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 write your LinkedIn Headline

A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline

Far from being just a placeholder, your LinkedIn Profile Headline has an important job to do. If you’ve adjusted it to market you effectively, it can represent your personal brand and become an online promotional workhorse.

The most highly indexed part of your Profile (next to your name), your Headline allows recruiters and employers to locate you, based on the search terms or keywords you specify… so if you’ve filled in only part of the Headline or let LinkedIn populate it with your current job title (the default value), you could be missing out on valuable traffic to your Profile. Don’t let that happen!

Instead, use as many of the 120 characters available in your Headline – ensuring that it represents your career level and personal brand, while distinguishing you from your competition. Try the following formula when you’re stumped for an effective LinkedIn Headline that leverages your industry expertise, achievements, and keywords: Continue reading “A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline”

Are These LinkedIn Problems Affecting Your Job Search?

linkedin slow job searchDoes any of this sound familiar in your job search?

• You send LinkedIn messages to others, but they don’t respond
• You’ve filled in your LinkedIn Profile, but you’re not sure it represents you or your brand
• You see a steady stream of Congratulations messages for others (who’ve landed jobs that should go to you)

To get better results, take a look at these LinkedIn issues (common to frustrated candidates!):

1 – You put in the minimum effort when writing your LinkedIn Profile.

Continue reading “Are These LinkedIn Problems Affecting Your Job Search?”

3 Easy Networking Methods – Using LinkedIn’s Find Alumni Tool

Successful Business People.Want to boost your networking power and job search results – and get more people to respond to you on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn’s Find Alumni section is one of the site’s hidden gems that can make your networking activity much easier.

Tucked under the Connections menu options on your LinkedIn page, Find Alumni is a high-ROI tool that can help open doors for anyone, regardless of occupation or career level.

To maximize this tool, first fill in your Profile’s Education section with your university name, major, and other relevant facts.  Next, from  your LinkedIn Home page, select Connections, then Find Alumni.

Now, sit back and take in the wealth of new contacts and job search information that rolls across your screen! Continue reading “3 Easy Networking Methods – Using LinkedIn’s Find Alumni Tool”

Why You’ll Benefit From Using LinkedIn Publishing for Your Job Search

LinkedIn Publishing PlatformNow that LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform is widely available, you’ve certainly noticed all the new posts popping up on your status feed.

However, if you haven’t considered using the platform (also called Long-Form Posts) to promote your own brand as a job-seeker, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

There’s no limit to the topics or volume of posts allowed per user, and with an international recruiting audience ready at your virtual feet, there’s no reason to hold back! (Of course, if you haven’t received permission to publish on the site just yet, you can submit an early-access request.)

Still hesitant? Consider these near-instant benefits to your job search from publishing: Continue reading “Why You’ll Benefit From Using LinkedIn Publishing for Your Job Search”

How to Stop Your Work Anniversary Notifications on LinkedIn

Annoyed with the flood of “Congratulations!” notes on LinkedIn every time your work anniversary rolls around?

Try removing the Months on your jobs in the Experience section. Navigate to the job on LinkedIn, click the pencil icon to edit the dates, and select “Choose” instead of specifying the month. Hit Save and you’re done!

But don’t stop there – tune your Profile to your advantage:

7 Phrases to Delete From Your LinkedIn Profile

What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?

3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

5 Secrets to a Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary

The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline

Is Your LinkedIn Photo a Joke?

3 Ways to Avoid the #1 LinkedIn Headline Mistake

In a nutshell, use the right type of message and content on LinkedIn to attract your target audience and keep the focus where you want it: on your qualifications.

Executive Resume Writing Services

Need a competitive edge in your job search? My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

As an award-winning executive resume writer and a former recruiter, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

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

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

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”