Introducing LinkedIn Profile Stats Pro : Google Analytics for Your LinkedIn Profile

Introducing-LinkedIn-Profile-Stats-Pro--Google-Analytics-for-Your-LinkedIn-Profile-V3.min copy

Google Analytics is the default (and free) service that analyzes visitors to your website.  Wouldn’t it be cool if you could analyze visitors to your Facebook Page? Facebook Insights actually provides you with that data.  What about Twitter, you ask?  Twitter just recently released a beta of their Twitter Analytics to a select few users.  And although there is no word about a potential analytics application for LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn has now released a Google Analytics-like application to analyze those who view you on LinkedIn: LinkedIn Profile Stats Pro.  When compared to its social media counterparts, what is unique about the way that LinkedIn rolled out this application is that while the other services are free, Profile Stats Pro is currently only available to paying LinkedIn members (including those enrolled in the cheapest and unofficial $9.95 a month LinkedIn Personal Plus service).

Is LinkedIn Profile Stats Pro a game changer that will make you want to upgrade your account?

I personally have never been into over-analyzing my LinkedIn Profile.  There are some that are obsessed at looking at who viewed their profiles, and any paid account will give you access to this data.  Unfortunately, if a user decides to keep his footprint completely anonymous in their Profile Views Settings, as many do, all you will see in the list of who viewed you is “Anonymous LinkedIn User.”  No value for anyone there.

On the other hand, there have been a number of people calling for aggressive optimization of your LinkedIn Profile with keyword-stuffing to get found in LinkedIn searches.  When I was writing my LinkedIn book, I didn’t want people to potentially abuse this feature and thus mentioned that LinkedIn is a realtime search engine and that it is not difficult to experiment with keywords to see how you rank in the search results and improve upon that.  I left it that.  Some people, though, have keyword-stuffed their profiles to the extent that, if someone were to take a deep look at their profile, their personal branding would take a serious blow.  In Google’s eyes, keyword stuffers get penalized.  Let’s hope that LinkedIn helps stop this madness by adjusting their search algorithm and at least putting some sort of “Page Rank” or “Profile Rank” attribute into the results.

I mention those that are optimizing their profiles with keywords because they will probably find the most value, and thus be most interested in, Profile Stats Pro.  With that in mind, let’s take a look under the hood to see exactly what Profile Stats Pro provides us in terms of data:

The left-hand side of the screen is filled with the familiar “Who’s Viewed My Profile” information:

The free account will only allow you to see who’s viewed you over the last day, or if you are not viewed that often, over the course of a few days or even a week.  As indicated by the screenshot above, LinkedIn actually stores 3 months of data for you to go digging through in Profile Stats Pro.  For those who think of this functionality as a digital handshake and would like to connect with those who share their profile information when they view you, you can now go back at anytime knowing that there are 3 months of data stored for your reference.

Below the Trends graphs comes just what the keyword-stuffers are looking for: An analysis of what keywords that are searched upon bring visitors to your profile:

This is where the data gets interesting, but why don’t the numbers add up to 100%?  Furthermore, despite all of the areas that list my headline, summary, specialties, and sections to list your work experiences, the top 3 results for people searching on me are either my name or incorrect spellings of my name?  The results are, shall we say, extremely counter-intuitive.  It would be interesting to compare these results to others.

Further on down below Top Search Keywords is a Viewers by Geography section:

Although only the top 5 countries are listed under the world map, by putting your cursor over the map you can see how many people from any given country viewed your profile over the last 3 months.  Cool.

Finally we come to the last module on the righthand side which is Viewers by Industry:

I think that this screenshot is pretty self-explanatory.

So, at the end of the day, does this application add any value to your LinkedIn experience?  Google Analytics adds tremendous value to your web presence because you receive and can create customizable data that you can perform actions on that will impact your business.  The same can be said to a much lesser extent about Facebook Insight.  I am assuming that the Twitter Analytics will allow you to analyze a great deal about your engagement with others on Twitter that you can use to improve upon.  Profile Stats Pro, in comparison, doesn’t really give any data that is actionable – it is eye candy and interesting at best.  I will admit that for some, there is inherent value in being able to analyze which keywords brought users to view you and how you might want to want to use that to tweak your word selections.  But if your results are like mine, the data doesn’t really help because adding more of those keywords that I am professionally associated with would only result in the keyword-stuffing of my own profile…

Conclusion: Profile Stats Pro is an interesting view of what types of demographics are viewing you on LinkedIn, but I don’t think it’s enough to upgrade your account for.

Do you have access to Profile Stats Pro?  What do you think about this new application?  Do you think it’s worth the upgrade?

About the Author:

Neal Schaffer, Founder and Editor-In-Chief

The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer
PeopleLinx

Comments

  1. says

    I have been using that analytics page for a little while now and have a hard time believing that their results are accurate. The data just doesn’t add up

      • says

        @ Neal

        I had been waiting for you to write this post ;-)

        Could it be that the data just doesn’t add up because there are hundreds of 0% hits, the “long tail” as they call it?

        • says

          You bring up a good point…but the fact that the keywords that are hit are name-based and not noun based really surprised me. Add to the fact that, if you search for me using my name or keywords, you will find that I show up last or next-to-last on every single search. The combination of these two facts brings up the question of either the validity of the search algorithm itself, the search data, the application of Profile Stats Pro, or a combination thereof.

          What have your experiences been Rudolf?

          • says

            Neal:

            I have no paid account, yet ;-) Hence, no experiences from me on this one. I try to follow closely the new features of LinkedIn, that have been rolled out lately.

            Many people still think of LinkedIn as a huge résumé database. However, LinkedIn has really progressed into a talent related business intelligence network. And I use it for such purposes. New features like INStant, Profile Stats (Pro), and Signal are significant in this respect.

            However, it strikes me that the search results from LinkedIn can be a bit of a mystery. To the degree of being sometimes counterintuitive. I have the feeling that certain elements of our LinkedIn profiles get rather heavy weight factors in the LinkedIn search algorithm, and other elements get (almost) no weight. This may play a role too in the surprising results in Profile Stats Pro. My guess is, that it will improve over time. Not by itself, but by improvements in the algorithms used by LinkedIn.

          • says

            Rudolf:

            I just published my promised advice on paid LinkedIn accounts: http://windmillnetworking.com/2010/12/07/is-it-time-to-upgrade-to-a-paid-linkedin-account/

            LinkedIn has always been about business networking in my book. True, with the recession and the realization that headhunters were on LinkedIn, it spurred a lot of jobseekers, and in turn even more corporate recruiters, to become more active on LinkedIn. But I agree with you that new applications such as Signal make LinkedIn a more powerful central resource for business intelligence.

            As for the search results, I have actually dealt with LinkedIn Customer Service on the issue, and I have been told different things by different people who work for them. I’d hate to think that there was a conspiracy theory, but it seems that those with a lot of connections are the ones who’s search results seem counter-intuitive. A theory which I am still developing, but your comments add fuel to the fire that the search results as is are potentially flawed…whether that be by design or on purpose is the question…

          • says

            Neal

            Thanks for the reply and link to your post on paid LinkedIn accounts.

            Conspiracy theories are intriguing and much fun.

            Glen Cathey has two interesting posts and , which could well be related to the same phenomenon. Glen did an experiment trying to search for himself with LinkedIn People search and using appropriate keywords and location data. The search results were strange, as he ranked lowest while he should have ranked on top. Other people seem to have noticed similar strange results.

          • says

            Exactly! I had been working on writing such a blog post, and I still may..although I have noticed just recently that LinkedIn tweaked their search results so that I am showing up again on top locally…

  2. says

    Great review! Thanks so much for the insight. People ask me all the time if a paid account is necessary, and unless they’re a recruiter or a power user I haven’t been able to give them a solid reason. I’m sure LI will continue to tweak their paid account options to where those on the fence will take the leap.

    • says

      Thanks Jon. I’ll be blogging very soon about that exact same subject, but, yes, LinkedIn will continue to tinker with its platform to entice us all to upgrade to a paid account.

  3. Tony D'Andrea says

    Neal – Thanks for this post and for your excellent blog. I have an upgraded premium account at LinkedIn for a variety of reasons. LinkedIn is a powerful tool but only if the user cares about maintaining an attractive profile and is an *active* networker. The point is not the data you get from Analytics (which is very basic and minimal, BTW) but what you do in terms of networking based on the basic data you see. Overall, LinkedIn gadgets (such as Analytics) are just 20% of its magical power. The remaining 80% is what you actively do with it.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonydandrea

  4. says

    I think the data is interesting but not sure how useful it is. Its great to know who is viewing your profile, the country breakdown, and which industries but the search query results are just strange to me as well. I took a screenshot of mine because its unreal to understand why my 8th top searched keyword is in fact variations of 20 different potential words someone could have searched for….

    http://www.screencast.com/users/authorpreneur/folders/Jing/media/0e914f6d-f862-4c34-9ff7-1c6640729439

  5. says

    I have yet to make the leap to a paid account, and has new features like this come available it makes the thought more enticing but not enticing enough. Curios as to why you choose to go to a paid account? What are the benefits in your opinion?

  6. says

    Tony, I couldn’t agree with you more. Whenever I talk about LinkedIn, I tell people in the audience to create your Profile and move on and engage. Only networkers, those who reach out and engage with a targeted purpose in mind, will truly maximize their presence on LinkedIn…the whole premise of my book on LinkedIn and Windmill Networking! But thank you for your eloquent comment which really hits the nail on the head.

  7. says

    Thank you so much for your comment as well as sharing your screenshot with us. Very interesting indeed. So I am not alone in being surprised as to the keyword searches that led people to my profile, but yours is extremely interesting with that 20 variations explanation. It really questions both the validity as well as the usefulness of that data. Perhaps that’s why LinkedIn never really “officially” announced this application…

  8. says

    Neal, LinkedIn would have to add far more meaningful analytics to make it worth paying for. I have found the beta of Signal to be far more useful, although still lacking somewhat, than Profile Stats. BTW, have you heard if Signal will be free or part of a paid upgrade? I also get a lot of questions about the pros and cons of a paid account, so hurry up with that post will ya?

    • says

      Agree that the analytics are weak if they aren’t actionable. As for Signal, that’s a good question. LinkedIn are in uncharted territory and are tinkering with their business model, so I believe that anything is possible. As for that blog post, no matter how quickly I blog, I STILL have 50 blog posts in draft form ;-) I will try to pre-release a new video on the subject today, so make sure you’re subscribed to http://www.youtube.com/WindmillNetworking1 ;-)

  9. says

    Hi Neal, I third your observation that the numbers in the Profile Stats are suspect and a bit thin for serious analytics. But as a job seeker and someone with a much smaller profile saliency than you I’ll just note one very valuable aspect of the data that I use: I can correlate my own job hunting activity to the number of profile views I receive and often find that data to be actionable. For example, if I send an application to a company along with an InMail to an individual at that company, I can usually tell if and when my application is read or my InMails noticed. Furthermore, if my profile is well received, those viewers might forward me on to other people at the company and with a little bit of divining, I can often figure out who. Follow-up messages to warm contacts, horray!

    I look forward to your post about paid accounts. I certainly know the value a Pro account has to me, though I hope you mention something about the exorbitant fee.

    • says

      Hey Gabe, Nice to hear from you! But more importantly, thank you for your contribution to this conversation by providing us an example of actionable data culled from Profile Stats Pro. Actually, that data seems to be from the “Who’s Viewed My Profile?” list…and you bring up very interesting experiences that you have had from it. Let me ask you, when you contacted those “warm contacts” who had viewed your profile, were they responsive and open in talking to you? Would love your feedback.

      As for the paid account, my first impression after meeting you is that you are the first non-recruiter or non-salesperson who has evangelized the paid LinkedIn account. I almost feel that that blog post should be about a conversation with you looking at the pros and cons. Let me know if you’re up for the challenge!

  10. says

    Thanks – this was quite informative although I don’t really see any data that would help me make any decisions regarding my marketing. I appreciate your comment “I don’t think it’s enough to upgrade your account for”, which was my conclusion as well.

  11. Victoria Ipri says

    Neal, you hit the LinkedIn nail on the head…I was wondering about this feature myself when I stumbled across it recently. I thought it was just me…but thank goodness you agree it is eye candy at best. I did find the global stats interesting as well. Who doesn’t want to know who’s looking at them? I feel LI will come along over time and provide more meaningful statistics; however, as long as privacy settings exist, members will control who views what. It’s funny- I’ve heard people proclaim they should automatically be able to see data on everyone who views their profile…but they don’t want to change their own privacy settings!

    I do take slight issue with your thoughts on what you refer to ‘keyword stuffing’…granted, stuffing is a terrible practice from the standpoint of both copy and branding. At the end of the day, we’re appealing to humans, not robots. But surely you don’t believe keywords should be abandoned when crafting a strong profile?

    • says

      Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for your comment.

      On the issue of keyword-stuffing, you absolutely should place those keywords that you want associated with your profile inside it. But this is an actual example of what I would call “keyword-stuffing”:

      [actual description in their work experience profile]

      Mobile Marketing, Mobile and Social Media Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Strategies, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Marketing and Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Mobile Marketing Trainer, Mobile Marketing Consultant, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Blog, Social Media Philosophy, LinkedIn for Business, LinkedIn to success, Linkedin video, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Mobile and Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Strategies, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Mobile Marketing Strategies, LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Social Media, Mobile Marketing Consultant, Social Media Coach, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Blog, Social Media, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Strategies, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, Ping.Fm, LinkedIn, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Social Media Trainer, Mobile Marketing Consultant, Social Media Coach, Social Media Marketing Strategies, Social Media Blog, LinkedIn for Business, LinkedIn to success, Linkedin video, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategies, Mobile Marketing Trends, Social Media Content, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Social Media Marketing Strategies, Mobile Marketing, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Strategies, LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Stategies, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Consultant, Social Media Coach, Mobile Marketing Strategies, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Strategies

      I hope you’ll agree that this is true “Keyword Stuffing”!

  12. Paulmcgilly says

    There is some great reading on here. I really like your work and have found it great in working out how to really use Linkedin. Do you have any more on the scree shots that recruiters see when searching? I cant recall where the link was? But it would be good to see what they see. Manay thanks Paul.

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