I’m talking about Showcase pages. In April 2014 LinkedIn abandoned Product pages on business accounts, in favor of Showcase pages. All the hard work you put into creating Product pages has been deleted without a trace!
As for the new Showcase pages, they didn’t think it through…or maybe they did! Creating a (deliberate or accidental) scarcity of Showcase URLs, and a land-grab opportunity for first movers.
Screw-up? Or pay-to-play scam?
Showcases have their own updates section, followers and analytics. So this is another web property you’ll need to maintain if you want it to work for you. LinkedIn is no doubt expecting to drive revenue from promoted updates, as everyone tries to build up the prominence of their showcase pages.
However LinkedIn didn’t think it through completely, giving first movers, a unique opportunity to gain a potentially unfair advantage over competitors, right now. Unless, they are hoping the URL scarcity will motivate those that secured good URLs to invest in rebuilding their follower lists all over again, with sponsored updates and ads.
Showcase page namespace is limited.
Each showcase name is globally unique, for example: http://www.linkedin.com/company/web-optimization. It is not subordinate to a company’s page, as you might expect. That means keyword-rich showcase names in your business category are up for grabs and going fast.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to use the showcase page, for now. That is secondary to grabbing the best terms for showcase pages. Much like domain squatting, this is worthwhile even as a blocking move to stop competitors from getting good terms.
Pull out your keyword list, and start claiming your URLs. You can claim up to 10 showcase pages. Of course, once they realize how limiting this is, LinkedIn may revise their strategy on the URL structure, but for now, its worth the gamble of a few minutes to claim the best phrases.
Have content ready before you start.
If you take too long claiming a name, you time out, the name gets blocked for a few hours.So prepare your content before you start. You’ll need: A banner image 974x 330px (doesn’t matter what it is, you can change it later); a company logo 100x60px; an icon or avatar 50x50px; and a 100-200 character elevator statement for each showcase.
I found the showcase setup page itself very unreliable. If it keeps telling you “there was a problem creating the showcase page for [the name you want], try again later”. Then try again tomorrow, it seems to reset itself overnight. But in the moment, no amount of switching or restarting browsers would let me get past that error.
I wish you the best of luck securing the most generic terms you can for your business category.