Tuesday, 15 January 2013

LinkedIn and SEO – Why you Should Optimise your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Profile Page
LinkedIn and SEO go hand in hand, although you may not think it.  There are two types of profile on LinkedIn, and both exist in various degrees – there’s the fully optimised LinkedIn profile which not only gives a lot of information about the person concerned – and let’s not forget that for the moment LinkedIn is still predominantly about people and connections – and there’s the sparse, barely completed profile, with or without a picture, with little information and no attempt whatsoever to optimise for search.

In the case of LinkedIn optimisation really has two meanings, the first refers to making your LinkedIn profile more visible in search.  After all, if you’re a freelance web designer why wouldn’t you put that in your headline, after having done your research and discovered that there are lots of searches for freelance web designers? (and more about using the keyword tool tomorrow).

The second meaning of optimising your profile on LinkedIn is the more traditional one, that of making it as strong as possible so that it can work for you within the network.  There are far too many pictureless, sparsely worded profiles from those who either can’t be bothered, imagine that people will want to connect with them regardless (and why would they?) or simply don’t know how to make it work for them.

Complete your profile with in-depth information about yourself.  Keep it interesting, well written and succinct and please please include a pic.  No-one should sign up to you if you’re in effect trying to hide.  A logo doesn’t do it either.  LinkedIn is about you and what you have accomplished.  Period.
Back to LinkedIn and SEO for search.  Using the keyword tool (or some other tool to find out what people are searching for) should become part and parcel of what you do every day, as optimisation becomes more and more essential.  There’s no point in guessing what people are searching for when it’s so easy to actually find the facts and figures. 

Create a headline that includes what you do, couched in a searchable word or phrase and then use that word or phrase throughout your profile build-up.  You’re much more likely to be found that way, and after all, what’s the point of being on LinkedIn if not one trots up to say hi?  Not much.

Another way to optimise your LinkedIn profile, and add more SEO strength, is to include proper anchor text when linking to your website or blog.  To do this take the following steps:
Click through to ‘Edit Contact Info’ in Edit your Profile mode.  You will see your websites and blog listed, usually with the prefix - ‘My Website’, or ‘My Blog’.

Click on the edit icon beside your top website.

Click on ‘Other’ in the drop down menu, and you will that an extra box appears – here you can add the actual name of your website, plus a relevant keyword or phrase to go with it.  Two pieces of anchor text for the price of one.  If you look at my profile page image at the top of this post you will see how this works.

Also don’t forget to make sure that you have your unique LinkedIn profile URL.  Click through to this post to find out how.

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