Today, Pinterest is one of the hottest social platforms out there.

Valued at more than $11 billion, Pinterest is home to more than 75 billion ideas and more than 5% of total referral traffic to websites.

As if that weren’t enough, Pinterest’s recent addition of the “rich pin” feature has made it a powerful purchasing platform, as well.

As it stands now, upwards of 2 million people purchase “rich pin” products daily.

As you can imagine, these things make Pinterest a POWERFUL weapon for e-commerce companies.

While there’s no doubt that Pinterest is a valuable platform on its own, brands that want to use it effectively still need to learn to optimize their content for best results.

Here’s your complete guide.

pinterest seo

Pinterest SEO: Why Optimization on the Pinning Platform Matters

While Pinterest offers huge potential for e-commerce companies, it also features the same challenges as any other social media platform: it’s easy to get lost in the fray.

According to some estimates, Pinterest users create roughly 5 million pins per day.

That’s a massive amount of content, and it’s more than enough to drown out anything that’s not high-quality or relevant.

Even content that is high-quality needs optimization to feature as prominently as possible on the platform. Better Pinterest SEO optimization means more views, more interaction and engagement, and, potentially, more sales.

Pinterest is an intensely visual platform, and it stands out as one of the top social channels for visual material. (Stat below from Shareaholic)

[clickToTweet tweet=”Pinterest is the #2 website referral traffic driver #social platform, coming in only behind Facebook. #stats” quote=”Pinterest is the #2 website referral traffic driver #social platform, coming in only behind Facebook. #stats”]

pinterest statistics

As such, brands that know how to optimize their content for Pinterest are in a better position to take advantage of the perks the platform offers, and grow their presence as a result.

How to Optimize Your Blog and Content for Pinterest

Recently, Kissmetrics published a post called “How I Got 1.7 Million Pin Views To My E-Commerce Pinterest Account In 2015.”

The article breaks down how Brian Lang, founder of the Small Business Ideas blog and prominent e-commerce developer, managed to build more than 1 million views and 10,000 followers for his Pinterest account, not to mention ranking in the top two results places for competitive terms.

Intrigued? You should be!

If you want to drive the same results, follow these tips:

1. First, Pin Consistently

Pinning consistently is the basis for all your optimization practices. If you’re not creating consistent content, it’s impossible to optimize it accordingly. And even the best optimization doesn’t count for much if you’re only posting a single pin every three months.

With this in mind, make your first commitment pinning frequently. Not only does this keep your followers engaged, but it provides an optimization boost by upping your long-tail SEO value and views.

While the ideal pinning frequency will depend on your brand and focus, CoSchedule recommends pinning at least 11 times each day, between 2:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. For a healthy mix of original and curated content, 80% of these pins should come directly from your own blog, while 20% should be outside content from third-party sources.

2. Do Your (Keyword) Research

Keyword research is essential in blogging and digital marketing as a whole, so why not Pinterest? Because people search Pinterest using search terms, optimizing your pins with your target head terms and keyword phrases can help ensure your pins pop up where they’re supposed to.

If you’ve already done some keyword research using a tool like Google Keyword Planner, you have a head start. If not, now is the time to begin. To get an idea of which keywords you should be targeting, type your target keywords into the Pinterest search bar.

The head (broad) term “recipes,” for example, renders several suggested long-tail keywords, such as “recipes for dinner” and “recipes with ground beef.”

Each of these terms is one you could target for increased Pinterest visibility.

keyword search pinterest

You can take your keyword research one step further by visiting the pins that show up for these long-tail phrases. Do the boards they’re associated with have lots of followers? Are the keywords popular enough that you could benefit from making an entire board devoted to them?

Remember that on Pinterest, just as in blogging, it’s smart to cluster your content around “topics rather than terms.” In other words, find a keyword phrase you want to target, and cluster content around topics surrounding it. For example, “recipes with ground beef” becomes “Slow-cooker taco meat,” “How to drain ground beef the right way,” and “Ground beef meatloaf with balsamic glaze.”

3. Create Separate Images for Each Blog

If you’re writing blog content, you can optimize it for Pinterest quickly and easily by creating separate images for each post. We do this here at Express Writers. Each blog we upload to our Pinterest profile features a unique image that meets the requirements of the social platform.

Because Pinterest is a highly visual tool, this is non-negotiable. Original and unique images catch more attention and help Pinterest users make a visual distinction between your content and everyone else’s.

If you’re going to create custom images, though, you’ll want to be sure they adhere to size and formatting standards.

According to Canva, the ideal size for a Pinterest graphic is 735PX wide and 1102PX high:

best size for pinterest

Stick to this size for best presentation.

Remember that any custom image you create is just another opportunity for branding. With this in mind, incorporate your company’s color scheme, typeface, and voice to ensure your graphics have your brand written all over them.

4. Target Seasonal Trends

Pinterest is a go-to for seasonal events, costumes, and ideas, and brands in virtually all industries can take advantage of this. Instead of overlooking holidays like Halloween and Christmas, use them to your advantage.

Around these big days, create some seasonal content on your blog and prepare it for Pinterest. Include a fun, seasonal graphic and target holiday-specific keywords, like “Halloween candy recipes” or “Kid’s Easter outfits.”

Brian Lang notes that none of his competition thought to target seasonal trends, which was one of the major factors that allowed him to soar to Pinterest fame.

5. Allow Search Engines to Discover Your Boards

If your boards aren’t visible to search engines, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. Without this little functionality working on your behalf, you can optimize until you’re blue in the face and it still won’t matter. To check whether your boards are discoverable, follow these tips:

  • Head to Account Settings. Click the “profile” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and then the “settings” icon, which looks like a metal nut.
  • Scroll Down to “Search Privacy.” You’ll see a bar that looks like the one below. Be sure the slider is turned to “off.”

Secret board screenshot

  • Check Your Individual Boards. You can also check that your individual boards aren’t hidden from search engines by opening the board, clicking the “Edit” icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and making sure the slider isn’t turned to “Secret,” as pictured below.

Search Privacy PInterest

If you’ve had your boards hidden from search engines, be aware that it may take several weeks for them to start appearing in major SERPs.

6. Make Your Pinterest Account a Business Account

To optimize your pins and boards as much as possible, switch to a Pinterest for Business account. Introduced recently and designed to cater to the needs of e-commerce sites and small business owners, Business Pinterest accounts offer a few key differences from your standard account.

For one, they make analytics and visitation trends easier to view and verify. You also get access to the site’s rich pin feature, which allows customers to purchase a product directly through a pin and is indispensable for e-commerce sites.

Pinterest for Business accounts are free, easy to set up, and easy to use. What’s not to love?

7. Optimize Your Pinterest Name

Instead of going for a kitschy handle when you set up your Pinterest account, use your full business name. Include this business name in your Pinterest URL and throughout your profile, as well. If your company name is long, shorten it a bit. According to Wishpond, the optimal length of a Pinterest username is between 3-15 characters.

Just keep in mind that, if you intend to shorten your username, you’ll want to ensure it’s still easy for your customers to recognize.

8. Incorporate Keywords in Your “About” Page

You’ve done your keyword research and included target phrases in the names of your pins. Now it’s time to take it one step further by adding relevant keywords to your “About” page, as well.

Check out how intimates company ThirdLove has done this on their Pinterest page:

ThirdLove Screenshot

Keep in mind that you don’t have much room in your “About” section, and it’s best to keep it short and sweet, so any keywords you include should blend naturally with your content and provide value to your readers, rather than making your blurb feel unauthentic and plastic.

9. Write Good Descriptions

If you want to optimize your Pinterest presence, don’t skimp on your pins’ descriptions. While many people leave the default description intact on Pins they re-post, it’s essential to add your personal touch (and keywords) to this content.

As such, take the time to write a unique description that adds value to the pin. Tell the user why it matters or how it will help them. When you pin your original content, provide a short blurb about what people can expect to learn from it and how it will improve or enhance their lives.

Be sure to include relevant keywords in each pin description you write, as this will help your pins appear in search results and feature more prominently online.

The Case for Smart Pinterest Optimization

Today, Pinterest is rapidly rising to the top of the social media pyramid. Thanks in large part to its highly visual platform and simplicity, Pinterest has exploded well outside the boundaries of recipes and kid crafts.

Today, companies from General Electric to I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Use the platform, and many small businesses and e-commerce sites have found it indispensable for the success of their operations.

Just because Pinterest has millions of monthly users and a high conversion rate, though, doesn’t mean it’s brainless.

If you want to succeed on the platform, you have to learn to optimize your content accordingly. Not only does this make your material more visible for customers, but it also gives you the tools and experience you need to build a productive Pinterest presence that lasts for years to come, and helps your business grow all the time.

While many marketers believe optimizing their Pinterest presence will be difficult, these eight tips go to show just how simple and intentional it really is. By doing smart things like conducting keyword research, posting frequently, creating original images for each blog, making boards discoverable in the search engines, and adding keywords to your Pinterest name and About section, you can ensure that every blog you post offers the maximum value for your customer, and the maximum visibility for you.


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