Thursday, February 7, 2013

The 13 Sneakiest LinkedIn SEO Tips to Boost Your Profile’s Views

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LinkedIn is really even more of a popularity contest than Twitter, but I’m the only one with enough sense to realize it. On a very basic level, if you don’t have any LinkedIn connections, you’re not going to be found. The vast majority of searches on the burgeoning social media network for professionals are done through a filter of personal connections. Optimizing your network and the SEO aspects of your profile can take your profile views go from 0 to 1,000.

1. Use Anchor Text in Links

Every LinkedIn profile can list as many as 3 links. The default options include “Company Website” and “Blog,” and these just aren’t very SEO-friendly. You can customize the anchor text in your URLs by selecting the “Other” option. Use a keyword-rich title, such as “My Inbound Marketing Blog.”

2. Finish Your Profile

This one is almost a no-brainer, but far too many of us haven’t taken the time to fully complete our LinkedIn profiles. Ask for recommendations (and give recommendations back), fill out every single section, and use LinkedIn’s help to guide your profile to completion.

3. Keyword-Optimize Your Job Titles

We’re definitely not recommending you describe your last position as “Management,” when it was more administrative. However, fudging your job titles slightly to include a few keywords is just smart. Instead of “Blog Manager,” bait search engines by clarifying “Inbound Marketing Strategy Blog Manager.”

4. Maximize Your Group Membership

Joining and participating in relevant groups won’t just expand your network, but it can improve your profile’s SEO. Since the group names appear on your profile, search engines have no choice but to crawl the titles and learn more about who you are and what you do. Not only will industry-relevant groups improve the keywords on your profile, but local groups like “Nashville Marketing Professionals” can help with geo-targeted SEO.

5. Aggressively Expand Your Network

If your LinkedIn network is one-fourth the size of your Facebook connections, it might be time to search your email contacts. Plus, it’s the perfect platform for connecting with colleagues but still maintaining a semblance of work-life separation on social media. Entrepreneur Rick Stomphorst writes: “[LinkedIn search results] elevate results for connections within a network (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, groups). Therefore…you need to be connected to as many people as possible.”

6. Optimize Your Job Descriptions

Lindsay Hunt recommends that “your job descriptions on LinkedIn should be creative, truthful, descriptive and succinct.” Instead of writing out full paragraphs, use a wide variety of relevant keywords in bullet-pointed lists. Formatting your descriptions will also increase your profile’s scannability.

7. Claim Your Vanity URL

The fundamental SEO benefits of claiming your vanity URL may be minimal, but it’s just good business. Connecting your LinkedIn profile to your name will allow you to be found easier by real-life connections. It will also let you add your custom URL to business cards.

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