Creating your professional LinkedIn profile is more than just posting your resume. Similar to your website, when you’re writing content, it’s important to utilize keyword phrases in your profile. After all, when prospects are searching for someone like you—which they do on LinkedIn—you want to show up high on their results list.
For instance, a couple of the phrases I have used in my headline are “copywriting services” or “direct response copywriter.” So I have these keywords placed throughout in at least six strategic locations of my profile.
Six Strategic Places to Include Your Keywords Within Your LinkedIn Profile
1. Your professional “headline”
This appears right below your name on your profile. Be concise. Use descriptive phrases you think someone might search to find a professional like you. Unless you work for a big-name brand, it’s not likely someone will be searching for “President of the ABC Company.” Consider using a tag line as well, one that incorporates a keyword phrase. LinkedIn gives you up to 120 characters here.
2. Current work experience
Include the keyword phrase(s) in the title and in the description of the work you do.
3. Past work experience
Weave the keyword phrase(s) in where you can, only if it’s appropriate. (This is not about stuffing your keywords everywhere. It needs to make sense.)
4. Skills and endorsements
List the key areas that you specialize in—areas of expertise that you want others to endorse you for. If you find people are endorsing you for skills you don’t want to be recognized for, you can edit and delete those from your profile. LinkedIn shows the top ten skills that you’re receiving endorsements for on your profile.
When I receive an endorsement for a skill I’d rather not be known for, I follow up with the colleague who was kind enough to endorse me. I don’t say “I don’t want to be endorsed for that.” Instead, I thank the person for the endorsement and let him or her know which skills I’d welcome endorsements for. And I ask which skills he or she would like to be endorsed for. Reciprocity goes a long way.
Under your “Contact Info” tab, you can list up to three website links. Many people just insert one thinking, “I have one website.” However, if that’s the case, why not take advantage of this opportunity to lead people to several pages of your website? And while you’re listing websites, you may use keyword phrases to describe each link.
Take a look at what you have under “Contact Info” now. Perhaps it says “Personal website,” “Blog,” or “Company website.” Instead, if you were a REALTOR® in Boulder, Colorado, it could say “Boulder Real Estate” or “Boulder County REALTOR.” You could then take the person to another page on your site with a keyword phrase such as “Search Boulder real estate.” See where I’m heading with this?
Remember, you may submit up to three website links. So if you don’t have three websites, simply use this opportunity to direct folks to other pages of the one website you do have. In my profile, viewers have the option to go to the home page of my copywriting site (“Freelance copywriting services” is the keyword phrase), my portfolio page (“Copywriting portfolio samples”) or my speaker page (“Marketing seminars”).
Do the same on your LinkedIn profile. Optimize your website options for keyword phrases while giving visitors the option to learn more about you on various pages of your site.
Read four simple steps to make this change to the website links if you need more help.
This is the most important section of your profile because it reveals a personal side of yourself and communicates who you are. It also conveys what you’re passionate about and how you can help others.
Avoid having really long paragraphs here. Don’t make readers dig deep to read your information. Shorter paragraphs make the content more inviting to the readers’ eyes. And consider using sub-headings (which can also be keyword enhanced).
LinkedIn allows you to use up to 2,000 characters here so take advantage of the opportunity to express yourself. Write your summary in first person, and give readers some insight about your personality and your desire to be of service to them.
Whether you’re already a LinkedIn member or thinking about it, take advantage of these six strategies when you’re writing your profile. They’ll help you harness the power of the world’s largest professional networking site. It’s a place to access valuable information, become part of a conversation and connect with other professionals.