It’s #WebsiteWednesday! Here’s another tip to improve your author site!
Today I’m going to go over something very simple that I have just learned. I know I have talked about the importance of using social media before, and while the content that you share on social media is critical, the way it is presented is equally vital toward getting your audience to engage with you and your website.
I’m sure you’ve shared a link on Facebook before, and a random, and seemingly unrelated photo has shown up in the preview. A pixelated background image, an advertisement, a blurry LOL cat… whatever it may be, it doesn’t describe what the page you are sharing is about. Now, why doesn’t this happen on big name brand websites? No matter what page you share, their nice professional logo or a page appropriate picture sized to crystal clear proportions is always displayed. How did they do that?
I was asking myself the same question Monday when trying to share my author services website on a Facebook group. I wanted it to look professional so that the person I was offering services to would actually click my link and view my site. However, the only thing being picked up in the image preview was my completely white background image. A big fat white square was beside my website name. It did not look enticing, to say the least.
I did a Google search and after using the debug tool here: http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug I found that my OG or open graph image had not been set. Since I use WordPress and Yoast SEO, it was an easy fix. I found the image I wanted to use and set my image accordingly. Now every time I share my site I get a nice clean image that accurately represents my web page! Not only was I able to change the image, but I was also able to modify the title and description of the site as well! To do this in WordPress, the easiest way is to make sure you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed. Navigate to the Yoast menu and find Social. Once you click on that you should see and option for Facebook that will let you upload a picture and change your title and description. Note that your photo should be 200×200 pixels for the best load times and photo quality. Hit Save, and you’re done! You can check this by running the debug tool again or by trying it out in a FB post.
So what if you don’t have WordPress? Well, it gets a bit more invasive if you don’t, but if you follow step by step, you should have no problems performing this task on your own. Find your index page and place the following code inside the <head> tags (Make sure you have a backup before attempting to change any code):
<meta property=”og:title” content=”Your Webpage Title” />
<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://linktoyourawesomepic.jpg” /><meta property=”og:description” content=”description of your amazing website” />
<meta property=”og:url” content=”http://yourspiffywebsite.com”>
Save your changes, and you’re done! Again you can check your website with the debugger tool to see if it is displaying correctly.
So that’s it for this Wednesday! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also send me requests for things you’d like me to discuss in the future! Next week I hope to talk about the Amazon Affiliates program! Stay tuned!