There’s a surprisingly easy way to make your website social media ready: social metadata. When you share your website or blog post on social media, you might notice that the text and images pulled in from the link are kind of random. Well, you can control those little preview boxes by editing the metadata that your site feeds to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
What is Social Metadata?
Social metadata is specified in between the <head></head> tags of your website’s code. Here’s an example of what it looks like on MOJO Marketplace’s blog homepage.
ProTip: Right click any webpage and choose inspect element to view the source code.
For most of us, this looks pretty wild. But if you look closely, you’ll see the blurb we specified for our web page metadata. So when the url for this page is shared, this information will be pulled into the preview, or card, that is featured with the post.
And don’t worry–you don’t have to mess with any of this code. It just helps to understand how it works.
To be clear, what you’re specifying in the metadata is simply a post’s or page’s summary. For example, check out this tweet. There’s a specified image, title, and description. This is what’s called a Twitter card, and it’s generated by the description in the <head></head> tags. And each social platform has their own way of doing it.
Why Do You Need to Set Up Social Descriptions?
If you don’t configure your social media descriptions, you’ll run into some issues when sharing your content. Whether you have a business, blog, or personal site, adding this info for each page and post will make your site look more professional on social media. And, the subject of your post or page will be much clearer.
With each share, you’ll provide a post summary, your site name, plus a direct link. That way, when your post gets retweeted and shared, it won’t get lost in the noise.
How to Set Up Social Media Descriptions for Every Post
Okay, so there are many social media outlets, and you have to configure the metadata for each page? That’s too much work. Luckily, there’s a way to configure it all in one place with the Yoast SEO plugin.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, go to SEO > Social, and enter your social profile urls. Then, click each social tab and configure your cards. Simple as that. We recommend this route because you can set up all your social metadata in one place without touching any code.
In addition to your website social description, you can use Yoast SEO to add specific social descriptions and images for each page or post. In your page or post editor, scroll down below the text editor until you see Yoast SEO. Click on the social icon, as shown here, and you can edit the title, description, and image that displays when that specific post or page is shared.
Once you’ve configured your social media descriptions–also called Open Graph tags–you can test them at OpenGraphCheck.org. Just copy the url you want to test, paste it in, and click test.
This is an easy fix for a new website, and establishing your page summary for social platforms will ensure that your site looks professional when shared on social media.