How to do Stuff: Search Engine Optimisation

What Are Open Graph Meta Tags ?

When someone shares one of your web pages on Facebook or Twitter, would you like to make sure the right picture and message is displayed ?

That’s what Open Graph META tags are for !

They allow you to say what picture should be displayed and what title and description, so they’re a great way to promote a marketing message.

Just recently I’ve had a couple of clients who’ve had a webpage shared.

But what Facebook displayed wasn’t what they expected OR wanted – they could have had exactly what they wanted if they’d just set the tags.

So what are they exactly ? …

  • Facebook developed them, and Twitter, Linked In and Google+ all recognise them.
  • They’re set in the underlying text of a website page – which you can see if you choose to View Source in the Chrome browser or a similar menu option in other browsers.
  • And they look similar to the tags set for search engines, except they start with “og” like this …
    <meta property=”og:title” content=”Soup of the Day !” />
  • They describe the thing that’s being shared and along with the usual title, description and a picture you can add more info, like in this example from the Open Graph Protocol ( a protocol is a rule ) page
    <title>The Rock (1996)</title>
    <meta property=”og:title” content=”The Rock” />
    <meta property=”og:type” content=”video.movie” />
    <meta property=”og:url” content=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/” />
    <meta property=”og:image” content=”http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/rock.jpg” />

Here’s Facebook’s reference of Open Graph types … https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/opengraph/

So how do you set them ?

Well if your website is built on something like WordPress or Joomla or any type of content management system where you log in, there are probably options to fill in.

With WordPress, the theme may provide configuration fields for pages and posts.

Like in this picture …

Of if not you can get the official Facebook plugin here … https://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook/

Start adding them to your website pages with good marketing messages and images !

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