For most posts and products pages when using WordPress and Woocommerce the system automatically sets open graph data. This means social networks know what image to show when that page is shown. Sadly, by default, neither WordPress nor Woocommerce sets this og metadata for categories and tags. But they are an essential part of any online marketing campaign.
Open Graph metadata was invented by Facebook back in 2010 to better understand web pages that were shared. It allowed publishers to have better control over what image was shown when a page was shared. Before og:image web site owners had no say over what image Facebook showed. Sometimes images unrelated to the post was grabbed by the Facebook robot.
OG Graph gives a better social sharing experience
To make sharing a better experience for users of its platform Facebook offered the Open Graph metaproperty. Very quickly this standard was picked up by other major social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
This new standard really gives power to the web site owner to control what is shown. Social media is such a big driver of traffic. It is important that every opportunity is taken to maximise any sharing. Categories and tag archives in WordPress and Woocommerce are ideal pages to share as part as a marketing campaign. They are also great pages offer to your web visitors to share to their own social page.
The importance of Open Graph image in sharing led to me adding this as an option to the latest version of Category Tinymce. Now you can set a powerful sales image for when your archive page is shared on the main social platforms.
OG Image tags bring life your archive social shares
The OG image meta property does not contribute towards SEO but can have a major effect on click-through rates and conversions when your archive page is shared to social. By default, if someone shares a WordPress or Woocommerce archive page on their social media the link may not show an image. Alternatively, it may show the first image in the archive or it may choose a completely unrelated image from the sidebar. It’s a bit of a chance as to what gets shown – if anything.
With the latest version of Category Tinymce, this problem is solved. You can upload or designate a specific image URL to set as og:image. Now every time your category or tag is shared it displays a highly relevant thumbnail image that can increase click-through and even sales.
To get the most from your image it needs to be visually stimulating and grab the maximum webspace it can on a timeline or news feed. Its recommended that og:images are 1200px by 630px. This will give a full-width image on a Facebook feed. Keep your image under 5mb in size to prevent Facebook ignoring it.
When your image does not show on Facebook
Sometimes when you set the image on your site and your share the archive to test the facility there may be on image showing. This does not mean the plugin is not working. Facebook downloads images asymmetrically. That means it will download the image later. Normally this appears to be almost instantaneously. But when Facebook servers are busy at peak times it can take a few seconds or even minutes before the image will show.
There may also be times when you share an archive page but the og:image you set does not show. Another image shows in its place. This happens if your archive has previously been shared. Facebook will cache the image of the previous share to use it again. In this situation, you need to clear the cache of Facebook and get Facebook to recrawl your page. This isn’t difficult, just go to the Sharing debugger page and get Facebook to scrape your page.
Open Graph Images boost click-throughs and conversions
Before I added this new feature to Category Tinymce I used to share my archive pages – categories and tags – to Facebook. But I used to upload an image and then add the link below. This meant that if someone clicked on the image they would just be shown the image. To get onto the page people would have to click the link.
I then found out the Facebook had done studies to show that a shared link with an integrated og:image picture had a higher click-through rate than the method I was using. This meant that Facebook gave priorities to those sort of links.
We all know how difficult it is to get a decent amount of reach with unpaid or unboosted posts and shares. You really need to maximise every opportunity to get that little bit of extra reach. Using og:image on a share rather than an uploaded image can help increase the number of your followers who see the post.
As webmasters and marketers, we will upload images when we post a link but none of your web visitors is going to take that effort. They will not try to make their shared link look nice. You need to do the work for them and provide the image that will stand out in their timeline.
Category Tinymce og:image feature gives that option. Now when someone visits one of your archive pages that they want to share they also share an eye-catching image. One that will make their friends want to click and explore your site.
A fully-featured WordPress archive management plugin
This new feature now turns Category Tinymce into one of the most advanced and fully featured archive management plugins for WordPress and Woocommerce. You can boost the SEO with the editor enables description fields at both top and bottom of your listings. You can also build graphic image-rich navigation menus with shortcodes. And now you can control how your archives look on social media when the archive is shared.
Archive pages can be an important online marketing resource for a lot of marketers and websites. And now Category Tinymce has taken one more step in helping you to get your website looking good on social media.