In 2013, AdAge confirmed LinkedIn as a major force in the content publishing world (“Watch Out Publishers: Here Comes LinkedIn, With Original Content”). Since that time, nearly constant changes on the world’s largest professional networking platform have spun the heads of the most prolific marketers. Two years later, the importance of content for LinkedIn search – and, in some cases, Google search – cannot be denied.
Your Profile Headline, Optimized
Take the profile, for starters. A member’s headline – packed into a mere 120 characters – can provide a dynamic snapshot of professional value that can raise profile views, increase connection requests and catch the eye of a busy recruiter seeking the perfect candidate. Because Google gives LinkedIn high domain authority, (near 100), one’s professional picture and headline pop up at the top of a Google search on the member’s name, or for specific talents, ensuring a virtual first impression. Keywords figure strongly into the best headlines for savvy members who get the importance of “being found.”
Your Profile Summary, Completed
A bit further down on the LinkedIn profile is the summary. Those who use this section of the profile as a storage space for the resume objective are missing the boat big-time. After the picture and headline, the summary is the most-read profile section, with the greatest clout in terms of personal brand attraction. Don’t forego crafting a strong summary of up to 2000 characters...it’s your chance to tell your professional story. Incorporate and repeat the keywords used in your headline, and you’ll be that much further ahead in the networking game. And please, write your summary in first person to ensure a warm glimpse into the real you.
Your Job Experience, Emphasized
Next in content and keyword importance is the experience section of the LinkedIn profile. Each job title may contain up to 100 characters, and each job description should be comprised of 200 to 2000 characters. LinkedIn suggests that the traditional employee list about 3 positions. But so many of us today don’t work in traditional jobs. So keep this in mind: the goal is to emphasize your acquired skills and professional value…not to list every job you’ve held for 25 years. Your resume does that…and your LinkedIn profile is NOT your resume! Once again, echo those all-important keywords to continue the theme you’ve begun with your headline.
The remaining portions of your profile should be used similarly, always keeping in mind the professional “story” you want to share.
Beyond the Profile: 6 Benefits of LinkedIn Publishing
On the other side of LinkedIn profile optimization as a keyword-driven content strategy is the coveted Publishing Platform, where members have publish millions of “long-form posts” since the platform opened to all members in February 2014. (The website Expanded Ramblings states 30,000 long-form posts are created each week.) While much has been written about strategies for achieving viral numbers via LinkedIn’s Pulse feature (its news aggregator), the typical LinkedIn member’s posts won’t go viral. Still, the benefits of publishing on LinkedIn are many.
Here are just 6 of those benefits:
- Posts you publish on LinkedIn become part of your profile, building your professional credibility, showcasing your skill, growing your network, and connecting you to other members who can help you reach your professional goals.
- The posts you publish are shared with your 1st, 2nd and 3rd connections, garnering thought leadership and building trust. This is a built-in audience unlike any you can find elsewhere, so be sure to create only the highest-quality content.
- Publishing a post is nearly identical to blogging on WordPress. The page format is quite simple and the uploading of images can be done by even those users with minimal technical know-how.
- When you publish a post, other members can follow you, even when they are not connected to you. This helps to build your influence, and ensures sharing of your content outside your network of connections to the networks of other members.
- Adding creative images to your posts adds interest to your profile and, as you continue to publish, LinkedIn creates a page just for you – a “library” of all your posts, in one convenient place.
- Posts can be shared back to the member’s blog or shared in individual LinkedIn groups. Each LinkedIn member may join up to 50 groups. Currently, LinkedIn boasts 2.1+ million groups, some with tens of thousands of members, and 8,000 new groups are created each week. Imagine the potential!
Growing Your Digital Footprint through LinkedIn
We’ve covered only a few of the many ways in which personal brands are built and content is optimized on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn culture is the perfect mating ground for content + SEO, because of the natural opportunity afforded to 330,000,000+ members to like, comments and share articles, view, share and promote profiles, start and participate in group discussions, build and promote company and showcase pages, develop and share meaningful status updates, extend their shares to Facebook and Twitter feeds, and much more.
Where it will all lead remains to be seen, but there can be no doubt that LinkedIn is one of the best options available for building your brand with thoughtful, valuable content, well-optimized for information-hungry target audiences.
Is your LinkedIn profile optimized? Do you publish on LinkedIn? Let us know about your experiences in the comments.