Once in a while I get lucky and someone will ‘like’ or ‘share’ my site on Facebook. By default, the FB post can look crappy, unlikely to drive much if any traffic my way. FB makes guesses about the title and description, and crops an image from my post or page to fit the space allocated on the post – not exactly the best Facebook post optimization.
A crappy-looking Facebook post
But, I can use Open Graph meta tags to tell FB exactly how to display the post. The Yoast SEO plugin makes it easy. I edit the applicable page or post, scroll down the page to the Yoast SEO section, and click the Social Media icon.
I immediately get a pop-up nag: “Do you want to preview what it will look like if people share this post on Facebook? You can, with Yoast SEO Premium.” It turns out I can save $80 by using the free Facebook Sharing Debugger instead. I ignore the nag.
Now I can type in the exact Title and Description I want, and upload my preferred Image. The recommended image size is 1200 x 630 pixels, but a similar ratio will also work, 600 x 315 or larger. Next, I visit the Facebook Sharing Debugger, enter the url and click Debug, then – a little further down the page – Scrape Again. I get a preview of the post that will appear on FB when my page is liked or shared. I also get another nag: “The following required properties are missing: fb:app_id”. This means that FB would like me to register my site and get a Facebook ‘application id’ – which is completely unnecessary for my purposes. I ignore that nag too.
I can repeat the whole process as needed until my post looks just the way I want.
That’s all there is to it. A much more attractive post to improve my click rate.
Update: Twitter post optimization is very similar. Just select the Twitter tab instead of the Facebook tab after clicking the Yoast SEO Social Media icon. The Twitter Card Validator (free, Twitter login required) is analogous to the Facebook Sharing Debugger.
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