them.

Doing so allows AI to determine each user's preferences and provide valuable content suggestions.

The images below show an example of AI-powered content suggestions in action. A user initially searched for handmade gifts for the holiday season, and AI added value by recommending a listicle of 44 gift ideas that matched the original search query.

Initial Article Title

article title about handmade gifts with social icons underneath

AI-Powered Content Recommendations

AI-powered technology recommending articles similar to initial article title

Images help users visualize what an article is about, so they are more likely to click the recommendations driven by AI rather than a simple text hyperlink.

Advantages of AI-Powered Content Recommendations

AI-powered content suggestions offer many benefits for users and content creators and streamline how your content appears to your audience. Some of those benefits include:

  • Improved User Satisfaction: Personalized content cuts through content overload, boosts engagement and brand loyalty, and enhances user satisfaction.
  • Data-Driven Insights: AI collects and analyzes user data to understand their online behavior and offer insights into their next move. You can use this data to power your marketing campaigns and create unique content that appeals to your audience.
  • Improved Reach: The more satisfied users are with your content, the more credible and authentic you will appear to Google Search, resulting in higher search rankings, increased exposure, and greater reach.
  • Increase in Revenue: Engaging content makes loyal customers likelier to subscribe or purchase, increasing conversion rates and business revenue.

AI-Powered Content Recommendations in Action

RebelMouse's AI-powered content recommendations are dramatically increasing click-through rates (CTR) for our users, and we’ve got the data to prove it. Our strategy team recently performed a 30-day experiment where the data revealed AI-recommended articles led to a remarkable 159% increase over traditional methods.

line graph displaying low average accumulated CTR in red and improved AI-related CTR in blue

RebelMouse’s AI-powered content recommendations consistently outperformed traditional methods, achieving a 20–50% higher daily click-through rate and yielding more web traffic and revenue potential.

line graph displaying low daily CTR in red and improved AI-related CTR in blue

statistics card compilation displaying CTR increases across three different client sites

The results demonstrate AI's undeniable impact in delivering content that resonates with users. At RebelMouse, our platform offers an intuitive, personalized experience for publishers to build connections with their audience through AI-powered features that provide pertinent content to users.

Unlock the Power of Personalized Content: Embrace AI-Powered Recommendations Today

In essence, fostering deeper connections, building user loyalty, and creating a more immersive digital experience are pivotal outcomes of AI-powered recommended content. RebelMouse is an AI-enabled platform with proven results showing that AI-powered recirculation can maximize your revenue and conversion rates by 50% or more.

We don't merely deliver content, but actively empower our clients to engage with their audiences, earning their trust and providing a digital landscape that is enjoyable, rewarding, and worth revisiting.

Not on RebelMouse yet? Click here to request a demo. Our team will advise you on transitioning to a system where AI determines recommended content placements instead of relying on manual inputs.

Already on RebelMouse? To enable this feature for your site, please contact support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

Building Better Interfaces: Tips From RebelMouse’s Design Team

The team at RebelMouse that works on user interface (UI) design often faces challenges that can make or break a user's experience (UX). The following list breaks down some of the typical issues that we might run into, from how things look to how easy they are to use.

General Design

Inconsistent Design Elements

Mismatched design elements, such as different button styles, varying fonts, or inconsistent color schemes, can lead to a confusing and disjointed user experience.

Example:

Inconsistent Design Elements

Inconsistent Iconography

Using icons that are stylistically different or have varying meanings can confuse users.

Example: An interface uses different icon styles, leading to a lack of visual cohesion.

Inconsistent Iconography

Inconsistent or Non-Intuitive Symbol Use

Using symbols or icons that are not universally recognized or intuitive can lead to confusion.

“There are a few icons that enjoy mostly universal recognition from users. The icons for home, print, and the magnifying glass for search are such instances. Outside of these examples, most icons continue to be ambiguous to users due to their association with different meanings across various interfaces. To help overcome the ambiguity that almost all icons face, a text label must be present alongside an icon to clarify its meaning in that particular context.”

—From the Nielsen Norman Group on Icon Usability

Overuse of Colors or Fonts

Using too many colors or font types can make a design look cluttered, and can detract from the overall user experience. It’s essential to maintain a balance.

Example:

Overuse of Colors or Fonts

Cluttered Layout

Overcrowding a page with too many elements can overwhelm users, making it difficult to focus on the most important content.

Example:

Cluttered Layout

Poor Alignment and Spacing

Inconsistent alignment and improper spacing can disrupt the visual harmony and hierarchy of the interface.

Example:

Poor Alignment and Spacing

Lack of a Clear Hierarchy in Information

Without a clear visual hierarchy, users may struggle to understand which elements are the most important.

Example:

Lack of a Clear Hierarchy in Information

Lack of Consistent Branding

Inconsistent branding across different pages or platforms can confuse users about your identity and professionalism.

Example: A company’s branding has a completely different color scheme and logo compared to its website.

Navigation and Accessibility

Poor Navigation

Complicated or unclear navigation can frustrate users, making it difficult for them to find what they are looking for.

Example: A complex website with no search function or clear menu, making it hard to find specific sections.

Inadequate Error Handling

Not providing clear and helpful error messages can leave users confused and frustrated when things go wrong.

Example: An online form that returns a generic "Error Occurred" message without specifying what the user needs to fix.

Poorly Designed Search Functionality

A search feature that returns irrelevant results or is hard to use can significantly hinder the user experience.

Example: A news website's search function that returns unrelated news, frustrating users.

Technical Aspects

Low Contrast

Insufficient contrast, especially with text, can make content hard to read, impacting accessibility and usability.

Example:

Low Contrast

Ignoring the Use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs)

Not using SVGs for icons and other graphics can result in poor rendering on high-resolution displays.

Example:

Ignoring the Use of Scalable Vector Graphics SVGs

Design Beautiful Websites With RebelMouse

To summarize, the trick to effective user interface design lies in your ability to present a seamless and intuitive experience. Finding the right balance across design elements and functionality sets the stage for interfaces that users find both aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. A detailed, user-centric approach in addressing these design challenges can significantly elevate the overall user experience.

If you would like to learn more about creating attention-grabbing user interfaces for your digital properties, let’s connect.

AI Headline Generator: How to Create Site-Wide Prompts

With our AI headline generator tool, you can create enticing, click-worthy titles for your articles, product pages, social media captions, content tags, and more. You can also customize AI prompts to manage your content production in one location with our OpenAI integration.

RebelMouse’s AI-powered tools help you save time searching for what you need to support traffic-generating content. This article covers how to create AI prompts for your editorial pages and customize your own AI tabs for specialized content.

How to Customize Headline Prompts in Entry Editor

If you have a specific request for our headline generator, crafting a prompt can help instruct the AI toward your desired output.

Follow these steps to create a headline prompt in Entry Editor:

  1. Click the Edit Prompt button to customize the current prompt.

RebelMouse AI headline prompt customization.

2. After customizing your prompt, click Save.

How to Create and Customize Site-Wide AI Prompts

You can manually modify the headline generator prompt for each article, or create a comprehensive AI prompt that will work across all of your desired content. This feature is helpful if you want to avoid typing requests into the AI, or have content that adheres to a particular format.

All users can benefit from AI-generated headlines tailored to your website or brand's unique tone and feel. You can customize Entry Editor's default prompts for your site or specific pages.

Follow these steps to customize your site-wide AI prompts:

1. Click the hamburger menu (☰) in the upper-left corner of your Posts Dashboard and select Layout & Design Tool.

RebelMouse dashboard settings.

2. Then, click the hamburger menu under Global Settings, select Pages, and click Entry Editor.

 RebelMouse global settings and entry editor tabs.

3. Next, find the AI Headlines menu. Use the drop-down menu to add Headline AI as a Right Rail element to an Entry Editor layout.

Entry editor AI headlines menu.

All your filled-in fields, such as the headline, social headline, and teaser headline should be in the Headline AI Right Rail element and ready for editing. If any fields are missing, you can use an Optimizer Field to add and customize them.

RebelMouse AI headlines optimizer field.

4. To add an Optimizer Field, follow this visual tutorial:

You can add as many field sections as you like to the headline generator using the Optimizer Field. In the example below, we chose the Primary Tag as an additional field.

In Entry Editor, the Primary Tag field will appear as follows in the Headlines tab:

Best Practices for Creating an AI Prompt

The AI prompt is compatible with any field, but it specifically considers the {{postBody}}, which contains the text for the body and listicle sections. Other components such as {{headline}}, {{subheadline}}, and {{primary_tag}} should be specified inside brackets.

How to Create a Custom AI Tab for Entry Editor

Your custom AI button personalizes your content creation and can be added to Entry Editor as an independent tab from the headline generator. If you want everything in one location, you can also add these fields under the Headlines tab.

Follow these steps to create a custom AI tab:

1. Click the hamburger menu (☰) in the upper-left corner of your Posts Dashboard and select Layout & Design Tool.

RebelMouse Layout and Design dashboard settings.

2. Then, click the hamburger menu under Global Settings, select Pages, and click Entry Editor.

RebelMouse's Entry Editor tab from the global settings page.

3. Next, find the AI Headlines menu. Use the drop-down menu to add Headline AI as a Right Rail element to an Entry Editor layout.

 RebelMouse's AI headline customization menu.

4. Click the Right Rail section under a B-test in the Entry Editor layout, which should then be highlighted in blue. (Each user's version of this element will appear differently.)

RebelMouse's Entry Editor right rail element.

5. Click the plus icon (+) in the upper-left corner and select the Right Rail element. This will enable it for customization.

right rail element instructional guide.

6. In the element settings on the right-hand side of the interface, click Element Role to access the drop-down menu and choose the Custom button at the bottom of the list.

right rail click element role instructional guide.

right rail element customization settings.

7. Under the Options for Custom Right Rail section, create a title. The custom Entry Editor tab in this example is called “AI Wizard.”

AI prompt custom title section.

8. You can optimize your custom AI tab with various subject fields, such as primary tags, social headlines, custom tweets, and more, using the optimizer box. After choosing your fields, input your desired AI prompts to generate content for your website more quickly.

Continue following the instructions below to name your fields and create your prompts using the optimizer box.

9. Click the plus icon (+) in the upper-left corner of the interface and select Row.

AI prompt row customization settings.

10. Select the Column section under the Custom: AI Wizard tab after choosing Row. It will be highlighted in green.

AI prompt column customization settings.

11. Click the plus icon (+) in the upper-left corner of the interface to access the drop-down menu. Type in “optimizer box” in the search field and select it. The optimizer box is a useful tool you can use to direct and instruct the AI while it creates and refines content.

AI prompt optimizer box settings.

12. The optimizer box will appear on the right side of the screen, where you can input your field name, title, prompt, and description.

AI prompt optimizer box text fields customization settings.

13. Click the kebab menu icon (three vertical dots) next to Field Name to access the drop-down menu and choose a desired field.

AI prompt field name menu settings.

In this example, we chose Custom Tweet.

AI prompt custom tweet field name.

Here, you can add a specific prompt. For example:

Create a social caption in under 280 characters that engages and interacts with readers. Provide three different variations."

To add more custom fields to your custom AI tab, follow steps 9–13 as needed. You can also watch this quick video tutorial:

14. In Entry Editor, your fields will appear like this under your custom AI tab:

AI prompt custom fields display.

FAQ

Here are some common questions and answers to help you customize your AI prompts in Layout & Design Tool.

1. How do I remove/disable a Headline element?

You can use the optimizer field to disable a Headline element if you want to hide or remove it. This will deactivate Entry Editor's ability to add this field name under the Headlines tab. In the example below, the Teaser Headline element is turned off.

2. How do I update an AI prompt?

Any AI prompt can be updated using the optimizer field. This change can be seen in Entry Editor under the Headlines tab. For example, in the screenshot below, we are changing a prompt that will generate different article titles.

AI prompt update settings.

Supercharge Content Creation With RebelMouse’s AI Tools

Use RebelMouse's AI headline generator to enhance your content strategy and online visibility. RebelMouse represents the future of content optimization, offering a streamlined process that increases user satisfaction and engagement.

Leverage tools for a faster and simpler content strategy to stay competitive and communicate effectively with your audience.

If you want to add our AI tools to your account, contact your account manager or send an email to support@rebelmouse.com to learn more.

Here’s Why You Should Focus on Valley Elevation

We've all experienced it. The dopamine-filled highs of watching site stats blast through the ceiling on our favorite web analytics platform after a piece of content goes viral. As digital publishers, it's in our blood to crave these spikes. But the sobering crash back to reality that follows, and the ensuing scramble to come up with the next piece of content that can match the previous peak, are seemingly inevitable. This constant seesawing is a frustrating and fatiguing experience, no matter the size of your budget or marketing team. What's a publisher seeking stability to do? Are we all targeting the right goals, or is there more here than meets the eye?

Enter Valley Elevation

Turns out there is more to your stats than just those towering summits. It's the concept of valley elevation, and it's been staring you in the face the entire time. Coined by Bradley Schwarzenbach and popularized by bestselling author Andrew Davis, valley elevation posits that you should be focusing on the depth of your metrics' troughs instead of its peaks.

Keep reading... Show less

Technical SEO Tips to Master Google Updates

Imagine you’ve spent hours tirelessly optimizing your website with top-quality content, relevant keywords, and topics guaranteed to drive traffic, only for your efforts to be in vain, with months passing by with few readers, low rankings, and little revenue for your business. If this is your current situation, you should elevate your technical SEO strategy.

Today, we're diving into the essential side of ranking with technical SEO, which is often overlooked, yet more critical than high-traffic keywords to rank high across search engines. Dive deep into technical SEO, find out how it impacts your Google Search rankings, and learn the best practices to stay competitive even during a volatile Google core update.

What Is Technical SEO and Its Importance to Google?

Technical SEO involves improving your website's security, speed, and layout for greater search engine visibility. If you’re driving a car, you want the best route and guidance to reach your destination quickly. In this scenario, think of high-quality content as the destination and technical SEO as the highways and signs that lead you there.

Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes actions you can take to optimize your website for efficient indexing by Google’s web crawlers. In addition to looking for sites that follow best practices around organizing their content and infrastructure, Google also looks for websites that provide a satisfying user experience, and that means making sure your quality, helpful content is set up for success.

John Mueller, Google’s Senior Search Analyst and Search Relations Team Lead, tweeted:

It will be difficult for your site to rank well if it’s difficult for users to navigate, confusing, or doesn't effectively match users’ search intent because it doesn't adhere to the fundamentals of SEO maintenance.

How to Make Your Website More Technical SEO-Friendly

To enhance your website's technical SEO, improve its crawlability (scanning and navigation) and indexability (organization and storing). Google’s bots crawl a web page to understand and discover the content. After crawling, the bots will organize and store the information in specific databases to display on its search results page.

To enhance the crawlability and indexability of your webpages, consider these tips to optimize your website for technical SEO.

1. Create an XML Sitemap

Whether you have a few pages or hundreds on your site, a sitemap helps Google discover your pages faster. Most content management systems will automatically generate a sitemap that you can submit to Google Search Console. Google will then periodically crawl and index your sitemap when changes are made. If your CMS does not offer this service, you can download a sitemap generator tool instead.

XML sitemap example

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse automates site mapping and integrates with Google Search Console, giving you effortless control over your website structure. Easily submit sitemaps to Google with just a click and let our CMS track indexing status, identify crawl errors, and streamline your website architecture.

2. Use a Robots.txt File

A robots.txt file prevents Google from crawling pages you’d like to omit, such as pages with duplicate content or a site with thousands of URLs that aren't essential to the user experience.

Without this file, Google will crawl your entire website, which could hurt your SEO if you have hundreds of pages with old, unoptimized content. Your CMS should automatically generate a robots.txt file for you. If you do not have one, there are resources for writing and submitting a robots.txt file.

How RebelMouse Can Help

Get your website seen by more people! RebelMouse users automatically have a custom robots.txt file and an integrated sitemap optimized for SEO that can help you manage and exclude pages from search engines. This means search engines like Google can find your most important pages quickly and easily, boosting your search rankings and traffic.

3. Add Canonical Tags

Canonical tags prevent Google from penalizing duplicate content found across multiple URLs. Using canonical tags eliminates plagiarism detection and improves your technical SEO. For example, you would want to add a canonical tag to articles with the same disclaimer messaging located at the bottom of each page. Certain CMS platforms can easily set up a canonical URL, or you can manually enter the "rel=canonical" tag into your system's HTML code.

How RebelMouse Can Help

Forget manually inputting code. RebelMouse's “rel=canonical” tag automatically tells search engines which web page is the original, preventing keyword cannibalization and plagiarism red flags.

4. Shorten Your URLs

URLs help Google and users find new content. Avoid long URLs with random characters that are not easy to remember to increase your visibility and brand awareness. If you write an article about vegan recipes, here are some good and bad examples of how your URL should be formed.

Good URL: https://www.yourdomainname.com/vegan-recipes

Bad URL: https://www.yourdomainname.com/vegan-recipes/7563/$#%/culinary-baking

Keep your URLs free of random characters and shorten them to help Google and users understand an article when navigating.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse’s CMS performs competitor keyword research right from the editing interface to optimize your slug for keyword phrases with the highest search volume. With our Google Search Console integration, you can see how your articles are ranking for specific phrases to help determine ways to boost existing momentum.

RebelMouse CMS Google Search Console integration for URL optimization

RebelMouse's Search Engine Keyword Volume Integration Tool

 RebelMouse CMS integrates keyword search volume for URL slug optimization

5. Practice Internal Linking

Internal links are beneficial to ranking across Google Search because they allow bots to efficiently navigate and index your webpages. This practice boosts authority, particularly for large websites with numerous pages that may not be visible to users. By internally linking important or orphan pages, Google indexes them faster, increasing the likelihood of them ranking and users seeing your most valuable content.Best practices for internal linking include:

  • Using a Specific Number of Links: Include at least 6–10 links per 2,000 words, with 1–2 links pointing to product pages.
  • Linking to Keyword-Rich Anchor Text: Include keywords in your anchor text, and only link to articles that best match the title. For example, if you're linking to an article titled "Best Taylor Swift Songs," use the exact anchor text. Avoid long anchor text that’s over five words.
  • Linking to Pertinent Pages: Link to your most important pages for Google and users, such as contact, product, home page, or relevant articles. Discover your biggest high-traffic pages and link to those using a site audit tool like Semrush, Google Search Console, or Ahrefs.
  • Avoiding Using Similar Anchor Text: To avoid confusing Google, use unique anchor text for each article and refrain from linking to different pages using the exact same keywords.
  • Sweeping Your Site for Broken Links: Links on your site may need to be updated over time. Regularly conduct site audits every three months to replace broken links and maintain your site's health.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse’s SmartLinks automatically searches for and links to articles containing specific key phrases. Enter a keyword term and let SmartLinks do the rest.

Additionally, in RebelMouse Entry Editor, we auto-populate your related content and use AI-powered recirculation technology to provide users with the best content recommendations to keep them engaged.

 RebelMouse CMS with linkable articles under SEO tab of Entry Editor

6. Optimize Images With Alt Text for Enhanced SEO

Image optimization is important to Google, and using alt text correctly is essential for both SEO and awareness. Alt text describes an image to help search engines comprehend and rank your visual content. Improve accessibility and follow Google's recommended practices for image optimization by including alt text that provides context for your website's images.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse takes a multi-faceted approach to optimizing images with alt text for enhanced SEO, focusing on technical efficiency and user experience. Some of the critical SEO image features that our CMS offers includes:

  • Automatic Tag Generation: RebelMouse leverages AI technology to generate alt text automatically for uploaded images.
  • Keyword Targeting: Users can enhance automatically generated alt text by incorporating relevant keywords.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The platform provides an easy-to-use interface for altering and changing alt text, allowing users to edit descriptions without requiring technical knowledge.

example of RebelMouse alt text image optimization settings in CMS

7. Optimize Images Using Google’s Best Practices

It takes more than alt text to bring out the boldness and vitality of your website's aesthetic. When considering image SEO, Google's best practices for images are a step in the right direction. From sourcing high-quality images to compressing them for efficient loading, there are a few ways to enhance your user experience and maintain optimal site health. Here are some tips for best image practices for your website:

  • Choose the Proper Format: Opt for WebP if supported, JPEG for photos, PNG for transparent graphics, and GIFs for simple animations.
  • Compress Your Images: Use tools like Squoosh or TinyPNG to find the optimal compression level for each image without sacrificing quality.
  • Minimize Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Preload website images to avoid your designs moving unexpectedly, causing user frustration.
  • Prioritize Critical Resources: Load essential images first and defer non-critical ones to avoid delaying page rendering.
  • Implement Responsive Images: Adapt images to different screen sizes and devices for a seamless experience.
  • Submit an Image Sitemap: Help Google discover and index your images more efficiently.
  • Use Structured Data: Provide additional information about your images for richer search results.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse offers image resizing for lightning-fast loading and generating accurate alt text for users and search engines. Our AI headline generator provides image captions and alt text that best fit your keyword choices and support accessibility. Our CMS also seamlessly integrates with Google-friendly features like sitemaps and structured data.

8. Ensure Your Site Offers Desktop and Mobile-Friendly Navigation

When your website is not optimized for site navigation, users must sift through content like files in a basement. This can frustrate them, resulting in a high bounce rate. A well-structured site with a navigational menu or search bar can make or break your user experience, leading to increased user engagement and conversion rates if the content matches users’ search intent.

To make your site more navigation-friendly:

  • Optimize for mobile
  • Reduce clutter on your site with clear icons instead of lengthy text
  • Add images and videos to break down complicated topics
  • A/B test your pages to see which content and layouts interest users the most

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse offers everyone a smooth and user-friendly experience, regardless of device, combining responsive design, mobile-first development, touch-friendly interfaces, content prioritization, and flexible navigation options.

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

9. Implement a Comprehensive 404 Dashboard

A well-optimized website prioritizes successful navigation and addresses user frustration when a page is not found. A comprehensive 404 dashboard is valuable for any website owner or manager. It encourages proactive website maintenance, improves the user experience, provides helpful data on site errors, and allows you to resolve issues quickly. These errors can include:

  • Broken Links: The dashboard can identify URLs that return a 404 error, indicating broken links throughout your site.
  • Outdated Content: The dashboard should pinpoint outdated content, link typos, or remove pages.
  • Prioritize Critical Pages: The dashboard should classify broken links according to their impact, such as high-traffic or critical business pages requiring immediate attention.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse’s CMS includes an advanced 404 dashboard for monitoring and managing broken links and website errors that may be slowing down your site and hurting your SEO. We also provide Semrush audit integrations that identify areas of improvement to raise site health and ensure a seamless user experience.

10. Maximize Page Performance and Speed With Core Web Vitals

GIF example of product page poor responsiveness versus good responsiveness on mobile

Google’s Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure your site's performance for page loading, interactivity, and visual stability. Core Web Vitals can help optimize your website for search and elevate the user experience with fast-loading, delay-free pages that function across desktop and mobile. RebelMouse prides itself as the powerhouse of Core Web Vitals, outperforming popular CMS options like WordPress and Wix for all of our platform’s users.

 RebelMouse CMS with good Core Web Vitals in green versus traditional CMS with poor Core Web Vitals in red and yellow

 Core Web Vitals Report: RebelMouse with a green uptrend outperforms competitor CMS platforms

Check out PageSpeed Insights to see your Core Web Vitals score. Here are some ways to improve your LCP, FID, and CLS metrics:

  • Loading Speed (LCP) Improvement: Try preloading the most crucial components of your website so that they’re available on the page as soon as the user lands on it to increase your loading speed.
  • Interactivity (FID) Improvement: Prevent certain elements from slowing loading time to enhance interactivity. Use lazy loading to ensure specific sections load in a preferred order, prioritizing important content for users.
  • Visual Stability (CLS) Improvement: Consider design and image dimensions that support the web page’s layout and won't shift or move around as your users navigate around the page to improve your site's visual stability.

For a more comprehensive look into Core Web Vitals health, check out this guide on improving your Core Web Vitals.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse offers a blend of built-in optimization, user control, and additional strategies to ensure your site delivers stellar Core Web Vitals performance, ultimately leading to better search rankings, user experience, and overall website success.

11. Structure Your Data

The format of your website and its content is known as structured data. Your structured data for pages and articles should include an optimized URL, metadata (meta title and description), an H1 title, H2 headings, and H3 headings (when applicable).

Your information would be organized for a landing page or home page according to the navigation menu, the “About Us” page, the copy explaining your brand's purpose, and the call-to-action (CTA) buttons pointing to crucial website pages, such as new services, products, or content.

In essence, you want your data to be organized neatly for crawling and visibility, unlike unstructured data, which lacks a defined format and is difficult for both Google and users to index and understand.

How RebelMouse Can Help

With RebelMouse, you can enhance your structured data by adding elements through our platform's user interface. This allows you to specify the schema for specific content types like recipes, videos, or events (e.g., recipe carousels or event cards). We also make it easy to optimize your H1, H2, and H3 headers.

12. Upgrade Your Web Security

Security is crucial because Google relies on trusted sources that ensure user data is safe. To ensure your website is safe from malware and online hackers, make sure it uses HTTPS, advanced security encryption offered by hosting services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), and is SOC 2 Type 2 certified. Discover more from 2024's safest content management system.

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse takes web security seriously with a full range of features and a fortified infrastructure to safeguard your website and data. By leveraging a centralized platform, AWS security, a secure infrastructure, compliance adherence, and SOC 2 Type 2 certification, RebelMouse helps you build a secure and trustworthy online presence.

13. Run a Site Audit

Site audits identify areas for improvement to ensure optimal site health, such as ways to improve high-traffic pages, broken links, missing metadata and alt text, and technical SEO missteps. Platforms like Semrush and Ahrefs are great places to start if you're new to technical SEO. They can help you manage your content and address page errors on your website.

We’ve improved one client's technical site health from 59% to 92% through frequent audit checks and corrections. Even in the face of unpredictable Google updates, our CMS allows clients to maintain high-performing, optimized, and competitive sites through regular website health checks.

Semrush displaying healthy Site Health Score at 92 percent

How RebelMouse Can Help

RebelMouse takes a comprehensive approach to site audits and technical SEO, providing the tools, insights, and support you need to optimize your website for success. With its automated scans, Semrush integration, user-friendly features, and expert support, RebelMouse empowers you to take control of your website's search engine visibility to unlock its full potential.

How to Maintain Website Health and Traffic During a Google Core Update

With the unpredictability of the latest Google core update that caused many websites to see a decrease in traffic, it's essential to focus on managing technical SEO while delivering helpful, user-first content to your audience.

If your website has seen a downward trend since the last Google Search update, here are some ways to remain competitive and bring your rankings back up:

  • Focus on the User: Following SEO trends is nice, but you might be following a dead-end path. When trying to win long-tail keywords, consider whether the content helps a user take action, answers their questions, and takes them to the next steps that satisfy their search intent. If you create content for clickbait that offers generic information, you will see little progression in your search rankings.
  • Maintain Your Website Health: Site audits are the best way to launch your technical SEO efforts. Adhere to the aforementioned recommendations in this article and prioritize the elements of your SEO strategy that will lead to the best outcomes, whether that means strengthening your Core Web Vitals, increasing security, refining metadata, or generating opportunities for link development. Work through our list of suggestions until you reach optimal tech health.
  • Clean Up Your Site: A Google Search core update may be the perfect time to get your site decluttered and focused on structured data that offers users the best navigation and interface to sift through. Use A/B testing to experiment with new features and gauge your users' reactions.

Skyrocket Your Technical SEO With RebelMouse

RebelMouse is an enterprise-level, AI-powered CMS for brands and publishers. With our cutting-edge systems and AI solutions, we assist clients with increasing their online visibility and realizing their full earning potential. Our users love to rave about their online success and traffic increases after joining our platform.

We offer a one-stop shop for managing omnichannel integrations, Core Web Vitals, sophisticated security protocols, AI-powered recommendations, automated metadata recommendations, and smart-linking technologies. As we continue to be the number one CMS for SEO in 2024, we aim to transform online performance for our clients in a way that helps build connections with their audiences.

Contact our team to request a demo and learn more about our products and services.

Responsible Statecraft: SEO Growth After Switching to RebelMouse CMS

The RebelMouse team met the Responsible Statecraft team in 2023. We kicked off our partnership in April and launched the new experience in early September. The results we have achieved together are beyond impressive.

Post-Launch Performance

It’s exciting to see that a few months after launch we can report exciting growth — especially in traffic from Google.

Responsible Statecraft post-launch performance statistics

Performance Boosts in 30 Days

It’s not only about the traffic boost after the launch. We monitor the traffic from month to month and work with Responsible Statecraft on maintaining that growth.

Responsible Statecraft performance boost in 30 days

Knowing that Google is a top traffic source for Responsible Statecraft, looking at the data in Google Search Console is also exciting.

Responsible Statecraft Google Search Console performance statistics

Onboarding Journey

There are a few reasons why the Responsible Statecraft team decided to switch to RebelMouse’s platform:

  • Their site was launched in December 2019 on WordPress. They have grown considerably in that time — not just in traffic, but also across content providers (e.g., reporters, themselves, and outside contributors). They needed the right platform to support internal growth.
  • They were ready for the next round of traffic growth, especially in terms of SEO. Even with great expert content, they just weren’t getting enough traffic. There was a concern that their existing website was not fully optimized. The website architecture was old and it hadn’t been updated.
  • They were also looking for a complete strategy overhaul to give their readers more reasons to stay on their site and build loyalty.

Throughout the build process, we had amazing partners on the Responsible Statecraft side, including Kelley Vlahos, Editorial Director, and Ben Armbruster, Managing Editor. The best way to explain our work together is synergy. Each of our team members, with their unique experiences, perspectives, talents, and communication styles, created the growth that the Responsible Statecraft team was hoping for from the start.

Project Scope

Every project benefits from a clear roadmap and defined goals. We prioritize understanding our clients' objectives and providing cost-effective solutions. Our commitment to our clients' success fosters long-term relationships, as demonstrated by clients who have been with us for over a decade.

When Responsible Statecraft approached us, Adam Taylor, our Director of Strategic Solutions, immediately responded to their needs. He addressed their concerns directly, navigating budget constraints and roadblocks with empathy, patience, and personalized solutions. Adam's dedication allowed Responsible Statecraft to confidently migrate to RebelMouse and quickly maximize their online success.

Taxonomy

The breadth of topics and categories that Responsible Statecraft touches on is very significant. Previously, the site was heavily based on tags with only a few categories, which wasn’t the ideal way to organize all of the content.

While it can be a challenge to reflect a wide range of topics in taxonomy, our Senior Vice President of Product & Strategy, Alex Leo, started the project by performing a comprehensive analysis of all the tags and topics Responsible Statecraft had used previously. From there, our Director of Audience Development, Craig Kanalley, took a close look at common threads and found that a geographical structure would work best. This was based on the high volume of location-based tags the site had been using. We presented this to the Responsible Statecraft team and got timely and receptive feedback to move forward with the new taxonomy.

All of the content was divided into six regions: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and North America. Within each region, there were countries and relevant categories.

Responsible Statecraft website taxonomy and structured data

This new taxonomy was reflected in the redesign with a Regions drop-down menu on the site’s main navigation. The new menu made it easy for users to pull up a region of interest and see the latest news, launching into a section page for each specific region.

A few high-level, common topics that the site covers were also a part of the new and improved main navigation: Military Industrial Complex, Washington Politics, Media, and Global Crises.

“I loved collaborating with the Responsible Statecraft team to improve their site’s taxonomy,” Kanalley said. “They are experts in their field and improving the organization of their content has made it a better user experience for anyone who visits the site, highlighting the great work that they do.”

Getting the taxonomy right was the first step, and from there, we were ready to build a beautiful design.

Complete Redesign

RebelMouse's web designer, João Marcos Oliveira, transformed Responsible Statecraft's vision into a reality that exceeded expectations. João's eye for aesthetics and understanding of UX principles resulted in a website that effectively communicates its vision and directs users to relevant content.

Kelley Vlahos testimonial about the website design process with RebelMouse

Responsible Statecraft website redesigned with optimized mobile version

Modernized and Refreshed Brand Identity

RebelMouse provided new logo options, because a well-designed logo is memorable and easily recognizable. We also offered new typography because having proper font sizes enhances readability, making it easier for users to consume content and understand the message.

Responsible Statecraft brand identity

Top Navigation

The design team also updated the main navigation by highlighting the main areas and incorporating drop-down menus.

Before

Responsible Statecraft's former navigational website before RebelMouse redesign

After

Responsible Statecraft new website navigation

Segmented Layout

Segmented layouts help organize content into logical sections. Each segment is dedicated to a specific message or topic. This enhances overall site navigation and the user experience.

Responsible Statecraft home page with segmented article layout

Article Page Improvements

Here are some of the page and website navigation improvements we focused on during the redesign journey.

Better Navigation

To enhance UX and contextual understanding, we included breadcrumbs and relevant tags.

article page navigation

Author Bio

Below each article, we have incorporated the respective author's bio with author structured data. This information helps establish their expertise, qualifications, and background. It lends credibility to the content and allows readers to assess the author's authority on the subject.

Responsible Statecraft article pages and author bios

More Relevant Content

We placed more relevant content below each main article, incorporating both internal links and “around the web” links based on the topic at hand.

author page with more relevant content

We also eliminated the site's footer and incorporated an infinite scroll stream of articles, so users can easily keep discovering more about any given topic.

Mobile Responsiveness and User Experience

The redesign phase included providing responsive layouts to ensure a consistent and optimal user experience across various devices.

website mobile responsiveness

Mobile Navigation

We moved the top navigation to a hamburger menu, including topic areas and main calls to action, to showcase more pieces of content instead.

 Responsible Statecraft's old mobile version (left) versus new navigation (right)

We built a mobile-friendly article page design, using the proper font sizes and optimal image ratios. Check out these before-and-after examples:

Article page mobile design before and after

Implementation

Our technical team is the team that brought all of this work together. Igor, a RebelMouse Solutions Architect, did a fantastic job of navigating the technical solutions, working with Ben and Kelley on understanding how the old site was set up, how to get all of the data from the old instance over to RebelMouse, and how to bring the new vision for the taxonomy to life.

Igor and RebelMouse Platform Engineer Dmitry worked together with Kelley and Ben on making sure that the home page not only reflected a beautiful design, but also had the right functionality from an editorial perspective. With the new look, the editorial team can easily highlight stories and move them around the site as a part of the editorial process.

“This was a pretty custom request because it was really important for the Responsible Statecraft team to have full control over the home page experience and which stories go where. It took us probably a week to find the best possible solution together and I’m really happy to see the Responsible Statecraft team using it so well. They have been great to work with on coming up with solutions,” said Igor.

Kelley Vlahos testimonial about building a user-friendly site

He built out a plan that was seamlessly implemented with Dmitry and Florian, a RebelMouse Server-Side Engineer. José, a RebelMouse Project Manager, made sure everything was planned and that resources were available from all sides. He kept all of us on track by making sure there was transparency on what we needed to prioritize, move, and what we needed from Kelley and Ben.

The Quality Assurance team, Natallia and Mariano, were the ones who made sure everything looked perfect before anything was shown to Kelley and Ben. It’s so important to have a thoughtful QA team as part of this process since it saves enormous amounts of time by preventing sending incomplete work or unnecessary back and forth.

Technical SEO

With such an amazing team, it’s easy to keep our promise to our clients — that we’ll always keep them modern and ensure that we improve their performance upon launch. Delivering high performance and great Core Web Vitals is our standard.

We care a lot about on-page and technical SEO, and we are very proud to have launched Responsible Statecraft’s site with a Semrush Site Health Score of 86.

These results were achieved by:

  1. Leveraging the power of RebelMouse’s CMS and our out-of-the box features, such as (but not limited to):
    1. Sitemaps
    2. Structured data
    3. Dynamic page titles
    4. Fallbacks for meta descriptions
    5. Correct canonicalization
    6. Absence of server or security issues
  2. Following the built-in processes that we’ve created over the years from migrating countless sites, such as (but not limited to):
    1. Cleaning up bad or old links (e.g., HTTP links)
    2. Optimizing JavaScript and CSS so that there are no performance issues
    3. Submitting sitemaps to Google Search Console
    4. Optimizing robots.txt files
    5. Defining rules for titles and meta descriptions for the most valuable pages
  3. Defining priorities and setting up plans with the Responsible Statecraft team on what is necessary to achieve before launch (such as making sure we have the taxonomy set up correctly) vs. the things that can be addressed later (such as optimizing titles for pages that are not as valuable).

Next Steps

Launching a site is not the finish line at RebelMouse — it’s the starting point. After the site was launched, Veronica, the dedicated Account Manager for Responsible Statecraft, teamed up with Zelle Gatoc, our Digital Strategist, and Rasselline Rose, our Data Insights Analyst, to work together with Ben and Kelley on systematically:

  1. Optimizing the technical SEO across the site even further. We work with teams who are not always technical, but we help support their editorial efforts so that they are following the best practices of technical and on-page SEO.
  2. Discovering new ways to distribute content across channels. We believe in diversification of traffic through different channels, such as Flipboard or SmartNews.
  3. Identifying the next design iterations to provide the best user experience possible. All design decisions are based on data and performance.

Kelley Vlahos testimonial about the RebelMouse team

It takes a village to raise a child and a team to build wonderful user experiences.

Responsible Statecraft and RebelMouse's teams

Introducing: Layout & Design Tool 3.0

The team at RebelMouse have been working hard to launch a new version of our Layout & Design Tool. Here is a look at some of the new features that enhance the digital publishing process.

Highlighted Uncommitted Changes

The latest update of Layout & Design Tool will highlight the elements that have been added, modified, or removed to visually indicate what are the changes pending to be committed. Elements containing any unsaved changes will be marked as:

  • Green if the element is new.
  • Yellow if the element was modified.
  • Red if the element was deleted.

After you save the elements, the highlights will disappear.

Single A/B Test Edition

To ensure a clearer and more controlled editing experience, we have introduced editions of a single A/B test on each commit. As soon as you start working on an A/B Test, Layout & Design Tool will lock the remaining ones to prevent you from accidentally changing other A/B tests.

No More Changeless Actions on Timeline

Instead of tracking all actions, Timeline will now only register actions that make actual changes to the current page, and will no longer track consecutive changes of the same type that overwrite each other. This will make the change history shorter and more meaningful. You will no longer see selection, expanding, or collapsing actions, nor repetitive entries.

Disabled Saved Button

The save button is now disabled by default, and will be enabled only once a change has been made. This will help reduce open tabs in your browser, and you will never forget if you changed something or not if you happen to step away from your work.

Auto-Generated Commit Messages

Why spend your time writing meaningful commit messages when they can be generated automatically? Simply make your changes, and then let Layout & Design Tool create a message based on the modifications you are about to commit to. You can still leave an optional commit message indicating any additional information if needed.

Tracking Critical Actions

Marking an A/B test as live, or deleting an A/B test, is an important action that can impact your site. Now, both of those actions will generate commits to track changes. Archiving and unarchiving will also be tracked.

Improved Set as Live Screen

Every time you push an A/B test live, a comparison screen will appear that shows the differences between your A/B test and the one that is currently live. This means that you will no longer overwrite live changes that you were not aware were introduced.

Quick Revert for Recent Versions

Ever make a mistake and want to revert your changes? You can now go to Timeline and click on the recent commit to load the latest changes. Then you can click on the save button to revert to an earlier version.

Changelog

Every time you open Layout & Design Tool, you will now see our brand new Changelog that will help you catch up with the important updates that've taken place on your site. You can see the recent changes and filter by page, type of commit, dates, users, and more. Click on any diff button to see the changes introduced by that commit.

Changelog will track the creation and deletion of custom pages or custom shared elements, as well as the creation and deletion of A/B tests. Also, it will register any A/B tests set as live and whenever they are archived or unarchived.

Share Feedback

Use the "share feedback" button in Layout & Design Tool's top bar to tell us what you would like us to improve, or if you encounter any issues.

If you have any questions about the newest version of Layout & Design Tool, please email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

From Cookies to Conversions: Win Back Revenue With First-Party Data

How RebelMouse Embraces AI and Emerging Solutions to Reinvent Marketing

Ciao, Cookies

If you’re an advertiser, publisher, brand, or just trying to generate revenue from a website, you’ve probably heard about the demise of third-party cookies.

Since the early 90s, cookies have been a fundamental component of how the web works. These small text files were designed to make it easy for sites to identify visitors and their browsing habits. The cookies are then stored on a user’s device to track activity about how that user interacted with a particular website. This could be anything from a user’s interests and behaviors to verifying their identity. As you can imagine, this has been a slow-boiling privacy concern because cookies can track users' online activities across multiple websites, allowing advertisers to create comprehensive profiles of individuals without their consent.

The centralized storage of this kind of data poses a risk around unauthorized access, potentially exposing users to privacy breaches and identity theft. The collection of vast amounts of user information through cookies without proper safeguards in place has driven the push for more privacy-focused alternatives.

The alarm bells about third-party cookies have been going off for years. Many web browsers have severely limited the power of third-party cookies. As of January 4, 2024, Google Chrome has restricted third-party cookies for 1% of users, and plans to increase third-party cookie restrictions to 100% of users beginning in Q3 2024.

A World Without Cookies: Implications for Advertisers

Third-party cookies have played a major role in how marketers and advertisers track user preferences across websites. For example, if you look at a jacket online, advertisements for that same jacket will follow you across the web until you (hopefully) eventually buy it. In addition to user preferences, third-party cookies also help advertisers measure conversions, track user journeys across websites, and segment audiences based on behavior.

The loss of this critical data means that brands need to navigate how to maintain consistent and accurate audience measurements across channels. In particular, publishers need to be concerned about ad revenue, since many of them currently rely on programmatic ads for the bulk, if not all, of their business revenue.

That’s why publishers, marketers, and advertisers are exploring alternative solutions to third-party cookies, primarily through the use of a first-party data strategy.

First-party data is collected directly from a company's own customers or website visitors. This data is often used to supplement their own data, enabling them to gain insights into broader audience segments, target specific demographics, and improve ad targeting.

There are a number of methods businesses can implement to collect first-party data. Some of those methods include:

  • Adding tracking pixels to your website or mobile apps
  • Collecting information through offers, discounts, or exclusive content
  • Data collection forms that request name, email address, location, and more
  • Customer surveys

Still new to what first-party data is all about? We’ve got all of the basics of first-party data collection covered. Click the image below to learn more.

The Challenge and Reward of Harnessing First-Party Insights

First-party data is more valuable because it's collected directly from the source — a site’s own audience. This means more accurate insights into each user's behaviors, which means more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. However, first-party data can be more challenging to collect than simply relying on third-party cookies. Users need to have established trust in a brand or website before they’re willing to give up valuable information. This means each user must have a vested interest in the brand’s value proposition and feel secure that they will receive something in return for their data.

It can be a big task to build this kind of loyalty with your audience. A successful first-party data strategy requires more than collecting customer data. Businesses must gather, store, and analyze their first-party data to understand audience behavior, and then use those insights to improve marketing performance and deliver more customer value.

The good news is that effective first-party data can also reap big rewards. The more trust your users have in your business, the more effective your marketing efforts will be. We’ve got a seven-step strategy you can use as a guide when formulating your own first-party data plan. Click the image below to learn more.

RebelMouse's Vision for AdTech Transformation

Crafting a first-party data strategy is a tricky task, but luckily the death of third-party cookies comes at a time when there are exciting, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to help publishers stay on the revenue train.

At RebelMouse, our core mission is to deliver an AI-enabled, performance-driven, and cutting-edge CMS alongside decades of digital experience to ensure that our clients always stay ahead of the curve. To keep this momentum going, we’ve spent an enormous amount of time allocating significant resources to research and develop new solutions that yield tremendous results for gathering first-party data.

Additionally, since 2022, RebelMouse has also invested heavily in research and development around AI technologies. Leveraging OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Vertex AI, we have become expert AI integrators. This has been critical to keeping our clients modern in an ever-evolving tech landscape. The breakthroughs in this space, combined with our approach to first-party data, have been essential to the groundbreaking results we’ve achieved. Thanks to our innovative AI integrations, RebelMouse seamlessly aligns editorial content with programmatic buyers' IAB taxonomies.

Our focus on first-party data is centered around two major initiatives:

  • Increasing programmatic ad revenue.
  • Increasing site engagement and return visits.

Additionally, we harness psychographic data that complements both direct sales and programmatic efforts. This powerful combination not only enhances revenue on the initial user visit, but also leads to substantial increases in CPM upon return visits. As visitor loyalty grows with frequent returns, the revenue potential continues to rise.

Click the image below to learn more about how we are leveraging AI to transform the ad space.

RebelMouse Ad Operations: Your One Stop for Modern Monetization

Mastering an AI-powered first-party data strategy and completely rethinking how to generate revenue for your business isn’t easy. Most publishers rely on a third-party agency to help them optimize their ad strategy. At RebelMouse, we simplify your ads initiatives by eliminating the need for an outside vendor to manage your programmatic ads.

Our devoted team will not only increase the quality and viewability of your ads, but we will use advanced AI solutions to help you stay ahead of the industry on important ad strategies like first-party data.

And the results have been lucrative for our clients.

Our Methods: Your Single Source for Ad Management

In addition to leapfrogging the competition across the digital ad landscape, we focus on key initiatives to set aside your campaigns from the rest of the internet’s noise.

  • Core Web Vitals (CWV) Improvement
  • User Experience
    • Control ad volume
    • Monitor ad viewability
    • Keep tabs on correct ad sizing and placement
  • Increase Click-Through Rate (CTR)
    • Focus on CTR leads to better advertisers and higher CPMs
  • Direct-Sold Ads
    • Full campaign setup
    • Coordination with your ad sales team
    • Implementation of the direct-sold ad(s) on your site
    • Continuous optimization of the campaign focused on the best performance around viewability and conversion rate
  • Testing Abilities
    • Before any direct-sold ads are published to your site, we have the ability to test and review exactly how they will look, which means no surprises when the campaigns officially launch

Reap Revenue Rewards With RebelMouse

RebelMouse’s all-encompassing AdOps services leverage AI and first-party data to create more personalized, targeted, and effective advertising experiences for your users while respecting privacy and compliance standards.

Looking to get ahead of the ad game? Let’s connect to explore how we can work together.

Technical SEO: Google's Latest Ranking Revolution

Master Core Updates With Quality Content and Technical SEO

What do Google Search core updates and poor technical SEO have in common?

Low search rankings.

Even with high-traffic pages, your online presence is at risk if you can't marry high-quality content with the right technical SEO tactics, leading to less online visibility and decreased performance.

In 2024, the online community desperately needs guidance as it attempts to keep up with Google's algorithm changes and SEO guidelines. Even though Google has advised publishers and marketers to concentrate on creating E-E-A-T content, many still perceive it to be a guessing game, which adds extra stress and anxiety to content creation.

How Google Core Updates Affect Rankings

According to marketing publications Search Engine Journal and Amsive, Google suggests that focusing on technical SEO and user satisfaction first can help your online business thrive in engagement and survive Google's core updates. Since September 2023, Google has launched at least four significant updates, which include:

  • The Helpful Content Update (September 2023): This update prioritized content that helps users answer a specific question, perform an action, or add value to their lives. Websites that are overly optimized for SEO or solely create content for Google Search and not users will find themselves penalized.

  • The Spam/Core Update (October 2023): This update focused on search quality and penalized sites that had spamming violations like cloaking, hacking, keyword stuffing, false information, and other materials that negatively impact the user experience.

  • The Ranking Update (November 2023): This update prioritized publishers delivering more high-quality content to offer users helpful content, which in turn allows websites to rank higher in search results.

  • The Reviews Update (November 2023): The reviews update optimized the monitoring of reviews that appear in articles or individual content comparing products and services that aim to influence a user's decision.

Impact on Publishers and Marketers

These updates can have a significant impact on the way your site ranks in Google Search. Here are just some of the ways your business could suffer if it doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines:

  • Massive Traffic Declines: Many publishers experienced drops from millions to near-zero clicks and impressions, particularly across Google Discover.

  • Loss of Visibility: Sites disappeared from Google Discover and Top Stories, especially after the October 2023 core update.

  • Revenue Decline: Traffic losses directly impacted income for publishers relying on online ads.

  • Confusion and Lack of Guidance: Publishers felt unclear about the reasons behind the changes and how to recover traffic.

  • Uneven Impact: Some sites, even well-established ones, were affected, while others seemingly benefited.

  • Regional Variations: Traffic changes differed based on location.

  • Web Story Spam in Discover: An increase in low-quality Web Stories may be pushing down other content.

Dominate Google With Technical SEO Tactics

When questioned about the next prominent thing marketers should focus on, Gary Illyes, Google's Search Systems Analyst, emphasized that creators should produce quality content structured to help a user find what they need as quickly as possible.

To achieve this, the Google Search Relations team advised publishers to emphasize technical SEO optimizations and stop chasing SEO trends.

Technical SEO is the supportive framework of a high-ranking website. With proper website structure, functionality, and site navigation, your site can rank on Google Search’s page one.

Not sure how your site stacks up when it comes to technical SEO? Click here to get a free analysis of your site's technical SEO health.

The Three Traps of Content Creation

It's not about chasing the next best thing. Trends are among the pitfalls that confuse marketers about their online performance. According to Search Engine Journal, the following are some of the content creation pitfalls to be aware of:

  1. High Traffic Equals High-Quality Content: You can target common keywords with low search volume and rank highly for those terms, but if your content lacks value to a user and only provides generic information, your high-traffic pages may be doing more harm than good.

  2. Content First, Framework Later: Technical SEO is the cornerstone of your website. Would you build a house on unstable ground? Like a home, you want to create a strong foundation to ensure your website performs well behind the scenes. This means regularly running site audits for growth, checking for broken links or pages, and improving your Core Web Vitals.

  3. Monitoring the Number of Visitors: The number of site visitors is essential, but if they leave after a few minutes, this will increase your bounce rate and signal to Google that your site has low user satisfaction. User engagement, time spent, and page clicks are critical metrics for determining how well your technical SEO efforts result in great user content. Developing a first-party data strategy can assist you in deciding what users want most from your website.

Build Content Quality and User Engagement With RebelMouse

Tired of grappling with the intricacies of Google’s updates and mastering technical SEO? RebelMouse is your ultimate solution! With our state-of-the-art, AI-enabled CMS technology, we aim to redefine your user experience and online success. We help our users master their site health by improving metrics like Core Web Vitals while delivering a creative specialist team. Our industry experts assist you with managing and monitoring your technical SEO performance behind the scenes while you prioritize other important business tasks.

Maximize your SEO potential with our platform, meticulously optimized for page speed, to ensure your content shines across search engines. RebelMouse empowers you to monetize intelligently, providing your team with the tools to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape systematically.

Ready to revolutionize your online presence? Request a demo and upgrade to RebelMouse to propel your digital success today!

Sticky Positions: Best UI/UX Practices [Design Examples]

What Is a Sticky Position?

A sticky position, or sticky element, is something that remains in a fixed position as you scroll through a web page.

Imagine browsing a site, and suddenly, a bright, colorful box pops up and sticks to the side of your screen like chewing gum. It could be a funny meme, a tempting offer for free pizza, or even a cool quiz about your personality type. That's a sticky element!

Sticky elements are design techniques that enhance the user experience on websites and in apps by offering users an easy way to access crucial information and perform essential actions. This approach involves placing specific content and elements in a designated position on the screen, allowing them to remain visible as a user scrolls.

For brands, they're a powerful tool with benefits that boost brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. Examples of sticky elements include navigation menus, contact details, or call-to-action (CTA) buttons readily available at a user's fingertips.

Here are some benefits of using sticky elements:

  • Grabs a User's Attention: Sticky elements offer eye-catching visuals and placements that capture users' attention to your brand message or call to action. Consider using a bold, visually appealing banner to promote your services or products.
  • Tailors Engagement: You can customize your sticky elements to appear on specific pages or display content relevant to a user's interests to deliver targeted messaging.
  • Improves the User Journey: Sticky elements can enhance the user experience by providing quick access to customer support, social links, “Contact Us” buttons, or an FAQ section.
  • Increases Brand Awareness: A sticky element such as a brand banner can be an ongoing reminder of your business as a user scrolls. Contrary to typical ads, a sticky element remains in place and helps to reinforce your brand's identity to users.

Common Uses and Placements for Sticky Positions

Place your sticky element in the best way to hold your users' attention and convert them at the ideal time. This placement could be on the side of the screen, at the top, or as a pop-up module, depending on what will benefit your users the most. Consider the following popular uses and placements for sticky elements that have the potential to produce gold conversions:

Navigation Menus

Sticky navigation menus are a common and effective design choice. When navigating a website, you can easily find essential links as you scroll down because the menu always remains at the top. This helps users navigate the site without scrolling up and down, improving their experience with a user-friendly website.

 Common Dreams website scrolling GIF with a sticky navigation menu at the top

Social-Sharing Icons

Social-sharing icons usually remain visible on the side or on the bottom of a screen. These sticky elements are common for blogs and articles, allowing users to easily share content.

 article scrolling GIF with sticky social-sharing icons below the author's image

Call-to-Action Buttons

Sticky CTA buttons, such as “Sign Up” or “Buy Now,” are often placed at the bottom of the screen to help users take action.

 article scrolling GIF with a sticky sign-up CTA fixed at the bottom of the screen

Announcement Bar

With an announcement and promotion bar, you can leverage the top area of your site to inform readers about breaking stories, events, campaigns, or anything else you’d like to feature prominently.

announcement bar sticky position at the top of a website page

announcement bar sticky position at the top of Premier Guitar website page

The announcement bar’s monthly CTR can range as high as 31.1% or as low as 0.05% in the first month. One month after implementing their announcement bar, Premier Guitar experienced a dramatic boost in their clicks, sessions, and CTR.

announcement bar performance statistics

Sticky Sidebar Ads

Sticky sidebar ads increase visibility and revenue while giving users quick access to helpful content. These ads rotate after an entire scroll through to maximize space and income potential, as well as to ensure that users will see them.

Check out the following case study findings on sticky sidebar performance:

 No Film School's static and sticky sidebar ads analytics indicate higher performance percentages for the sticky sidebar

Scroll-to-Top Buttons

Users often scroll through lengthy pages, and having a scroll-to-top button offers a convenient way to swiftly navigate back to the top of a page. This is particularly useful on pages with extensive content.

 article GIF with a sticky scroll-to-top arrow on the right side of the screen

Cookie Notices

A sticky cookie notice allows users to set their cookie preferences and manage their privacy settings efficiently.

 Heatmap News article scrolling GIF with sticky cookie settings at the bottom

Common Mistakes When Using Sticky Elements

Before implementing sticky elements, avoid these common mistakes:

  1. Avoid Overlapping: Make sure sticky elements don't overlap other essential elements on a page. For example, using a sticky bottom display ad can overlap a footer.
  2. Use Correct Sizing: Make sure the sticky sidebar fits the window vertically, because sometimes the bottom gets cut off on smaller screens. We recommend using a size that ranges from 300–500 px in height, or having the size be defined dynamically depending on the device being used.
  3. Create a Simple User Experience (UX): Make sure sticky calls to action or ads have a close or collapse button. This allows a user to remove any unwanted elements from their screen.
  4. Keep a Consistent User Interface (UI) Design: Make sure sticky elements are consistent and look correct across all devices.
  5. Steer Clear of Overcrowding: Ensure that you are not overcrowding your screen with too many CTAs, as this can distract and possibly frustrate your users.

Sticky Element Design Dos and Don’ts

Explore the following collection of best practices, which includes a set of dos and don'ts to guide you toward effectively using sticky elements on your website.

 two phones showing correct and incorrect sticky CTA versions

 two phones displaying proper and improper sticky ad video placements

 two phones displaying right and wrong ways to present a sticky navigation menu

two phones demonstrating the correct and incorrect times to display relevant and recommended content

Boost User Experience and Conversions With CSS Sticky Positions

Sticky elements provide users with a smooth and intuitive way to interact with a website. Website owners value a straightforward and engaging user experience that offers instant access to the navigation menu and calls to action that promote conversion.

Before implementing sticky elements, think about platform compatibility across desktop and mobile devices, placement to avoid clutter or on-screen distractions, techniques for evaluating their efficacy, performance metrics, and general usability to make the most out of your workflow. Sticky elements help optimize website navigation and engagement when used carefully and with a user-centric approach.

Need help strategizing around and implementing sticky elements across your site? Contact RebelMouse today to learn more about how we can help you move the needle for your business.

What Is A/B Testing? Boost Your Website's Performance

This guide covers A/B testing, its definition, advantages, and real-world applications. We will also go over how A/B testing works, ways to implement it in your SEO practices, and common roadblocks that may come up when evaluating test results. Now, let's see how A/B testing can improve your website’s performance.

What Is A/B Testing?

A/B testing, also called split testing or bucket testing, is a type of experimental testing in which you divide your audience into two groups and present them with different versions of a web page or app element. Group A sees one version of a page, and group B sees another version. The goal of A/B testing is to identify which variation performs better in terms of user engagement, conversion rates, and improving your online presence.

How A/B Testing Works

In an A/B test, businesses create two versions of a web page or an app element: A and B. A is the control page, and B is the variation page that may slightly change the headline, button design, or layout. Half of the users see A (control), and the other half see B (variation). You can then measure each version's performance based on user clicks and conversions.

A/B testing email experiment split among two groups showing the open rate percentages

A/B Testing Example #1: Subject Lines

One example of A/B testing includes subject lines. Imagine group A receives a promotional newsletter titled "Essential Natural Products for Women," and group B receives a variation titled "Must-Have Natural Products for Women in 2024." Whichever headline receives more clicks is the one that appeals most to your audience, which will help you understand your audience's preferences and online behaviors better and increase the likelihood of converting them. Utilizing an AI headline generator may help you during the brainstorming phase.

two web page versions with distinct colors and formatting for A/B testing

A/B Testing Example #2: Page Layout

Let's say you want to measure how many clicks an advertisement gets depending on where it appears. Group A receives the original version with the ad displayed on the side of the screen. In contrast, group B gets a different version of the web page with the advertisement positioned at the bottom of the screen. If the ad on the side of the screen earns more clicks, placing side-screen ads may be more beneficial for your business.

Benefits of A/B Testing

There are several reasons why you would A/B test, including:

  • Making Decisions Based on Data: You can use numerical data from A/B testing rather than assuming or generalizing what your users might like to make more informed decisions and drive more positive results.
  • Improving User Experience: A/B testing allows you to identify what content and designs appeal most to your customers, which can enhance how visitors interact with your website, leading to better user experiences.
  • Consistently Improving Your Site: You can meet business goals and fine-tune your website to meet your users' needs, leading to a lower bounce rate, higher click-through rates (CTR), and increased conversions.
  • Enhancing Marketing Strategies: You can optimize your marketing campaigns by testing copy, web layouts, design elements, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons to create the perfect pages that bring more exposure to your brand.
  • Optimizing Interface and Design: A/B testing previews how an audience may react to interface modifications, allowing designers and marketers to improve user engagement, styles, and product features if necessary.

A/B Testing in Marketing

Here are some ways you can use A/B testing in marketing to assess and improve your strategies:

  • Headlines: You can test different titles to see which appeal more to users and yield a higher CTR.
  • CTA Buttons: You can compare call-to-action button placements, colors, and font sizes, and experiment with text variations such as “Sign Up Now” or “Find Out More” to determine what captures the most attention.
  • Email Subject Lines: A/B test subject lines in email marketing campaigns to boost open rates and CTR.
  • Layout and Navigation: Test different layouts and navigation structures, such as adding sticky elements or a scroll-to-top menu button to optimize the user flow and reduce bounce rates.
  • Social Proof: Compare the impact of social proof elements, such as testimonials, reviews, or ratings.

Those are just a handful of the numerous ways you can use A/B testing to improve specific goals and elevate user experiences across a website or app.

How to Create an Effective A/B Test in Six Steps

 A/B testing infographic outlining six steps for effective experimentation

Running an A/B test doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Before testing multiple variables at once, prioritize which elements are most important to the user experience and comparable in an experiment. Some examples include font size, images, headlines, social, color scheme, and layout.

To create your A/B test, follow the steps below:

1. Collect Data

Before starting an A/B test, businesses need to collect relevant data to pinpoint areas of improvement. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics or Google Search Console to examine metrics such as website traffic, bounce rate, CTR, trends, drop-off rates, and user behavior. First-party data sources such as email open rates, purchase history, lead generation forms, social media insights, surveys, and audience demographics are a few ways to discover consumer insights.

2. Establish Your Goals

Clearly define the goals you want to achieve with A/B testing. It could be increasing conversion rates, boosting traffic, decreasing bounce rates, improving click-through rates, raising brand appeal, or any other metric aligned with your business objectives.

3. State Your Test Hypothesis

A test hypothesis calculates the probability of an assumption in light of your objectives and data collection. This hypothesis should describe how and why changes in your variable should result in a specific outcome.

Imagine that you want to increase the sales driven by your e-commerce product page. For the A/B test, you send out one version of the page with the typical product description, and your variation replaces the product description with a short video that highlights the product's features.

You might hypothesize that video advertisements will result in a 10% increase in add-to-cart rates.

4. Select Your A/B Testing Tools

Selecting the appropriate A/B testing tools is the first step in improving content, be it a blog post, an email, or a web page. You can compare headlines using tools like RebelMouse's integrated headline tools, which allow you to target particular audiences to see how they respond. You can also A/B test your website layout, distributing variations across equal groups or a randomized sample with the help of adjustable sample size parameters.

Depending on your desired outcomes, you will use different A/B tools. For instance, you might use different A/B testing tools for design testing than you would for emails. To help you optimize your workflow, find out if your content management system (CMS) has integrated or built-in A/B tools. Google Analytics also offers web page A/B testing for non-RebelMouse users.

5. Run Experiment

Launch the A/B test and assign users to the control group (version A) or the variation group (version B). Consider these points when running your experiment:

  • Statistical Significance: Make sure the test is statistically significant, which means that your dependent variables and data will be used to determine the results rather than a random, inexplicable chance.
  • Sample Size: Make sure a sufficient sample size produces accurate results. An excessively large or small sample size will yield inaccurate results. Use a sample size calculator to prevent this.
  • Period: Give the test enough time to run if you're testing metrics like pageviews or bounce rate. Let your test variations run simultaneously for at least one month for the most accurate and statistically significant results.
  • User Feedback: During your test, you can send out surveys to users to get their input. You can learn more about someone's online habits by asking why they didn't click past a particular page or on a CTA button. You can find out if they felt the information needed to be more relevant to them or if the content needed to be shorter.

6. Analyze Results

Once the test is finished, analyze the results. Compare the performance of the control group and the variation group to determine which version performed better. Remain focused on the primary metric you selected to assess and avoid getting distracted by the experiment's other outcomes. Ignore the quantity of conversions if you have chosen to test the bounce rate of a web page. Apply the results to your next action plan. If one test outperformed the original, consider applying those changes to multiple pages on your site.

A/B Testing and SEO

A/B testing is generally safe and encouraged by Google. However, it’s essential to follow best practices to avoid any negative impact on your search rankings. Avoid practices like cloaking (showing search engines different content than what users see), and use attributes and 302 redirects (temporarily redirecting users to a specific page) when necessary to maintain the integrity of your website's search rank. Google also offers insights on minimizing the A/B testing impact on Google Search.

Challenges and Considerations for A/B Test Results

When interpreting A/B test results, it's essential to be aware of the following critical challenges:

  • Inaccurate Sample Size: Ensure that your sample size is large enough to produce reliable and statistically significant results. A sample size that is too large or too small will yield unreliable results.
  • The Shiny and New Syndrome: When conducting your test, remember that when something new or unique appears on your website, users may become more engaged because they are experiencing something different. To prevent this, concentrate on first-time visitors who will be able to handle the changes and will view your site with a fresh perspective.
  • Outside Influences: During your A/B test, some factors will be beyond your control, such as a platform outage or seasonal buzz. Avoid testing results during busy holiday seasons since shoppers tend to buy more. If your site or platform encounters technical issues during the test run, you should refrain from including that data since it will be inaccurate during your testing period.

Kickstart Your A/B Testing Strategies Today

Businesses can improve user experiences, increase conversion rates, and optimize their websites with the help of A/B testing. Remember, A/B testing is a continuous process requiring ongoing optimization and experimentation.

RebelMouse provides a streamlined content management system that makes A/B testing easier, enabling you to maximize the potential of your website and outperform the competition. Our team can help you with the process or create these test runs for you if you'd like to test your site’s functionality, performance, and traffic goals, or obtain trustworthy analytics.

Contact RebelMouse today to learn more about how we help you move the needle for your business.