Even if you’re not already familiar with the phrase ‘Keyword Optimisation’, then the chances are you’ve probably heard it being thrown around a fair bit. And there’s a good reason why people talk about it so often. In this article I’m going to be telling you about why keyword optimisation is so important, and how you can use it specifically to improve your LinkedIn profile and increase your chances of bringing the right people to your business.
What is keyword optimisation?
In general, keyword optimisation is about using certain words and phrases in order to better help your webpage get found. By placing the right words and phrases in the right places on your site, you increase your search engine ranking, therefore making your site more accessible to potential clients. Keyword optimisation is a huge topic and it’s far beyond the scope of this article for me to try and explain all its details to you. Instead, I’m going to be talking about the specific and unique rules that apply to keyword optimisation on LinkedIn.
Keyword optimisation for LinkedIn
Just like the wider area of keyword optimisation, for LinkedIn it’s all about using the right words in the right places. You want to be bringing your ideal client to your profile page, which means that the words on your profile have to match with what potential clients will be searching for when they’re looking for a business such as your own. This often means using the same words and phrases several times, and crucially in the right sections. But more on that later. First, let’s talk about knowing which keywords and phrases you should be using.
How to know which keywords to use
You can by all means hire the services of a company to research the best keywords for you and your business on your behalf. However, if you don’t have the resources for that, or are simply keen to do the hands-on work yourself, then there are a few tips I can give you in order to get started. First of all, imagine which words your ideal client might search for. These should be words that are integral to what you do. For example, I’m a social media strategist so some of the keywords/phrases I use are LinkedIn, LinkedIn expert, social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Think about which words and phrases sum up the services or products that you offer and make sure that they’re used several times on your profile page.
First degree keywords
First degree keywords is a phrase I’m using to refer to three areas that are the most important to use the right keywords on your LinkedIn profile. These areas are the following:
- Professional Headline
- Position Description
- Position Description Summary
Certainly, for your summary it’s important to use the keywords and phrases you’ve ascertained from your research (as explained above). However, how do you go about using keyword optimisation for your professional headline and position description? Picking these terms isn’t as simple as using what you’ve got written on your business card (I touch upon this subject in another article I’ve written, which you can find here. One of the worst things you can put as your position is something widely used like CEO or General Manager. Why? Because, while this may in fact be your position, it doesn’t make you stand out when potential clients are searching on LinkedIn. Think about how many profiles have these general terms as their professional headlines and position descriptions, and then think that you’ll be competing with all of them on the LinkedIn search engine.
So, how do you go about picking the right words or phrases for your position?
Choosing the right professional headline and position description is key to the visibility of your LinkedIn profile, so it’s important you get it right. While you can come up with variations on your title that are less commonly used, I’ve found the most effective way to research commonly searched-for titles is a free tool offered by the job site, Indeed. The website shows you how many job listings have been used to find certain positions. You simply need to add in any variations for a specific job title and you can then use the most popular version.
Second degree keywords
Just because I call these ‘Second Degree Keywords’ don’t be mistaken into thinking that they’re not also important in creating a highly visible LinkedIn profile. These refer to those words and phrases used in various areas across your profile including your summary. They also refer to your skills endorsements. Your skills on your profile are an important part of LinkedIn’s search engine, so picking the right ones is crucial in bringing potential clients to your page. Don’t think of these as skills per se. Instead, think of them as a chance to use those keywords that you didn’t use in your main position description. You can have up to fifty skills, so this is a great place to use plenty of keywords that best describe your business and all the specific areas that potential clients will be searching for.
Moving forward, there are plenty more ways to optimise your LinkedIn profile in order to attract potential clients. It’s also important to know how to convert those leads into actual customers. These are just a few of the topics I talk about in my latest book, The LinkedIn Playbook , so be sure to check it out for loads of great tips on how to harness the power of LinkedIn for your business.
In the meantime, why not have a go at using keywords to optimise your LinkedIn profile and see how many potential clients it brings to you and your business?
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