With 59% of the world’s population using social media, it has become a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. Increased visibility and traffic can translate into massive brand awareness and sales gains. However, you can only do it by using the Open Graph Protocol.
What’s Open Graph?
Open Graph is a markup protocol that allows developers to turn websites into rich objects in a social graph. It gives them the same functionality as any object within a social platform like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In simple terms, it allows your links to display rich information when they’re shared on social media. For example, we use the Open Graph Protocol, therefore, LinkedIn can generate the snippet below using the information we provide in our Open Graph tags.
This rich object, as we called it before, displays the feature image, the title of the page, and our domain.
To take this example further, here’s the markup from which the snippet above was generated:
<meta property="og:locale" content="en_US"> <meta property="og:type" content="article"> <meta property="og:title" content="Static vs Dynamic Websites: Which Is Better for SEO?"> <meta property="og:description" content="The boundary between static & dynamic sites is often blurred as a site may use both, but one is better for SEO. Find the answer and their pros & cons here."> <meta property="og:url" content="https://prerender.io/blog/seo-for-static-vs-dynamic-webpages/"> <meta property="og:site_name" content="Prerender"> <meta property="og:image" content="https://prerender.io/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/static-v-dynamic-seo-feat.jpg"> <meta property="og:image:width" content="1201"> <meta property="og:image:height" content="302">
As you can see, each of these meta tags describes the page’s content and can even specify the size of the feature image. All these tags go into the Head section of the HTML file.
Open Graph is very well documented, so as long as you follow their instructions, you shouldn’t run into any bugs. Still, you can use tools like LinkedIn’s Post Inspector or Facebook’s Sharing Debugger to check for errors.
What are the Benefits of Using the Open Graph Protocol?
Implementing Open Graph on all your website pages – especially if you have hundreds – can be time and resource-consuming. Still, having these tags set on your site can impact your website’s traffic and the effectiveness of your content distribution strategy.
Here are five reasons you need to implement Open Graph on your website:
1. Increase Your Social Media Links’ CTR
In social media, users are bombarded with thousands of videos, messages, posts, and links daily. If you want to get some of your audience’s attention, you’ll need to make your link stand out.
With Open Graph, you can generate eye-catching social links to stop people from scrolling, increasing the click-through rate of your links and getting the positive ROI you’re looking for in your content distribution campaign.
2. Control How Your Links are Displayed on Social Platforms
Although most brands use the same featured image, title, and description from the page, you can use Open Graph to test different variations and even set what variation to display for different languages – similar to how hreflang tags are used in SEO.
This gives you total control over how links are shown on social platforms. That includes messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and more.
Pro Tip: Put some extra effort into your Open Graph image. Think of them as the thumbnail of your video, but in this case, your article. Adding a well-formatted and bold-designed image can make a real difference.
3. Increases Your Chances of Shares, and Re-Shares
Gray links don’t get shared. Users who see well-designed images with attention-grabbing headlines are likely to share them with friends and networks.
Not only are well-crafted snippets more appealing, but they also generate trust. Links shared without Open Graph details can be perceived as broken or low quality, and to avoid sharing spammy sites, people will avoid sharing your content.
Would you share the link above? Case closed!
4. More Visibility = More Backlinks
Link building might not be your main focus when sharing your content on social media networks, but Open Graph is still a great way to increase your chances of getting them organically.
There are many reasons people link to your pages. However, no one can link to them without knowing they exist first.
Because using Open Graph increases the visibility of your links, there’s a bigger chance for it to get discovered by writers, journalists, and leaders in your industry. If it’s an interesting piece that aligns with what they are or will work on, they will use your link as a reference.
Remember, with greater visibility comes a lot of benefits!
5. Positive Social Signals Help with SEO Performance
There’s still a lot of debate around social signals, but from what most SEO professionals have experience, social media shares, likes, and overall brand visibility on the platforms can help your pages rank higher on search engines.
Logically, it makes sense. After all, social signals are a good way for algorithms to understand how unique, valuable, and reputable a page is.
Still, one thing that can not be argued is that brand awareness can greatly help your SEO performance; your links are getting more real estate on social feeds, more shares, and overall better engagement can help you achieve that.
Wrapping Up: The Unspoken Challenge of Using Open Graph in Single Page Applications
Now, in its simplest form, Open Graph works by adding Open Graph tags in the header section of your HTML file. However, there’s one more layer to it that we need to understand as developers and SEOs.
If you’re ready to use dynamic rendering, you can start by creating a free account.