Being found on Linkedin® is a key piece of making sure your profile is optimized and working for you. In my last blog post I explained how being relevant on Linkedin® helps to boost your profile when searched. I also shared 4 strategies for making your Linkedin® profile more relevant.
In this post I want to follow up with a few SEO-specific tricks you can apply to ensure your profile is appearing in the right search results.
Here are 9 SEO hacks for your Linkedin® profile that will optimize your presence and have your profile working for you:
1. Include a Profile Photo
Linkedin® profiles that are complete have better SEO ranking than those that are incomplete. Having a complete profile includes adding a profile photo. Without a photo, your profile will rank poorly and quickly drop to the bottom of the list of search results.
2. Add Credentials to Your Name
There are a few profile parts that rank higher than others and the name is one of those such parts. Consider adding your credentials or certifications after your last name to help increase your chances of being found when credentials are searched. If you’re viewing my Linkedin® profile, you’ll notice my name is “Noelle Gross, MBA” (instead of just Noelle Gross).
3. Headline With Similar Titles
The headline is another profile part that ranks keywords higher than others and is a great place to create a stellar first impression with carefully selected strong keywords. If you have a pretty standard title or level, consider communicating the title in multiple ways. For example if you’re an IT Executive, consider also including keywords: CTO | VP | Senior Technology Leader. Since titles are far from standardized across companies, using a variety of ways to say the same thing ensures that you will be picked up if someone is searching for someone at your level. You have 120 characters available and should use all 120.
4. Customized Links & Anchor Text
Linkedin® allows you to add links to your other sites, profiles or blog in the Contact Info tab of your profile. Including links is a great SEO strategy but Linkedin® allows you to further strengthen that strategy by adding anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink). Search engines use anchor text description to determine the link’s relevancy to the page to which it’s linked.
When adding your website, instead of selecting the specific type of site from Linkedin’s® dropdown list, opt for “Other.” This will open up additional fields for you to add anchor text next to your website URL. Definitely select this option and use a description like: “My company blog.”
5. Claim Your Custom URL
Another important link that affects your SEO on Linkedin® as well as a Google is your custom or vanity URL. Located directly beneath your profile picture you’ll see a link: www.linkedin/in/noellegross. Every Linkedin® user is assigned a URL which they can choose to customize. If you have not customized your link, do so using in your Linkedin® settings and select “Edit your public profile.” This will take you to profile page where you can claim or edit your custom URL on the (see top right side of page). If you have a common name and that URL is no longer available, try adding your title to your name (ie. /in/noellegrosscareercoach).
6. Include Companies and Standardized Titles
Within the Experience section of your profile, the company names and job titles are amongst those high-ranking profile parts. Take time to complete your experience in full. I share a bit more about the importance of standardizing titles in my last blog post but basically, think about what you would search for if you were searching for someone like you. If your title is ultra-creative and unique, it’s unlikely to appear in most searches since most people don’t get too creative where searching is concerned.[wpcb id=”18″ text=”Click Here for a Free PDF download of this post.” style=”black_flat”]
7. Add Strategic Keyword Parts
If you haven’t picked up on it by now, SEO is heavily driven by keywords. Your search results are only going to be as strong as the words you use to do your search. Therefore you’ll want to have a very keen sense of the words that are critical for your industry, role and career goals. Once you have your list of words, be sure to include throughout the Summary section of your Linkedin® profile. The summary allows for roughly 2000 characters and I would recommend taking full advantage of maxing out your characters. Repeating the same keywords too often could serve to harm you so try to think of secondary terms or other synonyms or tenses that help to communicate the same thing in a variety of ways. For example I might include a list of word variations: “resume, resume writing, resume writer, professional brand coaching, branding coach.”
8. Name Misspellings
This is a neat trick especially if you have a name that is commonly misspelled. (For some reason I get a lot of “Nicoles” or “Grass” instead of “Noelle Gross.” If you are hoping to be found by name but have a name that will likely be misspelled, include all possible misspellings somewhere in your profile. This will ensure that you are found even when someone types the wrong version of your name into the search box and could make the difference from you being found or not. Keep in mind that most users have a short attention span when it comes to internet search so without your common name misspellings, you risk someone giving up their search for you, when they type the wrong name and fail to find you on the first try. Check out my profile summary to see how it’s done. (And connect to me while you’re there)!
9. Skills & Endorsements
Skills is another one of those parts that must be in tact to merit “complete profile” status but it’s also a profile part that ranks higher than others (similar to Name and Headline). While Linkedin® only requires 3 skills to complete your profile, it allows up to 50 skills to be added. You’ll want to max this out with all 50 skills as it will only serve to enhance your SEO.
When in doubt, remember that the more complete a profile, the better for SEO so aim for 100% complete and you’ll be in good shape. So go ahead and update your Linkedin® profile now while this is fresh in your mind. You’ll be glad you did!
If you found this helpful or have any SEO-boosting tips to add, leave me a comment below!