Preparing for the New LinkedIn Design: How to Optimize Your Page and Profile

social media how toAre you wondering how the new LinkedIn design will impact your personal profile and business page?

While you might be waiting for the launch of the new LinkedIn profile design, there are still many other areas of LinkedIn you can improve upon today.

In this article, you’ll learn more about both new and existing LinkedIn features for your professional profile and company page that can help you get more results from your LinkedIn experience.

LinkedIn Professional Profiles

Want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is prepared for the new profile design (which you can preview by enlarging this image)? Here are some things you should make sure to include in it now.

The Basics

basic linkedin profile

The most important parts of your LinkedIn profile.

If you want to be found in LinkedIn search by potential employers, customers and partners, you need to make sure your profile is up to date in key areas such as the following.

  • Your Headline – Your headline is probably the most important when it comes to how your profile appears in search results. Think of the main keywords you want to be discovered by and include them in your headline.
  • Your Summary – Be sure to write a strong summary about yourself that summarizes your experience, your achievements and who you are as a professional.
  • Your Contact Info – In the current and new profile design, you have to click on the Contact Info button (as seen in the image above) to get to your website, email, Twitter and Skype. While it’s not as obvious as it was before, be sure to include at least your Twitter and up to three website links. Select Other when setting up your website links to use custom text to describe them, versus letting LinkedIn label them as Company, Blog, Website, etc.
  • Your Current and Previous Experience – If you’ve changed careers lately or taken on new responsibilities at your company, then you should update your LinkedIn profile to reflect these changes.
  • Your Groups – In the new layout, the groups you belong to will be listed in a more visually appealing way. Make sure the groups you belong to describe your professional interests; photographers should be in photography groups, writers in writers’ groups, and so forth.
  • Your News – LinkedIn Today, LinkedIn’s news that pulls from a variety of sources from around the web, allows you to follow specific topics that will be displayed on the new LinkedIn profile design. Be sure to select a few relevant topics to follow in your News Settings. Also be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the settings page to adjust your email settings so you don’t get too many emails.
  • Your Companies – Another thing to be prominently displayed on the new profile design is the companies you follow. Use this area to follow companies you own, your customers, your partners or companies you may simply hope to work with in the future.

Skills and Expertise

view endorsement

View endorsement for your skills and expertise.

Chances are if you have a lot of connections on LinkedIn, you have seen many endorsements for your skills and expertise rolling in. If you feel like people are not endorsing you for the right things or you would like to get endorsements for other skills, make sure to add them.

Add New Sections

add new sections to your profile

Add new sections to your LinkedIn profile.

Go beyond the basic profile information about your experience, skills and education by adding some sections to your profile; some of which allow you to link back to your website. This option can be found when you go to edit your profile above your summary. These sections include the following.

  • Certifications – There are a lot of professional certifications that potential employers or customers may be impressed to know you have. Be sure to add yours in this section.
  • Courses – If you’ve taken courses outside of college or at various educational institutions, you can highlight the ones that are relevant to your current professional goals in this section.
  • Honors and Awards – Add any kind of public recognition that relates to your current professional goals in this section.
  • Languages – If you speak additional languages, add them here to attract an international audience.
  • Organizations – Publicize professional organizations as well as important local ones that you belong to in this section.
  • Projects – If you have been or are currently working on major industry-related projects, you can showcase them here and even link to them.
  • Patents – For certain industries and entrepreneurs, highlighting patents you’ve developed can be very helpful.
  • Publications – If you’ve written any type of book, whether it is formally published an in print, Kindle or eBook only, you can share it under in this section and link to it on Amazon, your own website or elsewhere online.
  • Test Scores – If you have impressive scores on tests relevant to your industry, you can share your scores here.
  • Volunteer Experience and Causes – Let people know how much you care about your community by sharing the non-profits, organizations and causes you support.

Your Status Updates

status updates on profile

Status updates on the new LinkedIn profile.

Status updates will be displayed much more prominently on the new LinkedIn profile design.

Get in the habit of updating your LinkedIn professional profile regularly or using social media management tools like HootSuite or Buffer to automatically update your status on LinkedIn.

How All of These Will Help You Get Results

Why are all of the sections on your professional profile so important? Think of it like keyword-optimizing your website for search engines – the more keywords you have on your professional profile that tell what you are about, the more likely you are to get discovered by those searching for people with your qualifications.

Once people have found your profile, seeing things like your latest updates will let them know you are active as well as the right fit for their business needs.

Once your professional profile is updated, be sure to use it by creating groups, participating in groups and branding yourself as an expert via LinkedIn Answers.

LinkedIn Company Pages

If your business hasn’t already created a new LinkedIn company page, it is definitely something worth doing soon. A few good reasons include:

  • Employees will be marketing your company on their professional profiles when they list it as their current or previous place of employment.
  • People who follow your company (customers, employees, partners, friends, etc.) will be marketing your company on their professional profiles when the new design adds companies followed to their layout.
  • It’s another great social media property to own for your company and one that can show up on the first page of search results for your company name.

We have covered four tips to creating your LinkedIn company page as well as five tips for optimizing for the new company pages. But there is one area that does not receive enough attention – an area that can lead converting visitors (strong leads and potential customers) back to your website.

Basics About Products and Services

dell company page

Dell's LinkedIn company page.

If you have a company page, you probably know that you can create an overview page for your products and services that includes the following.

  • Up to Three Banner Images – Use up to three 646 x 222 pixel banner images to represent your top three products or services, each of which can link back to specific pages on your website.
  • YouTube Video – Include your latest advertisement, demo or other video content about your products and services.
  • An Ordered List of Products/Services – Prioritize your top products and services by arranging them in order of importance.

Variations of the Products and Services Page

Here is where you can get really creative with your products and services. Let’s say that you wanted to create different content for different visitors coming to your LinkedIn company page. Now you can with variations of your Products and Services page.

Start by going to your company’s page and navigating to the Products and Services page. If your business only offers products, it will just be called Products, and if your business only offers services, it will just be called Services. Then click the Edit button.

create variations

Editing your Products and Services page to create variations.

At the very top, you have the option to create multiple variations of your Products and/or Services page. The default page is the first one you create – this will be shown to anyone who doesn’t match any additional variations you have created. To create a new variation, click on the Create New Audience button.

Create variations by defining your target audience.

Here, you will have the option to define audience based on the following criteria on your Products and Services page.

  • Company Size – Use words targeted toward small business, large corporations or businesses in between.
  • Job Function – Use words targeted toward people working in specific positions within a company from accounting to support.
  • Industry – Use words targeted toward businesses within specific industries. If you’re not sure what industries to target, see if you can find your best customer’s LinkedIn company page and see what industries they list themselves in. This will be listed in the About information on the company page.
  • Seniority – Use words targeted toward business owners, managers, directors, VPs and other levels of authority.
  • Geography – Use words targeted toward businesses in different locations around the world.

Once you have defined your audience, you will be given a duplicate of your default Products and Services page to tailor to your fit your newly defined audience’s needs. Remember that it’s not just the words on the page you can change; you can change your banner images, video and choose up to five products and services to highlight for each target audience.

If you want to attract more visitors to your company page, or directly to your website, keep these audience-targeting options in mind and try out LinkedIn Advertising. The better you target your ads, the less you’ll spend on more valuable clicks.

How Variations of the Products and Services Page Will Help You Get Results

Think of variations of your Products and Services page as individual landing pages. When you customize a landing page just right for advertising or search optimization, you are more likely to get conversions because you are talking directly to your target audience instead of generalizing your products and services to the masses.

To get your mind going in the right direction, take a moment to look at Shopify’s custom landing pages for people who want to sell jewelry, photography, crafts, books, music and magazines online. Instead of just having one generalized page about their shopping cart service, they have targeted specific industries most likely to use them for ecommerce, which likely translates to many more free trial signups.

What do you think? What other ways are you preparing your LinkedIn professional profile and company page for the new design in 2013? Please share in the comments section below!

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About the Author, Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, blogger, and ghostwriter who develops high-quality content for businesses. She is also a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified and Google Analytics Qualified Professional. Sign up for her newsletter! Other posts by »




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  • http://www.facebook.com/wanna.be.with.you.forever Devesh Verma

    Kristi Hines: Very well written post.

    I think reading a post on SME is like always getting new
    information & technique which we can’t learn from anywhere else..

    Linkedin is always a week point for me in when we talk about
    social media but you elaborated the entire details in very wonderful fashion. I
    think now I become a more expertise person in Linkedin.

    Keep writing for us.

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  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Great post Kristi. I am working on the updates of my LinkedIn profile and page, and I do agree with you that it is really necessary to update them on a regular basis, but what I am most focused on at the moment is the development of my LinkedIn group. I look forward to reading an article on how to develop a LinkedIn community, how to make your members really engage instead of just posting promotions, and unconventional ways to encourage more people to join the group (I have already  done most of the conventional ones and I am interested to know other ways of doing it.)Thanks a lot in advance! Happy Holidays!

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  • http://DebbieSaviano.com/ Debbie Saviano

    Thanks Kristi,
    Shows the importance of always “Staying Current” with SM. It continually evolves and to fully utilize You need to understand the various changes and updates. LinkedIn does an incredible job of improving – all in the effort to help the almost 200M Professionals on the Virtual Rolodex.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Kristi awesome job, you covered all the bases!

  • Emeric

    Hey Kristi, great article! LinkedIn is really moving the right direction and I am paying more and more attention to its new features. That is a great summary of the latest important stuff that needs to be taken into account by BtoB marketers.
    You rock :-)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/scottvarga Scott Varga

    Great article Kristi as always! My only question I have is, how does one go back and edit a Product or Service after you’ve published it? Ive looked everywhere but with no luck. :-(

  • keepmeinformed

    Very interesting! Thank you!

  • Blstoday

    Very interesting, can’t wait to begin on this new journey.  Thanks for keeping me informed.

  • http://boomerssocialmediatutor.com/ Joycefeustel

    Very grateful for this terrific piece. Thanks, Kristi! I have done quite a bit of these review already, yet I sure appreciated the thorough checklist for both the personal profile and the company page in light of the new formats for both.

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  • Steve Phillip

    Some excellent tips here, even for a so called LinkedIn expert – thank you Kristi

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com Shily-Virtual Office Assistant

    Wow this is a fascinating piece, and I find myself chewing on it. At first it struck me as a bit of stating the obvious, but I’m realizing that there are some real depths to your analysis. I can believe that the concept of “new LinkedIn for personal profile and business page ” may have changed fundamentally, and I am going to chew on this piece a bit more to see what new understanding that I can derive from it. To say that it is thought-provoking is an understatement. Thanks for this.

  • Lcathy

    To find and to be found in the new year – get updated.

  • Paula Wertheim

    Same problem here, too. I needed to edit some glaring typos from the old company page but couldn’t find a way to do it. Suggestions, anyone?

  • Jennifer MacNeil

    You can edit your product or service by literally hitting the “Edit” button on the upper right.  Don’t click the drop down menu connected to the right of the Edit button, literally click on “Edit”.

  • http://twitter.com/Aralai Douglas Brown

    Great article. A well organized profile, with pertinent information, combined with the new design makes LinkedIn a valuable tool.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Devesh! It’s easy to leave LinkedIn out with all of the other networks out there. I hope you get results with it when you do give it a try. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks John! There are some great posts about managing groups here too under http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/tag/linkedin-groups/ :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Debbie! Staying current with social media definitely makes an impression, especially for anyone in or interacting with the marketing industry!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Stephanie! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Emeric! Maybe you could Incorporate some LinkedIn tools into AgoraPulse. There aren’t many out there yet. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Joyce! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Steve. I’m always happy to have tips that are new for everyone from beginner to advanced users. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Shily! I like including the basics for those who may not have those down yet. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Douglas. :)

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  • Julian Poulter

    One  of the best LinkedIn Company/Page articles I’ve seen for a while. 

  • http://twitter.com/qnary Qnary

    The new LinkedIn profile has some great additions. It is much cleaner and easier to navigate. It is also easier to see how complete your profile is. At the top of your profile page, LinkedIn shows you your level of completeness, and if your profile is not complete, click on the “improve your profile” button and LinkedIn will walk you through the steps to complete your profile.

  • http://twitter.com/designageco bruce goldstein

    Really like the new profile design and the insight you provided in your article Kristi. However my understanding from LinkeIn Support is that the public profile view that your LinkedIn url goes to still uses the old profile design and that you must be a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connection to see a user profile with the new design.

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  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Julian! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    The level of completeness features should help everyone with filling out the profile to achieve the most benefits!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Yes, the public profile stays the same. Anyone who is connected to you or anyone who has a premium LinkedIn membership can see the rest though which still makes it worth it. 

  • http://www.ReciprocateLLC.com/ Karen Emanuelson

    Thanks for such a clear, concise list, Kristi!  

    It is also critical to make sure that Personal LinkedIn Profiles are linked to the correct LinkedIn Company Profiles. With the new Profile pages, the “linked” Company Profile will appear when you hover over organization names in your experience section.  If the “linked” Company Profile is not existent or is incorrect, you can easily go in to edit the organization name in your Personal Profile Experience section. Just begin typing the organization name and “arrow down” to the correct Company Profile.

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  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Great point Karen. That way company employees on LinkedIn are also marketing for your business via sharing the company page!

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  • http://DebbieSaviano.com/ Debbie Saviano

    Hi Kristi,
    Happy New Year!
    Getting back into the regular routine. Wishing you the BEST of 2013!

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  • SJ

    Hi kristi,

    Thanks for your very informative article. I am just starting with Linkedln and was not sure how to use it effectively but now I am motivated to work on my profile and get positive results.
    I made two mistakes initially, first by pressing the “ok button” that invited everyone in my gmail contact list to my Linkedln account, is there a way of undoing it?:-) and two, my account was immediately activated when I was not ready to go live as I am still a long way from having a profile that I am happy with. Is there a way of going ” not live” till I am ready with the kind of profile page you are suggesting?Thanks for the wonderful article once again:-)

  • surinderpal

    Great help. I have a query on how many “create new audience” can be created and am sure there must be few disadvantages of this feature. If not then its awesome but if there are are can you please highlight them too?

  • Ian Knabel

    Hi Kristi, Another amazing post on a difficult topic. I have a question I was hoping you could help with. I am a full time employee and have a personal linkedin page and lots of contacts and use it quite a bit. With my employment contract I am not allowed to work for anyone other than my employer BUT i have an internet business that is going pretty well and I want to start a linkedin page for this. My online persona is simply my name with “online” on the end. I am concerned if I create a company page in my name that people my find my internet business when they are looking for my work page and vice versa. I hope that makes sense. Any advice would be appreciated

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