SEO and Your Social Media Profiles – Part 1: Facebook Fan Pages

October 20th, 2011 by | Print

Three common goals for engaging in social media and SEO are to achieve greater Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. The SEO rookie tries to jump to Goal #3 Profitability first. With social media, it’s easy to want to jump in, connect with new people, and start chatting it up. What’s wrong with connecting with new people, having engaging conversations, and getting to know your market better? Nothing. Social media gives us a great opportunity to engage our customers and prospects on a level not previously seen in marketing. However, if you don’t focus on some of the basics of SEO for your social media profiles, you’re losing out on opportunities for increasing your visibility and credibility, ultimately harming your profitability.

While there are numerous social media networks, I will give you some quick tips to help you improve your SEO with the four biggest social media profiles. This will be a four part series, one blog post per social media network. I’m breaking this into four posts because I want to give you actionable steps you can get started with without getting overwhelmed by one extremely lengthy post.

Today let’s talk Facebook fan pages.

 

Custom URL

Let’s start with your Facebook fan page URL. If you have more than 25 fans, you can request a custom URL. We highly recommend this. Here are the basic steps to changing over a lengthy URL with some random characters to one that search engines and customers can find easily:

  1. As the page administrator, click the “Edit” button on your Facebook fan page.
  2. The default option is “Basic Information.” Click the link that says, “Username: Create a username for this page? Learn more.”
  3. Enter the Facebook fan page name you wish to have. Double check spelling before you hit the “Save Changes” button.
    When selecting a custom URL for your fan page, you can create whatever you want. However, I recommend you focus on one of two options: 1) use your business name, or 2) your keywords.

If your business name incorporates some of your keywords, you’re in good shape. If you have to choose between the two options, I often recommend you protect your brand by going with the first option. You will have other opportunities to include your keywords on your Facebook fan page. You want to make sure you own your brand before someone else swipes it and your customers inadvertently end up on their page instead of yours.

If your business name isn’t available, you can go with your branding site’s URL. For example, I work with a great charity, Fish for Life. When we requested a custom URL for their fan page, the Fish for Life extension was already taken. So instead of going with some other name, I simply requested http://www.facebook.com/FishForLife.org and I got it. If this option isn’t available either, then I recommend you focus on your second option: keywords.

 

About Meta Description

On the left sidebar of your page, below the list of various tabs, you will see “About”. This is a 140 character description you can enter about your company. Realize only 74 characters will show up on the sidebar with a link to “more” for the rest of the description, so you’ll need to fine tune your copywriting skills to put something beneficial and attention getting here for your target market while incorporating your keywords.

To alter your “About” description, follow these steps:

  1. As the page administrator, click the “Edit” button next to the About box.
  2. The default option is “Basic Information.” In the middle of the page, just above “Company Overview:”, you will see the text box for “About”.
  3. Enter your description. Then click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.

 

Info Page Descriptions

You can edit your Info page by clicking on the “Edit Page” button in the upper right corner of your Wall. On your Info page, you have several sections to fill in about your business from “Founded”, to “About”, “Company Overview”, “Description”, and more. There are a couple of rules you want to follow when completing these fields:

  1. Some of these sections are limited on number of characters. It’s best to keep of these sections brief. You don’t need to or want to say everything about your business here in lengthy detail. One key rule when writing strong, compelling copy is to say what you need to in as few words as possible. Your visitors will appreciate it.
  2. Include hyperlinks in these sections. Not only will it make it easier for your visitors to get to the information they want on your branding site quickly, it helps with your SEO, too.
  3. Include your keywords, but don’t stuff them. You want to include your keywords to help with SEO. However, remember you are writing copy for human consumption, too. For example, have you ever looked at a SEO / SEM consultancy’s fan page and seen it stuffed with 50 different variations on the phrase “social media marketing” in each of the fields that don’t cap their character count? Who wants to read “social media marketing”, “marketing social media”, “social media”, “online media marketing”, and on, and on and on …? Not only can this potentially hurt your SEO because the search engine algorithms rank sites negatively that use this trick, but you can also turn off ideal prospects.

 

One Insider Secret

Did you know that each post you make to Facebook has its own individual page with a unique URL? Go to your page and click on the time stamp of a post. You will go to a page dedicated to just that post. Google ranks social media posts when they are done right. Basically, your SEO impact is within the first 18 characters of the post. So when you are posting, consider if you can contain a keyword phrase in the first 18 characters without using annoying tricks discussed in the previous point above.

BTW – just a quick disclaimer. If you’ve spent any time using social media, for personal fun or professional connections, you know the social media networks make changes to their services regularly. So if you’re reading this in 3 months time and Facebook has gone through its 1 millionth revision, contact us for latest updates.

Up next in this four part series is how to improve SEO for your LinkedIn Professional profile.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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