Many businesses and brands now recognize Facebook as home base for their marketing efforts — and some are even scrapping their traditional Web sites in lieu of just using Facebook. If your company is focusing more on social media efforts, you’ll still want to pay attention to making sure your Facebook page is optimizing for search engines — known as search engine optimization, or SEO — so you can find new customers. Here are a few tips to help SEO your Facebook page.
Choose Your Facebook Page Name Carefully
Choosing your Facebook page name should not take much more effort than remembering the name of your business. While some blog authors get kitschy and creative with blog titles, your Facebook name should reflect the heart and soul of your brand. Not only could spammy words in your title be penalized by Google, but your customers will also be turned off by an obtrusive Facebook page name. Your page name is critical in helping you find new customers, which works by including who are you and what you do. Likely, both are included in the name of your company already. Keep it simple, but keep it real, and make sure you choose your name carefully — because you can only change it if you have amassed fewer than 100 fans.
Choose your vanity URL carefully. Facebook now features the ability for Facebook page owners to choose a custom URL (also known as a username) once you have amassed over 25 fans (or “likes”). Claiming your username ASAP is critical in not only maintaining brand reputation, but is another way for potential customers to find you in search. Don’t load your vanity URL with unrelated keywords, but expanding on the title of your brand with a few very short related keywords about your business can help grab related search traffic. Don’t abuse this feature, however, as Facebook can revoke or reclaim a username at any time. This URL can only be changed once, so make sure you get it right the first time (changing it is a process that will hurt your SEO, by the way).
Use the Info Tab
A big chunk of your Facebook Page SEO lies within the Info tab on your page. The Info tab has fields that contain important descriptive metadata that can be caputured in search. In the Info tab you can provide a keyword rich company description and link back to your blog or main Web site, if you have one, as well as other social networks your brand may use. Make sure you include as much detail as possible in the fields related to the category you choose — which is why it’s important to pick the category for the page that is most related to your brand. Google sees this tab as an entirely seperate “page” from your wall, so it’s a great place to load up on keywords that you want to be searched for. You can also use it to help with local SEO by including your company’s address and phone number.
Post Links to Your Web Site or Blog on Your Page’s Wall
Status updates are a powerful way to place links back to your company’s Web site or blog near the top of your Page’s CSS structure, which can boost your search rankings. Google also positively factors in links to relevant sites as part of its algorithm, yet unrelated links can hurt your SEO. When you post links, make sure you don’t just type in the URL as part of the status update, and use the “Attach Link” feature. Facebook will then pull in the title, body, and image — as a thumbnail — from your blog or Web site, as well as a summary of text from your blog or Web site. This keyword-dense update can especially boost your SEO if it’s near the top of your Facebook page wall.
Link Back to Your Facebook Page
Google’s algorithm factors inbound and outbound links to your Facebook page, so make sure you have inbound links to your page, too. Easy ways to accomplish this include using the Facebook “like” button on your brand’s blog. When a fan or customer “likes” a blog post, an update will be posted on their wall that they like the post, which automatically includes a link back to your Facebook page from their Facebook profile. Using Facebook’s commenting platform also drives similar traffic and backlinks to your Facebook page, as any time someone comments on your blog, it will be noted on their Facebook profile with a link back to both the blog and your Facebook page.
Just like maintaining a Web site or blog, building and maintaining a Facebook page requires attention to SEO strategy. If you’re a Facebook page owner, what SEO tips and tricks have been successful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.