You won’t be surprised when I tell you that Facebook has 1.65 billion active monthly users and growing. While the social media network may not be growing for tweenagers and teens alike, more and more adults are joining the ranks, considering Facebook just another one of those “must have” tools like texting or email.
Facebook is a company that everyone seems to know, and that’s because the whole world seems to be on Facebook. In fact, when it comes to other social media platforms, Facebook (in my opinion) seems to have the most International response. I’ve traveled through over twenty countries around the world and the one common place everyone wants to meet up, is on this very social media website. That alone gives this long-time-running social platform one leg up from other fad marketing platforms. Businesses interested in international growth or exposure have the world at their fingertips! One can only imagine the plethora of demographic information available for advertisers. But, before you even begin advertising, you should understand that as one of the largest search engines in the world (yes, you read that right), Facebook has its very own algorithm (just like Google) that ranks your business page or local listing based on a variety of factors.
Businesses throughout the world can utilize Facebook to promote themselves not just locally, but worldwide. In order to rise in the ranks on Facebook – the third largest search engine in the world – you’re going to have to know a few things about Facebook’s ranking factors.
Whether you want to be found as part of Facebook’s local search features, build a brand following, or simply drive more engagement to your Facebook page(s), these ranking factors are important to you.
The Benefits of Ranking on Facebook
First, let’s talk about the benefits of using Facebook’s Ranking Factors to your advantage.
- You can save money on advertising. Let your brand followers easy find and follow you without having to advertise to them. Saving money is always nice.
- You can get more people to see your posts by simply appearing available. The availability of your business page in search is directly correlated with the availability you display when users engage on your Facebook page (note: that’s not the only ranking factor). The more people that see your posts = the more people that can engage with your posts = the more potential action and/or sales.
- You can seek out new customers. Knowing the ranking factors will teach you how to seek out customers more effectively through your posts.
- You can get more exposure without spending any money through organic searches. Why spend more money on ads if you can find ways to gain traction with your organic posts.
Some of the ranking factors may seem obvious, while others you may not have realized. Either way, this list shows you the picture of how you can fully utilize Facebook Ranking Factors to your advantage.
Here are some of the game changing Facebook Ranking Factors that you should know.
Top 10 Facebook Ranking Game Changers
- Direct Engagement – Content that generates a lot of likes, comments, and shares will receive higher organic search rankings.
- Clicks – Content that generates lots of clicks, comments by users who tag their friends and content that starts a discussion between the person who leaves the comment and the page’s admins, will receive higher organic search rankings.
- Adopting new mediums – If Facebook is pushing something as “new,” adopting that type of post before anyone else will gain you massive exposure. Videos, for example, that are uploaded directly to Facebook and receive a substantial amount of views will result in higher organic search rankings. It helps if that video is completely original and hasn’t previously been uploaded to Facebook.
- Lose the ‘guaranteed now’ jargon – Posts that have hyperbolic claims will suffer in organic searches. Example: “You can live a better lifestyle with our product. It’s the best product ever made. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE!”
- Don’t be a tag spammer – Content that tags a different page in general will receive higher organic search rankings.
- Don’t link to bad websites – Links that are spam or point to malicious websites won’t be shown as often in the NewsFeed.
- Be more visual – Page status updates that are only text will suffer in organic searches.
- Make friends – A page that tags another page which has a similar audience or niche will receive higher organic search rankings.
- Know your imaging sizes – Posts that feature images optimized for desktop and mobile NewsFeeds will receive higher organic search rankings.
- Continuous content – Content that is posted on a page directly effects the pages organic search results. The reason is that Facebook shows people relevant stories in their NewsFeed. So, if your page is posting content that isn’t relevant to the fans, not as many fans will see it.
Other Facebook Ranking Tips & Tricks Worth Noting
- Verified pages and verified profiles get more exposure with their posts than pages and people do that aren’t verified. Verifying your page is as simple as installing the right tags on your website for Facebook to know that you are who you say you are.
- It’s better to put links in a post rather than share a link through a status update or photo caption. Links in posts receive higher organic search rankings. In other words, put a link that will automatically populate full meta data (a photo, a title, and and a description) pulled directly from the on-page search optimization meta title, meta description, and featured image or social schema image.
- Facebook ads and organic posts shouldn’t reuse the same text. The same text in Facebook ads and organic posts will hurt search engine rankings. Try testing ads against each other to find out for yourself. A/B testing is always a good practice. If you want your organic posts to gain more traction, start an Engagement campaign that uses the ads specifically on your page. If you want more clicks to your website, try building ads specific within the advertising platform rather than using content from your page. See what works best for you and your page. Test, test, test!
- Posts that are promoting some sort of hoax will be lower in the organic search engine rankings. This is another warning to stay away from guaranteed language and salesy language. Facebook doesn’t like it because their users don’t like it. Facebook wants to keep their users active and happy. More active users mean more advertising dollars for them. Remember, Facebook is a business too.
- More time spent on your posts = higher organic search rankings. You want people to spend as much time as possible on your posts. Another fun fact is, the more time spent on your posts or directly on your page means the more posts Facebook will share with that follower naturally without you having to pay for the exposure. That is just how the algorithm works. If users aren’t regularly stopping on your content or visiting your page, the likelihood that they’ll ever see a post from your page even if they follow your page, is very slim. This is where advertising can help you get back in the game.
- Posts that are written in long form will receive higher organic search rankings. Try testing it out! Long form posts (up to 400 words!) tend to receive the highest engagements simply because it captures people’s attention as they speed-scroll through their news feed.
- Currently Facebook plans on using all reactions to mean the same thing, people want to see more of that content. However, Facebook said, “Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by NewsFeed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.”
- People can control what they see on their NewsFeed by utilizing their NewsFeed Preferences to filter the types of pages, groups and people that they do or don’t see. Of course there’s nothing you can really do about that.
- Content that is reported, flagged or hidden multiple times will receive lower organic search rankings.
- Posts that mention a trending topic receive higher organic search rankings. That goes back to the point of how Facebook wants to be relevant to you at all times. When there’s a trending topic, it’s relevant to many people.
A Few Fun Facebook Facts
In case you needed a reminder as to how massive the social network is, here are some numbers for you.
- 4.5 Billion Likes Generated Per Day as of May 2013 (Source: Facebook)
- Like and Share Buttons On Average Viewed On 10 Million Sites Per Day as of 2014 (Source: Facebook)
- Over 307 Million Facebook Users in Europe (Source: Search Engine Journal)
- 1.65 Billion Active Monthly Users WorldWide and Growing as of 2016 (Source: Facebook)
Now, it’s time for you to go out and start using this information to help you further build your audience and engagement on Facebook, which will in turn help you grow your business.
We hope this Facebook Ranking Factor’s list helped you to wrap your head around how Facebook’s search engine works. For more free tips and tricks about Facebook, check out Boost University at Boostability.com/Boost-U
Caz is the VP of Product Operations & Marketing at Creatives Scale for freelance marketers
and Co-Founder of Anhelaré startup advisory
. Caz has extensive experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: @CazBevan
Latest posts by Caz Bevan (see all)