Meta tags have been around practically as long as the World Wide Web and are the foundation of search engine optimization. As the Internet has opened up to include social media, meta tags have tagged along for the ride.

Social media meta tags allow SEOs to create robust Tweets and Facebook postings that really stand out from crowd. Simply stated, these tags allow users to beef up their postings with enhanced graphics and links.

According to a recent posting from Neil Patel over at Quicksprout.com, using social meta tags boosted traffic to his Facebook page by a whopping 173%.

Implementing Social Media Meta Tags

If you’re working off of a WordPress site, implementing social meta tags is dead easy. There are a variety of plugins that turn the whole operation into a dashboard based process that takes just minutes. (You can download the Facebook Open Graph Plugin here and the Twitter Card can be installed onto SEO Yoast here.)

If you’re not on WordPress implementation is a bit more complex, but shouldn’t be too tough for anyone with basic HTML and SEO skills. Here are a few basics to know before diving into the world of social media meta tags

Facebook Open Graph

As Patel points out, Facebook isn’t always the best at pulling code along with images off your site for postings. Adding the basic Open Graph tags insures that readers will actually be able to navigate to your landing pages.

The basic Open Graph tags include:

  • og:title – 95 characters or less that serve the same function as all other title tags.
  • og:type – Facebook has a huge range of content descriptions available here.
  • og:description – It doesn’t necessarily have to be keyword-friendly, just descriptive and under 297 words.
  • og:image – This one can be a bit complicated (Patel has a great in-depth description) but it insures that your image travels with the link every time its shared.

These are the basics tags, but there are plenty more that can be combined to create something really unique.

Twitter Card

Twitter’s card tags function in much the same way as their Facebook counterparts and include:

  • twitter:card – This is the core tag that defines content type and includes photo, player (for videos) and summary.
  • twitter:URL – Keeps the URL attached to the Tweet.
  • twitter:title – A basic description, doesn’t have to be keyword friendly.
  • twitter:description – Keep it under 200 characters (so it could actually be longer than the Tweet itself!)
  • twitter:image – Don’t use anything bigger than 1Mb and 60px x 60px.

Using Cards requires an application to the Twitter Card Program, but is otherwise pretty straight forward.

Finally

Social media meta tags are the cutting edge of SEO, but rely on techniques that most webmasters have long since mastered. If you’re looking to beef up your social traffic, this is a great place to start.

Are you using social media meta tags? Share your experiences in the comments section below.


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