But LinkedIn won’t be nearly as effective for any of these things if no one sees your profile.
If you want hiring managers, prospects, and others in your industry to find you on LinkedIn, you need to spend some time optimizing your profile and its keywords.
Here are four ways that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile’s keywords to get found through search more frequently.
Reach 100% profile strength, but don’t stop there
LinkedIn measures the strength of your profile by the information that you include on it. Once you meet the requirements for 100% completion, your profile strength meter will be filled up and won’t go any higher. Reaching this status is critical: LinkedIn says that users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities.
However, reaching 100% doesn’t mean that you should stop updating your profile. As you gain experience and broaden your skills, make sure that you mention them and their related keywords by updating your profile accordingly. LinkedIn allows you to write a summary of yourself as a professional and describe projects you have worked on. These areas are perfect for including keywords that are relevant to the searches you want to be found in.
Write your headline carefully
After your name, your profile headline is the second most important search criteria that LinkedIn uses to rank profiles in search results. This makes your headline a critical place to use keywords to gain visibility.
The headline is where you’ll want to think about the most common job title for your position. It’s nice to have a creative title that distinguishes you from the crowd, but if your headline indicates that you are a “Grand Master of IT Projects,” you won’t get as many hits as you would if your headline was simply, “IT Project Manager.”
Remember to also include your skills in your headline. For example, if you are a project manager who specializes in cloud migration projects, include keywords related to work you’ve done in that area.
Consider industry keywords
When optimizing your LinkedIn profile for keywords, don’t limit yourself to keywords that relate directly to the skills and experience that you have. Instead, think about keywords that might relate to your industry as a whole: clients, vendors, and competitors.
For example, if you are a technician who works for a company with clients in healthcare, consider ways that you can include keywords relating to healthcare in your profile.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to finding the hot keywords in your field, Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a good place to start. You can search for keyword volume based on your industry and your geographic location. The Keyword Planner can also provide suggestions for keywords based on your product or service. Because Google crawls data from LinkedIn to use in search results, there’s a good chance that if a keyword gets a lot of traffic on Google, it also gets a lot of traffic on LinkedIn.
With these steps, you can take advantage of the power of keyword optimization to improve the frequency with which you get found by prospects, employers, and other people you want to connect with on LinkedIn.
What are some other ways to boost your keyword optimization on LinkedIn?
For some business owners and managers in technology, recruiting conjures up images of sifting through endless piles of applications, uncomfortable interviews, and lost productivity from open positions.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Companies that understand how to use modern techniques for recruiting will find that there is a much easier way to connect with talented IT professionals interested in career advancement.
One of those methods is LinkedIn. The rise of social media means that companies can instantly connect with candidates with the right skills and experience. According to LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Report, in the past four years the amount of quality hires from social professional networks has increased 73%.
At ProResource, we make it easy for companies to use LinkedIn to build relationships with potential new hires.
How do we do it? Our process involves four key steps:
1. Understand our clients’ needs
We take time to gain a deep understanding of the kind of candidate that our clients are looking for. From certifications to employment history, we analyze every part of a person’s profile to see if they would be a good fit.
2. Perform a search based on skills and area
With a good sense of what our clients are looking for, we use our years of experience searching LinkedIn to perform targeted keyword searches that identify the right people in the client’s geographic area.
3. Send a connect request directly from the CEO’s account
After identifying fitting prospects, ProResource sends carefully crafted introductions through LinkedIn directly from the account of your CEO or hiring manager. These inquiries are sent as connect requests. They clearly state the sender’s interest in having the candidate apply for an open position with the company.
4. Follow up with specific job information
Once the candidate has accepted the connect request, we follow up with a message that offers information about the company and a link to a full description of the available role. This message also includes a referral request, in case the person isn’t interested but knows someone who might be.
Why does it work?
ProResource has found tremendous success matching qualified candidates to open positions at small technology companies using this approach, for several reasons:
- Candidates and employers can build a more personal relationship. Prospective hires are contacted directly by the interested company, which makes them more inclined to respond to the request. Even if they aren’t interested in a current opening, these connections become a part of your network, which makes it easy to reach out to them for future opportunities.
- The best hires are often those who aren’t actively looking for a job. In fact, research shows that 85% of employees in the workforce are either open to talking to a recruiter, looking for a job, or reaching out to their personal network for opportunities. By engaging these passive candidates on LinkedIn, employers broaden their access to the talent pool.
- New hires get to learn more about prospective employers. To perform at the highest possible level, new hires must feel comfortable with their employer. ProResource’s approach to recruiting allows this to happen much earlier in the hiring process, since candidates who are contacted will almost instantly begin familiarizing themselves with your company.
Unlike recruiting agencies, we don’t take a percentage of the new hire’s salary. Our LinkedIn recruiting services are billed at a flat rate of $1700 per month. In our experience, one month of reaching out to qualified candidates is all that is required for small technology companies to fill their vacant positions.
How do you connect with people on LinkedIn? See their name pop up in the “People you might know” list? Receive an email from someone you haven’t heard from in ages? Perhaps meet new connections or run into colleagues at conferences and connect?
This ad hoc approach of connecting on LinkedIn is typical of many professionals. It’s a start. Still, you can go further with a strategic approach that leads to many more quality connections. You can build your LinkedIn connections in a systematic way that can open the door to new leads, new partnerships, new referrals and whatever you need.
To begin, review this list to jog your brain and write down names of people to find on LinkedIn. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “I can’t believe I wasn’t already connected with so-and-so!” This should help you resolve that.
Strategically build your network on LinkedIn by connecting with the following.
Look beyond your primary contact. Consider other people in the contact’s company regardless if you’ve worked with them on a project. For example, you may be included in a group email from your primary contact. Send a connection request to others in the email with a personal note that says, “I work with [primary contact’s name] and would like to connect with you. Let me know if I can help with any resources.”
Anytime you connect with a prospect — whether it’s a webinar, demo, conference, free consult, initial conversation, collected email — that’s another opportunity to connect on LinkedIn. In your message, mention how you connected and ask if they have any current needs. You may be able to direct the way.
These are the people who make up your ideal clients that you haven’t yet met. In this case, you want to prepare to introduce yourself to the decision-maker by connecting with others in the company. Let’s say you identify a company that fits your ideal client requirements. You look for employees that you can connect to quickly. Eventually, you’ll make enough connections and reach the decision-makers.
This group — such as businesses working on an account with you — can refer business to you or refer you to businesses. For example, I’ve worked with a client who used a search engine marketing company, a social media marketing agency, and a marketing automation company. I connected with the people in the other groups.
You can also work with businesses that do the same thing you do except they’re bigger or smaller than your company. Sometimes a job is too big or too small for them. In this case, they’ll refer a business to similar, trusted businesses that can handle the account.
When you join a LinkedIn Group, you’re connecting with members who have a shared interest. Be sure to let the recipient know you’re in the group together when sending a personalized connection request.
Sometimes we overlook staff in our own companies. You can do a search on LinkedIn based on company and location to help you find other employees. Ask colleagues for suggestions or check your colleagues’ connections.
Connect with vendors so you can refer business to each other. For example, web designer connects with a writer and graphic designer. Sometimes a web design project needs an outside writer and graphic design work that’s beyond the web designer’s capabilities. You save the client a lot of time in looking for reliable vendors when you refer trusted vendors.
Connect with influencers such as bloggers, consultants, experts, editors and writers from your industry. Build the relationship.
This includes staff and board members from industry associations. Like with influencers, build the relationship before you need them to do something. If, for example, you plan a webinar that would interest members, you can ask your contacts in the organization to email or post an announcement.
Organizations consist of PTA, Boy Scouts, church, temple, alumni, anything. You already have something in common with these people: you’re passionate about the organization. Many members and volunteers have successful careers and businesses that could complement yours.
Personal services providers
People who provide you with services in your personal life can make great connections even if you work for a B2B company. These are the barbers, hair stylists, lawn service providers, photographers, bakers, carpenters, and electricians. Friends often ask for recommendations on Facebook. When you provide a successful referral, your connections will think of you the next time they need your business or someone they know who does.
Thought leaders are people who are on top of your industry. Remember every type of organization has thought leaders. If you’re looking for thought leaders in the managed services provider (MSP) field, you want to look for those in marketing, research and development, HR, accounting, and operations. Not just the CEO or analyst.
Expanding your connections to include these types of people is easier than you think. These are the people you need to know and most likely know some on some level. For those you don’t know, it’ll make it easier to request introductions.
It’s not just about finding and connecting with people. You also want to think about the other side of the coin: those looking to connect with you. You most likely have something in common with the people in this list, which will help them find you. And they will when you connect with the people on this list as they’ll recognize the connections you have in common.
Because of your thinking ahead by connecting with others and the things you have in common with the person doing the search, you’ll come up higher in the results.
62% of B2B companies use webinars, according to “B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends — North America.” The report also says that 64% of respondents have indicated that the webinar is one of the more effective tactics, second behind in-person events.
A well-planned, educational webinar won’t accomplish much without attendees. Companies that excel with webinars create an integrated marketing strategy that ensures they promote their webinar using multiple tactics. One of those tactics is LinkedIn.
A client contacted me asking how to promote his company’s upcoming webinar on LinkedIn. I’m also planning several LinkedIn webinars, which prompted me to create this checklist for promoting a webinar using LinkedIn.
You can spread the word about your webinar on LinkedIn with these six steps.
1. Join LinkedIn Groups where you’ll find your audience
Do this as soon as you have your webinar topic and target audience in mind. Many high-quality LinkedIn Groups require the Group owner’s approval. Approvals don’t always come as quickly as you would like.
You may already belong to some Groups. However, my client’s webinar covered a more narrow audience than his typical one.
Before asking to join a group, make sure it’s OK for someone in your role and company to join the group. For example, many LinkedIn Groups exist for managed services providers. Some say they’re only for MSP practitioners. This means they might not approve of membership for someone who works for a marketing company with plans for a webinar targeting MSPs.
2. Write a blog post related to the webinar’s topic
Publishing a blog post on LinkedIn can provide your webinar with a search engine boost and help you reach your target audience, especially when you combine it with LinkedIn content ads. (More on that shortly.) Publishing a post in your company’s blog also works. When you create a blog post that offers valuable information, it gives you an excuse to share it without looking like you are promoting your company.
Since the blog post covers the webinar’s topic, people who want to know more will want to sign up for it. Be sure to include information about your webinar at the end of the post with a link for registering. If you’re recording the webinar, encourage people to sign up even if they can’t attend as they’ll receive the recording and other goodies.
3. Scan Group posts
After getting approval to join the LinkedIn Group, scan the posts for the topics covered and how the Group operates. Try to find messages about webinars to see how they’re mentioned. Are they under Discussions or Promotions? How are they promoted? Who is promoting the webinar? (Someone from the company sponsoring the webinar or a Group member who thought it would be of interest?)
Also check the Group’s focus. Using the MSP example, some Groups limit discussions to the core business. In other words, they don’t want posts about helping managed services providers with their social media or search engine marketing.
This information ensures you respect the Group’s rules and increases your chances of seeing your webinar post safely published. Since webinar promotions tend to be self-serving, owners sometimes delete them. This brings us to the next step.
4. Share links to useful resources
It’s not unusual for people to join a LinkedIn Group to promote a webinar or another event, and nothing else. With LinkedIn’s 50 Group membership limit, people would join a Group, post the webinar and then leave the Group. This can burn bridges and make it harder for your webinar post to stick.
To improve stickiness, share links to resources that are valuable to the Group that don’t come from your website. Be sure to include a brief introduction to show you put thought into it.
5. Contact LinkedIn Group owners
Whether or not you join the Group, you can contact Group owners to see if their group would be interested in the webinar. This message would need to demonstrate the webinar’s benefits to their members. If you make the effort to contact the Group owner rather than promoting it in the Group, you might win a few brownie points.
The other reason for contacting owners is that it may not be appropriate to post the webinar in the Group. If the owner deems the webinar as useful, he or she may send a message to the Group telling them about it. When the post or message comes from the owner, it’s more likely to be trusted and read.
6. Buy a sponsored content ad
LinkedIn allows you to post sponsored content as ads that can be precisely tailored to different segments and targeted by job function, seniority, industry, geography or company size, and industry followers. To see what these look like, sign into LinkedIn and browse the updates on your home page. The sponsored ads say “Sponsored” at the top of the update.
To create a LinkedIn Content sponsored ad, you submit a link to the content and any assets to LinkedIn. LinkedIn creates the ad and sends you a preview for your approval. You can use the LinkedIn blog post as the content, your webinar landing page or both.
What other ways have you used to promote your webinar on LinkedIn?
Most business owners and entrepreneurs know the importance of having an online presence with a company website. But they also need landing pages, pages that stand alone prepared to receive visitors from special marketing campaigns. A landing page has one job: get users to take the desired action.
Here’s an example … A software company can send an email to current customers to tell them about a sale. They wouldn’t send people to their regular shopping cart page. They’d have more success with a special landing page for this offer.
Since the audience is customers, they can develop a more targeted message. They don’t need to explain things their customers would already know. This would be a waste of time. Rather, they focus on talking about the sale, create a sense of urgency with a deadline and include a clear call to action.
A B2B MSP can create a landing page for a webinar targeted to healthcare providers. It’d send an email to its healthcare segment and drive them to the relevant landing page. The more specific you get, the greater chance your landing page will convert.
Landing page tools simplify the process by taking care of all the back-end programming and avoids the time extensive activity of designing from scratch. You don’t need to be a web designer or learn another programming language.
Landing page tool features
Here are some features to consider when looking for the right landing page tool:
|A/B testing||Analytics||Confirmation/thank you page|
|Email integration||Marketing tools integration||Mobile-optimized pages|
|Payment integration||Social media integration||Templates|
Landing pages are typically hosted on the provider’s server. Should you decide not to renew with a provider, you’ll lose your landing page. Considering landing pages are based on marketing campaigns, so they tend to have a short life. This is generally not an issue, but something to keep in mind.
Here’s a short list of three different landing page tools. Most charge monthly or annual fees that are discounted when paid in full up front. Many offer free trials.
You can build your first landing page free. The basic account is $29 per month, which includes unlimited pages, unlimited A/B testing, 5,000 visitors per month, unlimited custom domains, more than 70 templates, WordPress integration and mobile ready pages. All plans come with email notifications, Google Analytics, real-time stats, SEO plugin and form submission redirect. Instapage works with more than 20 marketing tools and allows you to add videos.
It takes only a minute to sign up and start working on your first landing page. You begin by selecting a template for your campaign, which takes you to the easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor with drag-and-drop capabilities. A popup tour guide helps you through each step. All elements of the page can be customized.
The basic editor only shows you the menu you need for the current activity. For example, select the big orange button to view its options. That’s all you see. You won’t be distracted by irrelevant options. Instapage stands out for its simple and clean interface that takes no time to learn.
In Goldilocks terms, you could call it the “just right” software. It doesn’t have the stout features of Unbounce that can overwhelm a small business owner who has no time to learn such a brawny software. Yet it’s more flexible than LeadPage, giving a small business the ability to customize landing pages.
The LeadPages platform is the Mad Libs of landing page tools. It includes three components: LeadPages, a landing page builder; LeadBoxes, a popup box builder for subscriber signups; and LeadLinks, a zero-step opt-in process. The Standard plan is $25 per month when paid annually, or $37 on a month-to-month basis. It includes unlimited pages and domains, fill-in-the-blank templates, WordPress integration, embedding and HTML support (annual plan only), A/B split testing, first priority email support, access to affiliate plan, and customizable landing pages uploads.
One of the most useful features is the ability to sort its templates by conversion rate and by type of page. If you want to create a thank you page, you can sort thank you pages by highest opt-in rate to see which are more successful. You can do the same for other types of pages. Every feature comes with a video explaining what it can do. (Some videos are closed-captioned.) It provides many video tours, which is especially useful since there’s no free trial option. (That’s why there’s no screen shot.)
Instead of a trial, Leadpages offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It would be nice to see full screen shots (step-by-step guides show bits and pieces), or at least be able to interact with the app under a dummy account.
LeadPages has the least amount of flexibility. This can be a pro and con. Here’s the Mad Libs part. It’s a pro for people who just want to fill in a few blanks without messing with anything and publish fast. It’s a con for those who want to customize templates beyond colors and logos. You can’t even resize a logo as most dimensions are set.
This rigidity pays off with its unique features that allow you to accomplish tasks in only a few steps. Want to add a tab to Facebook? Done within a few clicks.
Unbounce can be daunting at first because it’s a robust platform. Think of Unbounce as the Photoshop of landing page tools rather than Photoshop LE, Picasa or IrfanView. Its testing capabilities are second to none.
You can kick the tires without signing up for a trial account with a credit card. This takes you to editor where a message box guides you through the process. You can send a message to support in a side window (didn’t get a reply and didn’t know how to get the window back on a different day), watch a video (not closed-captioned) or jump to Unbounce’s “Getting Started Guide” for more help. Popup boxes with tips appear on occasion.
Unbounce boasts having dynamic text replacement that can change text based on searched keywords. You’ll find everything you need to create powerful, customizable, measurable landing pages. The trick is learning the software to take advantage of its rich features.
What landing page tool interests you? What makes it more suitable for your business?