How Open Graph Can Give You a 250% Increase In Traffic

I recently read an article on TNW that stated that, “since Tumblr integrated with Open Graph last month, traffic from Facebook is up 2.5x.”

Naturally I was intrigued by this, so I decided to do some research into the best way to integrate Open Graph into my websites. What follows are the tactics that I have discovered. Tactics similar to what Tumblr used to receive a 250% increase in traffic!

How Can Open Graph Increase Traffic?

A 250% increase in traffic sounds nice, but you may be asking yourself how Open Graph will actually affect your traffic. To answer that, let’s take a look at a post on Facebook that is using Open Graph.

Facebook Open Graph

Do you notice how this post does not only include a link? The post has been enriched with a title, description, and image. All of which should help increase traffic to your site by making social posts about your site more interesting.

Images alone have been shown many times to greatly affect click through rate. One study I found on Tnooz details how a change in an image resulted in a 60% higher click through rate.

This could be an important reason why TNW reported that Kobo had a 50% increase in traffic after integrating with Open Graph.

What Is Open Graph?

Open Graph was created by Facebook, who states that, “the Open Graph protocol allows any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.”

There’s a fair amount of tech lingo in there, so i’ll break it down.

Have you ever noticed that when you are on Facebook and someone posts a link to a Youtube video, there is a preview of that video shown? Have you ever noticed that some links come with a preview image and description?

This is due to these websites taking advantage of Open Graph tags. The use of Open Graph basically allows you to create a richer, more interesting experience for people interacting with your content on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Implement Open Graph

Open Graph can be implemented in your website by simply adding meta tags into the head of your website. Although there are optional properties, here are the four required properties for the Open Graph protocol:

<meta property="og:title" content="">
<meta property="og:url" content="/">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
<meta property="og:type" content="">

I would also recommend that you consider adding:

<meta property="og:description" content="">

All you have to do is copy and paste this into the head of your website, change the content attribute, and you’re good to go.

Right about now, you might be wondering how to update the content attributes for every page of your website. Well, if you’re using WordPress, I’m going to recommend that you check out the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. Not only does this plugin handle SEO, but it will handle the Open Graph tags for both Facebook and Twitter so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Wait, I Thought This Was Only For Facebook?

Even though Open Graph was developed by Facebook, Twitter has been rolling out a feature called Twitter cards. Twitter cards allows you to make tweets about your website much more interactive by adding images, videos, descriptions, and more to your tweets.

Twitter’s implementation of Open Graph is not currently open like Facebook. You will need to apply to get in the program. But, if you are accepted, you can expect your tweets to end up something like this:

Twitter Card SummaryFor more details on Twitter cards and how you can join the program, check out the Twitter developer website.

What Do You Think?

I hope that after reading this post, you will agree with me that Open Graph is very simple to implement on your website. For just a few minutes of work on your website, you could greatly increase the amount of traffic that you receive from social networks.

My question to you is, are you currently using Open Graph on your website? If not, do you plan on implementing it? Lastly, what other tactics are you using on social networks to increase your referral traffic?

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Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

Comments

  • Hi Eric:

    Your title is “How Open Graph Can Give You a 250% Increase In Traffic” yet the article is more about how to implement open graph rather than explaining how and why implementing it will give you any increase at all.

    Can you please share how and why there will be an increase in traffic due to implementing open graph?

    Thank you.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hi Peter,

      I have updated the post. I apologize that the original published version was not clear enough. Hopefully this helps solidify the concept of how Open Graph can help increase traffic.

    • Nancy Smeltzer says:

      Dear Eric, thanks for giving the plug-in for use on WordPress.org. So many techie people give great advice, and then gliby give you lines of code and tell you just add it. WHERE??? I don’t know HTML and don’t want to screw up my source code by putting things in the wrong place, so I REALLY aprpeciated the link to the plug=in. Seems to work great for posting on Twitter a pic of the double ring around the moon on 12-21-12 out at Joshua Tree. Thanks so much!

  • Kat says:

    Very clever! Thank you.