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In Search [Episode 22]: How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Account for SEO




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on't forget, you can follow the In Search SEO Podcast by subscribing on iTunes or by following the podcast on SoundCloud






The In Search SEO Podcast 'Tip Share' of the Week!




Tip Share Episode 22



It happens to all of us .... So what do you do when you get bombarded with LinkedIn spam? Go ahead, have fun with this one! 

 


Summary of Episode 22: The In Search SEO Podcast 



In Search SEO Banner 22


In this episode, we welcome LinkedIn expert Yoel Israel of Wadi Digital who discusses: 

  • What you can do to get your LinkedIn and your business's LinkedIn profile on the Google SERP
  • Getting your LinkedIn content noticed
  • How to make your LinkedIn profile more "linkable”

Plus, we analyze the effectiveness and purpose of getting into a Google update at the site level. 



How Deep Should We Go With Google Update Data? 

 

Believe it or not, a month after the March 2019 Core Update and we are still talking about the March 2019 Core Update! Which to Mordy is crazy because, as he's pointed out numerous times, the March 2019 Core Update was as big, was as impactful as your "everyday unconfirmed update.” As part of our continued over exaggeration of the update some folks had some crazy conspiracy theory as to why Dr. Pete over at Moz didn’t do a write-up and list the winners and loser. One theory even supposed that the good Dr. was taking money from Google and that’s why he didn’t do a write-up. That’s obviously absurd as Mordy noted, "If anyone is not playing games… it’s Dr. Pete… who I’ve found to be one of the most honest people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with within the SEO community."

That aside, what we really would like to talk about are winners and losers. We are obsessed with knowing who won and lost as a result of a Google update. This past update was the first time Mordy ever did a list of winners and losers and according to him, it will be his last time. Per Mordy, the "winners and losers" are not literally the most impacted sites out there across the entire web. Moreover, Mordy noted how complicated making that sort of list is. Over the course of time, Mordy noted that a nice number of sites that are placed on some of these lists are on there because whoever did the data didn’t look at the larger picture and just plopped a site that spiked up or down immediately following the update onto the list... no matter the larger ranking context. Kim asked if there is ever a place for a winners and losers list? Yes, there is. According to Mordy, the Medic Update is a good example of where a winner and losers list works in a sense. He noted if he sees that the most dramatically impacted sites all fall within the Health and Finance niches, for example, then that’s a good indicator of a TREND within the update.

Looking at sites can help you see THEMES… for sure. For example, during the March 2019 Core Update there was no observable theme to the sites impacted. Mordy went on to say, "So now you know some of the sites that won and lost… how does that help you? It’s like SEO gossip. Who cares who went up or down… how does that help you outside of the way I just mentioned?! I’m sorry I ever did the list this past time. Not happening again… In fact, the next Google update post will list any site themes, if any exist, and a nice paragraph on why I did not put in a list of winners and losers. 



Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Appearance on the Google SERP: A Conversation with Yoel Israel 



Mordy: Today we have Yoel Israel, the founder of Wadi Digital, here to join us to discuss SEO for LinkedIn! Help us out here… what is Wadi Digital? What do you folks do?

Yoel: B2B technology companies need leads and 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. We are experts in bringing in leads and bringing them through the funnel including closing those in the funnel-like the decision makers and the influencers to help your salespeople close. So we do everything from A to Z  -helping people closing with LinkedIn ads, Google ads, SEO, and thought leadership on LinkedIn.

M: Awesome. Before we really get into it… tell us one thing nobody knows about LinkedIn… a deep dark secret!

Y: Well one is that there are an insane amount of bugs but if you’re not extremely active on LinkedIn you may not see them.

M: Wow. So let’s get the ball rolling by talking about what you HAVE to do. What are some must-dos… some things you 100% have to do in order to: Be found on LinkedIn and get your profile onto the Google SERP

Y: First, and I know this seems obvious, is to get your name right. If you want your profile to show you need to have consistent spelling of your name. So how people call you in other workplaces is how your name should be on LinkedIn. As a good rule of thumb, the same can be said for all of your social profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It sounds obvious, but you can’t believe how many people do this. We’re hiring people now and I try copying their name from their resume into LinkedIn and it’s not coming up. The other thing is, and this is what I believe is 90% of LinkedIn, is your job title. So when someone searches for your name a bunch of things come up including your LinkedIn profile and often your job title shows up too. And while that is important, if you want to brand yourself you have to do something different. For example, if you work in SEO you don’t want to say you’re an SEO expert. There are so many SEO experts. I spoke at a content marketing conference in Tel Aviv and I spoke about this at length. You really need to find a niche. For example, you can say you work on SEO for autonomous vehicles. Narrow it down so you can find new business. You need to say that you’re better than all the other experts in this niche. If you’re not doing this then you’re just going to blend into the crowd without standing out. Seeing everyone calling themselves an expert really demotes the word. Do you know how much spam I get from SEO and link building experts? You need to differentiate yourself. For my job title, it’s pretty long. One thing I write is that I’m a LinkedIn ads expert for B2B tech. This is where my strength is and if you search in LinkedIn very few people show up. There aren’t so many experts now on LinkedIn ads, it’s at a premature stage. Also, when people search job titles you need to make sure you’re differentiating yourself. Do a test. Go to LinkedIn right now, go to your news feed, and look at the first comment. You’re going to see a very small thumbnail of their picture, their name, and their job title. It won’t even say where they work. LinkedIn is trying to be human-to-human in order to be a proper social media network. They want to focus on you as an individual and not as you working for a company. So keep in mind when you write your job title that people don’t want to see the same job title over and over again. Have yours stand out especially the first few words. And don’t forget to also search for that job title in LinkedIn so you have an idea of what league you’re playing in.

M: That’s a great idea. Before we go on I want to explain something to anyone in our audience who doesn’t focus on LinkedIn. One of the top sites Google crawls consistently is LinkedIn. (Some of the others are Facebook, Wikipedia, IMDB, etc.) So what you do on LinkedIn and the changes you make matter. With that out of the way, what are some of the common oversights… what are some things you see people overlook with their LinkedIn profile, particularly for brands?

Y: When setting up your profile it’s fine to just follow the steps that they ask for. For brands, I would tell them to show a little personality. Remember it’s LinkedIn so show professionalism, offer some help, tell people to follow you, stuff like that. Don’t be boring and don’t be too corporate, dry. That’s for the business page, for the posts I can tell you that hashtags are really taking off. When I post on LinkedIn I get many more views when I use hashtags. And first and foremost you have to share something that is not yours. Keep your audience in mind. Try to do at least one out of every five posts should not be related to your brand. Keep in mind your target audience who are following you. What other things are they interested in? For example, our clients are technology companies but we do marketing and advertising. We don’t just post marketing and advertising. We’ll post about technology. We’ll share other people’s articles. Post some blogs that are relevant. Post some tidbits. Write something interesting in the text above the content you share. Most people lack personality and most people are scared to try. Conformity is not good in marketing. Be different.

M: Let me ask you about hashtags as you said they're a big thing now on LinkedIn. One problem I have personally is how do you know which hashtags work? I know you can search on Twitter, can you also search on LinkedIn?

Y: Yes, you can. You should search before you choose. See who’s sharing, see who’s posting, see who’s engaging, and see if this is the community you want to be a part of.

M: One of the issues I keep hearing on LinkedIn is that you may be getting a lot of likes and comments but they’re not effective. Meaning, the people who react are doing so for its own sake and no real relationship building is happening. Do you see something different from the relationship building on Twitter and is that a problem for LinkedIn marketing?

Y: I love this question. So part of the answer is that this is true for all social media. Any kind of like and comment won’t lead to anything if it’s not actionable. I think there’s an inverse correlation between happiness and Twitter use. Maybe not if you’re using it for work but people do get really emotional.

M: Let’s talk about links. What are some ways that a business can effectively get people to link to their LinkedIn profile?

Y: So what’s great about LinkedIn above everything else is that it’s real people to people. And because it’s an actual person sharing a link when you push something that isn’t authentic people will read right through it. Authenticity rules. You can’t hide behind a domain where people don’t know who owns it. It’s you, it’s your name. In fact, if you try making a profile with your company name and/or logo on LinkedIn you will be banned and your company will be banned. It is a rare occasion but it is something to be aware of.

M: I think what’s great to do on LinkedIn is to create unique content about yourself. For example, if I speak at an event it’s hard to put it in my Twitter profile because I only have so many characters but I can definitely add that to my LinkedIn profile. If I’m putting unique content on LinkedIn do you think there’s a greater chance of people to use LinkedIn as THE place to find people? For example, when we write the blog post for this podcast should we link to your Twitter profile or to your LinkedIn profile? What would give me the incentive to link to a LinkedIn profile over a Twitter profile?

Y: You should first ask them what backlinks they would prefer. People would be happy to link to what you want it just doesn’t occur them to ask.

M: Right. I think it doesn’t occur to them because people think Twitter is a more natural place to link to. When I link to your Twitter profile I see your thoughts and when I link to your LinkedIn profile I’m seeing more your CV.

Y: And that’s what really separates a lot of people from me. I’m not like that on my LinkedIn profile. You can take a look at what I post on LinkedIn. Yesterday I posted about personal responsibility, today I talked about getting off the grid. My thoughts are a lot more on LinkedIn than on Twitter. You get a lot more characters in your posts and I just like the audience better.

M: I think it’s important for people to realize that if you want LinkedIn to be linkable you have to put something unique on your profile. If I had to choose between linking to LinkedIn or Twitter I would choose Twitter because it’s more dynamic and interesting, but I feel like there’s more room for LinkedIn to be interesting because there’s more flexibility with what you can put on your profile. I would say that about 95% of LinkedIn profiles are just vanilla.

I want to talk to you about link spam because I get so many people asking me to buy their links. Does LinkedIn no what’s going on? It’s out of control.

Y: Well the best thing about LinkedIn is that once you connect with someone you can send them a message. Fortunately, when there is someone who is offering link building who you don’t know you can just say no.

M:
I don’t know. I feel like LinkedIn needs a better way of doing this. Twitter is great with this. I can follow you but I can’t message you unless we both agree. With LinkedIn, I get less of an understanding of what you're really all about before I connect with you. 

Y: Unfortunately, I don’t work for LinkedIn so I can’t change their platform, but I do know that you can stop accepting SEO connection requests from anyone you don’t know. If you want to add a rule on top of that, don't connect with someone unless you have at least 20 mutual connections.

M:
Okay, that’s a good rule of thumb. Let’s talk about LinkedIn groups. Creating relationships is a solid part of SEO, foundational. Linking on LinkedIn can create legit opportunities for you. Do you see LinkedIn Groups as a way to foster connections/relationships or is it just meh?

Y: Yes, but not yet. LinkedIn is moving in this direction but it’s not there yet. They pulled back on what you can do with groups. I made a group called LI Local Tel Aviv (you can’t make a group with the name LinkedIn in it) and I started a group called Marketing in Tech. But right now you’re not seeing group posts in your news feed. So it’s true posting in groups won’t have so much value but LinkedIn is planning on it. So if you want to be ahead of the game you will be able to. I don’t know when that is but I think it’s more than 6 months.


Optimize It or Disavow It



M: An SEO optimized LinkedIn profile where you focus only on job titles or focusing on creating LinkedIn articles? You can choose to optimize your LinkedIn profile for the Google SERP by focusing on either optimizing job titles or creating LinkedIn articles - which one do you take up?

Y:
I would have to go with articles. So the job titles are good on LinkedIn but off of LinkedIn regarding SEO the articles will be crawled much more than your job title. That means, beyond people searching for your name and your job title you will be coming up in a search for other keywords that might show up in the article that you posted. The reason you need a job title is that you need some type of reference as the author so you can get more leads that way once they read it. So I will definitely go with the articles. And by the way, what is good about a great title if you’re not actually engaging? If you’re not commenting on posts people won’t see your title.

M: Well thank you so much for coming on our show. It was great having you.

Y: Thank you for having me.



SEO News



Google to Auto-Transcribe Podcasts: Google’s podcast app is upping its transcription game. To make podcast shows more "findable” Google is going to be transcribing podcasts automatically. It is possible that Google intends to do so as a means of making a slew of audio content available for placement on the SERP. With that, it is conceivable that audio SERP features are coming to the results page relatively soon! 

Local Service Ads on Google Home: There is speculation that some of the local results Google is offering through Google Home are coming from sponsored ads. A Reuters article says that when looking for local vendors (like a plumber) the results may include vendors that are part of the Local Service Ad program. The problem is that according to the news outlet, Google is not disclosing when its results align with these ads. Oddly enough, we discussed such a scenario during our interview with local SEO guru Sergey Alakov. There, we noted that local ads are the most natural source of voice search revenue

Google Assistant Gets Rich Results: Google has synchronized the mobile SERP and Google Assistant, at least as far as rich results are concerned. Now, much of the schema markup that brings up rich results on the SERP shows up within Google Assistant results as well.

Google Says Mobile Site Speed has Improved: Google says that the results of its Speed Update have been positive! As a result of the search engine’s efforts, it appears that slower sites have become 15% - 20% faster!



Fun SEO Send-Off Question 




Which Star Trek Character is Google? 


Now, you all are thinking Spock… but Mordy is here to tell you why you’re wrong - it’s Chekov! Per Mordy, Spock is too logical… too perfect… Chekov, on the other hand, thinks he knows everything but is prone to make a few mistakes here and there. Kim, admitted she is not familiar with Star Trek (as odd as that sounds) and can't comment! 

Thank you for joining us! Tune in next Tuesday for a new episode of The In Search SEO Podcast. 

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