Take control of your preview images when sharing your WordPress pages and posts on social media. A 4 minute video can teach you how to change the image within the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
Originally posted in July 2018.Updated in June 2021 to add new features, and update stats.
Scrolling through Linkedin recently I witnessed a recruitment agency who are pretty frequent with posting their job roles, not capitalising on customising the open graph or preview image that appears when their page was shared on social media.
What Image Am I Talking About?
Typically when you share a link on Facebook or Twitter, a preview appears that looks a bit like this:
The image is pulled from the website and unless selected by the website owner, the social channel will automatically choose an image to use from the website – this maybe the hero image or in the example case I have been discussing; the company logo.
Now what’s the problem with sharing the company logo you ask? Well nothing, as it is great brand awareness, however in a sea of images a repetition of several posts in a row will just become noise.
With nothing to fight for your attention, the image actually becomes fairly redundant. There is also a strong chance that it won’t fit the image size requirements for the social platform in question, and appear stretched or skewed.
With this WordPress tip, we want to show how you can make more of an impact on your social channels, when sharing pages from your WordPress website.
Before watching the video, please note we are recommending using Yoast SEO plugin, you can achieve the same results with the Free version, you don’t necessarily need to upgrade to the pro.
What Is Yoast?
Chances are if you have a WordPress website, you have this plugin installed. Yoast has been downloaded more than 330 million times. If you have ever wondered what it was, then this is only a snippet of how it can help your website.
If you’re not familiar with it at all – then it is a SEO plugin for WordPress that allows you to customise individual page titles, meta descriptions and more.
What you need to know is that SEO and digital marketing agencies love using it, as it makes their job quicker and easier. So if you haven’t got it yet feel free to get in touch we can help install it, if you cannot or would rather not do this yourself.
How To Customise Video
5 Benefits Of Customising The Image?
1. Capture The Reader’s Attention
Although you no doubt always customise the wording in your social post, images actually gain more attention. Scroll through your newsfeed, what grabs your attention first? The copy or the image?
2. Add Text To The Image
Provide a reinforcement of your message by including some of the messaging within the image. Bare in mind that Facebook’s 20% text rule still applies, so if you’re sharing on Facebook keep text within a safe 20% zone.
3. Make Your Images Clickable
When you share an image directly, on click Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin all enlarge the image, if you were to embed the image within the link, when the user clicks the image, they are directed to your website.
4. Add A Visual Call To Action
By customising the image, you can design a call to action or button within the image, increasing the chances of users clicking the image to visit your page.
5. Provide Visual Variety
By changing your image for every page you share, you can break free of the constant noise, and like the recruitment agency mentioned above, provide your followers with fresh and relevant messaging related to the page that are trying to direct them to.
New Premium Social Features
As of June 2021, with the release of version 16.5 of Yoast, even more great features for social sharing have been added to the Premium version.
Not only do you now have control over how your images, titles and descriptions for blog posts and pages appear when shared on social media (available in the standard version) and Social Previews (Premium).
Yoast have now provided you with added Social Appearance Templates (Premium), so you can control the appearance for author, archive, and post type pages, when shared on social platforms.
You will now be able to create a default social template for every page, taxonomy, archive and custom post type, saving lots of time for those with large sites, as creating them individually would take an age. T
hanks to these Social Appearance Templates, it’ll be a great deal simpler and you’ll finally have control over the appearance of everything on your site when shared on social media. Say goodbye to unattractive images when you or someone else shares any of your non-standard pages or posts.
Yoast is a fantastic plugin and one we always install within every new WordPress build. It is well supported and regularly updated, making it a superb choice for your WordPress SEO. You can read more about Yoast and its features here.
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