Keywords are a hot topic for LinkedIn users. They are the words that someone will type into the search bar, so we want to make sure that we are using the correct keywords in our LinkedIn profiles. For LinkedIn, it’s important to put your keywords in a variety of areas, so that when someone is searching for what you do, your name is going to populate in the search results.
So, how do you figure out which keywords to use?
- The first step is to really understand the services that you offer. If you have a website or other marketing materials, check out the words and phrases that you use there. You can also talk to the people that you help already to see how they found out about you.
- Use the terms that your audience is using. Sometimes the terms they use in their searches are broad, or sometimes it may be very specific. So, brainstorm the different ways your services can be described.
- Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to use, you’ll need to place them in several places on your LinkedIn profile:
- Skills Section – You are able to list up to 50 skills and I encourage you to do that.
- Headline – The headline is the area that shows up after your name and is often the first thing that somebody sees aside from your photo. Put the 1 or 2 main keywords that you want people to find you by in the headline.
- Job Titles – Sometimes job titles can be vague and not accurately describe what you do in terms of keywords. For example, your title might be Vice President, but that doesn’t really tell people what you do. You may want to write “Vice President of _____” to give people a better idea of your skills and to match it up with your keywords.
- Summary – A lot of people skip over the summary – don’t do that! The summary is the BEST spot to tell your story, and it should include all of your keywords. Try to fit them into the paragraph copy, but if not, you can list your specialties at the bottom of the summary.
- Experience Section – Make sure you have at least 2 or 3 paragraphs in each experience section listing what you do and use your keywords.
- Recommendations – These are written by people who you’ve worked with before, but the best way to get your keywords included is to specifically ask them for a recommendation that relates to your keywords or key skills.
- Once you’ve completed your profile and included your keywords, you can select to view your profile as a public member (aka, someone who would be searching for you.) Make sure that it reads well. Go ahead and type your keywords into the search bar and see what the results are and where you rank.
I have a handy worksheet for you to help you with brainstorming your keywords. Comment below and let us know what questions you might have and we’ll be happy to help.