OpenGraph Tags – the Pixie Dust Magic between your website & social media

OpenGraph tags

Let’s talk about some pixie dust that is hiding behind the scenes on your website… OpenGraph Tags (OG Tags). Facebook created OG Tags back on 2010 to give bloggers a way to better control how their content looks when shared. Since then, all the major social media platforms have joined in and recognizes these tags.

What OpenGraph Tags Do

OG Tags define the elements that are on your page so that the social media platforms can better place your content into their system. Without the details, they are left to guess.

Here’s a screenshot of the OG Tags from one of our recent posts. Yes, there’s code, but don’t glaze over yet. You can see that the title, description, URL and image along with a few other details is neatly organized.

OpenGraph tag example

And here’s an example from another recent post where our OG Tags ensured that all of the key information was placed exactly where we want it on our Facebook post, using the exact phrases and images we specified.

OpenGraph tag example

Why are OpenGraph Tags Important?

So, this is one thing that doesn’t affect your SEO. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.

OG Tags help increase the conversion and click-through rates from your social media posts to your website. Why? Because they make sure that the right URL, picture, default description and title are used. This becomes critical when other people are sharing your content.

Implementing OpenGraph Tags

Before you bury your head in your hands and groan, thinking that there’s yet one more technical thing to worry about… stop and breathe! Especially if you’re on a WordPress website, there are plugins that make it automatic and painless.

We’ve talked about the Yoast SEO plugin before when we covered the ALT tags and Meta Descriptions. It’s our favorite for SEO, and it’s also a handy tool when it comes to social media and has the OpenGraph tag option on by default. (Any SEO plugin worth its weight will have an option for managing OG Tags.)

General Implementation

In your dashboard go to SEO > Social. On the first tab, fill in the links to the accounts you have (and use). Go to the Facebook tab and select the default image that you want people to see if there isn’t an image on the page or post that you share. Save your settings and you’re good to go.

If you want to add the Facebook App ID but don’t have one – it’s fairly easy to get set up. Instead of recreating the how-to’s that are out there, here’s a good how-to from CodexWorld that has a video if you’d rather watch than read the steps. Once you have your App ID, come back to the Social tab and add it in.

Customizing on a per post or page basis

I’ll call this section “extra credit”. The Yoast plugin will pull the defaults from your page, using the title, meta description and featured image. But if you want to fine-tune and send a special message with each post, you can customize the OG Tags in the Yoast SEO section of the page or post editing screen. It’s the same section that has the meta description customization – just click the Social tab.

You can select the specific image that you want to have show when the post is shared along with the description, and customize the title as well.

May the magical Pixie Dust work even better for you now that you know how to adjust the sails!

Your Online Partner… for Success
As always, if you have any questions or need some geek translated for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to turn the geek into English and take care of you online!

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