Last updated on March 17th, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, are among some of the many social media outlets that affect SEO. However, what many local businesses don’t know is how Foursquare can also aid in their SEO efforts.
This entry is a guest post by Alexis Tate edited by Sean Si
Foursquare emerged in 2009 and was deemed the “new Twitter” in 2010. A social media outlet specifically created to allow users to “check-in” to their favorite restaurants, stores, etc., receive deals, and share their check-ins with friends, Foursquare is yet another free social media tool to be used by businesses to better their SEO and overall sales.
Here’s how Foursquare works:
- Users create an account and check-in to the places they go.
- Participating businesses offer deals and discounts to those who check-in as well as specials to those who are “regulars.”
- Users’ check-ins not only get shared with their Foursquare friends, but to all of their Facebook friends and Twitter followers if they opt to do so.
Foursquare encourages not only sharing, but brand loyalty. It’s truly a win-win situation for those businesses and customers that choose to participate.
Apart from the impact sharing and customer incentives will have on a business’ online presence, Foursquare affects SEO in a very simple way: Businesses with Foursquare profiles get indexed and crawled by Google. This means that it could directly affect business’ ranking on search engines.
Here’s how you can use this free tool to your advantage:
First, if you discover that your profile has already been created, you must claim it and ensure that all of the information is correct; or if your business does not already have a Foursquare profile, create one. It is imperative that your location is correct because when crawlers go through your Foursquare page, they will take note of the address and, if all goes well, this will aid your business in showing up in local Google searches. For instance, if your Italian restaurant is in New York City, you want it to show up in Google searches for restaurants local to New York City, not Denver, Colorado; Denver does your business no good.
Second, when creating your business’ profile, include keywords in its description, without over-doing it. You want to adequately describe your business without making it seem like you created the profile specifically to get ranked on search engines. Google developers have implemented certain precautions to weed out blatant SEO attempts. Keeping things simple and natural is your best bet in this situation.
Third, leaving tips in a business location that you ‘Manage‘, allows you to place in a nofollow link to your site. It doesn’t really help your SEO directly but traffic coming in can indirectly raise you up a bit.
Put very shortly, Foursquare offers businesses not only public customer endorsement, exposure, and loyalty, but also an opportunity to directly affect page rankings. Ultimately, businesses using Foursquare have the potential to increase traffic to their physical and virtual address, and increase their earnings.
Key takeaway: Foursquare has limited effects on SEO – we have yet to see Foursquare really open up its gates to the SEO world – in fact a user’s profile looks like this: https://foursquare.com/user/8960212
It didn’t even get my name right. The description is also the same for every profile. It’s just not that friendly to SEO. In fact, it’s a very weak social media account that I don’t recommend it for Social Media Reputation Management or for Linkbuilding either.