What are Open Graph tags and why I should use them?
To personalize shared information to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many other networks you need to use Open Graph meta tags. Those tags are designed to communicate information about your website to Social Media sites when links to your site are shared. These tags allow you to craft custom titles, descriptions, and images to be used when your pages are shared.
Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress can generate those tags for you if the option inside settings is activated. Those tags can also be generated by the SEO plugin you are using. It is important to understand that getting the proper shared message requires to have only one instance of social media optimization tags on your site.
How to check if Open Graph tags are already present on my website?
The first very important step, when setting OGs (not only via ESSB but with any other service or application), is to check if there are any Open Graph tags generated already. One of the most important rules about the OGs is that it is needed just one instance of a tag to be generated. To check that follow these steps:
- Load your site at Chrome and press Ctrl+U – that will load you the source code of the site.
- Press Ctrl+F – that will open a little search dialog at the upper right corner of the window and allow you to search in the code by keyword.
- Type og: at the search dialog and press Enter – that will mark you all the places in the code where the og: code is detected. If there are no OGs set the result will be 0 of 0.
That way you can check how many Open Graphs there is on your installation, which plugin generates the tags, and also what data for each tag is set.
How to enable the generation of Open Graph tags (social media optimization tags) on your website using Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress?
If you are running a fresh plugin install (or you reset to default settings) the social media optimization tags are enabled by default. So you do not need to enable anything. If you are not sure visit Social Sharing -> Sharing Optimization and ensure that Facebook Open Graph Tags (Used By Most Social Networks) is enabled (Yes).
The Global Open Graph Tag Settings Suitable For Every Website
The proper usage of social media optimization tags needs to do a quick general setup. That setup will ensure the working of tags on the way you need them.
Default Social Media Image
The default social media image is those that will appear if post, page or product does not have a featured image or custom sharing image. We always recommend providing an image inside the field. This will prevent any further problems with parts of the site without properly generated tags.
If you are running a WooCommerce store, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress automatically will detect your products. For products, we will generate e-commerce product social media optimization tags. That will include the price, availability and gallery images (if such). Those functions are enabled by default. If you don’t need them disabling can be done from the Advanced Tag Generation Options.
This is the information appearing in the sharing of your homepage. You need to fill and change from the plugin settings.
Each post, page, product or any custom post type of your website will have automated social media optimization tags. Those tags contain the default components of content – title, description generated from excerpt and image from the featured image. For 50% of users that is good enough. But if you need to boost the social reach it is highly recommended to generate engaging and optimized sharing information.
That is why on each post or page in the edit mode you will see the Social Media Optimization tag fields. In the preview, you will see the default generated message. This is not a real preview, but an approximate view of what will appear when you share.
Using the fields you can customize one component of sharing or all.
In the social share optimization block on each post you can set:
- Social Media Image – Add an image that is optimized for maximum exposure on most social networks. We recommend 1200px by 628px
- Social Media Title – Add a title that will populate the open graph meta tag which will be used when users share your content onto most social networks. If nothing is provided here, we will use the post title as a backup. We recommend usage of titles that does not exceed 60 characters
- Social Media Description – Add a description that will populate the open graph meta tag which will be used when users share your content onto most social networks.We recommend usage of description that does not exceed 160 characters
- Customize Open Graph URL – Important! This field is needed only if you made a change in your URL structure and you need to customize og:url tag to preserve shares you have. Do not fill here anything unless you are completely sure you need it – not proper usage will lead to loose of your current social shares and comments.
- Article Author Profile – Add link to Facebook profile page of article author if you wish it to appear in shared information. Example: https://facebook.com/author
Still not see the correct message appearing? Do a quick test using the Facebook Open Graph Debugger and find out why so.