Research at the end of 2021 by Richard van der Blom suggested that the best place to share external links on LinkedIn was directly within the body of shortform posts.
So, I decided to do a short experiment in November and December 2021 to find out how many times links in my posts were actually clicked.
LinkedIn doesn’t provide this data so I had to make sure that links I used during the test would report how many times they were clicked.
I did this through the use of Google UTM parameters, which allowed me to view link-click stats via my Google Analytics account.
The process for doing the experiment is beyond the scope of this article, but you could also track link clicks using a free link-shortening service such as Bitly.
That is, for every 100 views of a post, I expected 5 people to click a link inside that post.
This was a short test so involved only 13 posts containing links.
Here are the results:
CTR = Clickthrough Rate = clicks divided by views
The CTR for text and image posts was 1.42%.
The CTR for video posts excluding #FridayShout posts was 2.86%.
The CTR for #FridayShout video posts was 0%!
Remember that these stats relate to the proportion of people who clicked links within these posts.
Perhaps the percentages would have been slightly higher if the destination of each link was clearer, due to the ugly link shortening that’s introduced when using Google UTM parameters in LinkedIn posts. I’ve talked about link shortening in my article about LinkedIn links.
For these 13 test posts, I got averages of 81 reactions and 69 comments.
Compare that with all posts from the month before, when I got an average of 104 reactions and 83 comments.
Let’s wrap up.
The results were worse than I expected.
The lesson I’ve learned here is not to expect people to click my links even on posts that appear to perform relatively well.
It’s far better to give people the insight they’re looking for directly within the post rather than expecting them to look at some external source for that content.
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