If you want to win more business on LinkedIn, optimise your profile and get involved in the action
This article explains how you can optimise your LinkedIn profile and increase the likelihood of being found by members searching for someone like you.
Optimising your LinkedIn presence by understanding the key areas to improve on is a little like making and marketing a successful movie: deliver a well-constructed and convincing story and engage with your audience so you rank higher on their list of viewing options than will your competitors. How exactly do you go about that? Let’s take a look: Lights, camera, action!
Lights: LinkedIn Search Engine Optimisation is important, but not difficult.
I carried out a simple test to identify the key areas to focus on to improve your ranking in others searches and the results, though not necessarily scientifically verifiable, were easy to understand and very helpful.
As suggested in my movie analogy, this is more about the art of communication than it is the laws of computational physics. Let’s review what I discovered and get you on the road to a little bit more fame and fortune.
Camera: How was my research conducted?
From the perspective of a basic level LinkedIn account holder; this test involved searching under the people option, using the keyword “copywriter”. On reviewing the Top 10 profile hits this search produced I was able to make some useful deductions regarding what it was in those profiles and about those member’s activities that had led to their ranking so well.
I examined a number of different factors, all relevant in their own way to building and maintaining a strong presence on LinkedIn, but asking which contributed most significantly – or in combination – to improving ranking on the search results list. The factors I considered come under three headings:
• Profile Components – information about themselves and their business included on the member’s profiles
• Profile Connections – things that matched between myself and the Top 10 results displayed
• Activity on LinkedIn – unrelated to my profile, but revealing how active the Top 10 were on LinkedIn and in what ways
The question was whether who you are, how closely related to me you are and what you are contributing on LinkedIn helps improve your profile ranking, why and to what degree?
Action: In Ascending Order, the winners are….
I’m pleased to announce the relevance of the various factors I examined, in ascending order of importance, were thus:
Extras – not unimportant, but not significant:
• Regular use of Keywords (in this case “copywriter”) throughout a profile and in company names, job descriptions, and other member’s recommendations
• How well linked to you another member is, i.e 1st, 2nd or 3rd tier
• Shared connections – profiles ranking higher in the search result had less shared connections than others lower down
• Shared Interests – in terms of companies or influencers being followed, appeared of little value.
Best Supporting Roles – having some relevance or impact:
• Use of Keywords in job titles – in both current and past roles, may have a small impact
• Profile Strength – inasmuch as all the Top 10 Hits were probably All – Star profiles – it simply makes sense to maximize profile content
• Geographical Location – may have some relevance the fewer connections you have and there may be some minor focus on results being within your country, but a 1st tier connection with 30 shared connections and just up the road from me ranked 9th against the No 1 hit who was a 2nd tier connection, a fair way away and had less mutual connections.
• Shared Groups – being followers (members) of the same groups may have some impact on a search result
Star Performers – grabbing all the plaudits:
• Use of the Keyword in a Profile Headline – all the Top 10 results included this (This is the description of your job or business immediately under your name)
• Activity, which might be broken down into three sub-categories as follows:
– Informative – writing articles and posting comments
– Supportive – sharing others posts and activity and sharing external content
– Responsive – commenting on and liking others contributions
Of these, seemingly the most relevant for search rankings was being responsive and doing so in a regular, recent and fairly consistent fashion. It was also apparent that commenting on others posts was possibly of greater significance than merely liking them.
Want to see how I discovered all this? Fill in your details below to see the full analysis
Lifetime Achievement Award
From time to time LinkedIn may adjust the algorithms that combine to asses profile strengths and establish which individual ranks above another in a search. That said, it’s pretty much a certainty that the star performers identified above will be around for a while and their role in boosting the appeal of your presentation – and winning you a wider audience – will continue to matter.
In conclusion, two things were absolutely clear.
1. If you want to win more business on LinkedIn you need to ensure your profile is fit for a red carpet premiere and that it specifically states in the headline what it is you want to be found for.
2. Most vital of all though is that you are consistently in the thick of the action and are approaching LinkedIn as a member of an ensemble – sharing content with others, contributing good ideas and responding to posts in a useful and productive way.
That way you are more likely to get noticed for the right reasons, be a big hit and see business flowing more regularly in your direction.
As I believe was once said in a movie…..