Facebook is clearly looking ahead in terms of local search, and have recently released an update for both their iOS and Android app, which features a stronger ‘Facebook Nearby’ than was evident in the past. Facebook’s ‘Nearby’ function has always let users see where their friends had checked in, but this new update takes things a step or two further. With the update, users will be able to search for local businesses through their name or through their category. Interestingly, finding your site on the results pages is a little more complicated than just being technically ‘nearby’.
The algorithm that Facebook uses is highly dependent on data collated from Facebook. We’re talking about Facebook check ins, interactions such as star ratings and the like. Facebook has also given a strong indication that results are going to become extremely personalised once users check into and rate their local businesses.
Obviously with this in mind, it’s very important that you have your Facebook page optimized for the upcoming change. The starting point for some will still be to get a Facebook page. Despite the fact that Facebook must have become one of the best known websites on the planet, there are still people and even businesses out there who do not use it. It’s worth remembering that Facebook sees itself as a rival to Google, not something that can sit alongside. We don’t have a crystal ball, but it looks like ranking well on any given Facebook list could be incredibly important in the future, not to mention the fact that it is already fairly important now. At present, if you’re not there, then you are not going to show up for the demographic that decides to search for your business on Facebook.
As long as you have a site set up, you are going to want to update your ‘About’ section. Use descriptive and well optimized language, being sure to include all of your important business information, services, and your hours of business too. You should also ensure that your business is listed under the correct category to be sure that you are going to show up in the right search results.
Naturally, the next step is to encourage your Facebook fans to engage with your page in the appropriate way. They need to check in and rate your page positively. The more popular your business page becomes, the more chance you will have of showing up well in the search results.
Naturally, it can be daunting to try to tackle something like a Facebook page without prior knowledge. Here in Detroit, local SEO is something that is very important to a lot of companies, so we would always recommend that you speak to a local Detroit SEO company about how you can best improve to take advantage of local search possibilities. More and more search results are locality based, so this is something you should have been thinking about anyway. With things like Google Now also taking off, you can’t afford not to take local search seriously.