Improving Facebook SEO
Search Engine Optimization or commonly known as SEO has been a hot topic for businesses and website owners for over 10 years. SEO focuses on improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. This method has become a very competitive process and takes great amount of work to achieve desired results. As the web progresses, SEO and its process also changes.
Traditionally, with SEO we focus on your website and building a path for your customers and target audience to reach your website through keywords, content optimization, link building, and relevance, but now we must also focus on social media.
How does Social Media play a part in SEO?
Google has been the number one most visited website for quite some time, however Facebook has recently taken the reigns and surpassed Google’s number of monthly visitors. With this new trend, social media and more importantly Facebook has become a major concern and requirement for all businesses looking to reach their customers online.
In order to be seen through Facebook, what can you do? The first step to any Facebook marketing should be the creation of a Facebook Page for your business. Your businesses presence on Facebook can lead to tremendous online growth as long as you know how to embrace the full potential of Facebook.
Marketing your Facebook Page and improving Facebook SEO may seem daunting and at first may seem impossible. How do you get fans or why can’t I get exposure like other businesses? SEO plays an important role in your fan page just the same as it does with your website. So let’s take a look at what we can do and increase your search results within Facebook, while improving Facebook SEO.
Page Name Optimization
This may be common sense to some, but others may not even realize the importance of SEO and your Facebook Page’s name. First off you need to choose a great name for your business page. This name should be keyword-rich and optimized to fit your business, but at the same time make sure it’s not too spammy or generic. If it’s too generic Facebook may blacklist the name, which will definitely hurt your SEO.
Once your business name is set, don’t change it – keep it and brand it. A tip on brand development – it’s never a good idea to rename especially for SEO.
Facebook URL Names are also Important
Facebook now allows vanity names for fan pages so make sure to add one if you can. The URL for your page won’t really be yours but it’s still much better than the default. For example, our Facebook URL is www.facebook.com/markfaseldesign which is a great improvement over www.facebook.com/1196214. Just ensure that your user name includes at least one of the terms related to your business in order to ensure that you have a URL that is searchable. Facebook currently requires 25 fans in order to set your user name, however it has been determined that all Facebook accounts get one free user name. This means that if you have not set a user name on a page, you are capable of setting your user name with no fan requirements. Please note that once your user name is set you will not be able to change it and after your initial freebie by facebook, any additional pages created will require a minimum of 25 fans to set a user name.
Use Keyword Optimized Content to fill out the “About” and “Info” Sections of your Facebook Page
Many people over look this strategy when it comes to SEO optimization on Facebook Pages. This will place searchable terms near the top of the Facebook Page in the HTML / CSS. Keyword optimized content near the top help in search rank as it plays higher importance.
When writing content for these areas, remember that you are limited in the characters, so refine and optimize your content to fit accordingly. In addition, don’t forget to include your local address information so that the page will be visible to local searches and location based optimization – a favorite of Google! Adding links to your blog, website, and other links will also boost your SEO and drive higher traffic.
Pictures Count Too!
Facebook offers social sharing and hence pictures play a key role in this perspective. Facebook may change titles on photos, but the descriptions live on. When adding descriptions remember your customers. A description such as “Corporate Party” provides very little insight, however a description such as “2011 Holiday Corporate Giveaway Event” is much more creative and descriptive and gives higher weight on SEO.
Adding Keywords in your Facebook Status Updates
Status updates provide a great place to add keywords and increase visibility. Here is the perfect opportunity to drive traffic to your website, blog, promotion, social network, or any other website. Remember, one main objective to your Facebook Page is driving more traffic to your website. You want conversions and get credit for your visitor – take advantage of this and send customer your way!
When you “attach link” Facebook gives you the ability to add text by clicking on the box. Include keyword-rich text as early as possible. (Be aware that Facebook will channel this link through their own menu bar so this isn’t going to get you a direct link.) Next, include the URL of your website. Third, don’t put everything on Facebook. Instead provide an interesting enticing bit that will make people want to read more and make it clear that they can do this on your website.
Facebook Social Plugins
Although not directly related to SEO, you should include Facebook social plugins on your website. Also, take some time to stay on top of the Facebook Developers news. The developers page is also a great place to come up with new ideas about how to monetize the platform and get the most out of Facebook.
In summary, use Facebook as effectively as you can by paying attention to SEO. Take the time to use the above suggestions and then compare and track the changes in your Facebook code (Available to anyone for any page by viewing “source code” in your browser). Over time, graph long term changes in your traffic to see if the extra time and energy is really paying off.