Good SEO campaigns all share a common focus: improving your ranking in the Google search results. More generally, a good SEO campaign should seek to improve your rankings at whatever sites boast the highest traffic. At the moment, Google is by far the most used site for local searches. Ninety percent of local consumers use search engines and 65% of the time that search engine is Google. In fact, Google has consistently been the number #1 visited website since September 2007, when it passed Myspace.com. That is, until the week of March 13, 2010.
During the week of March 13th, 2010 Google was the second most visited U.S. website. The first? Facebook. According the CNN, which cites the web analysis firm Experian Hitwise, “Facebook accounted for 7.07% of U.S. Web traffic that week, while Google received only 7.03%.” The article further notes:
Facebook’s year-over-year growth far outpaced Google’s that week. The number of visitors to Facebook spiked 185% compared with the same period last year, while Google’s traffic climbed just 9%.
It’s impossible to ignore Facebook’s explosive growth. With more than 400 million active users, half of whom log on to Facebook in any given day, Facebook is poised to play a substantial roll in the future of local business search. Structure your current SEO campaign for Google optimization, but make a Facebook fan page for your small business right now; it may become the focal point of your online marketing strategy in the not-to-distant future.
- Facebook Fan Pages are Cited in Google Maps
Last week, our Local SEO Guru, Jorge, stumbled upon a Google profile for an Ace Hardware in Villa Park, IL that included detail citations for Facebook and Twitter links.
The Google profile has not been claimed by the business owner, which means these details were deemed important and collected by Google’s web crawler. If Google thinks a Facebook Fan Page is important, it is, and you should too.
- Facebook Fan Pages Rank in Organic Search Results
For a long time Facebook pages were private, hidden from search engine results. Now fan pages, and even many user profiles, are public and can be found in search queries:
So, why is this important? Any website found in organic search results has been indexed, read and filed away by Google, if you will. When Google reads these fan pages, it sees your business name, address, description, links and keywords. Reaffirming these details on your fan page will raise your stock in Google’s eyes and give you a boost in the local search rankings.
- Instant Credibility
At EZlocal, we provide a space on business profiles for a link to your Facebook fan page.
When a prospective customer follows that link to the fan page, they will see you have an established fan base. They will see that you have tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of fans. That builds instant credibility. Sure, having a normal website is helpful, but it only tells people what your business is about. A Facebook fan page tell people what your business is about AND that it is well liked.
- Build an Interested Following
Perhaps the greatest reason to create a Facebook fan page for your small business is so that you can build a fan base, a contingent of people who like and use your product or service. These people want to hear from you. They are excited when you post a coupon or announce a sale. They may even recommend your business to their friends.
Keep in mind, the average Facebook user has 130 friends. When a person becomes a fan of your small business, 130 people who like and respect them get an update in their friend feed. Perhaps of few of those people then become fans and your business’ name starts popping up in more and more updates. Does this snowball effect always lead to a large fan base of customers? No. But, if you don’t create a fan page, you never have the chance to find out.
Do not forget to check out EZlocal on Facebook.