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Twitter Cards and why to use them

Twitter Cards make it possible to attach media to Tweets that link to a website’s content. This is done by adding code to a site’s pages and when users who Tweet links that are on your website, Twitter’s web crawler will fetch the Card from your website and store it in the Twitter cache. This action adds a ‘Card’ to the Tweeted URL that’s visible both in the Tweeter’s timeline and those of their followers.

Businesses set to Profit from Twitter Mobile Advantage - Twitter Cards and why to use them

Why you should keep reading

There is no need to go into the detail to explain the technicalities of how it works, but let us demonstrate how enhanced Tweets look and outline this importance to you.

The code we add to your webpages allow the Cards to glean specific information to display within the Tweet. This includes a title, description, authorship, the link back to the originating page, and a picture.

We all know that Twitter timelines are often swamped with Tweets. But it is proven that Tweets with cards dramatically increase the changes of engagement and Follows. Because it is possible to specify a description that will embed with this Tweet, this is not subject to the 140 character limit of regular Tweets. Furthermore the card will display your Twitter account as the content originator and thereby put extra credence to the originating website’s Twitter account (authorship plays a considerable importance of SEO ranking calculation). Google too is able therefore to learn from the code which Twitter author has created the content on your website, and can attribute the activity of the website and Twitter account as the same entity.

Using Twitter Cards won’t return link ‘juice’ to your web pages because Twitter No-Follows all external links in their Tweets. However. Google does take into consideration websites that have increased engagement on Social Media; this metric, part of Google’s algorithm, is known as social signals. Assisted by these Cards, improved Twitter engagement is gained simply because Twitter Cards make your website’s Tweeted URLs stand out from the rest.

There are a whole range of Cards websites can benefit from, but it is only possible to install one type of Card per type of page, such as a Product card for a product page (which could also be particularly useful to estate agents to showcase their Tweeted property pages), a Gallery card for displaying the four latest photos of your gallery pages, or even an embedded video. The most common card, the Summary, is used more than the others.

The above example we have given, therefore, is of the Summary card. If we take this article page for example, a typical template for such, had we Tweeted this page before the Twitter code is added the page will appear in the Twitter timeline as per Fig. 1. However, with the card put into action and the code added, the same Tweeted page is formatted per Fig. 2 – displaying the article’s picture, title, a description, as well as its author’s Twitter account. Try it out for yourself. It is easily to differentiate the more eye-catching Tweet, and did you know, most of the Tweets that are Retweeted were done so without even been fully read. Its appeal-ability therefore, is crucial to grab attention. There is also a Facebook code that format’s Shared pages, similarly displayed in Facebook timelines. Furthermore it is possible to incorporate the code both for Facebook and Twitter in the same page to enjoy the same benefits across both platforms.

Once installed into your website’s CMS blog or news module there is no additional task required from the site’s administrators other than what they do already. This is because the Twitter cards will be set up to take the information automatically from the article itself, information which is already provided: such as the article’s title, excerpt description, picture, and of course the article’s originating link. The process does, however, require your company to have a Twitter account and have its profile URL enabled in your website’s control panel under Website Settings > SEO > Twitter URL. Art Division will then just simply require your preference of card to display (summary, large image, etc.). There will be no additional information to enter, see below an example from a news module where the cards are already installed:

The appeal of Tweets to engage or to follow the originator’s account is greatly enhanced by use of rich media Cards. There is no denying the importance social signals plays in the ranking of your website. With the code added your website is able to determine not only what users see when you or others Tweet your URLs, but leveraging the embedding of media rich page Tweeting is no longer the preserve of large news agencies.

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