How to Choose The Right Keywords For Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is the hub of your LinkedIn account.

But what if no one is finding it or visiting it?

This is where optimizing your profile with the right keywords can make all the difference.

Updated: August 17, 2020

Before you can start getting leads and sales from LinkedIn, you’ll want to make sure your profile is optimized for Search – so the people who want and need to find you, can!

No idea how to find the best keywords to use in your LinkedIn profile? Or where to put them, once you’ve found them?

No problem! In this post, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know including:

  • The best words to use in your LinkedIn profile
  • How to find these keywords
  • Where to use these keywords in your profile

And more.

But first, it’s important to get a basic understanding of how Search works on LinkedIn.

How Does LinkedIn Search Work?

When people on LinkedIn want to find you or someone with your skills or job title, they’ll start by entering specific words or phrases into the LinkedIn search bar.

Once they finish typing and hit the magnifying glass icon, they’ll see a number of search results they can choose from.

LinkedIn then allows users to filter these search results into a number of different categories, including people, jobs, content, companies, schools, and groups.

LinkedIn-keywords

These filters are so helpful! They allow you to really drill down to find exactly what you’re looking for.

As with all search tools (whether it’s Google Search, Facebook Search, Instagram Search, etc.), the results will be dictated by the platform’s search algorithm.

Fortunately, the powers-that-be at LinkedIn have given us some clues as to how these results are ranked.

The #1 thing to know about LinkedIn Search is that the results are specific to the person doing the search.

The #1 thing to know about LinkedIn Search is that the results are specific to the person doing the search.Click To Tweet

For instance, one person may search for you and find you on page 7, while another person may find you on page 1 of the results.

Where you show up depends on a variety of factors, including the searcher’s profile, location, and search history.

That said, there are definitely ways you can boost your chances of being found…and we’ll cover these below!

What Types of Keywords Should I Use?

Before you start doing any research, it’s important to think about which types of LinkedIn profile optimization keywords you’ll be looking for. This will very much depend on what your goals are for using LinkedIn.

For instance:

Are you trying to find employment? Hoping local companies will find you because of your location and skills?

Are you hoping your profile shows up #1 in Google for your name?

Are you looking for new clients, and want them to find your profile based on the services you offer?

As you can see, the keywords you’ll target will vary depending on your goals. However, here’s a general list of keyword categories you’ll probably want to choose from:

  • Job titles
  • Cities or regions
  • Your name
  • Name of your degree or field of study
  • Industry-specific skills
  • Services you offer
  • Products you sell
  • General industry keywords

Using this list will give you a good place to start as you begin your research. But, now the question is…

How do I Find Keywords to Use in My Profile?

Finding and using the right keywords in your profile will give you the best chance of getting found – both in LinkedIn Search and in Google.

Finding and using the right keywords in your profile will give you the best chance of getting found – both in LinkedIn Search and in Google.Click To Tweet

While LinkedIn Search may be highly specific to the person doing the search, Google Search is less-so; and using popular and targeted keywords will be your best friend!

There are three main ways you can find keywords to use in your profile. I’ll cover each of these in detail below.

1. Use LinkedIn’s Search Bar.

Why not go straight to the source?

Start typing your keywords into the search bar, and see what pops up. For instance, if I type in “HR”, I immediately notice several people use the title “HRMD” (Human Resource Management and Development). This is a good indication this is a popular keyword in my network, so I’ll want to make sure I use it in my profile.

LinkedIn-keywords

Run a number of different searches and gather as many relevant keywords as you can. You can immediately start using these keywords in your profile (more on this later), or use them as a starting point for further keyword research using other tools.

You’ll also notice that as you search for keywords, LinkedIn is paying close attention. If you clear your search bar, and you’ll notice a new list of suggestions (under “Try searching for”) below your recent search history.

LinkedIn-keywords

LinkedIn has determined these keywords are related to the ones you’ve already searched for, so feel free to use these for your research as well!

2. Use Keyword Research Tools.

As far as I know, there are no dedicated LinkedIn keyword search tools out there (i.e. that let you identify popular keywords specific to LinkedIn). However, regular keyword research tools will work for LinkedIn too.

One of my favorite tools for doing keyword research is SEMRush.

LinkedIn-keywords

Using their free plan, you can perform up to 10 searches per day, which will get you off to a good start.

Simply enter a keyword, and you’ll get a ton of information about it including:

  • How many people search for that keyword in Google
  • Variations of that word or phrase
  • Related keywords
  • How difficult it is to rank for that keyword

LinkedIn-keywords

In general, you’ll want to choose keywords that are extremely relevant to what you do, that have a decent search volume, and that have a lower keyword difficulty.

Another great tool you can use for keyword research is the Google Keyword Planner. It will show you approximately how many searches happen each month for your keyword, as well as how much competition there is for that keyword (competition relates to advertising, but it can still give you a decent idea of how hard it will be to get found for that term). It will also suggest related keywords you could use.

LinkedIn-keywords


3. Do Some Competitive Research

Finally, I strongly recommend visiting the LinkedIn profiles of other people in your niche to see what keywords they’re using.

Do a search for people with your same job title or role, then filter the results by “People”.

LinkedIn-keywords

Keep in mind that LinkedIn is showing you results based on your connections, search history, and past actions – so they aren’t “true” search results (i.e., every user will get different results).

You’ll also find that not all profiles will be public; but at the very least, you’ll be able to see which keywords people are using in their headlines. And these can be a great source of ideas and inspiration for other keywords you may want to use and test for yourself.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for SEO?

Once you’ve compiled a list of keywords you want to use, it’s time to optimize your profile.

Perhaps the most important optimization technique for LinkedIn is using these keywords in your profile. However, that alone isn’t enough!

Following are 6 ways to ensure your LinkedIn profile is fully optimized for search.

1. Use Your Keywords in Key Areas of Your Profile.

First and foremost, make sure you’re writing for other LinkedIn users, not for the search engines.

That said, you do want to make sure you’re using your chosen keywords when and where they make sense.

While LinkedIn doesn’t appear to punish profiles that use too many keywords (“keyword stuffing”), you’ll still want to be careful you’re not being spammy.

I recommend using them especially in your:

  • Headline (the tagline right below your name)
  • About section
  • Experience section
  • Skills

It also helps to get recommendations from other LinkedIn users, as they will naturally use a variety of keywords in their text.

Finally, including your keywords in your profile picture name and background photo name may help as well (and at the very least, can’t hurt). When uploading your images to LinkedIn, make sure to rename them using descriptive words: for instance, your name, job title, or company name.

2. Make Sure Your Profile is Complete.

There is evidence that LinkedIn shows preference to profiles that are complete, so it’s super important to make sure you’ve completed every single section!

Fortunately, LinkedIn actually gives you a running update on what you still need to complete, right near the top of your profile:

LinkedIn-keywords

They even provide tips and samples for how to complete different sections of your profile, based on the most recent best practices. So definitely take of advantage of the advice they offer!

3. List at Least 5 Skills.

LinkedIn-keywords

Including relevant skills in your profile is great for SEO, as it gives you another place to use your keywords. According to LinkedIn’s own research, it’s important to make sure you’ve listed a minimum of 5 skills, as users that have at least 5 skills listed are 27X more likely to get found in searches by recruiters.

According to LinkedIn’s own research, it’s important to make sure you’ve listed a minimum of 5 skills, as users that have at least 5 skills listed are 27X more likely to get found in searches by recruiters.Click To Tweet

When you add skills, it also gives other users an opportunity to endorse those skills: and we know that profiles that have more endorsements also rank higher in LinkedIn Search.

So adding skills is just a great move, all around!

4. Add Your Location to Your Profile… Even if You’re Not Confined to One Geographical Area.

With so many business owners now operating online businesses, there can be a tendency not to add their geographic location to their profile.

However, according to LinkedIn, adding your location makes you 23X more likely to be found in Search.

According to LinkedIn, adding your location makes you 23X more likely to be found in Search.Click To Tweet

Be sure to add your city or state/province in your contact info and when referencing past work experience and education – even if that work or schooling was done online or wasn’t confined to a specific, physical location.

Also, be sure to add variations of your city name or region: for instance, nearby cities, districts, counties, as well abbreviations for these locations. You never know what people will be searching for!

5. Customize your LinkedIn URL.

Did you know you can change your LinkedIn URL to whatever you want? By default, your profile URL will be something like www.linkedin.com/in/your-name-2knsdf83. However, by clicking on the “Edit public profile & URL” link at the top right of your profile, you can change this to whatever you like.

LinkedIn-keywords

Generally speaking, I recommend simply changing this to your full name, and nothing else. However, if you have a very common name, you may also want to throw in your job title or a really relevant industry keyword: for instance, “john smith-marketing-pro”.

6. Make More Connections.

As mentioned earlier in this post, LinkedIn Search is customized to each individual user. When people search, their results will depend on their search history and past actions; and most importantly, on who they are connected with.

The more closely you’re connected with someone, the more likely you are to show up in their search results. LinkedIn will list all your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-level connections in the search results first.

For instance, when I search for “engineer” in People, the results are all 2nd and 3rd connections:

LinkedIn-keywords

Your results will be very different than mine, depending on who you’re connected with.

It stands to reason that the more people you’re connected with, the more often you’ll show up in relevant searches!

Final Thoughts

Even if the idea of keyword research and SEO strikes fear in your heart, you can do this!

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and choosing the right keywords isn’t complicated, and shouldn’t take you a ton of time.

And once you’re done, you can feel confident knowing that the people who are looking for you are far more likely to actually find you!

Need more help with LinkedIn? Check out these helpful posts:

What is LinkedIn Used For?

10 Steps to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Are you ready to start choosing keywords and optimizing your profile? Anything you’re struggling with? Let us know in the comments below.

Comment Via Facebook
guest
95 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Krisztina Heréb
Krisztina Heréb
6 years ago

Hey Kim, amazingly useful article as always 🙂 Love your blog!

Kim Garst
Reply to  Krisztina Heréb
6 years ago

Thank you for dropping in!!

satta khabar
satta khabar
Reply to  Krisztina Heréb
9 months ago

Hey Kim, amazingly useful article as always your blog.very good information

Siddhesh
Siddhesh
10 months ago

Hey kim,By reading your post I have got lots idea to set up my Linkedin profile.
Thanks for amazing post.

Sita
Sita
10 months ago

This is very usefull post thank for share your post

D Daimary
10 months ago

love it learn lots thank u

Aryan Mollick
Aryan Mollick
10 months ago

This artical very helpful to me. Thank you

Syed
Syed
10 months ago

Your content is always pleasure to read…I don’t understand how u will collect so much of information.really amazing

Shayari For Hindi
Shayari For Hindi
10 months ago

your best content Thank you

asif qadri
asif qadri
10 months ago

Linked is one of the toughest social media platform. THanks for your idea for making it easy

Baker ST
10 months ago

I was reading this and i realy found what i was looking for your article is really informative and i’ll be grɑteful if ʏou keep writing in the future.

Richa
Richa
10 months ago

Hi Kim,

Absolutely Agree, LinkedIn an wonderful platform , it helps us to connect with so many Professional people.

And the methods you shared in the post is absolutely insightful,

Thank you.

Cely Candor
Cely Candor
10 months ago

I learn a lots, I updated my profile.
Thanks for article.

Waz Islamic
Waz Islamic
10 months ago

thanks sir very helpful articles

eric
eric
10 months ago

hi kim thanks for sharing this.

Candurat
Candurat
10 months ago

Nice information

Career of Assam
Career of Assam
10 months ago

I hope everyone will benefit for this information Thankyou

Rakesh
Rakesh
10 months ago

one of best article I ever read on keyword research on linkedin..

Quick lube
Quick lube
10 months ago

Great Article Thanks For Sharing This Article

RATAN REGAR
RATAN REGAR
10 months ago

Hi
This is one of the most informative and educational post Actually, I’m searching this kind of material. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

imgpapa
imgpapa
10 months ago

Hi! i really enjoy the blog and it is one of the best blog i ever read on keywords research on LinkedIn.

Homi Patel
Homi Patel
10 months ago

Hi. Thanks for this information i really like this

IMGPapa
IMGPapa
10 months ago

WAOOW.. This website is seriously very incredible and informative. I seriously prefer this website guyzz..Outstanding

mundal carry
mundal carry
10 months ago

hi kim i am big fan of yours…such a amazing detailed article..thanks a lot

Riya Singhe
Riya Singhe
10 months ago

Most of the people are still not serious about optimizing social media profile.

They should learn from your blog.

Thanks!

Ahamed Akash
9 months ago

very helpful Article, I liked your all articles
I hope everyone will benefit for this information thanks for sharing this.

VIJAY SAHU
VIJAY SAHU
9 months ago

Hi Kim
I really like this blog and very helpful blog about optimizing social media profile and benefit information everyone who use social media

Biplob Halder
9 months ago

Thank you for sharing this informetive informetion about linkdin..

umair habib
umair habib
9 months ago

Hi i read you article but i just want to know can i used google adwords keyword planner for linkedIn. Please Guide me.

ER point
ER point
9 months ago

usefull post.well written content

ER point
ER point
9 months ago

love the post .keep it up .very informative post

ER point
ER point
9 months ago

amazing information about linkdin.thanks for this post

Kamal Chopra
9 months ago

thanks for the excellent write up on LinkedIn keywords, looking forward for more such information on LinkedIn, regards, KC

Zohaib Sami
Zohaib Sami
9 months ago

Thanks For Share This Information. It Is Very Helpfull.

Amitabh Mishra
Amitabh Mishra
9 months ago

Thank you for this amazing post. I will follow this steps to increase followers on my profile.

mithun sarker
Reply to  Amitabh Mishra
9 months ago

wow nice

how to create a dropdown menu using html and css
https://youtu.be/gEWVWxsL0rY

Mahnaz Waheed
Mahnaz Waheed
9 months ago

Hi kim,
Hope you are fine.
Thank you so much for sharing this information.
Alllah Bless you.

Sam
Sam
9 months ago

I’ve made a linkedin profile and never really looked at it as other than somewhere to keep in touch with professionals I worked with previously. I have been considering using it for other reasons, for example recruitment and this has really helped me identify some areas I need to focus on and learn to use the platform and grow! Thanks for the tips on keywords, extremely valuable.

Tony
Tony
9 months ago

This is very helpful article! Thank for share your post! I always try to apply your tips at my work!

Harry Smith
Harry Smith
9 months ago

Thanks for sharing these useful informations. As i am planning to boost my social media marketing, it was really very helpful post. By reading it, I gained lots of valuable resources and informations. Keep up the good work.

Emmy
Emmy
9 months ago

Thank you for sharing the wonderful Article how to choose the write keywoard for likedin profile, how to develop linkedin

Best Massage Chair
Best Massage Chair
9 months ago

This an exceptionally useful blog I am feeling cheerful perusing this post. I am glad to discover your blog I was searching for data like this. Great work continues composing like this later on. Much appreciated.

PAP Announcer
PAP Announcer
9 months ago

Thanks For this amazing Post I get knowledge about it.

Lauren
Lauren
9 months ago

Thank you for this post, I’m going to put this into practice and apply the tips to my LinkedIn profile!

arun
arun
9 months ago

This really helpful for any buiseness and SEO Student
thnaks for share this information

raj
raj
9 months ago

This information very helpful for me because i am SEO student

zain kharal
zain kharal
9 months ago

NICE ARTICLE

Ravula Naresh
Ravula Naresh
9 months ago

Hi Kim Garst
The information you have given in this blog post about the right keywords was very helpful for me thank u so much for sharing and educating
Thank You

raj ram
raj ram
9 months ago

Hi
This is one of the most informative and educational post Actually, I’m searching this kind of material. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

Adnan saul
Adnan saul
9 months ago

Great Article Sir I like your Work Keep writing Sir..
Your Post is So Informational Sir.

Sulaiman Aarbi
Sulaiman Aarbi
9 months ago

Thanks for this Content

mithun sarker
9 months ago

wow awesome article.thanks for share

how to create a dropdown menu using html and css
https://youtu.be/gEWVWxsL0rY

M.IMRAN
M.IMRAN
9 months ago

An awesome post!

A really helpful article to find the right keyword for linkedin profile. Today first time I have visited this blog and found many informative posts.
Appreciate your efforts.

Thanks.

[if mso]
[if mso]
4K Shares
Share742
Tweet2K
Pin100
Reddit
Email