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.
The right-hand side of the screen contains all new information, beginning with the Trends graph below:
Here you will see graphs for each of the last 12 weeks for both how many visits you received as well as how many times you appeared in searches. Interesting data, but what will you do with it? By the way, if you think it’s strange that I get about as many visits as I appear in searches there is a theory I have about that, but I will leave that for future blog posts…
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:
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?