Judgment Day for Media Companies

Phillip Smith recently wrote a featured story for Medium, "Judgment Day for Journalism," about the changing landscape of the media world. The subheadline goes: "As legacy news organizations falter, digital upstarts are scaling to meet demand."

Smith starts off quoting media critic Jesse Brown, who notes that the number of journalists employed by small digital news companies is increasing. Brown writes, "building something from the ground up to suit the marketplace, to suit where profitability and sustainability is, is a lot easier than adapting something with all kinds of legacy costs into a sustainable model."


Smith concludes from this that "we must reboot the media and start from the ground up."

At RebelMouse, we agree. The old way of doing things is unsustainable. While The New York Times and a few other big news organizations will probably hold on for awhile longer, the real future of media lies in companies being slim and agile, focusing their efforts on content and good reporting without technological or institutional legacy costs.

At RebelMouse, we offer an enterprise-level, centralized CMS solution for our clients so they don't have to hire an expensive developer team to build and maintain one themselves. This gives them the enterprise-level power of larger news organizations without all the overhead. Smith writes, "The simple truth is that journalism upstarts are getting better and faster, and their costs are coming down quickly."

Smith calls for more "journalism entrepreneurship" and we agree. Investing in RebelMouse will move your needle forward and give you the platform you need to succeed on social and SEO with our powerful Entry Editor, Particle Assembler, and deep back-end technology. Our numbers speak for themselves: One of our media clients, La Verità, has seen, in the past three months, 400% growth on Facebook and 200% growth on Google. Another client of ours, Motherly, in the same period, saw 84% growth on Facebook and 440% growth on Google.

And because we are constantly iterating our tech, you can stay far ahead of changing industry trends with our centralized updates. Unlike WordPress, updates to our system instantly go out to every site on our network without the need for painstaking manual development.

Smith is convinced that "small digital upstarts will become the democracy-serving oases in a time of growing news deserts." We agree. Which is why it's so important to have the right technology in place in order to scale as a small media company. While free CMS platforms like WordPress are great in the beginning, to really drive traffic in the new age of SEO you need the right mixture of technology and strategy.

RebelMouse clients like Motherly are testament to the efficacy of our platform.

Motherly launched on RebelMouse in early April 2018. Since then, they've shown explosive growth with users up 28%, sessions up 72%, and pageviews up a staggering 177%.

Using RebelMouse's built-in SEO tools, Motherly began to optimize articles at the editor level. This has helped grow their traffic from Google. Since launch, users coming in from Google are up 1,164% and pageviews are up 2,018%.

Smith wonders, "What would a network of "small is beautiful" news organizations sufficient to fill the widening gap in coverage look like?"

At RebelMouse, we have already seen the future and we are a part of it today. Our network of clients have seen so much success that we are confident our technology will lead the way into the streamlined and beautiful future.

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Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

RebelMouse is a unique platform and company. The company was founded on the vision that media companies would need an always-modern solution to thrive in the new connected internet, and that brands would have to behave like new media companies and use the same platforms.

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Maximize Your SEO Potential With RebelMouse’s Entry Editor

Take a peek into how our proprietary technology helps sites surge on search

The RebelMouse platform features a rich search engine optimization (SEO) toolset that guides writers and editors to think about the right search phrase behind every story, as well as how to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Our SEO technology centers around best practices for search, including detailed metadata that will help Google's site crawler identify, index, and rank your content quickly. It often leads our clients to experiences traffic surges that look like the following after launching on our platform:

Here's a look inside our proprietary technology that helps our clients experience quick search boosts that turn into long-term SEO wins.

The Search Tab

Every new article presents a new opportunity to win on search. RebelMouse's Entry Editor features an SEO tab that's designed to help you optimize every post to give it the best shot at winning a targeted search phrase. Here's a glimpse into how it guides editors through a perfected search strategy before the "Publish" button is even clicked.

Define Your Search Phrase

It can be tricky to nail down which search phrase you want to win. Within the SEO tab, you can brainstorm your ideas in real time. Through the creative usage of APIs, we ensure writes and editors are armed with the right information when optimizing content for SEO. In the example above, the drop-down list is suggesting search phrases that are already performing well on Google. The number next to each recommended phrase is its monthly search volume.

This helps you determine which phrases are easy to win, or perhaps too competitive to strategize for, on an article-by-article basis. Click here to read more about this feature.

Optimize Your Slug to Match Your Search Phrase

The SEO tab in our Entry Editor is designed to repeat your desired search phrase throughout your content so that Google's crawler has every chance to index it correctly for search. With this methodology in mind, it's a best practice to have your article's URL slug match your desired search phrase. From the SEO tab, you can click the Optimize Slug button to automatically match your URL slug to the search phrase you want to win. Click here to read more about this feature.

Pick Smart Recirculation Links

After you've defined your search phrase and optimized your URL slug accordingly, you can select highly relevant links to add as related content to the end of your article. We call these Around the Web (ATW) links. The SEO tab allows you to pick the best links from your own site, as well as from around the web, which leads to truly amazing traffic boosts. This is a proven SEO practice that's rewarded by Google. Since your article will link to pages already winning your search phrase, it can increase your own post's relevance score in the eyes of Google's crawler.

We automate the surfacing of both ATW and internal links for you, so it's as easy as ticking a handful of checkboxes to add them to your post. We've also done the math, and the data is clear: Adding ATW and internal links to the end of your articles can increase traffic coming to your posts from Google by over 300%! Click here to read more about this feature.

Craft Metadata Before Publish

When it comes to Google's site crawler, providing clever metadata is one of the best ways to contextualize your content for search. From there, Google's search algorithm will rank your site for search queries that it determines are relevant to your content. Our SEO tab allows you to write your metadata right from within our Entry Editor. Plus, our character counter will help you make sure that your SEO headline and description match Google's best practices for metadata text length.

It's important to make sure your metadata is clearly written in a succinct way so that Google can quickly understand the nature of your content. Click here to read more.

The RebelMouse Particle Assembler

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

The following steps demonstrate how you can use our Assembler to optimize an article to win a search phrase.

Use Particle Headlines to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

Assembler is accessible via one simple click in the formatting toolbar of our Entry Editor. From there, an organizational layout will be inserted into your article that will help guide you through building out the particles that will shape your Assembler. The best way to think of Assembler is by treating it as an enhanced list format. If your article is about vegan cooking trends, each particle can feature a new trend. But Assembler does not need to be a simple list. It can also cover the main points of your article and feature user-generated content or even related stories.

Assembler is a helpful SEO tool because it can generate a unique URL slug for each particle, maximizing your article's ability to get indexed by Google for more than one key search phrase. Click here to read more about this feature.

Make the Most of Google's "People Also Ask" Module

Particle headlines are also a great way to make use of Google's "People Also Ask" module. This will help you identify search patterns of users who are interested in your search phrase. By tailoring your particles to those patterns, it's likely that your post will move up in Google's search rankings. Click here to read more about this strategy.

Add Media to Every Particle

Each particle is another opportunity to add relevant media to your post, and Assembler makes it easy to add alt text to every image you upload. Alt text is very important for accessibility and can also have benefits for SEO. Briefly, alt text is text that is added to an image to describe it to search engines, and also to allow people using screen readers to be able to know what the image is without actually being able to see it. You can easily add alt text to any image in RebelMouse from our Entry Editor. Adding your search phase into every alt text field will only bring you one step closer to the top of Google Search's first page.

Make the Most of Our SEO Toolset

RebelMouse's proprietary technology works for any kind of site, whether you're a brand, a new media company, or a legacy publisher. SEO doesn't have to be something that only developers and analysts can understand and augment. Our product is designed to put the power of search in the hands of content creators, editors, and social curators, too.

Start winning on search with every publish. Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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Making Sense of PageSpeed Insights and Core Web Vitals

Page speed and Core Web Vitals are an important piece of the SEO puzzle. Having a quick load time and passing Core Web Vitals are important factors in Google's search ranking and results. But there are multiple ways of testing your speed and vitals, and it can get very confusing to try and understand the results since different measuring tools can result in different scores.

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New Feature: Stacking Sticky Elements

We always love to introduce new features to the RebelMouse platform, and today we're announcing a Stacked Sticky element. This will allow you to have two sticky elements at the top of your page, with the option to have one of the sticky elements disappear after a select amount of time. This can be very useful for an ad or banner you want to display briefly, and then be able to have the space back.

How Does It Look?

It's entirely up to how you want it to look, but here's an example screencast where we have an ad for our new book at the top, followed by a breaking news banner right beneath. You can see that as the page scrolls down, the behavior is set to have the ad removed after a couple of seconds of scrolling, and that it will reappear as the page scrolls back to the top:

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RebelMouse Q2 2021 Platform Performance Updates

Q2 of 2021 was a big quarter for the open web. Google delayed their release of SEO ranking by CrUX report, and they changed their method for Lighthouse scoring drastically. Our team was a few steps ahead of these changes, and we were able to update our platform so sites in our network had little, if any, performance interruptions.

We invested over 1,592 hours into our platform in Q2 2021 alone, and all of the sites on our platform received the benefits of these updates. To break it down into large buckets, we invested in the following key areas:

  • 538 hours dedicated to new features
  • 725 hours dedicated to improving existing features
  • 329 hours dedicated to performance and infrastructure updates

Here are the major updates that we've added to the RebelMouse platform in Q2.

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How to Use the Pagination Element

You can add pagination to section, tag, and archive pages using RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool. This can be done through our Pagination element:

Using the Properties card, there are three options that you can configure on the Pagination element:

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