This is a guest post from Aziz Ali, first published in 2011. Since this article is old, you may have to modify his strategy to match the current LinkedIn setup. I leave it published for you as the core idea he presents is well worth learning. — Yaro

My fourth article on this blog, and the love I have been receiving from this community is amazing. I feel really welcomed, so thanks to you all. I wish I could meet you in person and thank you personally. I hope one day I will.

Enough of the pep talk Aziz, time to get down to the meat!

Today I have something different for you. This is going to create tangible, solid results for you once you implement the steps in order. It’s fast and simple. I am really looking forward to making this post holy smokes viral, and I need your help. Make sure you tweet, like, share, email, knock on doors, email and shout out loud about this post because I know you will get the results as promised: Rank on top of the LinkedIn search within 10 minutes, guaranteed.

Why LinkedIn?

We all know that Google is the most searched website on earth, but not many of us know that YouTube is in second place followed by Yahoo and Bing. Interesting fact, right?

Google has changed the way search works and now users assume to find stuff using the search feature on any website they visit. LinkedIn, being a top 30 most visited website on earth (according to Alexa), gets millions of searches every single month. The majority of these searches are made to find people. Users look to form partnerships, find vendors, customers, employees, employers and more.

The searches are being made every day. Are you showing up there when users are in the peak state of finding someone for their needs?

In the next 15 minutes, (5 minutes reading + 10 minutes implementing) you will show up on that results page for the keyword of your choice.

Note: I am using Craig Bass, a videographer, who is also a friend of mine, as an example in this post to rank him on top of LinkedIn search.

The LinkedIn Algorithim

LinkedIn’s search algorithm is not that sophisticated. Unlike Google, LinkedIn search only displays results from within its own website.

Following are the factors that determine who ranks on top of the search results in LinkedIn:

  1. Job History
    LinkedIn looks at a user’s current and past title at his employing company. The more times that title occurs, the ranking goes up for that keyword.
  2. Headline
    The engine also looks at the profile headline and sees if the keyword appears there.
  3. Name
    If a user has “Video Editor” or “Craig Video Editor” as his name, this person will get the highest ranking. Unfortunately, such an account has a high potential of being banned because “Craig Video Editor” is a fake name. Secondly, it’s bad practice from a usability standpoint. Definitely not recommended to put the keyword as a name.
  4. Connections
    Search results in LinkedIn are personalized to the person searching. Results are shown only of those people who are within one’s network. The broader your network, the more people will be able to see your profile in their search results.

Now I will show you a crazy way of ranking on top of LinkedIn search by optimizing your Job History.

Step 1: Keyword Preparation

You need two inputs to rank for any keyword you desire:

List A. Key phrase

Compile a list of keywords you wish to rank for:

  • Ideally, these keywords should be professions that LinkedIn users are looking for
  • Your list should be short and focused, 5-10 keywords

Video Editor
Video Production
Multimedia Production
Small Business Marketing

We see above that the the term “Video” is repetitive in the term “Video Editor” and “Video Production”, hence we will remove the term “video” from one of the spots.

Here is the new list:

Video Editor
Video Production
Multimedia Production
Small Business Marketing

And now we see that the term “Production” is repetitive, so we will remove the term “Production” from the list.

Here is the newer list:

Video Editor
Video Production
Multimedia Production
Small Business Marketing

This list is more focused than the original list. Although the keyword, “Video Production” has been removed from the list of keywords, Craig will still rank for this keyword since the word “Video” and “Production” are mentioned in the list. Interesting, right!

Now make the list of keywords comma separated:

Video Editor, Multimedia Production, Videographer, Small Business Marketing

List B. Clients/Projects

Compile a list of past clients, companies and projects you have worked for:

  • The bigger this list, the stronger and higher your rankings
  • Ideally, list 10 projects. For competitive keywords this list could be bigger

i.e. These are the list of companies Craig has worked for:

(If you do not have a huge list, you could list your project names here.)

Labelle Catering
Party Time Productions
La Grange Crane
Herigage House Florist
Little Company of Mar
The One & Only Novel
Synergy Virids
Anderson & Boback
Big Top
Home Helpers
Shelf Butler
Premier Garage
Accretive Health
A Place to Bark Animal Rescue
Dennis Cook
H Foundation

If you were not an employee of these companies, put the name of your company in front of your clients/projects list in the following fashion:

(Craig is a co-founder of Motion Source)

Motion Source | Client Labelle Catering
Motion Source | Client Party Time Productions
Motion Source | Client La Grange Crane
Motion Source | Client Herigage House Florist
Motion Source | Client Little Company of Mar
Motion Source | Client The One & Only Novel
Motion Source | Client Synergy Virids
Motion Source | Client Anderson & Boback
Motion Source | Client Big Top
Motion Source | Client Home Helpers
Motion Source | Client Shelf Butler
Motion Source | Client Premier Garage
Motion Source | Client Accretive Health
Motion Source | Client A Place to Bark Animal Rescue
Motion Source | Client Dennis Cook
Motion Source | Client H Foundation

Step 2: Enter The Projects

Now we will enter your projects in a specific fashion in your LinkedIn Profile.

On LinkedIn:

  • Go to Profile> Edit Profile
  • Click Add a Current Position OR Add a Past Position (Both work)

Your List A. will work as the Title, and Your List B will be the Company Name.

  • Enter one of your projects from List B as “Company Name”
  • Enter your key phrase from List A as your “Title”
  • Enter the Time Period when you did this project (Make sure you enter some of your projects that you are CURRENTLY working on. LinkedIn will list them as current in your profile which helps in ranking)
  • Description is not required

Repeat this step for all the projects from List B.

Results – Ranked #1

Here are Craig’s rankings for the keywords:

#1 Video Editor
#1 Multimedia Production
#1 Videographer
#1 Small Business Marketing
#6 Video Production

Impressive, right?

I hope this tutorial has inspired you to take action. No action no results.

Aziz Ali