How to Search Engine Optimize your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a combination of a social networking and marketing tool for individuals and organizations alike. In fact, it is one of the best and most powerful tools for the individual which is why it is vital to get it right on LinkedIn. Here are tips on how to search engine optimize (SEO) your LinkedIn profile.

Open Sesame

The purpose of this blog is not to teach you to create a profile – you will have to learn that elsewhere. The purpose is to teach you how to market your profile. So, assuming you know how to create your profile, the next thing you need to do is click on your privacy settings and set it to ‘public’. Unless you set your profile to public, the search engines will not find your profile and if they don’t then neither will prospective customers or employers or any of your target audience.

Customize your LinkedIn URL

By default, LinkedIn assigns each profile a generic URL. This URL is not search engine optimized. You should customize your assigned URL and make it market-friendly. Here are a few tips to Search Engine Optimizing your LinkedIn URL.

If you are looking for job: [Name] – [Designation]. So this might look something like James Ricardo – Robotics Programmer or K Allen – Radiographer or Ambuja Cement – Cement Manufacturers India. When you look at these examples, you can see how it will help prospective customers or employers or employees locate you.

Content is King

When you search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile, you need to understand that Search engines thrive on content. The more the content, the more the search engines can figure where to place your profile, i.e. the page ranking. It is therefore a good idea to always fill in the details. Be descriptive without the fluff (after all your profile will be read by humans too). If you have blogged with some degree of success, or have a website, you should include a URL to your blogs or website as well. Cross promotion always helps provided of course, the blog is authored in your own name and the website promotes you or your organization. Unless you’ve kept them official, avoid linking to your Facebook, Twitter or other social networking profiles.

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You cannot search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile without keywords. In the examples mentioned above, the keywords for James Ricardo would be the current designation and designation sought, the various post-grad qualifications, year of experience and so on. The keywords are words that will be used by prospective employers to search for prospective recruits. Although I’ve said that your name should be a part of your LinkedIn URL, prospective employers will not be searching for prospective new recruits by name so your name is not a keyword. Its use in the LinkedIn URL is to make it easier for prospective employers to identify individual URL.

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Finally, remember that keywords become keywords only when they are used three or four times in your profile content.

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