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SEO & Social Media Part 4 : Optimising LinkedIn Profiles

Written by Simply Zesty on

In the fourth instalment of our SEO and social media guide, we take a look at optimizing LinkedIn for search. There are many assets within LinkedIn that need to be well optimized to help ensure you get found and grow connections, across profiles, groups and company pages. In this guide we're focusing on LinkedIn profiles as there's a lot to take in and get right! I've put together a selection of the best tips to get you started and ensure you adhere to best practice for SEO.

Take part in Q+As from relevant people

Every time you take part in a Q+A on LinkedIn, it will create an internal link back to your profile, which is important for the search engine ranking of your profile both within LinkedIn and also through external search. As the search engines will be visiting the Q+A page first, and then going through to your profile via the link, you want to ensure there is continuity in the keywords and content. So try and seek out the discussions that are relevant to you, and also include keywords within your answer that also correlate to the keywords that are on your profile page.

Choose your profile name carefully

LinkedIn gives you the option to create a custom or 'vanity' url for your profile, which every member should take advantage of, as a chance to place a keyword within their profile, in an influential place on the Page. You can do this by clicking on 'edit profile' along the top right hand side, and then clicking within the summary box of your public profile information :

Along the right hand side you will then see the option to customise your profile url.

When you're setting your profile url, you might want to think about adding in your brand name/keyword in here. Since LinkedIn doesn't give you the option to create custom urls for company pages, it's a good way of introducing your brand name as a high-ranking keyword, provided you make sure to continue using this keyword throughout your profile content, so you're letting Google know it's relevant.

Don't change your profile url too often

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn gives you the option to change your customised profile url at any time. While it may seem tempting to do this often to try out new keywords, this could potentially be damaging to the SEO of your Page. You're essentially telling Google (and other search engines) that they're now dealing with a completely new Page and you will lose some of the SEO goodness you've built up. It will also mean that if you have links to your profile on other sites, these will now be broken and people won't be able to find your profile.

Job Title is your meta description

You are able to influence the meta detail within your profile, as the meta description for LinkedIn is your name, job title, industry and location. This can be seen below, by looking at the source code within a profile page :

Importantly, these are all aspects that you can control within your profile. If you think the industry for example isn't the best representation, you can change this even after you've set your profile up, by clicking on 'edit profile' then editing the basic information :

If you're changing this, again try not to change it too often as you're changing the indexed content that Google has for your Page. If you have changed either the job title or industry, try and make sure that these keywords are repeated as often as possible throughout the profile, so that Google will recognise consistency when re-visiting the profile.

Complete your specialties

You should be sure to take advantage of every area within your profile that LinkedIn gives you. Last year they introduced 'specialties' onto personal profiles, which gives you a really easy way of building out the content (and most importantly keywords) on your Page. You can access this along the right hand side of your Page and then click on 'edit' to access it :

When you're putting your keywords in here, try and make sure there is consistency with the other content on your profile. So try and include keywords that are also featured in your job title or previous work experience, to ensure that Google can recognise consistency throughout the keywords on your profile.

Keywords in your job title

This is an important tip for internal search within LinkedIn. When you run a search on people, the name and job title is the only piece of information that's pulled into the search results :

It's important to put your keywords in here that will help people when searching, but will also help LinkedIn when it comes to ranking you in search results. If you can include a keyword outside of the direct job title itself, try and do this. So for example don't just put 'Account Manager' but put 'Account Manager - Online PR & Social Media'. The same also applies for your search listing within Google. Here, just your name and current job title are pulled in, so make sure you have your keywords in here :

Link out to your blog posts

As with any other website, Google will like pages on LinkedIn that link out to other websites. While you can do this through adding web links, a good way to do this frequently is by adding in a blog feed to your profile. This way, every time you publish a blog post, not only will it generate new content for your profile page, but it will provide another link back to your website. And as these links will be consistently going to the same url, it's even better in terms of SEO. To add a blog feed to your profile, you need to go the 'Applications' screen when you edit your profile. This can be found towards the bottom of your profile. Click on 'add an application' then go to the Blog Link app :

This will then pull in your latest blog posts, which will be featured on your profile :

Add anchor text to links

When you create links on your LinkedIn profile, you have the option to add in anchor text here. Make sure you spend a bit of time to get the keywords right here, to make the most of this opportunity. It's unusual to get the chance to use anchor text on a social network profile! Think about anchor text that matches the content you're linking to, as well as the keyword that you would like linked on your profile. To add anchor text, go to 'edit profile' and then click on the websites that you want to add. Now LinkedIn provides a dropdown here that enables you to select which category this link falls into, you don't set the anchor text here. Instead of choosing one of their categories, select 'other'. When you click this, you have the option to add the anchor text :

Join relevant groups

When you join a group on LinkedIn, it adds another keyword and also another link that is valuable for SEO. While you should obviously join groups based on whether you're genuinely interested in them, it's also a good idea to have one eye on the SEO of your profile. As it adds both a link and a keyword, you should try and make sure that this correlates to the rest of the content on your profile, so you give the search engines every chance of recognising consistency throughout your profile. This is also important given that Google will access the public content of the group to ensure there is consistency from sit to site. So if you're actively joining a lot of relevant groups, it will greatly benefit the SEO of your profile.

Syndicate your updates to Twitter

Another way of generating additional content on your LinkedIn profile and including links out to other sites, is to syndicate your LinkedIn updates to Twitter. If you're doing this, bear in mind the impact of the content on your Twitter followers. So keep updates short and relevant, so that content isn't missed off. To synch your LinkedIn updates to your Twitter profile, firstly add your Twitter account within the settings under 'edit profile'. Then when you go to update your LinkedIn account, tick the box to post to Twitter and this will be done :

That does the job of adding your updates to Twitter, and to get your Twitter updates on your LinkedIn profile, simply add #in when you write the Twitter update, providing you've already synched your accounts.

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