Everyone knows how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your website. Very few people know SEO is important on LinkedIn.  Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can give you a huge competitive advantage.

LinkedIn is adding two new members every second. With over 400 million+ business professionals, LinkedIn is the fastest growing social network, growing faster than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Despite LinkedIn’s rapid growth, most LinkedIn members create an account, partially complete their profile, then rarely log in because they think LinkedIn is still just a place to post your resume.

Savvy LinkedIn members understand they have access to the world’s largest database of affluent business professionals. LinkedIn is a search engine just like Google, giving you access to millions of business decision-maker in seconds.

Knowing this, I teach my students there are two primary purposes for LinkedIn.

1. To find your ideal clients
2. To get found by your ideal clients

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SEO works the same way on LinkedIn as it does on your website. Strategically placed keywords throughout your profile helps you get found by the LinkedIn search algorithm  and rank you at the top of search results.

Where do you place keywords to rank well in LinkedIn?

Let’s break down my LinkedIn profile and I’ll show you the 5 magic hotspots which help you rank at the top of LinkedIn searches.

One of my target keywords is “LinkedIn coach” and I’m the top result on a simple LinkedIn search.

#1 Your Professional Headline

The first place LinkedIn scans for keywords is in your professional headline. At least 90% of LinkedIn members use their job title and where they work as their professional headline. This doesn’t help your search rankings because there could be thousands of LinkedIn members with the same job title as you.

I recommend using the Professional Headline field as a headline, just like you use in your online ads. One of my target keyword phrases is “award-winning author” so my professional headline is “Best-selling, Award-winning author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business & Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. I rank number one for “award-winning author” and I receive tremendous exposure for my books by placing their titles in my Professional Headline.

#2 Your Summary

The Summary section of your profile is another key area to place your keyword phrases. Use keyword phrases naturally like you would on your website but don’t overuse them. From my experience, adding keyword phrases in your Summary helps your ranking but not as much as using them in your Name and Professional Headline.

Many LinkedIn experts suggest using your Summary as a sales page for your services, making it all about you. This approach can be very effective but I prefer to use the “WIIFM” approach. Brian Tracy taught me your prospects aren’t interested in you and your accomplishments. They are interested in solving their own problems. WIIFM stands for “What’s In It For Me” and my Summary works better when I focus on the prospect and their problems.

#3 Your Experience

In the Experience section, using your keyword phrases as your job titles is the second most important factor in ranking well. Most people use their job title like President, Director or Owner. While it’s important to let people know your role in your business, it’s more important to rank well for your target keyword phrases.

One strategy I use is to create many jobs within my own company. Each job happens to be one of my target keyword phrases. After I created multiple jobs within my company, I instantly ranked well for each keyword phrase!

Don’t forget to add your keyword phrases in each job description which will further improve your search ranking.

#4 Your Skills

The Skills section is the next place to add your keyword phrases. LinkedIn lets you add up to 50 skills so make sure you include all of your target keywords as Skills. After you enter your skills, reorder them by dragging them so you prioritize your keyword phrases.

LinkedIn will display your skills to other people and ask them if they want to Endorse you for these skills. The more endorsements you receive for each skill, the more it helps your search ranking.

#5 Your Interests

Last but not least, the Interests section is another hotspot for keyword phrases. Most people don’t know this and just add their hobbies. I add my business keyword phrases in addition to my hobbies and it works like magic!

Action Steps

1. Do some LinkedIn searches for your target keywords and track where you rank in a spreadsheet
2. See who ranks at the top of the search results and view their profile to see where they place their keywords
3. Add your keywords in the same places as the top search results and see if it improves your ranking
4. Add new connections every day. LinkedIn doesn’t tell us what factors help you rank well, but most LinkedIn experts agree that the more connections you have, the higher you rank

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About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you?

I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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