Staying Ahead with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with current colleagues and make business connections. However, like other social media tools, developers are constantly changing and upgrading the site to stay competitive and give users even more great ways to interact. The following article offers a brief summary of some of the most recent changes to this site and how they might affect current LinkedIn users. New Criteria for a 100% Profile Having a LI profile that is 100% complete plays a significant role in search engine rankings. In the past, a profile would be deemed 100% only after all the vital information was completed, which included the need for at least three recommendations. While having valid recommendations is a great resource on a LinkedIn page, often this requirement would lead people to obtain recommendations from friends and family members. The recommendation requirement has now been replaced with the need to have at least 50 connections.

Absence of Tweets Up until just recently, LI users who also had a Twitter page were able to automatically feed their tweets to LinkedIn. While this function gave users the ability to easily and regularly populate two social media sources at one time, it was not always with business relevant content. While you can still send LinkedIn updates to Twitter, you will not longer be able to share your Tweets on LinkedIn.

Updated Profile Layout In addition to the above changes, LinkedIn is also in the process of updating its current profile page layouts. There will be many small changes, however one of the most noticeable will be the larger profile picture. This makes finding a good picture even more important. Using a casual cropped photo might still work, but the larger photo makes it even more important to find a relevant photo or even professional headshot.

In addition to the larger photo size, the summary content is also going to play a more important role on your LI page in coming days. It will no longer be appropriate to repost a copy of your resume’. Instead, content should be search engine optimized to make it easy to find your page. It is recommended that you take the same care with the content of your LI profile as you would with a website. This means your page will have an appropriate mix of keywords to help it come to the top of the search engine heap.

Finally, other elements of the page layout are also being updated. For example, job titles will no longer appear in the brief overview next to the photo. This space is reserved for the names of current and recent employers, as well as educational institutions. Furthermore, contact information, including websites, email, Twitter handle and phone number, are now located behind the contact button beneath the profile photo.

Today’s social media tools create a whole new way to conduct business. While five years ago a profile on LinkedIn might have seemed like a passing fad or another fading business trend, this online networking tool is proving itself to be a relevant and vital way to conduct business in the 21st century.

The Changing Face of Search Results: Keep Up!

Search results are changing. Here is what you need to know to keep up with the times.

  • Localize Yourself – Have you heard of Google Places? If not, you need to. Localized SEO is taking over and Google Places is at the top of the list. Not only is this a great place to identify yourself, your location, and critical information about your business for the world to find, but it is also free to use, and shows up at the top of most search results.
  • … & Get Reviews - In addition to Google Places, localized review aggregators like Yelp, Superpages, Yahoo! Local, and Trip Advisor are great places to earn credibility. Go one step further and promote yourself on sites that focus just on your locale, area of the country, or industry. Allowing your business to be found on these sites, and encouraging your customers to post to them, is a great way to get your name out there.
  • Improve Search ResultsSocial Media – We can’t say it enough. Social Media is key. Not only is it a way to get your voice out there, but sites such as Facebook and Twitter are heavily involved in search rankings.
  • Keywords: People, Not Robots – Getting to the top of search results is about making sure you can be found when PEOPLE are searching, not just the robots. Think about what your customers are typing to find you, or even ask them! Knowing how people are finding you and what they tried before finding you is key information in getting more people to get to you. When putting anything on the internet, think of the content in terms of keywords. Don’t go overboard and put it all in one place, but using your keywords in your online content is what gets found by the search engine robots, and allows people to get to you.
  • No Fake Content – Don’t try to write content for the sake of content, or duplicate content. Search engine kings like Google are smart enough to distinguish quality content from copied and pasted duplicated content.

As with everything, consistency of information is key. Ensure you are typing in the information (even down to “Blvd.” versus “Boulevard”) the same way on your website, local listings, and review sites.