LinkedIn Search Optimization (LSO) Critical for B2B Marketers

LinkedIn Search Optimization (LSO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via natural search results. This gave birth to a whole industry centered on optimizing search results for a given term. For B2C or B2B Marketers this was a huge revolution.

But for B2B Marketing fans I think you need to expand your game around search to start include what I am calling … LinkedIn Search Optimization (LSO).

Late last year LinkedIn launched an advanced search feature on their site. And if you haven’t already spent some time plugging in your favorite B2B marketing keywords either paid or organic – you should. The results you get may surprise you.

I would start by searching for terms where you would expect your major thought leaders would appear – if they don’t show up on the first page of the results I would start perfecting their profiles to clarify what they do and what their strengths are using keyword rich descriptions in their bio and the description of their current role. Their headline should also be changed manually to display their expertise not their last job (which is the default). Also, your thought leaders email address should be at the end of the summary area or in the contact field labeled “public”. And you may want to remind them to update their status as often as possible. People in their network are most likely interested in their new projects and professional achievements – why not keep them abreast of what’s happening so they can refer them to a friend.

Personal branding expert Dan Schawbel suggests that your profiles should be rich in keywords that anyone would be searching for. For a good example check out these searches for the terms Facebook Marketing and Social Media. Ok ok yes I was doing a vanity search just to see how I would rank but I was very impressed by the results I got for Facebook Marketing – someone had their profile so well tricked out with keywords that they ranked higher than people who actually work at Facebook.

Clearly there is a new practice emerging here, a practice I feel B2B marketers can benefit from if they focus on it.

16 comments to LinkedIn Search Optimization (LSO) Critical for B2B Marketers

  • Marc Belsher

    Excellent write up, very important in this changing landscape.

    Thank You!

    Marc Belsher

  • @Marc – Agreed – the landscape really is shifting – thanks for commenting!

  • Paul,
    Great piece – will definitely be forwarding that along to our team to have a look at. Do you have any sense of the stats on search volume on LinkedIn? Obviously it is far smaller than Google, but do you have a sense of either how much smaller, or what type of terms it does have relevant volume in?

  • Paul Dunay

    Thanks Steve – its too new to tell – but my sense is that we need to keep an eye on it

    If I find any stats I will send them your way!

  • Tracey

    Thanks for this insightful post. I haven’t seen anything written on LinkedIn search optimization. I’ll admit to thinking to myself when reading this, “oh man, *another* thing to think about…” Change, change, change – it’s our field!

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Tracey – LOL – I totally said the same thing when I saw the profile in the picture I included on this post!

  • When talking about B2B Marketers, I think we need to add a distinction here between people and companies. I often use LinkedIn to check the companies I’m talking to. What if you are an Internet company and your company LinkedIn profile looks poor. Optimizing the company’s profile is also important for improved visibility and credibility.

  • @Carl – great point – I tend to think of my company’s brand as the sum total of our thought leaders – but you are right you need to think about the company brand as well – Bravo!
    thanks for commenting

  • Excellent post, Paul. I think to date most people have thought of LinkedIn SEO primarily in the context of…
    (a) people finding them for new employment opps
    (b) people searching only within LinkedIn vs. search engines

    The big exception to (a) has been service professionals & individual contractors, who have always optimized their profiles to get “found” so that they can deliver their service/product. So the B2B employees of the world have a lot to learn from individual professionals/contractors who’ve been at this for a few years.

    Thanks again for the post. I’m definitely going to get our sales folks to optimize their LinkedIn profiles with similar company, product, and industry keywords that we use for classic website SEO.



  • @ Marc – good point – I guess I was freaked when I saw other marketers really optimized for search and concluded its time for that to go mainstream now.

    thanks for commenting!

  • Erna Lamarta

    i am a newbie in Search Engine Optimization but i think that the submission of articles in article directories is one of the best ways to gain backlinks. *

  • I love how you catch the essence of the message, truly good writting taste, I enojoyed it!

  • […] LinkedIn Search Optimization (LSO) Critical for B2B Marketers – Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via natural search results. […]

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