LinkedIn dominates the business world as one of the best tools to attract potential new clients to your business without the expense of sinking hard earned dollars into online advertising programs. A great way to get started with LinkedIn is to optimize your Linkedin profile. Make sure that your profile is as complete as possible. You’ll definitely want to summarize your accomplishments succinctly and highlight your achievements with powerful verbs such as “refined,” “enhanced,” “directed” and “excelled.” And don’t be that person; try to avoid clichés as much as possible.

Check Your LinkedIn Profile Strength

Did you know that LinkedIn keeps you informed about your overall profile strength? Just click on Profile and you’ll see on the right side how complete your profile is:

LinkedIn-Profile-Strength

Here are a few more profile optimization suggestions:

Headshot: Make sure to use a flattering headshot or picture that gives people a good idea about you. I often present at conferences and teach classes about digital marketing, so I’m using an image that shows me in action. People are way more likely to click on your profile if you sport an engaging and professional picture.

Headline: You absolutely need to make intelligent use of your headline. The default LinkedIn headline displays nothing more than your current job title and company name. If marketing yourself is your primary goal then that’s not sufficient. Include the keywords that are important for you and your business and add them in your headline. Stay away from keyword stuffing but instead use the keywords that best describe you or your company’s solutions.

Vanity URL: I’m still amazed by how many people don’t claim and customize their “Vanity” LinkedIn URL. Simply go into profile editing mode, find the Your public profile URL section and then customize your LinkedIn vanity URL like I did: www.linkedin.com/in/chrisraulf. This is a great way to brand yourself on LinkedIn and to make sure that nobody else can claim “your” URL on LinkedIn. I recently authored an article on this topic and invite you to click here to read this post.

Get Found in Online Searches: Use the Right Keywords

Possibly the most important tool to increase your readership is to choose your keywords carefully. Keywords allow search engines to bring your listing to the forefront, helping others to find your LinkedIn content. Similar to what you would do for your business website, you want to find the keywords that best match how your potential customers are finding you. The best way to get the right keywords in place, is by using Google’s Keyword Planner tool. You make a list of words that pertain to your specific business and use those words several times throughout your LinkedIn assets such as your personal profile and your LinkedIn company page. Make certain that these words are not used in a way that takes away from the flow of your content. Ultimately, you’ll want to write for humans and not for search engines. And remember, it’s quality keywords not the quantity of keywords used.

Social Media Examiner recently invited me to write an article entitled “How to Improve Your SEO With LinkedIn and SlideShare.” In this article, I share step-by-step instructions on how to use LinkedIn, and also SlideShare, as part of an overall search engine optimization strategy.

Network on LinkedIn to Increase Referral Traffic to Your Website

Networking with others can also help boost your search results. Most are surprised that just networking with a few former colleagues or friends can bring many additional readers to your website. Remember, all of your friends may have colleagues that have never heard of you before. This is an excellent way to get your name out there and to increase referral traffic from LinkedIn to your website.

LinkedIn Groups

Joining as many industry relevant groups as possible can also enhance your readership, bringing job offers as well as creating networks that are helpful. Many professionals love to help others with great advice that can save time and money. As of right now, you can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn; take advantage of this feature.

Conclusion

LinkedIn is a powerful business aid that can dramatically support your overall digital marketing and search engine optimization efforts. Help Google understand what you and your business are all about by interlinking your digital assets such as your website, blog and also your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. This helps Google and other search engines connect the dots and to serve your content in online searches.

The Recipe for Advanced Social Selling: rFactr and LinkedIn

There is no better combination than rFactr and LinkedIn. LikedIn provides great data hygiene and prospecting capabilities and rFactr’s SocialPort provides the best mechanism for marketing teams to get funnel stage content to their sales people to share and stay in front of prospects across social media. 80% of the marketing qualified leads get disqualified by sales become ready to buy in the next 12 months. rFactr is the only platform that allows sales people the ability to build relationships with prospects who are both ready to buy today, and nurture disqualified leads until they are ready to buy.

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Digital Marketing Training

I hope that these few tips inspired you to get more results from your LinkedIn efforts and to use this powerful social network to increase your online visibility. If you’d like to learn more about how to use LinkedIn to increase your business potential, join Julio Viskovich, a Forbes Top 30 Social Selling Thought Leader and VP of Marketing at rFactr, Josh Culver, Head of the Search Marketing Department for Carbon8, and me on June 25, 2015 in Denver for a full-day, hand-on digital marketing workshop.

Learn more and register at: www.boulderseomarketing.com/seo-and-social-media-classes.