LinkedIn is slowly introducing more and more options that can be optimized and help users improve their profiles for LinkedIn search. The site will even tell you, with its new How You Rank feature, the percentile you're in when it comes to views in your industry. This essentially means you can see if you're in the top 5 percent of views versus the top 50 percent, and you can see changes to this number in real time. For many, the number isn't what they had hoped (especially if you're looking for a new job). This means optimization attention is on the rise, and it's time to SEO your LinkedIn account.
Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Account for Better Visibility
Many of the LinkedIn optimization options are changing and becoming more advanced, so even if you went through and tweaked your profile a few years ago, it's a good idea to give it a second look. Here are a few tips:
- Use the publisher option.
The publisher option is fairly new and allows you to post articles directly to LinkedIn. This not only helps you show your expertise, but it gives the LinkedIn bots more content and information to work with. It also shows you're active, and helps your name and face show up in the news feeds of your followers.
In an article on Search Engine Watch, Amanda DiSilvestro writes about how the publisher option works and how to cater your content to LinkedIn. In short, all you have to do is visit your homepage and click the little pencil icon, which will be below your photo. You can then copy and paste and publish, and check metrics for the post once it's live. The post will show up in your connections' news feeds as well as be on your LinkedIn profile page, under the Posts section.
- Fill out all of the information, and use keywords as often as possible.
This is often the only point that is made when it comes to answering questions about LinkedIn optimization. You have to make sure everything is filled out on your profile and detailed using keywords. This includes your description, experiences, special projects, and even down to extra features such as volunteer history and causes you care about.
- Use standard job titles.
Piggybacking on the last point, sometimes people will create job titles for themselves to show personality or that they are a jack-of-all-trades. But "Editor/ Writer," for example, is not a job title that LinkedIn is really searching. A LinkedIn article gave an example of a fun job title, "Chief Janitor," which is also not something that will get your profile viewed. This might be more fun or more accurate, but the more standard you can be here the better. In a sense, using standard job titles is part of optimizing using keywords.
- Promote your LinkedIn profile elsewhere on the Web.
Part of SEO-ing a LinkedIn profile is getting it a little bit of publicity. You should put a link to your profile in your email signature as well as on other social networking accounts so you can start creating inbound links. If you ever publisher something interesting on LinkedIn, you can link back to that post on your Facebook profile. You have to be careful mixing social audiences, but as long as you're sharing something relevant, this is a great way to give your profile a little extra visibility, hopefully form some new connections, and maybe even build links.
- Continue to collect endorsements.
It's tough to say whether endorsements will affect your rankings, but they will help increase the value of your profile and help you stay connected to your network. Some assume that the new LinkedIn How You Rank means that the site is moving toward popularity-based rankings, and endorsements are easily a part of that. It's always good to be prepared, just in case!
You can collect endorsements by endorsing other people or asking some of your closest connections. It also helps to focus on the skills you add in your endorsement section and to make sure they are detailed and accurate.
- Customize your anchor text links.
You may have noticed that your LinkedIn profile can have up to three links, including company website and blog. What most people don't realize, however, is that you can actually change the anchor text to something more descriptive. All you have to do is select the Other option.
- Make sure your public profile is visible.
It sounds obvious, but make sure your public profile is actually visible. In other words, you may think that you're posting things publicly (because after all, it's called a Public Profile), but this isn't always the case. Scroll over your account name, click Settings, click Edit Your Public Profile, and then make sure that the box next to Make My Public Profile Visible to Everyone is checked.