How Pinterest SEO Works:
According to Pinterest, over 150 million people use Pinterest monthly.
There are over 2 billion monthly searches on the website.
However, Pinterest is less like a social network and more like a search engine. The difference is that Pinterest is a visual search engine.
Pinterest is an incredible tool because pins have the longest shelf-life. Unlike an Instagram photo that only gathers engagement for a few hours to a day, pins you upload today could go viral in a months time.
This is because Pinterest uses what is called a Smart Feed. Back in 2014, Pinterest optimised your home feed for the highest-quality pins based on your search queries.
As you can see in the screenshot below, I have to manually click on the ‘following’ tab to see what the people I’m following are posting.
Every person on Pinterest has their own unique smart feed. Most of the pins you see are picked by the smart feed for you.
Instead of a chronological feed, you see a feed based on your search history/interests.
This means that only about 1/3 of the pins you see on your feed are actually from the people you follow.
This works to your advantage. When you utilise Pinterest SEO to leverage your pins, you can access your target audience without needing to gain followers.
I’m going to show you how to use the smart feed so that you appear on your target audience’s feed.
Set Up a Business Account:
It’s vital that you set up a business account (its free) and rich pins. It’s a very quick process and Pinterest shows you how to set up rich pins.
By setting up a business account and rich pins, it allows Pinterest to know you’re a legit account with a verified domain name. This builds trust between you and the smart feed.
Setting up rich pins adds a title to your pins which is vital for your Pinterest SEO.
Optimising your Pinterest Profile for SEO:
Another essential tip is to optimise your profile for your niche.
The goal is that the more targeted everything you do on Pinterest is, the more the search engine knows that you’re the go-to person in your field.
Title: see where mine says “branding & social media” this lets Pinterest know who you are and what you do.
Description: Your description should be optimised in relation to your title. If you work in branding it should be related to that with a CTA.
Link: Make sure you’ve linked to your website.
When’s the optimum time to post?
The head of product marketing at Pinterest (Sarah Hoople Shere) states that the time you pin does not matter.
However, it might matter, according to the audience you have.
Also, your first five pins of that day, according to UTC timezone are given priority in the following tab.
When using Pinterest you need to know what people are searching for. This way, Pinterest knows which searches to show it within.
In your pin description, it’s vital to add your keywords.
Do not use broad keywords like “photography”
Instead use targeted keywords that are more niche. For example:
- Photography tips
- Photography for beginners
- Food photography
How do you find niche keywords that people are searching for?
You can use a couple of methods.
- Pinterest auto-suggest
- Pinterest’s search engine
This shows option for other related searches. For the photography example you’ll see there’s “photography ideas” “poses” “sketchbook” and “tips”.
Once you click on one of these keywords, a list of other options will appear at the top of the page. These will provide you with more specific keywords.
The tiles at the top of a search page will show you what people are searching for within your niche.
For example, when I type ‘photography’ Pinterest gives me the suggestions shown in the screenshot below.
Where do I use the Keyword?
- URL link
Your pin title will be the title of your article.
However, the great thing is that you can create as many graphics for your article as you want! It’s recommended that for each article you have three different graphics.
Therefore, for the actual picture you can play around with power words to attract the right audience and a high click-through rate.
This way you can analyse which headlines/words perform better than others for gaining traffic.
For instance: you could use words like free, now (creates urgency), numbers/stats, must see etc.
Do not just add the title of your article. You can already done this in the title section and if you are doing this you are not leveraging the power of Pinterest descriptions.
This is the section where you can describe what your article is about. You can also add in 5-10 niche keywords into the description.
You can also add a CTA (call-to-action)
Google reads your images through alt-text. Similarly, Pinterest uses a tool called Smart Lens Technology to read your image.
Make sure your image is saved with the keyword within it.
How To Optimise your Pinterest Boards:
I’ve seen really cute boards with cute titles, but unfortunately, they’re damaging to SEO.
If you want your pins to go viral you’re going to have to give your boards specific titles related to a topic.
Keep your most important boards near the top. This section that is visible without scrolling is also called above the fold.
Not only will people see those first, but they’re above the fold, which means you’re not relying on someone scrolling down to see your most important and defining content.
As you can see with my boards I have ‘blog tips’, ‘Instagram marketing’ and ‘Pinterest Marketing’ because these are all related to the key topics I discuss on my website.
You can also have one board where all the pins from your blog are stored.
How to Optimise your Board Descriptions for the Algorithm:
You also need to fill in the board description with some of your focus keywords.
You can use the searches you found previously when you searched for your keyword in this section. However, make sure it’s relevant!
If someone is searching for ‘black and white photography’ how likely are they going to click on your neon images?
Using Hashtags for your Pinterest SEO:
In 2019, hashtags on Pinterest are more important than they’ve been in the past.
However, there’s no need to go and edit your old pins for hashtags because, just like Instagram’s search feature, Pinterest only takes note of the newest hashtags.
Include relevent hashtags in your board and pin descriptions.
Add a Pin It Button to your Website:
If you hover over the image below, you’ll see a red square Pinterest button appears (now that you’re already hovering over it, if it’s not too much trouble, perhaps you could pin it to one of your boards?)
If you use WordPress, you can download any number of plugins. The one that I use is Social warfare.