LinkedIn SEO: Optimize Your Profile to Drive Sales & Leads

Many people think of their LinkedIn profile as an online résumé. And yes, it is that. However, when potential customers or clients are looking for a new partner, supplier, or service, they are likely going to use LinkedIn over any other social network. Follow these steps to dial in your LinkedIn SEO and unlock a powerful tool capable of bringing in new sales and leads.

Start with Keyword Research

Start by asking yourself what you want to be found for in search results. Then, do a bit of keyword research to make sure that your idea of what you want to be found for aligns with what people are actually searching for.

A Primary Keyword

The more specific your keywords are, the more you will be able to stand out from the crowd. For example, let’s say you are a photographer. Instead of selecting the keyword “photographer,” which is incredibly common, think about what unique niche you want to occupy. Maybe instead it’s “Aspen wedding photographer.” We’ll call this main keyword you want to be found for your primary keyword. Make sure your primary keyword explains what you are as a professional.

Secondary Keywords

Then, find a handful of secondary keywords related to what you specialize in. For our Aspen wedding photographer might want to identify other keywords like “engagement photography,” “elopement photography,” and “LGBTQ wedding photography.”

The end goal of your keyword research is one primary keyword and a few secondary keywords that explain what your business offers. Don't forget to make sure that people are actually searching for each one of them.

Want to learn how to do keyword research and other critical SEO skills? 

Incorporate Keywords into Your LinkedIn Profile

After you identify some solid keywords, incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile.

Professional Headline

Incorporate your primary keyword into your professional headline. This is the headline that lives right underneath your name in your LinkedIn profile and tells people what you are. We would incorporate “Aspen Wedding Photographer” for our photographer example.

Profile Summary

Then, get to work adding your primary keyword and two or three secondary keywords to your profile’s summary. You want to add each keyword into your summary at least once or twice in a way that feels natural and not forced. For our photographer, the keywords they would incorporate are “Aspen wedding photographer” and “engagement photography,” “elopement photography,” and “LGBTQ wedding photography.”


Once you’ve incorporated your keywords into your profile summary, sprinkle them throughout your past experience where it makes sense.

Be Careful

Make sure that you do all this keyword incorporation in a way that feels natural. Most of the same rules that apply to keyword placement on your website apply to your LinkedIn profile. Take your time and find elegant ways to incorporate your keywords rather than just adding them haphazardly.

Add Media, Posts, & Articles

Your profile also needs media that tells the story of who you are and what your expertise is. This should include a link to your website, videos of talks you’ve done, links to podcasts you’ve been on, explainer videos about your business, etc. Add media to the intro portion of your profile and include your keywords in the file names of any media you upload.

It’s also important not to forget that LinkedIn is a social media network, albeit one used primarily by professionals. Be social. Publish and share posts. Write articles and publish them. Show people who visit your profile that you have the expertise you say you do. Remember your keyword research when creating your articles and write them based on what your audience is searching for.

Complete Your Profile

Doing keyword research and optimizing your profile is all for not if you don’t fully complete your profile and make it look professional. Follow profile completion best practices to ensure that it represents you in the best light possible.

Rally The Team

Try to get other people at your company to improve their profiles using the same keywords or similar ones. You will have a whole network of profiles that are more likely to attract new customers and clients.

Now that you know how to optimize your profile, make sure you take the time to do it. Turn it into a powerful LinkedIn SEO tool that will have a much better chance of driving more traffic to your website and your business.

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Erik Wardell

Erik Wardell

Erik loves breaking down complex SEO topics into understandable instructions anyone can follow. In his role as an SEO coach, he guides Pathfinder SEO customers through the SEO process on a daily basis, giving them helpful tips, instruction, and advice along the way.