Facebook is quickly becoming a key player in the world of SEO and online marketing, which means your SEO strategy needs to include optimizing your Facebook fan page for the search engines and for web visitors. There are several reasons for this, and for creating a
- Facebook (as of the middle of 2011) applied for a search patent
- More and more organizations are using their Facebook fan page as a “second home page.”
- Facebook is developing features for fan pages to get more search engine traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Facebook has access to customized user information which Google does not, making them an attractive alternative to Google.
In addition to these, web users now have the option of making Facebook their home page and when you consider that Facebook will soon be offering socially driven search options, it’s possible that people might soon be “Facebooking” to find information as well as (or in place 0f) “Googling.” So in this article, we’ll be looking at five simple things you can do to optimize your company’s Facebook fan page.
#1: Choose a Relevant Title for Your Page
Web page titles are important for Google SEO and the same is true for Facebook fan page titles. It’s important that your title is relevant to your company name, your product or your service…depending on which term you want to rank for. It’s also important that you choose a page title which you can stick with since changing page titles can cause penalties from search engines. Finally, be sure that your page name is easy to remember so that you can advertise it to people on business cards or other printed media.
If your fan page is too complicated or hard to remember or if it contains too many special characters, it might appear “spammy” and turn off potential visitors to your page. Follow these simple rules in the title of your Facebook page as well as in your fan page URL.
#2: Start a Facebook Content Strategy
Quality content is king on the internet, and this rule will certainly apply as Facebook becomes more popular in the search results and people start doing searches on Facebook. Using Facebook page managers, you can add additional text to your Facebook page as well as images and hyperlinks. It’s likely that as Facebook becomes more of a player in the world of SEO that there will be more options for adding content and possibly build blogs just as you would using Wordpress or Joomla. So if you haven’t yet adapted your content strategy for Facebook, the time to start is now.
#3: Start an Off Page SEO Strategy for Your Fan Page
All SEO experts know how important off page SEO is for gaining favorable search engine rankings, and this is based on the principle that back links to your site cause it to appear popular and credible. This “social proof” is a fundamental principle of SEO and one which applies for all search engines, which means it will also be important with Facebook. So in addition to your link building strategy for your regular website, start creating incoming links for your Facebook fan page.
While there are not yet any uniform guidelines for building links to your Facebook page, your best bet is to follow the same back link building principles as you would when creating back links for your regular website:
- Keyword rich anchor text
- Link to credible sites
- Link to relevant sites
#4: Follow Good SEO Principles with Your Content
Keyword density, content relevancy, fresh content and outbound links are important in the Google world of SEO, so it’s a good idea to follow the same guidelines when creating content for your Facebook page. Avoid content duplication on your separate pages and make sure that your content is useful and engaging for visitors. Also, keyword rich content in the most conspicuous places on your page shows the search engines AND your visitors exactly what your site is about.
For example, in the “about” box, the top of the “info” tab and other places which are immediately visible to a new visitor, include content and keywords which tells them exactly what your page is about. This way, your visitors are more likely to stay on your page because they have immediate assurance that your page has the information they’re looking for.
#5: Solicit Positive User Behaviors
The ultimate goal of your Facebook page is to solicit positive behaviors from your visitors:
- Getting new fans for your page
- Getting fans to “like” your posts
- Encouraging users to comment on posts
- Generating traffic to your opt-in and sales offers
- Creating a positive user experience to encourage more time spent on your page
Recent updates to the Google search patent have been more and more focused on positive user behaviors, not to mention that the entire purpose of creating a website or Facebook fan page is to effectively market your company. So have a specific goal for your Facebook page such as lead generation, credibility building or generating traffic for a sales offer, and structure your fan page and create your content accordingly.
For more information on creating a Facebook fan page that markets your products or services, see our article on Strategic Facebook fan page creation.
Where to Find More Tips and Strategies for Increasing Your Online Profits
Surely you know that the internet marketplace is in a constant state of change, and this is why you need to stay consistently up to date about what’s changing in the world of SEO and internet marketing. This is why we’re offering a seven part email mini-course on the basic principles of SEO and weekly updates on how to optimize and market your site. To receive instant access to this SEO course, fill in your name and email below.
So, What’s Changed?
It’s common knowledge now that Facebook has been exploding in popularity. For many years, this growth had no impact on search engines companies like Google. However, a recent development might have placed Facebook directly in Google’s face when it comes to competition for the opportunity to provide users with a quality search experience. In this article, we’ll be talking about exactly what this development is and how you can plan your SEO and internet marketing strategy around it.
The Facebook Search Patent
A patent was awarded to Facebook called: “Visual tags for search results generated from social network information,” The official description of this patent reads like this:
“Search results, including sponsored links and algorithmic search results, are generated in response to a query, and are marked based on frequency of clicks on the search results by members of social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation from the member who submitted the query. The markers are visual tags and comprise either a text string or an image.”
In other words, Facebook is planning to add a search option which uses information from a person’s Facebook social circle (friends lists and groups or pages which the user is associated with) to serve up search results to the user. This means the results of a user’s search will be determined by more than just the keywords which they type into the search bar. Instead, the search results will be based on the person’s behaviors and their social connections online.
Since Facebook has the most robust collection of this type of information, this new search option could prove to be a real problem for Google, Yahoo and Bing.
What These Changes Will Mean for Search Engine Companies
In the past few years, Google has been focusing more attention on user behaviors to determine the relevancy and value of a website. Much of this has been done in response to millions of spammers attempting to achieve favorable placement in the search engine results through sneaky SEO strategies. Now, Facebook seems to be stepping into the picture to fill a clear and present need which Google might have a hard time filling: the need for people to find the most relevant information possible and as quickly as possible.
Social search options such as the features mentioned in Facebook’s new search patent application present a dynamic solution to making the search features of the interest more relevant and attractive to human users. This means that Google will not only find themselves directly competing with Facebook, they could end up in a position where they either need access to Facebook social search data or will be forced to create something similar to Facebook…which at this point would certainly prove to be an uphill battle for Google.
So the battle between the two internet giants Facebook and Google is surely underway. The question for many marketers and SEO specialists who have been working hard to please Google is:
“What can I do to prepare for the changes to come?”
How to Keep Your Marketing Relevant in the Future Internet Marketplace
Rather than trying to follow the trends of the internet, which are changing on a consistent basis, it’s more important to focus on the principles which drive those trends. The most important of these principles is human behavior. Buying is a behavior and is driven by the same fundamentals of human nature which it has always been…thousands of years before the internet was invented. People buy things which they believe to be valuable, and they give their attention to information which they believe is valuable.
No matter what Google or Facebook ever does, value will always drive people’s buying decisions. How do people determine the value of information and the value of a product or service?
#1: Popularity = Value
This is also known as “social proof,” the amount of peer approval which your product or service has. Gathering testimonials needs to be a consistent practice for your business and you need to have an incentive for customers to send you testimonials and you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. People are busy and many times even when they like a product they won’t take the time to write up a testimonial and email it to your company.
This is why you have to be the one to take the initiate to generate as many specific testimonials as possible. For best results, create an incentive to send testimonials (a free gift or a discount on future purchases) and a few standard questions to ask the customer to make sure the testimonial addresses the important points of your product or service.
#2 Relevance = Value
The more relevant your offer is, the more valuable it will appear to your customers. In other words, what can you do to tailor your marketing and copywriting to where your demographic will know it’s for them and them only? Find out what your customers are interested in, what other types of product s or services they use, what their hobbies are, anything that will make your marketing messages more relevant to them.
This might require spending some time in forums which are specific to your industry, but the time spent will be worth it. Perhaps most important, get a Facebook fan page and start marketing it to your target customers as soon as possible.
#3: Uniqueness = Value
You need a way to stand out in your industry, a specific and memorable brand…something which makes your company and your product or service unique. Without this, you run the risk of being made obsolete by any company willing to offer a lower price or a more unique product or service. For more information on how to use uniqueness to increase the value of your company, see our article on brand creation and USP strategies.
Stay Educated About SEO and Internet Marketing
If you want to remain competitive in the internet marketplace, you have to be constantly learning. This is one of the reasons we offer this site and the emails which are designed to help you stay relevant as an SEO expert, a marketer or a webmaster. For a specific, step by step plan for increasing your SEO skills, simply sign up to receive your FREE seven day mini-course below.