When is the last time you tested your various pages in Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter or on any other social network?

Do you know how a product page, category page or blog page will display in various circumstances? What happens if you don’t have an image for a service page or blog post? What about category pages where there is no default image declared in your CMS? What will that page look like when shared?

Here is the example the sent Dave down a rabbit hole and inspired this episode:

As you can see, Indeed.com and likely many other sites simply aren’t setup to do well when shared on some social sites.

So take some time this week and use the tools listed below or your own tool of choice and test a few pages from each type (category, service, product, about, blog post, etc.) and see how your site does.

Be sure to look for pages without Meta Descriptions or that don’t clearly have an image in the page – how do these display?

Open Graph Tools

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you join us on another one of these business of digital podcast episodes. And today we’re just going to jump right into it because we’re hungry right now, right? Me

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:23] and I was already hungry.

Now I’m starving.

Matt Siltala: [00:00:25] Where should I have pictures of. Snippets of food and all kinds of stuff, but what are we talking about today? We are talking about why open graph meta-description and other things

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:37] matter. Okay. I know it’s a working title is always, uh, yeah, another tagging matters. That was the, in a hurry, wrote that down,

Matt Siltala: [00:00:48] but that’s all, but the point was we have a bunch of different tools that Dave was going to share with you.

I’m hearing a little while about, you know, testing out your sites and things like that, your socials. But I thought it [00:01:00] was interesting because, um, you know, I thought that I was given an example of one that wasn’t doing necessarily a good job with some of that. And I shared it with you on Facebook and you’re like, no, it comes up with this huge sandwich and I’m hungry now.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:12] Yeah, well that was in messenger. Now, the first thing I’ll do is if you’re ever curious the quickest way. Um, and I’ve had, I’ve actually been forgotten to switch it back is take a link and post it on Facebook

Matt Siltala: [00:01:32] in the regular,

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:33] just in the regular thing. Alright. Don’t hit post, but just see what comes

Matt Siltala: [00:01:38] up. So, cause I’ve done that before.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:42] Sometimes even if you screw up open graph and you screw up everything, sometimes it will still. Grab something, but it also depends on the page. So we were talking about different examples in different businesses where one, they might care and two, they might not care [00:02:00] and restaurants, especially right now.

You know, if my wife was, we’re not going out right now, we’re going to order out. She would send me a link to somewhere new, like maybe a new restaurant just opened up or there was some special and she sent me a link. And it’s in messenger or it’s on Facebook or, you know, it’s on Twitter or whatever. Um, what shows up

Matt Siltala: [00:02:21] and depending on what shows up could get you excited about if you liked that suggestion or not,

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:27] that’s correct.

Or if you have a menu page or a blog post and say you don’t have a default image or that the open graph is not set up correctly, or, you know, the Twitter cards aren’t set up correctly. All of those things can impact the, reach, the click through if someone actually cares.

Matt Siltala: [00:02:48] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:49] Like I’ve shared stuff, blog posts, and it’s like, here’s one of the eight images that you can show and none of them have anything to do with the actual article.

Matt Siltala: [00:02:59] Yeah.

[00:03:00] So with, with regards to these tools that you’re going to go over, maybe we could talk about. What, what these guys could do to improve them.

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:17] So I’ll drop a list of tools into the writeup. Um, but there’s some like open graph, tester.com, nice domain name. Um, it’s not a secure site. Like what year is it? Um, and then there’s small SEO tools has an open graph tester.

Uh, I friendly has a nice one where they walk through your open graph you’re in bed. So it gives you your Twitter cards all in one spot, um, shows you the original data that’s pulling. Um, probably one of the nicer ones that I was looking at, but cause it, you know, it gives you everything right there. Mmm, open graph, [00:04:00] check.com.

It’s 20. How many sites there are that I found? Um, and then another one that’s an older one is smo.noaa.com, which I’ve used for a long time because yeah, visually will, which I’ve kind of always liked. It is. It visually will show you what it’s going to look like each time. So it gives you the output, but then it also shows you, you know, your basic SEO, you know, screw up your, your meta-tags and your GQ or description and your news.

Um, but it’ll kind of look at all of that, but it visually will show you what it look it’s like. So even if you don’t go on to go and test every single page in Twitter and Facebook, It’ll quickly kind of just do it all, but really, really quick.

Matt Siltala: [00:04:46] So that’s what I was wanting to kind of have you answer, walk through.

So let’s say that we have the mom and pop or the restaurant, the small business owner or whatever, you know, the person that’s got the food truck selling the sodas or [00:05:00] the waffles or whatever it might be, and they’re on the socials and they have a website or whatever. What would you suggest to them taking these tools?

Should they go and test and see what their main URLs look like. Should they go and test and see what they’re there? Um, social posts look like, or should they see what, like individual blog posts are all of the above? Like what would you suggest to them as far as like, take these steps and put them in and let’s see how this looks for you.

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:30] Start with your homepage, your menu page. If you’re a services company, start with your services page. If someone was to, you know, share one of your pages on LinkedIn, on Facebook, you know, anywhere, if someone was to try to pin something in Pinterest, it gave me, it can impact that Matt knows a little bit about Pinterest, um, you know, trying to make it easy for people to pin stuff and share stuff.

What’s that.

Matt Siltala: [00:05:58] Just a little,

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:59] just a little, [00:06:00] um, but yeah, all of those different networks, they all use open graph and Twitter cards. What does it look like if you come up with a blog post and someone goes to share it on Twitter, on Facebook or somewhere, does it have a standard image or does it just show your logo or does it have no image?

Matt Siltala: [00:06:21] Well, I think about that with like what I shared you earlier. I shared with you earlier, just through messenger. So like, let’s say if you’re a restaurant and you’re sharing these things and the posts and you don’t really check this, or you don’t really know what’s going on, you don’t know what comes up when someone shares it on one of these networks, it’s like something you said earlier, you could have six images that you can choose from.

But what if not one of them is like one of the yummy sandwiches? What if it’s just like a logo or a customer, or

Dave Rohrer: [00:06:51] like that usually is. Well, it’s usually your Facebook share image, your Google plus image that you still have from five years ago, your Twitter, [00:07:00] like, um, it won’t even be your logo. Yeah. It’ll be like all sorts of other little images that are on every single

Matt Siltala: [00:07:06] page.

That’s not going to help

Dave Rohrer: [00:07:08] that it has nothing to do with you and nothing to do with your business. It’s not even your logo. You know, you might get lucky on an author if it’s a blog post and the author picture might come up, but if you don’t have an author or you’re just using a standard, Gravatar, it’ll literally just be, you know, the little ghost person.

Matt Siltala: [00:07:26] So that’s the kind of stuff that we’re telling you guys that you need to pay attention for and look out for, because, you know, I think about this with, and again, I hadn’t really thought about this until you brought this up and that we decided to do this episode about this Dave, but I think about all the places.

You know, like some of the, my favorite spots, like there’s this, uh, there’s this food truck that comes, comes out here every once in a while, like a couple times a week and they’re called remise cuisine and they share the posts and I can guarantee you if they did this wrong and the pictures that show the food, the [00:08:00] different things that they’re their spotlight think for that they didn’t pop up.

I would be like completely less interested and probably not think about going in and hitting them up. If. They did this wrong. If, you know, if they showed me a old Google plus image,

Dave Rohrer: [00:08:18] it can make a difference. And, you know, the, the one example that spurred all of this was a post from indeed. Um, I just thought it was a, it was like, I don’t know, it’s like a beer opportunity and I was going to share it in some group, or it was like really funny, like job title or job something. And I just happened to see it and I was going to send it to someone.

It basically said indeed.com like director of de Chicago, indeed. And then all that showed after that, because there was no open graph on it. Uh, our close, close parentheses throw air base, not supported VAR a equals create element base H ref, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like [00:09:00] literally it’s just grabbing Java script because there’s no open graph for it.

And there’s times where I’ll go to post a link and. Literally nothing will come up because there’s no, meta-description, there’s no open graph. There’s no nothing. And then if your home page is called home or my

Matt Siltala: [00:09:18] site

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:18] or my site, which is one of the examples that Matt, you know, the first your, all that Matt grabbed, he was like, Oh yeah.

Page title for the homepage is my site. Awesome. That tells me so much about that domain. I really want to go shop there, eat there, whatever. Um, yeah,

Matt Siltala: [00:09:36] totally. What’s that? It’s 2020, right?

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:40] Yes, it is 2020. I know. That’s when we, when we’re discussing this, I was like, it’s 20, 20. Come on. Um, if you’re on WordPress, there are, you can set some of this stuff up.

You can set default stuff and Yoast, SEO, plugin. You know, if you, if you have. [00:10:00] Pages. And you’re like, Oh, well, you know, we don’t have, we don’t always have a good image for a blog post, which you should, but different problem. You can set a default and it can be your logo. It can be your product picture, you know, a picture of the team, something, and you can set the default description for that opening graph and you can set the, just the default picture.

Hello, we’ll

Matt Siltala: [00:10:25] call him. There should be no excuse anymore these days. Like, you know, it’s like what you’re saying with pictures, there should be absolutely no excuses for people anymore because you know, like, uh, the site example that I gave you and the one I sent to messenger, like most of those pictures were taken with a newer iPhone and the phone capability these days are fans fantastic.

Like my sons both have the Google pixel and telling you like the cameras on those are amazing. Like. You know, they were, they were doing the night photography ones even before the new iPhone ones were. But my point [00:11:00] here is there should be no excuse for you to be able to, Oh, I haven’t got time to take good pictures or hire a photographer or whatever.

Like, you don’t need that necessarily. Any posture you can take decent pictures and use them and get them to fix these kinds of things that we’re talking about at least with open graph and, and this kind of stuff. So you

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:20] dropped for a little while.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:21] Those are just my thoughts, Dave.

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:23] Oh, we just lost all thoughts.

I think, I think we lost your thoughts. I think your internet went Pope

Matt Siltala: [00:11:31] mine dead.

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:32] Maybe we’ll find

Matt Siltala: [00:11:33] out. Do I need to, I can redo that if you want to

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:36] just do it real quick and I can cut this part or that part.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:39] So I was talking to talking about with

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:41] your son’s pixel phone.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:43] Okay. So my thoughts on it are like you have no excuse to.

Not take good pictures these days, because like I was thinking about my son’s a Google pixel phones, like the picture that they take are phenomenal. They were doing those night photography ones before the [00:12:00] new iPhone started doing it. I am too. But my point being is I, and I’ve told these people and especially like the site that you saw, um, you know, there is no excuse because these people pictures were taken with an iPhone.

And so you don’t have to wait for a professional shoot or something. I’m not saying that it’s not worth it or don’t do it, but. If the excuse for you not having something on open graph or showing up is because you haven’t taken a picture. Well, there is no excuse with like the technology that’s around us today.

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:27] Think about next door. The people that you probably hear hammering away at the roof bless their souls. Maybe it’ll rain in a little while.

Matt Siltala: [00:12:35] I don’t hear anything.

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:36] I now hopefully know it yet. I’m going to try to edit as much out as I can. They’re almost done with the roof. So the end is near, um, The events,

Matt Siltala: [00:12:45] if it’s a roof being put up or a dog barking, you know, this is just COVID, this is just 2020 for us.

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:52] But yeah, the, um, like, just think of like, I was like a builder and you want to go look at custom homes because you know, [00:13:00] you’re going to build your custom home, your dream home, and you go to whatever page it is. And there’s 10 different photos of different layouts and different things. And because OpenGraph, isn’t set up instead of grabbing that photo of that custom house that you’re going to share it grabs.

The Facebook logo or the LinkedIn logo or the logo for, um, house. Yeah, social network, whatever. I don’t know what it’s called, what it is really. Yeah. H O use easy or maybe your logo, maybe your logo, but there’s 10 different photos or eight different photos that, you know, show up and maybe at the end you get lucky in those files, photos show up.

Yeah. And people are like, Oh, well that’s a bad link or whatever. I’m not going to share that pretty house now.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:52] Exactly. So that’s the kind of stuff that you guys need to think about. And, and again, you know, and, uh, this is on the, on the [00:14:00] blog and there’s the right app. You guys will see. Okay. There

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:02] was a bunch of different tools and there’s other tools out there too.


Matt Siltala: [00:14:07] these are all free, so there’s no excuse to not use them.

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:10] Just go through, check your services page, check your, you know, if you’re a restaurant or some sort of service and like, you know, I know he’s used landscaping, but you know, if you have a page that shows pavers that you did this job or that, you know, you’re a dentist and you want to show different, certain things offer a doctor like, you know, where your office looks like, you know, Like so that people can figure out what it looks like.

That would actually be a cool if there’s 10 different doors in your building that look the same, but yours is always decorated. Make sure that one always shows up or that’s always an option. Well, I’m

Matt Siltala: [00:14:45] glad you also said with restaurants, like menus

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:48] menus.

Matt Siltala: [00:14:49] I can tell you I’ll go ahead.

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:51] If it’s not a PDF, it’s, you know, some crazy in bed or something, but there’s no picture of defaulted.

[00:15:00] I can’t

Matt Siltala: [00:15:00] tell you how many potential places have probably lost our business over the last four months because of lack of menu or not, you know, not able to pull it up or this isn’t done. Right? Like the only thing that saved some of these places has been, um, you know, like with people posting pictures on Google or Yelp or whatever, they can go in and kind of see the variety of dishes or whatnot, but for the most part.

If I’m going to a website and I’m having a hard time pulling up the menu, like, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve just like gone to the next one. And so I’m glad that you mentioned that one.

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:36] Well, and we’re setting the bar really low. We’re just saying like, literally we’re just saying fricking do it, like just put something, but then on the flip side, which we will talk about it, I think for just for a minute, but you can customize it.

You don’t, it doesn’t have to be the exact same as your meta description. If you know, people are sharing it. Maybe switch it up and make it more of a call to action. And you can do [00:16:00] that in WordPress and, you know, you can do it anywhere really. Like I have some flat flat sites that don’t have CMSs. I can put in my own open graph in there.

And I did, I literally hard coded it in there and I can put whatever I want one, that’s

Matt Siltala: [00:16:13] a great plug to what you’re always telling people to, to test stuff and pay attention to that, that, that data pay attention to your analytics. And if you find like you were just saying that they’re always looking at those pages or sharing them.

Do what you just said. That’s perfect.

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:27] Well then the eCommerce, you know, maybe if you don’t want to, you don’t want to always mention the price because, you know, by the time someone sees that Facebook post, the price might change and they might come and go, Hey, I saw this post from three days ago, there was a sale and it was 1299.

And now it’s back to 1999. Now I’m annoyed because you’re doing a switch and, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re messing with me. Make it so that your open graph doesn’t mention pricing, but it mentions free shipping, or it mentioned something else that would entice people.

[00:17:00] Matt Siltala: [00:17:00] I relate all this to just the ease of helping me make my decision.

Like I think about, you know, I’m going through this project in my house and I ripped off some backsplash. And if you’ve ever ripped off backsplash, you realize that you probably are ripping off dry wall as well. And so we had this huge hole in our wall and we were trying to get ahold of a drywall person.

And so let me ask you, Dave, who do you think got the business? That? So I sent out the texts to people on a Thursday and there was someone that got back with me in an hour on Thursday. And then there was someone that got back with me, the following Tuesday who got the business,

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:42] uh, the one hour person.

Matt Siltala: [00:17:44] Exactly. And so it was just ease, like. It was just the ease of dealing with someone that’s prompting right there. And so you think about that with, when you’re looking at this kind of stuff and it makes it easier for me to make that decision. It’s just, I go back to that example that I sent [00:18:00] you Dave, when, when, uh, you know, through messenger and you’re like, Oh, that’s that sandwich looks so good.

I’m so hungry. I wanna eat now. So like, that’s what we’re talking about. We want that to help them make those decisions easily. And that’s the point. And I guess those are my final thoughts on this.

Dave Rohrer: [00:18:15] And if you use a CMS of any sort, you don’t have to go through and check every single page. Like if you have, if you have lots of blog posts, honestly, you might want to check them, but you could check just one to go.

Okay. Is there a default, like where’s the blog posts that we’ve done? At some point that doesn’t have an image. What shows up? How does that one display? Because that is the lowest, you know, bar like that is a page that we don’t have a description for our page title stinks, and we don’t have an image. What does that look like?

Like, can I make a default just so that even if we forget or we don’t go back and update everything and fix things or testings, what does that look like? And just at least start there and then go, okay, now [00:19:00] we at least have a base. Let’s actually make these nuts suck. You know, let’s go through and let’s tweak, okay.

Things for Twitter. Let’s tweak things for Facebook. If you’re a B to B and your stuff is shared on LinkedIn, how can you talk to that audience more? You know, how can you switch things or change things or test things and tweak it just a little bit.

Matt Siltala: [00:19:23] Worst case scenario from all of this, you get better rankings.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:26] You get a better click through from social sites. Yeah,

Matt Siltala: [00:19:30] exactly. That’s it.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:32] Alright, go fix your open graph.

Matt Siltala: [00:19:35] Well, I appreciate you guys listening and, uh, yeah, it is 2020, and this is, you should definitely be doing this. So, um, speaking of things that you should definitely be doing, we are on Google play. Make sure you go and give us a five star, right?

Uh, we love when you guys, uh, you know, give us some love like that. Hopefully we’re providing you some information that is useful to you. So for Dave roar with Northside metrics, I met salsa [00:20:00] with avalanche media and we appreciate you joining us. We’ll see you on the next one.

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:03] Thanks. All right.

E164 – Why Open Graph, Meta Descriptions and Other Tagging Matters Hosts:

The Business of Digital © 2021