One of the things that has been most interesting (and sometimes challenging) about social media over the years is the rate of change. You think you have it down, only to have Google change its strategy, or Facebook change its page rules, Twitter decide it's not going to play nice with third party apps, etc.
Because of the rate of change, I knew early on in my social media career that I wanted to find what worked, test it to make sure, and then share the results of my learning with others. It's hard enough sometimes to separate the truth from the fiction online from so-called social media "experts" whose accounts on various platforms have only been running a few months with only a small number of followers and no real demonstrable results.
So when you read a recommendation or see a technique described, or use one of my how-to posts to learn how to do something new in the way you use social media, you know that they reason I'm sharing it is simple: it works!
Sharing information this way has seemed popular – my how-to posts are some of the most popular on my blog and most often shared with others. This makes me happy – I truly love to be of service and provide value to others, especially people new to the power of social media marketing.
I've seen a number of people talking recently about LinkedIn search – just like any other platform, people want to know how use the unique features and strengths of this platform to optimize their profiles and move to that first page and the top slots on LinkedIn searches. What is the secret to being found on the front page of LinkedIn?
Now, understanding how to use a strategic approach to being found on search requires understanding how the search capability of each social media platform functions. For instance, Google uses an algorithm that is context-heavy. Simply using a keyword or keyword phrase multiple times in your webpage will not move you to page 1 of Google search in the way it used to.
In my experience and in the experience of people who have spent a great deal of time studying LinkedIn, its search capacity appears to be more keyword driven than context driven. This means that including a keyword or keyword phrase has a greater impact in moving your profile up in searches for your specialty. And the context of your keyword or keyword phrases, while very important for the human readers of your profile, doesn't play as strong a role as the presence of your keyword within your profile.
When I write that LinkedIn's search capability is keyword driven isn't a value statement about anyone who chooses to use this information strategically. It's simply me sharing my observation and experience that using keywords strategically in your profile works to move your profile up on LinkedIn search. As someone who regularly appears at the top of LinkedIn searches in my niche, I can confidently tell you that I have used this strategy and it works. It's not simply an opinion; it's the results of my experience.
Of course getting found by someone searching for your keyword phrases on LinkedIn is only the first step – your profile must be actually read and acted upon by the people using LinkedIn. So keyword stuffing; i.e., using only your keyword in descriptions of your jobs, etc., isn't a sound strategy. It needs to be accompanied by information about your jobs and experience that backs up your claim of knowledge in areas related to those keywords. Each area of your profile should be completed thoroughly (sounds redundant, but hopefully you understand what I mean – be thoughtful and complete about the information you add to each section of your profile). But as long as LinkedIn search remains a keyword driven search, your position on search results is primarily related to the strategic inclusion of your keywords throughout your profile.
At this time, strategic keyword inclusion is one of the best techniques for strengthening your position on LinkedIn search results. You can be sure that if and when it changes – you'll read about it here right away!