Perhaps more than any of the other big players in the social media scene – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ et al. – LinkedIn is a very, very specific social network. Whereas on nearly all of the others – including Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, Instagram etc. – where a little (or a lot of) silliness is permissible, if not just outright encouraged, on LinkedIn it’s strictly business.
Yes, LinkedIn doesn’t even really describe itself as a social network, but rather a professional network. And that’s exactly what it is.
You will not see funny or cute videos of orang-utans feeding milk to baby goats on LinkedIn. Nor will you see photo galleries and albums of entire offices pulling drunken moonies at the office party. And neither will you encounter the sort of banal status updates that regularly frequent the likes of Facebook and Twitter about what a fellow user had for breakfast, how they’re feeling about being dumped, or what the facilities are like on their holidays in Spain.
You won’t even see an awful lot of ‘causes’ – political or charitable – being promoted either (though of course the odd ones still manage to slip through).
No, what you will see on LinkedIn are professional posts by professional people.
It’s All About Professions
LinkedIn is the social network for the people in the professional world – be they employers, employees, or those seeking employment. That’s what the platform is all about – professional networking. Whether you’re in the world of personal finance, law, information technology, web design, graphic design, app design or hair and beauty, there are others like you on the platform, which is why LinkedIn is one of the most important networks to get yourself found on.
This is the site where you are going to start to build a professional interest in your brand. Indeed, it is one of the very best platforms on which you can start to build up a reputation as a thought leader. Just like on your website, you can post blogs on your LinkedIn page – and, more and more, this is becoming a rising trend in the professional world.
Whereas your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages are primarily all about raising the awareness of your brand – a feat that you will achieve by a constant engagement with your followers, combined with some witty posts and maybe the odd competition – on LinkedIn you will be solely focussing your attentions on building up the reputation of your brand amongst your peers in the industry. You will be publishing thoughtful posts, filled with interesting content and meaningful statistics. If Facebook and Twitter are the naughty and mischievous children of the social media rat race, then LinkedIn is the humourless and severe grandfather, bringing everything back down to Earth, and back, of course, to business.
A Step By Step Guide To LinkedIn SEO
With so much at stake for your LinkedIn profile, it’s essential that you do everything you can to get yourself noticed. And so, to help you do this, we’ve put together a list of the most important factors to consider when optimising your discoverability on the network. Here they are…
Ah, yes – keywords. Don’t be surprised. As with all SEO, keywords play a huge part in optimizing your LinkedIn profile and content for the LinkedIn search engine. The idea, of course, is that you want industry fellows to be able to find you easily. So, a good course of action to take is to try and search for those people yourself. Whatever you type into the search field, you should consider working into your own profile. To help you, you can even use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to help you identify which keywords and phrases will make you more discoverable by the right people.
Create A Unique URL
Your default URL when you create a LinkedIn account will simply be made up of a senseless jumble of symbols, letters and numbers. For starters, this just looks unprofessional, and so you will want to try and create a unique URL that ideally matches your name as closely as possible.
The reason why you probably won’t be able to use your full name exactly is that the likelihood is that it will already be taken (there are more than 350 million LinkedIn users, you know). If this is the case, then you will have to come up with a variation, but the key thing is that your URL should be immediately identifiable as being yours.
This is a professional network, and so your profile must be professional and complete. This means that you will need a profile picture. Unlike Facebook, say, there are still an awful lot of LinkedIn users who don’t upload a profile picture. But, what’s perhaps even worse, is that there are probably just as many who use a silly picture of themselves – mug-shots that would indeed be more suited to the likes of Facebook.
No, your profile picture should reflect your professionalism. The logic is simple – the more complete your profile is, the more engagement your page will generate, and this will improve your SEO.
Expand Your Network
The larger your network, the more important your profile is deemed to be by the search engine, so you need to start aggressively seeking out as many connections as possible. It nearly always helps, especially when seeking to connect with someone that you don’t know personally, to first of all view their profile page (as they will be notified of this), and secondly send them a little message. These messages cannot be generic – you have to specifically mention something about their work that you admire, complement them on it, and explain in a single sentence what you do and why it would be good to connect. This will improve your chances of gaining connections significantly.
Have you got any good tips for improving LinkedIn SEO? Please share your insights with us in the comments below.