Optimize your Business for Facebook’s Graph Search

Facebook officially launched its new Graph Search Monday, July 15, 2013 which is a search engine that lets you search Facebook’s graph for people, photos, places and other interests. This new search actually allows you to drill down to specifics as in, finding a friend that likes a specific photo or thing in an area you specify. The friends you have will literally tailor your search results so it will function much better the more friends you have. Another notable feature is the fact that its tied very close to Microsoft’s Bing search engine to give you results from that if nothing is found in Facebook’s Graph. Currently Facebook Graph search is not available on mobile devices but we can assume this will change as they get farther along with development.

What is Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search Privacy on your Personal Account

In many cases you may not want your Facebook posts and images to show up in Graph Search so there are a few things you can do to keep your Profile and content private from searchers. This will be either changing your current posts as needed so they show up in a way you don’t mind or blocking graph search completely from accessing your information.

  • You can limit or remove posts and images from your activity log by going to “privacy settings”. You can get to “privacy settings” by clicking on the lock icon on your Facebook toolbar. From there you can either limit what is shown or block everything you have ever posted to date.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that you will have friends tag you in photo’s which can also be managed in your activity log.

How to Optimize Facebook Graph Search for your Business Page

Get a Username (Vanity URL) – The most important thing you can do and have always done with a Facebook Page is to get your first 25 likes and create a vanity URL. This vanity URL will show users that your business is legit as well as create an easier way for people to find your business. Vanity URL’s have been around about as long as Facebook itself and is your first step to being found in not only Graph search but also Google and other search engines as well.

Choose a Category – The very first thing you will want to do is make sure that your business is categorized properly by choosing a category that best meets your business type. By choosing the category that best matches your business you can be sure that people find you when looking for the service you offer.  How to access business profile categories:

  • Visit you business profile and click on about
  • Click edit beside the basic info header
  • Select the best category for your business and click save.

Currently the categories you have to choose from are local business or place, organization or institution, brand or product, artist brand or public figure, entertainment and cause or community. Since there are very few to choose from right now you should be able to get it right pretty easy so step one complete.

Check your Address – Many of the results in Graph Search are tailored to specific locations and generally based on locations. The only way to list in location based search results is to have your address correctly entered. Also the engine seems to check your official website to be sure that if listed there as well that they match so be sure to make it an exact copy.

Complete your Entire Profile – You must make sure that your entire profile is filled in without skipping anything. There are a few reasons for filling out a profile in its entirety and that is not only creating trust with a consumer or client but also showing the engine that you can provide all results without gaps. The key areas you will need to fill out in detail are the About, Mission, Description, Awards and Products you offer.

When completing your profile take note that many Search Engine Optimization techniques that you use with Google will be effective in Graph Search as well. Keywords are the way any search engine knows what your talking about and what to show its users. When you are completing the about section of your profile be sure to use the keywords that describe your business but also those that you think others will search for to find you.

Keywords and Hash Tags – If you use Twitter you are already aware at how important hash tags are. Now hash tags will be just as important with Graph Search. Be sure to not only use your keywords in your profile but also in status updates as this will increase your search ability in the graph. Take note that stuffing in keywords without the correct context to go along with it will cause negative results instead of the intended increase in traffic. Keep in mind that you are still primarily communicating with your followers and that the hash tags and keywords are there to help boost a bit more.

Get More Likes – Of course getting likes is a key factor in Facebook as a whole but it will effect Graph search in a big way. One thing to keep in mind is that boosting likes from free services and trading likes, etc. will do nothing for your search results. There has been a correlation between number of likes and search ranging within the new engine in its early stages and we can assume this will stay viable. Likes are tough to get in large numbers but there are a few ways you can increase them:

  • Offer things to users in return for likes
  • Add like buttons to ever website and article you create
  • Run contests and other promotions
  • Run a Facebook Ad campaign (Get Likes Campaign)

Get users to Check-In – While this won’t effect all businesses since some don’t have physical locations that clients and or consumers will visit but for those that do its very important. Graph searches early results show that check ins are a driving factor in local results for businesses. Here are a few ways to increase your number of check-ins:

  • Offer incentives to those that check-in
  • Include a check-in sign at your business simply to remind those that use it
  • and quite simply just ask people to check-in

Post and Tag Photos – Tagging your Facebook page when posting photo’s and videos will improve your Graph Search rankings as users will see this tag even if the photo is shared to someone else’s profile. What this will do is create more exposure and is in turn a bit like a back link when speaking in terms of SEO. There are a few tips to consider when posting and tagging:

  • Post photos and/or videos a few times a week
  • include your hash tags and keywords in the descriptions
  • tag your business profile all the time

In conclusion Facebook’s Graph Search could be the first major search engine to rival Google. This being said of course they are more of the social engine that many people will not care to use and Google optimization should always continue as they aren’t going anywhere. If you have anything to add please leave me a comment below. Also I am still new to this since the Graph Search was just released a week ago and may have something wrong, I welcome corrections and any other comments you may have.

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