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.