When LinkedIn first launched, there was nowhere to put links to any of your web sites in your profile. Then they added the ability for a single link, and later three. Now, they not only allow you to have three links, you can also make the text for those links whatever you want, rather than just the generic “My Website”, “My Blog” and “My Company”.
This is important for a couple of reasons:
- Branding – Reinforce your business and personal brand(s).
- Clarity – One of my contacts, who shall remain nameless, has two links, both currently labeled “My Blog”. Better labels help the person reading your profile.
Now, some people have mistakenly assumed that it is good for search engine optimization (SEO) because it puts keywords in the link to your site. Unfortunately, though, LinkedIn routes the link through a redirect function on the LinkedIn server which kills any search engine benefit, since the link is not actually to your site, but the LinkedIn URL, which looks something like this:
For the more technical among you, it’s now a 302 redirect, so no SEO benefit.
Anyway, the two other reasons cited above are more than sufficient reason to change those links. Here’s how to change them, step by step:
- Click on My Profile in the top tabs.
- Scroll down to the Websites section and click on Edit next to any of them:
- On the next screen, for each website, choose “Other” from the left menu, then type the name of the site in the empty field to the right. The URL then goes in the field underneath, like so:
- Save changes and you’re done!
Not everyone has three websites to link to. If you don’t, there are some other cool things you can do with those unused links:
- Link to your profile on another site. That’s probably not what LinkedIn had in mind, but I don’t see anything in the user agreement prohibiting it. If you’re an “open networker”, you could invite people to also connect with you on your networking platform of choice. Better yet, link to a site that shows all your other social connections, like FullyFollow.me, Xeeme, or maybe something that does so indirectly, like your Klout or Empire Avenue profile.
- Click to call. MySkype.info provides a great web interface for people to contact you via Skype. Jaxtr uses the web to enable free phone calls from people to you. Oddly, jaxtr’s own explanation of how it works isn’t nearly as clear and concise as Mashable’s: “Your visitor enters his phone number and receives a call. Once he picks up, your phone starts ringing, and the call is connected. If you don’t answer, Jaxtr will take a voicemail message, and there are tools to block unwanted callers or only allow certain friends to call. The caller’s phone numbers are never exposed to one another.” When you sign up with jaxtr, you get a simple URL you can use on your LinkedIn profile. I suggest labeling it something like “Call me for free via jaxtr”.
- Promote your favorite charity. Why not? You’ve got the space – if there is a cause you’re really passionate about, why not offer a link to their site?
- Promote a friend or family member. Really, isn’t that what networking is all about? Make a link that says something like “My best friend’s startup – WidgetCorp”.