1. Edit your ‘professional headline’
Go to Profile > Edit Profile and click ‘Edit’ by your name. Instead of just typing your job title and company name in the ‘Professional Headline’ field, write a keyword-rich description of what you do. This text shows up when your name is searched on Bing (it sometimes shows on Google too). The first line of your profile Summary shows in Yahoo search results, so fill that with benefit-led keywords too.
2. Give (and get) recommendations
What other people say about you is more convincing than anything you say yourself (as I keep banging on about!). So you need Reviews for your products, Testimonials for your services, and Recommendations for yourself. LinkedIn makes it easy to ask for recommendations. Go to Profile > Recommendations > Request recommendation (if you choose to do this, it’s good netiquette to customise the default ‘request’ message). I prefer to give recommendations instead, and get them back thanks to the law of reciprocity. The ‘Recommendation this person’ link is in the right hand column of each contact’s profile (naturally, people have to be in your LinkedIn network before you can recommend them).
3. Customise your URL and public profile
If you want to send the link to someone, you’ll find the default URL (web address) for your profile is not very catchy. Go to Profile > Edit Profile > Edit public profile to customise your URL i.e. change the random string of numbers to your own name, if available. You can also tick and untick the boxes on this page, to select which elements of your profile you want the public to see i.e. people not in your network. You will see a preview showing changes as you make them.
4. Make your website link keyword-rich
Go to Profile > Edit Profile and click Edit by your website. Instead of choosing ‘Company website’ from the dropdown menu, choose ‘Other’. You can then customise the link text that clicks through to your website (this is good from a search engine point of view, and useful for human readers too).