Pinterest SEO is one of the most important factors of having an effective Pinterest marketing strategy. Stats show that Pinterest drives over 1600x more traffic than Facebook, even though Facebook is the largest social media platform! Because Pinterest functions as a search engine, you can target your ideal audience by focusing on search terms they’re likely to use. Then directing that traffic to your website. This is why using cute captions that you see on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter/Tik Tok won’t work on Pinterest. Check out my list of 12 Pinterest mistakes to avoid here.
Though there are some design recommendations such as vertical pins over square, you do not need to have the best looking pin to drive traffic to your website. You can do this by optimizing your content for the search engine.
Pinterest will do its best to make sure other pinners “discover” your content. Think about it: if pinners find content that is of value to them, they’re more likely to spend more time on the platform. Every social media platform’s goal is to make their platform the platform of choice. Make sure that you are making it easier for Pinterest to determine the type of content you’ll be publishing or pinning so they can promote it to other users. Some things that Pinterest looks at to determine this are:
- Account Name (or Display Name)
- Account Description (About You section)
- Board Name
- Board Categorization
- Board Description
- Pin Graphic
- Pin Title
- Pin Description
- Rich Pin Snippet (if you have enabled)
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Though it seems highly technical (which it is), it’s quick. Even without a proper account name, you can still generate traffic. This is because pinners discover your pins before they discover your account/profile. Pinners usually discover the pin, then the board and then they check your profile to determine if they should follow you or not. The good news: they don’t have to follow you in order to see your pins if you optimize them correctly!
Make sure that your board name, pin title and pin descriptions are always optimized for the search engine.
Pinterest is all about relevancy. It is crucial that you are naming and pinning directly to boards that clearly and accurately describe the type of content.Natalie Butler
If you’re unsure if your keywords are bringing in your ideal audience or you just want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence, be sure to use one of the following tests.
For tests 1 and 2, you can complete using either a desktop PC or cell phone. For the third test, you will need a desktop.
Pinterest SEO Test 1: Search Bar
Take your board name and pop it into the search bar at the top of the screen (in-between “Ads” and “All Pins.” Notice: as you type each letter, Pinterest will show you common search terms. Type in “we” and you see Pinterest tries to complete the search query for you or recommends search terms to help you find your desired results.
If you start typing and you’re almost finished but Pinterest still hasn’t populated your search term, there’s a good chance many people aren’t looking for it. Let’s say you’ve designed a new pair of shoes called “Charly”, start typing it in the search bar. As you see, no one is looking for it (at the time of this blog); therefore, it would be a good idea to change your search term.
Once you’ve found your search term, actually search for it! Look at the results. Are the pins related to your search term or are they completely different? Scroll down and you’ll see that Pinterest recommends similar boards based upon your search term. Are those boards also different from your type of content? If so, consider changing your search term.
Another example: let’s say your search term is “lace” and you’re referring to lacefront wigs. As you can see, Pinterest is providing results for dresses and fashion. Sometimes you have to be a little more specific in order to be effective.
Pinterest SEO Test 2: Recommendations
Because Pinterest is looking at the type of content you publish and where you publish it, it has a good idea of what your board or pin is about. Once it figures it out, it recommends it to other users on the platform. It usually takes Pinterest about a day to gather enough information about your board and pin to determine who will benefit from it the most. For this test, I recommend checking back in about 3-7 days to give Pinterest enough time to collect data.
More Ideas – Boards
Go to a board that you’ve created. You’ll see tabs titled “Your Pins” and “More ideas.” Click on “More ideas” and quickly skim the pin graphics. Are they types of content that you would publish to this board? Do the pin graphics include your keywords?
Here’s an example of a board titled “SEO for Beginners” as you can see the “More ideas” tab populated pins that include “SEO” in the title because of how the board is named and in the second row, you can see it includes pins about Google — which is also a search engine. Pretty smart, right?
Note: there are some promoted pins in here (pins 2 and 6), these do not reflect the search results as they are paid advertisements. If you notice they are completed unrelated, don’t be alarmed. They paid for that spot.
More like this – pins
Click on one of your pins. Underneath the pin, you will see the section titled “More like this”. In this section, Pinterest has scanned your image, looked at your title, description and is attempting to recommend other pins that are similar to your pin.
Here’s another example: the title of this pin is “How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing and Amazon (Without a Blog). “As you can, the top pins under “More like this” all have something to do with either affiliate marketing or Amazon affiliates.
If you notice that Pinterest is not providing relevant pins in the “More ideas” tab or under the pin, in the “More like this” section, I’d suggest you go back to re-evaluate your search terms.
Ideas you might love – pins
Just like above (or mentioned earlier), if you click on a pin, Pinterest will recommend similar ideas. Keep scrolling pass the “more like this” and then you will see “ideas you might love.” Once again, Pinterest is using the information from the pin and all of the data from the platform to provide recommendations. Look at the topics in this section, are they relevant to either the board, pin or something that you find of value that is closely related to the topic? If so, great job! If not, that’s ok. Let’s try again.
Pinterest SEO Test 3: Paid Ads
Now for this exercise, you’ll need to break out your laptop or get on your desktop PC. Trust me, it is definitely worth it! With this test, you can see how many searches each keyword or phrase receives each month! Wondering if even one person is looking for the same thing? Well here’s your answer!
Act like you’re creating a Pinterest ad!
You do not need to actually publish and pay for advertising. You can do this strictly for research purposes.
- Click “Ads” Tab (after Pinterest logo and Analytics tab)
- Select “Create Ad”
- On the left side, select “Targeting”
- Scroll down to the “Keywords” section
- Look to the right at the “Extend your reach/search for related keywords” section
- Begin to type your keywords in the search bar
This is also a great way to get ideas if you’re not sure exactly what to say. As you see, I typed in “Chicago” and some ideas are “what to do in Chicago”, “Chicago travel guide”, “where to eat in Chicago”, etc.
1) If you want to master Pinterest SEO, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Are you trying to bring more traffic to your website?
- Who are you trying to target?
- What do you have to offer them?
- How can you solve their problem?
2) Aim for long-tail search terms (3-5 words are fine) – you don’t want to be so broad that you attract the wrong people (look at the lace example above).
3) For more general terms, you can find “interests” in the “Create Ads” tab or you can visit http://www.pinterest.com/topics.
4) If there’s any room for doubt, always run your search terms through the search engine. Some words may be popular in certain communities but that doesn’t mean the definition is widespread.
Not sure what keywords to use in your Pinterest marketing strategy?