LinkedIn: profile statistics and settings

Friday, July 13th, 2012 - LinkedIn


LinkedIn: profile statistics and settings


One of the aspects of LinkedIn that you ought to master is that of reading and hence using your LinkedIn Profile viewing settings and statistics. By doing so, you can:

  • Improve your profile’s SEO
  • Adjust your activity in Answers and Groups
  • Gain new contacts, and hence business, quicker

LinkedIn Profile statistics

Even as a free account user, LinkedIn give you access to profile viewing statistics. These are limited in both free and paid-for accounts, in the form of the number of people that you can see in a timed (number of days) window:

  • Free: up to 5 people in x days. So if you get 5 viewings in an hour, a day or a week, your window is defined by 5 viewings
  • Paid: as many people as have seen your profile in 30days. You also get access to a better statistics package or where these people came from

You can use this information for many things, but the top three should be:

  1. Assess the SEO of your profile: SEOing your LinkedIn Profile is very easy, but how do you know that its working unless you count the viewings, and where they originate from? Use the viewing statistics to note how effective your SEO is
  2. Assess the relevance of your activity (Answers, Groups): you go social networking to make new contacts, for either information, supply, sales or social. Like SEO, unless you can measure the effectiveness of your activity, how do you know whether its appreciated or creating the right result?

Expanding you LinkedIn network

However, the greatest – and most missed – use of LinkedIn statistics, is how they can help you quickly increase the scale of your network. By noticing who has viewed your profile, you can then create with little effort numerous new connections. There are two ways to do this:

  • Direct: in your customised LinkedIn connection script, you simply state “I noticed you viewed my profile, and…”
  • Indirect: this is the more intelligent and successful method, although both methods statistically have a greater success of creating a new connection and expanding your network than a cold and uncustomised message. Firstly, click back on their profile, and notice both their recent activity and groups. What you are looking for is either common ground or interesting activity on which you can strike up a conversation. This should hence lead to a customised connection request message which includes the phrase “I liked your answer to” or “We share the following group and…”

I suggest that you experiment and measure which method works best for you, but if in doubt start with the direct. In my experimentation, either method has an at least 95% connection chance, as opposed to a normal LinkedIn acceptance level of 80%.

LinkedIn profile: profile viewing settings

You can set how others see “you” when you view their profiles. Under the tab labelled “Settings (top right of screen, under your name in green), you will have the option to select from three options under “What others see when you’ve viewed their profile”:

  1. Name and headline (Default/Recommended)
  2. Anonymous profile characteristics (Industry/Title/Location)
  3. Totally anonymous

Unfortunately, the third option is not actually true! Inside the person that you visits profile viewing statistics will be a market stating “LinkedIn User”. This is true for both free and paid accounts, and even as a paid account user you won’t be able to see who visited your profile if the visitor has selected the anonymous setting.

LinkedIn Profile Settings: Open or Anonymous?

So now that you know the options and how to read the statistics, the question is: how should you set your profile?

Simply, if you are in sales, marketing, a LinkedIn LION, or want to be connected to, use the default “Name and Headline” setting. In this mode you can also deploy a new strategy, in “test viewing” people that you want to be connected to. If they want to connect to you, they will see you viewed their profile in their statistics package, and then send you a connection message!

However, if you want to go looking around in a guarded or snooping mode, then I don’t see the purpose in the other two settings at present versus the clear options that using Boolean Search does via your favourite search engine:

  • Anonymous profile characteristics: simply, often these settings don’t practically work! In the HR world, we have “control groups” that define minimum data so that survey responders can remain anonymous. These groups are normally set at around 20 people. hence if you use boolean search, and know the industry and location of the person who just viewed your profile, then 60%+ of the time you can find them
  • Totally anonymous: if you want to remain totally anonymous, then why not use the superior search powers of boolean search plus the search engines? While an internal search leaves a footprint (ie: Anonymous LinkedIn User), until you sign-in, profiles found via search engines remain anonymous and off the radar of the statistics package until you sign in (using the yellow button) to see their full profile.

Knowing how to use the LinkedIn Profile and Statistics package is one of the most powerful steps that I have found in both getting job seekers employed within our Professional CV Writing Service, as well as for those looking to expand their online networking activities.

Good Luck!

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2 Responses to “LinkedIn: profile statistics and settings”

  1. Debbie Slatter Says:

    Very useful information! Lucky me I found your site by chance, and I bookmarked it.

  2. Anthony Lemay Says:

    Woh, precisely what I was looking for, thankyou!

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