Are you getting lots of likes and pluses but low traffic from social networks like Facebook and Google+?
The problem may be with the description, title or image of the shared pages. You know, the small pieces of information that tell users what the link is about.
If you optimise these values well, you can increase the traffic easily. In this post, I will show how you can optimize your blog for Social Sharing.
Add Open Graph Tags To WordPress
Open Graph Tags are used to tell social networks what they should display among other imformation. For example, we did not have Open Graph tags here on WordPress Blog Experts before writing this article and when homepage was shared using FaceBook, here is the info FB picked up:
However, with one simple plugin, all this was fixed. We have used WP Facebook Open Graph Protocol plugin for clients and ourselves and it is nice.
The best thing about it is install and forget approach. You just need to install the plugin and configure it once. After that, it handles all work for you. You need to provide a user/app id and an image. Apart from these, it will automatically generate all the information from the SEO settings.
To set up the plugin, you need following:
- Your user id or app id.
- A 200 x 200 pixel image as default or fallback image.
You will want to use user id if you are only person controlling the site. You can also create an app for your blog if you are not the sole owner. To get user ID, just go to http://graph.facebook.com/yourfbusername and you will get it. App ID is available in developer management section when you create an app.
Regarding image, I recommend using your logo.
Go to Media -> Add New from dashboard and upload image. If it is not already cropped, crop it using WordPress Image Editor. Copy the image URL as you will need it later.
Now, install WP Facebook Open Graph Protocol plugin and activate it.
After activation, it will display following message on top of your dashboard:
Click “enter you Facebook User ID or App ID” link.
On next page, just enter the required values.
Click “Save Changes” and you are done.
Testing The Changes
Run your homepage URL through Facebook Object Debugger and then try sharing the page. Here’s the result I got:
Make sure you run the URL through FaceBook debugger as it clears the Facebook’s cache. If you have a caching plugin installed, clear cache their as well.
Best this is that this does not work for Facebook only. Google+ and LinkedIn also use Open Graph, so the results will be same there.
If you want to customize the description etc. here are some hints:
- Homepage uses “Site Title” and “Site Description” under Settings -> General for title and description in Open Graph.
- Posts and Pages will pick up SEO plugin data automatically.
- Featured image gets highest priority as thumbnail. Images in post are next and at last, there is the fall back image.
Have you optimized your blog for social sharing? How was your experience?