How To Create Custom Open Graph Images via Google Sheets

How To Create Custom Open Graph Images via Google Sheets

The accompanying image plays a critical function in drawing readers’ attention when links to your website are posted on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. A visual representation of your content is provided by this image, also referred to as an Open Graph image (OG image). You may increase the visibility and appeal of your shared links by thoughtfully generating and positioning OG pictures. In this article, we’ll examine a novel method for creating dynamic Open Graph graphics with Google Sheets that does not require in-depth technical expertise or programs like Puppeteer. Let’s get started and discover the potential of enthralling OG photos!

Understanding Open Graph Images

The thumbnail that shows up next to the URL of your website when it is shared on social networking sites is known as a “Open Graph” image. Consider it a visual preview that provides users with an overview of the stuff you are providing. The URL of the picture can be included in the HTML meta tags of your website in order to define the default image for that website. Once finished, whenever your link is shared on well-known social networking sites, this image will automatically be retrieved and shown.

<head>
  <title>Your Website Title</title>
  <meta property="og:image" content="https://www.example.com/og-image.png" />
</head>
The Power of Dynamic Open Graph Images

Static images that might not accurately capture the core of your material have traditionally been used to create Open Graph graphics. However, by utilizing Google Sheets’ features, you can create dynamic and one-of-a-kind OG photos that are specific to each page of your website. By using this strategy, you can guarantee that the images appropriately depict the context of your content, which will increase user interaction and click-through rates.

Enter Google Sheets and Dynamic OG Images

Utilizing Dynamic OG Images and Puppeteer

To produce dynamic Open Graph graphics, some tech-savvy users have used Google’s Puppeteer library. This includes providing Puppeteer with customized HTML, which creates a screenshot and produces eye-catching OG images. Notably, Puppeteer is used by GitHub and Vercel for their OG image production requirements. However, putting Puppeteer into practice can call for technical know-how and frequently entails accompanying fees for cloud deployment.

How To Create Custom Open Graph Images via Google Sheets

Google Sheets, a No-Code Alternative

Google Sheets offers a tempting alternative for those looking for a simple and affordable solution. You can make unique OG images for each page of your website using Google Sheets without having to engage in challenging technological procedures. This is how it goes:

Create Your Own OG Template: Create an image design in Google Slides to use as your template first. The title of your webpage should be substituted for the placeholder text in the template.

Create Screenshots Using Google Apps Script: To create screenshots of your customized template, use Google Apps Script, a scripting language for Google Apps operations. This script copies the presentation for each row, reads the titles from your Google Sheets document, takes a screenshot of the slide, and saves it to your Google Drive.

Easy Image URL Integration: The script automatically fills the image URLs in the appropriate fields as it analyzes the data in your Google Sheets, making integration simple and painless.

Putting the Plan into Action

Make a copy of the attached Google Sheet on your Google Drive to get started.

Clear the Image URL column and replace the titles in Column A with the titles of the pages on your website.

Press the Play button to run the script. As a result, the script will be prompted to approve and start creating OG image URLs for each page.

Increase Your Collection: If you add new page titles to the Google Sheet, you can easily update it by pressing the Play button a second time, which will generate picture URLs just for the new additions.

How To Create Custom Open Graph Images via Google Sheets

Testing Your Open Graph Images

It’s critical to make sure that your OG photos display as intended when shared on various social media sites after integrating Open Graph meta tags on your website. The following is how to test them:

Twitter OG Image Validator:

Go to cards-dev.twitter.com/validator and enter the URL of your website in the appropriate section. To verify that Twitter can correctly render the picture supplied in your Open Graph meta tags, click “Validate”. If necessary, you can use this tool to clear the OG Image from Twitter’s cache.

Facebook OG Image Debugger:

Go to developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ and enter the URL of your website before selecting “Debug.” Whether Facebook can successfully display the image that was supplied in your Open Graph meta tags will depend on this.

LinkedIn Post Inspector:

Use the linkedin.com/post-inspector/ tool to see how your website will look when posted on LinkedIn. This practical tool provides information on how your page appears visually on the LinkedIn platform. If you’ve made modifications to the accompanying OG Image, you may also ask LinkedIn to re-scrape the page.

Unveiling the Mechanics of the OG Image Generator

The Google Apps Script that is connected with Google Sheets is at the core of this creative approach. You may view the source code for creating dynamic Open Graph graphics by exploring the Extensions menu and choosing Apps Script. If you want to further modify your images, you may also think about designing graphics in Canva using one of their many themes and then importing them into Google Slides for easy integration.

Here’s a quick overview of how Google Apps Script functions:

// Source code excerpt (abbreviated for illustration purposes)

const FOLDER = 'Open Graph Images';
const TEMPLATE_ID = '1QZ4mR6B36XEVyzJf-s8vq88SDnSRPiRDchJ71VM-cfU';

const APP = {
  // ... Functions for various tasks within the script
  run() {
    const sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
    sheet
      .getDataRange()
      .getDisplayValues()
      .forEach(([title, url], index) => {
        // Process rows with titles
        if (title && !/^http/.test(url) && index > 0) {
          const imageUrl = this.createImage(title);
          sheet.getRange(index + 1, 2).setValue(imageUrl);
          this.toast(title);
        }
      });
  },
};

To put it simply, this script streamlines the process of creating and allocating dynamic OG images to your web pages.

Unleash the Potential of Dynamic OG Images

Increase the shareability and interaction on your website by using Open Graph photos strategically. You can quickly create dynamic and distinctive OG images that are relevant to your content by combining Google Sheets with the power of Google Apps Script. Your shared links are no longer limited to static images; instead, they now stand out with alluring visuals that perfectly capture the spirit of each page. Improve your online visibility, get more hits, and make sure your material is prominently displayed on all social media sites. Ready to upgrade those old photos? Start now to see the effects for yourself.

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