Researching Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile

keyword research

Performing Keyword Research

When researching keywords for your LinkedIn profile, your first step is to create a targeted keyword list of your specialty. You need to perform keyword research to identify all of the keywords that anyone can use to find you on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn profiles appear prominently in search engine results so it is important to keyword optimize your profile for your target keywords. Using effective keywords to define your professional background will help your profile show up high in search results to people searching for a match to their needs.

It is important to understand what keywords are most likely to be used when anyone is doing a search for someone like you. You’ll want to pepper those keywords throughout your profile, but having them in your headline will have a powerful effect in search. The keywords that you choose should match the specific terms your potential customers would use to find your products or services. In other words, if someone went looking for your type of service, what words would they type on Google to find you?

If you wanted to dominate your category, what words would you choose? For example a social media trainer might use social media expert or social media trainer. A London based financial advisor might use “Financial Advisor, London”. If you know someone influential in your industry who has a LinkedIn profile, there’s nothing wrong in taking a peek at their profile to see what keywords and search terms they have used and how they have used those words. This will give you some great ideas for how to use them in your profile.

List as many relevant keywords as you can think of that are relevant to what you want people to search for and find you so that you are indexed higher up on the first page when people search for keywords related to your expertise.

Why Keyword Research is Important

Keyword research is important because although some recruiters and potential employers may find you through mutual connections, the majority will find you through simple searches. Make a list of your most important keywords and use them to build the framework of your summary. Allude to your target audience and the problem your product or service solves. Use keyword tools such as the Google Keyword Planner tool to search for keywords that are related to your education, work experience or field of expertise, certifications, career, and industry. Include industry buzzwords if they are terms a recruiter or potential client would typically use to search for your business, products or services.

When creating your keyword list, look for general terms that could attract a broader audience, and then dig deeper to target your niche by identifying keywords that industry insiders might search for. Cross-check your keywords against your goals. If you’re a web designer but you don’t provide training, the millions of monthly Google searches for “how to graphic design” are not relevant to you. Make sure you have the verb, noun and acronym (if applicable) for each keyword.

Prioritizing Your Keywords

Once you have a comprehensive list of keywords, you need to prioritize those keywords from the first word to the last. Once you have done so, choose your top three keywords and put them aside for use in your headline. Be careful not to overuse your main keyword phrases. The search engines, included LinkedIn, view this as “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is the process of spamming or manipulating search engines by unnecessarily cramming too many instances of a keyword or phrase into your profile with the specific aim of achieving a higher ranking. The search engines view spam very seriously, and if the search algorithms detect this, you will be penalized and will experience lower ranking results.