LinkedIn Profile Optimization for SEO

LinkedIn Profile Optimization for SEO


The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry is estimated to be valued at more than 15 billion dollars. Companies want to ensure that their websites and products are found when consumers or potential clients conduct searches on Google and other search engines.

Since LinkedIn has its own search engine and you’re using this social networking site to market your company and help your employees be found, you should invest time in optimizing your LinkedIn profile for successful SEO. LinkedIn provides plenty of opportunities to place keywords in your profile, but now it’s time to leverage this function to increase your firm’s LinkedIn SEO.

A primary aspect of inbound marketing on LinkedIn is making sure that you and your employees appear in any given LinkedIn people search by optimizing the keywords in their profiles. Just as Google changes its search algorithm regularly, the same is true for LinkedIn, and it is best not to think of any magic formula that will give you the top search results for any given keyword.

That said, LinkedIn is a real-time search engine, so by changing keywords in your profile, you can quickly test how you perform compared to the competition. But just like Google search results, your “competition” is a moving landscape, so it’s best not to dwell too long on this issue.

Is there a chance that LinkedIn could start penalizing people that stuff keywords in their profiles?
Will LinkedIn penalize profiles that are updated too often by not allowing them to appear in search results?
Both of these could potentially happen as LinkedIn matures, but it’s hard to say for sure.

With that in mind, I suggest you ensure that your main keywords appear in each of the following areas of your LinkedIn profile and move on:

- Headline;
- Summary;
- Specialties;
- Experience (at your current company).

You might want to consider creating a standard keyword-optimized description of your company that your employees can voluntarily use in their profiles to help them with their individual inbound marketing.

For those who are curious and want to achieve the very best results for any given keyword, my advice is to do a keyword search and take a look at where your preferred keywords appear in the profiles that appear in the top ten search results. This will also allow you to see how some professionals “dupe” the LinkedIn search engine by using the following tactics:

• Including the keyword as part of your name;
• Including the keyword multiple times in your headline;
• Including the keyword in your LinkedIn profile’s URL;
• Having the keyword in your integrated Twitter account;
• Repeating the keyword multiple times in your summary and specialties sections;
• Repeating the keyword as part of your title as well as in your descriptions for multiple companies at which you presently work;
• Repeating the keyword as part of your title as well as in your descriptions for companies for which you have previously worked;
• Including keywords in sections such as interests, honors and awards, groups and associations, and education.

This list is not meant to guarantee you any given search result, but if you want to experiment with keyword optimization, the above should provide you with a lead on where keywords seem to have search algorithm value.

While prudent use of keywords can help improve your SEO and strengthen your professional brand, using it in your name and awkwardly repeating the same phrase can potentially damage your branding. When emphasizing the SEO of your LinkedIn profile, tread carefully.



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