LinkedIn is easily the most neglected of the main social media networks. Standing against Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, it’s often seen as the boring one of the bunch – little more than a glorified online CV. However, for business use, LinkedIn is actually one of the most valuable networks out there. If you Google you full name, your LinkedIn profile often ranks in the top 5 results. With the growing importance of content marketing and the rise of online authorship, we are all putting our name out more and more frequently. Improving your LinkedIn profile is simple and can really effect your online visibility.
Which begs the question – Why wouldn’t you want your LinkedIn profile to be the best it can be?
A lot of us (me included) heeded the advice to setup a LinkedIn profile, but then stopped. There are actually a few basic things that we can do that will really boost our profiles and online rankings. Here’s how to improve your LinkedIn profile in 5 easy steps:
Create a Vanity URL
Unless you have a really distinctive name, the default URL that LinkedIn provides for your profile is likely a string of indecipherable numbers and code. If you have to give your LinkedIn profile address over the phone, or you want to print it on your business card, it should be as concise and self-explanatory as possible. Sure people can find you by searching, but make their lives easier by making yourself easier to find.
Creating your own Vanity URL is simple and it instantly makes your profile more professional:
- Hover over Profile on the main nav-bar, then click Edit Profile
- Underneath your Profile Picture should be a short URL. Click Edit
- You’ll then be taken to your Public Profile page. This is the page that appears when someone finds your profile and is not signed in to LinkedIn. On the right-hand side, click on Customize your public profile URL and type in something that’s unique to you, easy to remember, and easy to share.
Complete Your Profile!
Your profile could be the first thing people see of you when looking to learn more abut your product, service, company, or previous work experience. Don’t devalue yourself with an incomplete profile – add as much information as possible. And pay attention – LinkedIn is quite good at helping you fill in any bits you’ve missed with handy popup messages.
Use Keywords in Your Summary
Make sure you include a strong, SEO friendly summary of your career. Most summaries are only a few sentences long, but you’ve got 2,000 words, so use them as best as you can! Be sure to include keywords relating to your skills and interests within your summary. Your ‘searchability’ depends on LinkedIn’s search engine linking your name to certain keywords. If you’re a marketing manager, then you might want the term ‘marketing manager’ to appear a few times throughout the summary. Again, include as much information as you can to make yourself more searchable.
Make the Headlines
You don’t have to have your job title as your professional headline underneath your name. Think about what you want to be known for. Take any specialties or skills that you have and use those in your headlines to make your profile stand out from the crowd. Like your summary, keywords are also useful here.
Add Career Milestones with ‘Sections’
Sections are really quick to add and LinkedIn will promote you for them. If you have any certifications, awards, languages, publications or projects, then show them off! Some sections, including Publications, allow you to add extra information, such as a link to the title of a book or article you’ve written. To add sections, go to Edit Profile and then select a Section from the list on the right-hand side.
These are all simple tweaks, but they can really make a difference to your LinkedIn visibility. More and more people are turning to LinkedIn to learn more about you. Make sure that your first impression is not just a good one, but a great one.
Got any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below.