Facebook is not only a great site for building your brand and engaging with customers and followers, but it can also help your business get found in search engines. If it’s optimized for search, your Facebook page can show up in the organic listings for people searching for your types of products and services, as well as –for your business name, helping you own more “shelf space” on the search engine results page.
So, how can you optimize your business Facebook page for SEO? Basic SEO principles, like keyword optimization and inbound linking, apply to the ranking of your Facebook page. Facebook recently launched a new video detailing some important SEO tips for all Facebook pages. Here are a few takeaways the video highlights – as well as a few of our own tips on how to apply these ideas for local SEO:
Create a Good Page Name
When a Facebook Page is created, start from the ground up to establish it for search. Don’t select an odd or uncommon name for your Facebook page, and keep the title short and sweet rather than long and complex.
Local SEO Tip: Don’t reinvent the wheel on your page name; stick to the name of your business. If that’s not available, or if you’re creating a page for a business with multiple locations, use your business name plus the business location, such as Bob’s Automotive of San Francisco.
Include Details and Keywords in the About Section
Since your Facebook page will be public, the information in the “About” section of your page will be visible to search engines. So, you can use important keywords in your content to help your page show up in search when someone searches for those terms.
Local SEO Tip: Include important business details, keywords, and the location of your business in this section, but don’t keyword stuff. Stick to what’s most important and relevant for your business, and make sure it’s easily understandable and written in plain English.
Claim a Facebook Username
Not only does this make it easier for people to identify your page, but your page username also serves as the Web address for your page. For example, once you claim a user name for your page, it will have a clean, easy to read name in the format of http://facebook.com/username.
Local SEO Tip: Like with your page name, your desired user name may or may not be available, or you may have multiple business pages for multiple locations. So, start with your business name, and then include a simple location keyword like the name of your city, suburb, or street to keep your user name as short and memorable as possible. For example: http://facebook.com/bobsautomotivesf.
Generate Links and Likes for the Page
Whenever a Facebook user “likes” a Facebook page, the user profile will create a link to that business page under the list of the user’s likes. For all profiles or pages that are set as public, search engines can see these links and factor them in to the page’s ranking. In other words, the more likes your page gets, the more authority your page can have in search.
Local SEO Tip: As a local business, there are many opportunities to encourage people– including employees and current customers– to like your page. . Generating likes from these people has added value, since it will not only improve your Facebook SEO and boost your chances of being found by new prospects, but it will also give you the opportunity to engage with and build community with people who already love your business.
Set Up Your Page as a Facebook Place
Whenever someone checks in at your business, they are shown the “like” button, which can help boost the number of likes to your page, again boosting the number of links to your page. The video notes the importance of having an address configured on your local Facebook page so that you can also configure it as a place that users can “check in” to.
Local SEO Tip: Local businesses have the opportunity to make their Facebook page a Place where users can check in, so make sure you’ve taken this step, and consider putting up signage in your business to let customers know they can check in at your location. You may even want to run a Facebook Check-In Deal to help generate more likes for your page.
Generate High Quality Links
First, make sure to link to your Facebook page from your own website and other pages and profiles your business has across the Web, such as your blog or other social pages This can help create high quality links to your Facebook page and help your page with SEO. The video points out that even if you’ve embedded a Facebook plugin to allow people to interact with your Facebook page from your website, these plugins do not have links to your Facebook page that search engines can see. So, you should link directly to your page from your website and blog as well.
Local SEO Tip: It’s also important to generate links to your Facebook page from other websites. As a local business owner, you might consider including a link to your Facebook page in your bio when it’s used in online publications or profiles, or seeing if local organizations like the chamber of commerce will allow you to link to your page from your business description on their website.
Have you optimized your Facebook page for SEO? Are you using any of these tactics in your Web marketing? Let us know your thoughts in a comment!