Google-only SEO isn’t enough anymore. With the rapid growth of traffic — and general attention — to social media sites, it makes sense to pay attention to link-building opportunities beyond the Google universe.
That means better utilizing your time at Facebook and other social marketing sites — specifically, on Facebook, which is the biggest, with numbers that sometimes beat Google’s.
The Facebook Basics
Most affiliates are already on Facebook — just like most of the world is on Facebook. (Or at least, 500 million people worldwide.)
And that’s important — time spent on Facebook under your personal name should have given you a working knowledge of how the site works, how to build friends lists, how to trend topics, how to follow other groups and businesses.
All it takes to include Facebook in your SEO and online marketing plan is to take that knowledge and apply it towards creating an actual Facebook page for your affiliate marketing site.
SEO on Facebook
Now, it’s time to think of your website as a business. So, your first step is to set up a page for your business, which people can follow. This page will allow you to communicate directly with your peers, other affiliates and webmasters, and the larger online community.
Look at it this way: Every person you get to “like” you is almost certainly a new visitor to your site. But on top of that, the “Like” button itself helps your SEO performance on Google.
Starting a page is a basic sign-up process; check it out here. After signing up, build out your page with photographs and basic info. Provide lots of links to your site where interested parties can investigate further. Share useful information that’s relevant to people interested in your niche (ie: “Top Ten Ways to Make Money at Online Casinos”).
InsideFacebook.com recommends using your new page’s “about” description to boost your keywords. “Because Facebook limits where Page owners can place large chunks of text on the default Wall tab of Facebook Pages, the “About” box actually represents the highest place in the CSS structure of the page to add custom text,” writes Justin Smith. Smith also recommends using your keywords in the “Info” tab.
Advertising on Facebook
If you want to go advanced, you can actively market your site with paid ads. This is similar to Google AdWords’ model, in which you pay for ad space and create ads to upload.
You can even buy ad space on a like button with Facebook’s new “Sponsored Story” feature. And Facebook’s acquisition of a mobile ad network will expand that potential even further. (Google’s competing AdMob network fields 2 million ad requests a day, says PC Mag.
A Community or a Marketplace?
One last note: It’s important not to oversell yourself on Facebook and other social media sites, and that can be a fine line. Don’t market yourself too much; think of yourself as a participant in a conversation, not as someone desperate to make a sale. The idea is to get other people to genuinely like you — or at least, think you’re cool. The “likes” will follow from there.