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30 LinkedIn Tips: #2/30 – How to change your LinkedIn URL — Own your own name

30 short, useful, actionable LinkedIn tips in 30 days from Doctor David Petherick. #30by30 #TheDoctorisIn

#2/30: Personalise your LinkedIn URL

  • Originally written: October 2, 2017
    Text & Images Updated: June 30, 2020

Edit your LinkedIn URL so that your name is yours.

Everyone has a unique URL or Unique Resource Locator on LinkedIn. The problem is, the one LinkedIn gives you is completely random, quite unmemorable, and low on search value.

For example, I might be assigned the LinkedIn URL as below:

  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-pether-a2372c3gh

It's not exactly memorable, and not very juicy for search outside LinkedIn based on your name. So change it so that you own it and it's personal to you. It's easy.

That's a bit better, isn't it?

Try a search for my name in Google, Bing or Yahoo and my LinkedIn profile with this URL invariably appears as the first entry.

So I own my own name online. 

So, let's get you started on owning your own name here on LinkedIn.

4 simple steps...

Step 1 to own your personal LinkedIn URL

Login to LinkedIn, and then click on the arrow below your photograph titled 'Me', and click on 'Settings & Privacy' as shown in the illustration below.

Click to go to Settings and PrivacyStep 2 to own your personal LinkedIn URL

Once you've reached the Settings & Privacy screen, click on the centre tab entitled 'Privacy' and select the first option that appears, to Edit your public profile, as shown below.

Edit Your Public Profile on Linkedin

TIP: A shortcut to get beyond this step right to the place where you can set your own personal URL (Step 3 below) is just this: https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings

You can also find a link to this setting hiding in plain sight when you are editing your profile. The text for the link is in grey, cleverly letting you know that it is not a link. But it is, as shown below.

Hidden Link to Edit your Profile URL

Step 3 to own your personal LinkedIn URL

Now, as shown in the illustration below, on the right column on the screen you will find the option to Edit public profile URL.

Click the small pencil icon appearing at the right of your current URL. You'll then have the option to edit the URL to what you want.

As you can see from the screen shot, at time of writing, LinkedIn cleverly adds a banner to this page, which obscures the content at the top.

LinkedIn doing its best to hide the information you need to edit your URL

LinkedIn doing its best to hide the information you need to edit your URL

Step 4 to own your personal LinkedIn URL

Save Option to confirm custom URL

Type in your preferred URL such as davidpetherick

Then click ‘Save

And you’re done.

Note that your old URL may continue to work and even display for a while - but the new one should work right away, and will appear as default after a while.

Don't worry about changing to a new URL if you decide to update this - the old URL will still take visitors to your profile.

IMPORTANT: You may get an error showing if your ideal URL of /FirstnameLastname is unavailable. This means somebody else with a similar name to you got there first!

If this is the case, you use devices such as ‘mr-john-mark-smith’ or ‘iamjohnsmith’ or ‘john-smith-writer’ to ensure your visibility.

Avoid using your business name unless it’s keyword-rich and you know you’re never going to leave that business or evolve or pivot it – your name is what people will remember and look for, certainly in an online search beyond LinkedIn.

And please, if you can avoid it, don’t just use a number at the end of the URL like 'davidpetherick23' – this simply advertises the fact that you came late to the party! You could also use a geographical identifier such as 'david-petherick-new-york'

Why owning your name on LinkedIn is a good idea: Search visibility

LinkedIn profile content ranks well in search, so make sure you take these simple steps to stake your claim to your personal brand. This is what I see when I Google my name:

Results of a Search for my name- Linkedin is first.

Search Results for 'david petherick' on Google (UK based search) as at 30-Jun-2020

  • Remember that registering your own name as a domain, and adding simple contact information, social profiles and a simple blog also helps make a good impression in search results
  • Don't forget to add your LinkedIn Profile URL to your business card, your email signature and other online profiles.

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About David Petherick

Doctor David Petherick is In. David writes LinkedIn profiles for a living and offers online and in person 'surgery'. He makes your online presence visible, legible and credible. Follow David on Twitter at @petherick. Click mzs.es/free to book a free ten-minute call, zoom or skype with David today for confidential, impartial advice on how you can improve your LinkedIn Profile.