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Rock Sound

Rock Sound

Rock Sound is the authority of "what's now and next in rock music" - a busy, fast-moving website packed with music news, reviews, audio and video, attracting a large audience of young music fans from across the globe.

The project

Rock Sound approached Mathematics to redesign and rebuild their existing presence – a high-traffic but somewhat dated website running on Expression Engine 1.0.


The team had experienced continued growth on their print title – one of the few music magazines to see a consistent increase in ABC figures – but needed a well-designed, well-built website to help increase growth digitally, too. Users were arriving to the site, viewing a piece of content and bouncing – so much great content was being missed and there were huge opportunities to increase revenue across advertising, sponsorship and magazine sales.


SEO, social and data capture were key to growth for Rock Sound, so as well as increasing social and search engine reach the team needed help with their mailing list too. Editorial produce a popular weekly email but creation of this newsletter would take multiple people multiple hours to curate and build each week and it was clear much more could be done to increase sign-ups.


The team wished to focus more on video, fast-moving news content, audio and photography and this needed to be packaged up in a cool, modern looking site that worked brilliantly across mobile, desktop and tablet.

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Our approach

A thorough UX audit helped us identify how the existing site had been performing and how Rock Sound users and their goals should dictate design and development decisions moving forward. From here we worked to restructure the site, capturing users arriving to articles and drawing them into further content, carefully positioning relevant stories and making more of photography, video and trending items.


Ad units are now positioned in key screen estate with valuable takeover units added to the desktop site and functionality now available for native opportunities. As well as updating and migrating the site from Expression Engine 1, we carefully restructured the build with search in mind and helped maximise News SEO reach.


Pages now feature prominent social sharing cues, with commenting now removed from article pages and directed through Twitter, opening conversations up and using them to increase virality. After migrating mailing lists to Mailchimp we created a responsive email template that allowed editorial to ‘drag and drop’ stories for send-out each week – reducing workloads considerably. And as well as increasing data capture opportunity across article pages we integrated Gleam, a data-capture platform, across the website’s competition section.


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Rock Sound

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