One of the best ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd is by practicing some LinkedIn SEO.
Here are a few LinkedIn SEO tricks to get your profile ranking on the largest online professional network.
How to Rank in LinkedIn:
- Create a keyword-rich profile
- Create backlinks
- Publish posts and articles
- Complete your profile
- Participate in Groups
- Expand your network
- Name your images (and use them wisely!)
- Other LinkedIn SEO considerations
It’s important to apply SEO to your profile because LinkedIn is one of the top 5 sites that Google indexes regularly (the others being YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter).
Two things to think about here. (1) You want to get links from LinkedIn to your website to rank higher. (2) You want to get your profile ranking higher in LinkedIn.
1. Create a Keyword-Rich Profile
If you’ve been in digital marketing for any length of time, then you already know about the importance of creating keyword-rich titles and spreading keywords throughout your content.
You need to do the same thing with your LinkedIn profile.
For starters, make sure that your job title is using the keyword that people will likely use when they’re searching for the services you offer. For example, if you’re an expert in digital marketing make sure the phrase “digital marketing” appears in your job title.
Also, make sure that the keyword you use in your job title appears throughout your profile. If you’re a “content marketing expert,” then your work history should include the phrase “content marketing” (and variations of that phrase) repeatedly.
Be wary of keyword-stuffing in your profile, though. Apply the same “as much as possible without going over” principle to your LinkedIn profile that you apply to your usual content marketing efforts.
You should also include these keywords throughout your “Experience” section.
This section is, arguably, the most important part of your entire profile. But all too often, users treat it as a place to simply slap their resume. Use it, instead, to highlight major accomplishments and takeaways from each experience.
2. LinkedIn SEO: Create Backlinks
If you’re a digital marketer who’s done SEO for some of your clients’ websites, then you already know about the importance of using backlinks to help rank a page.
Once again: apply that principle to your LinkedIn profile page.
Begin by linking to your profile page from your own blog. That’s especially a great idea if your blog is on a domain with high domain authority (DA).
Also, look for opportunities to link back to your profile page when you guest-post on other people’s blogs. That’s usually pretty easy because most guest blog posts include a brief biography of the author. Just use that author bio to link back to your LinkedIn profile.
This will do a couple things.
- Rank your LinkedIn profile higher in Google (resulting in more views, endorsements and activity)
- Based on the extra views and interaction your profile gets, allow you to increase your LinkedIn profile score
- Result in your LinkedIn profile ranking higher
3. Publish Some Posts
One of the best LinkedIn SEO tips you can follow is to apply content marketing to your LinkedIn profile. Do that by publishing posts relevant to your niche.
To publish a post, just launch the site, and a “start a post” section will appear at the very top of the homepage.
Alternatively, you have the option to write an article. This a great place to put a blog you’ve written (or part of one) and link back to your website.
If you’re still asking, “How can I improve my LinkedIn profile?” keep in mind that LinkedIn is an excellent place to repurpose content. If you’ve got a great post on your blog that’s fallen back to page 17 but still offers valuable insight, include a synopsis of that post on LinkedIn and link back to it. Also, consider doing the reverse: post some great content on LinkedIn and link to it from your blog. LinkedIn has very high domain authority, so you can get a post ranking quicker and faster than your site (unless you have an authoritative site).
Remember, though: avoid duplicating content between LinkedIn and your own blog. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Don’t publish the exact same thing in both places.
Finally, here are some suggestions for content on LinkedIn:
- Case Studies – Brag a little bit. Share how your product or service helped a business improve productivity or boost its bottom line.
- Industry News/Research – Position yourself as an expert in your domain by showing off what you know about the industry. People who are impressed might become lifelong customers.
- Listicles – Make your content scannable by formatting it into a list. People can zip through your article easily without forcing themselves to extract just the info that they find relevant.
- How-to Guides – Once again, demonstrate expertise in your space by sharing your knowledge about how to make something happen. Just be sure that the content is relevant to people in your target market.
- Quick Tips – Post a hit-and-run tidbit of advice that people can comprehend in just a few moments.
- Video – Now that LinkedIn supports video, you should post video content. If you’ve got some cash to throw around, create a cute “explainer” video that’s both informative and enjoyable. If you’re on a budget, just film yourself in front of a whiteboard explaining something that people in your market will appreciate.
4. LinkedIn SEO: Finish Your Profile
Give people as many reasons as possible to find you on LinkedIn. You can do that by completing your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that your work history is complete and that you’ve filled out all relevant sections, listed your certifications and education, and secured endorsements and recommendations.
5. Participate in Groups
LinkedIn is a social media network. Use it to be social and network with others.
One of the best ways to do that is to join groups of people who are like-minded and spend time rubbing virtual shoulders with them. You’ll boost your personal brand while participating in discussions you enjoy. That’s a win-win.
6. Expand Your Network As Much As Possible
LinkedIn has its own search engine. One of the “ranking signals” it uses is the number of connections a person has.
According to Rick Stomphorst, LinkedIn search results “elevate results for connections within a network (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, groups).” That’s why, according to him, you need to “be connected to as many people as possible.”
7. Name Your Picture and Images
Google searches images just as it searches content. That’s why the images you upload to LinkedIn should include a name that will get you discovered online.
Instead of giving your profile photo your own name, label it with your job description. For example, instead of naming it “John Smith,” name it “Award-Winning Content Marketing”.
People who view your profile won’t see the title, but it will show up in searches. That will give you more exposure.
Now before you go running off and doing this take a moment to consider your personal brand too. For example, in my case there are a few different people named John Lincoln who have a prominence online. I wish them all the best, but when you Google “John Lincoln” I would prefer most the results return information about me.
Because of this, I have optimized a few things for my name, my LinkedIn page being one of them. So in the case of the picture, and the profile I general, I just care about showing up for John Lincoln. So I name the file name accordingly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want your profile to be engaging. Put up a professional photo, and consider creating a catchy header image in the background. Much like Facebook, you have the option of (somewhat) customizing the look, so add in a photo that represents who you are and what you do.
Other Things to Consider for LinkedIn SEO
While we’ve covered most of the basics of LinkedIn SEO, there are other measures you can take to make sure your profile ranks as high as possible.
Here are a few more to get you started:
- Get as many endorsements as you can
- Get as many recommendations as possible
- Keep in mind you are searchable by company, so if you list a company people will find you. For example, I list that I write for Inc. magazine and people reach out to me on this all the time.
- Add keywords into your profile if you want to rank for a term (but only where it makes sense)
- Add honors and awards and publications
- Get endorsements for skills (the more you endorse others, the more they will endorse you)
Wrapping LinkedIn SEO
LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with potential clients online. It gives you the opportunity to network without taking too much time out of your schedule.
If you haven’t already done so, apply some LinkedIn SEO principles to your profile so that you’re more likely to get noticed. Figure out what you want to be ranked for and use this guide to make it happen.