Facebook is continuing to increase and has even managed to push out Google as the top visited website according to Hitwise. So you should be finding ways to use it as a marketing channel if you haven't already. One way to make it easier to help people find your Facebook page is through search. Some call this Facebook SEO. In this column, I will outline a few tips that will help you with increased visibility for your Facebook fan pages.
Fan Page Setup – URL, Title, and Picture
If you haven't already, you should use the name of your business or organization as your fan page name. This is not the place to stuff too many keywords in your page name that aren't relevant to your organization. Since Facebook is a social networking site, you will likely turn people off and you want people to have a strong impression of your page. I would also recommend using a good-sized picture for your profile image. This picture should be of a good quality that will help support you and your brand.
If you have more than 25 fans, you can request a vanity URL. These URLs make it easier for people to find and remember you. A vanity URL would be facebook.com/yourname. When selecting a vanity URL, I would stick to using your organization name that may have a keyword or two that is very core to your business. The idea here is to link the URL with the name and the profile picture to create a memorable brand for you or your organization. This will benefit you well as you continue your Facebook SEO efforts.
Fan Page Information
There are two places you should make sure you fill out on your fan page that will increase your SEO power. Make sure you fill out the information tab for your fan page. The more information you fill out and complete, the more information Facebook can pull from to have your page show up in related searches.
Additionally, you should fill out the "About box" which is currently located on the upper left-hand side of the page. It will give you a couple hundred characters to help visitors and Facebook know what your page is all about. Remember, when filling out this information use keywords that are relevant to your organization. Using the right keywords will help you rank favorably for those keywords when searched.
The Autocomplete Box
The autocomplete box is the search box that follows you around everywhere you go within the Facebook interface. Currently, this search box is right in the middle of the top navigation. Depending on what you are searching for you will see results that will "autocomplete" as you type in each letter of your search. As I start typing the word "cycling," for instance, the search box guesses at what I am looking for and delivers the results. This is typically based on popularity and account history. If you are looking for increased visibility within Facebook, this is an important place to rank well.
Top Ranking Factors for Autocomplete Box
Here is a list of things that rank when you do a search in the autocomplete box.
To get a comprehensive list of these ranking factors, take a look at aimClear's post that goes into more detail on this and other tips for increased Facebook visibility.
Just as link building is very important to regular SEO it is also very important to Facebook SEO. A high number of inbound links to your fan page will help to boost your visibility. Think of links as "votes." The more votes you get, the more popular you are. There are two ways to use links to your advantage. The first way is to use links to build up your fan base. More fans will help increase the popularity of your fan page.
The second way is to use external links that point to your fan page. Make sure you have links on your site or blog that promote your fan page. Promote this to any of your friends or partners and have them link there as well. One of the best ways to do this is to use the "find us on Facebook" badge.
Facebook is indeed growing and becoming an important part of most organization's marketing efforts. By using some of these tips you can start developing the right framework for your Facebook fan page that will bring you more traffic and increased brand awareness. To get a broader view of tips for marketing on Facebook, see this post from SEOmoz on "Facebook Marketing: Ultimate Guide."
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Ron was president/CEO of Symetri Internet Marketing, which provides strategic SEM consulting and training. Ron was actively involved in the SEM community and spoke and trained at conferences and seminars. Ron also served on the Board of Directors for SEMPO and was one of the authors for the SEMPO Institute Fundamentals and Advanced courses.
Ron also published a book called Keyword Intelligence: Keyword Research for Search Social and Beyond. This book outlines various methods and tips for conducting keyword research but more importantly outlines many ways to use keyword research for social media, site design, content development and marketing, and even traditional marketing and branding.
Ron passed away on June 30, 2012.