3 Tactics for Optimal Facebook Graph Search | Social SEO

by Kevin Michaels on April 18, 2013

Although it will take years before Facebook’s Graph Search is completely finalized (imagine all of the data their robots have to crawl and connect!), now is the time for page owners to take social SEO seriously.

Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook Graph Search.

Graph Search is a search engine that relies heavily on a user’s Facebook social graph (who and what users are connected to through friend connections, page likes and app installations). Once a user receives the Graph Search update, they can enter search queries in the search bar at the top of each page.

Search results are then ranked and returned based on the social engagement and connections between the user and specific internal Facebook pages. If Facebook cannot find an internal page to match the search query, it will then turn to Bing to power web results.

As Graph Search launches for more users and, as Facebook surely hopes, becomes the new Google, social SEO is vital to improving your page’s rankings in the graph search engine results. These three tactics will help you get a jumpstart on new social SEO.

1. Use Keywords on Your Facebook Page

If you’re even vaguely familiar with how SEO works, you’re probably aware that keywords are vitally important in any SEO endeavor. Relevant keywords help websites rank in Google, Bing, Yahoo and any other web search engine out there. The same goes for Facebook Graph Search! Your page needs to include relevant keywords so that you can be found.

Keyword research is the first step in optimizing your page. If you already have Graph Search on your personal account, performing a few searches related to your business or brand will give you an idea of the results currently being returned by graph search. If you don’t have Graph Search, you might want to consider looking at your competitor’s Facebook Pages to see which keywords they’re targeting.

You can also perform traditional keyword research before you start optimizing your Facebook page.

Once you have your keywords in hand, start by updating your page’s name and URL. Page names and URLs should be direct, easy-to-remember and a good representation of your brand or business. Don’t keyword stuff here – page titles should be natural.

Use your keywords in the “about” section of the page. You can also pick relevant categories and subcategories to classify your page. These categories and subcategories will likely be related to your industry and possibly your keywords. Don’t forget to use keywords in your status updates, too!

2. Increase Sharing and Viral Content

Graph Search is based on a user’s social graph. That means that search results will be returned based on a user’s connections to a specific page. This means that increasing the social engagement on your page is now a higher priority than before (if that’s even possible).

Tracking and creating viral content is a great way of boosting interest in your posts. If users feel an emotional connection to what you’re sharing, they’re more likely to share it with others. This will in turn increase your engagement rate and hopefully attract new people to “like” and share your page.

3. Track External Graph Traffic in Google Analytics

Keyword research and targeting should always be refined as metrics are analyzed. If you have an external website with Google Analytics installed, you can now track keywords that visitors are using to reach your page from Facebook’s Graph Search.

These external web results are displayed using Bing and only appear if Facebook cannot return the user with a relevant internal Facebook page related to their query. For example, if a user searched for “friends that have a  criminal justice associate degree,” and wasn’t able to find a friend who matches that criteria, Facebook might return website search results through Bing to college and university websites that offer that degree (and are ranking high on Bing).

Although an advanced tip, this tracking is well-worth the effort. It will give you the power to see which keywords and phrases social searchers are using within the Graph Search platform.  This tracking can be set up in analytics by following instructions provided by Glenn Gabe.

Kevin Michaels HeadshotKevin Michaels is a freelance blogger and social media addict. He’s an early-adapter who loves testing and writing about new Facebook and other social media features. He believes that with every change, there’s always a new marketing opportunity. In his free time, he enjoys road trips, concerts and attending football and baseball games. Follow him on Twitter @Kev_michaels or visit his profile on Google+

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