How To Exploit the New LinkedIn for Best SEO

by Meg Guiseppi on May 15, 2017

Take Advantage of the New LinkedIn User Interface To Draw More People To Your Profile

Have you taken a close look at what’s happened to the very top section of your LinkedIn profile, with the latest User Interface?

If you’re actively searching for executive jobs, you need to pay attention, and adapt, to the subtle changes in how your profile content is displayed.

Some things aren’t where they used to be.

With a few adjustments, you can boost profile views and up your chances of being found by executive recruiters and employers looking for candidates like you.

How’s the New LinkedIn Different From the Old One?

Here’s what you’ll see in that first profile block – without clicking “See more” – if you have added this information:

  • Your photo
  • Your professional headline
  • Your current or most recent employer
  • Your most recent education experience
  • Your location
  • Your number of LinkedIn connections
  • The first two sentences of your Summary section

What is SEO and Why Should I Care?

Let’s talk a little about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and job search.

When recruiters and hiring decision makers source candidates, they search LinkedIn using relevant keywords and phrases, such as “Information Technology Executive, Enterprise Business Systems”.

When your LinkedIn profile and other web pages associated with you contain enough of these keywords, those pages are more likely to rise to the top of search results.

More keywords = better searchability or SEO

The right keywords typically represent your key areas of expertise or skills, aligned with the areas of expertise the employer is looking for.

As you’re researching each of your target companies, you’ll identify the most important keywords to use in your LinkedIn profile and other online communications.

But don’t just focus on SEO. Remember that human beings are reading your profile, too.

The content needs to appeal to them and search engines, and it needs to differentiate the value you offer the employers you’re targeting, over your job-seeking competitors.

The differentiating piece is all about personal branding – linking your hard skills with soft skills, and giving an indication of your personality.

More in my post, How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Impacts Executive Job Search.

How Can I Take Advantage of the New LinkedIn?

Now, let’s look at each of the components in the first block of your profile, and discuss how to best leverage each one to boost your profile’s visibility and findability:

LinkedIn Profile Photo

Discussions persist over whether including your photo can cause people to discriminate against you. My c-level executive clients – typically over 50 years of age – are understandably worried that they’ll suffer from age discrimination.

You may have other valid reasons not to include a photo – concerns about your appearance, racial discrimination – but I encourage you to include one. The benefits far outweigh the pitfalls.

People connect easier and believe content more when it’s accompanied by the author’s photo.

They’re more likely to reach out to someone when they can “see” the person. Your photo helps to personalize and humanize your brand-driven content.

NOT having a photo can sabotage your profile’s SEO. Research indicates that profiles with pictures are much more likely to be viewed than those without.

More in my post, Personal Branding and Your LinkedIn Profile Photo.

LinkedIn Professional Headline

If you haven’t changed the default headline LinkedIn automatically populated for that spot, based on the information you’ve completed for your most recent job, here’s what your headline looks like:

CEO – [Current Company]

Improving your headline doesn’t mean loading it with anemic phrases like “results-oriented”, “hands-on” and “forward-thinking”.

Instead, create something like this:

CEO, COO, President – Global Manufacturing Turnaround Management – Lean | JIT | Demand Flow Technology

Get the idea?

You can pack quite an SEO punch with the 120 characters and spaces allowed in the headline.

Use as many of the characters as you can, while keeping the headline comprehensible.

More in my post, 3 BIG Mistakes That Screw Up Your LinkedIn Professional Headline.

Your Current or Most Recent Employer
Your Most Recent Education Experience

These two pieces are obvious. They’ll be picked up from the most recently dated information you added in the Experience and Education sections.

Your Location

This one is pretty obvious, too, but if you’re planning to relocate, you may want to use your new location here. Research shows that employers and hiring managers are more attracted to candidates within their own geographic area.

Just be sure that your resume and other job search materials are consistent. You can state your situation when you speak with people.

Your Number of LinkedIn Connections

Once you reach the 500+ connections mark, your profile ranks higher in search results, making you more visible and findable.

The only way to increase this number – to push it up to at least 500 – is by being invited to connect with other members, or inviting others to connect with you.

More in my posts:

How Many LinkedIn Connections Are Good For Executive Job Search?

How to Customize LinkedIn Invitations to Connect

LinkedIn Summary Section

A total of 2,000 characters and spaces are allowed for this section, but the first two sentences – about 225 characters and spaces – are visible without clicking “See more”.

The Summary now sits higher on the page than it used to, so keywords, especially towards the top of this section, will be more important to search engines.

Aside from SEO impact, those first two sentences of your Summary section are highly visible to human eyeballs. Think about how you can draw people in with that initial content, while still paying attention to SEO.

Entice them to click “See more”, so they’ll read your entire Summary. And a strong Summary section will entice them to read every section of your profile, down to the bottom.

For instance, here’s the visible lead-in to my Summary:

Do you need help understanding, preparing for and navigating the new world of executive job search? Can’t figure out why your job search is taking so long? Having trouble writing a value-driven LinkedIn profile, executive resume, …

You can see that it’s a call-to-action, but contains several of my most relevant keywords and phrases.

Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help

Land a GREAT-FIT New Executive GigNeed help with personal branding, your LinkedIn profile, resume and biography, and getting your executive job search on track . . . to land a great-fit new gig?

Take a look at the services I offer, how my process works and what differentiates my value-offer . . . then get in touch with me and we’ll get the ball rolling.

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