Tuesday Tech Tip: Tailoring Your Webpage For Social Media

A good social media strategy is more than how to use Twitter and Facebook; a good social media strategy involves integration. And having the little F logo on your webpage linking to your Facebook page isn’t enough, either. You need to code your page for social media.

Think of images that Facebook chooses when you post a link. Sometimes the image you want to display appears automatically; sometimes you have to flip through a few options; and sometimes there’s nothing to choose from. But you can control all this!

What do I mean? First, take a look at the Facebook debugger http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug.

Using this page as an example (which is managed through WordPress), I entered newmedianook.wordpress.com

Facebook Debugger gave me the following:

fb:app_id:

249643311490

og:url:

https://newmedianook.wordpress.com/

og:type:

article

og:title:

New Media Nook

og:image:

Description: http://external.ak.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=AQBb6Ocl1aqN6690&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewmedianook.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F09%2Fkeyboard.jpg

og:description:

A fine WordPress.com site

og:site_name:

New Media Nook

og:updated_time:

1359520388

As you can see, Facebook knows that this is a blog, WordPress gave the description “A fine WordPress.com site,” and Facebook knows which image to use as well.

So how does Facebook know all this? It’s in the code!

<meta property="og:type" content="blog" />
<meta property="og:title" content="New Media Nook" />
<meta property="og:description" content="A fine WordPress.com site" />
<meta property="og:url" content="https://newmedianook.wordpress.com/" />
<meta property="og:site_name" content="New Media Nook" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://sample.com/my.jpg" />

An alternative for the meta code for the image is to just link it like so:

<link rel="image_src" href="http://www.newmedianook.com/MyImage.jpg"/>

And voilà! Now when people post your link, all your information will automatically populate.

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Optimizing Your Website

How many websites exist in the same category as yours? How many stores are similar to yours? How many businesses are the same as yours?

My guess is a lot. And you want to stand out. Optimizing your website is a great way to do that. You can hire a company, paying thousands of dollars. Or you can get started on doing it yourself with these tips.

  • Have a blog. A blog is perhaps the best way to reach out to your audience. A blog regularly updates, and indicates to your audience that you are knowledgeable in the arena. If you think your business has nothing to blog about, you are wrong! A packing and shipping company can blog about deadlines and warnings for shipping to other countries. A doctor can blog about new laws effecting health care, prescriptions, or general health. And all industries can blog general tips
  • Share blog posts over Twitter. According to HubSpot, blogs that are shared on Twitter have 113% more inbound links than blogs that are not shared.
  • Keep blog titles shorter than 75 characters. People are less likely to read a long title. Plus, anything you put up on Twitter, you want to leave room for a link (20 characters) and your twitter handle if retweeted.
  • Blog often. Companies blogging 20 times a month have 5 times the traffic as less-frequent blogs (I obviously have to catch up on this one!)
  • Have an easily located RSS feed. An RSS feed provides another way for folks to easily access your information.
  • Make your blog sharable. Seriously, the point of a blog is to get the word out there. So why not add social-share buttons to help spread your word!
  • Index your pages. Search engines look for searchable pages. If they can’t find your pages, they won’t post them!
  • Have redirect (301) messages. “yoursite.com” and http://www.yoursite.com are not the same. With redirect messages, your site will get credit for everything accessed.
  • Give “alt” tags to your images. Images are invisible to search engines, but “alt” tags are fairly easy to find. You tag the image, Google and Bing will find your tags.
  • Give page descriptions to every one of your pages. This makes your pages unique and more searchable.
  • Get others to link to you. I know. Not as easy as it seems. They should also be reputable. But the more others link to your page, the higher your page will rank.
  • Have a mobile version of your website.And remember, don’t shrink it; rethink it. Simply shrinking your website isn’t good enough. People who access a webpage on a mobile device are looking for something different than those using a desktop.
  • Add meta viewport tags to the mobile web version. Viewport tags basically tell the mobile browser to read the webpage differently and enhance viewing.
  • Have Apple/Android icons. With icons, users can bookmark your site with your icon (and come on, don’t you want your icon on everyone’s screen?)

There is so much more, but this is a good start. Good luck!