LinkedIn is a lot of different things to a lot of different users. Arguably the most powerful place to make connections with business owners, executives, decision makers, recruiters, job seekers and the like. With more than 300 million users, many of whom are executives and decision makers, it is a very powerful but congested venue for building relationships and credibility. So how do you get noticed in this sea of possibility?
If you haven’t been on LinkedIn for a while you will see some serious changes in the profile area. Things like apps are pretty much gone. No longer can you show off your latest WordPress blog post or Amazon book collection. What you can do, however, is present different media items such as videos, docs, and PowerPoint’s in the summary and experience areas of your profile directly. Actually pretty cool. While the LinkedIn Profile change has impacted the design and user experience, it hasn’t necessarily impacted how you’re found on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Search Engine Optimization
Most users randomly build their profiles without a lot of attention to how they get found. LinkedIn has some areas that they use heavily when someone does a search. Let’s take a look at a couple of these areas in an effort to make your LinkedIn time well spent.
LinkedIn Headline: One of the most important areas to optimize on your LinkedIn profile is the headline. The headline field in SEO terms would be like the meta description section of your website. Here’s a couple of tweaks that should get you on the right track. Get rid of the traditional job title and put some credible keywords that define your abilities. I have multiple keywords in my title and so should you. Also, make sure you have a descent head-shot profile picture. This is not Facebook or twitter. It needs to be a professional shot.
Special Note: Google and LinkedIn Profiles tend to rank well. Make sure you have linked your profile to your websites and vice versa. Set your LinkedIn options to “Full View” so that Google can see your link(s) when crawling LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Summary: This is a great opportunity to add a ton of keywords, related terms, and longer, more descriptive keyword phrases. With that said… keep the content professional and meaningful.
In a study from ROI Research, 59 per cent of respondents say LinkedIn is their most important account on social networks.
LinkedIn Publishing: Getting published on linkedIn is a new powerful tool for the successful process of getting noticed. Once you receive your “pencil” you can add articles any time you want. These articles are then “advertised” to all your connections and can be shared throughout the social media world. Take a look at my latest article LinkedIn Publishing – What’s In It For You? for more information on getting published.
LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn has over half a million user groups. Groups that can be intellectually stimulating and tremendous resources. Groups that are most likely not focused on hiring. These memberships and the total number of first degree connections play a big part in determining your being noticed in LinkedIn search results. The closer your connection is to the searcher, the higher up you will find yourself if they use the filter option to sort by relationship. I recommend highly that you join as many pertinent groups that you can, connect with some LinkedIn Open Networkers, and start a group of your own.
Here is a great example of the social connection power and interaction of LinkedIn Groups. My profile views went up sky high and so did my credibility with this one discussion. Of course I have many more just like this.
Caution: When someone gets an invite to connect, they have the option to say that they do not know you. If you get five of those against you, LinkedIn may kill your account! Check out my article on this topic: LinkedIn’s Dirty Little Secret
There are many more aspects to LinkedIn that would help in getting noticed. Recommendations and endorsements for example. Another article maybe? Anyways, If you’re in a sales position of any type LinkedIn is a must have tool and it needs to be done correctly and with purpose.Photos courtesy of 123RF