Getting found by your buyers through online search is a powerful way to get in front of people you wouldn’t even know were in the market. The key to people finding you is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results — often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.
But in order to be found, you have to know what words and phrases are being searched when looking for your products and services. So, step #1 is to identify popular keywords and phrases. Even though we are talking about being found on LinkedIn, using tools that help websites get more traffic is a great way to identify the right keywords and phrases that are being used and apply that to your LinkedIn profile. Your marketing department or website team should have a good list for you, and I would recommend that you start there. But if you don’t have those resources, here are a few sites that you can use:
When it comes to search, LinkedIn is looking at two things – how many times the words are used in your profile and then ranks them based on the searcher’s network. So no search will be exactly the same, as no network is identical. Here are 10 areas to focus on so you can be found:
1. Connect with Everyone You Meet – Based on the fact that LinkedIn takes your network into consideration, the more people you are connected to too, the more searches you will appear – so connect with everyone you know.
2. Use Text in Your Web Links – In your contact information section you have the ability to list 3 website links. By default it says “Company Website” but if you choose “Other” from the drop down and use keywords and phrases to describe where the link takes them.
3. Headline and Summary – Make sure you use your keywords and phrases in your headline and summary naturally. Don’t keyword stuff – like making lists of your specialties, but use them in a smart, conversational way.
4. Keyword Optimize Your Experience Section – Instead of simply listing your company name and job title in your experience section, take advantage of “edit display” next to Change Company and add keywords and phrases next to your Company Name and add keywords and phrases in your Job Title. This will also show under your headline on the top of your profile, so make it flow naturally not too forced.
5. Customize your Personal URL – It is a simple way to ensure that when people are looking for you personally, they find you. This is particularly important for those with common names. Here is how:
1. Hover over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
2. Find the URL link under your profile photo that may looks www.linkedin.com/in/yourname-5173b211. Click the Settings icon next to it.
3. Under the Your public profile URL section on the right, click Edit next to your URL.
4. Type your name or keywords you choose in the text box.
6. Add additional Sections – Simply by adding more sections, you can add more keywords and phrases that your buyers are using when they look for your products and services.
7. Projects & Publications with Others – LinkedIn’s Projects can be used for case studies, ventures or programs that you have been involved with. In many cases, you didn’t do these in a silo – so include others on those Projects. You will then show up on their profile, and begin to leverage their network in search results.
8. Get recommendations – This is another place where your recommendations show up on the recommenders profile. While the testimonial alone is powerful, the fact that it can help you get found is a bonus.
9. Endorsements – Because this section was designed for recruiters to find candidates with the skills they were looking for, having the right keywords and phrases here is essential for maximizing your LinkedIn profile’s SEO. Make sure that your skills are not limited to “customer service”, Leadership or MicroSoft Office, but include those keywords and phrases. Then, get your friends, family and co-workers to endorse you, because in LinkedIn’s Algorithm, size matters.
10. Promote Your Profile Elsewhere – As mentioned a few times in this post, the bigger your network the more likely you are to come up in a search. So, add a link to your profile on your email signature, on your Twitter profile, on your bio on your website even on your business card.
BONUS: Another great way to get found is through publishing LinkedIn pulse articles. In addition to using those keywords and phrases in your text, name your pictures thoughtfully as well, as they are indexed by Google.