With reports that Facebook sees more traffic than Google, it makes sense that many SMB owners are getting serious about setting up shop on the hip social networking site. Facebook pages are often being used in lieu of a real Web site (which I’d caution against) or as a business’ second home on the Web. With all the opportunities that Facebook provides for small business owners, it’s important that you take the proper steps to increase your SEO efforts on the site. After all, if no one can find them, then do they really even exist?
Give it a keyword-rich name
And by “keyword-rich”, I mean to use the name of your business. Your name will be the keyword your customers and potential fans will most often use when they’re trying to find you. So that’s what you want to show up for. Don’t try and get clever and stuff your name with too many keywords or appear for terms that you’re not really relevant for. Facebook is a personal social networking site. You’re going to turn users off by appearing overly spammy and salesy and you’re also likely to get yourself in trouble with Facebook. There are lots of areas where you can get a little looser with keyword use. Your page name is not one of those places. You want to reach your fans, not turn them off.
Be smart about your vanity URL
A few months ago Facebook opened up the opportunity for users to claim “vanity URLs” for their Facebook pages. For example, my Facebook vanity URL is facebook.com/lisabarone. These URLs make it easier for fans and customers to remember (or guess) where your page is located and it gives page owners a nice brand boost. Facebook has also opened up vanity URLs for Facebook Pages for those with more than 25 fans, which business owners would be smart to snatch up.
When you’re selecting your vanity URL, again keep in mind that the name you choose essentially becomes your URL. Again, I’d recommend using your business name, but there are opportunities to use keywords, as long as you do it sensibly. You want to pick something that adequately represents your brand and that will be easy for people to remember.
Use the Static FBML app to custom tab (landing page)
Many small business owners don’t realize that they can customize their Facebook profile to create a landing page of their very own creation. This is really important. The same way you use landing pages to speak and engage visitors on your Web site, you can do the very same thing from your Facebook profile using the static FBML app. By creating a specific page for people to land on, you help shape their experience and make sure the search engines are getting a keyword-rich page to spider.
To set this up, you’ll first have to add the Static FBML app to your page. Once you do, a pop-over will appear asking you to select the Page you want to add it to. You can select the Page you want to customize by clicking the “Add to Page” button. Once installed, you’ll be able to edit your page and get started creating your landing page. If you know a little bit of HTML, the process isn’t too complicated. Because it’s a little technical, I’ll direct you over to Jesse Stay’s post on Techipedia which will walk you through the process step-by-step. He does a far better job explaining it to SMB owners than I could. No need to confuse you.
Utilize the About box & Info tab
You want to take advantage of every opportunity that you have to write descriptive text about your business and to link smartly. The About box and Info tab give SMB owners an example to do exactly that.
- About box: The About box is one of the few places on your page that is accessible to the search engines. This little box located on the upper left hand side of the page gives you a couple hundred characters to tell people what you’re about, using the terms most important to you. Will it give you a huge boost? No. But every little bit helps so take the opportunity for every SEO bump you can get.
- Info Tab: The Info tab is another opportunity for you to include keyword-rich content about your business. Completing these sections is super important because the more complete your profile, the more likely Facebook will be able to show your page for related searches. Facebook also allows small business owners to include links to relevant pages/profiles, so make sure you’re using this area to drive traffic to other areas, as well.
Build Links To It
There are two ways to build links to your Facebook page to help increase its SEO power. The first way to build links is to increase your number of fans. Each time someone becomes a fan of your page, that is another link going towards it. Keep building your fan numbers and those links will quickly add up and help you dominate your SERP.
The second way to build links to your Facebook page is to build links off-site. For example, it means linking to your Facebook profile from your Web site, from your blog, from your other social networking sites, and encouraging others to link to it as well. The more links you can build to your Facebook page, the more authority you’re going to give it and the better it will rank in the search results.
As Facebook becomes a bigger part of small business owners’ marketing efforts, it’s important that you’re taking the proper steps to give these accounts as much SEO power as you can. Often with a few little tweaks you can create a page that both the users and the engines will love.