What the Latest Algorithm Change Means for Your Facebook Strategy

The dust is finally settling after Facebook's latest News Feed restructuring announcement. The initial shock has waned, and brands are now figuring out how to approach the unavoidable shift. And while it (still) may seem like the death of organic reach to many, there's more opportunity to be had than ever before.

Facebook has always had a leg up on other platforms. While users on most social platforms are typically passive in nature, Facebook's users have always been active contributors — whether it be by posting baby pictures, making a personal announcement, changing a relationship status, etc. But over time, the social giant started seeing a trend toward more passive, lazy content consumption. Video only exacerbated this laziness as users began scrolling through content without purpose, and certainly avoiding anything with a three-second pre-roll ad.


This made it harder for brands to get any kind of real loyalty from their audiences. Even when publishers saw a large spike in reach, chances are that their users engaged without taking the time to note who posted the content. This vicious cycle is what forced the social network to re-prioritize the way we consume content in the News Feed. But instead of cursing Facebook for it, it's time to focus on creating real, lasting loyalty that can withstand unexpected algorithm updates. Here's how:

Create Engagement

We must rethink how we engage with users moving forward. It's not enough to post and pray for engagement. You have to ask for it with every post. And not in a spammy way, but rather by posting thoughtful content that solicits organic reactions. Content that fosters conversation and creates a community of people you respect. Posts that generate meaningful comments and discussion are going to rank better in the News Feed than those that only receive reactions. Conversation is key.

Facebook invested heavily in its Group feature in 2017, and even rolled out new functionality that let brands and media companies create their own groups within Pages. We all know group discussions are engagement catalysts, so using Group is a no-brainer. It's an easy way to connect and boost engagement and control. Post algorithm update, brands should hone in on creating niche Facebook groups to build engagement with new and existing audiences.

In early 2018, Facebook introduced a version of WhatsApp for businesses, intended to make it easier for companies to connect with customers. The app, called WhatsApp Business, features smart messaging tools similar to Facebook's Messenger. Communication channels and tactics such as these are becoming more commonplace, and they're key to creating conversation, engagement, and loyal audiences.

Understand Organic Distribution

You can't buy fans anymore. The pay-to-play mentality won't get you the kind of organic reach you need to make it long term. You have to understand how to connect to likeminded Pages to create lasting communities. Dive into niche, relevant, and great-quality content that attracts new, loyal followers — and do so at scale and on a consistent basis. This is what will help you build a sustainable content model that drives repeat, direct visits.

Build Loyalty

If you aren't creating loyalty, your Facebook reach will decline quickly. Our CEO Paul Berry and Greylock's Josh Elman collaborated on a piece last year discussing how and why you must develop a front page audience. It's become more relevant now than ever. Facebook is forcing us, as creatives, to produce content that people want to return for. Content that has the same effect as Game of Thrones — the type that's worth enduring ads for.

To do this, your brand or media site has to feel personal, and its voice has to be crystal clear. Your audience wants a social experience where the content has both consistency and pattern. Scroll depth is the difference between whether you can monetize your content or not.

Axios is a perfect example. They continue to create reputable content in a format that mimics the social feeds, and the results they've experienced have been outstanding. They've figured out the key to organic loyalty, and people are now making Axios their home screen.

The importance of each individual particle within a given article is a content model we've been championing for quite a while. When we use the term "particle," we're referring to each individual component of your content — a tweet, an image, an infographic, etc. All of these individual pieces should be used to create engagement on their own. And when they're strung together, they create context and voice, which in turn creates loyalty.

Organic Loyalty, FTW

All of this boils down to the overarching theme of organic loyalty. Companies who banked on the pay-to-play model, abandoning the priority of building a loyal audience, are now up the creek without a paddle. To build an ambitious, sustainable business, it takes many shining moments to nurture your followers into a loyal partnership with your content.

For a thorough explanation on how to build organic loyalty, you can download our free white paper here.

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.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Premium Creative Agencies and CTOs Choose to Develop on RebelMouse vs. WordPress and Drupal

The Intersection of Design and Development: Where Your Clients Thrive

We started RebelMouse seven years ago knowing that there was a fundamental design flaw in the world of traditional CMSs: Every instance, on every platform, had to be updated independently. It's similar to an era when users had to manage their own Microsoft Exchange Server for email. The costs of managing, maintaining, and iterating on a CMS to keep it awesome and world class is typically a $10 million-a-year endeavor. But even then, these cost-prohibitive CMSs are still behind the times.

Keep reading... Show less

Native Multivariate Testing at Scale With RebelMouse

What Differentiates Our Approach

There are many popular tools that allow you to perform experiments and A/B tests on your users — primarily Google Chrome Experiments and Optimizely. But all of these solutions are JavaScript additions to your web page that sidestep the problem of old, outdated, and clumsy CMSs. These solutions work by calling on a third-party JavaScript library that rewrites a page after it's rendered. This approach adds extra page weight and creates strange user experiences due to having to wait for everything to load and be rewritten on the fly.

At RebelMouse, we've solved this in a very elegant way. At the core level of our platform, we can natively render different layouts and track the exact differences in performance when comparing a test to your other layouts.

Keep reading... Show less

Modern E-Commerce: Blur the Line Between Content and Design

Create Modular + Reusable Design Patterns on RebelMouse

Content saturation is an industry-wide problem, and the e-commerce space is no exception given that it's filled with big brands, small Etsy stores, and everyone in between all fighting for similar audiences. The best way to fight this symptom is to understand your audience and provide them with what they want.

Keep reading... Show less

Instagram-style E-commerce Features on RebelMouse

Revolutionizing e-commerce on RebelMouse

Whether you're a brand with a blog or a media company with a site, driving purchasing behavior and building an audience that uses your content to find things they love to buy is vital. We're very proud to have built out the same functionality that everyone is now used to on Instagram, with layovers on images that lead to products with attribution.

Keep reading... Show less

Building Premium Communities and User Journeys on RebelMouse

RebelMouse is much more than just a replacement for a traditional CMS. Our platform is a tremendous community-building experience. Today's social ecosystem has given us a seemingly limitless number of premium creators who understand how to create gorgeous and relevant content that drives the growth of their own audiences. These creators and influencers are either experts in certain topics, or heavily engaged in targeted content that drives their interests. They're not only consuming the content they're passionate about, but they're contributing to the conversation, too. The new role of the editor is not just to cover the most important topics and people around their expertise, but also to invite those preferred influencers into their community and get them to participate in creating premium content.

Keep reading... Show less

Dynamic Voting: Grow Traffic and Engagement Organically

Help your audience find its voice.

Creating quality content is no longer on marketers alone. We live in a universe of creators who are willing to not only consume content that resonates, but play a role in the creation, promotion, and conversations surrounding it.

Since the start of RebelMouse, we've been on a journey to create dynamic media that is easier for content creators to curate and amplify on social. It's why we've built an online engagement platform centered around the power of communities that thrive naturally in the digital ecosystem.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Monetize Your Website in Today’s Publishing Environment

In order to define distributive publishing, we have to ask the following question: If you have quality content, but nobody sees it, does it even exist? The answer is no, because your content needs to be supported in a way that lets it move seamlessly across all channels, especially site, search, and social. But let's take this question a step further: If you can't monetize your content to generate the support it needs, how do you create quality content in the first place?

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter