ipsWith 175 million monthly users, Pinterest has evolved into a lucrative channel for SEO professionals. Revolutionary new features such as Pinterest image search have made this social media platform even more appealing. And yet, for many marketers, Pinterest SEO optimization is still elusive.
Why is Pinterest Different?
“The first thing you should know about Pinterest is that it isn’t a social media site. It’s a search engine.” – persuasion-nation.com
Pinterest differs from other social media channels because it sits apart from standard Google SEO practices. In fact, Pinterest is often regarded as a search engine itself. Every month, 2 billion searches are conducted on the platform, making it an important factor for driving free organic traffic.
This, in turn, means that Pinterest is good for your business. According to e-marketer, two-thirds of the users rely on the Pinterest search engine to look for pins while shopping. In fact, people spend about $59 on average while using Pinterest, which is more than they spend from Twitter or Facebook.
The Pinterest search engine is certainly different from Google, but marketers claim that many of the long-standing SEO strategies can be applied on Pinterest as well. The factors that influence ranking on Pinterest are more associated with social shares than with backlinks. In other words, this social platform requires a development of a unique pinning strategy so that your content gets discovered and shared (repined). Even the term content differs on Pinterest when compared to other social media channels.
But this difference should not be looked at as a downside. Like with any other search engine, you can optimize your content to be easily discovered by users. The fact that Pinterest, besides helping people decide what to buy, is widely used for finding inspiration and ideas, gives plenty of room for SEO creativity.
Figuring out the way Pinterest works, how it ranks search results and how to create suitable content are keys to building a successful Pinterest SEO strategy. Here are 5 tips that will help you along the way.
5 Best Pinterest SEO Practices
1. Create a business account
Before you start optimizing and pinning, let’s go through some simple basics creating a profile and choosing a suitable username.
Sign up for a business account in order to be able to see analytics for your account on the Pinterest Ads Manager. If you have a personal account, you can easily convert it into a business account.
When choosing your username, consider what keywords your audience would use to find you. The username is included in the profile URLs, so it’s wise to make it clear and memorable.
2. Do your keyword research using the Pinterest Image Search
Conducting a thorough keyword research is fundamental because it helps you define the topics for your boards and pins.
Start with the Pinterest search to see how the platform organizes the pins & boards, as well as what shows up first in the results to better understand how it functions overall.
Pinterest also has a guided search which helps users find exactly what they want among the one billion boards and 50 billion pins. Guided search uses the initial query to automatically generate related suggestions. Usually, these suggestions reflect the most popular searches.
Next, explore topics and competitors. Since topics on Pinterest are already divided into categories and subcategories, exploring those relevant to your niche is very easy. By doing this, you’ll get an idea of how your competitors’ strategies and find some inspiration.
Note: Besides desktop search, try the Pinterest mobile version as well. Bearing in mind that 80% users access Pinterest via their tablets and mobiles, you need to be aware of the differences between the mobile search and desktop search.
3. Organize your boards
Once you have your keywords selected and you know who your target audience is, it’s time to start creating, organizing and optimizing boards.
When users visit your profile, they first see your boards and that’s why boards are so important. In addition, boards help improve visibility by letting the Pinterest search engine know how your products are categorized.
Pinterest SEO requires mixing keywords with creativity, i.e. you’ll need to pay attention both to the images and to the titles of the boards.
4. Start pinning
The perfect pin
In order to get popular, your boards have to contain quality pins. So, what does the perfect pin look like? Creativity is individual in each and every campaign but there are certain ‘technical’ rules to follow when creating your pins.
When it comes to Pinterest, image quality is of utmost importance. Users may or may not read the pin description, but they do see the image. Quality means more re-pins and, eventually, better ranking.
What makes a quality image? Ideally, pins should be clear, bright, and colorful (colorful images are three times more popular than monochromatic ones). Longer images are also favored on Pinterest. The ideal proportions are 736px by 2000px. These so-called ‘vertical images’ take up more space in the feed and can include more information. Moreover, they look great on mobiles devices and we already mentioned the importance of Pinterest’s mobile version.
What about pin descriptions? Even though Pinterest is a mainly visual platform, pin descriptions are very important for Pinterest SEO. Write specific, naturally-flowing descriptions that will help users find your pins.
However, descriptions should complement your pins; in other words, don’t just describe the image but try to thoughtfully explain the product benefits. Each of your pins should have a certain purpose and value. It should trigger emotions instead of just sending a commercial message to users.
One more thing – even though the upper character limit is 500, experience has shown that an optimal description should be short and to the point, counting up to about 100 characters.
To hashtag or not to hashtag?
A few years ago, SEO professionals would advise strictly against adding hashtags in the descriptions. The reason for this was that hashtags had no value for search engine ranking and were merely distracting users.
In the meantime, things have changed. Pinterest has introduced a new feature called ‘hashtag feed’. In order to get your content into the relevant hashtag feeds, you need to use relevant hashtags.
However, adding hashtags to your old pins is useless. Hashtag feed is ordered by content freshness so start adding hashtags from today on.
What types of pins perform best on Pinterest?
Research has shown that pins with an overlay text rank better, so make sure to include this using sites like Canva. Canva is also useful to create multi-image pins and mosaics, which allow you to put your creativity to a good use.
Rich pins are also far more effective than regular pins. There are 4 types of rich pins: product, app, article, and recipe, all designed to make users more likely to interact with them by clicking. Since rich pins contain more information directly on the pin, they tend to rank better in search results.
5. Improve engagement
As mentioned before, Pinterest SEO largely depends on shares, i.e. user engagement. To get more re-pins, you need to make your pins and boards more visible. Here are a few tips that will help you achieve that.
Link the Pinterest account to your website and social media
Link your other social media accounts to your Pinterest account. This way, your followers from the other platforms will become aware that you’re active on Pinterest.
Link your website to your Pinterest account. By doing so, you can import content quickly and easily. In addition, this will enable users to access your site in order to pay, thus making the whole process quick and simple.
Don’t forget to add the Save button and Pinterest tag as well. The button allows users to save images from your site to their boards instantly, thus helping you increase your campaigns’ reach, whereas the tag allows you to create ad campaigns, choose your audience scope, and see ad performance reports, among other things.
Finally, make sure to claim your website. Verified sites increase your authority and have priority on search results. This will also get you an access to account analytics, where you can see information on your performance, audience, and pin popularity.
Build a network
Follow boards relevant to your industry and collaborate with Pinterest influencers. Take some time to find and re-pin popular pins in your niche. In addition, pin on group boards and create your own group boards where you can invite people to share their pins. This way, you will be able to build a larger network around your profile.
Be active on a regular basis. Research has shown that pinning between 75 and 100 times a day gives best results. The bare minimum is 5 pins per day. As for the pinning frequency on group boards, the rule of thumb is the more group boards you contribute in, the more often you should pin. If the number of contributors in a board is large, make sure to pin frequently in order to get noticed by users.
Check if you’re on the right track
To see if your Pinterest strategy is going well, use Pinterest analytics. This will tell you how users reached your profile and which pins attracted most traffic. In turn, you’ll be able to upgrade, optimize, or change your content accordingly.
What’s My SEO Score?
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