Top ten tips for getting to grips with LinkedIn optimisation

People often ask me about using LinkedIn as part of a technical PR campaign (in fact social media integration is one of the services Stone Junction provides). This morning I got a request for some key tips from someone ‘just getting to grips’ with the network. So I thought I would share my answer with the readers of this Blog.

The first thing to remember is that LinkedIn is a search engine in exactly the same way as Google or Bing. So, what you need to do in order to be found is create content that this particular search engine finds attractive.

Your public profile on LinkedIn is also searchable within Google and other search engines, so the more good content there, the better your chances of being found when people do a general search for you.

Here are a few ideas for creating that content:

1, Decide what terms you think people would type into a search engine to find whatever it is you want people to think about you (e.g. I’m a technical PR consultant so I might use ‘technical PR, engineering PR or industrial PR).

2, Prioritise these terms. You should have a clear number one to start with and then a couple of others. Go for a total minimum of three and a maximum of five. These are your key phrases.

3, Fill in the summary box on your profile – this is by far the juiciest bit of content on your Linkedin profile, bar your name. Ensure you include your all five of your key phrases with the most important one in the first sentence. Make sure it’s readable by humans as well though!

4, Sign in to LinkedIn and then click here. At the top of the page it will say ‘your public profile URL’. Click on this and change it to read, replacing 'WhateverYouThink is Important' with your most important key phrase. This will give you a vanity URL, telling a search engine what your profile is all about.

5, Next, change the links on your profile so they read ‘Whatever you think is important’ instead of ‘my Web site’, ‘My Blog’ etc. You change the links by selecting ‘other’ at the bottom of the drop down menu. If you have no links here, put some in.

6, If you have a Blog, use the Blog Link application to port all the content onto your Linkedin Page via RSS (Really Simple Syndication). You can find this under the ‘More’ tab and then ‘Get more applications’.

7, Ask some people that you trust and have worked with to recommend you. You can either just ask them or your can recommend them and then ask them to return the favour.

8, Try and increase the amount of contacts you have – if you can get up to about 200 you will see a big boost in the amount of times you show up in search. The best way to do this is to download the LinkedIn toolbar to Outlook. It will allow you to see instantly if anyone you receive e-mails from is on LinkedIn. You can download it here.
9, Answer some questions and remember to include your key phrases in the answers. You can find the questions in ‘more’ and then ‘answers’. Again, if you have an external Web site to link to, you can use this as a good way of generating links.

10, Update your status regularly. You can do this via e-mail using Ping FM if you want to save time or you can link LinkedIn to Twitter.

Finally, my top tip, and number eleven in this list of ten, is use your name as an opportunity to tell people what you do. ‘Fred Blogs – Widget Designer’ is infitely more descriptive than just ‘Free Blogs’.

If you do all of these you will find that you ‘get to grips’ with Linkedin pretty quickly.

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Richard Stone - Stone Junction

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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