In recent years, local search engine optimization marketing has grown increasingly important, thanks largely to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other GPS-enabled devices. More and more people are searching for local businesses on the go, and as such, they need to be able to locate a physical address and perhaps a phone number, quickly and easily, from their mobile device. The central goal of local search engine optimization marketing, then, is simply for small companies to make that important contact information as accessible as possible.
Now, complicating things further, Facebook has unveiled what it is calling its Graph Search function—and according to a recent article from Search Engine Watch, Graph Search has already made big waves, even convincing some search experts that it could disrupt traditional (i.e., Google- and Bing-centered) search behaviors.
For any small business that is serious about search engine optimization marketing, and about local search visibility in particular, Facebook Graph Search is a big deal. In essence, it provides search results for local businesses, filtered through preferences from the searcher’s own Facebook friends “graph.” That is to say, if a user conducts a search for “steakhouses in Baltimore,” the top search results will be the Baltimore steakhouses that have received the most likes, check-ins, or ratings from the user’s Facebook friends. Conversely, the user can choose to filter his search to only show results from friends who live in Baltimore.
As a business owner, there are a few things you can do to optimize your company’s standings in the Graph Search results. Some tips from the Search Engine Watch article include:
- Establish a unique Facebook business page for each physical location of your business.
- Double- and triple-check to ensure that the contact information (including physical address and phone number) is up-to-date and accurate for each business location.
- Build a Facebook fan base—because the more fans you have and the more “likes” for your content, the better you will fare in Graph Search results. Make sure to publicize your Facebook pages among your clientele, and offer them some incentive for liking the page (Facebook-only discounts, perhaps).
- Engage customer reviews and check-ins. A couple of specific suggestions: Add a Facebook box to your corporate website, and, for retail businesses, add a note about Facebook to the bottom of each receipt.
- Provide regular, engaging content on your Facebook page—remembering, once more, that any kind of interaction with your user base is ultimately going to benefit your Graph Search standings.
Facebook Graph Search presents a new set of challenges—and opportunities—for local businesses. Endless Leadz is pleased to offer an array of search engine optimization marketing tips for businesses in Baltimore and beyond.