LinkedIn is the go-to hub for professional digital networking.
If you’re looking to connect with other professionals throughout your industry and make advancements in business, no platform is going to help you like LinkedIn.
However, you can’t make any progress in this endeavor unless people can find you.
And in order to be found, you’ll need to build out your profile to appear in LinkedIn people search.
Why Your Personal LinkedIn Profile Matters to Your Company
Believe it or not, your personal LinkedIn profile can make a big difference to your company.
By showcasing that you work at a specific company, you essentially serve as a representative of that business on LinkedIn. Your profile comes to act as an extension of your company, and this can have a huge impact – both positive and negative, depending on how you present yourself.
A good LinkedIn profile can reflect well on a company, and that makes it a great touchpoint for lead generation and prospecting.
Essentially, advocating for your company on your profile brings great brand exposure for the business, and it also shows that it’s loved and entrusted by the people who work there.
On the other hand, an unimpressive profile can reflect poorly on a company, as people will believe that your company – and its employees – are not active on LinkedIn, and thus opportunities are easily missed.
The Importance of Knowing LinkedIn People Search
LinkedIn people search is the means by which users find other professionals, based upon a specific set of criteria they input.
They can narrow this search by industry, position, location, seniority level, name, company, and more.
Like Google, LinkedIn has its own search engine that determines the relevance and importance of profiles and pages to specific search queries.
But in order to show up in these queries, you need to engage in LinkedIn SEO practices to fully optimize your profile.
What Is LinkedIn SEO?
LinkedIn SEO can determine where your personal profile shows up within LinkedIn queries. Whether someone is searching for a company, specific positions, or people within an industry, your profile can pop up for any of these.
Additionally, Google crawls LinkedIn pages and profiles, so incorporating SEO practices into your profile can even help you show up on SERPs.
LinkedIn SEO Best Practices
There are a few key ways that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile for more visibility in search results. By following these practices, your profile will be more likely to appear in LinkedIn people search queries.
Upload a Photo.
It’s important to have a high-quality professional headshot of yourself uploaded to your profile.
Low quality photos won’t sit well, and if you don’t even bother to upload a photo – well, that’s even worse.
With this in mind, change your banner image as well! That old LinkedIn static image isn't doing you any favors. A custom banner image will grab your audience's attention.
Write a Summary.
One of the most essential elements of your LinkedIn profile is your summary.
This little “about me” section holds a lot of power, and it’s often read by people to help them get a better understanding of who you are in addition to the experience you list on your profile. Also, this is one of the primary places where you’ll integrate keywords into your profile.
When writing a LinkedIn profile summary, keep it concise but informative. Be professional, but don’t be afraid to inject a bit of your personality into it as well!
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. Without them, SEO simply wouldn’t make sense.
Consider what keywords you want to be found for (these should relate to your industry, your role, and your areas of expertise), and find ways to seamlessly integrate them into your profile summary, headline, and professional experience descriptions.
When people search for these terms, your profile will be more likely to pop up.
Keeping an active feed and regularly sharing content on LinkedIn is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader and gain exposure.
Whether it’s blog posts, videos, photos, or simple status updates, sharing LinkedIn content allows you to generate a presence on the platform and engage with the community.
Keep Your Profile Updated.
One of the most important things is to make sure that your profile is always up to date.
You should have a headline at the top of your profile that states your current position. This is one of the first points of information for many people on LinkedIn – it’s how they know who you are and what you do.
You should always have your current role and company listed in your professional experience section and even a banner image that is on brand with your company.
LinkedIn SEO Worst Practices
Just like you can elevate your profile to popularity by using SEO best practices, you can also cause it to crash and burn by using bad ones.
There are a few SEO hacks that might seem like a great idea at first, but can actually end up hurting your reputation and ranking on LinkedIn and Google.
Here are few LinkedIn SEO worst practices for you to steer clear of:
Keyword stuffing involves cramming keywords into your profile as much as possible, in an attempt to rank higher for those terms.
However, it drastically increases your keyword density in a manner that makes for a poor reader experience.
This practice is the dark horse of SEO. No search engine takes kindly to it, and if Google, LinkedIn, or any other engines catch you doing it, you’ll end up with a big penalty slapped on your profile.
Profiles as Ads
While it’s great to advocate for your company on your LinkedIn profile, be careful to avoid toeing the line of making your page into a full blown advertisement for your business.
LinkedIn does not take kindly to those who turn their profiles into spammy sales-pushers simply trying to sell the products or services of their company.
Use LinkedIn to get ahead, but make sure you do it the right way.
Best Optimized Personal LinkedIn Page Examples
LinkedIn user Angela Razzano has done an excellent job of optimizing her profile for better SEO.
Angela is a technical sourcer for Google, which is stated directly in her headline.
She uses a professional headshot for her main image, and while her banner image is not Google-themed, her use of a photo other than the standard LinkedIn design displays her active stance on the platform.
Additionally, Angela has written a summary discussing her area of expertise within her role, injecting rich keywords into her text.
Finally, we can see from the experience section of Angela’s profile that she has only been with Google for two months. Nevertheless, she includes ample information about her previous positions.
Patagonia is known to be a great place to work, so it’s only natural that its employees would happily advocate for the company on their LinkedIn pages.
Take Matthew Noll for example, a sportswear production manager at Patagonia.
As Patagonia is an outdoor apparel brand, Noll’s surfing beach banner image is appropriate for his profile. His profile summary is brief, but direct in its purpose – he states what he does and lists his specialties (keywords which he can now be found for).
Finally, you can see that Noll keeps his profile updated, as he has held two slightly different positions during his time at Patagonia.
Check out how our very own inbound specialist Brian Greenfader advocates for Bluleadz.
He uses a professional headshot and the official Bluleadz LinkedIn banner. His headline, “inbound sales specialist at Bluleadz” is clear and concise.
Brian also includes a brief but informative summary about his current thoughts on the industry and what’s he doing right now. This demonstrates how active Brian is within his profession, and establishes him as a forward thinker.
Finally, Brian has a great job description included in his experience section, which demonstrates that he’s an engaged, experienced employee of Bluleadz that takes LinkedIn seriously.
Optimize for Maximum Exposure
In the world of business, you really only matter if people know who you are.
Establishing a strong presence on LinkedIn is a great way to get your name and your company’s name out there. But you can’t do this without optimizing your profile via SEO best practices.
By integrating these tactics into your strategy, you’ll not only bring in new opportunities for yourself by getting found in LinkedIn people search, but you’ll also open doors for your company in the form of leads, prospects, recruiting, and brand partnerships.