Social media sites are the major drivers of most of the web’s traffic. Consequently, the ability to harness the power of social Meta tags is a vital skill for today’s marketers. The tags can affect conversions and click-through rates hugely.
For example, have you ever shared a link on Facebook only to find that the thumbnail was missing, or there was a totally different picture than you expected? Knowing just a little about Open Graph tags can help you tackle these problems.
Adding Open Graph tags to your website won’t directly affect your on-page SEO, but it will influence the performance of your links on social media, so that means it’s worth looking into. Let’s take a look at the most important meta tags for Facebook and how to optimize them for better sharing.
As you might guess, this is how you define your content’s title. It serves a similar purpose as the traditional Meta title tag in your code. In fact, if Facebook doesn’t find the og:title tag on your page, it uses the meta title instead.
<meta property=”og:title” content=”Your eye-catching title here” />
This is how you set the canonical URL for the page you are sharing. What this means is that you define one page that all your shares will go to. It’s useful if you happen to have more than one URL for the same content (for example, using parameters).
<meta property=”og:url” content=”http://www.yourdomain.com” />
This is how you describe the kind of object you are sharing: blog post, video, picture, or whatever.
In most cases, you will use the “website” value, since what you are sharing is a link to a website. In fact, if you don’t define a type, Facebook will read it as “website” by default.
<meta property=”og:type” content=”website” />
This meta data descriptor is very similar to the meta description tag in HTML. This is where you describe your content, but instead of it showing on a search engine results page, it shows below the link title on Facebook.
<meta property=”og:description” content=”Your entertaining and descriptive copy here, if your meta description is good, use it.” />
This is the most interesting Open Graph tag for many marketers, because a picture always helps content stand out. This is how you ensure that a particular thumbnail will be shown when your page is shared. It can be very helpful for your conversion rates.
Make sure you set the og:image you choose, otherwise Facebook will show something stupid like an unwanted ad banner scraped from the page, or nothing at all (as below). We definitely don’t want that!
<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://www.yourdomain.com/image-name.jpg” />
Implement Open Graph Tags
But how do you implement OG tags? Basically, they belong to the <head> part of your page’s HTML. If you don’t manage the code, you’ll need to ask your web developer for help. You can prepare the whole package yourself using the tips above to save his valuable time.