May 16, 2023

Open Graph: Caring about Sharing

What is Open Graph?

Open Graph is a protocol used to enhance the appearance of website content when it is shared on social media platforms. It allows website owners to define how their content will be displayed when it is shared, by providing specific metadata that describes the content, such as its title, description, and image. This metadata is then used by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create rich previews of the content that can entice users to click through to the website. Open Graph is important to website owners because it can help improve their social media engagement, increase traffic to their website, and enhance their overall online presence.

In practice, Open Graph HTML code looks like this:

<meta property="og:image" content="">
<meta property="og:title" content="4th of July">
<meta property="og:url" content="">


Visual demonstration of customized Open Graph

In the above example, a custom photo is selected along with a title. These can differ from what is actually set as a page title on the webpage.

And when Open Graph tags are missing?

Notice how the logo, title, and image are substituted or removed. Absent the Open Graph tag data, one has little control over how the shared content will be displayed.

Open Graph can be seen in the way it can help improve click-through rates on shared content. When someone shares a link on social media, Open Graph metadata is used to create a preview of the content. If the metadata is well-crafted and includes an attention-grabbing image and compelling description, users are more likely to click on the link and visit the website. This can lead to increased traffic, engagement, and ultimately, conversions.

In addition to improving click-through rates and brand image, Open Graph can also help website owners track the performance of their shared content. By using analytics tools like Google Analytics, website owners can track the number of clicks, shares, and conversions that result from their shared content. This can help them identify which types of content are most effective at driving traffic and engagement, and adjust their content strategy accordingly.

How do I check my page for Open Graph?

Fortunately, there are resources available to quickly check pages before they are shared or publicized:

For ExpressionEngine websites, there is a great module called SEEO that is useful for managing Open Graph tags.

In conclusion, Open Graph is an important tool for website owners who want to improve their social media engagement, increase traffic to their website, and enhance their overall online presence. By using Open Graph to define the metadata used to create social media previews of their content, website owners can improve click-through rates, control their brand image, and track the performance of their shared content. Please contact us if you'd like more information!

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