We’ve all seen them.
You’re searching through social your social feeds and you come across a link with awkward or non-existent images, boring or confusing titles, and bad descriptions.
What happens next? You ignore it and move on with your life.
Don’t be the person that posts that mediocre-looking link.
No matter how in-depth, well-written, or wonderful an article is, if the link preview is sub-par, many people will skip over your article in social feeds. On the flip side, if you follow the best practices for making great link previews, you can create a visual experience that your audience can’t help but click on.
Great image, engaging copy, and appropriate sizing makes this link preview from Entrepreneur great.
Link previews are a visual display that previews the content of a link. These previews show up automatically when you add a URL to a conversation in direct messages, on social media feeds, emails, and more. Link previews are generated and edited on the sender’s side within publishing platforms or the backend of the website.
You have some limited ability to edit link previews from third-party websites, depending on the platform you are publishing to. But, if you are publishing links from a website you own, you have all of the power to craft one great link preview.
A lovely link preview offers a better visual experience when your links are shared on social or embedded on sites. The prettier the link preview, the more likely your followers will click, engage with, and share with others.
Creating great link previews is another opportunity to showcases your branding, style, and voice. You can choose your images and all copy connected to the link preview so you can create a consistent, beautiful style. This can help your followers recognize your branding to identify your internal content.
You can stimulate more website traffic through valuable curiosity instead of cheesy clickbait. When you spend time on the visuals and copy of your article, you will attract individuals who are truly interested in the article content. When you don’t connect the link preview to the article content, those valuable viewers just may skip you over.
Bright colors, relevancy to content and a great size makes this an engaging Link preview by Betches.
There are a few aspects of the perfect link preview image, and each is important. If you don’t pay attention to the image you connect to a link when you publish you may end up with a weird image of half a head or no image at all. By focusing on a great link preview image, you can increase clickability with the right viewers.
The featured image should be the correct size so nothing is cut off. Cut-off heads, image text, and icons look rushed, sloppy, awkward, and can pull from the message you want to spread. On top of that, the wrong sized image may render weird or not at all, losing you the opportunity to engage people through your image. When the image is correctly sized and complete, the link preview not only looks engaging and professional but also takes full advantage of the space you have.
Be picky about the images you choose. Great lighting, colors, and design are crucial for creating a clickable link preview. When using a portrait of a person for the link preview image, keep in mind that while some portraits are lovely, others can come off as unflattering and awkward! Bright colors, trendy designs, and engaging scenes are all great for grabbing attention.
Want to take your link preview image to the next level? Try experimenting with Gifs. They can be sized and used the same was as an image in a link preview, but the dynamic image will grab the attention of people scrolling by better than most images. The same rules apply though – make sure to use a high-quality gif that is related to the topic of the content.
Here is a great example from Fast Company of a title that clearly states the contents of the article while still creating a cliff hanger that draws readers in.
The more effort you put into your title and description, the more enticing your link preview will be to click on. This aspect of the link preview can pull straight from the metadata to use your content title and meta description. Depending on the platform, different renderings of your link preview may show. So, to cover your bases of making the best link preview no matter where it’s showcased, you should make sure all possible copy is clean and ready to be seen.
There are two common strategies for grabbing the attention of viewers: by clear statin the article content or creating a cliff-hanger that piques curiosity. Clearly stating the article is great for press releases, reports, and serious content that would attract readers who want to learn about something with no jokes.
Using a cliff-hanger or a bold statement is a great option for op-eds and less serious content. These grab the attention of people who are interested in the content, as well as people who just want to understand the title better. But keep in mind, a clever title shouldn’t be inaccurate. It’s important that no matter how cheeky your title is, it needs to be in line with the content present on the link. If you write lies or clickbait, you are most-likely damaging customer trust in your brand.
General best practices around links for any situation includes creating a URL that clearly and concisely lines out the internal content of the pate it links to. But with social link previews, a URL is even more important to have a short and sweet URL. When posting, if you just copy/paste a long and vague link, the post copy can look messy and sometimes even spammy.
Many platforms allow you do delete the link from the copy after the link preview renders. If that isn’t an option for the platform you are publishing to, another option is to use a shortened URL. A platform like bit.ly can shorten the long link out of your social post, while still keeping your lovely link preview.
Every little step to improve how your content is perceived can gain new interest, clicks, and customers! To up your social content game, reach out to our team.
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