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Facebook released its version of local search under the brand name Graph Search on January 15, 2013. Graph Search has tremendous potential considering that Facebook has around 665 million users that access the site on a daily basis and around 1.2 Billion users that do the same on a monthly basis.

However, there are several issues that plague Graph Search and Facebook made a wise move by providing this tool to fewer than 1 million users although more users will be added at regular intervals. Graph Search allows people to search through 4 key parameters, namely; places, people, photos, and interests.

Facebook is also refining its search algorithm just like Google. Here are some important tips on how to boost rankings on Graph Search.

You can begin by creating your own Facebook page in case you already do not have one. Facebook local search results will depend on the number of likes and visits, among other factors, and not having a page will not allow friends and visitors to like you in the first place. Facebook’s social connections feature will help boost your business only when your business has an official business page that people can visit and like.

While Likes are quite important for improved rankings on Graph Search, you must ensure that you do not try to manipulate this feature. If you have not achieved the desired number of likes then you need to change your strategy to create more interest and garner more likes in a natural way.

Increasing numbers of Check-Ins also play an important role in Graph Search rankings. If you operate a local business and have a Facebook page then you need to select “Local Businesses” as your category. You should guide visitors on the right way to check-in at your location. For iOS users, Facebook has a mobile app that can help users to research and check in while Android users have the Nearby feature to do the same.

You must absolutely ensure that your address is mentioned correctly and in complete detail on your Facebook Page. You should also include mentions of your city as these factors will help display your business details in related searches. Mentioning target locations will also help Graph Search during bordering town searches.

Star ratings also influence Graph Search results and it is thus important to not only provide a fantastic user experience both online and offline, but also encourage users to provide the maximum number of stars for your business. This feature too is extremely difficult to manipulate since Facebook monitors activities of all users and simply asking your friends to provide 5 star ratings will certainly not improve your rankings.

You must also engage in optimizing your Facebook page, which includes title tags and meta descriptions, page content, navigation, and internal links. You should remember to fill up the “About” section of your page by providing general information, contact details, detailed address, and services offered to please both Facebook bots as well as visitors. You must try to ensure that you provide useful high-quality information that fulfills the needs of your visitors.

Another factor that could possibly influence search results on Graph Search is the “Photos In” and “Visitors Of” feature. Facebook will show photos tagged to a particular business by users if you click on “Photos In” and will display a list of people that have visited the business when you click on “Visitors Of”.

Since Instagram data will be considered by Graph Search in coming times, this factor could play an increasing role in determining higher rankings. You can begin now by encouraging your visitors and customers to click photos at your location and uploading them.

In case you have not yet discovered it, the “Nearby” app, which is known as “Local Search” for iOS users, is present in the menu of Facebook. Visitors can quickly search nearby places based on their actual physical location. Nearby not only provides additional data on local businesses, but also allows users to view ratings and provide stars, which in turn will help you boost your presence before other users and Facebook search bots.

It is thus important that you quickly grasp the working of Local Search and Nearby, and also guide your customers on the best way to use it.

Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing have worked closely to produce Graph Search and you must realize that Facebook will display Bing search results in cases where it cannot produce its own. Such results will also display paid Bing ads and this in turn presents an excellent opportunity to boost your presence by advertising on Bing.

All the above tips should convince you that your business will certainly benefit once you achieve higher rankings on Graph Search. You should begin by requesting access to Facebook’s Graph Search and implement the above tips to get a healthy head-start.

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