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Open Graph plays a significant role as it makes your content stand out when it is shared on social media. So, let’s understand the concept of Open Graph and how you can use it to your advantage. 

What is Open Graph?

Open Graph is a protocol by Facebook that allows your web pages to become a rich object in a social graph. The purpose of this was to standardize the use of metadata within a webpage to represent the content of a page and how it appeared on social media.

In simple terms, Open Graph allows website owners to provide detailed information about their sites on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It enhances the appearance of shared posts and helps users find relevant content quickly. Facebook introduced Open Graph to help content publishers improve the presentation of their posts with visually engaging graphics and multimedia elements, making them more engaging for their audience. 

How Does Open Graph Help Your Website?

When you are sharing a webpage on platforms like Facebook, you are sharing a URL. However, most URLs lack descriptive elements such as “www.example.com/article-title,” making it challenging to track who shares your content. Traditional methods like Google Analytics may not suffice, especially considering the different sources of website traffic. 

This is where Open Graph steps in. It includes a variety of other information like:

  • Author Name: Your name or the name of the individual who wrote the article.
  • Article Title: The title of the article.
  • Article Description: An optional description of the article.
  • Image src: Conveys where the image for the article came from.
  • Article Category: Specifies the type of article such as news, blogs, among others. 
  • Date Published: The date when the article was published.
  • Type of Media Published: This tells Facebook what type of article it is. 

So, when someone shares an article on Facebook and has Open Graph correctly implemented, you provide additional data that enhances the appearance of your article snippet on Facebook. Moreover, Open Graph SEO extends beyond Facebook, allowing you to tag various content types including images, videos, audio files, events, and webpages. 

By ensuring consistent information across channels, OpenGraph tags enable seamless content discovery and brand engagement, empowering SEO professionals to optimize their digital presence effectively. 

Why Do You Need Open Graph Tags?

Open Graphs play a pivotal role in maximizing your presence across various social media platforms. Here are the key reasons why it matters: 

  • Enhanced Visual Presentation 

Open Graph transforms ordinary URLs into visually appealing “cards” when shared on platforms such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and more. These visually enticing previews, comprising a title, description, and image, offer a more captivating experience compared to basic links. 

  • Complete Content Control
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With Open Graph, you get complete control over your content. Rather than leaving it to social platforms to determine the presentation of our content, you can shape the narrative yourself. You have the freedom to define the title, description, image, and even the content type you are sharing. When it comes to online marketing, having control is paramount, and with Open Graph, you can easily take care of this aspect. 

  • Increased Click-Through Rates

Enriched previews lead to a notable boost in click-through rates (CTRs). For instance, posts containing images on Facebook witness 2.3 times more engagement than those without images. Therefore, not only does Open Graph expand the visibility of your content, but it also enhances the likelihood of user interaction. 

  • Elevated Brand Consistency

Open Graph tags also foster brand consistency by ensuring a uniform look and feel across all social media platforms. These tags guarantee that the same title, description, and image are displayed consistently whenever your link is shared. This reinforces your brand identity and makes it easily recognizable to users. 

Thus, SEO Open Graph serves as the secret ingredient that elevates your social media strategy from good to exceptional. 

What are the Different Open Graph Tags?

Here are some of the commonly used Open Graph tags along with the optional ones:

  1. og:title (Required)

This tag specifies the title of your content, serving as the headline that grabs the users’ attention. 

Code: <meta property=“og:title” content=“Insert your title here”>

Best Practices: 

  • Ensure the “og:title” accurately reflects the content of the page to avoid misleading users.
  • Keep the title under 60 characters for optimal readability.
  • Craft a compelling title that entices users to click and explore further. 
  • Avoid using all capital letters in the “og:title.”
  • Consider incorporating your brand name or logo into the “og:title” where relevant to boost brand recognition.
  1. og:type (Required)

The OG type tag identifies the category of the content. Accepted values include websites, articles, books, videos.movie, and music.song. 

Code: <meta property=“og:type” content=“Insert the type here”>

Best Practices:

  • Choose the most fitting “og:type” that accurately depicts the content.
  • If your page contains various types of content, prioritize the dominant type for the “og:type” tag.
  1. og:image (Required)

The Open Graph image tag helps in specifying the image displayed on social media platforms, impacting user engagement. 

Code: <meta property=“og:image” content=“Insert image URL here”>

Best Practices:

  • Use images with dimensions of 1200 x 630 pixels to ensure compatibility across social media platforms. 
  • Use JPEG or PNG formats for their wide acceptance and image quality retention. 
  • Select high-quality images suitable for all devices. 
  • Ensure the image aligns with the content to convey the message effectively. 
  1. og:url (Required)
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The canonical URL directs social media platforms to the original content. 

Code: <meta property=“og:url” content=“Insert your canonical URL here”>

Best Practices:

  • Ensure accuracy, especially in cases of duplicate content.
  • Maintain consistency in the URL format, including the slashes and “www.”
  1. og:description (Optional)

This tag offers a summary of the content, guiding potential readers on its benefits. 

Code: <meta property=“og:description” content=“Insert your description here”>

Best Practices:

  • Ensure the description aligns with the page’s content. 
  • Limit the description to under 200 characters for readability.
  • Craft an enticing description to prompt user interaction. 
  • Maintain a professional tone by refraining from uppercase text in the description. 
  1. og:site_name (Optional)

It indicates the name of your website or brand. 

Code: <meta property=“og:site_name” content=“Insert your brand name here”>

Best Practices:

  • Select a name that users will readily associate with your brand, whether it is your website, brand name, or a variation thereof. 
  1. og:locale (Optional)

This designates the language utilized on your website, aiding in accurate content categorization for users across different regions. 

Code: <meta property=“og:locale” content=“Insert language and country in correct format”>

Best Practices:

  • Prioritize order by presenting the language followed by the country.
  • Maintain the correct format by inputting language and country in the format “language_COUNTRT.” Use official language and country codes. 
  • If targeting multiple countries or languages, specify the primary locale first and utilize “og:locale:alternate” for secondary ones. If targeting solely the English-speaking U.S., omit og:locale.

Open Graph Meta Tags Examples

These OG Tags examples demonstrate the application of Open Graph Tags:

  • News Articles: By including an “on:type=article” tag on pages featuring news articles, platforms such as Facebook recognize the content as an article. 
  • Blog Posts: Adding an open graph tag to blog pages prompts platforms like Facebook to showcase the content as news stories. 
  • Web pages: Utilizing relevant open graph tags informs Facebook about pages linked to yours. 
  • Videos: Incorporating an open graph video tag on uploaded videos on platforms like YouTube informs Facebook and others about the content’s nature as a video.
  • Events: Employing an event tag for created events notifies platforms like Facebook and Google+ of the event’s existence. 

These examples highlight how implementing Open Graph tags can significantly enhance a page’s appearance on social networks.

How to Set Up Open Graph Meta Tags Manually?

The process of setting up Open Graph meta tags will depend on the content management system (CMS) that you use. However, if your CMS lacks any plugin or built-in feature for OG meta tags, manual configuration becomes necessary. This process entails integrating the tags directly into the <head> section of your webpage.

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Step 1: Begin by accessing the HTML file or template of the webpage where you intend to incorporate Open Graph meta tags. Navigate to the <head> section within the HTML structure. 

Step 2: Within the <head> section, insert the required Open Graph meta tags. 

How to Test and Debug Open Graph Meta Tags?

After setting up your Open Graph meta tags, it is essential to confirm if they are functioning correctly. This comprises testing and troubleshooting to ensure optimal performance and social media engagement. 

Step 1: Use a Debugging Tool

Most social media platforms offer debuggers specifically designed for assessing Open Graph meta tags. Some of the key platforms include Facebook Sharing Debugger, Twitter Card Validator, and LinkedIn Post Inspector. 

These debuggers operate on the same logic. You need to simply paste your URL into the input box and click “Debug.” Remember that you need to have a Facebook account to use the Facebook Debugger. 

Step 2: Validate Your tags

 After debugging, the tool will display your Open Graph meta tags. Verify whether these tags correspond to the ones you have configured. 

Step 3: Identify Potential Issues

The Facebook Debugger may highlight any warnings or potential issues encountered. Common mistakes with Open Graph meta tags include incorrect image dimensions. If this is the case, the debugger may indicate: “Provided og:image is not big enough. Please use an image that’s at least 200 x 200 px.”

You can also assess the “Link Preview” to visually access how your image appears. To rectify the image error, adjust its dimensions to the recommended 1200 x 630 pixels. 

Step 4: Re-Scrape the Content

Following any modifications to your Open Graph meta tags, initiate the “Scrape Again” function to verify if the issue has been resolved.

How to Measure the Impact of Open Graph on Social Media?

After considerable effort invested in implementing Open Graph meta tags, it is essential to evaluate their effectiveness. A method to gauge their impact involves analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with your social media posts, strategically enhanced through Open Graph meta tags.

A valuable resource for obtaining this data is the Facebook Sharing Debugger. Upon inputting one URL, this tool furnishes insights into the number of likes, shares, and comments garnered by the post on Facebook. 

Conclusion

Thus, Open Graph meta tags are critical to level up your social media engagement. Using these tags helps you decide how to present your content to social platforms, thereby driving more traffic to your website. Understand the different types of OG tags and implement them to change your social media game.