On this installment of SEO Matters, I am going to go over the Open Graph meta tags briefly.
The Open Graph protocol can turn any page into a rich media object, which when shared via social media, provides a better experience for the end user.
The most significant name using the Open Graph protocol is Facebook. As you can see from the photo above, when I attempt to share a specific URL, in this case, the tremendous post I wrote on Industry vs. Audience, Facebook retrieves the image used with the post, the page title (which includes the blog post title) and the introduction to the post. This rich media object gives the user more information up front so they can decide whether or not the shared object is relevant to what they are looking for.
Adding Open Graph meta tags to your site is fairly simple. All you need to do is add a tag like the one below to theof each page. If you are using a WordPress site, some plugins will do this for you automatically.
There are six properties each page using Open Graph tags should have:
- title – The title as it will display in the media object.
- type – The type of object. Normally this will be a website, but other types may fit your needs better, like music or video.
- image – The full URL to the image related to this media object.
- image:alt – Text describing the image in the media object. This property is important for those users with screen readers, but this property also has other SEO benefits. This property does not display, unless the user has disabled images.
- description – A one or two sentence description of the media object.
- url – The URL of the current page.
There are other properties you can use to describe your media object in more detail. A full description of all of the properties can be found at the Open Graph website.