LinkedIn’s internal search engines weigh your keywords heavily in its searches. Make sure you place your most important search or keywords and phrases strategically throughout your profile.
1 Keywords and phrases
Use words and phrases that people in your target markets might search for to find someone with your background, experience, and field of expertise.
Need help with keywords?
• Visit Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool and create a free account for easy tracking.
• Visit LinkedIn profiles of people in your field to discover what keywords they are using.
• Measure a profile’s success by checking its Google PageRank.
But please remember sometimes it is best to think of optimizing your content for reader experience, not search engines (see number 3).
2 Areas of your profile covered in ‘Up Close and Personal’
Your Name and Company Name carry the most weight.
Next comes Professional Headline: You have 120 characters at the top of your profile to describe what you do to the world and grab their attention. Don’t just write your job title, list brief, descriptive, compelling key-words so the right professionals on LinkedIn can discover you. Separate these with | so they are easy to read.
Complete your personal URL
Customize your website listings
Include a link to your Twitter folk
Make your entire LinkedIn listing publicly visible to everyone
3 Area of your profile covered in ‘Top tips for creating an effective LinkedIn Summary’
Your Summary comes next: Again use key-words and phrases as much as possible without interrupting the flow; people may become irritated if you are obviously just adding stuff for SEO purposes.
Please don’t abuse LinkedIn’s good nature by ‘cheating’ the system. Just because someone is top of the search engine doesn’t mean they are the best – check out their page and look for elements of bad practice.
Go down the list until you find someone who is genuinely up at the top because of what they do.
To give you an example – type ‘social media’ into the People search box and this is what you get.
If you then open the number one person on the list who specialises in social media on LinkedIn, you will find a classic example of poor practice to overtake the organic posts; the fact this lady has introduced this onto her page means I would instantly disregard her as a credible authority when this is her Summary
and this is her Experience.
However, if you investigate the number two profile, Steve U has used the term ‘social media’ only six times throughout his whole page, which means he is using LinkedIn SEO to its best effect, which you would expect as he is a specialist in this field.
“We set up and maintain profiles, sites, and “Fan Pages” where people can find you, follow you, and like you. We generate campaigns and content to motivate your prospects to want to find you.”
4 Other areas of your Profile in rank order of SEO value
Specialties fields: (500 characters): Simply list keywords related to who you are and what you do.
Skills Section: Keywords in this area rank highly and you can select up to 50, but again make sure they are credible.
Recommendations: Again this area ranks highly and you no longer require three recommendations to have a complete profile, but a good measure is between 10 to 15 and only display those which hold real value. Ask for recommendations from thought leaders in your field, former employees, and well-known clients who you know will provide an evaluation of substance. The jury is still out for me on the latest introduction of Endorsements as I’ve yet to see their real worth; genuine recommendations hold true value.
Job History: If you are experienced, list and elaborate on only the main jobs held. Younger users should include any voluntary, temporary, charity work they have undertaken to illustrate that they have been active when not in paid employment.
Education: (Include any Activities and Societies)
Title Fields: (100 characters)
Experience: (1000 characters) Ensure you put all your keywords appropriately in the title section for each role you have held. Experience is a great place to list your positives, different companies you have helped, seminars or workshops you have presented, a mini-image of your personal website. Use this section as the foundation for your Company Profile (covered in a future blog).
Interests: (1000 characters) Make sure you list some genuine interests. If someone is looking for these as a key word it could land them on your page.
Publications: Here you can enter any articles or books you have had published.
Applications: You can embed up to eight in your profile. Ones I recommend are:
• Blog Link or Word Press;
• Slideshare – free for up to 100 MB but have to go Pro for video;
• Box.net – To upload any type of file;
• Amazon Reading List – especially if you are an author or want to recommend books in your field of expertise.
Bonus Tip: Entering keywords into Contact Settings will not help SEO as this area does not appear in search results.