Social Media SEO tutorial for beginners Lesson 2

This is second lesson of Social Media SEO tutorial for beginners. In previous lesson we discussed about importance of making your website social. In case you missed the first article then you can read the same at this link.In this lesson we will discuss Facebook as it is most popular social platform currently.

How to use Facebook for your website?

In this article we will focus on the most important social network site of all Facebook. Facebook is by far the most popular social site. In this post we will cover below items

  1. Creating Facebook page for your site
  2. Creating Facebook App for your site
  3. Adding Facebook social plugins on your site
  4. Making most out of Facebook for traffic and SEO
  5. Things you should avoid

Above points will cover everything you would like to know about Facebook for your website. So lets get started. At the end of this tutorial you will have enabled Facebook for your website.

How to create Facebook page for your website?

This is the first step. Every website should create one Facebook page. This helps Facebook users to connect with you on Facebook. As a Facebook user you might have noticed sponsored post from a brand to like their page.

Actually after registering a domain or before it you should create a Facebook page.The moment we think of creating website or blog we should also think of creating a Facebook page.So lets get started.

Step 1

You should log into Facebook in a different tab. After login click on this link. It will open a page which will ask you to select a page type (as shown in the image). The different page types are

  1. Local Business or Place
  2. Company, Organization or Institution
  3. Brand or Product
  4. Artist, Band or Public figure
  5. Entertainment
  6. Cause or Community

create-facebook-page-options

Step 2

You can select the option as per your requirement. For websites you should click on option Product or Brand. After click you will see Choose a category and Enter a product name as shown in the image. On the drop down at the very end you will see website option.

You can select the website option and enter name for your Facebook page. The name can be same as Website name. If you want to use different name then use a name which visitors can easily relate with website.

After entering above details click on Get Started button. It will create your page. Now on next screen (as shown below) you can add a cover photo and Add a short description about your page. Facebook also has Page Assistant which helps you design the page as well.

facebook-page-initial-steps

Step 3

Facebook has also created Page Assistant. The Page Assistant will help you design you page. It is automated chat bot which chats with user who created the page. As soon as you create a page it will ping you.

facebook-page-assistant

You can answer yes to take its help in page designing. It provides good help as well. You can take cation as it suggests and improve your page.

Step 4

In this section we will discuss some mandatory information you should enter on your Facebook page. These things will help you interact with your visitors. It also provides better experience to your page followers.

To add these information click on the About option of your Page. On the displayed page you can set wide range of options. Click on edit page details. You will see below pop up. On the pop up enter all the details applicable for your page and save the changes.

facebook-page-edit-details

Step 5

Now you have entered some basic details on your page. I am covering things you should enter for your brand new page. With time you can post your articles , videos and photos. But it is important to add below mandatory details

  1. Change your cover image
  2. Change your page profile page
  3. Go to the About men and change the description and other details

Facebook Page Tips

Creating a Facebook page is first step. It is important to increase Facebook page followers. You should make your page interactive and interesting. The more compelling a page is greater is the chances of it becoming popular with Facebook users.

Using Media like Photo and Video

You should always use Images and Videos.Images and Videos are eye catching. It attracts users. They are more likely to like share or visit a post with images or videos.People scan through their timeline. The text posts are often missed whereas images and videos are more visible.

Even if you are posting your website article make sure your articles have featured image. Featured images are automatically fetched by Facebook once you paste a link.So if you are using Featured Image then you do not have to worry about creating an image while posting to Facebook.

Note Videos are not fetched if you paste a link. So you can share your YouTube videos or upload video directly to Facebook.

Time and Frequency of sharing

Frequency of sharing is important. You should share regularly. But it should not look as if you are spamming people. If you post too often like multiple times a day same link or variants of it then people make unlike as well.

You can post daily and see how things go. Daily posting is more relevant for blogs or websites. For news sites posting frequency can be more. The time of sharing is also important. You should share when most followers of your page will be online.

Posting too early in morning or during the noon or working hours is not good idea. I have seen good response to posts  made in evening.People generally check their Facebook account in evening while traveling from office or during day end.

So by posting at evening you are tapping both kind of users. Note not many posts are made late in night. So morning users can also see your post if it received any likes or shares.

Increasing Facebook page likes

People should have a reason to like your page initially. There are multiple ways to increase your page followers. You can offer some free items (ebook or software or other similar items) for every like. That is visitors of your website will receive the item after they like your Facebook page.

In case you are using WordPress then you can use my plugin Facebook like button to download . The plugin places Facebook like button on your website. Visitors can download file only if they like your page on of Facebook. We will discuss Facebook like button later in the article.

I use this option on my education site to increase Facebook likes. It has done wonders for the one year old site as I have more than 22K followers of my Facebook page.

The second option is to use Facebook Ads. You can create Facebook Ads to promote your website.This option is costly. In India every Facebook like costs around 3 INR or 4 INR. So the Facebook Ads method is way more costly than plugin method.

But Facebook Ads method has one benefit. You can get likes even if you do not have any visitor. You can define target audience and promote your site or brand new content. This gives initial lift to your site.

How to create Facebook App for your website?

You should create a Facebook App for your website. Facebook App has several benefits. By default Facebook likes or comments or shares are not tracked by Google Analytics. You can use Facebook App to track details like number of lies, number of shares and referral traffic from Facebook.

Facebook comments plugin also requires Facebook App id for comment moderation. We will discuss more about comments plugin later in this article.Below are the steps in details to create Facebook App

Step 1

Creating Facebook app is not difficult.To create an app follow below steps

  • log into your Facebook account and then click this link.
  • Click on Create New App to create new app.
  • On the pop up window just enter a unique app name and click continue.
  • Solve a simple captcha on next screen.

Next click on edit app settings and enter details as mentioned below.

Step 2

Under Settings Basic

  • Display Name:         your app name
  • Contact Email:         your email id
  • App Domains:          your domain name
  • Sandbox Mode:        off
  • Website with Facebook Login   your domain name

Under Permissions 

  • Default Activity Privacy — None or anything you like
  • Auth Token Parameter: — any of them

Under Advanced 

  • App Type:                     Web
  • Social Discovery       :Enabled
  • Install Insights             :Enabled
  • Mobile SDK Insights:Enabled

Step 3

Now your App is ready. You have to copy Facebook App ID and App Secret. We will be using App ID at many places. On App dashboard you can see your App id and App secret as shown in below image

facebook-app-id-secret

What is Facebook Social plugins?

Now that we have a page created and App created it is time to add Facebook social plugins on our site. So far we have created our presence on Facebook. Now it is time to add Facebook to our website. Facebook social plugins are tools which help you embed Facebook on your website.

Below are brief details of Facebook social plugins. You should understand every one of them to decide which one yo want to use on your site. Note you should not use all of them on your site.Note first we will discuss the plugins and then we will discuss how to place them on your website.

  1. Comments
  2. Like button
  3. Share button
  4. Page plugin

Note there are other social plugins as well. But these four are important and recommended. Others are not that much used. You can get complete list of all social plugins in this link

Facebook Comments plugin

While sing Facebook you have noticed your friends making comments on your posts. The same comment platform can be part of your website. Visitors can login to Facebook and then comment on your website article.

They also have option to display the comment on their profile. The option to display comment on their profile is good traffic generator. Friends of visitors can see the comment. They can in turn visit your site or comment on the article. This will increase visibility of your article.

Facebook Comments plugin advantage

  1. Visitors can only comment if they are logged into Facebook. So no comments from bots.
  2. No need of any captcha plugin to protect your site from comment spam
  3. Each comment if shared on Facebook can be good traffic generator
  4. Already logged in visitors can easily post their comment. They do not have to enter any details like email or name
  5. Visitors will be notified about reply to their comments on Facebook itself
  6. Any comments made on articles shared on Facebook page will be shown on the article itself.
  7. If visitor posts the comment to profile and profile is public then you get link from that public profile. This link is counted and helps in SEO.

Facebook Comments plugin disadvantages

  1. Facebook comments is slow to load. This increases page load time. We will see how to speed this up later in this article.
  2. Comment Moderation is performed on Facebook.It becomes difficult to reply visitors without visiting the article itself. This increases time to reply a comment hugely.
  3. You can not download the comments easily and store them on your site. So in future if yo want to remove Facebook comments from your site all comments will be lost.
  4. Many visitors may not prefer revealing their Facebook identity just to comment on your site.

Should you add Facebook Comments on your site?

Facebook comments may not be best option for all site types. You need to make sure people will reveal their Facebook identity on your site. People may not feel comfortable commenting on loan or health related sites using their Facebook identity.

Using Facebook comment sor not is more of a website owner decision. They need to understand their traffic type and see if they have good number of comments after using Facebook comments. If they do not then they can leave it.

On my other site I placed it for one month along with default comments. So visitors have both the options. I saw good amount of visitor choosing Facebook comments. This helped me make my decision. Same way you can place the comment box on your site and see performance over a period of time. If it is working fine then you can keep it permanently.

Facebook Like Button

We all are aware of Facebook like button. Visitors can like your content on Facebook if you place the like button on your site. The URL they like can be configured. There are three different URL types you can configure

  1. Like a particular URL for example your domain
  2. Like the page on which like button is placed
  3. Like your Facebook page

I personally prefer setting Facebook page as URL. It increases page like. Liking current page or other page does not help much in traffic. It does not prominently show in your feed. So friends will not notice much if you like any external page.

This is the reason I prefer setting my Facebook page instead of any website URL. This is the concept used by my plugin Facebook like to download mentioned above in the article.

Facebook Share Button

Facebook Share button does job of Share in Facebook. This button allows visitors to share your page on Facebook. The shared page is displayed as new post on your profile. If the shared article has featured image then that image is also shown. (click to read how to set featured image in WordPress)

This is the reason yo should always have a featured image for your post. Note featured image is WordPress term. For other CMS users like Drupal or Joomla or other technology make sure you have an image in post content.

Normally Facebook fetches your first image and displays it along with URL when user shares your article on social network. Facebook share button can be configured to share any URL you want. You can share your home page or page on which button is placed.

Facebook share button is must to use. It brings traffic back to your site. Major reason why you should use Share button are

  1. If the profile of visitor is public then shared URL is link back to your site from that profile. This helps in SEO
  2. The shared URL is posted on visitor profile. So it is viewed by friends of visitor. This brings traffic back to your site.

So Facebook Share button helps you improve SEO and bring traffic back to your site.

Facebook Page Plugin

This plugin displays your Facebook page. You can configure this plugin to display count of people who liked your page or images of them as well. Visitors can click this plugin to like your page. This plugin is same as like button if you configure like button to like your page.

The only difference is that this plugin can show articles you shared on page or persons who liked your page. This plugin impacts load time heavily. So I prefer not to use this plugin on my site. But many sites use this plugin on their site.So I leave the decision on you.

Note: Facebook page plugin is also known as Facebook like box in past. Both are one and the same thing.Like box is a heavy plugin.Addition requests are made to fetch picture of you page fans and also the plugin. Anything said above about Page plugin is applicable for Like box well.

How to add Facebook Social plugins on your site?

Above we have discussed all major social plugin. This helps you decide which plugin you should use on your site. The process to add those buttons are more or less same in all cases.I will discuss the best way first. Note these social plugins impact load time.

Fast loading website is important for Search Engine Optimization. It is also essential for good visitor experience. The method mentioned will make sure page load time is not impacted. I will also mention which method is applicable for which site type (technology wise like WordPress, Drupal or all site types) and is best for load time.

Initial Setup

This step is required for all the methods mentioned below.This will help you in comment moderation.It will also help in tracking your website performance in Facebook Analytics. We will discuss about Facebook Analytics in detail later in this article.

You should add below code above </head> tag of your website. In case you are using WordPress then your theme header.php file will have </head> tag. Add below code above </head> line. Note in below code you have to replace the numeric value after content= with your App ID.

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="152653031937456">

Method 1

Method 1 Advantages

  1. It does not impact load time. The social buttons are loaded after page load.If a visitors scrolls down your page then only social plugins are loaded.
  2. This method works for all Social plugins
  3. You can use it to add Social Plugins on any type of website be it PHP powered or any other language powered or any content management system.

Method 1 Disadvantages

  1. It involves code change. Code change is not complex but may be confusing for non technical users.

Method 1 details

Step 1

Copy the below code and paste it above the </body> tag of your website after making below mentioned changes. If you are using WordPress then this tag is present in footer.php file of your theme.

  1. On the js.src line replace the below app id (152653031937456) with your Facebook app id.
  2. Replace main with ID of the HTML element (document.getElementById(‘main’)) at start of which user scrolls then social plugin JavaScript will get loaded

You can take the id of body tag or the main content html tag. In case of WordPress users you can get these tags in header.php file or single.php file. If user scrolls till beginning this tag the social plugin JavaScript will start loading.

<script>
function loadAPI() {
    var js = document.createElement('script');
    js.src = '//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.9&appId=152653031937456';
    document.body.appendChild(js);
}

window.onscroll = function () {
    var rect = document.getElementById('main').getBoundingClientRect();
    if (rect.top < window.innerHeight) {
        loadAPI();
        window.onscroll = null;
    } 
}
</script>
Step 2

As mentioned above Facebook Social Plugin code is comprised of two parts. One past is JavaScript other part is HTML. Above we have added JavaScript part. Now it is time to add HTML part. The JavaScript part remains same for all social plugin. The HTML part differs for each plugin.

Below are standard HTML part. You can copy codes of social plugin you want to add on your website.

Like button

Note below code will include Like button with Share button as well. If you do not want to include share button then make data-share=”true” to data-share=”false”

<div class="fb-like" data-width="300" data-layout="standard" data-action="like" data-size="large" data-show-faces="false" data-share="true"></div>

Above like button will make visitor like the URL button is placed. If you want to make visitor like a particular URL then use below code. Note in below code you can mention your Facebook Page URL as well or your website URL (enter URL in data-href part that is replace https://udinra.com with your URL).

<div class="fb-like" data-width="300" data-layout="standard" data-action="like" data-size="large" data-show-faces="false" data-share="true" data-href="https://udinra.com"></div>

Share Button

We will later see one more approach to add Share button on your site.You can then decide which method to use.Also if you have added Like and Share button above then you can exclude this button from your site.

<div class="fb-share-button" data-layout="button_count" data-size="large" data-mobile-iframe="true"><a class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore" target="_blank" href="https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u&amp;src=sdkpreparse">Share</a></div>

Page Plugin

You can use Facebook like button as less bulky page plugin. But if you really want to add page plugin then you can paste below code on your website after making below changes

  1. Replace all references to https://www.facebook.com/udinra/ with your Facebook Page URL
  2. Replace Udinra Online Coaching with your Facebook Page Name
<div class="fb-page" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/udinra/" data-width="300" data-small-header="false" data-adapt-container-width="true" data-hide-cover="false" data-show-facepile="true"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/udinra/" class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/udinra/">Udinra Online Coaching</a></blockquote></div>

Comments Plugin

You can paste below code on your website to add comments plugin.

<div class="fb-comments" data-width="600" data-numposts="5"></div>
Step 3

Above we have given codes of all four popular Facebook Social plugins. Now copy the code you want to add on your site and paste them as mentioned below.

Like button and Share button

Ideally like button should be added below title and after post content. So paste above code in these places. In WordPress these places are located in single-post.php or single-content.php file.

Page Plugin

Page plugin should be added in sidebar or towards the end of page that is footer of the site. WordPress users can place it in sidebar using text widget. They have to paste above code in text widget using html mode.

Comments plugin

Comments plugin should be added after post content. If you already have a comments plugin then it can be added in place of that. WordPress users can add it in comments.php file. Generally this plugin has code for adding comments.

You can search for comment_form(); in this file and replace that with above code.

Step 4 (optional)

Above I have shared standard social plugin codes. But you can customize the codes as per your need. Facebook provides easy to use interface to customize the code. Below is link of social plugin on which you can customize the code.

Method 2

In method 2 we will discuss the easy way out. It is simple solution but it impacts load time.You should only use this method if you are not comfortable making changes in first method.This method will not work for all website types. I am covering for popular ones only.

WordPress

There are too many Facebook plugins on WordPress. There are dedicated plugins for each social plugin we discussed above. You should be really careful while selecting and installing plugins. You may end up installing more than one plugin. Below is link of Facebook plugins you can use. Note for Facebook like button you can use my plugin mentioned above.

Facebook plugins WordPress

Joomla

Joomla also has too many Facebook plugins to offer. You can pick ones that satisfies your requirement. For example if you want to only add like button on your site then select extension for only that social plugin. Below link provides details of Joomla extensions you can use

Facebook plugins Joomla

Drupal

Drupal also has good amount of modules to make your site social with Facebook. You can use any one of the below modules to make your website Facebook friendly.

Facebook modules Drupal

Method 3 – Only Share button

Above we discussed that Like button is not that useful for traffic generation. I recommend using Share button on your site. This method is only applicable for Share button. This is best way to add Share button on your website.

It does not impact load time. Also no content is loaded during visitor scroll. Sometimes with slow internet connection browser may freeze for one sec if you are loading Facebook at visitor scroll.To add share button on your site just add below code where you want to add the button

This code will create a button with text Share on Facebook. If visitors click on that button a window will pop up with Facebook login prompt. Visitors can then log into Facebook and share your content.This method has no JavaScript loading , No additional resources (CSS etc). It is fastest way to place Facebook Share button on your website.

<a href="https://facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=" + window.location.href target="_blank" aria-label="Share on Facebook">
 <button>Share on Facebook</button>
</a>

Tracking Facebook Social Plugin Usage

You can select any one of the method above to add Facebook Social Plugins on your site. Now lets see how to see track their usage. You may be interested in knowing number of likes or shares you received. There are two methods to track social plugin usage.

Facebook Analytics

This is simplest way to track social plugin usage. Facebook provides details like Likes, Shares,Comments and Referral traffic information in Analytics section. There is not much configuration required.Recall that we added Facebook App code in header of website.

All your website interaction will be tracked under that App. Follow below steps to see your website statistics.

Step 1

Click on this link to open Facebook Analytics. It would help if you are logged into Facebook. You should login with user with which you create Facebook page and app for your website. The page will show you list of your Pages and Apps (as shown in below image for me)

facebook-analytics-page

Step 2

You can click on Pages or apps to see usage details of them. I am not covering this part here. As the information is self explanatory. It shows number of likes,comments and shares your page or app received. You can also see referral traffic generated by Facebook.

The Facebook Page Analytics is still a work in progress. For some pages it is showing the data.So you may have to wait for sometime. You should create one app per website. That helps you differentiate the performance for websites.

Facebook tips for optimal performance

I am listing out things you should keep in mind while using Facebook. Also I will list things you should avoid on this platform.

  1. Posting too many content per day is not a good idea. People may think you are spamming and may dislike your page.
  2. It is not good idea to use too many social plugins on your site. It may clutter your website and also increase load time which can hamper your website.
  3. It is good to have Featured image on your article. Images and Videos increase engagement and referral traffic
  4. From time to time you can share content on your page which are not from your site but are relevant to your followers
  5. It is good to respond to visitors query on your page or Facebook comments. The early you respond the better.
  6. You should use your Page profile to reply on Facebook comments.This gives exposure to your Facebook page profile.
  7. It is important to bring traffic back to your site from Facebook. It should not be other way around. People often over promote their page. So majority of interaction happens on page which should have taken place on website.
  8. Posting on Facebook page should be regular. You can post your new articles on Facebook page on the same day.
  9. You can use Facebook Analytics to see which plugins or combination is working fine for you.It is good to test and find out the optimal combination as early as possible and stick to that.

Next Steps

We have covered everything needed to make your website Facebook friendly. There are few more social plugins but those are not used much by website owners. In fact I have not came across any website as of now who are using that.

But in case you are interested to know all plugins offered by Facebook click this link. You can explore the plugins and decide which ones to use. You can use method one to place them on your site. You only have to copy the HTML part of code and paste it where you want to place the social plugin.

In the next article we will discuss about Twitter Social Networking site.

2 comments Social Media SEO tutorial for beginners Lesson 2

  1. Bahut hi helpful jankari di kyoki social media aaj ke time mein traffic increase karne mein bahut hi umda bhumika nabhata hai.

  2. Its very intresting and nice post.I got many information from your post which i was looking for.As iam a beginner to seo,it helped me a lot.Thank you so much.

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