When B2B professionals hear that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation (aka social selling) than Facebook or Twitter, they quickly realize LinkedIn is not a tool that can be ignored.
Despite this impressive statistic, there is a problem that degrades the efficacy of the entire process for most people (and that likely includes you too): your prospects aren’t finding you when they search for professionals like you.
Chapter 3 of my newly released book, The LinkedIn Code, discusses my “formula” for optimizing your profile to get to the top of LinkedIn search results.
Your credibility is enhanced when a prospect searches for the services you provide and finds you on their own. As long as you don’t disappoint them when they arrive to your LinkedIn profile, you have an advantage that’s very difficult to buy because it’s organic. On a side note, if you don’t have an impressive LinkedIn profile already, learn how to perfect it here.
Disable Notifications First
You should not do any editing to your profile until you have disabled notifications otherwise everyone in your LinkedIn network will receive an update for every single profile change. I can assure you that both you and your connections will find this annoying.
Hover your mouse above your profile picture thumbnail that’s in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage. Select Privacy & Settings from the menu.
Select “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” from the Privacy Controls menu.
Uncheck the option in the pop up box to disable notifications.
Choose the keywords you want to be found for prior to completing your entire profile as you’ll want to find as many opportunities as possible to incorporate them at the right spots. For example, my chosen primary keywords are LinkedIn Expert and Keynote Speaker because those are the two things I want to show up for the most when people search those terms on LinkedIn.
Stick with 2-3 primary keywords so you can remain focused on ranking really high for those terms. You might have more keywords than that but choosing 2 or 3 to focus on will greatly increase your odds of ranking for them. This is what is meant when you hear the term LinkedIn profile optimization.
Create A Compelling Headline
It’s essential that you put a lot of effort into coming up with a compelling LinkedIn headline that is search optimized. Fit at least 1-2 of your primary keywords in the headline as this is area holds a lot of weight in search rankings.
In my article, How To Create The Perfect LinkedIn Headline, I discuss four tips that give you maximum impact:
- Ensure your headline stands out in search results and appears “click-worthy”
- Include the keywords you want to be found for in your headline
- Use an attention grabbing statement that focuses on the benefits you offer to potential clients
- Use all available 120 characters to make a statement in your LinkedIn headline
SEO For Google Vs. LinkedIn
The way people use a standard search engine is not the same as using LinkedIn’s search because you are exclusively trying to find people, not information. Someone searching for an accountant on Google might search “accounting firm New York” but on LinkedIn they might simply search “accountant”.
Keeping this in mind will help you select the best possible keywords. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and imagine what they would type when searching for people who offer your services.
7 Main Areas For Keyword Optimization
You should try to incorporate your keywords into every section possible that appears relevant but there are a few sections that give your keywords a bit more edge in the search results:
- Headline. Make sure to add your keywords in your headline
- Summary Section. Use this section to speak directly to your ideal clients and discuss some of the problems they have that your services can solve. You have 2000 characters for this section.
- Current Work Experience. This is a great section to insert your main keywords, as it is already highly relevant to the information presented. Include them in your title as well as in the description in this section.
- Past Work Experience. Include your keywords into the title and the description of at least one of your past work experience positions.
- Websites. Instead of putting my company name in my websites section (in “Contact Info”), I use keywords like Social Media Marketing, Social Media Speaker and Free LinkedIn Webinar. Not only is this more relevant to new visitors to your profile, it provides another opportunity for keyword optimization.
- Skills. You can have up to 50 skills on your profile. This is the perfect place to include all of your keywords as well as listing your actual skills and any services you offer. Make sure you have at least 10 skills to start with since this is the amount of skills that are prominently featured on your profile in the Endorsements section.
- Interests. This section is found within Additional Information. Insert a couple of your main keywords in the Interests section for a little extra oomph.
Never Keyword Stuff Your Profile
I will tell you upfront that you can easily rank for your chosen keywords if you copy and paste them over and over again across your entire profile. You can even create multiple current work experience sections to keep copy and pasting your keywords and it will help you rise the ranks.
Except there is one problem…it looks unprofessional and destroys your credibility in an instant. The formula to success on LinkedIn requires ALL of these factors:
- Positioning your credibility
- Having a professional and client-focused profile
- Identifying and speaking to your client’s problems and the solutions you provide
- Having a clear call to action
Keyword stuffing immediately throws out number 1 and 2 before anyone even gets to read the parts of your profile that address 3 and 4. I go over the formula for a proper profile in great detail in Chapter 3 of my book, The LinkedIn Code.
Social Selling Is Easier With Keyword Optimization
Remember that keyword optimization is only one element of the process and you must have a great quality profile to go with it. Keyword optimization without a great LinkedIn profile is just keyword stuffing and makes you look bad.
If you truly want to master the art of social selling on LinkedIn, you need to put the time in to do things the right way or it’s all a waste of time. That much I can guarantee you!
Do you have any questions about LinkedIn keyword optimization or social selling? Let us know in the comments below.