This is the third in a series of posts I have published on improving the SEO around your personal brand. In this post I wanted to share some tips on improving the SEO of your LinkedIn Profile.
Before I start, I want to be clear that even if you follow these tips it is unlikely you will be screaming to the top of the Google search results. Having a blog that you update regularly is by far and away a more effective medium for improving your personal search rankings. However, if you are not that way inclined, or are already blogging, these things will not do you any harm and are worth trying out – even if it is just so you will have a completed LinkeIn profile.
Tips for improving the SEO of your LinkedIn Profile:
- Complete your LinkedIn profile. Before doing anything else, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up to date. There is absolutely no point in improving your search engine rank if the end destination does not represent you accurately. I wouldn’t go too overboard trying to game the system, but search engines do scan the information in your profile, so make sure you are including the keywords you want associated with your name.
- Customise your URL. You can customise the URL associated with your profile to include your name, rather than the random sequence of numbers LinkedIn generates for you. URLs are incredibly important component of SEO, so this is a no brainer. (learn how to do this by watching the video below tip 7).
- Pay special attention to your job title and location. Your location and job title are the only personalised pieces of information provided on a generic search for your name on LinkedIn. There is not often a lot of flexibility in job roles, but perhaps think about how you can present your title in the most effective way to include desired keywords.
- Include your entire job history. People may be looking for you by searching for previous companies you have worked for. If these are not included in your profile then you may not be found. This is particularly important for people with more common names.
- Specialities. Make sure you fill out all the sections. A particularly good section for including keywords is the Specialities section. Google does index this section, so make good use of it.
- Join related groups. There is an enormous value in joining LinkedIn groups beyond SEO. From an SEO perspective they help by associating the name of the group with your search profile. Search for Groups that are aligned with your professional interests. The Group names will typically include relevant keywords for you.
- Customise your links. Rather than the generic, blog, company website or Twitter links that LinkedIn generates you can customise your personal URLs to generate more potential Google Juice. This is a little bit involved, so check out this handy video created by Mike Volpe of HubSpot.
- Answer questions. I have heard it suggested that you can improve your search rankings by responding to questions on LinkedIn, thus creating link backs to your profile. I would imagine Google is clever enough to ignore this, but perhaps I am wrong? Irrespective, answering questions does raise your profile generally and is a good idea, so I have included.
As I stated above by following these you are unlikely to dramatically shift your search engine rankings, but they won’t hurt. Well worth an hour or so of your time in my opinion.