SEO has always been an amazing part of the online marketing industry. And in the last years, social networks like Google+, Facebook or Twitter originated, having less or more influence on SEO. Google+ definitely has or will have a big influence on SEO. That’s easy to understand, because Google+ comes directly from Google and Google for example is interested in generating independant social signals to enrich its search engine results. But Google also evaluates public data from Twitter and Facebook, if they can use it these informations to increase the quality of its search engine result pages.
A completely different topic is search engine optimization directly for or with Facebook. How can contents within Facebook be found the best? Up to this point, this question was not really important. The old Facebook search was a joke in my eyes and rather reduntant, because the results weren’t acceptable in no sense. The new Graph Search made a change. It provides several possibilities to be found better on Facebook and it may bring another search engine back into serious business. So what do you have to care if it’s about “Facebook SEO 2.0”?
Facebook Graph Search becomes relevant
As a SEO, do you have to think about Facebook Graph Search seriously? A bit in any case and you can’t ignore it because Facebook is simply too big and influential. But let’s just have a look in the past and find out, what SEO for Facebook looked like until now…
Before Graph Search it was extremely important to optimize a Facebook page for a better performance with Google. Google lists many pages from Facebook and if you did a good job, you enjoyed some benefits from Google, for example increased traffic. Additionally, you also had to do some offpage optimization if you wanted a better performance for certain keywords.
Alle these things are still counting, if you want to be found on Google with your Facebook page. However: thanks to Graph Search, Facebook now offers a excellent possibility, how content on the social network can be found much better. Compared to the old search, this is a real progress. Also, you can now even more actively ensure that your own Facebook page receives still more attention.
Facebook wants Facts and Figures
Don’t forget: the profile of a Facebook page should be as detailed for Facebook SEO 2.0, if you want a good performance. All relevant information must be available. This is very useful for targeted searches. In addition, Facebook users generally like to inform themselves. The more interesting content you can provide about you or your company, the better.
It’s similarly, when it’s about posting content on a Facebook page. Here it is useful when there is a continuous flow of information. That keeps existing and potential fans in line. It also ensures that Facebook itself recognizes that this page is a more relevant page. More content means more interactivity. For Facebook SEO 2.0, interactivity is a major ranking factor.
It’s hard to believe, but Bing becomes a bit more relevant than before. The search engine from Microsoft, which has only a small market share in Germany, provides results from its web search on Facebook. In the US, Bing may have a bigger market share than in Germany. Compared to Google worldwide, it has only small influence – but like I said, it becomes more important now. So in the future, it may happen that Facebook for example shows more local search results. And it could also happen that results directly from Bing are displayed. If you don’t have good rankings on Bing, then this may mean a disadvantage. Time to deal with at least a little about SEO for Bing.
Benefits for Local Businesses
Facebook is not only a worldwide and huge network, it has also strong local connections. In plain language: many companies which operate only locally and not necessarily global or nationwide, are on Facebook. These companies are dependent on social interactions with local references. It is therefore useful to make sure that they provide a way for local customers to check in via Facebook. Thus the Facebook page should also be a Facebook place.
Related to social interactions, you have to care about local aspects. If you locally engage with a Facebook page, you can quickly become an important and relevant source in this local context. Regarding Facebook SEO 2.0 it means that you can have important advantages over local competitors.
And no matter whether it is locally or around the world: the appearance, so the Facebook page, should be very professional and offer the best experience to the user. This starts with the cover photo, goes beyond the notification area and does not cease with optically quality content such as good images. Example: the local confectioner can present images of current cake creations on his Facebook page. This has clear added value firstly within Facebook and secondly it ensures that current and potential fans could become customers. Don’t forget: Facebook is always about added value, don’t do anything on Facebook if you can’t provide that.
Graph Search Alternative to Google?
All this of course causes work, but in the long term it can be worthwhile just to put more energy into the topic of Facebook SEO 2.0 – although the new Graph Search for many is still not available, it represents a real alternative to Google search, alone due to the mass of data which Facebook has.
In the future, networking on and with Facebook will still be very important. This can be done with different channels, one of them is the organic growth of a Facebook page, what you can do with excellent content. But also Facebook ads can be a solution. It is important to increase the range of a Facebook page to reach or get more fans.
What applies to the Google search is also relevant for Facebook SEO 2.0 in any case – a Facebook page with better content provides more interactions, a lower bounce rate and a longer dwelling time. These factors play a role associated with the new graph search. Most importantly however, a comprehensive networking within Facebook continues to be the best way to success.
About the author
Bjoern Tantau (*1974) is a German specialist for social media, search engine optimization, content marketing and link building. He works in the online marketing industry since the late 1990s and has since then successfully built up and supervised numerous projects. He wrote a book about Google +, appeared with several interviews on German TV and has an own column at t3n, one of Germany’s leading technology magazines. In addition, he regularly writes for popular and influential websites, blogs and magazines and works as speaker, coach and trainer. He is also host of a well-known German social media podcast.