Or, how to get the best out of the most boring social media platform
I know a lot people aren’t fond of LinkedIn. I’m not exactly a raving fan myself.
But after investing a little more time I’m starting to see some interesting results. Let me take you through some LinkedIn strategies, and the SEO impacts of posting content on LinkedIn.
The social media party
Imagine you’re at a social media party.
Facebook is laughing, making friends and handing out crisps (chips).
Twitter is whispering gossip and witty one-liners by the nibbles table. Instagram and Pinterest are sharing their gorgeous holiday snaps.
And Google+ is explaining how to set up the sound system.
Poor LinkedIn hovers by the door, hoping someone will talk to him. But if you do, be warned: The conversation will be a yawn fest of work, work work.
When it comes to posting and interacting on social media platforms, LinkedIn is usually an afterthought. It’s dull, doesn’t seem to drive results, and who has the time? Especially when Instagram is so much prettier.
But you might be surprised to learn that LinkedIn has 380 million users, with around 10-15% of them using it at least once a day.
And this chart from Hubspot shows that LinkedIn is the second most useful social media network when it comes to winning jobs.
So are you missing out on potential traffic and customers by not using LinkedIn?
How I previously used LinkedIn
- I kept my profile neat and up to date.
- I connected with clients and asked for recommendations.
- I occasionally spent a few minutes of what I called ‘LinkedIn sluttiness’, where I’d ‘connect’ with anyone who seemed vaguely interesting.
This approach served me well.
Right now, I have 500+ connections and 63 testimonials. My profile is viewed around 30 times a day, and I know that many potential clients check out my LinkedIn credentials before they get in touch.
But I’ve never put any serious time into posting or interacting on the platform.
Does LinkedIn help with SEO?
A student from my The Recipe for SEO Success eCourse recently asked,
“Does LinkedIn help with SEO?”
Here’s what I told him:
- If your website is small and has little authority, searches for your name will probably bring up your LinkedIn profile before your website.
- LinkedIn is another search engine, with many people using its search function to find potential employees or suppliers.
- Posting articles on LinkedIn with direct links to your site can drive traffic, conversions and potentially encourage shares and links to your content.
All good reasons to give LinkedIn a bit more attention.
So how do you make the most of it? I recommend you:
- Complete your profile and use a professional-looking photograph.
- Complete every profile field including languages, awards and anything else you can think of.
- Keyword optimise your job titles using words and phrases you think people will be searching for.
- Increase your group membership. This will not only increase your network, but also add the names of the groups (for example “SEO COPYWRITING”) to your profile, boosting your search relevancy for that term.
- Claim your own vanity URL for LinkedIn.
- Promote your LinkedIn profile. Add the details to your email signature and other social media accounts, and use a linked icon on your website.
- Build recommendations. Stormphorst believes 10 or more recommendations will improve your profile’s search ranking.
Does publishing articles on LinkedIn count as duplicate content?
I believe you should always publish original content on your own site first. But if you don’t have any authority or traffic, publishing content on LinkedIn might be a way to reach fresh eyeballs.
Should you publish the same post on both platforms? Ideally the content on LinkedIn should be unique and drive traffic back to your core site.
Here are a few tips:
- Rather than publishing the whole article, try publishing a snippet with a ‘Read the rest here’ link.
- Don’t copy content word for word. Try to rewrite it a little.
- Don’t republish every post on LinkedIn. Use a one-in-ten or one-in-five rule.
- Only republish content you’ve actually written.
A lot of people live in fear of the ‘duplicate content penalty’. But let’s be realistic. A huge percentage of the Internet is duplicate content, and Google knows it.
The only impact of publishing the same piece of content in two different places is that one may outrank the other. So you may find your LinkedIn post ranking higher than the post on your site. But duplicating the odd post or two won’t have any negative impact on your site. It’s all about moderation.
My LinkedIn experiment
I like to test out my own SEO theories rather than just regurgitating other people’s ideas. So I decided to post a few articles and see what happened.
So far I’ve posted three, and I’m pleased with the results. The screen grab below is for one I posted just 18 hours ago, and 303 views isn’t bad, right?
I just posted a snippet of the original post with a link to my site. And here’s what the stats look like:
Just by quickly publishing three post snippets I’ve driven 158 new users to my site. Out of that I got one enquiry that has since converted to around AU$2500.
I’m not sure I’ll ever have the time to think of original content to publish on LinkedIn. I much prefer writing original posts for my own site.
But I’ll occasionally republish extracts or intros, and use them to drive traffic.
I’ve also started interacting a little more on LinkedIn by commenting on other people’s posts, which has led to some new connections.
So is LinkedIn my new favourite social media platform? No. But will I try to give it a little more love in future. Definitely.
Over to you
What’s your experience of LinkedIn? Have you tracked the traffic and conversions it generates? And where does it stand in your list of social media priorities?
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