An Unusual But Valuable LinkedIn Search: Content

Most people don’t realize that they can search for content on LinkedIn, but here are four good reasons why you might want to start:

1) you are doing research on a topic.

2) you want to see if other people are writing about, have recently written about, or have covered an aspect of a topic you are thinking of writing about.

3) you are looking for prospects and this is the type of thing they would be reading and commenting on.

4) you want to see if your competitors are writing about a topic.

All you need to do is to type the word or expression in the search bar, click enter and then click on “posts”

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If you use an expression, put quotation marks around it. For example, if you want to look for people writing about genome sequencing, search for “genome sequencing”, as the quotation marks tell Linkedin to look for those two words together. Without the quotation marks, LinkedIn will look for the two words, but not necessarily together.

And a word about hashtags: not everyone uses them, so I usually don’t search for them. I think I got better results from “genome sequencing” than from #genomesequencing.

Try it. Once you have tried it a couple times, you will start thinking of ways to use it to your advantage.

The obligatory disclaimer: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. For some reason LinkedIn gave me early access to the LinkedIn Newsletter. I have no idea why, but thanks for reading.

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains three articles like the one above, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

How To Rank Higher In LinkedIn Search Results

searching….searching…

 

This is an updated version of one of my “classic” LinkedIn articles. I wrote the first version of this in 2016. Since this was first written, LinkedIn has gotten a lot bigger, and the topic of this article has gotten much more important, though most LinkedIn users don’t realize it.

Let me illustrate this with a real world example. My early corporate customers were Printed Circuit Board manufacturers (and a lot of them still are). One of the first comprehensive LinkedIn searches I did back in 2011 was to see how many LinkedIn users had the term “PCB” in their profile. It was around 32,000 people worldwide. I did that search again in early December 2020. The number now? Over 440,000.

The conclusion is that showing up higher in search results is tougher now than it was nine years ago. Heck, it is tougher now than it was only one year ago.

So let’s take a trip into the weeds and figure out what we can do about it.

The most important factor for ranking higher in search results isn’t the quality of your profile or your use of keywords. Those things will get you included in the search results, but not necessarily a high ranking.

What is the most important factor? Your relevancy to the searcher. So what does that mean? It means that you may show up on page two of the search results (that is somewhere between 11th and 20th) for one person and page seven (61st to 70th) for another person searching using the exact same keywords or search parameters. And no one wants to be on page seven. When was the last time you googled something and closely examined the seventh page of results?

Relevancy is a bit of a moving target. LinkedIn interprets relevancy based on an ever evolving algorithm which weighs things like the searcher’s prior activity on LinkedIn, similar searches other people have conducted in the past and the profiles that get selected by the query. Having the right keywords in your profile will get you included in the search results, but they probably won’t help too much, as everyone else who was included in the search results had those keywords too.

And let’s face it, you can’t do anything about a searcher’s prior history, or other similar searches to this one.

The biggest factor for where you appear in search results is your relationship to the searcher. LinkedIn thinks that the closer the relationship, the higher the relevance. So LinkedIn tends to list the search results by connection level – first degree connections first, seconds second, group members third and the third degree / everyone else crowd last. And this makes sense. Say you are looking for someone to help with you build a WordPress based blog. You search for WordPress on LinkedIn, maybe adding your location to find someone local. LinkedIn shows that you have three first degree connections that qualify, then forty second degree connections, sixty group members, and two hundred third level LinkedIn members. Based on what you asked for, doesn’t it make sense that LinkedIn lists the three people you can contact directly – your first level connections, the people you already know and can send messages to – first?

So what does this tell us? To appear higher in searches you should develop a big network. This doesn’t mean you should indiscriminately connect with anyone on LinkedIn. But you should be connecting with people in, and affiliated with, your target audience – your target audience being the people you would like to be found by, whether that is prospective employers, prospective customers, suppliers, or peers. The more people you are connected with, the more likely you will show up as a “one” or a “two” in the search rankings. If you and I are in the same field, have similar experience and credentials, but you have two thousand connections and I have two hundred, who’s your money on for appearing higher in search results?

LinkedIn even says this (it’s in the LinkedIn help section):

The more connections you have, the more likely you will have a connection to the searcher. Closer connections, such as a 2nd-degree connection compared to a 3rd-degree connection, improve your ranking in searches.

There is a big difference between search engine optimization and LinkedIn search results optimization. To optimize for LinkedIn search results, you need lots of relevant connections.

The obligatory disclaimer: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month.

And the offer: Want more like this? I publish three weekly email newsletters on LinkedIn for Sales, LinkedIn for Marketing and Advanced LinkedIn Strategies and Tactics. Each is typically a two or three minute read, free, and and you can unsubscribe anytime. And I do not clobber my subscribers over the head with inane sales pitches. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

An unusual but valuable LinkedIn Search: content

You can search for content on any topic on LinkedIn. Here’s how.

Most people don’t realize that they can search for content on LinkedIn, but here are four good reasons why you might want to start:

1) you are doing research on a topic

2) you want to see if other people are writing about, have recently written about, or have covered an aspect of a topic you are thinking of writing about

3) you are looking for prospects and this is the type of thing they would be reading and commenting on

4) you want to see if your competitors are writing about a topic

All you need to do is to type the word or expression in the search bar, click enter and then click on “content.”

If you use an expression, put quotation marks around it. If you want to look for people writing about genome sequencing, search for “genome sequencing”, as the quotation marks tell Linkedin to look for those two words together. Without the quotation marks, LinkedIn will look for the two words, but not necessarily together. 

And a word about hashtags: not everyone uses them, so I usually don’t search for them. You get more results from “genome sequencing” than from #genomesequencing. 

Try it. Once you have tried it a couple times, you will start thinking of ways to use it to your advantage.