The 13 Sneakiest LinkedIn SEO Tips to Boost Your Profile’s Views

Get Found on LinkedIn

LinkedIn SEO TipsLinkedIn is really even more of a popularity contest than Twitter, but I’m the only one with enough sense to realize it. On a very basic level, if you don’t have any LinkedIn connections, you’re not going to be found. The vast majority of searches on the burgeoning social media network for professionals are done through a filter of personal connections. Optimizing your network and the SEO aspects of your profile can take your profile views go from 0 to 1,000.

1. Use Anchor Text in Links

Every LinkedIn profile can list as many as 3 links. The default options include “Company Website” and “Blog,” and these just aren’t very SEO-friendly. You can customize the anchor text in your URLs by selecting the “Other” option. Use a keyword-rich title, such as “My Inbound Marketing Blog.”

2. Finish Your Profile

This one is almost a no-brainer, but far too many of us haven’t taken the time to fully complete our LinkedIn profiles. Ask for recommendations (and give recommendations back), fill out every single section, and use LinkedIn’s help to guide your profile to completion.

3. Keyword-Optimize Your Job Titles

We’re definitely not recommending you describe your last position as “Management,” when it was more administrative. However, fudging your job titles slightly to include a few keywords is just smart. Instead of “Blog Manager,” bait search engines by clarifying “Inbound Marketing Strategy Blog Manager.”

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4. Maximize Your Group Membership

Joining and participating in relevant groups won’t just expand your network, but it can improve your profile’s SEO. Since the group names appear on your profile, search engines have no choice but to crawl the titles and learn more about who you are and what you do. Not only will industry-relevant groups improve the keywords on your profile, but local groups like “Nashville Marketing Professionals” can help with geo-targeted SEO.

5. Aggressively Expand Your Network

If your LinkedIn network is one-fourth the size of your Facebook connections, it might be time to search your email contacts. Plus, it’s the perfect platform for connecting with colleagues but still maintaining a semblance of work-life separation on social media. Entrepreneur Rick Stomphorst writes: “[LinkedIn search results] elevate results for connections within a network (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, groups). Therefore…you need to be connected to as many people as possible.”

6. Optimize Your Job Descriptions

Lindsay Hunt recommends that “your job descriptions on LinkedIn should be creative, truthful, descriptive and succinct.” Instead of writing out full paragraphs, use a wide variety of relevant keywords in bullet-pointed lists. Formatting your descriptions will also increase your profile’s scannability.

7. Claim Your Vanity URL

The fundamental SEO benefits of claiming your vanity URL may be minimal, but it’s just good business. Connecting your LinkedIn profile to your name will allow you to be found easier by real-life connections. It will also let you add your custom URL to business cards.

8. Don’t Keyword Stuff

While you never want to hide what it is you do from search engines, repeating the same keyword ad naseum throughout your profile isn’t going to give you much search benefit. Take an approach of optimizing around secondary keywords that are still relevant and descriptive of your skill set.

9. Promote Your LinkedIn Profile Elsewhere

Put a link to your LinkedIn profile on Facebook, Google+, and any websites you maintain to create inbound links.

10. Be Vigilant About Building Recommendations

Turns out, recommendations may have more benefit than just making you look likeable to potential employers. Stormphorst believes 10 or more recommendations will elevate your profile’s search ranking.

11. Leave No Field Blank

Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t leave too much to the imagination. Fully optimize your Honors & Awards and Languages.

12. Shamelessly Self-Promote

There’s little hard-and-fast evidence that promoting your latest eBook or high-performing blog content in the projects section of your profile will improve your SEO, but some believe it works in your benefit. Besides, being able to increase the visibility of your latest content marketing project certainly can’t hurt, right?

13.Keep Collecting Endorsements

While endorsements currently carry little weight in how well your profile ranks on Google or in LinkedIn search results, rumor has it that this fact will soon change. During the release of the new functionality in September 2012, Dave Kerpen stated “…the more endorsements for your skills and talents that you get, the more often you’ll appear in search results.”

How do you improve your LinkedIn profile’s SEO? 

image credit: copleyraff

Comments: 12

  • Evan says:

    Nice tips! thx for sharing

  • Victoria Ipri says:

    Good tips, Richard, but this statement is false – “…if you don’t have any LinkedIn connections, you’re not going to be found.” There are numerous ways to “get found” on LinkedIn and as you’ve pointed out, most of them are keyword-related. Sure, people connect to people, but one cannot say unequivocally that having no connections prevents a member from being seen. It’s apples and oranges.

    And I haven’t found LI to be a popularity contest at all…only the Endorsements feature! (Not a fan)

    For those reading this who want to learn more about using LinkedIn to the fullest, just scroll up the page slightly and register for “LinkedIn: Beyond the Profile and Into the Future of Digital Marketing”. See you there!

  • Some very valid points, although I agree with Victoria there are ways to be found without many connections. However, overall a well balanced growing account is the way to go.

  • Great tips, Richard. I agree with all with the exception of fudging your job title.

    This is from a post by Absolutely Abby, a former recruiter. “These days, almost every recruiter uses LinkedIn to do background research. That means that your dates of employment, dates of graduation, and job titles listed on your profile MUST match your resume exactly. If they do not match, you may have difficulty passing the background check once you receive an offer because a core value of many of the companies that you are applying for is integrity.”

  • Great outline of the various parts of your LinkedIn profile that can help with SEO. I agree with Romona that you shouldn’t fudge your title, unless of course you are self-employed and can then give yourself any title that you want. It’s better to work the keywords into your description for that position.

    You can also work to increase your keyword use by asking for specific recommendations from your connections. For example, when you send a recommendation request, ask for them to comment on the “xyz project” that you worked on together. Here there’s a better chance that the person recommending you will use the keywords that you are looking for.

  • Some handy tips Richard. LinkedIn is definitely getting more user friendly. Thanks for sharing on

  • Some good tips, however I think the article title doesn’t give itself credit. “Sneakiest” conveys gaming the system, rather these are best practices for anyone who can walk the walk, but needs to optimize and manage LinkedIn better to leverage one’s expertise and value. I’ll add that you don’t have to fudge your title, but treat job descriptions as a rich SEO title tag construct: job title | function keyword A | function keyword B. Agree that optimizing requires a holistic approach. It will be interesting to see how Endorsements play into SEO rankings, but best to keep on top of where LinkedIn is picking up the search terms by doing your own people/keyword search testing analysis.

  • Nice advice, Richard.

    Another thing I’ve found really helpful is taking advantage of that Publications section. Whether it’s an article you’ve done in the past, or a webinar you’ve participated in, do list it, including a detailed description of it. It helps too!

  • Hi Richard,
    These are some great pieces of advice, but I’m not sure sneaky is the right word. They are great solutions for boosting the SEO of your LinkedIn profile and getting more views. Thanks to Glen Craig for sharing this post with the BizSugar community.

  • Ti Roberts says:

    These are some great tips. I rarely ever use LinkedIn although I know it can be great for making connections, building relationships and bringing in more business. LinkedIn is a platform I can’t seem to really get into. I may attempt to delve deeper into it’s inner workings sometime soon. Thanks for sharing this with us on BizSugar.


  • Andrew Kelly says:

    When you say that “if you have no connections, you will not be found,” does it mean that we should add unknown people as well? I get a lot of unknown people adding me on Linkedin and I really don’t like it. They don’t have to talk to me about anything or ask me anything; they just keep adding people aimlessly.

  • Ubaid says:

    You can also create a free linkedin custom short url here, Lnked.In . its customizable, and free

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