Optimize your LinkedIn profile for more connections and better leads.
LinkedIn has the unfortunate name of being a platform for stuffy CEOs, spammy salespeople and school students who were needed to create a profile in their university career skills class.
For that reason, several business owners and marketers treat their LinkedIn profile (if they even have one) as an online resume. They list their credentials, add a bit of keyword about who they're and hope that somebody is intrigued enough to network with them or hire them.
What they – and likely you – don't realize about LinkedIn is that it's a powerful search engine that can drive targeted, high-volume traffic to your profile.
This traffic very well is converted into valuable professional relationships and new clients.
So It's time to stop sleeping on this platform and start tapping into that power.
LinkedIn is not just a resume!
With LinkedIn optimization, you will build connections with some of the best in your industry and attract your ideal clients directly to your profile and inbox.
One of the best things about your LinkedIn profile is how much real you have in terms of optimization.
Sure, the obvious places are your headline, summary and experience sections, but you can also take advantage of your profile photo and cover photo sections. This is what I call optimizing your profile – as you aren't adding SEO keywords, but are tailoring the look of your profile to your target audience.
Do looks matter? You tell me.
How important is the design of your business website to appeal to potential clients/customers?
Optimize your profile's curb appeal
When it comes to LinkedIn, not only having it talk the talk but look the look.
To optimize your profile's curb appeal, you are going to focus on two features: the profile photo and the cover photo.
We are all familiar with the dull, grainy headshots on LinkedIn. If you want to take your LinkedIn branding seriously, I say: Dare to stand out!
You'll want a professional, high-quality image that highlights your personality and business. Something that your potential clients will find approachable.
• High-quality image – Clear, not pixelated
• Close shot of your face
• Simple background
• Appropriate attire
LinkedIn suggests having an image where your face takes up 65% of the frame.
For some industries, your look may include professional attire and corporate background. For others, it could be more casual. The key is to appeal to what your target audience is most familiar with in working with people like you.
The cover photo section also gives you an ample opportunity to tell profile visitors what you (and your business) are all about.
You can easily create a custom Cover image using Photoshop or Canva that includes a professional background and copy that appeals to your target audience.
Best practices include:
• Adding a tagline telling profile visitors what you do and whom you serve.
• Adding your website URL and social media profiles.
• Having an attractive backdrop image that draws in your target audience.
• Including a call-to-action, or otherwise letting users know how to contact you.
The above example, users know at a glance what you do, whom you help and how best to reach you – all without having to dig through your entire profile.
By optimizing the look of your profile, you give the best possible first impression to your potential connections. You also make it easier for potential clients to understand what you are about and how to get a hold of you.
Unfortunately, many of us design our LinkedIn profile - concise and professional, yet boring.
Write with your target audience in mind
Write your LinkedIn profile like you would write your online dating profile, only, more professional.
Make it interesting and write it to appeal to the type of people you want to attract.
There are a few primary areas where you can do this, and those are your headline, summary and experience sections.
Your headline is the line of text directly beneath your name on your profile. LinkedIn gives you about 120 characters of space here to tell visitors who you are and what you offer.
Your headline should be a combination of LinkedIn SEO keywords and a compelling copy. That's because it works to both attract traffic and keep users engaged with your profile.
You want to be uber clear about what you do. This is not a space for witty taglines like "Probably out fishin'" or "I rank it, you bank it!" Not only do headlines like these not include keywords, but they can leave profile visitors feeling confused about what exactly it is that you do.
I suggest either keeping your headline chocked full of keywords, with a bit of finessing copy ("I'm a digital marketing strategist that helps small businesses reach more customers online.") or taking the time to craft a compelling headline with conversion copywriting.
Not a great writer? You may want to reach out to a professional copywriter to help you craft a message that appeals to your target audience.
Your Summary section is by far the largest space for adding LinkedIn SEO keywords. With over 100 words worth of space, you can't afford to NOT optimize this section.
This is where visitors go to learn even more about you, your business and the services that you offer.
I like to compare it to the "about us" page on a business website.
You need to craft a summary that speaks to what your target audience is looking for. This is not a place to simply rattle off your accomplishments and services.
Ask yourself, What is my potential audience looking for when it comes to working with someone like me?
Market research will be able to answer this for you. If you haven't conducted market research to figure out your audience's struggles, pain points, needs, and wants, you will want to do that first.
Once you have your market research in hand, you will write a summary that appeals to your target audience/ideal clients. You will simply address their primary struggle and how you will be able to help them overcome that struggle.
Your summary section shouldn't ramble on and on; it should be concise, targeted and written with a purpose. Get your message across as efficiently and effectively as possible so that you can move visitors along your profile funnel without delay.
The experience section is where most business owners are getting lazy and treating their profile like a resume.
Your experience section is another place to include SEO keywords that convinces users that you are the right fit for them.
You do this by writing each Experience in a way that highlights what you took away from working at that company and the results you got for them.
I suggest writing naturally rather than including a bulleted list of everything you have done. Hand-pick your best examples and make them super compelling. Speak to what your potential clients are searching for and let them know how you can generate the results that they want.
LinkedIn SEO differs from regular SEO because the keywords that users type in to find services and businesses on LinkedIn aren't always the same as what users type into Google.
That's because the average user doesn't consider LinkedIn to be a search engine. They use it as it is as a social media platform and therefore use short terms that match job titles.
While users may use keywords like "copywriting services for small businesses" in Google, they are more likely to use terms like "copywriter" or "writer" on LinkedIn.
However, when users do search long or short tail terms in Google, LinkedIn profiles have the chance to rank in the SERPs. That's why it is suggested to optimize your profile with both SEO keywords and LinkedIn SEO keywords.
Finding LinkedIn SEO keywords
To find SEO keywords to use in your profile, simply conduct keyword research as you would if you were finding keywords for your business website.
What do you want your profile to rank for?
Do these terms get good search traffic?
Do they match the intent of your target audience?
These are all questions you'll want to consider.
Generate a list of terms that are worth ranking for and that have a reasonable search volume. With this list, you will start on your LinkedIn SEO keyword research and then you'll optimize your profile with a combination of these terms.
Unfortunately, no tool provides search volume data for keywords used on LinkedIn. There is a process for finding keywords on LinkedIn. You may want to reach out to a Professional LinkedIn profile makeover services.
Are you making the most of your LinkedIn profile? If not, start today.
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