Facebook is still the top social media platform in the United States. Two-thirds of adults use Facebook and three-quarters of those users visit the network every day.

Every year, despite the media and the government’s obsession with Facebook’s laissez-faire data practices, their user-base grows by 13% every year. This means that Facebook is the best place for you to market your business, at least until it goes the way of MySpace.

For a while, it seemed, Facebook was only a scam for marketers. You would create a page and “boost” it only to find a minimal increase in “likes” and engagement. Facebook must have realized marketers were catching on because today, Facebook Pages are a boon for businesses.

To capture the largest audience, you need to optimize. How do you optimize your Facebook page? Keep scrolling to find out.

1. Take Advantage of Page Templates

What is your business goal? Is it to gain a following? Is it to sell something?

Back in 2016, Facebook added a wonderful feature. Page templates. This feature allows you to quickly streamline your page and gear it toward whatever kind of business you’re running.

You’ll find ten templates in the menu including service, shopping, and restaurant templates. Why would you want a specific template rather than a generic page? Simple, not all businesses need to display the same information.

For example, as a freelance writer, I don’t need to inform potential clients of hours of operation. They won’t be coming in my doors or calling me to order a pizza. I will, however, want them to email me and give me information. Thus a CTA button automatically at the top of my page would be nice.

Whatever you need for your Facebook page, it’s specific and not generic. This tool makes creating a Facebook page that much easier.

2. Don’t See It as a Substitute

While your Facebook page might be the place where most people find you, it’s not a substitute for your home page on the internet. A website is the only place where you have complete and utter control of what your content looks like and what it’s telling people.

Facebook should only be a glimpse of what your brand looks like.

But, Facebook can be an easy way to rank on the first page of Google at least for your kind of business. This is especially true of local businesses.

3. Local Facebook Page Optimization

If you’re a business with a location — maybe a restaurant — you’re going to optimize your page differently from most other businesses who only operate online. You’ll first need to set up a location page.

You no longer have to ask Facebook’s permission to set up a location page. If you own multiple locations, you could create multiple location pages that become offshoots of your main Facebook page.

You’ll fill out your address, phone number, name, category, web address, email, and the about section.

Optimize for Local SEO

You may be wondering, how do I optimize this for local SEO? The answer is actually quite simple.

First, you need to check and optimize your title and description. Not only should you use the name of your business, but you should find a keyword you want to rank for and use it in a tag line.

Avoid keyword stuffing.

You might somehow think that throwing a ton of keywords into your description will get Google’s attention faster. It will, but it won’t be the kind of attention you’re seeking. Be sure to use this keyword only once in your description.

Look out for common issues that plague low-ranking pages. Spelling errors will tank your SEO. Plug your description and daily content into Grammarly and read over your content twice before posting.

When you post content, be sure it provides value and engages the user. Always be sure your titles and your content match. No clickbait.

It might be tempting to repeat content over and over. Besides, the same people don’t see the same content all the time, right? But Google doesn’t see it that way.

4. Use Your Page to Keep People Up to Date on Operating Hours

Facebook isn’t like Google My Business. It doesn’t let you update your operating hours for holidays or special events.

If you change your operating hours, you might have to create a new page. If you open a new location, be sure to make that particular page’s operating hours accurate. You might end up porting over your other location’s operating hours by mistake.

Use a visually appealing image rather than straight text. You want the changes in your operating hours even if it’s due to inclement weather to stand out.

5. Use a Custome User Name

The default user name/URL for your Facebook page is a number next to your brand title. Not that great if you ask me.

Your URL should be friendly and memorable. The best way to do this? Use your company name plus the location. If you don’t have a company name, a location should suffice.

User names only have a maximum of 50 characters. You really shouldn’t need that many characters anyway. If you use the maximum number of characters then you’re trying too hard.

It should be at least five characters long or it won’t work. If your company name is a mere three letters long, add something clever to make it longer.

6. Use the Cover to Create a Featured Image or Video

You don’t have to use a generic photo in your cover. The cover is something you should utilize.

Create a promotional image that features your services. Since the banner is upfront and center, it will speak louder than anything else on your page.

Today, Facebook allows you to put a video or a slide show on your cover banner. Take this opportunity to put dynamic content on your page.

Video converts better than any other medium. If you’re not using video on your page, you’re missing out on an awesome opportunity.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.