With Facebook’s Graph Search making waves across the digital marketing industry, it’s more important than ever to optimize your company Facebook profile. Social media, in general, is becoming increasingly relevant to organic search engine optimization (SEO), so making sure your online presence is as strong as it can be will allow your social marketing efforts to pay off in more ways than one. But where to begin? Start by using these tips to improve your company Facebook profile.
Set a relevant vanity URL. Facebook offers companies the ability to create a customized URL that corresponds with their business names or categories they fall under. By default, the direct URL to a company Facebook page consists of a random set of numbers, which have no SEO value. Just as a website URL carries some weight in terms of organic search rankings, your Facebook URL can make you more visible to your target audience—and help your page show up in search results.
Create a keyword-rich description. Hannah Marr, content director at BizBrag, stresses the importance of creating a relevant and keyword-rich description on the “About” section of your company Facebook profile. This short block of content can make the difference between showing up in Graph Search results and being eternally invisible to the world of Facebook.
Select the appropriate category. Facebook lets you specify what category your page falls under—this is an important step. It helps Graph Search identify the most relevant pages based on users’ search terms. Categories include:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Brand or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
Add your correct location information. Location-based marketing is impacting everything from mobile to social, including Facebook Graph Search. Users can now search for categories in combination with locations, as well as friends’ and contacts’ interests. That means a user searching for social media marketing agencies in Seattle will discover your company—that is, if you’ve listed your address on your business page.
Use your cover photo wisely. Facebook business pages feature a large cover photo at least 399 pixels wide. Formerly, it was against Facebook’s guidelines to include a call-to-action or marketing message within the photo—but that changed in March 2013. Use your cover photo to ask visitors to “Like” your page or direct them to a special offer within your tabs.
Maximize your tabs. One of Facebook’s standout features is its tab function. Business pages may create custom tabs, complete with custom HTML coding, to create the look of an actual Web page within the virtual walls of Facebook. Savvy small businesses are using tabs to incorporate a variety of features, including:
- Customer reviews
- Email opt-in forms
- E-book downloads
- Contest portals
- Landing pages
- Welcome pages
- Menus or services
- Twitter feeds
- Calendars and event registrations
- Blog feeds
- Frequently asked questions
- And much more
Engage and interact. Jeffrey To, editor-in-chief of Nihongogo, says Facebook’s Graph Search “changes the game by making small businesses and companies have to consider investing in not only Google AdWords or Bing Advertising, but Facebook Page creation as well.”
It doesn’t end with setting up a Facebook business page—you must continue to engage your audience and provide incentives for consumers to “Like” your page. And that doesn’t mean an endless stream of coupons and sales pitches, which equates with spam. Instead, create relevant and valuable content that’s in line with your audience’s interests.
The reason it’s so critical to continue sharing relevant content and interacting with your followers is that Graph Search is impacted by a page’s activity. Pages with more “Likes” and posts that are frequently shared get higher visibility. The activity is an indicator that your content is valuable, and Facebook’s goal with Graph Search is to provide top-quality, relevant search results to its users. In other words, setting up your business page and optimizing your company Facebook profile are just the beginning. The real task of optimization is ongoing, and your results are relative to the effort you put in.
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Angela Stringfellow is a freelance writer, social media strategist and complete content marketing junkie obsessed with all things Web, written word and marketing.