How to Prepare Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page for Graph Search

Facebook’s new Graph Search is very different from Google search. With Graph Search, you combine keyword searches with friends who’ve shared content on Facebook related to that search.

For example, here’s a search of friends who like The Ellie Fund and live in Boston:

graph search friends who like a page location

Graph Search also allows people to discover your organization through various different keyword / network search combinations:

graph search - page subcategory

Facebook Page SEO isn’t New

Google has been indexing Facebook Pages for quite some time now, so Facebook Page SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t anything new.

Both Google’s and Facebook’s search algorithms consider your Page name, category, vanity URL and keywords within your About tab.

What is new is the combination of keyword, category and connection (as shown in the examples above) – and the way Graph Search suggestions influence how searches are conducted.

Eight Steps to Optimizing Your Nonprofit Facebook Page for Graph Search

Here are eight steps to optimizing your Facebook Page for both Google and Facebook’s Graph search:

1. Tweak Your Page Category

Make sure you’ve selected the best possible category for your Page. You can edit your category by going into your Basic Information admin panel, as shown below:

edit categories

2. Tweak Your Page Sub-categories

If you have a Facebook Place (local Place or Business), you can add up to three sub-categories. These can be added / updated within your Basic Information admin panel (as shown above).

3. Complete your Address

Graph search will allow users to search for local nonprofits their friends like, so make sure your address is complete and current.

4. Complete Your About Section

about section
The information you share in your “About” section will help people find your Page in search. Particularly if you put keywords at the beginning of specific fields.

Do not start off with “We are a 501(c)3 organization…” People don’t search for 501(c)3 when they’re looking for services and resources for breast cancer patients.

5. Tag Your Photos

tagging your photo
Photos are a primary content type displayed in Graph Search results. Make sure you tag each photo with your Page name and any location associated with the photo.

6. Pay Attention to Photo Descriptions

graph search - photo description

Guess what keywords are in the description of each photo this search result?

7. Create a Username

facebook page URL structure

If you haven’t done so already, create a custom URL (username) for your Page that includes the name of your organization. This will improve your SEO on both Facebook and Google.

8. Continue Creating Killer Content

Remember, like Google, Facebook wants to display the best results at the top of a search. And parsing out great content on Facebook has always been done by looking at how much people have talked about that specific photo, video or text update.

Questions? Tips? Share them below

Categories: Newbies
Facebook isn’t allowing me to complete the official page and sub-categories part. It says “You cannot set this page to be a fan page about itself”. I’m only putting in the name of the organization there. It also isn’t allowing me to type in sub-categories like Service Dogs for Veterans, Service Dogs for PTSD, etc. What am I doing wrong?
5 February 13 at 10:56
johnhaydon
You can only pick one of Facebook’s sub-categories, not make up your own. Also, you can’t put the name of your page in the “official page” field.
5 February 13 at 12:19