LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Individuals and Companies
by: Carolina Pickens
Content Specialist at Valet Interactive, a division of Worldwide Revenue Solutions
Search engine guru Craig Fisher recently spoke at the DFW Search Engine Marketing Association to give advice about LinkedIn organization. Known as a top influencer in HR marketing and recruiting, Fisher was able to provide a great deal of insight for how individuals and companies can enhance their LinkedIn profile optimization, as well as the best branding tactics for well-optimized SEO. I’ll review what was discussed at this helpful event so that you can make sure that your information is up-to-date.
Let’s begin. The first thing that you’ll want to do is write a well-constructed “About Me” on the social media profile of your or your business’s choice. Fisher maintains that LinkedIn is the most powerful online tool for branding since it is the most optimized social media site. Included in this seminar was a highly beneficial outline for putting together powerful (and highly optimized) content.
1. It’s All About Structure
Fisher’s first rule for the layout of an About Me section on LinkedIn is to clearly state your name, location, and job title. This sentence should also be the Headline of your profile. For example:
Name: City Job Title
However, it is recommended to select the city you would like to live and work in, not necessarily your current location. Some people argue that tactics such as this, when included in social media profiles and resumes, can prevent companies from being willing to offer relocation pay, but it is generally accepted that candidates should not worry about this. If a company wants to hire you and you are able to explain concisely your reasoning for targeting the city with SEO, it will most likely be a moot point. Plus, worrying about this is getting ahead of yourself. Let’s stay focused on the main goal – getting hired and more exposure with LinkedIn profile optimization.
Obviously, brands and companies cannot change their location to attract a wider range of customers, so stick with where you are now. More optimization can be achieved with consistent keywords and content, which we will discuss next.
2. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Those of us who work in website optimization are very familiar with keywords – it’s what we eat, drink, and breathe. However, we know that some people may not be familiar with this term.
Keywords are the words people are actively searching by plugging them into their search engine of choice. In this particular case, a keyword is likely to be the job title as well as the requirements of the task. These keywords should be naturally included in the About Me section to optimal LinkedIn profile optimization. Here’s an example:
“As a content writer, I tell the stories of my clients and boost their online presence using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) site copy writing and blogging. I manage client reputation across many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Google+, Yelp!, and more.”
By including some popular keywords like copy writing, blogging, client reputation, etc., I am able to increase my chances of being found by an employer who is searching for those traits. If you’re not sure which keywords you should include, a great trick is to run a job search of your own current position (or the position you want to hold). Read some of the descriptions and figure out which words keep coming up. Include that in your description, but only if it’s true to your own performance.
Keywords are very important to you as well! People are searching for companies who can help them, and here’s a secret: if they’re searching, they probably want to pay. Make sure that your page contains helpful keywords like:
“Our hotel in Miami is known for providing excellent service, from complimentary breakfast to free on-site parking.”
Sure it seems simple, but it’s what people want to see. You’ll need to expound on exactly what you can provide your customers for maximum results when you work on your brand’s LinkedIn profile optimization.
3. Why You Are The Best
LinkedIn is about one thing: marketing. After you’ve gotten potential companies interested with strong keywords, think about what puts you above and beyond the competition. This can be tricky for some who want to avoid bragging, but it’s what hiring managers are looking for. Find a way to self-promote in a manner that shows confidence without arrogance in one or two sentences. Here’s an example:
“Within a year at my first professional position, I was promoted from a position as a Junior Copywriter to managing a team of copywriters in a Lead Copywriter role. My skills as a Content Writer have helped me boost revenue and online growth for clients.”
These sentences aren’t bragging but instead state facts about my professional history: I was promoted to a position of leadership within a single year. I was not stating that I was the best person for the job, but it’s implied in the fact of the matter. I’m also not saying that I get people more money with my writing, but again, the fact that I can help the online presence of a client is suggested. Don’t overwhelm the audience with adjectives about your performance – simply talk about facts that will lead them to the conclusions you want.
This is different with brands. You’ll want to brag without putting others down. For instance:
“Our Miami hotel has been rated number X on TripAdvisor for X years in a row.”
Again, use a verifiable fact. Don’t be afraid to show that what you provide is the best choice for your customers. Confidence is desired in both individuals and businesses, because this can help customers and hiring managers build trust.
4. Make Yourself Look Relatable
Sure, you could be the best candidate since the development of the job itself, but nobody wants to work alongside a robot. Fisher suggests adding an endearing fact about yourself after talking yourself up. He says that he regularly posts pictures of his boys on the lake and that people remember him for it and often bring it up during conferences. These fun facts make you memorable. People want people who are endearing and who are similar to them in the workplace, so a little discussion of potential shared traits is encouraged. Here’s what I wrote:
“When I’m not creating fun and informative website content, my 2 rescue cats keep me on my toes. I also avidly cheer on the Texas Rangers in a practically delusional hope that they will one day win the World Series.”
Call me a crazy cat lady if you want to, but lots of people have cats and dogs that they love. This tidbit displays a compassionate nature, which is always welcomed in the workplace. Fisher also suggests that being funny is good – but only if it’s the self-deprecating kind of humor. I point out that I love the Texas Rangers, therefore including my interest in both sports and in the state’s team, but also that I may be foolish for expecting a World Series win (for those of you who don’t know, the Rangers have never won). In no way is this sentence constructed to poke fun at my beloved team, but instead at my unfounded expectations. Try finding a fun way to describe your interests in a way that a hiring manager will remember.
This can be a tricky one for entire companies, but when it’s mastered, it shows incredible results from your LinkedIn profile optimization. Focus on the customer and not necessarily your own self-deprecation. Opt for an understanding repertoire instead of humor.
5. Conclude With Your Specialties
Tie the whole thing together with a list of specialty keywords, which increases SEO and displays what you can do in a quick and easy-to-remember way. The structure is:
Skills: Name: List of skills and keywords
It will look a lot like this:
Carolina Pickens – Skills: Writing, Editing, Blogging, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Yelp!, Google+, SEO, Reputation Management, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel.
Again, this is to refresh the reader’s mind about your goal on social media, as well as to include some keywords that wouldn’t have worked well in a natural way, like we did in the second step. This should boost results and your overall presence on this site.
Fisher also promotes this layout for businesses. After reading the content in your social media profile, customers want to effortlessly refresh in their mind what exactly you can offer. Try something like this to hook your clientele:
Specialties: Hospitality, Resort, Room Service, Extended Stay, Handicap Accessible
And so on and so forth. Don’t be afraid to tell the story of your business with social media. The SEO results don’t lie: LinkedIn profile optimization is the way to go to promote your company and services.