Making Your WordPress Site More Shareable – Carolyn Jones (WordCamp Manchester 2014)

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Carolyn Jones continues the event in the General Track, straight after my own talk and lunch!

An Introduction

She begins by giving some demographics about various social networking sites, explaining that there are far more women using Pinterest, and yet many more men using Reddit.

Make the Most of Each Share

Write short titles which are intriguing and make people want to click through to your site. “It’s like a free advert, really!”

Facebook

Using the default Facebook images is a good idea, though you can change the title and descriptions manually too.

Twitter

On Twitter, you can add a custom message before the link, as well as hashtags (if relevant), and always make sure that your Twitter handle is included in that tweet! Twitter Cards are also great, giving users a quick snippet of what the content contains.

Google+

With Google+, you should use a large image, so that the title and description get included too.

Pinterest

Pinterest Rich Pins allow extra information to be shown on your site. Rich Product Pins are great for eCommerce site owners, as you can add your pricing and stock information to the pin. Recipe, Movie, and Place Pins all pull in the relevant information.

LinkedIn

This offers similar tools to Facebook, allowing you to add an image, title, and description.

Page Title & Meta Description

Make sure you add these, as they help optimise the “little advert shown in search results”, as well as this information being shown on social networking sites.

Open Graph

Allows you to specify which information displays on whatever social networking sites you wish to share your posts on.

Schema Data

Google+ apparently prefers Schema over Open Graph, allowing you to change the information which displays across the different social networking sites.

Twitter Cards Markup

Based on Open Graph, but can be overwritten for Twitter Cards. Simple markup, and added to the head of your page’s code.

Post Images

Always add either a featured image, or specify something in the Open Graph or Schema data to display the correct images when sharing your posts.

Useful Plugins

Carolyn now lists a few useful SEO plugins, including Yoast’s SEO plugin, and the All in One SEO plugin.

She then goes through the main features of the Yoast plugin, and a couple of other plugins, showing us how to use them in a super simple way!

Carolyn also explains the usefulness of social sharing plugins, and gives us a short demonstration and example of how they’ll work. She briefly touches on using Buffer for post sharing, as well as giving us a brief look at ManageWP.

Social Sharing Buttons

Like she mentioned earlier, Carolyn explains how they’re useful, and gives another brief look at some of the basic plugins in this category.

More Useful Plugins

Then, Carolyn talks about the PullQuote, Quotable and SumoMe plugins, which allow users to quickly share specific portions of your text to social networking sites. Carolyn also mentions free and premium (CodeCanyon, woohoo!) plugins which allow you to force users to share, tweet or like your content before they can download a file, for example.

And Without Plugins?

She makes the useful point that you don’t need to actually use a WordPress plugin to achieve this type of thing, and that you could simple use a share link generator, and include the link in an <a> tag.

Test, Test, Test!

Just like in Kevin Stover’s presentation, Carolyn stresses the importance of testing your buttons and their locations on your site.

She makes the valuable point that you should definitely validate your code with each social networking site, to check that everything is working correctly. Twitter and Facebook take seconds or minutes to validate and approve your site, whilst Pinterest and Google+ take slightly longer.

Final Words

Carolyn finishes with a quick Q&A session, answering most notably a question about tracking social shares. Overall, a very fast moving, friendly, and interesting presentation.

Share.

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Administrator and Editor at wpContent. He likes making films, designing websites, and writing about the latest WordPress news!

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