Explaining SEO (search engine optimisation) to a non-tech person can be tricky. I’m not technical so I can’t really explain the in depth technicalities of it anyway! What I do know is that your LinkedIn profile needs to be optimised for search engines if you want to be found by people that don’t already know you – that’s all those recruiters, potential clients or business contacts that need your expertise. Having a keyword optimised profile can have a significant impact on your page views.
SEO with regard to LinkedIn can be defined (at a basic level) as the way(s) in which you can change your profile to affect its visibility. The higher your profile is ranked when someone searches, the more visits or views your profile is likely to receive.
To optimise your profile for SEO purposes, there are several things to consider. First and foremost, we need to consider how LinkedIn ‘ranks’. LinkedIn, like most ‘search engines’ uses proprietary algorithms to rank and order the results you receive when you search for people on the site – and these are not usually divulged. It generates relevance scores uniquely for each member, and even though a query will return the same results for everyone, the order is determined by various factors. This could include the profile content, user activity, connections, and relevance to the person searching but it is complicated. In short, there are many factors that can affect your SEO and ultimate ranking when someone searches for the skills and expertise you have. Some of these could include:
- The number of connections you have
- How complete your profile is
- The relevance of your job history
- The number and type of endorsements and recommendations you have
- The types and quantity of ‘keywords’ you have in your profile
- How relevant your general content is
10 tips to help your profile rank higher include:
1. Identify your keywords – these are the words that a recruiter looking for someone like you would use in their search. They can include job titles, skills, expertise, geographic area etc. but try to keep it simple and include only the most important keywords based on your specific skill set.
2. Complete your profile – fill out as many sections as you can with clear and concise information that includes the keywords identified. Try to leave as few sections as possible blank.
3. Change website links to ‘anchor text links’ – where you include a company or other website address, you can customise the ‘anchor’ or ‘search’ text to a title that makes sense. Anchor text is usually ranked highly by search engines – so your personal blog’s URL might be ‘http://www.xyz.com.au’ but you could change it to something more descriptive that contains your keywords.
4. Optimise your job titles – ensure they make sense and are optimised for the job that you did and the roles you are seeking. Including keywords in your job titles will assist. If your title doesn’t accurately reflect what you did, consider changing it so that it does.
5. Join relevant groups – and participate – this may improve your profile’s visibility, while also helping to expand your network with like minded individuals.
6. Invite people to connect – the more connections you have, the better your chance of being found – LinkedIn elevates results for connections based on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level connections. It therefore makes sense that the more people you are connected to, the wider your network and the better chance you have of being found.
7. Include detail under each job – again use your keywords to explain truthfully and accurately what you did and what you achieved. Consider using bullet points rather than paragraphs and format the text so it’s easy to read.
8. Change Your Public Profile URL – LinkedIn provides a way to change your URL to your name. Do this and it will be easier for people who know you to find you, and you can add it to your email signature, business cards and other marketing material without it looking too complex.
9. Ask for Recommendations – recommendations may help increase your ranking as well as helping potential recruiters or business partners evaluate the success and value you’ve created in past roles. Don’t be shy to ask colleagues, superiors, customers etc. for recommendations on work you have done in the past.
10. Include a Photo – make sure it is clear and high resolution and taken against a white or plain background – head and shoulders is fine in professional attire.
Follow these simple tips and start seeing your activity rise. LinkedIn provides a feature that enables you to discover who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days and also provides access to trends and insights on viewers. You can use this to monitor your success.
If you would like assistance from a professional LinkedIn Profile Writer to ensure your LinkedIn Profile is search engine optimised, click here for our LinkedIn Writing or Coaching Services.