if you are a linkedin user, you have seen it. profile after profile with the websites section listing
“my lack of imagination”
why, lord, why? I can understand typical users doing this, but the putative experts?
trust me, I’m a professional
I searched linkedin for the keywords “linkedin” and “expert.” jeez, there are a TON of you guys out there! then I started going through profiles. about four or five down from the top, I found this guy:
this is one of the legion of folks on linkedin claiming they can tell you how to use it better. but look at those web links! I see that and I say, “gee, there is absolutely nothing there I want to see.” but who cares what I think?
what does google think? that get your attention?
joe linkedin expert (above) is throwing away an easy way to boost searchability for his company and his blog.
quick – what is one of the most important elements in google’s evaluation of a website? who else is linking to it, that’s what! if other people think the content on your site is valuable, they will link to it. the more people who link to your site, the better you do. this is known as link-building.
but wait. your company site or blog or whatever has a hundred links to it. your competitor across town has only ten. why are they ranked higher? two words – link quality. your links are mostly from fellow members of the tom, dick and harry link-building club of america. meanwhile, your competition’s links are from highly trafficked, highly credible leaders in your industry. a large number of crap links is trumped by a smaller quantity of high value links.
linkedin has a lot of people linking to it. it gets tons of traffic. translation: it is a credible source. therefore, if you have a link to your site in your linkedin profile, it is a good thing. if you provide anchor text – that is, the words that are hyperlinked – it is a very good thing. the search engines look at anchor text to determine whether they should care about the link. it’s also good if the content on your site doesn’t suck, but that is for another post.
linkedin offers another bonus for links to your content. you get to tell your own story. good, descriptive anchor text dramatically improves your links’ effectiveness. most places, you can ask for good anchor text, but you pretty much take what you can get. on linkedin, you get to write it yourself. see what I mean:
ideally, I’d get my company name in there. however, by saying “my blog,” “my blog,” “my blog,” I’m telling visitors (and search engines) what my links are about.
how does it happen? see the edit link in brackets after each item? clicking it brings you here:
filling in your precious links here will net you the same results as our hapless expert above. however, note the dropdown. if you pop that sucker open and select “other,” look what happens!
choosing “other” puts you in control of your anchor text. enter the text you want in the middle box. keep it short. to the point. you get the idea. and that is what will show up for the link.
what is your expert advice for using linkedin?