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How LinkedIn Can Support SEO and Content Marketing

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LinkedIn is trying to be more relevant. In the B2B market it is safe to argue that its value as a social network and communication tool means it should rank above Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Twitter is a different conversation, so for the moment we will concentrate on LinkedIn, following its new profile redesign.

This redesign is the outcome of pop inspired, named after Katy Perry. The most noticeable aspect of this is the visuals. Before now, the Reid Hoffman led social network with 187 million global professional users, had been visually uninspiring. But that was only part of the problem. When it comes to social networks, user engagement speaks volumes. LinkedIn was quiet. The website was still a static version of an online CV. Now is time to take a new look at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn could be an integral part of your SEO and content marketing strategy. Here are five things you could be doing:

2. Write with SEO in mind. What you write on LinkedIn supports SEO. You have numerous chances to ensure that your skills & experience, headlines, profile content, company pages, and updates, are written to make the most of the SEO amplification opportunity by having an active presence on LinkedIn.

2. LinkedIn gives Google more to find. The more there is to find about you online, the more data search engines can collect, the higher you rank when someone types your name into Google. A well written, active, LinkedIn profile can give your Google rankings some uplift.

3. Get noticed. Earlier in 2012 Twitter cut the pipeline between itself and the network Hoffman built. You can no longer can you do a two-for-one update. Which means what you post has to engage readers. If you have a Wordpress blog you can plugin directly between the two, and both have been promoting this feature. Remember that everyone is a potential referral, endorsement, client, or new employer. Say something worth saying, that will get you noticed. On here, content is king. Don't waste the chance to engage with 187 million fellow professionals.

4. Knowledge is Power. LinkedIn is a great place to go fishing for new business. But don't go in blind. Use the opportunity to see who is connected to your prospects, who can endorse and recommend you. The more engaging you are, with interesting content, the more likely you are to be considered a thought leader, and therefore get noticed by peers in your industry.

5. Don't underestimate engagement. Being active has huge value. LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, quoted in Forbes: "Our professional audience by composition is one of the most affluent, most influential and best educated on the consumer web." The average user is aged 41, with 15 years commercial experience, and an average household income of £64,000. In the UK there are over 10 million users (over 25% of the European market), and 59% of them are managers, senior executives, and CEO's.

Content is king on social networks, and no where else will you find an audience which could make such an immediate positive impact to the bottom line of your business.