You may or may not have noticed, but Facebook pages have a really strange relationship with Google. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried to search for something their help center clearly covers, only to find page after page of their community forums ranked above the support page, with no useful information to be found in any of them. I’m sure you’ve had the same issue when looking up anything in Facebook help; the community is a bit disorganized, often with no answers to speak of, and yet it consistently outranks the actual Facebook help center.
There are other quirks of the way Google indexes Facebook. They have a lot of different information to consider when figuring out how a page is relevant to a query. Page title is just one factor. URL can also be a strong consideration, even if the URL and the page name don’t match.
Facebook as a site also has a huge amount of SEO power behind it, and yet most of the traditional SEO signals don’t work. They don’t care about your old content, because a lot of the older content isn’t indexed, and the newer content loses freshness very quickly. They don’t care about the length of your content, because they understand that social media and blogging are two different platforms. They also don’t put a ton of emphasis on the size of a page, because followers can be bought and there’s no way for Google to audit them.
As a result, sometimes you’ll see a small, relatively new Facebook page with a similar name to your own suddenly appear and out-rank your page on the Google search results. At the same time, sometimes you’re the newer page, trying to outrank a page for a similar search term, and you’re having a hard time. There’s little to no consistency in the way it all plays out, so you simply have to do what you can. So what can you do to try to maximize the ability for your page to out-rank the competition?
Get More Likes
I mentioned above that the sheer number of likes isn’t a huge SEO factor, but it can be relevant, particularly in greater numbers. There’s a certain level where you’re unlikely to have been buying likes. When you have a few hundred, you have too few for anyone to particularly care about auditing them. When you have a few thousand, people – Google included – have to question if you purchased likes or not. If you have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, you’re probably not just buying them. Once you reach that critical mass, you start to become The Authority in your particular niche.
Total Likes Facebook Fans
I wouldn’t be able to make a Facebook page for PC Gaming and expect to outrank the existing swath of high-population pages in that niche. They have too much established authority and longevity.
Just don’t, you know, try to reach that critical mass with fake followers. Outranking everyone else won’t do you any good when your audience is more or less useless.
Post More Often
While Google doesn’t pay a ton of attention to the content of the posts you make, they do pay some attention, and there are factors you can take advantage of to make those posts work for you.
Frequent posts means a more active and engaged page and audience, meaning you’re more likely to outrank less active pages.
Posts that get more engagement benefit the page more, for a number of reasons.
Posts that frequently use industry keywords can give hint of SEO value to your page within your niche.
More posts means more chances to go viral, and more viral posts mean more of all of the metrics that matter, primarily including exposure.
As for what you should be posting, there’s a lot of art to it. You need to post your own content, as well as more “personal” on-Facebook posts. You need to share and curate content. Finding the right balance can be tricky, and will take some experimentation.
Earn More Engagement
Engagement rates are crucial for two reasons. First, a significant engagement rate is an indication that your followers are real, rather than fake followers or bots. The latter don’t engage with posts they see, after all.
The other reason is for internal Facebook reasons. Posts with more engagement tend to get longer lifespans, and stay fresh for longer. This helps you gain more visibility and thus more growth within Facebook itself, and it keeps more of your content around and available for longer, where Google can see that your community is active.
Use Narrower Keywords
One of the problems I often see when someone is complaining about a Facebook page outranking their own is the lack of focus in the niche. Often, they’ll have some idea of their brand they want to capitalize on, but someone else is doing it better with narrower, more relevant keywords.
Overly broad keywords have the problem that they open you up to too much competition and too little focus. You’re not going to be a highly ranked Facebook page for shoes, but you might have a chance if you focus on red trainers.