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  • 10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile

    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.

    LinkedIn Logo
    Image credit: Flickr

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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! :D
    8. 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.
    9. 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!
    10. 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.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    87 Responses to “10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile”

    1. Another tip is to use your public profile to link on comments like this – as then you can increase the likelyhood that your public profile is listed first on a Google search for your name/avatar… :)

    2. Good article.

      I wrote a full document on #7, how to optimize you website links, with the details of how to set up the anchor text, at http://www.bostonseo.org/articles/63

      Also, people should make their Professional Headline a marketing slogan. I have a blog entry at http://www.the-linkedin-speaker.com/blog/2009/05/07/linkedin-training-tip-professional-headline-should-be-a-marketing-phrase-not-your-job-title/

    3. jtrigsby says:

      Great tips, I agree with all of them except for number 7. The three hyperlinks are actually redirects and thus of little value for SEO purposes. For example, the href to my personal site is:

      http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ejtrigsby%2Ecom&urlhash=4Q3b

      I get no value for that link, in fact, the value here is going back to LinkedIn since their’s is the target domain.

      You will get much more SEO value by installing one of the LinkedIn applications. An example would be the WordPress application that displays, and links, back to your most recent posts. Compared to the link above, here is a link from my WordPress application:

      http://www.jtrigsby.com/2009/09/wordcamp-birmingham-the-first-of-several/

      In this example, I do get all the link juice since it is directed back to my domain.

      Despite disagreeing with some of the finer technical points, the goals of this post are all right on and absolutely valuable, especially to folks just starting out and looking for all the value they can squeeze from their various online personas. Keep up the great tips and post, I read every one!

      @jtrigsby

    4. @jtrigsby nice tip about the WordPress plugin, although I disagree about the redirection of links. These appear to be redirected when logged into LinkedIn, but for the actual profile page cached in Google the links are direct – see my profile for example.

      @Patrick OMalley – very good posts, especially like the marketing phrase headline idea!

      @Robert Nicholson – as spammy as that sounds, it probably works! ;)

    5. Todd Allison says:

      I know that #2 is the generally accepted wisdom, but I’m starting to question if this is really beneficial from a purely SEO point of view.
      The default domain is:
      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/first-last/3/45/4, while the vanity url is http://www.linkedin.com/in/firstlast

      Your custom url can’t contain a dash in it. I know search engines can read two words together, but they are still better at reading two words separated with a dash. I’m going to look more into this – see if there is anything to it, but I’ve seen plenty of default domains outranking the custom version of the same name. It could be because of other factors – I haven’t seen anything definitive on this.

    6. Daily Bytes: 2 + 5 + 10 + 69 = 86 Digital Business Ideas | BrandWorks says:

      [...] Ten Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile [...]

    7. @Todd – that’s a very interesting point actually, I still think the vanity URL would be better as a more memorable URL for offline promotion – but you could be right about the original URL working better because the hyphen acts as a space.

      Let us know how you get on with your test! :)

    8. jtrigsby says:

      @Kevin Gibbons – I stand corrected, you are right. It look like, logged in or not, if you visit the public profile, ie http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/{your name} you get direct links. I’ve just tried it both ways. Nice catch!

    9. [...] 10 Tips to Optimise your LinkedIn Profile, SEOptimise [...]

    10. Tushar says:

      Thanks Kevin.

      I really liked your analysis. It’s easy and simple, though lot of us know about it but try to ignore.

      Keep posting. :)

    11. @jtrigsby If you look at google webmaster tools, it actually shows inbound links from linkedin as a result of setting up the 3 web pointers in your profile, so I think they are direct links. Do you know for sure that they aren’t?

    12. Alex says:

      Very nice article, Kevin, as usual :)

      I agree with @jtrigsby, adding a LinkedIn application / widget to your own site or blog does indeed add a lot of SEO value, I did this for a couple of my clients recently who asked for it, and you can see a difference.

      Keep up the good work!

    13. Jacob Stoops says:

      I think optimizing a LinkedIn profile is very important as it often shows up in the SERPs and is a high-quality backlink that can have some bearing on your overall authority and ability to rank well.

    14. Being new to Linkedin I appreciate you tips.

    15. Cal says:

      Great advice, now I need to go back to my Linkedin acct. and give it some updates.

      Hey @Todd, Speaking of domains; How about two hyphens or dashes if the one dash url is taken? I hear search engines do not deduct points for this such as http://www.paint–house.com Was told by godaddy no points taken off, so I bought it. Also know keyword domain is only half the battle for 1st. page ranking, with building content and SEO around the phrase, the other 1/2.

      Denver’s newest custom web site for house painting contractor is http://www.paintingdenver.net Heritage Web Design is putting this together, having All the newest and coolest stuff for web sites, including WP Blog in the back. Still making minor changes and corrections, all should be completed in a few weeks.
      I think who ever I hire updating my SEO for this site will truly enjoy the tasks at hand.

    16. links for 2009-10-01 : The ChipCast || by Chip Mahaney says:

      [...] 10 Tips to Optimise your LinkedIn Profile | SEOptimise (tags: socialmedia linkedin personalbranding howto advice) [...]

    17. Todd Allison says:

      @Cal, The problem is Linkedin doesn’t let you put any hyphens or dashes in the custom urls, but they use hyphens in the default.

    18. Re the link issue. Whether they are direct or redirected is of little consequence, as the links are have the rel=nofollow take, and hence add little to no SEO value.

    19. @Sean – the example for my profile is a direct link without the nofollow attribute applied. It looks like this is the same for all public profiles.

      Thanks for the rest of the comments guys!

    20. @sean Here’s my thought. Even though these links have the “nofollow” attribute, (as do many blog replies), they show up in the inbound links in your Google webmaster tools. Therefore, I think Google DOES use them even though conventional wisdom is that “nofollows” are never used. Why else would Google remember them?

    21. I think some profiles have dofollows, but they are stripping them out. I saw a guy with a PR8 profile with dofollow links – it got blogged about and the they stripped it away. They making them all Nofollow soon, still Linkedin is a good site if used properly.

    22. Cal says:

      Thanks Todd for the clarification!

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    26. Style)r says:

      hi, do you see links on your sites from linkedin in google webmasters ? tnx

    27. Toni Bradshaw says:

      Thanks for sharing this information. I’m happy to know I’ve done most of the things recommended and I’ll certainly incorporate these and a few other suggested tips into my social media SEO strategy.

    28. I got to say that this is a nice LinkedIn guide for me as I’m quite new to the network. Clear and well explained. I believe the most important tip to optimize LinkedIn profile is no other than active and provide quality interactions with the members. Thanks for sharing.

    29. This is a great tip. I especially liked the part about selecting other and then being able to enter anchor text. Thanks.

    30. seo company says:

      Thanks for this linked in is a great tool and having got mt profile sorted I will use this to make it work

    31. [...] SEOptimise publie un article en anglais proposant 10 conseils pour optimiser votre profil sur Linkedin. [...]

    32. Thanks for the excellent advice. This blog’s been sent round the office a few times this week. Wonder how many man-hours we’ve lost to LinkedIn optimisation?

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    34. Steven South says:

      Great article. The point I always try to make with folks is that your LinkedIN profile should reflect “Your Complete Professional Self”. You don’t know why or how someone might be searching for you (directly or indirectly) so I believe your profile should include anything you’ve done (in most cases starting with college) to build and advance your career. Even if its currently unused past training or accreditations, it is part of who you are professionally so work it into your profile and give yourself a chance to be found.

    35. 10 Top Blog Posts on LinkedIn | Advertising News says:

      [...] 10 Tips to Optimise your LinkedIn Profile – SEOptimize – Sep ‘09 [...]

    36. Great advice. This post could apply for any social network (aside from the few points specific to linked-in features), as having a complete profile, joining related groups, and engaging in the conversation are essential to finding success in social media.

    37. [...] 10 Tips to Optimise your LinkedIn Profile – SEOptimize – Sep ‘09 [...]

    38. [...] 10 tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile – Link. [...]

    39. Lori Harris says:

      Great tips! I followed the redirect yes/no thread up and down the page, not sure I figured out who got it right. But… I’m optimising my profile and then keeping an eye on my analytics.

    40. [...] On the tenth day of Christmas, my SEO agency gave to me 10 tips for LinkedIn: [...]

    41. Thanks for the tips… LinkedIn is a great site… I’ve only been using about half of the potential though.

    42. [...] to definitively answer the questions, “What is LinkedIn?” and “How does LinkedIn work?,” check out this link for ways to get the most out of your existing LinkedIn [...]

    43. Ric Dragon Blog » Blog Archive » What is Linked In? The real question is, “Who Cares?” says:

      [...] answer the questions, “What is LinkedIn?” and “How does LinkedIn work?,” check out this link for ways to get the most out of your existing LinkedIn [...]

    44. [...] 10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile [...]

    45. [...] 10 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile (SEOptimise): This is a beginner level LinkedIn howto, but it’s amazing to see how many people actually do not follow the basic rules of engagement for LinkedIn! [...]

    46. Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009: Social Media, SEO, PPC, Small Business, Web Design, and More » Techipedia | Tamar Weinberg | Business-Blog-Consultant says:

      [...] 10 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile (SEOptimise): This is a beginner level LinkedIn howto, but it’s amazing to see how many people actually do not follow the basic rules of engagement for LinkedIn! [...]

    47. Jerry Pollio says:

      This is right on stuff…..!Great spread the word…

      Saludos

    48. Konstantin says:

      Great tips, although I don’t get much visibility at Linked In, probably missed something out. I’ll have to revise sometime with your list, came in handy, thank you!

      ~ K.

    49. 10 Tips to Boost your Flickr Profile | CopyNprofit 4 Campaigns says:

      [...] week I wrote 10 tips to optimise your LinkedIn profile, this week I’ve decided to follow on from that with 10 tips to getting started with Flickr. This [...]

    50. I think these are good tips. Its so important to use the anchor text on the links. Make sure you do that if nothing else.

    51. SEOptimise Gives Some Flickr SEO Tips | Gainesville, FL Local Search Engine Optimization | FTTW Media says:

      [...] You can read the full article here: http://white.net/noise/blog/2009/10/10-tips-to-get-started-using-flickr.html. Be sure to follow SEOptimise for more killer tips, and also check out their article on Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile! [...]

    52. [...] Make every effort to optimize your profile. [...]

    53. Good Artcle, i do Social Networking for SEo only in Facebook,twitter and Stumbleupon … But Now I have Full Information about the Linkedin Also.
      thanks

      Affordable Web development

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    56. travel around world » How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing & SEO: 20 Resources says:

      [...] 10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile [...]

    57. 12 #LinkedIn tips to Optimize Your Profile http://tinyurl.com/y99yrqn #linkedinchat

    58. RT @CertifiedSM: 12 #LinkedIn tips to Optimize Your Profile http://tinyurl.com/y99yrqn #linkedinchat

    59. [...] 10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile [...]

    60. Don Goodman says:

      Great tips. I would add that if you have any digital presence and have been mentioned on a high page ranking site, use the third web URL to link to that as it will enhance your chances of being found.

    61. [...] Here’s my latest presentation for a group of local professionals in Searcy, Arkansas! If you are using LinkedIn to grow your professional network, be sure to connect with me! Another really great article that I read while researching this presentation was by Kevin Gibbons found on SEOptimise — you can read the article here! [...]

    62. Jasmine says:

      Nice post! Thanks for the very informative article.

      Company Profile Pages promote hundreds of companies and businesses around the globe.

    63. 10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile – http://bit.ly/oZk27 make everybody’s lives a bit easier. :)

    64. Jay Polychem says:

      Very nice and informative. Another thing to add to this is, you can add applications to your linked in profile like wordpress and blog roll.

    65. Creating company profile for a client on #LinkedIn great new tools Also shared a good optimise Linkedin article http://tinyurl.com/y99yrqn

    66. RT @surfCWmarketing: Creating company profile for a client on #LinkedIn great new tools Also shared a good optimise Linkedin article http://tinyurl.com/y99yrqn

    67. [...] Optimize your job titles: Use descriptive keywords in your job titles to attract relevant search engine traffic. [...]

    68. 10 LinkedIn Tips to make a change in your life and career. | AskEperu says:

      [...] Optimize your job titles: Use descriptive keywords in your job titles to attract relevant search engine traffic. [...]

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    71. [...] and second-degree connections, get recommendations, and customize your profile URL. Read more about SEO tactics for LinkedIn profiles [...]

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    73. [...] – Kevin Gibbons, “10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile”. Retrieven on September 30, 2009: http://white.net/noise/blog/2009/09/10-tips-to-optimise-your-linkedin-profile.html [...]

    74. Zeeshan says:

      A wonderful article. Keep it up. Just to add a few points. LinkedIn perhaps is widely used for finding a new job, getting new prospects etc and hence I would recommend people to create a killer profile so as to engage their future employers. Having someone to talk about your work, recommendations can work wonders, i tell you. A similar an interesting article I would like to share with you http://bit.ly/u0pXnO

    75. Jon Pearce says:

      I’ve picked up on this a bit late, but nice post. I have ignored Linkedin for quite sometime as I was never seeking a new job, so dismissed the other opportunities it offers.

      thanks

    76. [...] 12 CommentsSedikit pembacaan aku mengenai tentang SEO serta link building telah membawa aku kepada Tips Untuk Meningkatkan Backlink Dan SEO Blog melalui LinkedIn tulisan Kevin Gibbons. Terdapat pelbagai cara dan tips yang boleh anda praktikkan untuk kepentingan [...]

    77. Dave Taylor says:

      This is a really useful post just from a personal page perspective, I don’t run a business but just in terms of appearing more in search and getting more and more people emailing about potential work opportunities these tips really helped me. I wrote a follow up post that summarises the key points I used here: http://dave-taylor.co.uk/blog/optimising-your-linkedin-profile-for-search/

    78. Magaret says:

      Hello colleagues, fastidious post and good urging commented here, I am really enjoying by these.

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