Facebook has created new opportunities recently to generate more traffic on Pages. These new opportunities have presented themselves through search engine optimization (SEO) in order to create a better “second home page” for websites for businesses. While using Facebook’s “viral channels” (the News Feed, messages and personal invitations) can help connect to people your friends are connected to, SEO can make it so your page is visible to Facebook’s 500 million users.
Facebook has been improving their own SEO since early 2009 to create opportunities for page owners to benefit, as well as creating value for Facebook at the same time. What follows are 9 SEO strategies that can help every Facebook page owner:
1. Name your Facebook page something great and don’t change it
A good name for your Facebook page is the most important part for your page. Don’t stuff it with generic keywords that will make your page’s name too long and appear like spam to your fans. In turn, they won’t want to share it with their friends and will be more likely to hide it on their news feed.
Remember that a good name is not something that is generically named like “Soda Company” or “CD Shop.” Facebook’s intention is that they authentically represent pages of businesses, brands and celebrities. Facebook has been disabling updates for generically named pages, killing their ability to connect with their fans.
So be smart and use your company’s real name as part of the page name. Facebook uses the page name in the title of the page so changing it at any point would be detrimental since Google dings pages when their name changes and you’ll lose SEO points.
2. Select the best vanity URL for your Facebook page
Facebook has the ability to choose a vanity URL for your face book page. This presents a great SEO opportunity but follow closely the rules for choosing a name for your page.
While this presents a better chance to incorporate generic keywords into your vanity URL (also known as a username) Facebook still has a list of generic usernames that aren’t allowed. The best option is to choose a username that closely represents your business or brand, just like the name of your page should. Remember though, that once a username is picked for your page it can never be changed. So make sure to be comfortable and confident in your decision.
Tip: Facebook requires that your page has at least 100 fans before you’re eligible to choose a username. If you’re under the 100 fan mark, work hard to recruit some more and make great use of this SEO strategy.
3. The “About” text box is great for placing keywords at the top of your page
The best place to put custom text on your Facebook page is in the “About” box that is right under your page’s profile picture. This is the highest point on the page that you can throw in a bunch of text with keywords strung in. This is important for SEO, but there’s only a 250 character limit, so be mindful of that restriction.
4. Use the “Info” tab to your advantage
It’s important to fill out the information provided by the “Info” tab as it gives you the opportunity to include keywords and links that will increase the content score of your Facebook page for Google searches. The information you can provide includes:
Websites: a chance to add links to your own sites or other relevant resources
Location Info: City, state and address are important fields for local searches
Company Info: Company overview, mission and products are important fields for product searches
The fields present to enter information into are chosen depending on what category you choose for your page when it’s created (business, brand, or public figure) Make sure to choose the right category.
5. Post direct links in your page’s stream to your website and other relevant sites
Posting links in a status update can be a great way to boost a Facebook page’s link score. This is because Google will boost pages that link to relevant sites and ignores those whose links are unrelated or those that post too many links too fast. You can post links two different ways:
- Raw URL: Facebook will auto-link the text directly to the URL when you post the raw URL in the text of a status update. While the anchor text of the link will always just be the URL when using this method, it does go directly to the destination page and not through a Facebook URL.
- Attach Link: When using the “attach link” feature on Facebook, it pulls in the title, body and images from your Facebook page and suggests a thumbnail image and some text which is placed next to your page’s link. This method also gives you the option of changing the anchor text of the link before sharing it on your page.
The only problem with this method, however, is that the link does not go straight to the destination URL, but rather through a Facebook URL that shows the destination page in an iframe with the Facebook menu bar at the top. This degrades the usefulness of this method for SEO purposes since it’s not a direct link.
6. Add photos and events with descriptions and a place for discussion
When posting photos make sure to use descriptions with a lot of keywords. When posting events, use text and keywords in the event description field that you want to rank for. Make sure to share interesting content that your fans will be interested in that aren’t just text heavy entries. Include a discussion forum with your Page as well so your fans have a place to talk and share with you and with each other.
7. Post links to your page on your websites to get more inbound links to your Facebook page
Boost your Facebook page’s PageRank by getting more inbound links to it. You can do this with traditional text links but Facebook has created a “Find us on Facebook” button which they encourage page owners to use.
8. You get free inbound links which equals more fans
More fans equals more links that you’ll have to your page within Facebook. This is helped by the fact that Facebook places links to Facebook pages on the default page of a user’s profile that are visible to search engines. These links can add up as your page garners more fans.
9. Strengthen intra-Facebook linking by encouraging your audience to interact
When a fan comments or likes content on your Facebook page’s stream, this provides a link back to that fan’s homepage. When these comments and likes are indexed, Google will see more links between your page and your page’s fans and will see this as a stronger bond. This improves the weight of links and creates a cycle between you and your fans that helps your SEO.
SEO can play an important role in boosting your page’s growth rate as it allows your page to be visible to Facebook’s entire user base. Even though building a Facebook page presence requires some creative planning and good execution, as mentioned above, there’s a lot page owners can do to maximize their SEO through the Internet’s various search engines.