5 Tips to Enhance Your Facebook Graph Search Ranking

social media how toDo you want to know how to help your Facebook Page appear higher in Facebook search and beyond?

With the new Facebook Graph Search, this is a good time to revisit your page.

Here are five steps to make your Facebook Page more searchable and visible.

The first three steps outlined below are for entry-level Facebook Page admins. If you’re certain that you’re already implementing the most basic best practices, skip ahead to step four.

#1: Choose the Right Name

This sounds really obvious, but many businesses can’t help but cram lots of keywords in their name in the hopes of boosting searchability. This can backfire.

If you were, say, “Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.: Baked Shrimp, Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Scampi, Fried Shrimp and More Shrimp,” your name would look like spam. Just “Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.” says all anyone needs to know.

bugga gump

For their main Facebook Page, Bubba Gump uses their name and the word Inc., to clarify that you've reached the official Bubba Gump Restaurants Page.

At the same time, you don’t want to be so generic (e.g., “Seafood Restaurant”) that you’ll get lost in the shuffle. Remember that the first word you include in your Page title is the one that Google will consider the most important.

By the way, if there are other Pages out there that use your name, such as Pages that have been created by fans, make sure to add “Official” to your Page. You can also add the location of your business to the name.

For example, if you own a franchise, you would call your Page “McDonald’s Reno.”

bubba gump locations

Bubba Gump has locations throughout the world so when franchises have their own Facebook Page, they separate themselves by adding their location to their name, like "Philippines."

#2: Add Important Information in Key Sections

You should also include important details about your business in the About, Mission and Company Description sections.

Does your About section include your web address and a description of what you do? Have you included important keywords that search engines will like? The Mission and Description sections offer more places to use keywords—appropriately, of course.

If you’re “the world’s largest online social media magazine,” say so in the About section. If your mission is “to empower users to succeed with social media,” say so in the Mission section. [NOTE: These quotes are from Social Media Examiner’s page.]

And in the Description section, elaborate on what your business does; for instance, “Our story began in 1971. Back then we were a roaster and retailer of whole-bean and ground coffee…” as Starbucks does.

starbucks

Starbucks gets a lot of information across in their short description, mentioning their history and current success.

Finally, if your business depends on local traffic, include your physical address and phone number in the Basic Info section. You can see this in the example below for the Campo Restaurant Facebook Page.

campo restaurant

Campo is a local restaurant in Reno, Nevada, so it's essential that they have their contact information easily available.

#3: Customize your Facebook URL

Facebook used to require that a Page have 25 likes before it could have a vanity URL, but that is no longer the case. If you haven’t created a personalized URL yet, do it now.

By default, Facebook will give you a URL that includes a number. It will look something like this:
facebook.com/pages/yourbizname/123123123.

But you can—and definitely should—customize this URL to include the name of your business so that it looks like this: facebook.com/yourbizname.

custom url

Having a custom URL makes it easy for people to search for your Facebook Page directly via a URL and helps with Facebook SEO.

To create your Facebook vanity URL, go to Facebook Username. If another business is already using the name you want, you have to come up with a variation (Facebook will suggest options).

And if someone has claimed the name of a business you own, you can file a copyright infringement claim with Facebook.

#4: Encourage Sharing

Even when Graph Search is available to everyone, Facebook will still be a social experience more than it will be a traditional search experience.

For Page admins, this means that your content—posts, photos, video, apps, etc.—must be content that people want to share with their friends.

Imagine Graph Search as a sort of net. The net will capture likes, shares, check-ins, tags, etc., and so it makes sense that the more incoming relationships a Page has, the more easily it will be discovered.

In the image below, Mari Smith’s post was of great interest to her fans.

facebook share

Mari's post got shared 156 times, proving it was valuable content.

The bottom line is the most popular and shared posts on Facebook tend to be the ones that are interactive, engaging and contain useful information.

Finally, don’t forget that Facebook is about connecting with people. Don’t sacrifice the social aspect of your Page for the sake of making it more searchable with Graph Search or any other search engine.

#5: Get the Most Out of Timeline and Custom App Content

More of your Facebook Page is visible to search engines (and presumably will be visible to Graph Search) than you may realize.

Status updates have a limited shelf life because as you make more, they naturally get pushed down the Timeline. On the other hand, apps that are pinned as a favorite next to your photos are there every time a user comes back.

Consider adding content strategically for more visibility inside Facebook.

Add apps that contain valuable content such as surveys, forms, menus, newsletters and ebooks that live for more than a few days. People will want to share them over an extended period and that will help your content live longer.

In the image below, Palmasola uses a Facebook app to provide welcome information.

facebook app

Using a Facebook app eliminates the hassle of continually having to post information as a status update.

One final note, don’t focus on SEO at the expense of developing a vibrant and engaged community on Facebook.

The most popular Pages are the ones that are interactive and engaging and that (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again) embrace the ideology of Facebook.

If you cover all of the basics, including the ones outlined at the beginning of this post, people will find you.

What do you think? What strategies have you found to make you more visible on Facebook? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service software that allows businesses to create engaging campaigns for social, web and mobile. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Thanks Jim for an insightful post on Facebook search graph. I am constantly updating my Facebook page to reflect the advice and tips that SME has been posting. Thanks a lot for the help! :)

    Let keep rockin to get rollin SME peeps!

    ~John Lee Dumas

  • Alexandra Coroian

    Combining the use of a personal account and a professional page, has worked sometimes. Am lucky that my friends usually like the social projects I’m managing. Otherwise, I may loose some friends on the way…
    Vintage photos accompanied by great stories are viral on Facebook lately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wanna.be.with.you.forever Devesh Verma

    Facebook Graph Search is one of the best & interesting
    topic for me. I love to read information about facebook graph search. It’s not
    so easy to increase facebook engagement which required very creative content
    post. SME Team keeps sharing such insightful information.

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  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Interesting timing as Facebook Graph Search was just enabled on my profile this morning. Hate to say it but what a massive fail. In my attempt to find a restaurant, I received a suggestion for a very inappropriate, adult oriented search.

    Also interesting that you should use Starbucks as an example. I tried searching for a local coffee shop and got a return of nothing but Starbucks listings, none of which are really close to my location (5+ miles). Digging deeper, I did find other local shops as I scrolled down the page but there was no rhyme or reason to the results. One of the shops had more than 1,400 “likes” and decent engagement compared to the Starbucks shops which maxed out at around 250. None of the local shops showed the number of likes either which did show on all the Starbucks listings.

    Only possible explanation I can determine is that Starbucks has made a fairly substantial ad spend.

    A Facebook suggested search for Pizza Places near me didn’t do much better. The closest one was more than 10 miles away and one was even in a different city.

    Graph search looks great for finding out an awful lot about my friends (maybe more than they want me to know) but it looks like big challenges for the marketer — especially those small businesses trying to take on the big Starbucks type corporation.

    (I posted the details of the experience on my blog. Not sure if the G+ profile will let you click through.

  • Dominic

    We recently changed the name of our business to better reflect our core offerings (which has shifted/evolved in the 13 yrs we’ve been around). I changed the Facebook vanity URL (you can do so just once…ever…) and then tried to change the Page Name (title). We learned the hard way that you cannot change your Page Name once you have more than 200 Likes. Ever. So choose it carefully. Had I known this, I’d have started a new page with the new name, tried to get our fans to like that one, “merged” pages once the new one had more likes than the old one (…but can’t do that now…and what a pain either way). So we’re stuck with a new URL and old Page Name…

  • Cindy Nelson

    Thank you for tip #3 with the link. I just customized our URL in one minute!

  • http://www.facebook.com/naturalfamilybotanicals Kelly Frohnauer

    So where do I find the apps you mention in #5?

  • alicenholmes

    Jim, have u ever considered “splitting” the fb page for more optimal space. Instead of having two different pages, one for news feed and one for profile, it wud be super cool to read ur news feed and be able to see ur profile page at the same time. Then u cud keep up with what u’ve already posted and see responses to posts instantly. jmho

  • Darrin Hackney

    How did Campo, the restaurant, get their address and phone number to appear under their profile pic as mentioned in #2?

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hi Kelly,

    You can use a third party app building platform such as ShortStack to build these apps. For more information head to http://www.shortstack.com

    Thanks!

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Thanks John!

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hi Darrin,

    Facebook displays different information based on the category your Page is. Since they are a restaurant Facebook automatically detects that their location is crucial information to display. However, like for my company, ShortStack, it displays our description. Unfortunately there is not a way to pick what shows and what doesn’t. Here is the direct explanation from Facebook: You can edit the information
    that appears in your Page’s About section summary box below its profile
    picture, but you can’t choose which fields display there. The types of
    information that appear in the summary box are specific to your Page’s
    category. For example, Pages for restaurants show price range, address,
    phone number and hours of operation in the summary box, while
    artist/musician Pages show the About field of the Page’s basic information.

    You can change your Page’s category at any time.

    Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  • anonymous

    I can see the value of the graph search for local brick & mortar businesses but is there a use for it for those who do business via a catalog and website?

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hey there,

    Interesting idea! Thanks for taking a read and for your comment

  • Darrin Hackney

    ahhhh, thank you for the heads up!

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  • KJ

    Facebook still says you can’t get a vanity URL unless you have 25 likes. One of my pages it did let me do it ahead of time. What is the problem>

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  • http://CarloAngeloGonzales.com/ Carlo Angelo Gonzales

    This is awesome!

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  • Kelsey

    Dominic, I would double check in your Edit Page, Basic Information section. You should be able to change the Page Name once, even with more than 200 fans. We have almost 1,500 likes and have the ability to “Request Change” for our Page Name.









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