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5 ways to optimize your Linkedin profile for better rankings

Linkedin Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing

 It’s been too long since LinkedIn morphed from a tiny professional networking site to a massive world force. Marketers, agencies, freelancers, and businesses of all sizes have been trying hard to crack the code to open the floodgates to leads. However, many are not aware of the fact that the site is a powerhouse of search engine that has immense potential to drive high-volume and targeted traffic to your profile, eventually helping you to generate leads.

Your LinkedIn profile page forms the foundation for your personal branding. After it was redesigned in 2017, it has become clearer and more visible than ever before, and is now more like a personal marketing platform.

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile will assist you in building the right connections within your industry, with prospects driving directly to your profile. Profile optimization is extremely crucial to get more eyeballs rolling. The obvious places where you can write and improve are your headline, summary and experience sections. However, you also need to leverage on your profile and cover photos.  

You may like to check out 11 LinkedIn Summary examples on creating a high-converting LinkedIn profile page.

We will now walk you through the 5 key steps to turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead generation machine and obtain brand building opportunities.

1. Profile and Cover Photos

You need to squeeze every bit of juice out of LinkedIn in order to have it work for your business.  To optimize your profile’s appeal, focus on two essential features: profile and cover photos.

For a profile photo, you require a professional high-quality image that exhibits your personality and image-something that others will find appealing or approachable:

Focus on these points while taking a profile picture for your LinkedIn account:

  1. Close shot of your face
  2. High-quality image that’s not pixelated
  3. Appropriate attire
  4. Simple but enticing background
  5. Wear a smile
  6. Avoid sunglasses
  7. Avoid full body shots
  8. Make eye contact
  9. Don’t use selfies-save them for SnapChat or Instagram. Based on a study by JDP, a company that provides organizations with precise, efficient and innovative risk mitigation solutions, only 9% of LinkedIn photos are selfies.

Your face should take up a minimum of 60% of the frame.

Some industries may entail you to have professional attire along with a corporate background. On the other hand, it could be more casual, especially for freelancers or solopreneurs. An important thing to keep in mind is to appeal with what your audience is most familiar with in working with candidates like you.

The cover photo also gives you lots of space to tell profile visitors what you’re all about. The default cover photo on LinkedIn is a blue background with geometric dots and shapes. Don’t let it go waste.  Create a custom cover image using Canava or Photoshop to take advantage of the seven inches of desktop space.

Some pointers to follow for your cover photo are:

  1. Use the right background photo size
  2. Decide the objectives of your background photo
  3. Use LinkedIn background photo generator. Canava, Adobe Spark and Crello can help you with this.
  4. Find people with similar roles and create something that helps you stand out.
  5. Download free background images using a tool like Unsplash
  6. Add your website and social media handles
  7. Include a CTA
  8. Add a tagline highlighting your services

Once your profile is optimized, it’s time to move on to the next sections.

2. Keywords and Hard Skills

After filling out the profile section to the best of your ability, optimize it by strategically including keywords and eye-catching skills into high impact sections of your profile.

LinkedIn SEO keywords are different than what users type into Google. Recruiters normally use short-tail terms on LinkedIn. However, when recruiters enter either short or long tail keywords into Google, LinkedIn profiles have greater chances to rank in the SERPs.

Some examples of LinkedIn profile keywords include the following:

  1. Successful experience in email marketing, project management, sales or anything that you deem suitable
  2. Learned skills like graphic design, javascript etc
  3. Accrued knowledge in SEO or generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

Such keywords are likely to be used by potential clients in your industry on the hunt for your expertise. If you miss out the right keywords, you’ll be left behind that other profiles on the site.

Recruiters and LinkedIn search

90% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to vet or source job candidates. If you want to rank highly in a recruiter’s search, your profile should be written with both recruiter tendencies and LinkedIn’s technology in mind. To improve your chances of being found easily, your keywords and hard skills should be included into the fields LinkedIn’s algorithm value the most. And these include your headline, job title (past and present), summary and experience. Some recruiters also use Boolean searches to trim the number of candidates. Ensuring that your education, work experience, and other profile fields are optimized, the chances of you being filtered out from the search gets very narrow.

3. Create a Catchy Headline

Your headline gives you the best opportunity to let others know what you got to offer them. Whether it’s being read by a prospective employer, potential sales lead, or professional connection, your headline can either make or break the impression. LinkedIn makes your current company and job title your headline by default. The 120 character space gives you plenty of space to include the default information besides other details that can help you stand out among the rest. Instead of just “Front End Developer at ABC Company,” you could do better by writing something like:

Front End Developer at ABC|Web Developer| Full Stack Engineer|CSS3, PHP, JQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5

Some pointers while creating a headline for your LinkedIn profile are:

  1. Include your value proposition
  2. Tailor it to your audience
  3. Avoid hyperbole
  4. Use your prospect’s language

It’s also helpful to be specific. Instead of just “unemployed,” you could do better with “Experienced media professional seeking new opportunities.”

Here are some examples:

Include keywords in your headline or take the time to craft an attractive headline with conversion copywriting.

Not only does the headline includes your current company and position, but also some vital keywords, specialization and expands your skill set that a recruiter might input into the search box.

4. Summary


Your summary may not be equally weighed to your job titles, work experience and headline. However, it still can bolster your searchability and move you rise above similar candidates.

Follow these tips to write a stellar summary:

Determine your audience

Consider your objectives and audience before writing a summary.  The language, tone and CTA will depend on who you want to reach out to:

  1. If you’re a job seeker and have been applying online, your audience will possibly be hiring managers
  2. If you want to move up the ladder in your career, your audience will be recruiters, who normally use the LinkedIn Search
  3. If you want to be an expert in the industry, your audience may be ambitious members
  4. If you are looking for partnerships and sales opportunity, your audience is a prospect

LinkedIn shows only the first three lines of your profile summary and viewers have to click to see more. Start your summary with an attractive hook that propels readers to “See More.” You may also load your summary with the number-one element hiring managers or recruiters may want to know about you.

What combinations of skills can you help achieve results? What sets you apart from the rest? Why do you love your work?

As mentioned above, use keywords everywhere and that includes your summary too. On your profile, visit the dashboard underneath your summary and you’ll find “search appearances.

Click on to find a report detailing your searches, which looks something like this:

If you don’t see any search terms/appearances on your profile, it indicates your keywords aren’t optimized for searchers. You can also check job descriptions that you’re interested in and find the keywords mostly used. Add these words to your profile and summary if applicable.

Remember that your summary is not a space to rant your services and accomplishments, but something that speaks to what your target audience is looking for.

Demonstrate your passion and make yourself approachable.

Below are some great examples of Linkedin summaries:

5. Work Experience

LinkedIn’s work experience section is similar to your resume but offers greater room to elaborate on each position. Write your entire work history and ensure to include a brief description for each. Note that your summary should be used to complement your resume, providing an expansive look at your qualifications, achievements and who you are as a person.

Some important pointers:

  1. Don’t just highlight the usual 9-5 jobs you’ve held. Try including side hustles, freelance work, one-off projects and volunteer time
  2. If you’ve worked with a single organization holding multiple positions, try including all of them in the experience profile as it draws attention to your major achievements, new responsibilities and company tenure.
  3. Include your achievements. Recruiters are more interested in what you’ve actually accomplished rather than what you say you can do. If you’re an expert at “growth hacking,” discuss some of the techniques you used along with measurable campaigns from an outstanding campaigns.
  4. Remove experiences that are irrelevant to your audience

Much like the headline, simply entering your job title, like “Accountant,” can be a wasted opportunity. The job title fields are weighed heavily in the Search and allow you to enter about 100 characters. A more effective job title would be similar to:

Accountant-Budget Forecasting, CPA, Financial Statement Analysis

Not only does this show that the user is an accountant, but also exhibits his area of focus and specialties.

If you ever had short-term jobs, label them as contracts since recruiters avoid working with “job hoppers.”

Write each experience in a way that showcases the results you’ve achieved for a particular client or company.

The above examples include detailed summaries of the work done and the results generated.


So there you go, five tricks up your sleeve to ensure you ace your LinkedIn game.  Give them a try as they will have the biggest impact. Once you have optimized your LinkedIn profile, we suggest you to use these 7 affordable LinkedIn marketing tools to remain on top of the rat race, and your job hunt will be a cakewalk.

What are the other techniques you use to optimize your LinkedIn profile?

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