Best Kept Secret to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

by Meg Guiseppi on May 20, 2013

LinkedIn SEO Secret

Executive recruiters and hiring decision makers at your target companies search online using relevant keywords to locate good-fit candidates.

Your LinkedIn profile offers several choice locations to insert the right keywords to help elevate your search rankings – or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – and the likelihood you’ll be found and considered by them.

The professional headline and summary section are two prime examples.

But there’s another powerful, and often overlooked, above-the-fold spot to add in a keyword phrase.

Your LinkedIn profile URL.

Take a look at your existing profile URL. To find it, go to “Edit Profile” under “Profile” in the drop-down menu across the top of your profile. Just below your name, headline and profile photo (if you’ve posted one), you’ll see your LinkedIn URL.

Is it a mishmash of letters and numbers like this?

www.linkedin.com/in/john-smith/5/224a/123/

If you have a common name, such as “John Smith”, that is the kind of default URL LinkedIn will assign to you, to distinguish you from all the other John Smiths.

With 200+ million users on LinkedIn, unless you have an UNcommon name, you’re NOT likely to capture the following URL:

www.linkedin.com/in/yourname

But see if such a URL is available.

If not, another option is changing your URL to include “yourname” with an appropriate short keyword phrase, such as the following:

www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmithbiotechexecutive

This not only distinguishes you from others with your name, but also helps boost your keyword recognition in online searches (Google, Bing and other search engines).

Here’s how to personalize and optimize your LinkedIn URL:

  • Still in “Edit Profile” mode, click on the blue “Edit” link next to your existing LinkedIn URL.
  • Scroll down a bit and look for a graphic box in the right-hand sidebar that says “Your public profile URL”.
  • Under “Your current URL”, click on “Customize your public profile URL” to make the change. You’re allowed up to 30 characters for the URL.

Once you’ve changed the URL, don’t forget to go back and change it wherever you’ve used the old one, such as:

  • Your email signature
  • Your digital resume and/or other digital career documents
  • Your Google+ profile and other online profiles
  • Your social networking sites.
  • Your website and/or web pages.
  • Your LinkedIn badge, created for your website and/or web pages.

Disclaimer: At this writing, after searching LinkedIn’s Help Center, I found nothing to suggest LinkedIn won’t allow customizing your profile URL in this way. But there’s no guarantee this won’t change.

Related posts:

29 Biggest LinkedIn Mistakes

How To Write a LinkedIn Invitation to Connect

Best LinkedIn Tips: Find LinkedIn Groups to Join

photo by Steven Depolo

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