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How to use your LinkedIn profile to boost your search ranking

LinkedIn is a primary social media platform for business professionals, even if your target audience hangs out on other social media platforms. You might not realize it, but a strong LinkedIn profile, in addition to being active on the platform, can boost your credibility and your business referral network.

Research keywords you want to be known for

If keywords aren’t already part of your search engine optimization (SEO) marketing strategy, think about what terms or phrases people might use to search for professionals or businesses in your industry, and then start by doing some research.

Here are a few ways you can do it:

  • Start typing words into Google. The drop-down list will automatically populate the most often associated words that are commonly searched for.
  • Try free keyword research tools like www.answerthepublic.com or Google keyword planner.
  • Ask your colleagues what words come to mind when they think about your business.
  • Think about the kinds of common questions you get about your business from your customers and find themes in the answers to hone in on keywords.

Remember, keywords aren’t just single words. Use short phrases as well as longer keyword combinations. Although short phrases may be searched more commonly, longer sequential phrases (aka long-tail keywords) are often better for indicating purchase intent.

Make your LinkedIn profile search friendly

Try Googling someone. Chances are the first thing that shows up is a LinkedIn profile. And what you find there tells a story about you and about your business.

Did you know that there are ways to optimize your profile for keywords that can improve your search engine rank?

Headline

  • Your headline is the line of text that appears right under your name on LinkedIn. It automatically defaults to your current position at your first employer listed in your profile.
  • Edit your headline and change it to use words people would search for to describe you. A great format for your headline is: Job title | Value or expertise | Proof point to back it up

Summary

  • Your summary is like your handshake. People want to get to know you, so let your personality shine!
  • Pack your summary with keywords you want to be known for using natural language in a flow that’s easy to read.
  • Authenticity in your summary is important. Don’t use words you wouldn’t use in person.

Work experience

  • It’s tempting to just list employers under work experience, but take the time to tell people more about what you accomplished in the roles.
  • Keep it high level and use bulleted lists. Write your achievements with your keywords in mind.
  • Don’t worry about including every little detail in your work experience. Think about what people will actually read and be interested in (not nearly as much as you might think).

Contact information

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date so that people know how to reach you.
  • For an extra SEO boost, edit your contact info in your profile, select Other for your website category, and slot in a few more keywords.

Don’t stop there

LinkedIn has transformed from a once-and-done online resume repository to a thriving social network. Take the time to connect with people and be seen as an industry leader by sharing relevant content your network cares about, using your experience to help others meet their professional goals and broadening your circle of influence in ways you might not have considered before.

Need help building your LinkedIn profile?

Contact Squarely Social. We’ve helped professionals like you understand LinkedIn through comprehensive profile audits and customized content plans.

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