With the increase in the use of social media platforms, it has become crucial to optimize websites as per social standards to build a company's brand, increase sales and drive website traffic.
Eye-catching content with a proper description can help attain more engagement on social media platforms & to fulfil it Open Graph comes into play.
What is Open Graph?
Open Graph is a piece of code that lets you decide how your website will appear while it is being shared on social media platforms.
Open Graph can be compared to the structured data in terms of functionality (i.e., representation of a website to customers). Structured data helps google (search engines) to understand your content & present it on SERP in a way to get rich results, while open graph protocol controls what content is displayed when website links are shared on social media. In brief, a web page using Open Graph tags becomes a rich object in the social graph.
If a website lacks open graph tags, the social media platforms may choose a random image, title and description to display for that site.
Open graphs are recognized by all social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, Twitter also uses meta tags called Twitter Cards, but if a site does not have Twitter cards placed, Twitter will use Open Graph.
Types of Open Graph Tags
There are a variety of Open Graph Tags. But here we will talk about the Basic open graph tags that will help your website look much better when being shared on social media.
Basic Open Graph Tags:
- og:type - The object “type” open graph meta tag defines the type of content. For example, website, article, music, video, and more. The object type you use will change how the content is displayed.
HTML code example: <meta property="og:type" content="website" />
- og:url - The URL open graph meta tag defines the content’s permanent ID i.e., the Page URL. If the URL is changed, it will break the link shared on social media networks.
HTML code example: http://www.yourdomain.com” />
- og:title – The open graph meta tag “title” defines the title of the page that is being shared on social media platforms.
HTML code example: <meta property="og:title" content="Add your Page Title here" />
- og:description – The open graph meta tag “description” gives the reader a piece of accurate brief information about the content on the page in 1-2 lines.
HTML code example: <meta property="og:description" content="Add your brief Page Description here." />
- og:image – The “image” open graph meta tag defines the image you want to display while sharing your page on social media. This open graph tag is one of the most crucial ones as this defines how your page will look visually.
HTML code examples: <meta property="og:image" content="image-url.png" />
- og:site_name – The open graph meta tag “site_name” defines the name of your website that will be displayed below the page title.
HTML code examples: <meta property="og:site_name" content="website-name" />
- og:video – The open graph meta tag “video” will contain the URL of the video.
HTML code example: <meta property="og:video" content="video-url.mp4" />og:locale – The open graph meta tag “locale” will give information about the language in which the content has been published on the page. The default language set for this is en_US.
HTML code example: <meta property="og:locale" content="en_UK" />
Not all these tags are essential. Below is the list of the optional and required Open Graph Tags.
Why is Open Graph Important?
Open Graph protocol helps us to optimize our page for social media platforms. With the rise of digital marketing, social media has played a vital role for brands to achieve great traffic. Social media is flooded with all types of content & it has become a challenge to stand out on these platforms. However, what helps a website stand-out is uniqueness in content and attractive presentation. Open Graph provides the Page with a platform to optimize its look so that it can be catchy & generate more traffic.
Open Graph optimizations help improve engagement metrics. For example:
- Driving quality traffic to your website
- Improve page rankings in search results
- Increase conversions through higher engagement
- Helps in Building brand reputation and trust
- Attaining quality backlinks
- Earn more social media reach & engagement
- Improve the website's click-through-rate (CTR)
- Help social media platforms understand your content
In short, Open Graph helps your website portray itself in the best way on social media platforms, which in turn gives you better engagement.
How to Add Open Graph Tags on your Website?
Open Graph tags can be added in the <head> section of your page's HTML. You can manually add the appropriate tags in the header.php file.
For example, in the below image, we can look at the open graph tags placement for the blog: https://www.merkle.com/in/blog/backlinks-importance-and-significance-seo
Under the content=”” section the optimized content or property has been added.
Below is the representation of how the above page looks when shared on social media platforms:
Once the OG meta tags have been added, make sure they work and are ready for sharing. For that, use a debugging tool for each platform. Below are some important debugging tool links:
These debugging tools help us identify if there are any errors or warnings in the code that can be corrected. In addition, debugging helps you troubleshoot issues when your content doesn't display correctly.
Open Graph Checklist:
All set to optimize your website for Open Graph Tags & stand out on social media platforms.
Below is a checklist that will come in handy while you optimize your website for the Open Graph:
Remember to go through the checklist to make sure that all your crucial open graph tags are in place & follow the compliances. Ensure that the content that you add is unique & relevant to the page because that is what will make it stand out from the crowd.
Is Open Graph Worth the Effort?
With the pace of social media platforms increasing day by day, it has become vital to optimize websites for sharing on these platforms. Open Graph is a way to showcase your website & have a great first impression on the customers. Having control over the appearance of your social media snippets is crucial. Setting up Open Graph to display rich objects can bring you more valuable traffic and potentially higher conversion rates. In the end, people will only click something if they really need it or if it seems interesting & with Open Graph, we can make our websites portray themselves in the best way.