Make The Best Use of LinkedIn Keywords For Maximum Visibility
Creating Visibility and drawing traffic with keywords.
Keywords are the life blood of search engines and of social media channels and LinkedIn is no exception. LinkedIn keywords make your profile internally searchable and externally findable. Without strategically using keywords, your LinkedIn experience will be fairly negative and your profile, practically invisible.
But for many people, the world of keywords and their use is a complete mystery, particularly for non-techy people. Finding the right keywords and using them correctly can, for most people, be an absolute nightmare.
So what are keywords and how can you use them to maximise your LinkedIn visibility, draw organic traffic and develop a highly engaged, profitable network?
Before explaining what keywords are, it is important to note that keywords are not the panacea for your LinkedIn activity or success. They are a component within the process of many moving parts. Get your keywords right and you are a long way down the road to being successful on LinkedIn.
Keywords are either single words or phrases which define what your content, web page, blog, article or profile are about. They tell the search engine spiders or web crawlers what the text, photo or video is about. These are phrases or words which you would enter into Google to get the information you are looking for. For example, if you were a new motorbike sales person and wanted to know more about selling, you could type ‘motorbike selling techniques in UK‘ into the search bar.
In response #Google will direct you to a page with all of the results based on your query. Its spiders will have indexed thousands of pages throughout the World Wide Web over a period of time and using your search term and the keywords found on the indexed pages, will deliver the results to you. The more detailed your search criteria, the better the results you receive will be. Equally, the better the keywords used by the websites, article writers etc are, the more chance they have of appearing in your search results.
There are basically 2 types of keyword: Long-tail and short-tail.
The above example of a search term would also be an example of a long-tail keyword. Short-tail keywords are essentially one or 2-word phrases and tend to be broad in their definition. ‘Selling’ would be an example of a short-tail keyword. It is descriptive but could apply to selling anything. Equally, ‘leadership’ or ‘sales’ are keywords but are very broad.
By contrast, long-tail keywords, tend to be phrases of 5 or 6 words, which are more descriptive and clearer in their intention. ‘Leadership trainer to FTSE 500 companies’ or ‘Sales trainer to the stars’ would be descriptive and more explanatory. It is, however, not about throwing an arbitrary bunch of words together. It must make sense and must fit in with your content.
As I mentioned earlier, keywords are essential for being found on the World Wide Web. They are the linchpin between you as a content provider and the people who are searching for you, your product or services. The way in which you choose your keywords and the way in which you use them will determine the quality and type of people who find you. There are some great articles and e-books online which can help you to search for the right keywords for you and your business or you could employ someone who specialises in #SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
While this is true in a general sense online, it is even more true on a platform like LinkedIn. Using the right keywords for what you do and who you are, will allow more people to find you organically and get you the interaction you want. Although LinkedIn is not a search engine, it has a search function for internal searches and is searchable by external spiders.
Where to use keywords on LinkedIn?
#LinkedIn uses keywords to identify and match relevant information across the platform and actively encourages the use of keywords, but use them wisely and preferably use long-tail and not short-tail keywords.
So where can or should you use keywords? The honest answer is, everywhere that it makes sense. The more important the area is to the LinkedIn algorithm, the better the keyword will perform in helping your profile be searchable. However, before deciding where to use them, you need to understand the keyword you are focusing on and devise a strategy of how and where you will use them.
That strategy should include the following 5 areas below:
Your headline is the first impression a visitor will get of who you are and what you do. This is very important real estate on your LinkedIn profile and it appears the algorithm considers it one of the more heavily weighted areas. Your headline should contain as many of your primary keywords as possible.
Think carefully about how you use this space as you only have 120 characters and you should want as many of your keywords in your headline as possible, to make it highly searchable.
The summary area on your profile gives you a further 2000 characters in which to craft your story and to spread keywords around.
Remember the first 220 characters are all that is seen before your visitor needs to click ‘see more’ so again think about what you are writing and how you can write your keywords into that area without it sounding crazy.
You may want to hashtag some of your #keywords for added value.
Your position title and description are further areas in which you can use your keywords to expand your story, showcase your skills and your products or services.
Your position title has a maximum of 100 characters and your position description has a maximum of 2000 characters. By not utilising these areas you would be missing a fantastic opportunity.
While I would not advocate stuffing keywords into every nook and cranny on your profile, in developing your engagement strategy, plan for how often you will write short 300+ word posts which will focus on one of your keywords.
Writing keyword focused short posts can be a great way of discussing an idea or asking questions.
Like posts, articles
(or LinkedIn Publishing) are a great place to use keywords. The difference here is you have 100 characters in the headline to craft a compelling title for your article which can be built around your keywords and up to 40000 characters in the body section of the article.
You can include photos, videos and links, all of which could contain your keywords.
So there are numerous places within the platform in which you can use LinkedIn keywords, but a word of caution. Use your keywords wisely and sensibly. Don’t stuff them in everywhere just because you think you should and hope to get more visibility.
Your use of keywords within the LinkedIn platform must fit in with your overall social media and marketing strategy. They must showcase the professionalism of your business, highlight your message and not distract from crafting great content.