If you've been networking on LinkedIn and have set up your profile, you may not have realized that you can create a custom URL that points to your LinkedIn profile. For example, instead of having a URL for your LinkedIn Profile of:
You could create a custom URL like:
Why You Might Want a Custom LinkedIn URL
The primary reason you might want to use a custom URL for LinkedIn is for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Search engines, including Google, still seem to place some importance on keywords within a URL. The URL example I gave of http://www.linkedin.com/in/freelancewriterohio,/em> would have a better chance of ranking well in Google for a search using the keywords freelance writer ohio than would the first example URL of http://www.linkedin.com/in/joeblow/5/792/58a.
While people use LinkedIn search when they are logged into LinkedIn, having keywords in the URL doesn't seem to matter as far as rankings within LinkedIn search are concerned.
The other reason you might want to consider a custom LinkedIn URL for your profile would be to create one that's easier to remember or type.
An Important Note About Custom LinkedIn URLs
I've found the safe bet is to create the URL around your name. Unless you're a single woman who later gets married, that's not about to change. Otherwise, your keyword focus could change down the road. While you can change your profile URL any time you want to on LinkedIn, sometimes it's easy to forget all the places you'll need to go to update the URL. Because LinkedIn doesn't redirect your old URL to the new one, all of those links to your profile will fail unless and until you update them.
How to Create a Custom URL for a LinkedIn Profile
- Log into LinkedIn.
- Hover over Profile with your mouse or pointer on LinkedIn's main menu bar at the top of the page and select Edit Profile.
- Scroll down the page to Public Profile where you'll see your existing URL and an Edit link to the right (see image). Click this Edit link.
- The Public Profile page opens. At the top of this page, you'll see a section marked Your Public Profile URL. Click the Edit link to the right.
- In the Update this address area, you'll see the base URL of www.linkedin.com/in followed by an empty box. Type your desired URL (just the end portion) in this box.
NOTE: Your custom LinkedIn URL must contain at least 5 and no more than 30 characters. These characters can be letters or numbers but cannot include spaces, symbols, or special characters.
- Click Set Address. Provided your new URL meets LinkedIn's requirement and is not already taken, you're all set.
Be sure to update any links on your website, in your blog, etc. that pointed to your old LinkedIn URL with your new LinkedIn URL.
This article is part of The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn.