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SEO guide to optimizing your LinkedIn profile for more connections, better leads

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LinkedIn has the unfortunate reputation of being a platform for stuffy CEOs, spammy salespeople and college students that were required to make a profile in their university career skills class.

For that reason, many business owners and marketers treat their LinkedIn profile (if they even have one) like an online resume. They list their credentials, add a little blurb about who they are and hope that someone is intrigued enough to network with or hire them.

What they – and likely you – don’t know about LinkedIn is that it is a powerful search engine that has the power to drive targeted, high-volume traffic to your profile.

Not only that, but that traffic can very well turn into valuable professional relationships and new clients.

It’s time to stop sleeping on this platform and start tapping into that power.

LinkedIn is not just a resume

With LinkedIn optimization, you will build connections with some of the best and brightest in your industry and attract your ideal clients directly to your profile and inbox.

From profile optimization and SEO to content posting and engagement, this guide covers everything you need in order to turn your LinkedIn profile into a brand-building, lead-generating machine.

More than SEO – Full throttle LinkedIn optimization

Many LinkedIn optimization guides start and end at SEO, but I say that SEO is just the tip of the iceberg.

As with your business website, the success of your inbound marketing through LinkedIn not only depends on traffic but also on conversion optimization.

If you focus all of your efforts on SEO, without fully optimizing your profile for conversions, you aren’t making the most of the traffic coming in.

That’s why I put all of the LinkedIn SEO best practices to the test AND applied my own expertise around conversion copywriting, sales funnels and conversion optimization.

The result of that testing is this guide – which includes sections about profile aesthetic, creating a lead funnel, writing compelling copy on your profile and much more.

The LinkedIn optimization guide covers:

You’ll also learn how to craft a high-converting “welcome” message for new connections, attract your ideal clients directly to your profile and build authority with LinkedIn articles.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. Spruce up your profile aesthetic

One of the best things about your LinkedIn profile is how much real estate you have in terms of optimization.

Sure, the obvious places are your headline, summary and experience sections, but you can also take advantage of your profile photo and cover photo sections. This is what I call optimizing your “profile aesthetic” – as you aren’t adding SEO keywords, but are tailoring the look of your profile to your target audience.

Do looks really matter? You tell me.

How important is the design of your business website to how it appeals to potential clients/customers?

Exactly.

Optimize your profile’s curb appeal

I’m a strong proponent of squeezing every bit of juice out of a platform in order to have it work for my business. When it comes to LinkedIn, that means not only having it talk the talk, but look the look.

To optimize your profile’s “curb appeal,” you are going to focus on two features: the profile photo and the cover photo.

Profile photo

We are all familiar with the dull, grainy headshots on LinkedIn. If you want to take your LinkedIn branding seriously, I say: Dare to stand out!

You’ll want a professional, high-quality image that highlights your personality and business. Something that your potential clients will find approachable.

  • High-quality image – Clear, not pixelated
  • Close shot of your face
  • Simple background
  • Appropriate attire
  • Smile!

LinkedIn suggests having an image where your face takes up 60% of the frame. (I don’t follow this suggestion myself – oops!)

For some industries, your look may include professional attire and a corporate background. For others, it could be more casual. The key is to appeal to what your target audience is most familiar with in working with people like you.

I’m an SEO content writer who typically works from my laptop all over the world. My clients know this of me and don’t expect me to be wearing slacks and sitting in a corporate office. But if I were trying to land high-ticket corporate consulting clients for my SEO firm, I’d likely go with a different aesthetic.

And please, ditch the selfie. I highly recommend investing in a professional headshot for this. It will make a huge difference – taking you from amateur to expert.

Cover photo

The cover photo section also gives you ample real estate to tell profile visitors what you (and your business) are all about.

The default LinkedIn profile cover photo is a blue background with geometric shapes and dots. As far as us business owners are concerned, this is a near seven inches of desktop real estate that is going to waste.

Let’s make it count.

You can easily create a custom Cover image using Photoshop or Canva that includes a professional background and copy that appeals to your target audience.

Best practices include:

  • Adding a tagline telling profile visitors what you do and who you serve
  • Adding your website URL and social media handles
  • Having an attractive backdrop image that draws in your target audience
  • Including a call-to-action, or otherwise letting users know how to contact you

In the example above, we see how this LinkedIn profile makes ample use of the cover photo section by including a photo of the business owner at a speaking event, a bold description of what he does (“Grow your FB group, grow your business!”) and a clear CTA to visit his website.

With this, users know at a glance what he does, who he helps and how best to reach him – all without having to dig through his entire profile. Users can sign up for his free training – and join his email list – right away.

By optimizing the look of your profile, you give the best possible first impression to your potential connections. You also make it easier for potential clients to understand what you are about and how to get ahold of you.

Once your profile is pretty, it’s time to move on to the rest of the sections.

2. Write compelling profile copy

As an SEO content writer and copywriter, I geeked out when it dawned on me that LinkedIn is a great place to implement conversion copywriting. It really is a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, many of us have treated our LinkedIn profile like a resume – concise and professional, yet boring.

LinkedIn was built around the idea of professionals connecting with other professionals. You won’t effectively do that if your profile reads like the ingredients section on the back of a bran flakes cereal box.

Write with your target audience in mind

Instead, write your LinkedIn profile like you would your online dating profile, only, more professional.

Make it interesting, add pizzazz and write it to appeal to the type of people you want to attract.

There are a few primary areas where you can do this, and those are your headline, summary and experience sections.

Headline

Your headline is the line of text directly beneath your name on your profile. LinkedIn gives you about 120 characters of space here to tell visitors who you are and what you offer.

Your headline should be a combination of LinkedIn SEO keywords (which we will discuss in section three of this guide) and compelling copy. That’s because it works to both attract traffic and keep users engaged with your profile.

You want to be uber clear about what you do. This is not a space for witty taglines like “Probably out fishin’” or “I rank it, you bank it!” Not only do headlines like these not include keywords, but they can leave profile visitors feeling confused about what exactly it is that you do.

I suggest either keeping your headline chocked full of keywords, with a bit of finessing copy (“I’m a digital marketing strategist that help small businesses reach more customers online.”) or taking the time to craft a compelling headline with conversion copywriting.

In the example above, this business owner is straight to the point by simply listing what her job title is and the services she offers. This is fine. It includes proper keywords that could potentially draw in people that are looking for services like hers.

By contrast, this business owner focuses less on keywords and more on appealing to people looking for “business success” through a “best-in-class” partnership.

Note that both examples fill up their headline with copy and keywords, ensuring that none of that space goes to waste.

Not a great writer? You may want to reach out to a professional copywriter to help you craft a message that appeals to your target audience.

Later on, we will discuss how to find LinkedIn SEO keywords to include in your profile.

Summary section

Your Summary section is by far the largest space for adding compelling copy and LinkedIn SEO keywords. With over 100 words worth of space, you can’t afford to NOT optimize this section.

This is where visitors go to learn even more about you, your business and the services that you offer.

I like to compare it to the about page on a business website. And every great copywriter will tell you that your about page is about your audience, not about you.

You need to craft a summary that speaks to what your target audience is looking for. This is not a place to simply rattle off your accomplishments and services.

Ask yourself, What is my potential audience looking for when it comes to working with someone like me?

Market research will be able to answer this for you.

If you conducted market research prior to adding copy to your business website, then you can apply the same concepts here. If you haven’t conducted market research in order to figure out your audience’s struggles, pain points, needs, and wants, you will want to do that first.

Once you have your market research in hand, you will write a summary that appeals to your target audience/ideal clients. You will simply address their primary struggle and how you will be able to help them overcome that struggle.

In the example above, you can see how I address the primary struggles that SEO agencies have when it comes to outsourcing SEO content: poor quality and writers’ lack of SEO knowledge. Then, I go on to explain how I do things differently, what to expect when working with me and how best to contact me.

Your summary section shouldn’t ramble on and on; it should be concise, targeted and written with a purpose. Get your message across as efficiently and effectively as possible so that you can move visitors along your profile funnel without delay.

Experience section

The experience section is where I see most business owners getting lazy and treating their profile like a resume. I used to do this myself. Not anymore.

Your experience section is another place to include LinkedIn SEO keywords and compelling copy that convinces users that you are the right fit for them.

You do this by writing each Experience in a way that highlights what you took away from working at that company and the results you got for them.

Above is an example of how a LinkedIn user has used the experience section to include detailed summaries of the work she did at certain companies, the projects she was a part of and the results she generated through these projects.

For your own profile, you can mention things like percentage increase in traffic that you generated for an SEO client, an uptick in conversions for a Facebook ads client or how you increased a client’s business revenue year over year.

Highlighting these results is a great way to show profile visitors that you not only have experience, but how you can replicate those results for them.

I suggest writing naturally here, rather than including a bulleted list of everything you have done. Hand-pick your best examples and make them super compelling. Speak to what your potential clients are searching for and let them know how you can generate the results that they want.

Top tips

  • Add experience items for each of your top clients (and link to their company profile), being sure to describe the work you did and the results you generated for them.
  • Use layman’s terms whenever possible. Don’t assume that your audience knows what “CTR,” “schema markup,” “KPIs,” “keyword cannibalization” or other industry terms mean.
  • Remove any experience examples that irrelevant to the audience you aim to serve. If you offer SEO services to law firms, they don’t need to know that you were a Boy Scout in sixth grade or that you were party chair at your college fraternity.
  • Include references to any publications you write for or industry organizations you are a part of.

3. Implement LinkedIn SEO

LinkedIn SEO differs from regular SEO due in the fact that the keywords that users type in to find services and businesses on LinkedIn aren’t always the same as what users type into Google.

That’s because the average user doesn’t consider LinkedIn to be a search engine. They use it as it is intended – as a social media platform – and therefore use short-tail terms that match users’ job titles.

While users may use keywords like “copywriting services for small businesses” in Google, they are more likely to use terms like “copywriter” or “writer” on LinkedIn.

However, when users do search long or short tail terms in Google, LinkedIn profiles have the chance to rank in the SERPs. That’s why I suggest optimizing your profile with both SEO keywords and what I call “LinkedIn SEO keywords.”

Finding SEO keywords

To find SEO keywords to use in your profile, simply conduct keyword research as you would if you were finding keywords for your business website.

What do you want your profile to rank for?

Do these terms get decent search volume, with low competition?

Do they match the intent of your target audience?

These are all questions you’ll want to consider.

Generate a list of terms that are worth ranking for and that have a reasonable search volume. With this list, you will start on your LinkedIn SEO keyword research and then you’ll optimize your profile with a combination of these terms.

Finding LinkedIn SEO keywords

Unfortunately I have yet to find a tool that provides search volume data for keywords used on LinkedIn.

Therefore, this is not a hard science. But, if you are skilled in SEO, you can make some informed guesses around how keywords are being used on LinkedIn.

Here is my process for finding keywords on LinkedIn:

1. Search for the shortest, broadest term associated with the services that you offer.

Use LinkedIn’s search box to search for the broadest term that applies to your business.

If you have an SEO agency, this would be “SEO” or even “marketing.” As a Facebook ads expert, this would be “Facebook ads” or “advertising,” perhaps “social media.”

LinkedIn will automatically show you a list of the top results for that term in your network (more on this later).

2. Look at the full results.

Beneath the list of results, you will see an option to “See all results for .” Click on this to view the full results page.

This will take you to a page that shows you all of the results associated with this keyword, including the number of results, whether the results are connections, companies, groups, the location of the results and much more.

You will notice that the top results are likely connections already in your network – identified by a “1st,” “2nd” or “3rd” degree connection annotation. What this means is that you aren’t seeing the TRUE search results, as LinkedIn prioritizes showing people and companies that you have some existing connection with.

Our job then is to determine which terms yield the highest volume and best match results, across the board.

3. Take note of search volume.

Before moving on to the next step, make a note of how many results your initial search yields.

You can do this by looking at the original total, or by filtering it by people and companies. Do not add any other filters yet.

Basically, you want to know how many results are pulled up when users search for that term to find people or companies that offer services like yours.

4. See expanded results for first-, second- and third-degree connections.

Once you have recorded the initial “volume,” filter the results by ticking off the connection options.

This will pull up the profiles of people that you are connected with, as well as those that you are not connected with.

There’s no good way to see what others see when searching for your target keyword, but this gets you close. It will show you what keywords profile within and outside of your network are using, as well as how those profiles rank in LinkedIn for those terms.

This “search volume” will be your guide when it comes to deciding which terms are worth using in your profile.

5. Analyze the keywords used in the results.

Much like conducting competitor analysis of websites in your niche, you will now want to identify what keywords are being used in the “top ranking” profiles.

(Remember that is not the true search results, as they are skewed based on your degree of connection).

Note how your keyword is being used in the resulting profiles.

Are profiles using “SEO strategist” or “SEO specialist?” Are they simply listing “SEO, SEM, SMM” or are they more specific? See if you can find any trends here.

Finally, determine which terms are the best match for the kind of traffic you are trying to attract to your profile.

In the example above, we can see that most of these profiles use the term “SEO” near the beginning of the Headline, so this may be something we want to implement as well. “SEO strategist” has also been used.

Make a list of these terms. Then, enter these terms into the search box again and see what kind of results come up. Repeat this process until you have a list of the top 3-5 most used terms related to your initial “seed” keyword.

6. Reference your SEO keywords list.

Finally, you should compare your LinkedIn SEO keywords list to your regular SEO keywords list.

Is there an overlap? If so, keep these terms.

Are there some terms that are being used on LinkedIn but that may not be a great fit in the search engines? Decide whether you should replace this with a high-volume, low competition SEO keyword.

Eventually you will have a mix of terms that have the potential of drawing in traffic both from LinkedIn searches and Google searches.

Adding LinkedIn and SEO keywords to your profile

Once you have a solid list of keywords, you will want to incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile.

A plus side with LinkedIn, compared to Google, is that there is no evidence that keyword stuffing is penalized here. However, you want to keep your audience in mind and have your keywords fit into your copy in a compelling, natural way.

For my own profile above, I determined that more profiles used “SEO content” “content writer” and “copywriter” than they did “SEO copywriter” – despite “SEO copywriter” getting a fair amount of search volume from Google.

I also saw the terms “freelance” and “ghostwriter” used a lot. Finally, I included keywords like “B2B” and “SaaS” to attract the types of businesses I work with.

Some areas to add keywords:

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Experience section
  • Recommendations
  • Skills section

If there are some regular SEO keywords that you don’t want to leave out, your experience section is a great place to add these.

If you found trends in terms of where these keywords were being included in the top ranking profiles, try to follow this in your own profile. At the same time, don’t make compromises if you think that your profile copy is stronger by taking a different approach.

In section six, I address how to generate recommendations, skills and endorsements, plus how to add keywords to these sections.

4. Create a profile ‘funnel’

Wondering why copywriting is so important for your LinkedIn profile?

Well, it’s because your goal is to turn your profile into a funnel for new leads.

While many LinkedIn users rely on visitors to take the initiative and contact them via direct message, you and I are going to do things differently. We are going to make it stupid easy for people to convert.

We’ll do this by funneling visitors down the page – from your cover photo and headline, to your summary, to your media section and, finally, to your inbox or landing page.

Photos and headline  – Awareness

After visitors have read the text on your cover photo and in your headline, they should have a pretty clear idea about who you are and who you help. They will then make the decision of whether to learn more about you.

Summary – Interest

The summary section is your chance to address any pain points they have, communicate what your unique selling point is, and briefly cover the kinds of services that you offer. This is where it’s super important to get your messaging on point, based on the market research you conducted earlier

Media – Decision

The media section on your LinkedIn profile allows you to add links to your website and blog posts or upload videos. This content can make all the difference in convincing visitors that you are the right fit for them.

While directing visitors to a page or post could be effective, this approach involves directing visitors off of your profile. There’s the chance of creating a bottleneck here, as visitors may drop off due to inconvenience, or the fact that it takes longer for them to read through text versus watching a short video.

That’s why I suggest adding a video to your media section instead. This video, again, should address the primary pain points your audience faces, communicate how you will help them and include a clear call-to-action.

If you do this effectively, you will build trust with your profile visitors and convince them to reach out to you directly.

Inbox or landing page – Action

The call-to-action in your video should tell visitors how best to contact you. This will likely be through LinkedIn direct message, or through your website. You may want to include a unique landing page for LinkedIn leads.

Your call-to-action should sound something like, “For x services, send me a message [on my website/through LinkedIn/through this link].”

Be specific about how visitors should reach you and what they should expect after they contact you. “Send me a LinkedIn message for a custom quote” is much more compelling than “Visit mywebsite.com for more info.”

By creating a profile funnel, you are more likely to take advantage of the traffic coming to your profile. Without a funnel, the burden is on visitors to figure out what you offer, chase down the details on your website, and figure out how to contact you.

A funnel makes the process straightforward, simple and conversion-friendly.

5. Build SMART connections

While LinkedIn SEO and creating a profile funnel taps into the power of inbound marketing on LinkedIn, there’s another way to attract your ideal clients to your profile.

That method involves building connections with your target audience and professionals in your industry.

As we learned in the SEO section of this guide, LinkedIn prioritizes showing you your first-, second- and third-degree connections whenever you search for a keyword. It works the same way for your potential clients. If you are connected with people in their network, your profile is more likely to pop up when they search for one of your keywords.

Therefore, the more industry connections you have, the better.

Making the right kind of connections

Many LinkedIn users connect with every possible person they can find (aside from the clearly spammy profiles).

While this has yet to be tested, I am of the opinion that this can potentially weaken you profile, as you will become associated with profiles outside of your industry, making it less likely for your profile to be associated with your target keywords.

Is it beneficial be connected with loads of graphic designers in India if you provide legal SEO services in the United States? Common sense would say no. (Feel free to prove me wrong, though).

My take is that it makes sense to build connections within your industry and within the industries of your target audience.

As a legal SEO expert, that would mean connecting with other legal SEO agencies, digital marketing experts, law firms, law blog writers and the like. You can still get quite broad.

Be smart about the kinds of connections you want to have and how they could benefit your business in the short-term and long-term.

Finding your target audience on LinkedIn

While connecting with other people in your industry is simple, you will want to put more time and energy into connecting with people who fit your ideal client persona.

If you have been in business for a while, you will likely already know what these people look like. They could be small business owners, tech entrepreneurs, SaaS businesses, Fortune 500 companies, law firms, etc. Knowing this, you will simply use these identifiers to find profiles on LinkedIn that match.

If you are just starting out, you need to figure out what terms your target audience is using to describe themselves on LinkedIn.

You can do this by searching some general terms that you know about your audience (like “small business” or “contractor” or “mommy blogger”) and seeing what comes up in the LinkedIn results.

Dig around until you find people that fit your ideal client persona and take note of what terms they used in their headline and summary. Then, use these terms to find other people to connect with.

Connecting and saying “Hi”

One of the reasons why LinkedIn has had a bad reputation for being dull and spammy is because many users use the platform to cold pitch their new connections. We aren’t going to do this.

Every time you extend a connection request to someone, send them a message introducing yourself and why you want to connect with them.

Remember – you are practically strangers. It will take a bit for them to trust you and determine whether the connection is worth it.

Rather than jumping into the pitch, follow scripts similar to the ones below (which have gotten me a near 100% response rate):

Networking Script

“Hello [ name ],

Thanks for connecting. I see that we are both in the [ niche ] industry. I am an [ industry title ] myself. Are you working on anything interesting lately? Chat soon! – [your name ]”

This script implies that the person has already connected with you or may have extended the connection first. It creates a sense of familiarity versus making it seem like a random stranger is connecting with them.

It also gives a reason for the connection, instead of leaving room for the person to suspect ulterior motives. They know what you do, so they can decide whether the connection is worth their time.

Finally, it prompts the person to respond by asking them about themselves. This puts the ball in their court. And, if they happen to be working on a project that you could potentially help them with, it opens the door to having that conversation without you coming across as salesy.

Potential client script

“Hello [ name ],

Thanks for connecting. I see that you [ run a small business/have a law firm/are a tech entrepreneur/etc ]. I wanted to reach out because I [ help businesses like yours do x ]. Maybe there’s potential to work together. Are you working on anything interesting lately?”

Similar to the previous script, this script lets the person know who you are and why you want to connect with them, and leaves it up to them to respond to you.

There’s no pitch that implies that you know how you can help them – you don’t yet – or starts rambling about the services you offer.

This keeps the conversation more open and prevents the risk of you pitching them on one service when they may have asked you about a different service that you didn’t think to mention.

Let the conversation flow more naturally and they will likely ask you about services that are most relevant to them. Another benefit of this approach is that you avoid drawing in leads that may not be the best fit for you.

A final note about connections

Try to build as many connections as possible (following the process I outlined above), or at least reach that “500+” mark. This helps you build a more expansive network and appear as a trusted person in your industry.

6. Gather recommendations, skills and endorsements

Again, LinkedIn SEO isn’t quite as measurable as website SEO, but that’s part of the fun. By optimizing certain sections for keywords, you can test what works and what doesn’t and come up with your own lead generation strategy.

The recommendations, skills and endorsements sections are all areas where you can add LinkedIn SEO keywords, but they don’t bring any hard evidence that says they move the needle in terms of SEO. They may, however, move the needle when it comes to conversions.

Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations are the “reviews” of your profile. This is where references and past clients can talk about their experience working with you and the results you have gotten for them.

Your clients will likely include keywords naturally here, which may or may not play a role in your profile SEO. If you prompt your network contact for recommendations, you may want to suggest that they include those target keywords, just in case.

SEO aside, recommendations are great social proof to show that you know what you are doing and that you bring awesome results for your clients. If visitors see loads of positive recommendations on your profile, this could be the final push they need in order to hire you.

Skills

LinkedIn allows you to add a list of skills to your profile that tells visitors what you are best at.

This is another area where it may be smart to include things that have your target keywords.

You can have three “top” skills, as well as a longer list of other skills that you have. I recommend listing your primary skills in the top three section, as these are the most likely to get endorsed (as they are seen first).

Endorsements

Endorsements are when other users endorse you for the skills on your profile. Again, this serves as social proof that you have the skills that you say you have.

You can reach out to users on LinkedIn to endorse your skills in order to boost your numbers. You can also endorse users for their skills, which could prompt them to contact you or endorse you back.

It’s best to have many endorsements for just a few skills versus only a few endorsements for many different skills.

7. Post the right kind of content, consistently

Posting on LinkedIn can be hit or miss, as few guides have covered how to “hack” the algorithm. That’s why I believe your success on LinkedIn (in terms of posting) depends on what works best for you and your audience.

Try different content methods – long-form posts, images, videos, shared blog posts, etc. – to see which get the best engagement. Repeat what works, ditch what doesn’t and pretty soon you will have a LinkedIn content strategy that fits your audience and business.

One thing to note is that it is difficult to test the success of your content without being consistent. You should post different types of content, multiple times throughout the day and then assess the results. If you are simply posting one short post per day, it’s unlikely that you will get any tangible data.

You may also want to look at what your competitors are posting and which types of posting are getting the most engagement there.

LinkedIn articles

The exception to this “post and pray” method is LinkedIn Articles.

LinkedIn gives that added algorithmic push to articles that are published on their platform.

While a shared blog post may attract a small handful of website visits, an article published on LinkedIn can easily trigger 2x, 3x or 5x the number of views.

For this reason, it may make sense to republish your existing blog content on LinkedIn. Just be aware of the ramifications of having two identical pieces of content competing for the same keywords. However, if website SEO isn’t a major concern to you, it could be worth taking this approach for the social traffic alone.

Finally, be sure to include a call-to-action within your LinkedIn article in order to take advantage of that traffic.

8. Give engagement, get engagement

While posting on LinkedIn can yield spotty results, engaging with other users on the platform appears to be much more promising.

That’s because whenever you engage on a post, your comment and name pops up on your connections’ LinkedIn feed. You can also pop up as a second- or third-degree Connection to users in their network, expanding your reach.

That is, the more of a presence you have on LinkedIn, the more likely you are to be seen by people inside and outside of your network.

It stands to reason then that most of your time on LinkedIn should be spent engaging with other peoples’ content, rather than posting your own content (until you come up with a content strategy that works). It’s the best way to connect with users one-on-one and reach profiles outside of your immediate network.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t post on LinkedIn at all, but in terms of the numbers, it’s clear that more new traffic is driven to your profile through engaging with other peoples’ posts.

When users see your comment they are likely to click into your profile to learn more about you. You can then reach out to these new viewers through a request to connect.

These views are reflected by your notifications and in your LinkedIn analytics.

9. Understanding your LinkedIn analytics

No optimization guide is worth its weight without showing the results in terms of cold, hard numbers. That’s why I was sure to test all of the LinkedIn best practices I encountered, as well as any optimization hacks I came up with on my own.

I recommend that marketers and business owners do the same, as LinkedIn optimization is still not cut-and-dry. The success of your LinkedIn strategy also depends on what works best for your target audience.

Profile views, connections and search appearances

LinkedIn offers you rather limited (but enough) data to see how your profile is performing.

You can see how many people have viewed your profile, how many have viewed your posts, how many people you have connected with, and how often you have appeared in the search results.

You can also see who has viewed your profile (unless they have a protected account) and examine trends over time.

Since implementing my own LinkedIn SEO strategy in January, I saw a 173% increase in profile views over the course of 30 days.

Post March 26, my average number of profile views has been around 50 per day. That is with very little posting or engaging on LinkedIn (roughly 1-3 times per day).

I have also grown my number of connections from 325 to 900-plus in 90 days, and have generated at least 10 qualified leads in that time (without outreach).

These results have come from a process of near constant testing. I have told others to implement micro-optimizations and analyze their LinkedIn analytics to see what is working and what isn’t.

Track your conversions

The goal of LinkedIn optimization isn’t merely more traffic and connections, though.

If you are starting on your own LinkedIn optimization journey, I recommend tracking how many leads you generate as a result of your efforts (LinkedIn does not track this for you). Only then will you truly know whether your strategy is paying off.

You can tap into your Google Analytics to see how many visitors you are getting from LinkedIn, and then set up conversion tracking there. However, if you are directing users to your LinkedIn inbox, you will have to track this manually or with a bot.

The numbers don’t lie. Follow what works and you will certainly see an uptick in connections, traffic and leads over time.

Turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead-generation machine

By following the LinkedIn optimization tips above and testing your own ideas for optimization, you can generate high-volume traffic to your profile and convert that traffic into qualified leads for your business.

The foundation of this strategy consists of conducting LinkedIn SEO keyword research, optimizing your profile aesthetic, building quality connections, and directing visitors through your custom profile funnel. Then, it’s just a matter of making adjustments based on what works for your target audience and business model.

Are you making the most of your LinkedIn profile? If not, start today.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Jessica Foster is the Founder and lead SEO Strategist at Keys&Copy – an SEO agency with a focus on content marketing and SEO copywriting. She is also the founder of TrueToast Magazine, an online resource for and by millennial entrepreneurs. She lives in the very beautiful and very hipster Seattle, Washington.



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New site Hotspot Law like ZocDoc for lawyers

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Local search is probably more visible than it has ever been since the advent of Google Maps. Yet, paradoxically, there’s almost no consumer-facing innovation taking place. There’s Google, Yelp, Facebook (somewhat) and a range of specialized vertical apps and sites, some of which have simply survived but aren’t thriving.

Little or no ‘horizontal’ innovation. Part of the lack of “horizontal” innovation in local is likely the result of venture capital not wanting to fund anything that goes up directly against Google. The company may appear to many investors now like an insurmountable juggernaut in local/mobile search.

Any new local-consumer startups, therefore, are likely to appear in specific industries or otherwise offer specialized use cases. Such is the case with Hotspot Law, a new legal search site that hopes to bring ZocDoc-style appointment scheduling to the legal profession. It also seeks to provide a more reliable and cost-effective flow of leads to consumer attorneys.

The legal vertical has a quite a few competitors, including Avvo (Internet Brands), LegalZoom, FindLaw and several others. Despite this, Hotspot Law founder Felix Shipkevich believes he’s solving two unsolved problems in the legal vertical.

“The legal market is in dire need of an upgrade,” argues Shipkevich.

Making direct connections with lawyers. “Once you’ve finished searching online, you have to start calling,” he said. “You don’t get to speak directly to attorneys, you typically talk to a gatekeeper.” He points out that this process of getting to a lawyer is time consuming for people who need legal help. “None of these [completing] platforms directly connect the consumer with an attorney.”

Shipkevich, who is an attorney and faculty member at Hofstra Law School, said he was inspired by ZocDoc and the way it enables direct connections between doctors and patients. Similarly, he wanted to remove the friction in lawyer-consumer matchmaking. Shipkevich explained that also sees Hotspot Law as a way to make “justice” more accessible to consumers.

Why you should care. Legal lead-gen is costly. Shipkevich believes that existing legal sites and ad solutions don’t serve lawyers particularly well either. “PPC advertising can be extremely expensive; in New York it can be $60 to $80 per click.” He adds that “Yelp is expensive. Sometimes it takes $2,000 to $4,000 to bring in a case.”

He wants to solve that problem with simplified reasonable pricing for lawyers who may be struggling to find clients. But he also sees Hotspot Law evolving into a platform to help attorneys manage existing clients. Currently the site only operates in New York, with plans to expand geographic coverage in the coming months.

For the time being Shipkevich will need to rely on SEO for discovery but over time he hopes to build a branded consumer destination. It will be very challenging given the current structure of local SERPs. One has to admire the ambition and chutzpah.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He researches and writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

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Remembering the Tragedy That Made Our Community Start Talking

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About one year ago, everything changed for me and for our community.

A tragedy that struck home so hard it shook us to our core.

A suicide.

A dear friend, brilliant mind, adored father, respected colleague … the list goes on, left us in a way that hits straight to the heart and wakes you up like very few other events can.

I certainly woke up that day. That alarm screamed as loud as it could and I still hear it to this day.

I know I wasn’t alone. So many of my peers experienced similar emotions, sensations, and reactions.

We Could No Longer Ignore the Problem

Sadly, this wasn’t the first tragedy we’d encountered that year – we lost other friends and colleagues as well.

But we knew we couldn’t stand to lose any more amazing people.

We couldn’t look away. We couldn’t just carry on anymore.

So we started talking.

I have been blown away by our internet marketing community. Many of us have never even met face to face and yet the comradery, the friendship, the support among us run rampant!

Never before have I seen a group of people come together so quickly and so openly as when we were forced to face this tragedy.

Groups were formed. Calls were made. Texts were sent. Face-to-face get-togethers were had. Columns like this one were created.

And the best part of it all? It didn’t stop!

We saw the need to stay connected. We recognized that we are a family that needs to support each other. And, perhaps most of all, we saw that we were not alone in our struggles.

It has been amazing to see the openness and honesty that has become so commonplace over the past year. I have seen people that once felt they couldn’t risk being seen without their mask on break down and lay themselves out in the most vulnerable ways.

I include myself in that list. I have become more able to reveal myself to the world around me. That has only been made possible by others sharing in that journey with me.

In leading up to this piece, I knew that I wanted to really find a way to focus on the positive changes that our community has seen because of Jordan Kasteler.

I wanted to honor him in a way that really brought some form of good to this incredible loss that we all experienced due to his passing.

Where Are We Now? Thoughts from Our Community

I reached out and asked a few people in our community if they would share some words of how they have been changed for the better as well as how they have seen our community as whole making changes to support each other over the past year.

Here is what they had to say:

Alexandra Tachalova:

“Working days, nights, and weekends was normal for me a few years ago. However, at that time I couldn’t say that I was really happy. I didn’t understand at the time that my work-life balance was completely off, and I now know that that could have developed into something truly horrifying.

I eventually reached such an emotionally unstable point that I hit a time where one week I was super productive, but the following week I felt hugely demotivated and absolutely miserable. (I know this is a familiar story with many others as well, I hear people telling similar stories and sharing similar experiences regularly.)

Over the past while, I have been working diligently to save myself from this emotional trap. This new focus has led me to investing more time into things that are not related to work and putting more time into the things that help to create a happier life for myself.

I can see that more people in our community are becoming more aware of the need to make this sort of a switch to their schedules and priorities as well, which is brilliant to see!”

Melissa Fach:

“In the past year, I have noticed a massive shift in our community not being ashamed to reach out and ask for help, advice, or just a kind word. I feel like masks have been dropped, and people are not embarrassed to discuss what make them “real”; I love it!

I think many people used to feel they had to have public persona that was acceptable, and now they know we all have issues and it is OK to talk about.

I have a picture of Jordan out that I see every day. I moved past the guilt and the pain when I looked at it, and he is now a daily reminder to stay present with my friends as much as I can.

And, it is a reminder to me to stay focused on my well-being as well. I tend to overwork and do too much for everyone and end up exhausted. I take steps now to take care of me more than ever before.”

Steve Wiideman:

“Though I’ve been in the industry for years, I’m still a somewhat newer member of the SEO community. Call it fear of rejection, social anxiety, whatever, I’ve always been nervous to put myself in a position to be judged by my peers.

It really wasn’t until I was invited to an amazing Facebook group made up of a small close-knit group of industry peers focusing on supporting each other through the day-to-day struggles that I realized that nearly everyone shared the same fears, anxieties and experiences that I have.

What a relief it is to know there is a place where we share what we are feeling and have so much empathy! Finally I have a place I can turn to where people understand me.

Even if I don’t share as much as others, I have peace of mind knowing there are people there ready and willing to listen and help, where there’s no judgement, just open arms.”

Danny Goodwin:

“We’ve definitely made a lot of progress over the past year as a community. However, if I’m being completely honest, we still have a long way to go. I’m still hearing about issues of bullying. I’m seeing people piling on people they disagree with on Twitter.

While, thankfully, these are in the minority, the polarization and black-and-white thinking needs to stop. The judging and assuming needs to stop. The trolling and “mob mentality” needs to stop.

We need to stop fighting each other and start lifting each other up – treating everyone like human beings. Nobody is perfect, but I hope we will continue to see more people be able to let go of their hate and negativity to accept love and positivity into their lives. I know that will continue to be our aim with Friday Focus – to remind everyone that they are not alone in their struggles.

Ultimately, though, I am so happy to be a part of something so positive in our community – and it’s great to see so many others jumping onboard, too.”

Kim Krause Berg:

“It’s easy to assume that your peers are generally doing better than you, making more money than you, and are super successful in every way. It is only in the past few years that I realized this is baloney.

I respect people who remove their masks and show who they really are. We are people with lives and struggles, heartache, depression, and pain.

In the past year I have opened up more and made new friendships as a result. We have more in common with each other than we might think.”

Dave Davies:

“Over the past year I’ve seen an incredible shift in our community.

Social media itself breeds an environment where we see only the best of our peers and post the best of ourselves and being in marketing, needing to be on social media, needing to market ourselves on social media and seeing only the best version of those trained in presenting the best version of themselves – one can feel very alone in difficult times. Compounding that we face an often isolated profession where even sitting beside someone, we are focused on a screen and all they contain.

Sadly, we all know too well what that leads to, and over the past year we collectively recognized that we are human. That those around us are human. That others need support and perhaps most importantly, that we do too.

We finally heard the words spoken all too often after those tragic events, “If only they had asked for help.” And we took it upon ourselves to do so.

We finally knew to listen, to watch and to find out how those around us were doing, lest we face the loss of another friend who we would have dropped everything for, ‘If only they had asked for help.’

The community has grown it’s heart and soul over the past year.

There is still a lot to do. There are still many who don’t know where to turn. Many who don’t know who to talk to. But each time we reach out and each time we talk about challenges openly, share our own and listen to theirs … each time we do that, the community grows it’s heart a little more.

It has been a incredible year of change. While we will forever mourn the spark, the now burning fire keeps us all warmer.”

Jeremy Knauff:

“One thing that has changed dramatically in our industry over the last year, is that as individuals, we’ve become a lot more vocal about asking for help when we need it.

I think most people are more than willing to help each other. They just have to know that someone needs help. Now that people are starting to open up more about their personal struggles, the community is able to better support them.”

Thank You!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you – whether I know you in person, whether I know you online, even if I don’t know you at all –- thank you for being here.

Thank you for caring and sharing and being a part of the positive change that we are all working so hard at creating.

Keep being a force for good in our community.

Together we will make a difference.

Remembering the Tragedy That Made Our Community Start Talking  

 

This piece is written in memory, honor, recognition, and gratitude of Jordan Kasteler. For all that he gave us, shared with us, taught us and left us with. We are eternally grateful.

 


***PLEASE DO NOT STRUGGLE ALONE! Reach out, ask for help and know that you are valued.
CLICK HERE for a list of phone numbers for Suicide Hotlines around the world.***



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20190718 SEL Brief

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