Over the past couple of decades, LinkedIn has grown to be the biggest professional platform for doing business, networking, and discovering like-minded professionals. Nowadays, people will consult LinkedIn for practically everything business-related. For this reason, it is extremely important to create a powerful profile so other members can actually find you. And today, we will see 17 practical LinkedIn SEO tips that will help you do exactly that.
If you have had a LinkedIn profile for a while, the chances are that you have used its search engine at least once. Yes, that’s right! In a similar manner to Google, LinkedIn has its own search engine so that people can research and discover information in its internal database.
And trust me, LinkedIn has a lot of interesting and extremely valuable information that you can consult through its search engines. Want to learn more about the services that a company offers? Maybe you want to see how many employees it has?
Or get in touch with employees with a particular job position within this company?
However, company-related data is not the only thing that the platform offers. You can also research LinkedIn members, including filters such as:
- Profile language;
- Current and past companies;
- Whether they are a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd connection;
- Industries and services they offer;
And more! However, there are millions of members on LinkedIn, and not all of them will show up on the first page of its search engine results. Basically, the premise is the same as Search Engine Optimization in Google.
In other words, there is only space for just a handful of them. And this is why it is so important to optimize your LinkedIn profile for search engines. So you can be found for what you want to show up for!
And now that we have understood this, let’s dive right into our LinkedIn SEO tips!
1. Identify your goal
Of course, every search engine optimization, no matter the channel, starts with keywords. Keywords are the language of the Internet. They help algorithms and artificial intelligence software understand what your content is all about.
So, doing a proper keyword research is undoubtedly the most important one from our list of LinkedIn SEO tips.
For this reason, our first and most important step would be to identify relevant keywords. In other words, how do you want to position on LinkedIn? What is your goal of having a profile, and what kind of members do you want to find you?
Some of the most popular goals for positioning include:
- People who are seeking for job opportunities, and want to be found by recruiters or head hunters;
- Members who want to connect with other members from their industry, or people with with similar job functions;
- Freelancers or consultants who want to be found by potential leads and prospects so that they can gain more clients.
Once you have a clear goal in mind, you will be able to look for the right keywords.
2. Brainstorm keyword ideas
Before we move on to the practical part of our keyword research, we need to brainstorm some ideas. For example, let’s say that you want to position as a Digital Marketing expert.
On a piece of paper, brainstorm generic keywords and concepts that people could be looking for to find a Digital Marketing expert. For example:
- Digital Marketing expert;
- Digital Marketing specialist;
- Marketing professional;
- Marketing consultant;
And so on. Write everything that comes to your mind from a third-party perspective. In other words, if you were to look for a Digital Marketing experts, what would you type on search engines? How would you look for it?
3. Build an SEO keyword list
Now that you have a general idea of how people would look for someone like you, next from our bag of LinkedIn SEO tips is to start building your keyword list. Keep in mind that LinkedIn doesn’t have a specific tool for creating keyword lists. Nor it has a clear guidance on which ones work the best.
However, there are some practical strategies that we can undertake to get a pretty good idea. For the first step, you will need any keyword research tool. Personally, I like to do it with the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Next, type the keyword concepts that you wrote in our brainstorming steps. For each generic keyword, the keyword tool will return hundreds of other keyword suggestions:
In an Excel file, paste all the keywords that you find relevant for your profile. And of course, the ones that you want to position for. What I also like to do is group all the keywords around the main generic concept.
And then, order them by volume, starting from the highest to the lowest.
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #1: If you have previously worked with keyword tools and generally on SEO, you will know that it is not recommended to go with the highest volume keywords. However, from my personal experience, I have found that LinkedIn works differently, and I would actually go with high volume keywords instead of low volume ones.
The reason why is because the competition is lower than on Google. Besides, people on LinkedIn search differently as well, typing shorter keywords instead of longer ones.
Of course, keep in mind that we are not going to use the whole list. We don’t want to overstuff our profile with too many keywords either. For this reason, select only the most relevant keywords with the highest volume from your list.
4. Match keywords with LinkedIn
Once you have created your regular SEO keyword list, it is time for the second step. And that is, to match your keyword list against LinkedIn to find what keywords are equally as popular on LinkedIn as they are on Google.
On a separate sheet within your Excel file, create a column for LinkedIn keywords. Then, take the keywords that you have selected previously from your list. For example, “marketing expert”. Go to LinkedIn’s search engine, and type your list one keyword a time:
Of course, making sure to select the option “in People”. This way, you can find other profiles that are aiming to positioning for the same keywords as you.
Once you do that, LinkedIn will return thousands and even millions of results for this keyword. This will be your competition. In your list, write down your keyword, and the number of results it has.
Repeat this exercise with all keywords until you have your LinkedIn list as well. Then, order the list again by volume, and you can now match the popularity of the keyword on Google with the one on LinkedIn.
Now, select the keywords that seem to have high volume both on Google and LinkedIn. This way, you will ensure that the demand for this search term is consistently high across channel. Giving you a great idea on what people are looking for.
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #2: Another exercise that I like to do is to open the profiles of the connections that show up on the first results of the first page. Take note of them and analyze their profiles. Pay attention to where their keyword is included on their profile. Is it in the headline, summary, job description, or all of these places? This will give you an idea of how competitive the keyword is.
Additionally, I highly suggest that you revise theses profiles for more keyword inspiration. You will often find keywords that you did not consider in the first place, but are actually quite good.
5. Customize your LinkedIn URL
At this point, you should already have your keywords identified. Next from our list of LinkedIn SEO tips is to customize your profile URL, incorporating your name and keyword.
From your LinkedIn profile, go to the right side where it says Edit public profile & URL. Click on this option, and the platform will open a new page. Go again on the right side of the screen, and edit your Custom URL directly from there:
Personalizing the URL of LinkedIn profile is a great way to be found. And most importantly, to be found for the main keyword that you want to position for.
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #3: As we already mentioned, do not overstuff your URL with various keywords. The point is not to confuse users and search engines. Select the one keyword that you find to be the most relevant for your profile, and only add this one. Also, ensure that you have removed all the automatically generated numbers that come with your initial URL. They will not have any positive impact on your SEO, on the contrary! They reallly do not mean anything.
6. Optimize your headline
Next from our list of LinkedIn SEO tips is to optimize your headline. The headline is one of the most important sections of your whole profile. It is one of the first elements that people see when they visit your profile, but it also follows you all around.
No matter if you post or comment under another post, your headline will always be right below your name.
For this reason, it is essential that you write a clear and descriptive headline. Your LinkedIn headline is the equivalent to those interviews in which they ask you to sell yourself under 1 minute! Well, combined with the profile summary, of course.
And of course, do not forget to incorporate the keywords that you want to position for. As opposed to the URL, in this case you can include various high volume keywords that you find relevant. However, I would recommend that you stick with just 2-3, and not overoptimize.
7. Write a powerful, keyword-rich summary
Our list of LinkedIn SEO tips continues with the profile summary, also known as the About section.
Along with the headline, this section is as equally important to retain the people who are visiting your profile. However, it is also crucial for your personal search engine optimization on LinkedIn, as it provides a lot of space for including keywords.
The About summary that you see above is from my own profile. However, it is not the best example as it is rather short and could include more keywords. On another hand, I will not sue myself for using my profile in a blog post. 🙂
Anyways, the point is that you should write a nice and descriptive summary packed with keywords. You have up to 2,000 characters to present yourself to your audience. It is not necessary to fill out all the space, but I do recommend that your summary is at least 1,000 characters long.
Another reason why you should put a lot of effort in your summary is because people will stay on your page for longer. Which is also a good sign to LinkedIn that the result that they have delivered for a particular keyword is relevant. Also, it seems that I am not following my own advice… 🙂
To sum it up, your About summary should:
- Provide enough information about you, your background, and your experience;
- Start with a compelling phrase that catches the attention of the audience;
- Be packed with a lot of relevant, high volume keywords for your positioning.
8. Job experience
Another incredibly important section that you should be paying attention to is your job experience. At least in this example, I can say that I have put a lot of effort in it. 🙂 So I can proudly share it with you guys, hehe!
Make sure that you have:
- Listed all job positions that are relevant to your current positioning goal. For example, as a person trying to position as a Marketing specialist on LinkedIn, I have removed all positions that have nothing to do with Marketing. The only exception would be if you do not have much experience yet, and you want people to see your career-job evolution more clearly.
- Included your main keywords in your job titles. I recommend that you only include one, in some cases two keywords per job title. Anything more than that is just too much.
- Written descriptive texts to describe every single one of your job positions. Your job experience section should be keyword rich and with enougn information on what were you tasks and responsibilities. The job section does not end with only incuding a title and the company name.
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #4: When adding the company name associated with your job position, make sure to match it with its Company page on LinkedIn. I see many people that quickly type down the company name and do not pay attention to synchronizing it with the corresponding Company page. If the company does not have one, click on the link I just provided to learn how to create it.
9. Expand your network
Next on our list of extremely important LinkedIn SEO tips is to expand your network of first connections. And there is one very interesting reason why.
You see, when people research for someone on LinkedIn, the results that LinkedIn returns will come in this order:
- First, it will check your 1st connections to see if they match for that keyword;
- Second, you will see the 2nd connections, which are the connections of your connections;
- Third, potential connections that are outside of your network will barely show up.
In other words, LinkedIn will prioritize in your search results the people who are your connections. And then, the people who are connections to your connections. Which means that if someone is looking for, let´s say, a Marketing consultant, you have more chances of showing up on the first page if this person is a part of your network.
Or, if they share common connections with you.
For this reason, it is essential that you expand your network by adding valuable connections. The more first connections you have, the more second ones you will have as well. Which will increase your probability of showing up on their search results.
When adding connections, try to add these types first:
- People that you already know from before. For example, you met at an event;
- Professionals that you are working with (or have worked with);
- People with whom you share common connections;
- Members within your job industry, or with a similar job position.
Avoid adding people that you don’t share something in common with. If they don’t recognize you, they might decline your invitation. And if too many people decline your connection invitations, LinkedIn might put a temporary ban on your profile.
10. Add skills & endorsements
Next on our list of LinkedIn SEO tips is to add skills and endorsements.
- Skills – you should fill in this section by yourself. Add the skills that you feel more confident with, and make sure that they add up to your whole profile positioning. In other words, if you are trying to position as a Marketing consultant, adding Marketing-related skills will boost your profile SEO even further.
- Endorsements – endorsements are completed by other LinkedIn members when they can confirm that you are actually good at a particular skill. Often times, LinkedIn will also ask the member who is endorsing you where do they know you from. For example, if you have worked with them previously.
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #5: Do not add too many skills. Only focus on the ones that are actually relevant, and you really feel that you have the confidence for. Otherwise, people will not take you too seriously if you are adding everything that comes to your mind. As for the endorsement section, ask your friends and colleagues to help you with it. You can do the same for them as well!
11. Optimize your Education section
Many people only add the degree and the university that they studied at, forgetting about the education description. However, there is so much more you can add to it:
- Courses that you took during your degree, and are relevant to your current job and profile positioning.
- Extracurricular activities. They might look unimportant at first, but can really make you stand out.
- Thesis. If your thesis was highly related to your career and positioning, definitely add it as well. Writing a thesis takes a lot of time and effort, and recruiters or prospects will usually value it.
Again, do not hesitate to add a couple of keywords for every degree description. And, if you have graduated with honours or have other accomplishments, you can mention it as well!
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #6: Add media files, such as a pdf with your thesis or a powerpoint presentation, to make your work more visual and authentic.
12. Publish content consistently
Next from our list of LinkedIn SEO tips is to publish content consistently. You see, search engine optimization does not end with your profile. This is where it barely starts!
Publishing content on a daily or weekly basis will drive more traffic to your profile. More traffic means that you are building your authority and credibility as an expert within a certain industry. Or for a specific job position. As a result, you are more likely to end up on the first results for a specific search term.
13. Get recommendations
A section that people quite often underestimate, but shouldn’t, us the recommendation one.
This one is more proactive than other sections, as you will have to reach out to people and ask them for a recommendation. However, I highly suggest that you don´t focus exclusively on asking for recommendations. Giving them is just as important.
After all, looking at a profile with 10+ recommendations while not having given any seems a little bit weird. And definitely not very professional!
LinkedIn SEO tips Pro #6: Instead of directly pushing the button “Ask for a recommendation”, talk to the person first. When they agree, you can send them the invitation through LinkedIn. However, asking for recommendations directly, without having discussed it previously, can be rather intrusive. And not everyone will like it, especially if you do not know them so well.
14. Add your languages
Our LinkedIn SEO tips list continues with the language section. Recruiters often use it to search for people who speak a certain language. So, do not underestimate it, and include all the ones that you feel comfortable with.
I would suggest that you only include those ones for which you have at least a B1 level. Only include A levels if you are still studying this language, and plan to increase your level in the near future. This is the minimum level that many recruiters ask for when it comes to working in a company.
15. Add hashtags in your posts
Hashtags can massively increase your visibility. You can either use more generic hashtags related to your industry, or create more specific ones by yourself. Both approaches are great for establishing yourself as a professional.
And of course, for increasing your visibility on LinkedIn.
16. Use keywords in your LinkedIn Lives
LinkedIn Live is the company’s native platform for events, webinars and conferences. You can watch them directly on your feed in real time, and interact with the speakers.
Adding keywords to the headlines and posts of your LinkedIn live webinars is another great way of improving your SEO. They will not only get your name out there, but will help you improve your personal brand.
17. Get help from professionals
Of course, despite all the LinkedIn SEO tips we just discussed, I realize that not everyone wants to do it by themselves. If you would rather get your profile optimization done by professionals, you can send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the services that I offer is LinkedIn SEO profile optimization, so do not hesitate to get in touch with me! The first video consultation is for free. 🙂
And that was all from me for today! I hope you liked my article on the best LinkedIn SEO tips for optimizing your profile. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post, and I hope to see you in the next one!