With 500 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn is the most extensive professional network and among the best social media platforms to highlight your skills, discover opportunities and strengthen your business’s online reputation.
You are probably asking yourself, “With so many users, how can I make my LinkedIn presence stand out?” As with any online social network, website or blog, SEO strategies are essential.
LinkedIn is a unique entity, and SEO methods that work on your website or blog may not be as effective. Not to worry. Here are eight proven SEO tips you can use to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
1. Complete Your Profile: Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But take a look at your LinkedIn Profile. Are there blank areas? Take advantage of every section available from company description to honors and awards. Include relevant keywords to describe what your company does.
2. Add Photos: Have you added images? For example, look at this LBF Travel profile. Notice the logo and industry-related cover image. Users with profile photos get 21 times more views and receive messages 36 times more often than users without a profile or cover image.
Your company logo appears in member search results for your company as well as when users come across employee profiles. Follow LinkedIn’s recommended image specifications to achieve the highest quality images on a variety of screen sizes, from phones to widescreen monitors.
3. Write a Keyword-Rich Description: The LinkedIn profile description is a valuable SEO tool. Remember that Google search result previews show 156 characters so use relevant keywords in the first portion of your description.
Emphasize what your business does, specific expertise and industry focus. Be selective, however, focusing on your main offerings and functions. Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, to determine your industry’s top search queries. The goal is to write a description that makes users click on your profile link to learn more.
4. Use Keyword Anchor Text for Links: LinkedIn’s Contact Info section allows you to list three links. Default choices include company website and blog categories. But, you don’t have to use those. In fact, you can better optimize for SEO by clicking on “Other” in the drop-down.
If you want to link to your blog or website, you can use a keyword-rich title instead of boring old “company website” or “blog.” For example, if your business offers travel related services, you can use a title such as “Our Travel Tips and News Blog” or something similar. And while you’re at it, claim your vanity URL. Vanity URLs make it easier to find your page and look more professional than the LinkedIn assigned web address.
5. Connect Four—and More: One of the unique features of LinkedIn is its professional networking capabilities. Aggressively expand your network. Connect with related non-competing businesses. Engage and reach out to increase followers. Connect with employee profiles. Ask for and give recommendations. The more you’re connected, the more exposure you receive.
6. Publish and Share Content: Publishing your own industry-related content not only gives you the opportunity to use keywords as part of your SEO plan but also serves to strengthen your online reputation and encourages readers to share your content. Sharing supporting content is critical as well. Providing new content, both original and shared, is a great way to keep users interested and coming back for more.
7. Loud and Proud: Ask for endorsements and reviews. Place a link to your website and blog for your LinkedIn profile. Promote your LinkedIn page on Facebook and Twitter. Add a link to your profile page in your email signature. Join related LinkedIn Groups. Now is no time to be shy.
8. Update and Improve: Things change, times change. Employees move on, new employees come on board. Your company may add services or expand. One thing is certain: static information is never right when it comes to SEO. It’s vital to keep LinkedIn updated with accurate information and timely new content. Building a compelling profile is always a work in progress. Evaluate results of time and experiment with different strategies.
Pointer: Keyword use is an absolute necessity but avoids keyword stuffing. Repeating the same keywords and phrases over and over again will only hurt your SEO efforts. Use keywords, of course, but only when they make sense and fit the content flow.