In the past, most website visitors came from Google Search results. Plugins designed to optimize your content for Google Search became increasingly popular, and part of many “must have” plugin lists. Recently though, that trend has been shifting, as the percentage of visitors coming from social websites is increasing — often matching and sometimes out-pacing — the number of visitors from Google Search. Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugins, like WordPress SEO by Yoast for example, have adapted to this change by stepping away from their designed purpose, and re-using the SEO content they gather to generate additional meta tags for social websites.
What happens when someone shares a URL on a social website like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
To understand how social websites describe a webpage, and how you can influence its display, you have to be aware of what happens in the background. When someone shares a URL on a social website (either by using a “share” button or copy-pasting a URL), the social website then connects back to the shared URL and gathers information about its content, such as its title, description, main image, etc. If no structured information is available within the webpage (aka schema markup and/or meta tags), the social websites must “take a guess” — and this is where things can get a little weird. Without proper guidance, social websites may use a sidebar advertisement as the main image, menu or banner text as a description, etc.
Social Sharing Optimization (SSO) plugins like WPSSO, and some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugins like WordPress SEO, can provide structured information about the webpage for social websites — providing them with a specific title, short description / summary, one or more images, embedded videos, product information (price, color, size), etc. In the case of Twitter, you can even describe the content as a photo gallery, and provide several images for it to expand the tweet as a Gallery Card (just one of seven available Twitter Card types).
The NGFB and WPSSO plugins have been updated with two small improvements — a new ‘Report Cache Purge Count’ option on the Advanced settings page (enabled by default) allows the plugin to report the number of objects purged when a Page or Post is updated, and the Social Settings ‘Social Preview’ and ‘Header Preview’ tabs have been enabled for Drafts as well (previously enabled only for Published content).
Do you have location specific webpages on your website, like contact information, store locations, products, etc?
WPSSO Place and Location Meta (WPSSO PLM) works in conjunction with the WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin, extending its features with additional settings pages, tabs, and options, to include Facebook / Open Graph Location and Pinterest Place Rich Pin meta tags in your webpages. WPSSO PLM is fast, efficient, and — using WPSSO as its framework — provides accurate information about your content to social websites.
You can download the Free version of WPSSO PLM on WordPress.org and purchase Pro license(s) on SurniaUlula.com (includes a No Risk 30 Day Refund Policy). The Facebook / Open Graph Location meta tags are available in the Free version, and the Pinterest Place Rich Pin meta tags are provided with the Pro version.
The NGFB and WPSSO plugins have been updated with a new “Social Preview” tab in the Social Settings metabox (found on Post / Page admin editing pages). The preview includes the first image from the Open Graph social meta tags, along with a title and descriptive text. The Social Preview is not meant to be an accurate representation of an actual share, since the image size and layout depends on several factors (the social site itself, the resolution and platform of the user, for example), but it should give you a general idea of what a share of that URL might look like. The image dimensions used are those recommended by Facebook as a minimum (600 x 315px). Images smaller than this will include a warning overlay to remind you that using a larger image is suggested.
Do you have a mobile App for your website that you’d like to promote as a banner in Apple’s mobile Safari?
Do you sell Apple Store Apps, and you’d like to support the Twitter App Card for your product pages?
WPSSO App Meta is a new extension for WPSSO that provides Apple Store / iTunes and Google Play App meta tags for Apple’s mobile Safari and Twitter’s App Card.
WPSSO AM works in conjunction with the WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin, extending its features with additional settings pages, tabs, and options, to include iPhone, iPad, and Google Play App meta tags in your webpages. WPSSO AM is fast, efficient, and — using WPSSO as its framework — provides accurate information about your content to social websites.