Get Found on LinkedIn
LinkedIn 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.”
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