How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

A Beginner’s Guide to Open Graph Optimisation

Do you want people to click on your blog posts when others share them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+?

Are your posts accompanied by nice pictures and accurate descriptions, making them stand out in social media streams?

Do you hate it when writers ask rhetorical questions at the start of blog articles?

Open Graph tags are short snippets of code that tell social networks what a page is, and how it should be presented when people share it. And if you’re like me (blue-eyed, 5’11” and working in digital marketing) than you’ve probably heard this term “Open Graph” thrown around quite a bit. There’s a reason for that. It’s awesome!

Let me tell you about a few things you can do on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make your content *POP*, which will hopefully lead to increased traffic to your blog.

Facebook Open Graph

First up is Facebook Open Graph. Facebook should be your first port of call for two main reasons:
1. There are loads of different options in terms of what metadata you can use in the share snippet; and
2. Facebook Open Graph mark up is being recognised and used across other platforms (most notably Google+).

Let’s play a game. Which of the following posts are you more likely to click on? I know which I prefer!

How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog image Optimised for Open graphHow to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog image Not optimisedHow to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Facebook Open Graph tags are valuable and easy to add. All you need is a short snippet of code incorporating:
1. Page description;
2. Your page’s URL;
3. An image snippet;
4. Content type; and
5. Your company name.

For example, here’s the code:

For more information on Facebook Open Graph implementation, be sure to head on over to the Facebook developer portal.

Twitter Cards

Next up, let’s talk about Twitter Cards, Twitter’s version of OG tags allowing for much richer, content-filled tweets. There are currently 7 card types that can be attached to Tweets, each of which optimised and built for Twitter’s web and mobile clients:

1. Summary Card: Default card, including a title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution;
2. Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but offers the ability to prominently feature an image;
3. Photo Card: A Tweet sized photo card;
4. Gallery Card: A Tweet card geared toward highlighting a collection of photos;
5. App Card: A Tweet card for providing a profile of an application;
6. Player Card: A Tweet sized video/audio/media player card (Note: This Card type requires special approval, and is not available for immediate approval at this time); and
7. Product Card: A Tweet card to better represent product content.
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How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog image Product CardHow to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Three Simple Steps

If you’re keen to start attaching media experiences to Tweets that link to your content, you’ll need to follow these three simple steps:

1. Review the documentation for the type of card you want to implement.
2. Add the appropriate meta tags to your page.
3. Run your URLs against the validator tool to be approved.

Google+ Snippets

The final piece of this Open Graph puzzle I’d like to discuss is Google+ ‘snippets’. Working in a similar way to Facebook OG mark up, Google+ snippet code can customise the content users see when a webpage is shared.

Using a simple tool on Google+, developers can simply generate code for your page that indicates the images and text that best represent what’s being shared.

Side note: With Google+ you can also create what are known as ‘Interactive Posts’. The best thing about these posts (in my mind) is the ability to embed various calls-to-action within the content such as “Buy”, “Sign up” and even “Take quiz”. See the full list here.

So now that I’ve introduced you to a few Open Graph optimisation tips for Facebook, Twitter and Google+, what are you waiting for? Contact your web developer today and get them to implement some Open Graph code on your blog. Increased social media engagement and website traffic awaits!

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