When people search for your brand on Google, the first results likely include your website, Google+, and YouTube pages. But if you’re practicing good SEO, you might have noticed that more Facebook Pages are appearing in those results as well.
While you probably don’t think of your Facebook Page as a website, chances are you’re using it like one. From location information to support tutorials, many businesses use Pages to share important details about their product or service with target audiences.
Facebook Page SEO isn’t new; Google has been indexing the social network for quite some time. And obviously a higher search presence will lead to more social sharing. But what SEO principles can you apply to your Facebook strategy to improve your place among those search results?
Here are a few tactics to get you started.
Use Page Settings to Your Advantage
It might seem obvious to have your Facebook Page URL match your brand name, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to overlook. If you’re unable to secure your entire brand name (maybe it’s too long), choose a memorable, easy-to-spell keyword related to your brand. As an example, consider the Martha Stewart Weddings in the Middle East approach on Pinterest.
Not only will an optimized URL make it easier to remember when talking with customers or creating advertisements, but it’ll also give search engines a clearer metric to know what your Facebook Page is about. That said, regardless of your URL, your Facebook Page name should be your brand or company name and nothing else. Don’t add in any extra keywords or text.
Additionally, make sure that you’ve selected the best possible category for your Page. Not only is this important to search engines, it can also help your discoverability on the social network itself. Members have a variety of ways to filter searches. You’re also allowed to add up to three sub-categories, which are more specific than the initial category you choose and help Facebook return more accurate search results.
Complete Your About Section
Make sure that the About section associated with your Page is filled out in its entirety. This section offers a lot of opportunity for optimization and should be approached strategically. You’ll want to write an informative and descriptive message that highlights the best of your brand, but be careful when it comes to adding keywords. While you should include a few keywords that you’d like to be found for, don’t overload this section with them. Google now looks for more natural language writing as opposed to keywords and repeated phrases.
And if you’re a local business, make sure that your physical address is complete and accurate. This will be important in Google results, but especially in Facebook Graph Search results.
Share High Quality Content
This one really goes without saying. Sharing high quality content can help you on a number of levels, but especially when it comes to social marketing and SEO. An earlier Searchmetrics study revealed just how important social media signals like Facebook comments and Likes are to a strong SEO ranking.
Obviously content that demonstrates a high degree of credibility and relevancy will rank higher than results that don’t. Social actions specific to Facebook — including Likes, shares, and comments — can impact those metrics, in turn influencing your rank among search results. What’s important here is that you put out content with purpose, and that purpose should be to provide value to your target audience (not dominate search results).
So while you should pay special attention to the above, keep in mind that people will Like and interact with content that represents a strong brand — not content that is fishing for social action. Focus first and foremost on delivering content that there’s a need for. The rest will fall into place.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.