In the past few weeks, I’ve been getting inquiries from people who found my LinkedIn profile through Google search. When I knew how they found me, I was prompted to head on to Google (in incognito mode) to see how I showed up on search results.
I haven’t done a Google search of the keywords that I use for quite some time. I only do this to search for my name to see what shows up.
Since I started VB Consulting in 2017, I have been using only two primary keywords or key phrases on my profile: LinkedIn and ‘personal branding’. And that’s exactly how I want to be found.
So when I did a Google search of my keywords, I was surprised to see the results:
As of this time of search, May 02, 2021, I was on top of the search results for the keywords LinkedIn expert, LinkedIn strategist and LinkedIn consultant:
I was also on top of the Google SERP for LinkedIn personal branding expert and LinkedIn personal branding consultant:
And though I wasn’t on top of the search results for the keyword ‘Personal branding strategist’, I was still on Page One.
The search results may change quickly, so for the same keywords, I could drop from the top results, but might (hopefully) still be found on the first page.
My profile does not appear on Page One for ‘LinkedIn personal branding’ but my article — 7 Posting Tips to Help Boost Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn — at Social Media Today is there!
Get Found on Google Through LinkedIn SEO
LinkedIn is one of the most popular sites in the world based on domain authority, which is a “link-based metric that models how Google ranks websites.” LinkedIn’s domain authority score is 98/100.
And that is why your LinkedIn profile is likely to appear on Page One of Google search engine results, especially when you search for your name.
And if you want to rank high on Google search results for your keywords, here are seven tips that you can apply:
#1: Know your keywords
What keywords does your target audience use in searching for someone with your expertise?
And which keywords do you want your LinkedIn profile to rank for?
Don’t forget that the way LinkedIn members search on the platform is different from the way people, in general, search on Google.
On LinkedIn, searchers are looking for people so they type in positions, such as content writer, copywriter, digital marketing expert, etc.
Or they also type in the skills or expertise they are looking for, such as content writing, SEO, marketing, personal branding, etc.
On Google search, people could be typing questions relevant to their problems or whatever it is that they want to learn more of, such as personal branding, content writing, how to optimize LinkedIn profile, etc. So in this sense, it helps to use long-tail keywords that are more specific and more niche.
Either way, it takes some level of clarity, combined with research, for you to really figure out the keyword or keywords that you want to rank for. FOCUS is key.
#2: Keyword-optimize your LinkedIn profile
Once you’ve decided on your keyword or keywords, place them on the following sections of your LinkedIn profile:
Headline – You can use up to 220 characters on your headline. Include your keywords to help you get found.
About section – You can have up to 2,000 characters for your About section. Again, adding your keywords here will increase your discoverability.
Experience title – If your position or job title does not contain any keyword that you want to be found for, you can edit it to include your keywords (as long as it matches what you do in the company).
Experience description – This section allows you to write a copy with up to 2,000 characters. Use this section to further integrate your keywords for searchability.
#3: Name the images on your LinkedIn profile
Before uploading any image, such as your LinkedIn profile banner, name them. I use a combination of my name and my keywords. Google is indexing images, so it’s important to keyword-optimize them, as well.
#4: Grow your LinkedIn network
Ranking on LinkedIn search results requires growing your network. Generally, the larger your network, the higher you rank in the search results. Your network includes: (1) your 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections; and (2) the members in your groups.
Remember that the search results for every LinkedIn member are unique. This means that if we both search for a ‘content writer’, we will get different results because LinkedIn’s search algorithm factors in our own network and the information that we provide in our profile.
Interestingly, according to Jean-Christophe Chouinard’s SEO case study, the number of your LinkedIn connections can also help you rank high on Google.
#5: Make your LinkedIn profile public
Make sure your profile is visible to the public. To turn it on, follow these steps:
LinkedIn Profile → Edit public profile and URL
#6: Publish articles
LinkedIn articles do not get a lot of organic views, but unlike your LinkedIn posts, articles are being indexed by Google.
Write articles around your keywords or key phrases. And don’t forget to add them to your article titles and the headings.
You can also add your name and keywords on Alt Text, which is being indexed by Google for image search. Here’s how I added Alt Text in writing this article:
#7: Get quality backlinks
Getting media features or mentions, guesting in podcasts or video interviews and guest blogging are perfect opportunities to get quality backlinks.
As you build your personal brand on LinkedIn, people will notice what you do, and would be compelled to invite you to their podcasts, events, or interview you for their content. Those are helpful in expanding your reach and getting your profile found through keywords.
Secure backlinks from high-authority websites. Use this free tool from Moz to check a site’s domain authority.
Through the years, I’ve had backlinks from online sites where I was featured or quoted, such as Forbes, Marketing In Asia, When In Manila, Entrepreneur Philippines, Entrepreneur India, Entrepreneur Middle East, etc.
And I also get backlinks to my LinkedIn profile from publications where I contribute articles such as Social Media Today, Thrive Global, Medium, Freelancers Union, Payoneer, Marketing In Asia, etc.
However, as far as I can remember, I wasn’t able to ask for backlinks from some of those who interviewed me. I later realized that I should have asked them for it.
So whenever you have these opportunities, always ask for a backlink to your profile!
Finally, be patient
I can’t tell you how long it would take to rank your LinkedIn profile on Page One of Google SERP for your keywords.
However, for sure, it’s not going to happen overnight. It took me a few years to notice I made it to Page One. It could be fewer years for you if you get started now by applying these tips!
Wrapping Up with a Personal Note
Getting found on Google search for your keywords is not just about understanding the SEO side of it. Although my profile seems to rank for low-volume keywords — to me, it’s an indication of having clarity on what I do and being able to stick to it (my keywords) despite all the challenges, trends or other “shiny objects” out there.
What do I mean?
There were times in my ‘LinkedIn-and-personal-branding journey’ that I was also “tempted” to do something else, including switching to another industry or shifting my focus to other things relevant to LinkedIn such as lead generation or demand generation, rather than personal branding.
But because I’m truly passionate about all things ‘LinkedIn and personal branding,’ I have stayed in my lane for years — and still loving it! — and have really grown in this niche.
And so since then, almost all of my content, podcast interviews, LinkedIn articles, LinkedIn posts and guest blogs are about LinkedIn and personal branding. More than keywords, I know that it’s commitment, focus and dedication to my craft that have helped me thrive.
Fortunately, all of my efforts that led to valuable search rankings have been getting my profile more views, more leads and more opportunities that have helped me and VB Consulting grow.