Social media websites have become more crucial than before it was. Whether you know it or not, people are using search engines to look for your brand’s Facebook Page(s), so what Google returns in response should – like any other optimized SERP listing – ideally affirm your brand authority, encourage clicks, direct traffic to the places where you want more traffic, and spread brand awareness.
Why Google loves your Facebook Fan Page for indexing immediately for SERP
Oh, only that?So, how do you optimize your Facebook Page for search? The trick is to analyze what public-facing Facebook content Google shows when, how this content is displayed in SERP results, and what influences determine rank, and then base your Facebook and content optimization strategy on your findings.
Even for a puzzle-obsessed marketing writer (me) that sounds like a tall order. That said, because I am puzzle obsessed and possibly a bit of a masochist, this week I took it upon myself to investigate two dozen Facebook SERP listings and their correlating Facebook Pages to try to uncover patterns worth strategizing around.
After a few strategy crushing monkey wrenches and one or two “what does this all mean?!” existential tantrums, I’ve settled on these four tangible takeaways to help guide your Facebook optimization strategy. As for example - I have used a fan page of IDC Technologies Inc ( https://www.facebook.com/idctch)
1. Create a Facebook page username
If you haven’t done this already, make sure you create a username for your page. You can do this by going to your page and clicking ‘Edit page‘ at the top. In the ‘Basic information‘ section, create yourself a Username. https://www.facebook.com/idctch
This Username must be unique and explain who you are. For example, your company name.
I have noticed that the page username is more likely to show within the search engines than the title of your page, therefore choose the username carefully!
2. Turn off country and age restrictions
Another common reason for not appearing in the search engines is because you have set a country, or age restriction. You can check this by going to your page and clicking ‘Edit page‘ at the top. In ‘Manage permissions‘ make sure that ‘Country restrictions‘ is left empty, and ‘Age restrictions‘ is ‘Anyone (13+)‘.
While you are on this page, double check that the tick box next to ‘Page visibility‘ is not ticked on Preferred Page Audience.
Getting into Google
First things first, do a Google search of your page’s name to see if it appears.
If you’re not within the first couple of pages when you search for your page name, you have a little bit of work to do:
3. Make sure Google can find your page
For Google to index your page, it needs to know you exist. Just by being on Facebook, doesn’t mean that it will find you.
The quickest way to do this is to create links to your Facebook page.
This can be done by:
- Adding links from your website
- Commenting on popular blogs using the link to your Facebook page in the URL field
- Creating blog posts that link to your Facebook page
Be aware that linking from other social media sites (e.g. YouTube) won’t work as they are normally ‘nofollow’ links. This means that the website will stop Google’s bots from following the link to your page, therefore it won’t find it to index it.
Google can take some time to index a page, so you have to be patient. To help it along the way, continue adding more links to your Facebook page from different sources.
Getting into Facebook search
To see if your page is appearing in Facebook search, you have to ask someone who hasn’t liked your page, to search for it. This is a little inconvenient, but if you’re not appearing, you should know about it!
Lots of people have problems getting into Facebook search, Steps 1 and 2 should be some help, however if your still having trouble take a look at this post dedicated to getting into Facebook search.
Also the Facebook search is also integrated with the Bing search engine, therefore make sure you follow the above steps to get your Facebook page into Google as this will also ring true with Bing’s search engine
Optimising your page
Now that your page is appearing in both Google and Facebook search, we will focus on getting your page to the top!
4. Enter information into your ‘About’ page
You can get to your about page by clicking the ‘About‘ link under your timeline image.
All of the text on this page gets used by search engines to determine who you are, and what you do. Not only that, it’s a great place to tell your fans this information too.
Click the ‘Edit‘ button when you hover over the about section. This will take you back into your admin screen.
Before you start editing the details here, write down of some keywords that are relevant to your business. These are words or short phrases that people might type into a search engine when looking for you.
Start with your ‘Description‘ – This should have all the information about you. Summarise it in the first paragraph, then go into detail for the rest. Once you have completed this section, read back through it and make sure you have added your keywords.
Next add your ‘About‘ section – Think of this as your tagline. It should start with a link to your website (if you have one) and then be a sentence stating who you are. Again, include your main keyword here.
Finally, continue entering details for the other sections to make your page as complete as possible.
Increasing the number of likes
Increasing the number of likes your Facebook page has will give your page more authority within Facebook and its search engine.
As your page grows, Facebook will place your listing higher than other pages with lower ‘like’ counts as it sees you as the most relevant and authoritative page.
5. Use Facebook plugins
One great way to increase the number of likes you receive is to add the Facebook like box to your website. I have seen a lot of success from companies that use the like box as people don’t have to leave your website to come and like your page!
They can like the page whilst browsing your website.
This makes it easier for them to click the button and therefore, more likely that they will!
6. Promote your page
Another way of increasing your likes is to promote your Facebook page. This means posting about it on other social networks, putting links in your email footers and posting about it on your website.
Here the target page has been promoted in various facebook groups with targeted keywords:
For more ideas take a look at this post on growing your Facebook likes.
The final thing you must do to help your rankings in the search engines, is to create engagement.
It’s great if you have a page with lots of likes, but if they aren’t interacting with you, then your page won’t show much authority, or have a good EdgeRank score.
7. Encourage engagement
To increase the interactivity on your page, you need to encourage your followers. Instead of promoting material about your business, ask questions – even if they aren’t relevant – and post items that they would want to share with their friends.
For more ideas on what to post, take a look at these guidelines.
8. Respond to everyone
When you respond to messages on your Facebook page, you show them that they were heard. It also provides you with an opportunity to build your relationship with that person.
Once someone starts to interact with your page, they become more likely to interact with your page in the future. Therefore you want to encourage them to keep commenting by continuing the conversation, and not ignoring your fans.
9. Be consistent
Once you start to create engagement, it does become a commitment. You do need to make sure you respond and keep posting new material. However the one thing you must do is be consistent. Make sure you post every day, this isn’t only good for your fans, but it makes shows the search engines that your page is active.
Pages with low interaction or a small number of posts do drop down the rankings, so take your time and focus on your fans.
My hope is that these four takeaways make you aware that Google is looking at your public-facing Facebook content, that People are using search engines to look for your brand on Facebook, and that – even though you can’t control the Meta HTML or Schema of your Facebook Page – you walk away feeling like there are some things you can do in Facebook to influence what your SERP snippets look like. Invest time in your Facebook Page, focus on your engagement, get your numbers up, and earn the top SERP spot. Then, include apps on your Facebook page to fill more of the clustered spots with your own content. Honestly, I have seen the incremental scenario of each facts of the target Facebook fan page 80% with in 7 days as I was started writing this article.