LinkedIn Profile SEO

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for SEO

In case you haven’t heard, LinkedIn has now attracted more than 500 million members – becoming a hotbed of job search activity, with recruiters pursuing desirable candidates and job seekers vying for attention from hiring decision-makers.

With such fierce competition, you’ll need to employ aggressive keyword and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies in order to be found for a choice job.

Here are the best ways to boost your findability on LinkedIn and optimize your Profile for SEO, including search algorithm strategy and keyword adjustments:

1 – Add Keywords Representing Your Top Skills.

Keywords, otherwise known as skills and areas of competency, are not a new concept for job seekers. Resumes are routinely passed through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), where they’re scanned to ensure an adequate match on a set of pre-defined, desirable capabilities.

On LinkedIn, recruiters search for candidates using these same terms found in job descriptions, trying to find talented professionals. By adding these keywords to your Profile, you’ll ensure a stronger match on the strengths preferred by employers.

For example, the following keywords will be relevant to Sales Professional jobs: Prospecting, Customer Relationship Management, Salesforce, or Contract Negotiations. A Chief Information Officer can leverage keywords such as Enterprise Systems, Applications Development Oversight, Project Portfolios, or IT Operations.

To find keywords, first peruse job descriptions and look for common terms. By putting the job requirements into a word cloud application (such as Tag Crowd), you’ll be able to see which keywords are mentioned most frequently. For example, a Plant Manager job description yielded keywords such as Service, Compliance, Quality Regulations, and Safety.

The main reason to add keywords? You’ll never know exactly how employers are searching for candidates like you. Therefore, the more phrases you add on LinkedIn, the more likely you’ll be coming up in search results – improving your chances of becoming a viable candidate for an open job.

2 – Improve Keyword Density.

So you’ve now learned about keyword content and the reasons why your LinkedIn Profile should contain relevant skills, job titles, and competencies for better traffic. However, optimizing your LinkedIn Profile isn’t just a matter of keyword volume: it’s dependent on keyword density.

Density refers to the frequency of keywords relative to the overall number of words on your Profile. The good news? This doesn’t have to be a difficult task. If you want a stronger draw on a skill such as SAP Development, you’d simply add this phrase everywhere possible: in your Summary, Experience, Certifications, and Headline.

Keep in mind, however, that great SEO from just a few skill sets means you might miss out on other traffic. For example, a General Manager skilled in growing companies and managing functions such as manufacturing, sales, product development, and marketing might add only these terms on LinkedIn, but he or she could rank much lower on abilities such as Team-Building, Restructuring, or Mergers & Acquisitions.

It’s best to routinely review the keywords on your Profile and look for more ways to add them in multiple sections. By doing so, your Profile will more closely align with common skills in your field, with better density for each term.

3 – Remove “Fluff” Words From Your Profile.

In addition to boosting your keyword volume and density, you’ll also need to remove words that are not likely to represent your brand or ROI to an employer. For most job seekers, the terms Responsible For, Unemployed, Experienced, Professional, and Highly Accomplished are overused and do not add credibility on LinkedIn.

It also goes without saying that these words won’t help your LinkedIn SEO. By replacing these phrases with terms taken directly out of job descriptions, your keyword density will improve – and you can be taken more seriously by employers who find your credentials online.

4 – Employ Keywords in Highly Indexed Fields for Better SEO.

When deciding where and how to add search terms to your Profile, look no further than the site’s most highly indexed fields: Headline, Job Titles, and Certifications (your name field is actually the top most indexed field). While you can incorporate keywords into any part of LinkedIn, your Profile will have more “pull” if desirable terms appear in these areas.

It’s easiest to begin with the #2 indexed field, which is your Headline (see A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline). Fill in as many of the 120 characters allowed with keywords specific to your career, such as your desired job title, skills, and results, as shown in these examples:

Sales Engineer. Presales Leadership in Cloud, Virtualization, Infrastructure, & SaaS Channels. Consistent 120%+ of Quota

COO, VP Global Operations. Manufacturing Efficiency, Production Quality, Capacity Growth in APAC, US, Canada, & Europe

Portfolio & Project Manager. Rapid Deployment Using Agile XP in Multi-Site Environments. Team Direction & Mentoring

You can then repeat this process for other important fields, such as your Job Titles, where you can add a keyword next to your official title (VP of IT – Infrastructure Leadership or CFO, Global Forecasting & Accounting).

5 – Review & Optimize Your Keyword Strategy for Results.

If your LinkedIn Headline, Summary, Job Titles, and other sections are drawing the traffic you want, with plenty of employer views and inquiries, then your Profile is working perfectly! If not, you’ll want to swap out keywords and strengthen your Profile for better results, particularly if you’re in an active job search.

If you’ve recently made changes to key fields on LinkedIn for better SEO, it’s best to wait for at least a week to gauge any change in your LinkedIn connections or traffic.

In the meantime, run a search (using the Search feature at the top of the page) for people with similar titles or credentials. Make note of the keywords used in each Profile, and where they appear. You’ll gain insights on potential competitors in your field, as well as inspiration for changes you can apply to your own Profile.

The takeaway? Keyword strategy is an important part of a strong and effective LinkedIn Profile, enabling you to optimize it for SEO and a continual flow of traffic.

By staying on top of desirable skills in your field and adding terms that represent your expertise, you can reap better value from your LinkedIn presence.

Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, using powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

How to Convey Your Executive Brand in Your LinkedIn Profile

Looking at monitorPut together a barely-there LinkedIn Profile, but you’re not sure how to expand it or make it stronger?

Nearly every executive I speak with laments the lack of time and ideas for creating an engaging, interesting LinkedIn presence.

Yet, all it takes is a quick glance at your Profile, changing it section by section, until you’re happy with the final result.

Try these strategies for building a strong, relevant portrait of your executive competencies on LinkedIn:

Continue reading “How to Convey Your Executive Brand in Your LinkedIn Profile”

5 Secrets to a Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary

Knockout LinkedIn SummaryWant to quickly distinguish yourself from your job-hunting competition on LinkedIn?

Look no further than your LinkedIn Summary.

The “elevator pitch” of your social media profile, a powerful, pithy Summary can position you as a strong candidate and compel employers to take a second look at you.

So how do you craft a knockout message of brand value for your LinkedIn Summary?

First, you’ll need to master the concept of writing for an online audience and take the principles of SEO into consideration, then wrap your content into an attractive package.

To rework your LinkedIn Profile Summary into a power-packed description that elicits attention from recruiters, start fresh with these 5 steps: Continue reading “5 Secrets to a Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary”

3 Ways to Avoid The #1 LinkedIn Headline Mistake

LinkedIn Headline Mistake

Hoping to attract attention with your LinkedIn Profile?

You’ll have a better chance if you change the site’s most critical piece of information – your Headline – from the default option of your current job title.

Too often, LinkedIn users don’t take the time to change this default (which is automatically picked up when you add a current job).

However, employers who need leadership talent can’t interpret your unique value from “Project Manager at ABC Corporation” or “Operations Director in the Manufacturing Industry.”

Here are 3 compelling reasons why LinkedIn’s default Headline is a no-go for your job search – and how you can select a better, compelling Headline for your Profile instead: Continue reading “3 Ways to Avoid The #1 LinkedIn Headline Mistake”

How to Add Your Success Stories on LinkedIn for Better Traffic

linkedin_success_storiesHave you noticed that your resume content and achievements are often too long to fit into your LinkedIn Profile?

Despite the ease of uploading content into LinkedIn, there’s no way around the limitations (2,000 characters – including spaces!) available for each job.

However, if you get smart about keyword strategy and learn to condense your career story, you’ll fit it all in – AND get rewarded with more traffic on the site.

Here’s how to describe your achievements, add keywords, and attract more interest from employers, while condensing your content on LinkedIn: Continue reading “How to Add Your Success Stories on LinkedIn for Better Traffic”

How to Double – And Triple! – Your LinkedIn Traffic With SEO

LinkedIn_SEOBuilt a LinkedIn Profile that doesn’t seem to be “working” for your job search?

You might not be drawing enough traffic to it.

Years ago, I realized that applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques on my Profile attracted more traffic. Applying my knowledge of web SEO and database optimization, I was able to draw a sizable audience on LinkedIn, with just a few tweaks based on what I noticed in the site’s search algorithms.

The good news? I’ve figured this out so YOU don’t have to — and it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Continue reading “How to Double – And Triple! – Your LinkedIn Traffic With SEO”

What’s The Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 4: Boosting Your Profile SEO)

LinkedIn Profile OptimizationFrustrated with LinkedIn and waiting to see if things change? 

I hope not. 

If your Profile is passed over by employers, you need to use these power-packed LinkedIn strategies:

Now, we’re on to one of my favorite steps for maximizing LinkedIn:

4 – You DO need more than generalities in your Profile.

If you’ve read any of my articles on LinkedIn keyword optimization (LinkedIn SEO) for your Profile and Headline, you know how passionate I am about this subject.

Whenever I read about someone frustrated with LinkedIn, they inevitably have a LinkedIn Profile that rambles on about how “versatile” and “adaptable” they are, with little regard to the hard skills employers are seeking.

Specific, technical capabilities (such as “project management,” “grant writing,” “application development,” or “P&L”) are valuable to companies that are hiring.

“Self-motivation” or “communications skills,” not so much.

These skills-based keywords WILL get you more traffic and more job opportunities on LinkedIn, so take every opportunity to use them (repeatedly) throughout your Profile.

Also, look up the skills noted on your desired job descriptions, and add them in your Skills & Expertise section. Ask others for Endorsements on them (which will also increase your hit rate for these terms).

You can do it! Start making changes now… and you’ll notice an uptick in your traffic.

Up next: What’s the Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 5: Leveraging LinkedIn for Follow-Up)

Award-winning executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume has a 98% success rate collaborating with executives and rising professionals to capture top jobs at Fortune-ranked corporations, start-ups, and emerging leaders.

A 8-time certified job search coach, master resume writer, LinkedIn expert, and former recruiter, Laura’s work has been published in more than 200 venues worldwide and featured in CIO.com, CareerBuilder, Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, Forbes, Monster.com, The Chicago Tribune, and other media.

She holds the U.S. record for global resume writing TORI awards from 2007 through 2013, with 23 total distinctions. Laura is a featured Personal Branding and Resume Expert for CareerRocketeer.com and Careerealism.com, the National Resumes Examiner for Examiner.com, and Job-Hunt.org’s LinkedIn for Job Search Expert, as well as the author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market and Power Up Your Job Search With LinkedIn.