Wondering how to get more people to visit your LinkedIn Profile? The secret for increasing traffic to your LinkedIn Profile is to apply effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques.
Effective SEO for your LinkedIn Profile is not as difficult to do as it sounds.
Basically, LinkedIn is a very large database of profiles that uses key fields to order (or "index") the entire collection of data. Since most of LinkedIn's revenue is generated by recruiters using LinkedIn to find candidates, LinkedIn knows the best keywords for personal SEO.
The good news? Most of the terms you enter on LinkedIn are searchable by other users - meaning that you can’t go wrong by adding keywords (representing, of course, the job titles and skills appropriate for you that are found in job postings).
However, if you also understand (and leverage) LinkedIn's indexing method, you’ll be in a better position to grow your traffic. So you’ll want to add more keywords, taking steps to increase the keyword density in specific fields, as described below.
Here are 5 tips for effective LinkedIn SEO (and more views) on your Profile:
The most prominent branding message on your LinkedIn Profile is also the most critical when it comes to SEO. Next to your Name, your Professional Headline, the phrase that appears below your name, is the most highly rated field in the index.
What does this mean? Keywords listed in the Headline field will have a greater impact, increasing your ranking among other users for the same terms.
Now you know why using the default "current-job" Headline is not a good idea!
As an example, consider switching
“Vice President Sales at ABC Corporation” (your current position)
“VP Sales. Revenue Growth in Cloud-Enabled Technology Solutions. Product Development & Sales Operations Leadership” (your current position with more keywords added to more fully explain it)
This strategy prevents ABC Corporation from becoming a highly relevant search term on this user’s Profile, while enabling other keywords (Product Development, Sales Operations, Cloud-Enabled Technology, Revenue Growth) to draw more traffic.
LinkedIn allows you to use 120 spaces for your Headline, and using as many of the 120 as possible is smart.
The Job Title field on LinkedIn is also a highly indexed field (as is your Employer name). However, if your current job title is too vague, you can miss out on a chance for more traffic.
What works well in this case is to add content to your Job Title, taking care not to change the original content. For example,
“Operations Associate” can become
“Operations Associate – Operations Manager for Thermo-printing Division”
The second version more fully explains the true job function to someone outside of the organization.
“Senior Consultant” becomes “Senior Consultant , IT Project Management”
”Financial Analyst” becomes “Financial Analyst – Audit & Compliance”
In each example, the second version provides both more keyword detail and a clearer explanation of the job. LinkedIn currently allows you 100 spaces for your job title, and, as usual, using as many as possible for appropriate keywords is smart.
Although not considered a highly indexed part of LinkedIn, your Summary must nevertheless contain compelling text, along with a high percentage of keywords relevant to your goal:
"As an IT Director, my goal is to satisfy stakeholders and speak the language of our trading industry users, while implementing technologies to boost processing speed and accelerate business transformation. I've led IT project teams of up to 110 in service delivery and brought hosting costs down 32%, even during rapid growth."
"In Senior Manager and Director of Sales roles, I’ve built trust among customers and captured market trends in the oil and gas industry… with new sales channels and alliances that grew revenue 123%. I enjoy the challenge of creating a competitive edge through increased brand recognition and high-performance sales team mentoring."
Of course, this type of Summary language employs more robust keyword content than a resume summary - which is a key reason you shouldn’t duplicate your resume on your LinkedIn Profile.
[Related: The Top 25 Keywords for Your Job Search.]
Often neglected as a great strategy for adding more detail, sections like Projects, Certifications, or Honors & Awards can be used to inject more keywords.
Should you decide to use these sections, keep your wording short and keyword-dense. For example, a Certification for a particular software language could state "Java Developer" with the initials of the credential.
A COO in the real estate industry could also add several Projects entitled "Commercial Real Estate – NYC" to show proficiency in overseeing large-city construction efforts.
In the Honors & Awards section, you can add accolades that begin with your desired job title ("Senior Sales Executive winning President’s Club for 5 years").
One of the most misunderstood sections of LinkedIn, the Skills & Expertise area started out as a directly searchable group of keywords. Now, it’s evolved into an SEO tool that can draw serious traffic, but only if it’s used correctly.
The terms you add to Skills & Expertise factor more heavily in your LinkedIn searchability when you are endorsed for them. Therefore, it makes sense to add keywords and obtain (and accept) Endorsements on them.
A caveat: ensure the terms you add in this section are really keywords. Given a choice between a "hard skill" (such as "Project Management") and a character trait (such as "Leadership"), employers may prefer to search for specific competencies.
These are just a few tips for boosting your LinkedIn's SEO factor (as there are more critical fields and strategies that can be used to generate traffic!). Even if you don’t understand SEO concepts, remember that adding more content to your Profile nearly always results in more visitors - especially when you capitalize on keywords to attract employer interest.
Job-Hunt's LinkedIn for Job Search Expert Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Director of An Expert Resume, is an award-winning executive resume writer, national columnist, author, LinkedIn and SEO enthusiast, and past recruiter. Laura is author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Strategies to Access the Hidden Job Market. Connect with Laura on Twitter at @ResumeExpert, on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/laurasmithproulx, and on Google Plus.