So your company has mastered search engine optimization (SEO) for the brand's main Website and established a killer social media strategy, both of which are driving hordes of traffic and new business. Way to go. Both are critical to your company's success online, but have you connected these two very important dots?
If you're like most major companies, your brand's Facebook page doesn't even appear in the first 20 search results for your company's name on Google, even if your Website does. This is apparently the case for more than 70% of major brands, according to a recent study conducted by SEO services firm BrightEdge.
This is a huge missed opportunity. Although social media may not yet be a significant direct source of revenue, the type of customer engagement it provides is unparalleled. You want people to find your Facebook page and, if appropriate, hit the "Like" button, essentially subscribing themselves to updates and enabling you to keep in touch with them in a way that your Website can't easily achieve on its own.
Fortunately, optimizing one's Facebook page for search is pretty simple, and doesn't require some of the under-the-hood tinkering that standard Website SEO does.
Snag That Vanity URL
Facebook offers brands the opportunity to set up a custom URL (or "username"), which can not only make advertising and word-of-mouth marketing easier ("Check us out at Facebook.com/companyname."), but also plays a crucial role in SEO.
If you haven't yet claimed your company's vanity Facebook URL (you'll need at least 25 "likes" to be eligible), hop to it. In general, you should go with your company's name, sticking as close to the original brand as possible.
It's worth noting that Facebook doesn't allow dashes or underscore in the vanity URL, so this limits the amount of typical URL keyword trickery you can do. This username cannot be changed, so choose it carefully.
Pay Attention to Your Company's Name
It may seem obvious, but the name you use in your brand's Facebook page is really important. Again, sticking to the original brand is important here, as it will help people find you not only via search engines, but on Facebook itself.
You have a little bit of leeway to include keywords in this field but don't stray too far from the company's actual name. Don't worry, there will be other opportunities to get those keywords in.
Fill Out the Company Information, Keywords and All
Facebook gives you three fields to describe your business from a high level: About, Description and General Information. Use them all.
As its smaller size would suggest, the About field is for a shorter, one or two-sentence tagline about your business. Description and General Information give you more space to describe, in concise detail, what the company does. This is an ideal place to include as many relevant keywords as you can.
The more fields under the "Information" tab you can fill out, the better. This will help people find your brand no matter where they're searching.
Link to It
Let's not forget that at the heart of Google's PageRank algorithm still lies the hyperlink. Link to your Facebook page from your main Website and at any other (appropriate) opportunity that arises.
Linking back to your site's content within Facebook status updates, it should be noted, does not help your SEO directly, since these links include the "nofollow" attribute, and thus they do not count for search ranking purposes. That said, these links can be a huge source of traffic back to your brand's site.