If you want to get discovered on LinkedIn then you need to optimize your profile for LinkedIn’s search algorithm. With over 330 million users on LinkedIn, you will only start to get noticed by job recruiters and other business professionals when your profile is 100% complete. Additionally, you will need to add the right keywords on your profile that define your skillsets.

When someone searches for other people on LinkedIn, they only search their personal network and up to 3 degrees of connections beyond the people they know. This means that in order for your LinkedIn profile to appear in more search results, you need to be in as many relevant LinkedIn networks as possible.

LinkedIn profiles are also highly optimized for Google’s search algorithm so having a strong LinkedIn profile is crucial for personal branding as it will rank highly when people inevitably search for your name on Google.

My LinkedIn SEO Recommendations:

Follow these recommendations to maximize your search visibility on LinkedIn:

1. Start with a professional headshot and a really strong headline.

Your headline should be much more than just your current (or last) job title. The length that Linkedin allows for headlines is up to 120 characters so use it all to describe your unique skillsets and grab people’s attention with something unique. When your name appears in LinkedIn’s search results it will be with your photo and headline.

2. Fully utilize the summary section and include your contact details.

The summary section is an excellent place to describe yourself and why you are passionate about your chosen career. If you’re looking for a job or for new clients for your business, mention this in the summary section and use a call-to-action to encourage people to contact you. People outside your network can’t see your contact details so make sure to put them in your summary.

3. Keep things fresh by adding regular status updates.

Use a tool like Hootsuite to simultaneously update other social networks like Google+ and Twitter. Share your thoughts, your favorite quotes, ask your network for advice and post the most interesting and useful content you find on the web. Reading and commenting on your connection’s noteworthy status updates will make them care enough to do the same for you.

4. Maximize your LinkedIn group membership.

You can join up to 50 LinkedIn Groups. Join all the relevant industry groups for your skillsets and if you’re really a go-getter then start posting and interacting with people in these groups regularly. Being part of industry groups will really improve your search visibility and allow group members to easily find you in search and contact you.

5. Blog directly on LinkedIn Pulse.

When you blog directly on LinkedIn your entire network (1st level of connections) will be notified that it was published. These posts are highly optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) both on LinkedIn and Google. If you want to start writing your first post, you can do it on LinkedIn Pulse.

6. Include valuable digital media on your profile.

Use content that demonstrates your passion, creativity and thought leadership. Try to post a variety of different formats like documents, videos and presentations. If you’re looking for a job I’d recommend including a 30-60 second pitch for potential recruiters by embedding a YouTube video.

7. Get out networking and add everyone you meet on LinkedIn.

The more connections you have the more likely you are to appear in LinkedIn’s search results. Adding connections with influential people that have large networks will help your search visibility the most. Find local networking events on MeetUp, use networking apps, and reach out to interesting people on LinkedIn and offer to take them out for a coffee.

8. Claim your LinkedIn Vanity URL.

Include your full name in the URL and then link to your new LinkedIn Profile URL from your website and some of your social media accounts. To claim your vanity URL you will need to have your profile 100% complete first.

9. Get recommendations for every position.

Ideally, you want at least 10 recommendations to increase your search visibility on LinkedIn. Ideally, get recommendations from your direct supervisors. If you’re a student get recommendations from your professors. If you’re self-employed, get glowing testimonials from your clients directly on LinkedIn for everyone to see.

10. Don’t keyword stuff but use them liberally throughout your profile.

The keywords you use on your LinkedIn Profile should be based around your skillsets and talents. Think of what you would search for if you were a recruiter looking to hire someone like you. I recommend listing your major skillsets in your summary as a bullet list.

The infographic below from Link Humans provides an excellent blueprint for standing out from the crowd and a visual reference for optimizing your LinkedIn Profile for search:

The Perfect LinkedIn Profile For Search (Infographic)