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Don't Waste Your Time on LinkedIn Optimize your content and make every second count.

By Melanie Goodman

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LinkedIn SEO is not on the minds of most LinkedIn users. SEO (search engine optimization) is something most leave to their website designers. However, this means that most LinkedIn users here in Europe and elsewhere have not optimised their profile for top-level results, but if your competitors are attracting better engagement and leads, it's time to upgrade your LinkedIn strategy.

Although your first-degree connections can see your LinkedIn activity, your discoverability by other LinkedIn users relies heavily on your LinkedIn SEO and your content. The following tips will help you to gain visibility, relevant connections, and audience/brand loyalty.

Include search terms in image file names.

Firstly, let's SEO those photos! When you upload your background image and profile photo, don't just call them "photo.jpeg", call them your role/title e.g., financialadvisor.png or business-coach-for-lawyers.jpeg.

Leverage the discoverability of Creator Mode.

Step two involves turning on "Creator Mode"1. Go to view your own profile and halfway down you will see Creator Mode1. Switch it on and choose five hashtags that relate to your role, e.g. #sustainability #ESG #assetmanagement #investing #fundmanagement.

When someone types one of those hashtags into the search bar, one of the filters they can choose is "talks about" and who will come up as one of the first? You!

Get serious about keywords and hashtags.

Let's up your game here and create your own keywords and hashtags. These phrases and catchphrases can eventually grow into exclusive search results for your content and your profile. For example, following the hashtag #Trevisan will make you privy to content posted by that company or start your own catchy one, e.g., #TrevorTalks.

Sometimes, it is a good idea to include less popular keywords and make them popular among your audience. Akin to original creations, these acquired keywords are very useful in securing online domains for special events and services.

Think about who you want to attract to your profile and where they are based. For example, an international audience may prefer the words "real estate in London" instead of "property in London" or "Lawyer" instead of "Solicitor". On the flip side, the local audience may prefer the terminology used in their region. Similarly, New York City maybe searched as NYC & London may be searched as the Capital.

Remember, quality trumps quantity when it comes to content.

While you figure out the right keywords and hashtags to use, the easiest way to improve visibility is to post good quality content that engages your network. Their likes, comments, reposts and shares make you visible on the feeds of their followers. If their followers are part of your intended audience, you will attract the right connections.

If not, use the search tab to find the right audience, visit their profile, and see if you can network via mutual connections, LinkedIn Groups, or a well-crafted personalised message.

The key is to share a healthy mix of customised posts with the latest information, personalised information, polls, events, professional updates, and a few personal updates. Moreover, if you like, comment, repost, and share the content of other members, not only could you foster a healthy quid pro quo where they start engaging with you organically, but LinkedIn will also reward you and push your profile and content out further afield.

Think outside the (LinkedIn) box.

Does the world begin and end with LinkedIn? Absolutely not! Here's how to aggregate visitors from non-LinkedIn sources:

First, press the "Me" icon on your homepage, go to your settings and select the "Visibility" tab. Then scroll down its subsections and enable your visibility outside LinkedIn and also your "searchability" with phone number and e-mail address. Additionally, let your contacts export your details to their devices.

Second, create backlinks to your LinkedIn Profile across your digital footprint i.e., blogs, service profiles, mentions in the news, podcasts, and nametags. If you leave a comment in any third-party forum or message board inquiry, leave a backlink there and make it easier for visitors to verify your credentials instantly.

Third, click on the Quick-Reference (QR code) icon in the search tab in your LinkedIn mobile app and take a screenshot of your Profile's QR code. Maximise the use of this QR code in your offline and online communication i.e., business cards, brochures, resumes, newsletters, mailers, webpages, blogs, etc. A QR Code can be extremely useful if you meet people in person at conferences or if they prefer viewing your communications across multiple devices.

If you are new to LinkedIn, start with your profile for some easy wins and less time spent on outreach as more relevant inbound leads will come to you instead of your having to seek them out. Compound this with some smart posts and you will have a fully functioning business development machine working for you daily.

Melanie Goodman

Owner and Founder of Trevisan

Melanie Goodman is owner and founder of Trevisan. Melanie specialises in providing CPD-accredited LinkedIn marketing and LinkedIn training services to the professional services sector in Europe, drawing on her comprehensive knowledge of and experience in finance and law. Her company assists businesses to achieve their goals by providing bespoke LinkedIn growth and visibility strategies.

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