How do I know if my LinkedIn profile is set up correctly for a search?” That and questions of a similar nature come up frequently; sometimes daily. And it is not just the job seeker asking. Many times it is a business owner venturing into the world of online marketing. Other times, it is the marketing specialist themselves who seek the answer.
Capturing the keywords from job descriptions or marketing material that is pertinent to the search result is the first step. There are many software applications that will display the highest density words, either in a word count format or graphically, in a word cloud format.
Having the correct keywords, i.e., those that one can anticipate will be searched, placed in the profile is a must. In many cases, you will be spot on and the search indexing will give you the ranking you desire. At other times, you will struggle to make it to a ranking sufficient to create the potential of the profile being viewed.
LinkedIn has a tool available that will show you “how you were found in a search”. You get to this area through the following steps:
From the home page, click on the “Who viewed your profile”. Below the line graph on the page that is now displayed, look for the tab that states “Viewers found you…”
Some are unaware of the location of this data. Other’s fail to see the value. However, if a picture paints a thousand words, the one below paints a complete story.
As you can see on the wheel to the right, the manner in which you were found is right there before your eyes. Many criteria are shown. Which ones are important to you? That depends upon the purpose of the profile.
As a job seeker, those most important are “Summary and Job Description”, “Titles”, and “Skills”. These categories should be the top three! If so, your profile is being found by keyword searches related to the content of the profile. Remember that the recruiter is not searching by name…they do not know you!
If your goal is based on marketing, then having the company and your name should be high ranking. In this case, they are looking for YOU!
After you have made changes to the profile, examine the graphic to see if the changes are giving you the impact and indexing desired. In some cases, it will take time for the ratio to change, especially for the job seeker who, in the past, was found by name. But it will change. And the results are the data that you need to analyze the effectiveness of the change.
Proper placement of keywords will make a difference. You can control how the indexing will evaluate your profile and as such, what searches you will rank in. The graphic above validates, in either a positive or negative manner, the results of the changes.
By understanding the use of this tool and the data that is produces, you are able to take control of your profile.
Originally appeared on LinkedIn- August 2014