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Top Suggestions for Improving LinkedIn

June 10, 2010

   After networking with many individuals, I was writing to a Recruiter on behalf of a fellow networker, and needed to reference them.  Their public LinkedIn Profile seemed ok, but as I was amazed to discover that the hyperlink is not optimal for search engines.  In fact, the LinkedIn site is very, very flawed (in my opinion) with respect to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  It upset me enough to put a few words together for this blog.  Much of the reason(s) that I link is for referral value, providing value, and on occasion, obtaining value.  LinkedIn, I thought, would have recognized this, and embraced that.  However, I now realize that SEO is not understood by everyone.  [tweetmeme source=”@Aidan_Foley” only_single=false]

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of LinkedIn, but it still has a long way to go.  LinkedIn is getting just a fraction of the traction in this muddy mess that we find ourselves in.  I hope that they recognize these several aspects, and try to improve upon them.  But LinkedIn, before venturing too far off course, please allow your U.S. users to look good so we can benefit with your original business plan for networking professionals.

Here’s a few suggestions that LinkedIn could improve upon:

  • Faulty numeric Public Profile name:  If it is better to use your first & last name, your business name, or some other combination, then why do they allow the site to randomly select numeric crap at the end of your profile, that can be changed later?  Make some suggestions up front for the new user to select from, that is also unique for them, that they will be satisfied with.
  • Deepen the Value through Repeat Visits:  LinkedIn does not provide a benefit for regularly using the site, nor do they encourage repeat visits.  Some show up to the party, and never go back.  The site provides some very nice search, and browsing opportunities, but most of the “linking” actually happens outside via email.
  • Improve (HTML) formatting options:  Most resumes exist in bullet form to show the quantifiable results they have contributed, so why doesn’t LinkedIn give users the option of creating HTML formats in the job descriptions?  Seems like an easy addition that will lead to cleaner, more organized descriptions of users’ work experience.
  • Social links: Currently, there is a max limit of only 3 links that can be part of a user profile, and a lot of people use at least 1 of those to link to their presence on another social networks.  With social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Google playing a larger role in how people market themselves, LinkedIn should provide an easier way for users to display their online presences.
  • Remove the ones with no connections after a few months:  You’re there to connect, and engage people.  If not, then be gone with you.  Yes, you showed up to the party, because your friend asked you to.  But, if you have no strategy, then what are you doing?
  • Remove the ones with a Position for their Name versus their Actual Name:  When researching a company to find folks I may wish to connect with for an Informational Interview.  I don’t feel that a Machinist for a Name has no place on LinkedIn.  I think LinkedIn would lose some of it’s 100+ million users, but I’d rather have quality connections over quantity.
  • Remove the Generic Invitation Verbiage:  Nothing I hate more is when someone wants to connect with me, and that pesky generic invitation pops up.  Aargh, there’s another one!  Then, I have to investigate them to try to figure out why this person wants to connect with me.  If LinkedIn wants to start with that grayed out, fine, but Linkers shouldn’t be allowed to send it.  Please, tell me why, and your success rate for connections will soar.
  • Spell Checker:  This one is a late entry from Jessica Pierce (http://www.jobseekersaz.com).  Whith al of the teknologe out their, and my gess at the symplist of improovmunts to incorpoorate, this wood be a tremendus adishun to have.  🙂  Yes, you fixed some of it, but not all of it. 

While LinkedIn is currently leading the pack in professional social networking, it has not fortified itself as a brand leader.  While they have a considerable registration rate, they are leaving a lot on the table due to lack-luster recurring usage. 

I truly hope that the change in going public will supply LinkedIn not only fantastic growth opportunities, but amazing social value as well.

That’s where I would start.  What would you do to improve the LinkedIn experience?

Aidan Foley – http://www.linkedin.com/in/afoley

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 6:14 pm

    Aidan –
    Your suggestions are great! I think LinkedIn should have spell check.

    Thanks,
    Jessica Pierce

    • June 17, 2010 7:01 pm

      Great suggestion! I forgot all about that. I’ll add it to the blog. Thanks!

  2. June 27, 2010 9:02 pm

    Hi Aidan,

    LinkedIn needs to allow businesses and groups to create vanity urls – just like Facebook. I don’t know the impact of it on SEO, but it would help tremendously on business cards, email signatures, etc.

    Brent

    • June 28, 2010 12:22 pm

      Brent – It does allow it. Go to your Profile Page. Next to your Public Profile is an Edit button. Then, at the very top is another Edit button. Type in your business name. Hopefully, no one has claimed it first. Here’s an example: http://bit.ly/ddZFP4 Good luck!

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