Having trouble with the preview of a page you want to share on LinkedIn? You could use the LinkedIn debugger tool known as the Post Inspector to sort out any problems before posting.

With millions of key decision-makers on the platforms, the last thing you want to do is make a bad impression.

Don’t rush into it and share a link that displays the wrong image or title. That could drastically lower your CTR and engagement, would be a waste of your post, and could end up hurting your brand.

Instead, follow along with our guide to quickly identify and fix any issues before taking your LinkedIn post live.

How Link Previews on LinkedIn Work

If you still haven’t solved your problems, let’s further examine the link preview functionality and how LinkedIn uses it.

Whenever you create a new post on LinkedIn and include a link, the link preview creates a preview using data from the meta tags on the page in your URL.

For example, if you share a link from the Kinsta homepage, the preview looks like this:

linkedin link preview

LinkedIn Link Preview

LinkedIn uses something called Open Graph meta tags to get the data pertaining to the image, title, and description of your link. These are what you could debug using the free tool Post Inspector.

LinkedIn then creates the box you see above using the image and title provided in that metadata.

Link Preview Specifications

These are the specifications for the automatic link preview that’s included in organic posts on LinkedIn.

If you’re wondering about the specs for sharing images on LinkedIn, or to include in your ads, read our guide on social image sizes.

Want to make sure your LinkedIn posts look polished and professional? ✅ Learn how to use Post Inspector to catch any issues before you hit 'share.' 🚀Click to Tweet

What’s the Post Inspector (LinkedIn Debugger Tool)?

While you may not have searched explicitly for the Post Inspector, it’s the only debugging tool available for LinkedIn posts. Sometimes referenced to as LinkedIn Debugger, this free tool solves the biggest problems marketers face when sharing links over LinkedIn: generating the correct previews.

linkedin post inspector

LinkedIn Post Inspector

Other Terms That Refer to LinkedIn’s Post Inspector Tool

The following terms are essentially aliases for the same tool.

If you searched for any of them, you were actually looking for the Post Inspector the whole time.

How to Refresh Your LinkedIn Cache and Troubleshoot Your Link Previews with the LinkedIn Post Inspector

LinkedIn launched the Post Inspector in 2018 to help make the LinkedIn marketing experience a bit better.

To instantly clear and refresh the LinkedIn cached version of your page, type in the URL and click the “inspect” button.

linkedin post inspector

Post Inspector new URL

If all you wanted to do was refresh the cache, you’ve already completed your task. It’s that simple.

An old method involves sharing a page with a fake query string like ?a added at the end of your URL, but that won’t update the preview on posts that include your old URL. It will only refresh the preview for that particular shared link.

Sticking to the Post Inspector,  it’s your best option and takes three seconds. If you want to debug the results and figure out what’s wrong, follow along with the next few steps.

Debugging Your Link Preview in LinkedIn

Debugging the preview of the page you want to share in LinkedIn is as easy as answering a few basic questions.

Is it showing the correct image? If not, you have to change the meta tags for your post or page.

It’s not enough to change the order of the photos in your post (more information on fixing this in the next section).

linknedin post inspector kinsta

Post Inspector preview

Is the full title readable? Check whether the title is cut-off or if you could include more information about your post.

LinkedIn allows up to 150 characters in the title, which means you can use a long, descriptive title if you want.

Link preview with long title

Link preview with a long title

Are you getting any error messages? LinkedIn will let you know if, for example, you haven’t included all the OG meta tags that it scrapes and uses for previews.

post inspector error message

Post Inspector ingestion feedback

You can find the error messages and warnings in the “Ingestion Feedback” section right below the preview.

You won’t see the section at all if your URL doesn’t include any errors. It’s hidden unless it finds them.

WordPress core doesn’t include OG metadata for your posts and pages. If you don’t have a plugin that supports Open Graph tags, you’re guaranteed to see error messages here.

That doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your installation or hosting environment. In most cases, it just means that you need to install the right plugin (more on this later).

URL Information and Redirects

LinkedIn also shows basic information about the URL, its redirect status, and when LinkedIn last stored it.

If you’ve set up a URL redirect, this may interfere with how the link preview is displayed when you read it.

linknedin post inspector kinsta url information

Post Inspector URL info

The Scraped Metadata

You can also check all the scraped metadata and make sure that it matches what’s on your website.

linknedin post inspector kinsta metadata

Scraped metadata

LinkedIn scrapes the following Open Graph meta tags:

But it only displays the following metadata in the preview:

So technically, you could “get away” with only including the title and image tags to your posts and pages.

But with a CMS like WordPress, the right plugin will automatically generate the other tags either way.

How to Change The Link Preview Image and Title

When a link is first shared, this data is cached to use fewer resources when a URL is shared multiple times.

The second time a link is shared (or generated in a LinkedIn feed) LinkedIn pulls the cached version. It doesn’t change until you manually refresh it.

That’s why even after updating a post, you may still see an outdated title or image in the preview.

To change the preview images for your WordPress posts and pages, you need to install a plugin to include Open Graph meta tags.

The OG meta tags aren’t included in the WordPress core. But you may already have a plugin installed that activated them without your knowledge.

How to Get OG Meta Tags in WordPress

Do you already have a plugin installed that activates OG meta tags?

An easy way to check is to open the page source for any page (like your homepage) and search for “og:” in the source code.

wordpress site no og meta tags

Page source

If it shows 0 results, you need to install a plugin to get OG tags on your pages.

Any of the major SEO plugins will offer this capability, so they’re preferable to installing a separate plugin for just the OG tags.

Here are the steps to follow if you don’t have one of these plugins already:

  1. Search for and install Yoast SEO.
  2. After it’s installed, activate the plugin by clicking the same button (the text will change).
  3. Then head to the social settings under the new SEO item in the menu.
  4. Then, click the Facebook tab, and toggle the button to enable Open Graph metadata.
yoast open graph meta settings

Yoast Facebook settings

Don’t worry, though. The tab name might imply it, but these settings aren’t specific to Facebook. In 2021, all major social media sites use OG metadata for previews in social posts, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.

You can also set a default image to be used if there are no images in your posts or pages.

If your problem was that your LinkedIn post didn’t include Open Graph data, you can jump ahead and check your social preview at this point.

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How to Get the Right Image and Text in the OG Tags

With Yoast SEO successfully installed, you can now set individual settings for each post.

By default, the plugin fills out the tags for all posts using WordPress data to generate them.

To edit these tags, you have to edit the post or page in question. Then, toggle the Yoast menu with the button in the top right corner, and click the “Facebook preview” link.

yoast facebook preview link

Yoast’s Facebook preview link

You can now start editing the “Facebook image” and “Facebook title” fields.

These will change the respective OG tags for the post and your LinkedIn link preview.

yoast facebook og tag settings

Yoast’s Facebook OG tag settings

For example, we might want to include something like a graph instead of just the simple LinkedIn logo for sharing on social media.

In the post itself, we highlight this graphic comparing organic and sponsored traffic that shows the impacts of organic vs paid posts over time.

organic sponsored linkedin

LinkedIn organic vs sponsored

Click the “select image” button and choose the relevant image from your media library.

If it’s the title that you want to edit, you need to change the title at this stage as well. You can even use variables like post title and category to set it up.

You should also add a description. LinkedIn scrapes it but doesn’t include it in its previews (on desktop or the mobile app), but some social media apps do implement it.

yoast facebook preview new image

New OG metadata

After filling out the fields appropriately, click the “Return to your post” button.

Finally, update the post to make the changes live.

Now you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Refresh Your Page (Or Site) Cache

Do you use a WordPress caching plugin? Or maybe you use a premium WordPress host like Kinsta that handles WordPress cache for you?

In either case, you need to clear and refresh the cached page (or your entire cache) for the changes to affect your live site.

Refresh Your LinkedIn Cache to Check the New Image Is Shown

With your cache cleared, it’s time to return to the Post Inspector to refresh LinkedIn’s cache of your post and see if your changes worked.

If you still have it open in a separate browser tab, just click on the refresh button. If not, go back to the inspector and copy and paste your page URL and run another inspection.

This time around you should see the new image and title.

linkedin post inspector new image

New link preview image

If it does show the new image and title, that means that any LinkedIn post to the same URL will look the same. You’ve successfully changed the link preview.

If this was your first time adding OG meta tags to a post, you should rinse and repeat for all of your essential posts and pages.

How to Change Open Graph Meta Tags for Images and Titles with HTML

Do you have a static HTML website or use a CMS that doesn’t offer OG tag support? Fixing the LinkedIn preview for a single page is easy.

Just add the following fields in between the head tags of the page you want to edit. So open up one of the best HTML editors and add this lines:

add og meta tags manually

Open Graph meta tags

After that, make sure you save the document and upload the new version of the page to your server.

Don't let a broken link or the wrong article title derail your LinkedIn post. 😬 Use the Post Inspector tool to keep your CTR and post engagement high, with help from this guide ⬆️Click to Tweet

Summary

When you’re promoting an updated page to your LinkedIn following, the last thing you want is for post preview to counteract your message. The wrong picture can send the wrong message, reduce the CTR of your link, and reduce the effectiveness of your organic campaign.

Thanks to the LinkedIn Post Inspector tool, you’re able to identify any issues and fix them in time. And if you’re using WordPress with the right plugin, you’d only need to set it up once and then forget about it because it’ll work for every page (and link) you’ll create in the future.


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