You might have heard about something called Open Graph and wondered what it was, well read on, this is the blog post for you.
Essentially, the Open Graph protocol is a collection of tags which display certain text and images when you share a link across social media platforms or blog posts.
An example of this working can be seen below by embedding a link from this website.
The Protocol is very similar to title and meta description tags which are built into websites and are used to index search results.
It was written specifically to deliver content previews within social media platforms, which means it relies on the metadata being configured as part of your website setup. When you think about it, what makes you click on a social media post? The photo, the headline, the description?
Configuring it can easily be overlooked when setting up a website, but putting the effort into setting up can really make a difference in increasing referral traffic from social media platforms.
There are a lot of Open Graph properties, but the four basics from the protocol are:
- og:title – The title of your content as it should appear within the graph, e.g., “Free Stock Photo Sites?”
- og:type – The type of your object, e.g., “video.movie”. Depending on the type you specify, other properties may also be required.
- og:image – The URL of a representative image which represents the content.
- og:url – The canonical URL of the object e.g., “https://www.grow-digital.com/blog/2019/01/free-stock-photo-sites/“.
Benefits of Open Graph
So why would you go to the trouble of setting up and configuring Open Graph tags into your content?
Search results and social media previews should be different
Search results and social media posts are both essential to marketing products or services. Open Graph tags solve the problem that search engine optimisation can create: titles and descriptions that were written for search results pulled into social post previews.
By separating out the page title and meta tags from your Open Graph title, description, URL and image tags, you can get the best of both worlds by creating metadata which has been optimised for search engine results pages and social media listings.
It lets you control how your content is seen on Social Media
Configuration allows you to stay in control of how your content is seen when it’s being shared. Taking time to Optimise your tags means that anytime someone shares your content, your Open Graph data will always be displayed, giving you control and consistency.
All of the popular social media platforms use it
The fact that it’s supported by most of the popular Social Media platforms is a great reason to use it. This means you can create specific titles, descriptions, and images for different content.
Here are some websites which can help you to get started with Open Graph tags.