A question I get commonly asked by clients is should they be using LinkedIn and is there any SEO value in creating a profile? Well the answer to both is almost always yes, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to write up my top tips.
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LinkedIn in my opinion, is one of the few social media websites every professional should be using. There are many advantages to using LinkedIn, as listed by Guy Kawasaki. Plus unlike many sites where it can be time-consuming to build up and maintain a popular profile, LinkedIn requires far less effort. You can obviously use it more frequently if you’d like, but it’s not as necessary as it would be for other social media sites.
So once you’ve signed up and registered your account, here’s ten tips we recommend to optimise your account:
- Fully complete your profile – Ensuring that this contains all relevant career history and interests. LinkedIn makes this easy by displaying a percentage score to show how complete your profile is. A LinkedIn profile basically acts as an online CV, so make sure you’re being honest and describing yourself and career clearly.
- Edit profile to claim vanity URL – This should be set to use your name (or closest match if unavailable) within the URL, for example: www.linkedin.com/in/kevingibbons – this will help you to optimise your own name in the search engines and also makes the URL easier to remember if promoted on business cards or email signatures.
- Make your profile publicly available – You can set the information which is publicly available to non-members/contacts, be careful with blocking too much information as this will also be unavailable to the search engines. As a minimum, I would recommend providing enough information for the search engines to index your profile and cache the external links you have listed! In terms of optimising your profile, the main goals are normally to rank for your own name, company name and possibly industry keywords related to this.
- Make connections – Increase the reach of your profile by connecting with current and former work colleagues, clients, friends and family. I’d also recommend adding any industry contacts, perhaps from people you have met at conferences/events or are connected with on other social media sites and share a similar interest.
- Request recommendations – Obviously don’t ask everyone, especially if you don’t know them that well. But having recommendations will help your profile to stand out and will help to build trust in your reputation to visiting users. This will help improve the visibility of your own profile within internal LinkedIn searches too.
- Register a company profile – If your company doesn’t already have a company listing, you should create one! Here’s an example of the SEOptimise company profile, if your company does have a profile, you should encourage employees to create their own individual LinkedIn profile’s and ensure the current employer entry is completed. This will automatically update all employees listed on the company profile, providing the company name is exactly matched.
- Make use of the 3 website hyperlinks – For SEO value, LinkedIn is very good – they give you the opportunity to add three hyperlinks to websites of your choice. If you’re not trying to optimise your site for “My Website”, “My Portfolio” and “My Blog” it might be an idea to select “Other” and choose your own anchor text instead!
- Join related groups – Find groups where other industry professionals have joined and look to participate in (or at least join) these groups. Adding value to your own profile and helping you to get found by other industry contacts.
- Use LinkedIn Answers – This can help to build up your reputation within a field. For SEO it also builds the number of internal links pointing to your profile from within LinkedIn, therefore helping to strengthen your profile in the search engines!
- Optimise your job title – LinkedIn now includes your job title within profile title tags. I’m not saying you should lie about your job, but within reason you could include descriptive keywords which may help to attract relevant search engine traffic. For example, using “SEO Account Manager” as a job title instead of “Account Manager”, if appropriate.
So these are my tips, if you have any of your own please leave them in the comments. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn too.