Your LinkedIn profile is key in describing yourself to others. As a critical social media platform for job seekers and recruiters, LinkedIn networking focuses on your profile. Therefore, it is best to spend time to optimize it to improve your chances of being found for your next job, to connect with a colleague, or to broaden your brand.
If you have ever done a Google search on your name, you may have been surprised by the results. One item that you do want to appear at the top of the results is your LinkedIn profile. So just what can you do to make your profile more attractive to Google and other search engines? That is exactly what I want to describe to you right now.
1. Claim your vanity URL and ensure that your profile is made public
The first step is to get your vanity URL, personalized for your profile. The original setup in LinkedIn shows your LinkedIn page URL with your name and a group of numbers to identify that page. It has your name, but it is not distinctive. You might see linkedin.com/in/yourname/6/378/2b8 rather than linkedin.cin/in/yourname . LinkedIn allows you to claim
your name as part of the URL, but you have to get to it first before someone else does. If your name is already taken, you can add your middle initial or your location at the end to make it singularly yours.
To claim your name, go to “Edit Profile”, then at your Public Profile Name click the blue “Edit” just to the right of it. This takes you to a new page where “Your Current URL” appears on the right side of the page. Click on “Customize your public profile URL” to pick your name and complete the process of capturing your vanity URL so you can be found more easily by Google and the other search engines.
While you are on that page, look at “Customize Your Public Profile” on the right-hand side. Ensure that “Make my public profile visible to everyone" is picked. I would suggest that all of the items below that line should be picked, including your picture, to help you to be found during searches.
2. Control your message with the right Headline
Whenever you are seen across LinkedIn, whether in discussions, groups or such, your visitor will see your name, photo and headline.
Instead of showing “Manager at XYZ Company” or “Retired”, you could give a view of your skills and contributions. It could be “Account Executive Serving Growth Companies in Boston” or “Helping Companies Recruit and Retain through Branding”. Think about why should anyone contact you. You can use keywords to help in search results, but don’t over use them as you have 140 characters to work with. It is best to be simple and direct.
You should ensure that you have the right settings for your heading to enable your visitors to learn more about you. To do just that you can hover over the drop-down arrow near your name in the upper right hand corner to view the drop-down list. Then click on “Settings”. On the next page go to “Profile” tab, then under “Privacy Controls” to “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile”. Use the "Recommended" approach so your name and headline can be viewed. That gives your visitor a good, professional, keyword rich, short-hand view of you.
3. Customize your website and blog links
There are three (3) website links available to you in your LinkedIn profile. This allows you to have your visitors review sites that are associated with you and your brand. Your company site, your blog or a social media profile could be linked here. However, instead of using the default setting of “My Company”, change it to “Sales Account Firm in Boston” or such that includes keywords to help the search engines find you. Even if you have only one website, you can still use all three links to go back to that one site. Just use different descriptive phrases using your keywords for each link to increase your chances of being found by the search engines.
How to change the website description? Go to “Edit Profile”, then click the “Edit” next to the Website name. When the next page opens, select “Other” from the drop-down list, type in the name you want to display and insert the URL link to your site or blog. Do the same thing for the other two site identifiers. Save Changes and your are all set.
4. Collect keywords to increase opportunities to be found
The sections within your LinkedIn profile provide many occasions for you to place relevant keywords as you use the Summary, Job Description, Interests and Specialties fields. Yes, they should be used, but don’t overdo and stuff with keywords. Find the best ones to promote your message and locate them throughout these areas.
Our suggestion is not to use all of the characters space that is available in these sections. Organize your Summary and Specialties for an easy read for your visitor. It is better to keep your story tight by providing the essence of your skills, knowledge and experience, but provide the keywords to be able to be found.
Congratulations! Taking these steps will optimize your LinkedIn profile and increase your profile traffic. More traffic means a greater chance of finding that job, that new business, that new contact or the best person for an open position for your company. As you add new information, keep in mind that the right keywords will keep you ranking high by the search engines.
Let us know if you feel these tips have helped you on LinkedIn.
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