Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Like a Pro with SEO

15th August, 2021

Are you a professional who wants to increase your ranking on LinkedIn? Are you curious to learn more about maximising your profile's exposure with LinkedIn optimization strategies? This guide is filled with exclusive hacks and tips from an SEO pro to help you maximise your profile and network to ensure you are seen by relevant employers, investors and other important connections.

Benefits of Maximising Your LinkedIn Profile:

Why is Using LinkedIn SEO so Important?

LinkedIn is the most popular acquisition platform when B2B companies search for talent and acquire clients, which makes the environment incredibly competitive in terms of ranking, and gaining the attention of your relevant audience. To beat the competition, it is important to saturate your profiles with SEO techniques to optimize your reach.

Just like traditional search engines such as Google, LinkedIn also has a search function that is often used by users to discover millions of other users, businesses and organisations. When users are searching for a specific request from LinkedIn’s search engine, results can be filtered by:

  • language, company,
  • location,
  • rank in connection (1st, 2nd, 3rd),
  • industry and services offered.

The filters limit the number of users that will appear on each search. To ensure your profile shows up on the relevant lists, you must optimize your LinkedIn profile SEO. Optimizing SEO on your page will provide you with the chance to be recognised by a company and build a case as a strong candidate.

LinkedIn has many individual sections that can be used to optimize SEO, first it is essential to start planning on how you want to improve your main profile.

7 Exclusive Tips to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile with SEO from a Pro:

PRO STEP 1: Set a Goal for Your Profile

Before making any changes to your LinkedIn profile it is important to set a goal that reflects what you want to gain from your SEO improvements. Are you ideally wanting to seek job opportunities? Connect with other members in your industry, or others with similar jobs? Are you looking to be discovered by potential leads and prospects?

Setting a goal will help guide your keyword research, and allow you to optimize your profile for the most relevant searches that will achieve your goal.

PRO STEP 2: Find and Match Relevant LinkedIn Keywords

  • Locating Keywords

When locating keywords that may be relevant to you, a good place to start is to write down every word that comes to mind about your position when thinking from a third-party perspective. If you were looking for a particular persona that may be a future employee, investor, or client, how would you describe that individual in the search function on LinkedIn?

For example, when searching for a Digital Marketing Specialist you may associate that position with the following keywords: Digital Marketing expert; Digital Marketing specialist; Marketing professional; Marketing consultant; Social Media Marketing Professional and so on…

  • Keyword List

Once you have a list of potential keywords that a third party may search when looking for you, it is essential to build a keyword list or planner, which can be done using a tool such as Google Ads Keyword Planner. You insert the keyword concepts you came up with and google will then generate thousands of other relevant keywords. Once you have your list of keywords, order them via the volume which is the popularity of that keyword and then select the most relevant keywords with the highest volume to add to your list.

  • Optimizing Keywords for LinkedIn

The final step of finding relevant keywords is making sure your keyword list will work effectively for your profile on LinkedIn. This involves using the search function to clarify which keywords on your list are popular specifically on LinkedIn.

This can be done by typing each keyword into the search function and discover other profiles that are optimising their exposure through the use of the keyword. The results that appear are your competition, add to your keyword list the number of results besides the keyword. Look at the profiles of your competition and see what other keywords they are using to help inspire new keywords on your list that will optimise your profile.

PRO STEP 3: Profile Maximisation

Maximising your profile is one of the most essential steps of optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Making sure each section that LinkedIn offers on your profile is filled out will guarantee your profile will get seen. Make sure you are descriptive, engaging, and carefully using your keywords so that your reader is interested and intrigued to continue reading. The following sections you can fill out include:

  • Customizing Your Profile URL:

Personalise your LinkedIn URL so that it is immediately identifiable as your own by including your full name. You can do this by clicking on ‘Edit Public Profile & URL’ then ‘Edit Your Custom URL’. Ensuring you have customised your LinkedIn URL will make it easier for employers and other connections to find you, you can even add your primary keyword in your URL to make it more relevant to your page e.g., ‘Jane-Smith-Digital-Marketing’. A great tip for creating a pleasant LinkedIn URL is to make sure you are satisfied with having it printed on your business card.

  • Headline Optimization

Optimizing keyword usage in your headline is crucial for drawing your audience in. It is one of the first elements that people will see and provides them with the essential information you wish to portray, e.g., your job description, extra-curricular.

Making sure your headline is clear and descriptive is a key factor that will help you keep your audience intrigued, and direct them to the ‘About Me’ section. It is important to use your top high-volume keywords in the headline that you want to position for.

  • Optimizing your Summary

The summary section has up to 2000 characters you can use to optimize keyword usage and intriguingly present yourself to capture your audience. When writing your summary, you must keep the following in mind: make it interesting, descriptive, and personalised. Make sure you are making use of your keyword list and targeting the right ones.

Putting a lot of effort into your summary increases the chance that your viewer will stay on your page for longer which will prove to LinkedIn’s algorithm that your profile was a good choice for that particular keyword, making it more relevant.

Final tips for optimizing your summary are to start it with a compelling phrase to catch the attention of your audience. Ensure you are providing enough information about you, your background, your experience. Provide relevant, high-volume keywords.

  • Upload a Profile Picture

This isn’t necessarily keyword relevant, but to complement the impression of your headline, summary and remainder of your profile, it is important to include a picture of yourself. Making sure your profile picture is of high quality, and appropriate for LinkedIn, will ensure a positive impression for your audience. To upload a relevant image, a great tip is to look in the photo how you would for an interview, and ‘dress to impress'.

  • Optimize Keywords in all Profile Sections Including Experience, Volunteering and Education Section

Make sure you have listed all your experience, volunteering and education that is relevant and, in the description, use it as an opportunity to optimize keyword usage. Making sure to list the relevant positions to what you are currently searching for or wanting to be recognised for is important. Keep the experience title to only 1-3 keywords, and describe everything you can that is relevant about your role in the descriptive text box.

The same goes for the other education and extra-curricular activities, and include a description that is rich with the activities you did. Try to add a sentence or two on how it is relevant for the main goal you are looking to achieve.

PRO STEP 4: Connections, Networking

  • Expand your Network

LinkedIn is built for networking, and using the platform to do just that will keep you on the right track to optimize your profile. The algorithm is based on showing people the number of similar connections and groups they have with your profile.  The most optimized results for your search usually have a ranking from 1st to 3rd. The ranking preferences are the ‘1st’ connections which have the relevant keywords that you have searched, and so on until lastly, the 3rdranking will show up. Ensuring you have as many relevant network connections as possible that will guarantee you can show up as a ‘1st’ connection will increase your profile’s ability to get noticed and optimise the potential for all the hard work you have put into your profile to gain it’s deserved attention.

  • Join Relevant Groups and Actively Participate

Joining relevant groups is a great way to improve SEO as it increases your search visibility. Being engaged not only brings you the benefits of getting involved and transferring ideas with other members, which may lead to new connections, but it also makes it easy for companies who are scouting for potential hires and look at group members to see who is active and staying relevant in the industry.

  • Add Relevant Connections

To optimize the relevancy of your connections it is important to add the following profiles:

- People you know and have already met.

- People whom you share a common connection,

- People who have a similar job to you are in your industry.

- People who share something in common with you.

It is important to be mindful when adding connections on LinkedIn. If you add too many people who then decline your request, you may be at risk of LinkedIn temporarily banning your profile.

PRO STEP 5: Recommendations, Skills, Endorsements

Receiving recommendations, adding skills and Endorsements will improve your competitive advantage by increasing the perception of confidence and authority of your profile. It isn’t necessarily known if it impacts your ranking in the search engine, but it can add more relevant keywords to your profile which can benefit your SEO optimisation.

Optimizing your skills list with high-volume keywords that are relevant to your position will boost your SEO. For example, you are a marketing consultant, incorporating marketing-related skills such as data analytics, brand development, and content strategy will all boost your profile.

Reaching out and asking colleagues, friends or teachers to leave you a recommendation, skill or endorsement will boost the quality of your profile, and allow the important people you want to reach to feel more confident approaching you. Those you reach out to will likely feel honoured you chose them to leave an impression on your profile, and they will likely ask you for the favour in return.

You must be proactive in approaching this step, as it is much less likely that people are going to leave a recommendation, skill or endorsement on your profile unless requested. So, make sure you are connecting with others and requesting a them from trusted and relevant people so you can boost your audiences perception of confidence and authority in you and your profile.

PRO STEP 6: Importance of Posting Content

Publishing relevant and strategic content frequently can drive more traffic towards your profile. It is important when creating content to be strategic by making use of your keyword list, and telling a story that is comprehensive and consistent with your experiences, and the ‘about me’ section. The content you post must be relevant to the message you are trying to send with your profile.

  • Types of content you can create:

Creating content is a great way to optimize your SEO strategy by boosting your authority and can increase your ranking. You can create and share content by using the following strategies:

- Linking an article you may have written and sharing it with a synopsis can help boost your reputation and personal brand.

- Uploading samples of your work that may qualify your expertise, and offers the opportunity for you to validate and showcase your skills and abilities.

Posting content that is relevant to your expertise and opinions allows you the opportunity to increase engagement with others and get noticed by more people. Each reaction or comment you get on a post, then allow your post to be shown to the reactors network, allowing more people to notice your profile and have the opportunity to connect with you.

Making yourself prominent, expanding your connections and staying active through participating in conversations will keep you involved, relevant and getting noticed.

An essential pro SEO step is generating backlinks. Gaining backlinks at every opportunity is important to increase the ranking of your profile. Having as many backlinks as possible means that you will be able to gain more original connections and networking opportunities with people, as well as have your LinkedIn profile accessed in ways that don’t include specifically using the search engine. Ways you can backlink your LinkedIn profile includes:

  • Link your LinkedIn URL to your email signature.
  • Promote your profile across your social media.
  • Link your LinkedIn URL in your blog or your website (If you have one).

Once you have optimized your backlinks like a pro, there will be a greater opportunity for people to see your profile and engage with you. This will then lead to a cycle of increased engagements > increased ranking… which is the last step to optimizing your LinkedIn profile like a pro.

Final Notes on Using SEO Like a LinkedIn Pro:

Now that you know exactly what you need to do to optimize your LinkedIn profile SEO like a pro, it’s time to time to review your profile and create an action plan to start seeing the results. Following through on each step, and optimizing each section of your profile will ensure you will rank higher on LinkedIn’s search engine, and get noticed more by all of the right people. Remember to stay active, and keep consistent with your message in each interaction you make. It's time to get started on optimizing your profile so you can reach your goals.

Written by

Angelina Mazzitelli