Today LinkedIn launched a new, more affordable premium tier: Spotlight. The most noticeable change is the addition of background image in the profile header, similar to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. They provide 25 stock image options for your wallpaper but savvy members will want to add a custom image (see example below) that highlights their professional strengths. Click here to request access to the custom backgrounds. Currently, this feature is only available to paying members, although it will roll out to non-paying users at some point. You also have the option to turn the header background image on or off.
The most important feature of the Spotlight plan is the “Top Keyword Suggestions” tool that pops open to the right of the summary section of your profile. Based on our historical research the LinkedIn search algorithm may place a priority on keywords in your headline, summary, current job title and the Skills & Endorsements area; however, the components of the search technology are not available to the public. Assuming the text within the summary area are a strong contributing factor to search results, this new feature will be a significant help to professionals who use their profile to generate sales leads, conduct a job search or improve their personal brand. A common challenge we hear from our clients is that they struggle to define and publish their accomplishments and skills – this feature will help. The tool also recommends a summary contain at least 40 words to maximize visibility in search results.
The other benefits of the Spotlight plan include seeing 90 day metrics of who viewed my profile. A great tool for growing relevant professional connections who took a peek at your information. Access to the How You Rank feature is a good way to test how your profile is performing over time as compared to your competition. Lastly, the name of Open Link was changed to Open Profile. Opting in helps your page gain full visibility to people beyond your immediate circle and allows other members to InMail you for free. As the leading social network for professionals continues to offer more options, smart managers need an optimized profile that takes advantage of ALL these tools to increase visibility in search results.
At $10 ($8 paid annually) per month, Spotlight is dramatically cheaper than the $24 Business or $20 Job Seeker plans. Although the value of the Business plan is eroded, the lower price point is likely to encourage free members to try and ultimately trade up into the more expensive premium options. Click here to read the official company announcement or to learn more about LinkedIn premium plans.