Google has revolutionised our lives, giving us the information we need 24/7. But it has also taught us to see the world through the eyes of others and not just ourselves. Google now provides us with accurate information about “what words people use when looking for information”. Those words are termed ‘keywords’.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase that is more important and relevant than other words. Google establishes what words are searched for a lot and what people are interested in. It then rates those words in order of importance. Selecting high-quality, relevant keywords for your LinkedIn profile can help you reach the people you want, and can simply be the difference between being found and not being found.
How do I know which words are keywords?
The best tool available is Google’s keyword planner service and you will have to be connected to the Internet to work with this tool. Once you have used it, you will never just create copy, design a slogan or write a blog without it. This tool will show you how many times people use specific words every month around the world.
How does keyword tool work?
Firstly you need to type in the words you think are important. For example, Julie Louw does freelance writing work for us and wanted more work in her field.
So we entered a list of her skills into the keyword planner and this was the result:
People searched for the word ‘writer’ so few times that it didn’t even make it onto the list! Yet as a writer, you would think this word was essential. This is where the mind shift comes in: it’s not about how important you think the words are but the words that others use to search for your skills or services. Look at the difference between using the word ‘blogger’ or ‘blogging’:
- The words ‘blogger’ and ‘blogging’ were tops as was the need for report writing.
Julie - who is an avid blog writer and brilliant report writer - now realises that if she wants to be found for her skills she needed to add them to her profile and headers.
How to construct your LinkedIn profile’s headers
The header section on LinkedIn (and all social media) is an essential part of being found by recruiters and people looking for your services. Too often we use words like ‘department manger’ or ‘operations manager’ which score low on the search criteria. Here are the changes we made to Julie’s profile:
The same rule will now apply throughout the body of your LinkedIn profile and also on the expertise section where you want to make sure that your keywords are at the top of your skillset, making it easy for others to search and find you.
Google has disrupted the way we do business and changed marketing strategy. However, it has given ordinary people tools that were only available to big companies with big research budgets.
We see the difference everyday as we work with people building their personal brands. Many of them had online profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc., but found no difference in their branding nor were they getting results. Change your words and you can change your future - it’s as simple as that.
by Penny de Villiers
This article first appeared on HR Pulse.