Facebook is Changing How Your Website Looks – Are You Ready?

In their continued effort to reduce click bait and fake news, Facebook is changing how links appear in the News Feed.

Previously, Facebook let publishers customize the title, description, and images for links.

This was great for nonprofits, especially if their websites that lacked compelling titles and images. But now, Facebook is eliminating the ability to customize links:

By removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news.

What this means for you

Now, any link from your website will display the meta data for that page.

What is meta data? Meta-data is information about each webpage on your website, including:

  • Met- title: The title of your webpage
  • Meta-description: The description of your webpage.
  • Image: The image or images on your webpage.

If your website lacks compelling images or has boring titles, you will definitely get less referral traffic from Facebook.

Does this mean you need to hire a website developer to rewrite your titles, descriptions, and images? Maybe so.

No worries for WordPress users

A must-have plugin for any WordPress site is the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin allows you to edit the meta-data for any page or post.

Check out how I can easily customize the meta-data, and even how links appear on Facebook:

Note that your website meta data also determines how your webpages appear on other social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc) and Google.

WordPress also allows you to add a featured image for each page or post:

Facebook usually selects this featured image for link previews.

What if you don’t use WordPress?

If you use Squarespace, Joomla, Drupal, or some other reputable CMS, there’s probably a feature or plugin that allows you to easily edit your meta data and featured image.

If you still don’t know where to start, check with your hosting company about your ability to edit the meta data for your website.

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John Haydon