“The power in Facebook remains its potency to generate earned conversation and engagement” - Social@Ogilvy.
Facebook is a valuable asset. Small, medium or large sized businesses owning a website, can only be leveraged when they gain Facebook traffic generated from users that have interacted with posts regarding their business. The Open Graph protocol gives website owners the opportunity to present webpages on Facebook (and other social media) in the form of readable graph objects.
1st way – Optimized social links via customized meta tags
The Open Graph offers the choice to add tailor-made metadata on webpages in order to represent the desired information when shared. Don’t let algorithms decide your display content on Facebook. Add the optimized metadata that better fits your webpage goal, run the Open Graph protocol to the website and take control of the content that the Facebook-users will share. Open graph meta tags ought to be correct, attractive and have a professional touch. Interesting and meaningful titles, proper URLs and appealing pictures will lead to positive results.
Tip: there is no need to optimize every page of a website, but mostly those pages you think/want to be shared the most.
2nd way – Better user experience
When someone decides to share a link but the outcome turns out to be unappealing (bad quality image, lack or bad description) he will most likely change his mind and not share it at all and even if he does share it, he will basically deliver an unappealing end result that won’t attract users to interact with. Don’t take away the enthusiasm of a user who wants to share your content. A positive user experience is important. Build trust via a prime social media presence and increase the odds of having a better engagement.
(Image credits: dstvdm.dstv.com)
3rd way – Backlinks
As mentioned above, when a content looks appealing and interesting, it triggers user’s attention to click on a link which will direct them to the webpage and share the particular content as well. A proper implementation of the Open Graph protocol, could increase the amount of shares and therefore the incoming links from social media. Moreover, when the engagement levels in social media are high so are reputation levels and backlink generation may occur outside social media to other websites.
Tip: Social sharing icons must not be neglected.
4th way – The Open Graph can do well to the Click-through Rate (CTR)
If the Open Graph had a mission, then this would be it. Optimizing via the Open Graph protocol in order to present a visibly attractive content on Facebook News Feed, could boost CTR levels and therefore website traffic.
The Open Graph markup guide lines
There are primary and secondary Open Graph metadata that can be included to a source code of a webpage:
Basic Metadata of the Open Graph protocol
- og: title – the title of the object
- og: type – the type of the object
- og: url – the canonical URL of the object
- og: image – the URL of an image related to the object.
Optional Metadata of the Open Graph protocol
- og: description – the description of the object
- og: site_name – the name of the website that the object belongs to (if so)
- og: video – the URL of a video regarding the object
- og: audio – the URL of an audio regarding the object
- og: locale – the language & region
- og: locale:alternate – alternate locales
- og: determiner – the word before the object’s title in a sentence.
The Open graph check tools
Finally, apart from Facebook the Open Graph is applicable to other social media as well. Twitter, Google+, Pinterest support their own Open Graph markups and they all support the appropriate tool for checking social media tags.
- Facebook https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/
- Pinterest https://developers.pinterest.com/docs/rich-pins/overview/
- Google+ https://developers.google.com/+/web/snippet/
- Twitter https://dev.twitter.com/cards/overview
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