With today’s announcement of the new Facebook Graph Search, many business owners will eventually be wondering, “How do I make sure my business gets found in Facebook search?”
Never fear: Facebook itself has already shared a few tips to help make that happen. We’ll get to that below, but first a quick bit of background that’s good to know.
What Business Owners Need To Know About Facebook Graph Search
Facebook Graph Search could eventually become a fairly effective local search/recommendations engine. Here are a couple things to know before we get to Facebook’s visibility tips:
- Although it’s only available to a limited number of users at first, Facebook Graph Search will be offering local search from day one. It was discussed in some detail during today’s live announcement.
- Search results, Facebook says, will be created by a combination of information created/shared by the business (Pages) and connections of the person doing the search (friends, likes, check-ins, etc.).
- Having a Facebook Page for your business will surely help (a lot), but it’s not required — businesses may show up if customers or someone else has added them as a “place.”
That last point is important because it’s possible to be listed as a “place” in Facebook without having a Page. Larkin Building in Buffalo, NY, is one good example — if you click, you’ll notice more than 20 “likes” and 500+ check-ins for this place.
Facebook says that its new search bar will return “the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches” — notice how “Pages” and “places” are listed separately.
Facebook’s SEO Tips For Graph Search
Facebook’s new search will let users do searches like “italian restaurants that my friends have been to” (which means Facebook check-ins are a signal) and “hair salons that my friends like” (which means having a Page that people “like” is a signal), along with the more basic “hotels near the Space Needle” kind of local search.
The business Page is what a small/local business can control the most, and Facebook’s three specific tips for business owners, then, are focused on optimizing a Page for the new search (and this is straight from their post):
- The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
- If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
- Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.
As I pointed out in my earlier article, Web searches with Bing’s search results may also be used if Facebook needs to find additional content not in its graph — just as it’s been doing for a while now. Bing has written a post with more on that, and a screenshot of how its search results will show in the new Facebook search experience.
No doubt that, as the new Facebook search becomes more widely available in the coming months, some SEOs and social media marketers will do their best to figure out how to gain visibility in the results. But for now, Facebook’s own tips are a good reminder of how to use Pages to promote a business in the Facebook ecosystem.