Your LinkedIn Profile URL is the quickest and shortest way into Google's Heart i.e. rank number one.
LinkedIn can get you a permanent High on the rankings. Thus, enabling any inbound marketing initiative in the right direction.
Have you ever tried searching for your name on Google or any other Search Engine? What do you see? If you are doing this for the first time, the search results would be a revelation. Unless your name is extremely common, in most cases, you should see all your social media networking profiles right on top of the search results - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Vimeo, YouTube and sundry. Yes, these are the search results people see when they search for you in a professional context.
So, if you are looking for a job change or are keen to market yourself with LinkedIn Marketing, a high-ranking LinkedIn profile is a no brainer and could help you put your best foot forward online. What this means is that you are in control of "How you appear Online?"
How do we get Google to Rank You?
The LinkedIn Profile 'Magic' URL is the long answer. And it needs continuous work. Your LinkedIn Profile is like a work-in-progress beta report. It is never finished. Therefore, the trick is to keep investing in creating a powerful LinkedIn Profile.
But, if you are the lazy ones, who want to get to the top with minimum effort, here is the happy news. There is ONE feature in your LinkedIn Profile that can improve your chances of ranking higher on Search Engines. It is called the LinkedIn Profile URL or the LinkedIn Vanity URL. When you create a LinkedIn Profile for the first time, LinkedIn assigns a default, impersonal, non-optimized and unreadable URL. But, this can be edited and you could choose a combination that best reflects your name. Obviously, there is no guarantee that the combination is available. You may have to try a few permutations before you can finalize one. Please refer to this LinkedIn Profile Video to learn how to edit the LinkedIn Profile URL?
There is one another feature in your LinkedIn profile that can help your online presence - your photo. LinkedIn Profile Photo is the most precious real estate on your LinkedIn Profile. Are you leveraging it?
3 Exercises to find out if your LinkedIn Profile is a Headless Chicken
So, you are on LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, over 700 million professionals the World over, use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. How do you look amongst all these professionals? The answer lies in your LinkedIn Profile photo. Do you resemble a headless chicken? Let us find out with these three exercises.
#1 Scroll LinkedIn Timeline and check out Profile Photos of your connections
Try this exercise, now. Log in to your LinkedIn account and scroll the timeline. Keep scrolling. What did you notice? Try again, if you didn't notice anything. If you try hard, you would notice that you pay more attention to those status updates that have a photo. Web research points that you are seven times more likely to have someone click through to view your profile (with photo) when it comes up in search results.
The Ladders conducted a study of 30 recruiters wherein a heat map of their time on candidates' LinkedIn Profile was measured. The LinkedIn Profile photo of the candidates occupied the most time at 19% of the total time spent.
#2 Can you recognize your own LinkedIn Profile photo in an instant?
This is easy. Can you recognize yourself in an instant from your LinkedIn Profile photo (i.e. if you have one)? Or have you used a photo that features you in the background, thereby making you poorly visible.
Take Advantage: LinkedIn allows you to upload a LinkedIn Profile photo of maximum 4 MB size with a pixel size range from 80 X 80 to 500 X 500. What this means is that you could easily use a high resolution headshot photo. And that is a LinkedIn Profile best practice.
#3 See and Judge the LinkedIn Profile photos of Five of your Connections
This aspect is not straight forward and there is no ONE right thing. And the nature of your LinkedIn Profile photo could also depend on the nature of your business, industry and function. To get it right, try answering the following question:
- How would you like to be seen when attending business meetings both within your own organization and with clients?
- Would you like to look serious, like your passport photos? Yes, like those photos you stick on Government application forms.
- Would you like to look like a party animal? Yes, your Facebook photo
- Or would you like a balanced approach that exhibits your pleasing personality as well as your business intent? Bulls Eye.
The LinkedIn profile is a good option for professionals to showcase themselves. Social Media Today and Search Engine Land have published and maintained exhaustive guides to help you spruce up your LinkedIn profiles. I recommend you refer them every quarter. But, the LinkedIn profiles has its 'hots' and 'nots'.
LinkedIn Profile - Hot or Not ?
The commentators will give many a view on this topic.
New LinkedIn Profile - What's Hot ?
Prominent New LinkedIn Profile Photo
Did you notice the prominent LinkedIn Profile photo that now stands out? This change is superb and underlines the social nature to LinkedIn's professional character. What the New LinkedIn Profile Photo change means to LinkedIn Users? As pointed out, you can no longer take your LinkedIn Profile Photo for granted. It has to look good, professional and has to mean business. Slicing out your LinkedIn Profile Photo from a family wedding photo or an office get-together snap may not work.
Highly Visual New LinkedIn Profile Snapshot
The New LinkedIn Profile also sports a quick snapshot, that is highly visual in nature. This is unlike the earlier version that was very texty. So, instead of expanding your past experience, the New LinkedIn Profile displays just the names of your previous employers. Under education, only your highest qualification is displayed unlike ALL qualifications in the previous LinkedIn Profile version.
Strong Call To Action (CTA) with a prominent "Send a message" or "Connect" Button
Unlike the earlier version, "Send a message" or "Connect" now stares right in the face. Earlier, all the various Call to Action buttons were grouped together, thereby confusing any possible action.
New LinkedIn Profile - What's Not ?
Contact Info Button - Very subtle and does not invite action
LinkedIn users have to click on "Contact Info" for establishing a contact. The Contact Info Button is very subtle and thus might miss out on inviting a vital action. It would have been wonderful if "Contact Info" could have shown an auto preview of the most important contact information. This could have been a phone number / email or website.
New LinkedIn Profile URL - Where do you go?
Clicking on this URL brings the user to the same page again. This redundancy could be avoided. Also, the location of the vanity URL is not intuitive at all.
Businesses, especially B2B, are so excited about LinkedIn that they tend to goof-up, like this.
LinkedIn targets the not so human LinkedIn Profile
As a business, if you are on LinkedIn using a LinkedIn profile, then it maybe time to clean up. I had written in an earlier post on this very blog about the stupid mistake businesses make when creating a presence on LinkedIn. Instead of creating powerful LinkedIn Company Pages, they end up creating LinkedIn Profiles. As an inbound marketing agency we have a tough time explaining our clients to comply to this condition. Well tell them unequivocally that this is a definitive breach of the LinkedIn User Agreement that lists the following under DON'T.
Create a User profile for anyone other than a natural person
LinkedIn, on its part, never really cracked down on such profiles, for reasons unknown to me. One reason could be that they have to keep reporting increasing memberships. But, only till now. Last week, I received the following email notification from LinkedIn. And it seems LinkedIn is keen to set your house in order, actually their house in order...
ALERT : LinkedIn is sending Notifications to the Not So Human LinkedIn Profiles. Take Action, folks!