7 Strategies to Make Facebook SEO Friendly

7 Strategies to Make Facebook SEO Friendly

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This is a guest article contributed by Richard Larson.

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Facebook represents a fantastic marketing opportunity for any business via shares & referrals, however, just like WordPress and other platform based user sites, it’s critical to incorporate SEO strategies into your Facebook pages in order to get exposure out of them. Here are 7 Facebook SEO strategies to make sure your Face is getting the amount of Book it deserves!

Whether you are setting Facebook up for yourself or for a client it’s important to keep SEO strategies in mind. According to Google, they aren’t actually looking at Facebook “shares” as a separate part of their ranking algorithm, but traffic is traffic.

The number one thing to remember with Facebook shares: Their marketing value resides in the fact that they are coming from a reputable source; from someone known to, and respected by, the person on the other end. This invests the shares with clout and makes them very valuable. Make no mistake, Facebook is a marketing tool but nothing a business puts on their Facebook Wall should ever break that kind of trust. Period.

For businesses, Facebook is a delicate dance between, “be my friend” and “pay me money.” Always difficult, in the Facebook world it is critical to fall on the side of plushy slushy soft sell. This is why SEO strategies for Facebook are important. SEO by its nature lies behind the scenes and therefore customers can’t possibly interpret it as marketing.

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1. Choose a Great Facebook Page Name

Back up; choose a great business name. Not too spammy, not too generic. Something descriptive and easy to remember. If it’s too generic Facebook might blacklist the name. Once you have a name, don’t change your page name. Once established, keep it and brand it. Renaming isn’t ever a good idea from an SEO perspective.

2. Facebook URL Names Are Also Important

Facebook now allows vanity names so make sure to add one if you can. The URL won’t exactly be yours but www.facebook.com/justcreativedesign is a lot better than www.facebook.com/11586454. DavesGarden is interesting, theirs is: http://www.facebook.com/davesgardencom. As long as the user name incorporates one of the terms related to your business you now have a URL that is searchable. It’s important to know that Facebook requires 100 fans before you can pick a username, of which you can then do by going to http://facebook.com/username

3. Use Keyword Rich Text to fill out the “About” and “Info” Sections of Your Facebook Page

JCD Facebook

This will place searchable terms near the top of the Facebook page in the CSS. These are small areas so refine the elevator speech! In addition, make sure to include address information so that the page will pop up on local searches- a favorite of Google’s. In the info section also add links to your website.

4. Make Facebook Picture Descriptions Count

Facebook is a visual medium. Facebook will change titles on photos but descriptions live on. Use keywords as often as possible. Read each description from two angles- once for your customers and once from a computer’s angle. “Jack and Jamie enjoying the Keys on their 40th” could as easily be: “Luxury Florida Keys Bash by Private Jets Charter for Jack and Jamie’s 40th.” Both descriptions are better than “Jack and Jamie at their 40th Party.”

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As a side note, give your clients an extra reason to stick with you as a designer by showing them how they can get lots of free advertising if they structure online promotional campaigns properly. For example, Private Jets Charter could offer a Groupon for birthday parties/events, get the event for the couple, encourage them to advertise the party through Private Jets Charter’s website and Facebook page (where everyone can easily get directions to the plane) and then provide/post pics of the party (with permission) afterwards using keyword descriptions. These photos will be strongly shared and each time they are, the words in the photo description, “Private Jets Charter, luxury, Florida Keys” are racking up ranking points.

Moreover, as the designer, you will likely get extra design work out of the process. Great designers always need to show ways in which their creativity in invaluable to their clients. With better and better templates and platforms around it’s critical that designers venture not only into SEO but also into marketing. These are two things that a customer can’t buy ready made or download for free.

Daves Garden

Above is an example of descriptive text and URL slipped into Facebook code.

5. Use Keywords in Your Facebook Status Updates

Updates provide a great place to include your keywords and increase visibility. This is also the place to drive traffic to your own website. Never forget that one of your primary objectives for having a Facebook page is to drive traffic back to your website where you and not Facebook can take advantage of the traffic.

When you “attach link” FB gives you the opportunity to edit the text by clicking on the box. Include keyword-enriched text as early as possible. (Be aware that FB will channel this link through their own menu bar so this isn’t going to get you a direct link.) Next, include the URL of your website. Third, don’t put everything on Facebook. Instead provide an interesting enticing bit that will make people want to read more and make it clear that they can do this on your website.

6. Use Notes and Discussion Boards On Facebook

The content on both of these is indexable. Notes and the Discussion Boards are indexable and therefore they can make for great SEO. In addition, some people just use Facebook and do almost nothing else online. Using a discussion board gives you a way to reach this group of people. It’s important to note that automatic pull in of blog posts are now being phased out of Facebook.

Facebook Notes

7. Include Shares & Likes on your websites

Although not directly SEO,  you should include Facepage shares and likes into all of your websites. Also, take some time to stay on top of the Facebook Developers news. The developers page is also a great place to come up with new ideas about how to monetize the platform and get the most out of Facebook.

In summary, use Facebook as effectively as you can by paying attention to SEO. Take the time to use the above suggestions and then compare and track the changes in your FB code (Available to anyone for any page by viewing “source code” in your browser). Over time, graph long term changes in your traffic to see if the extra time and energy is really paying off.

*Author: Richard Larson is Brand Manager for Go Promotional the leading promotional items supplier online.

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26 thoughts on “7 Strategies to Make Facebook SEO Friendly”

  1. Good points. But, there’s a mistake in what you said about the number of fans required to secure an username:

    “It’s important to know that Facebook requires 100 fans before you can pick a username”

    Facebook doesn’t require 100 fans before you can choose a vanity URL. This is what the Facebook help page for page usernames says:

    “I tried to get a username for my Page but Facebook said the Page was not eligible. What are the requirements?

    If you were not able to get a username, your page may not be eligible to have a username at this time. Pages with more than 25 fans can get a username.”

    Hope that clears up any confusion.

  2. Furthermore to what Gemma mentioned, people have been successful in securing vanity url’s with even less that 25 fans since the last design update a couple of months back.

    Also, discussions has, or is in process of being removed by Facebook as they felt that people could (and were) carry out these forms of interaction on their wall.

    Great article.

  3. There is some great advice here, particularly the point about making Facebook picture descriptions engaging ( and perhaps keyword rich?) I love that idea, and I’ve always been a fan of creating content for my own personal albums.
    Just wondering if the overall layout of the page should match company branding or the company website design? I know that Google’s algorithm changes could be heading us in a direction where branding and authenticity takes top spot. Would visual branding count here for SEO?
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

    • Navigator,
      Nothing as an image is going to count in terms of ranking in Google so the alt tags will work here instead. I would recommend having a consistent brand across all areas.

  4. Just to let you know you can get a vanity URL right away now. They’ve been lowering the number over time.

    Also photos are a very key factor in SMO. you should tag them with keyword rich info and not long drawn out sentences. Name, phone number, website address, facebook url, youtube url, etc.

  5. With Google now capable of reading JAva/AJAX comments, its important to optimize FB fanpages as well. Picture tags, using keywords o fill in descriptions etc are great advice indeed Richard.

    And thanks for posting this, Jacob!

  6. Never thought about it in terms of using SEO strategies on Facebook pages. Perhaps disconnect of looking at it as private entity that is not indexable.

    Ofcourse, Facebook pages can be public therefore indexable. As more activity, shares and fresh content is added to it, definitely has SEO value.

    Nice article and sharing of insights on this.

  7. As someone who has long used Facebook but found it’s rather messy and overly complicated layout frustrating, this is a very interesting article, highlighting many points that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought of. As a web designer myself, using Facebook as a marketing tool is something we have had to incorporate into the overall package of a website to ensure that as much traffic is being sent through to the client’s site as possible.
    What is mentioned here are an array of tools that can be exploited to strengthen an SEO campaign, and as such, I will certainly be looking into these to ensure that any Facebook pages from now on are SEO’d to the best possible effect.

  8. Using your Facebook business page to interact with other local businesses is the most effective networking tool you can have beyond word of mouth. Our community often has Featured business of the month drawing where we feature a business we’ve worked with on our FB page. It is also a great venue for giveaways and polls to promote your products and services.

  9. Thanks for the article, but having just recently changed over to this new facebook timeline feature I wonder how this will effect business pages eventually. Also after spending time crafting custom pages for clients I hope they don’t change them to much! Would be great to hear some of your guys views.

  10. Great article. The landing page on Facebook page also matters. It is better to have a custom welcome page.


  11. TAG, TAG, TAG!!! It is so important to make sure that you are taking advantage of every single possible chance to add tags. Keyword selection can literally directly impact your success as a business! The picture tags are often underutilized and must be used as much as possible!!!

  12. Facebook may not generate direct sales but investing time and energy into your Facebook page can keep your customers feeling loved. Think hard about your Facebook strategy whether it be a basic approach or pushing your Facebook page to that proverbial next level.

  13. Never thought about it in terms of using SEO strategies on Facebook pages. Perhaps disconnect of looking at it as private entity that is not indexable.

  14. What a great article – I’ve been investigating ways in which to SEO optimise Facebook that’s not the same as every other article floating around the web. Thanks!

  15. Hello Jacob! Thanks for sharing amazing information. All the points are very helpful but I like the idea of shares and likes through which a particular website became popular through social networking.

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