Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 3.02.22 PMEvery day I go in and look at who has viewed my LinkedIn Profile. I can’t help it. It’s information I have to know. Whois this person? Why are they looking at me? Do I know them? How did they find me?

It’s a little like a game to me in some ways—I can’t help myself—but beyond the thrill of seeing who thought I was interesting enough to look at, there are other reasons to actually care about who looks at your LinkedIn Profile.

Why would someone be looking at your LinkedIn Profile?

If you are a job seeker, and currently interviewing, it’s a good sign to see someone from a company you are interested in on your profile. If you just had coffee or a meeting with a prospect and they viewed your profile, you made an impression and you have good reason to follow up.

LinkedIn has recently changed what you see when you click on Who’s Viewed My Profile, so now you can look at the information as “analytics,” and create goals based on those analytics.

How did these people find you? Did they search for you by your company name, your last name, or a keyword in your profile? Now you can tell. If you’re getting a lot of searches by keyword (or none at all) that might be an area to focus on to increase how often you come up in searches.

Where are the viewers located? Remember you may be able to do business with people around the world through LinkedIn. I have three people in New York who have viewed my profile even though we are located in the Baltimore area. New opportunities are always a good thing.

The last area of interest is “Industries of your viewers.” If you are trying to build your network in a specific way, you can find opportunities or holes here.

Sometimes, you can find an opportunity by being on the wrong person’s profile, and you never know where that can lead. Colleen clicked on the wrong profile one day by mistake. That person contacted Colleen after he read what she did for a living and asked her for help! Always be dressed and ready, you never know when someone may put you in the game.

One of the reasons why I view people’s profiles is to look for information. When I am helping someone in a certain industry, the first thing I want to do is learn about what their competitors are doing on LinkedIn, how they look, what they are promoting and what key words they are using. It’s really a great tool, and an easy way to make sure we are staying ahead of the game.

We also look for how people and companies are using any new LinkedIn features. Video is big right now— it adds another level of interest and gives people a reason to stay on your profile for a few more seconds.

So today I looked at who viewed my profile. There are six new people: one current client, one person from my past job (anonymous but company identified), two people I don’t know but are second-level connections, and two completely anonymous people. The client and the person from my past job probably viewed my profile because they are interested in what I do, specifically.

The second level connections are interesting. I will check those people out and see how I am connected to them, and maybe even reach out to them. I might reach out to our common connections and get a feel for who those people are and how we might have common interests. I might have only been mentioned in passing conversation, or they may need some LinkedIn coaching.

A few months ago, I changed my settings so that I am anonymous when I view people’s profiles because I am in and out of so many during a day. This is something you might want to consider if you are job hunting.

Like me, the other 2 people who viewed me this week were Anonymous. I know why I am anonymous when I go searching into people profiles but why are they? There’s no way to know, really, and that’s the interesting part!

There is no getting around it, no matter how much I upgrade my account I will never be able to tell who they are. You have to assume that anytime someone clicks on your profile, it’s an opportunity, even if you don’t know who that person is right now. If he or she is interested in you and what you do, they’ll reach out. And tomorrow when I check to see who viewed my profile, who knows who I’ll find?