LinkedIn Groups are growing by leaps and bounds: As of last August, when LinkedIn redesigned its LinkedIn Groups pages, over 200 conversations were happening every minute in those groups and over 8,000 Groups were created each week. That’s an astounding rate of growth, but is there an SEO opportunity to be found there?
Well, not in the traditional SEO sense of being able to secure valuable backlinks or PageRank. That’s because LinkedIn uses “nofollow” and 302 redirects in the majority of the links that users post. Also, you’ll rarely if ever see LinkedIn discussions appear in general search results.
So then what good can LinkedIn do for a B2B company’s SEO campaign? Plenty — just in a less direct way than most of the SEO techniques we talk about on this blog.
Google, with its many recent updates, has been nudging SEO toward a more relationship-based approach. An overemphasis on keywords won’t get you far anymore — instead, it’s all about semantic search and using a more natural, conversational tone in your content. Guest blogging must be done with care, lest Google accuse you of paying for links — and anything “advertorial” in nature is verging on Black Hat SEO.
But links from influencers with authoritative, relevant websites are always welcome. And the way you build relationships with those influencers is through networking — which LinkedIn’s many Groups make it so easy to do.
So the way to win with LinkedIn is just to get more involved with the movers and shakers there:
Update your LinkedIn Company Page with as much company information as possible. Use photos and attractive graphics to grab the visitor’s attention.
Post consistently, both your own original content and relevant curated content-type posts your readers would find interesting or useful.
Use LinkedIn’s guide to building company pages to ensure that you’re making the most of its capabilities.
Of course, your personal profile should also be comprehensive and up-to-date. See our previous blog post, LinkedIn Profiles Can Help Your SEO.
With your personal profile and company page updated, you should then increase your participation in LinkedIn Groups. But be picky. Since you’ll be using valuable time for your activity in these groups, make sure they’re worth it:
Are a good number of the LinkedIn Group members regularly contributing to the discussions, or just a few core people?
Are the discussions productive and thought-provoking?
Are there influencers in the group that you’d like to approach about interviewing them, guest blogging on their site, or other strategic initiatives?
As SEO moves away from link building and more toward relationship building, there are a wealth of relationships just waiting to be made in LinkedIn Groups. Networking there takes time and effort but can pay off in big ways — not least of which is developing your image as a helpful professional who contributes to your industry’s knowledge base.