Use keywords to ramp up your Linkedin profile

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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You’ve just spent 4 hours writing (and re-writing) your Linkedin profile to perfection which is great for the odd ex-work colleague who decides to check you out. But what you really should be doing is using keywords in your profile to make you more visible for people searching in your area of expertise. Here’s how:

1. Come up with a list of Keywords that represents what you do. For example if you are an Accountant, your list might include ‘Tax accountant’, ‘Property accountant’, ‘Accountant St Kilda’ etc depending on your speciality or location.

2. Now compare your list with the keywords that people actually use. You can find out which keywords are most commonly used to describe your area of expertise by using a keyword tool like Google’s free one. Sometimes the results of this research can be surprising.

3. When you have a list of 3 or 4 most common keywords, use the Linkedin search tool to see who ranks highly for those keywords. Linkedin has a preference to display those in your network at the top, so initially you might find a whole lot of work colleagues listed. Try to gauge who has done a great job at owning a set of keywords and look for opportunities to use keywords in your profile for popular terms that haven’t been covered off yet.

4. Re-write your profile with your selected keywords in 4 main areas:

Profile Headline

The important thing to realize about the Profile Headline is that it appears in your search listings along with your name so although it is an effective area to place your keywords, make sure it is readable and clear what you do here.

Profile Summary

There is a lot more space in this section so you can add your keywords more liberally whilst providing extra details about yourself and your background. But make sure you weave these keywords into the text so that your copy remains readable. There is no bigger turn-off than a profile that appears like ‘Spam’.

Experience

This area is designed for you to list current and previously held positions and the opportunity here is to add your selected keywords to your job title and description. If your job involves wearing a number of different hats, it can be advantageous to break out these different roles into separate ‘Current Job’ descriptions, ensuring your keywords are present in each. As for past experiences even if you lead several lives with completely different career paths with a little bit of creative license it’s still possible to weave your newly found keywords through the description of these jobs as well.

Skills and Expertise

This relatively new addition to Linkedin profiles allows you to select from a variety of skills. These act a little like ‘tags’ and are displayed in a number of places like Groups, Companies and Jobs.

Other factors

Linkedin will give preference to people who are active in the same groups as the person conducting the search. So think about the type of person you would like to be found by (ie, potential customers) and join the sort of groups that they are likely to be a member of.

The interesting thing about increasing your visibility on Linkedin is that it can often provide you with some unexpected opportunities. You might find yourself being approached by a business in a similar vertical looking to do a joint venture, or an association looking for a guest speaker on your area of expertise. The thing is when you are regularly coming at the top of search results for a particular keyword in Linkedin then that automatically positions you as the expert in that niche and all sorts of opportunities will land at your feet.

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