How to Optimise for Graph Search – Coast TV

In our second edition of Coast TV, Senior Online Marketing Executive, Mike Hall gives his advice on how to prepare for Facebook’s Graph Search. If you have any questions or feedback then we’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Video Transcription

Hello and welcome to the second ever edition of Coast TV. I’m Mike Hall, I’m a Senior Online Marketing Executive here at Coast Digital, and today we just wanted to have a bit of a look at Facebook’s latest feature, Graph Search, and how we can optimise for it – how we can prepare our business pages for it.

So the first thing to do is to have a bit of a look at what Graph Search is – essentially it’s a social search engine. It was announced by Facebook back in January of this year, and over the last 7 or 8 months they’ve been gradually rolling it out, tweaking it, playing around with it and testing it, they’ve had a beta version available and I believe it is now available to all US language accounts, and the plan is to have it available to all English language accounts by the end of the year, so if you haven’t seen it already, the likelihood is you’ll see it in the next few months.

So what it is is a social search engine – it allows you to search for people, places, photos and interests, and that’s all based on, the way it’s ranked is based on your connections that you have on your personal Facebook profile, the number of ‘likes’ and check-ins, the amount of engagement that particular page has had, and location as well. So for example you can type in things like “friends of mine who work at Coast Digital”, “restaurants nearby”, “restaurants in Brighton”, “music that my friends like” – all of this kind of stuff, and the idea is that if you search for something then really the best indicator of relevancy is what your social connections are liking, what they’re talking about. So that’s really the idea behind Graph Search. As I say, its not fully available yet, and it remains to be seen whether Graph Search will take some of Google’s search engine market share, but it’s certainly something that it’s worth being prepared for, and without a great deal of effort really.

So some of the things you can do – the first thing is to claim your local listing. You may already have an official local listing on Facebook that people can check-in to and that they can ‘like’, but what you may not be aware of is that if you do not have one of those pages (and even if you do actually) then it is possible for people to try and check-in on their phone, see that it’s not there and then create a page for you. Now what’s not great about that is that the address may not be entirely accurate, you can’t get your brand logo on there, whatever it might be, really what you want to do is search, find any listings, claim the listing that you want to take, update the address and make sure that everything’s accurate, and that means that when Graph Search is rolled out, you can ensure that you have full control over that listing.

The second thing is to look at your page name, category and sub-categories and vanity URL as well. So your page name – making sure you have your brand name in there, possibly any keywords that might be relevant to that. Category – make sure that your Places page is listed in the most appropriate category, and I believe you can choose subcategories as well so make sure that’s as comprehensively filled-in as possible, and of course ensure you have a vanity URL because that will help in terms of being found in Graph Search.

The next thing is the About section. Just as in SEO we look at on site optimisation – making sure you have relevant keywords in the body of text, that sort of stuff, the About section is somewhere you can really go to town and add a comprehensive business description. Think about the sorts of keywords that you want to be ranked for and that you want to turn up in Graph Search for – make sure those are included in the About section.

Next is engagement – now this is ‘likes’, check-ins, that sort of stuff. Really it’s old-fashioned social media marketing – it’s all about getting as much as possible in terms of engagement, people commenting, people ‘liking’ you photos, people ‘liking’ your statuses, sharing it, that sort of stuff. All that stuff based on the algorithm Facebook uses to rank this stuff in your News Feed, that’s going to be applicable when it comes to Graph Search as well, so things like encouraging people to check-in at your business, encouraging people to ‘like’, the share, to tag photos that you post, that sort of thing. If you’re a bar or a nightclub and you take a picture of the crowd, share that, get people to tag themselves in it, it will get a lot more reach than if you just post that and wait for something to happen.

The final thing that’s worth considering is Bing. Now what Facebook Graph Search does is that if it doesn’t have an appropriate set of social results to bring you back then it will bring in some Bing listings (because Facebook and Microsoft have a bit of a thing going), so what it might be worth doing is – as I say it remains to be seen whether Graph Search will be used to the extent that Google is, you’ll probably find that 90 plus percent of your search traffic comes from Google – this could swing it a little bit perhaps, so it’s worth just bearing in mind some of the factors that help you to rank in Bing.

So again, if you look at all these things and get all these things right then at least for the moment that will get you covered, and get you nicely prepared for Graph Search.

So that’s it for this second edition of Coast TV, thanks very much for watching. If you have any questions or comments then please do feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Other than that, we’ll see you next time!