Increase Social Shares with the WordPress Social Sharing Optimization Plugin
WordPress Social Sharing Optimization is a plugin that aims to help you increase the click through rate of your social shares, which in turn results in more traffic to your website. You can download a free version from WordPress.org and there is also an upgrade to a pro version with more features.
While simply posting a regular link to a standard blog post on your social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, can get results. By using a plugin such as WPSSO, you can really do a lot to maximise the effectiveness of the time you spend sharing and promoting your content socially.
With this traffic generating WordPress plugin it doesn’t matter who shares your content – whether it’s you, one of your co-authors, or a reader – the end result will be the same and your content will look more appealing and eye catching on whichever platform it is shared.
So if you want to take advantage of Twitter Cards, Rich Pins, Google Rich Snippets, and the Facebook Open Graph, read on to find out what this plugin can do and how it can help you, in our WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin review.
What Does WordPress Social Sharing Optimization Do?
With the pro version of this plugin installed on your WordPress site, whenever you or a reader clicks on one of your social sharing buttons, or copies and pastes the URL of one of your posts into their social network of choice, that tweet, share, or pin, will have some other content displayed alongside the standard URL and title of the post or page.
That additional content, which makes your shared content stand out, could be an image gallery, a nicely formatted link, a video player, or even product information and price from an online store. This additional content is defined on your site when the post is published, and then when it’s shared, that content is used where possible, to create a feature-rich share.
This means you don’t have to do anything extra when sharing the content as the plugin has already done the work when the post was published on your site.
You’ve probably seen this technique being used, and whenever content that has been shared on sites like Facebook or Twitter stands out from the rest of the links that are being posted alongside it, there is a good chance that website is using a tool like WordPress Social Sharing Optimization, or at least using the same technology found in this plugin.
How Does WP SSO Pro Work?
Once the plugin has been installed and activated on your WordPress site, you can configure WP SSO for the four main social networks including:
- Google / SEO
Each network has its own settings which differ from option to option. For example, with Facebook you can enter your page admin IDs, and application IDs if you have them.
While with Google / SEO, you can set the description length which relates to what is shown in the Google search engines results pages, as well as the format of the author name, and the author link URL. This gives you a lot of control over how your content is listed in the Google results, which should hopefully make your site stand out from the other sites listed alongside it.
With Twitter, you can define how your Twitter cards are shown, including the following settings:
Again, these features allow you to create rich tweets using the Twitter Card functionality to display additional excerpts from your content when it is shared on this social network.
Through the advanced settings you can define which features of the plugin are enabled. This can help avoid potential conflicts with other plugins on your site and the theme you are using.
As the plugin adds the required HTML tags for each of the different types of rich shares, such as Google, Facebook, Open Graph, Schema, and Twitter Cards, to the head of your posts and pages you get the option of disabling any of those tags. This is useful if you are using another plugin that covers some of these tags, such as an SEO plugin, or they are built into your theme.
Through the settings you can also define how the plugin makes use of, and includes the content in your posts when creating the posts and links on the social networks. These options cover:
- Auto-resize images
- Ignore small images
- Check for embedded media from sites like Vimeo, Slideshare, Wistia, and YouTube
You can also enable or disable the custom settings control panel for individual post types, to prevent authors from adding their content or customising the way the plugin works at an individual post level.
The settings are detailed and they give you a good amount of control over how the plugin works and what your content will now look like when it’s shared on the most popular social networks.
Creating a New Post
After you’ve configured the settings, and dependent on you enabling the settings control panel for individual posts, the next time you create a new, or edit an existing, post you can access the SSO Custom Settings control panel.
Through this control panel, you can override the default values that are chosen from the plugin settings. This allows you to add custom messages for each network, display alternate images and videos that aren’t featured in the post by adding their URLs, and set the number of images or videos to be shown.
The End Results
Once the WP SSO Pro is up and running on your site, which doesn’t take long, whenever your content is shared on the top social networks those tweets, or posts, will contain a lot more information which can help entice users into clicking on them and following the links back to your site.
If any of the available WordPress Social Sharing Optimization add-ons for WordPress eCommerce plugins, such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads, are active, you can ensure that when your products are shared online, useful information about that product is made available.
There is a limited free version of this plugin but today we have been looking at the Pro version of WPSSO. The pro version is available for $39.95 for use on one site, with a discount being applied when purchasing a license for multiple sites. The plugin includes a 30 day no risk refund policy if you are interested in trying it out.
You can view the full pricing details and feature list here.
Wherever you are at with the social media marketing strategy for your site, the WP Social Sharing Optimization plugin can help you get better results.
Whether you are yet to get started posting you content on sites like Twitter and Facebook, or you already have social sharing buttons installed on your site and are getting regular shares, by making your content look better and contain more relevant information when it is shared online, you can increase the chances that those who see it will interact with it.
Once you have installed and set this plugin up, you don’t really have to think about it again and can sit back and enjoy the improved results whenever your content is shared online. However, thanks to the post-level settings of the plugin you can add custom information and content for individual posts as they are created on your site.
WPSSO Pro comes highly recommended and if you want to get the biggest impact from your social promotion activities then you should definitely check it out.