When I put on my SEO consulting hat and analyse a new client’s assets I check many things besides just their website.  Besides the company’s LinkedIn page I make sure to check the personal LinkedIn profiles of the business owner and at least the top salespeople at the company.  Many don’t realize how much optimizing their personal LinkedIn profiles can help to bring in new leads and help close the ones you are already working on.  Here are a few things you can do to help improve your own profile.

Does your LinkedIn profile make others want to learn more about you? Is your audience finding you on what is arguably the world’s most popular social networking site for executives and business owners?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, there’s no need to fret. With some expert guidance and a few smart tweaks, you can transform your LinkedIn profile into an eye-grabbing, business-boosting marketing asset. Read on for some tips you can use, starting today, to do exactly that

#1 – Add Engaging Content To Your Profile 

Think of your profile as your personal story. You need to tell it in a way that engages the reader. One of the easiest ways to generate that engagement is to fill your page with visual media.

A professional photo of yourself is just the beginning. You can also post infographics, images with links to your blog and Slideshare presentations. Got a short video explaining what your company does? Post it to give your profile even more visual panache.

#2 – Link To Your Profile In Every Email You Send

In order for you to get a response from your LinkedIn page, your audience needs to be aware of it. An easy way to spread the word is to include a link to it in every outgoing email. Put the link in your signature to automate its inclusion.

#3 – Endorse Clients, Employees And Acquaintances

Endorsements have been a feature of LinkedIn since 2012. But a lot of professionals continue to miss the boat on them. They haven’t taken steps to boost the number of endorsements they receive from others.

There’s a simple strategy you can use to persuade others to endorse you: endorse them first. The same strategy can be used to drum up recommendations. When you endorse or recommend others, they’ll feel inclined to reciprocate.

#4 – Add Commentary On Shared Content

LinkedIn has a nifty feature called “Network Updates.” It’s a feed of the blogs, articles and other content folks in your network are sharing with each other.

This feed gives you an ongoing stream of opportunities to connect with people. How? By leaving relevant comments on the content they share. Doing so doesn’t take a lot of time. Meanwhile, it gives you an excuse to reach out to those in your network and demonstrate your expertise.

#5 – Blog On LinkedIn’s Pulse To Gain Visibility

If you had a way to create content that could be published on LinkedIn and made available to its hundreds of millions of users, would you take advantage of it?

You have that opportunity. It’s called Pulse.

Pulse is LinkedIn’s platform blog. Any member can publish content on it. An effective strategy is to blog about valuable resources that can be found on your website. Just make sure you demonstrate your mastery of the subject matter and give readers plenty of value in your blog post.  Make sure you link back to your website or blog in those articles too.

#6 – Target SEO Keywords Others Use To Find You

Your main keywords, the words and phrases you want to be identified with, should be sprinkled throughout your profile. That’s how people will find you on LinkedIn.

When they search for your target keywords, you want your profile to show up at the top of the listings. The higher your listing appears, the more attention and traffic you’ll receive.

Make certain your main keywords are found in your summary, experience section and job titles.

#7 – Make Sure Your Public Profile Is Engaging

Your public profile is what people will see if they’re not logged into LinkedIn. It’s an abbreviated version of your full profile; you’re limited in the content and media you can include on it.

That doesn’t mean it has to be vague or boring. You can customize your public page to highlight your skills and make a lasting impression.

First, customize the URL so it’s easy to remember. Second, make sure the recommendations you’ve received – or at least as many as will fit – are prominently displayed. Third, display sections that are likely to have a positive impact on the people you’re trying to reach. Those sections might include a list of industry awards you’ve received, publications you’ve written for and organizations you belong to.

#8 – Engage Your Employees
Your coworkers will be your strongest allies in growing a Page following. Encourage them to spread the word with friends and colleagues who are interested in what you do. For new Pages, this is an essential step toward getting off the ground. When employees tag your Page in updates, and share with their networks the benefits of following your Page, it can provide a big boost.

Also, be sure your employees are properly mapped to your company Page (by citing it accurately in their Work Experience), because every time your employee makes a new connection on LinkedIn, the new connection will be prompted to follow your Page.

#9 – Keep Your LinkedIn Page Up-To-Date

This tip should go without saying. But with the vast array of digital marketing tools at your disposal, it’s easy to let it fall through the cracks.

Review your profile once a month and look for areas that need to be updated. Did your job title change recently? Did you start a new business? Have you become certified in one or more new skills? Post updates that are relevant to your personal brand.

Leveraging LinkedIn to advance your business isn’t complicated. In truth, it’s simple. The challenge is that there are a lot of moving parts. The first step toward making the site work for you is to create a compelling profile. Use the nine tips outlined above to make noticeable improvements that will catch your audience’s attention.

And you can be sure if we ever work together on an SEO consulting project I’ll be checking out your LinkedIn profile.