Yes Virginia, Facebook Is SEO – SMX Advanced
You ‘Like’ SEO! Then you must ‘LIKE’ Facebook. Yes, my SEO friend, Facebook is SEO and ‘Like’ it or not, Facebook can’t be ignored.
With almost 700 million users, tides are turning to Facebook, coined the ‘unofficial’ Official Social Network. Also known as the Social Web, Facebook is staking a claim in the online mindshare that has Google scrambling (which, of course, Google denies).
Even if Google can’t see Facebook shares for search, Facebook alone is generating enough traffic to warrant an SEO eye.
Evidence points to Likes having an impact on the web, influencing both regular and social search results.
SMX Advanced session ‘Facebook is SEO’ drew a full house moderated by the socially smooth Danny Sullivan, (@dannysullivan) Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land. Sullivan headlines a super star panel: Tony Adam (@tonyadam), Director of Online Marketing, Myspace, Jeff Widman, (@jeffwidman) Facebook Analytics Expert, PageLever and Jim Yu, (@jimyu) CEO, BrightEdge.
First up, Jeff Widman shares some Facebook SEO stats, facts and actionable takeaways.
- More than 90 percent of comments and Likes are coming from newsfeeds versus an actual Facebook Page
- Fans are most valuable when they have access to your Facebook news feed
- TIP: Adding a custom reveal tab on the fan page is a key strategy to converting more fans/users to be part of your Page and ultimately your news feed. Try Pagelever.com/tabs for a quick and easy way to make your own landing page
- Most fans don’t come back to the Facebook Page; the key to visibility is in the news feed
- Since people only see 3-7 stories in their feed at one time, it is realistic to aim for a 10-15 percent reach of fans via a newsfeed
Facebook, Newsfeeds and Rankings
Facebook shows the most interesting stories using an algorithm called EdgeRank and to manipulate the rank you need to be aware and succeed in page views, likes and comments matched with content and, as in life – timing.
TIP: AVOID: auto-posting – this may cause severe adverse condition to your Facebook success rate
NFO = News Feed Optimization
Engagement today – visibility tomorrow
You can optimize your content to RANK HIGHER – MORE VISIBILTY
- Content ideas that trigger engagement: “Like if you are excited that….”
- Posting time
- Format (YouTube does not rank as high as native Facebook videos)
- KEY TIP: Ask questions in your posts
Jim Yu is next up with his SEO spin on Facebook. His focus is on three areas:
1. Analysis by industry
2. How SEO and Facebook interact
3. Social SEO techniques
Yu is in the camp that Likes and Shares influence page rankings and notes that social media promotes SEO results across multiple industries.
Social SEO is a two-way street between your website and social content reminds Yu with some SEO checklists as follows:
Helping Facebook Pages rank better
- Link from Home Page –make sure to use brand name in the link!
- Use Brand name posts – Example: If you are McDonalds, use the word McDonalds in your posts
- Get Likes
Tips to push likes and engagement
- Add a Fan Box to website home page
- Promote Like-sponsored stories
How to get website pages to rank and drive social engagement
- Posts back to your website
- Drive social engagement
- Target head terms with social media friendly pages
- Interlink with parallel social media directory pages
- Link other web sites
- Don’t be left behind – leverage the Facebook social signal into SEO
- Best practices – You Can Do RIGHT Now
- Place share and social plugins on website
- Interlink directory and social media pages
- Make sure social media and SEO teams work together
Last but not least, the Facebook aficionado Tony Adam (@tonyadam), Director of Online Marketing at Myspace, Advisor to 310 Labs, FamilyFinds, and Ranker, and Entrepreneur
Adam gave some visual examples of how My Space is optimizing for Facebook with strategies including welcome tabs, news stream optimization and how to capitalize on news trends.
Branding Facebook Pages
- Make an offer
- Point out where the Like button is
Some cases it makes sense to have multiple Facebook pages
- Sub brands/verticals
- Topic Pages- more links to topic pages
Facebook Send Button
- Learn about this, it will be very important – HINT, HINT
- Look at Permission based marketing
- 620 million active email accounts
- Facebook users – 700 million
- How can you use the Send button?
- Create engagement by asking questions and not just promoting content
- Sprinkle in factoids every couple of days
- Optimizing like buttons in your stream
- Follow likes on user actions
News and Trends
Create content that is related to trending news topics your users would relate to or resonate with says Adam.
Question of the session:
How will Google +1 edge out the Like button?
“I don’t think it will impact people clicking on the Facebook Like button, as it’s become a learned behavior. It won’t steal from likes; rather, Google +1 might grow the overall number of people clicking on those types of buttons. Similar behavior has been seen with sites that adopt the LinkedIn button and instead of taking away from other shares; it has grown the total number of shares,” says Adam.
As Google and Facebook face off, smart SEOs add social media optimization to the checklist.
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