Quite often, profiles are set up in LinkedIn to network, but many people don’t realize that LinkedIn is a search engine, and that it’s not that difficult to rank well for your keywords.

Just as companies optimize their Websites to rank well for certain keywords in Google and other search engines, the same should be done in social search engines such as LinkedIn and YouTube.

In this post, we’re going to provide some quick tips on how you can start ranking for your targeted keywords in LinkedIn. The first thing you want to do is create a short list of keywords that you would like to rank well for. Then perform a search in LinkedIn under the “People” category using the keywords that you would like to rank well for. When you perform your search, you will notice that you will be shown the number of searches for that particular keyword. Compare the volume of searches for the various keywords that you would like to rank well for, and select the keywords that have the best combination of search volume and relevance.

To determine what it will take to rank well against other people who are optimizing for the same keywords, perform another search and ensure that you set “Sort by:” to “Keywords” and set “View:” to “Expanded”. Then, take a look at their “Current” and “Past” profiles. You will notice that the top ranking people state their keywords in their profiles. If you want to rank better than them, you have to include the keywords in your “Current” and “Past” profiles more than them. It’s really that simple.

For additional optimization, also work on getting more recommendations as they are also factored in to your ranking. If you have any questions on setting up your LinkedIn profile or how to make these changes, please comment.