Are Buyers Finding Your LinkedIn Profile When Searching for Your Products and Services?

Getting discovered by your prospective buyer during the research phase of the buyer’s journey is one of the best ways to start a sales conversation. That’s where SEO in your LinkedIn profile becomes important.

When you hear “SEO” or “search engine optimization,” you think website, right? Well, SEO isn’t just for your website anymore. In fact, leveraging keywords and key phrases to be found by your buyers online extends to LinkedIn profiles and publications.

Google indexes content on the web, and LinkedIn, by many accounts, is one of the top 10 ranked websites of all times. That means no matter how hard you work to have your content come up on the first page, you have a significantly better chance if you leverage the power of LinkedIn to show up in targeted searches.

The first step in optimizing your LinkedIn presence is identifying the keywords and phrases that your buyers are using when searching for your products and services. Here are a few sites you can use to identify real data and insights to help you focus:

LinkedIn and Google have different algorithms for how content shows up in a search. LinkedIn is looking at two things: how many times the words are used in your profile, and how they rank based on the searcher’s network. Searches are unique to each person running the search the same as each network is unique to the individual. With this context, Below are 15 areas to focus on in order to optimize your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Connect with Everyone You Meet – Based on the fact that LinkedIn takes your network into consideration, the more people you are connected to, the more searches you will appear in—so connect with everyone you know!
  2. Name Your Headshot – Use keywords to label your headshot before uploading it. When people search for those terms, your photo will show up! My headshot is labeled: Brynne Tillman, Social Selling Expert, LinkedIn Training, Digital Sales Training, LinkedIn Keynote Speaker
  3. Label your Background Banner – Just like your headshot, make sure you are renaming your banner before you upload it to your profile.
  4. Company Page Images –While you may not have control over your LinkedIn company page, a quick mention to the page manager to rename the logo, banner, and other images can make a huge difference in appearing in searches for the keywords and phrases important to your brand.
  5. Use Text in Your URL links – In your contact information section, you have the ability to list 3 website links. By default, it says “Company Website” but if you choose “Other” from the drop-down, you can use keywords and phrases to describe where the link takes them.
  6. Leverage Your Headline – While your headline should include who you help and how you help them, make sure that you naturally include keywords and phrases about your area of specialization. BONUS: When editing on the desktop, your headline is limited to 120 characters, but when you edit it on your mobile device you can add an additional 90 characters. This can give you a huge advantage when it comes to search engine optimized words.
  7. Be Smart with Your Summary – You have 2000 characters available, which should be not only leveraged for search but written from a client-centric lens. This doesn’t have to mean your number of years in business or even your specific accomplishments—use this space to emphasize your value to the reader. And while SEO is vital, the flow of your Summary, the story you tell and the insights you provide are just as or even more important. A buyer-centric profile will build trust and credibility.
  8. Your Experience Section Counts – Instead of simply listing your Job Title in your Experience section, add keywords and phrases next to your title. My actual title is Chief Learning Officer but my headline is: Chief Learning Officer | Digital Sales Transformation | LinkedIn and Social Selling Classes
  9. Customize your LinkedIn Personal URL – Replace the automatic characters assigned by LinkedIn. Personalizing your LinkedIn URL is a simple way to ensure that when people are searching for you, they will find you. This is particularly important for those with common names. My LinkedIn URL is:
  10. Add Additional Sections – By simply adding more sections in your LinkedIn profile, you can add more keywords and phrases that your buyers are using when they look for your products and services.
  11. Projects & Publications with Others – LinkedIn’s Projects can be used for case studies, ventures or programs that you’ve been involved with. In many cases you didn’t do these in a silo, so make sure you tag others. You’ll then show up on their profile, and begin to leverage their network in search results.
  12. Get recommendations – Similar to Projects and Publications, when someone writes a recommendation that you publish on your profile, you show up on their profile. While the testimonial alone is powerful, the fact that it can help you to be found is a bonus.
  13. List Your Search Engine Optimized Skills – Because this section was designed for recruiters to find candidates with the skills they’re looking for, having the right keywords and phrases here is essential for maximizing your LinkedIn profile’s SEO. Make sure that your skills are not limited to “customer service,” “Leadership” or “Microsoft Office,” but include keywords and phrases that set you apart. Then, get your friends, family, and co-workers to endorse you because in LinkedIn’s Algorithm, size matters.
  14. LinkedIn Publisher for Original Content – Another great way to get found is by publishing articles through LinkedIn Publisher. These are original blog posts connected to your profile. In addition to using keywords and key phrases in the title and text of your articles, name your graphics thoughtfully as well, as they are indexed by Google.
  15. Embed Native Video – While I’ve been unable to verify how LinkedIn and Google index native video from a search engine optimization perspective, I do know, simply from observation, that Native Video is being pushed by LinkedIn heavily—so the better you optimize your title and description, the more likely others will click through and watch.

To put it simply, leveraging SEO in your LinkedIn profile is just smart marketing. If you aren’t coming up in your buyers’ searches, who is? Test it now; does your competition have an edge? Maybe it’s time for you optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Want to learn how to improve your LinkedIn social selling efforts? I invite you to have a conversation. Whether or not we work together, I’m confident I can provide some insights that will help you leverage LinkedIn better when growing your business. To make scheduling a call easier, here is a link to my calendar – please pick a time that works best for you.