Pinterest SEO: A Guide for Businesses
70% of people on Pinterest use the social media platform to get inspiration on what to buy. This compares with only 17% of Facebook users who do the same.
Getting your product on this site provides an amazing opportunity to get your products known, loved, shared, and bought. But you need to get found to get noticed.
The search box is one of the most used features on Pinterest. To make sure your account, Pins, and Pinboards are displayed in Pinterest search (and clicked) you need to optimize them for top keywords.
And Pinterest boards are even showing up in search engines like Google. For great social media marketing, that’s an incredible windfall.
Many owners - of large and small organizations - are capitalizing on the opportunity. Are you optimizing your account, pins, and boards?
In this article, I run through 15 Pinterest SEO tips for optimizing your Pinterest account, Pins, and Pinboard.
Pinterest SEO Tip #1: Make Your Pinboards Visible to Search Engines
The first Pinterest SEO tip may seem like an obvious step in search engine optimization, but is important, and that is to make sure you can be found by any search engine!
I really don’t want you to go through all the hard work of these optimization techniques, only to find that you’re not listed in search engine results.
This is a simple fix but check your account settings. In the “Search Privacy”, you will notice that you can hide your Pinterest profile from search engines like Google. As a business - you definitely DO NOT want this feature on since the whole point is for your Pinterest profile to appear in search engine results. Make sure your settings indicate “no”, as in this example:
Pinterest SEO Tip #2: Create a Business Pinterest Account
It might seem like an important Pinterest SEO tip, but if you’re on Pinterest for your business, it’s better to have a Business Pinterest account. The Business accounts were introduced last November, and even though Pinterest admits that right now the features are pretty much the same - there are a few differences.
Your website tends to easier to verify, and you get access to some important recently introduced features like analytics, and rich pins (I’ll talk about these a little later too). My hunch is that with the enormous growth in this site, there will be even more advantages for businesses in the future allowing you to tweak your Pinterest boards for Pinterest SEO.
Pinterest has business accounts that are free, and just as simple to utilize as a personal page. I’d suggest you use them if you’re harnessing the site for anything more than personal.
Pinterest SEO Tip #3: Make Your Business Page Name Optimized
Another seemingly obvious Pinterest SEO tip is to make sure your company is easy to search and easy to find on Pinterest. Include your full business name when you are setting up your account. You also want to claim your name in your Pinterest URL.
If your name has not already been taken (there are a lot of businesses on this electrifyingly social site), grab it. It will optimize your Pinterest a whole lot more.
If you happen to have a very long name, you’ll want to shorten it. The optimal username length is 3-15 characters if you want to be SEO-friendly. If you are shortening your name, make sure it is easy to recognize and type into the search bar.
Pinterest SEO Tip #4: Include Keywords in your “About” Section
Your “About” section can show up in searches and is a great place to optimize your Pinterest with relevant keywords. Use this opportunity wisely. You have a 200 character limit, so be clear, succinct, and include a few relevant keywords.
Check out how Carnival Cruise Lines cleverly words this limited space to convey who they are, what they do, and why a consumer should follow them.
This section uses their name, Pinterest, and one of their main keywords: travel. They even knock it out of the park by including humor, in keeping with their fun brand image.
Also, be sure to include your website. You can include your location too, to help with local search.
Pinterest SEO Tip #5: Verify Your Website
Pinterest allows you to verify or claim your website. This certifies that you are the owner of your website. It’s a simple few steps to get your site verified, and it can help your SEO rankings.
Sites that have been verified show up with checkmarks in the domain search results. This can get you more traffic to your website too.
Pinterest SEO Tip #6: Include Keywords in Board Names
When you are setting up new boards, you can name them based on keywords. Use this opportunity to increase your SERP (search engine results page) ranking.
3% of all Pinterest boards are named “For the Home”, “My Style” and “Products I Love”. These are the default titles Pinterest suggests for you.
If you want to get found on Pinterest, and through other searches, do not use these common board names. You need to be more specific and detailed for each of your particular board names.
See how Sephora uses keyword-rich, original, and specific words in the board titles to distinguish their Pinterest boards, improving their SEO:
Pinterest SEO Tip #7: Use Keywords in Your Board Descriptions
This SEO tip is pretty obvious, but Pinterest gives you the opportunity to add short, keyword-rich board descriptions. Use this chance to include specific, concise, and descriptive keywords for each of your boards.
Tip: When you are using keywords on your Pinterest board, try to think like your consumer! From your view, you may be enwrapped in certain words and ways of thinking. Your consumer likely doesn’t live and breathe your company like you do.
Do keyword research to find out what your target audience is searching for, and using on their own Pinterest pages:
- Using the Pinterest search bar look for businesses and products similar to yours. You’ll be able to extend your descriptive vernacular and connect better with your consumer.
- Another good option for keyword research is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. You’ll be able to gather a bunch of new ideas and terms to use in your descriptive keywords.
Pinterest SEO Tip #8: Keep Your Most Popular Boards “Above the Fold”
You keep your best web content ‘above the fold’ on your website. Do you do the same on Pinterest? Only the top two rows generally show up above the fold on Pinterest. It’s a great way to optimize your pins.
That means users are most likely only going to see your top ten boards - and only the top five will be fully shown.
Make sure you are showing followers your best. Keep your five most popular and populated boards on top.
Additionally, if you’re running a particular marketing campaign, such as a social media contest on Pinterest, keep the Pinterest board for the contest above the fold.
It’s easy to move your categorized pins. Just click the pins on your Pinterest board and move them.
Pinterest SEO Tip #9: Use Keywords in Pin Descriptions
Search engines can only read your ‘alt’ tags in images, so you need to describe your photos well. Pinterest gives you 500 characters to describe each of your uploaded pins.
I’d suggest you keep with the visual appeal of Pinterest and try to get your word descriptors to about half of the maximum space allowed. Some studies have suggested that pins with character counts of 200-300 get the most repins.
While you want to be concise and deliberate with keywords when writing your blurbs, you want to strike a balance, and always have your target audience in mind. You are marketing your products and brand, after all, so use language that’s relatable and relevant to your content.
Don’t neglect the chance to include your keywords and don’t overuse them. Companies that pump their descriptions with “keyword, keyword, keyword” are seen as spam by search engines like Google.
Focus on writing to connect with both your consumers and search results.
Check out how Home Depot uses their SEO opportunity to balance between dialoguing with their customer and still describing their products to be found in searches.
They use the product description of a “portable charcoal grill”. They tell that it is on wheels, and they include relevant search terms like “park”, “camping” and “friend’s house”.
Pinterest SEO Tip #10: Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a major component to being found within the Pinterest site. Hashtags on the site enable you to categorize your pins to engage with the 70 million Pinterest users.
They are also an amazing way to make your pins a lot more searchable within the site.
Include up to three hashtags in a pin post.
With these categorizers, you can get quite granular in your search results potential. Include very specific terms to be found by your exact market niche.
In this example, a homemade craft shop posted a pin about DIY ideas. Their niche market includes pet lovers and DIYers.
They included the hashtags #animallovers and #diypetprojects to better be found by this audience. This one pin has gotten over 141 repins, and 15 likes. Clearly, they are being found.
Pinterest SEO Tip #11: Link Back to Your Site
Always, always, always link your pins back to your site. Pinterest now has a “nofollow” rule (which basically means a repin won’t give you more inbound linking clout in search results), but you should still be linking your products.
That way pinners can always click on your pin and still be directed to your product page. The more hits your site gets, the better you are in search rankings.
Be sure you link to your own site, particularly after it’s been verified by Pinterest. Include the full URL when you are setting up your link. For some reason, Pinterest doesn’t like shortened links like bit.ly.
Additionally, be sure you are linking to the specific product or landing page on your site. This way your repinned pins will be directed exactly where you want them to be in your sales funnel.
Pinterest SEO Tip #12: Add Keywords to Your Image “Alt” Tags
Search engines can’t read images. They read the file names and ‘alt’ tags.
When you are saving your images to upload to Pinterest, use filenames with one or two keyword descriptors. In other words, don’t save an image with the default numbering from your camera.
Change it to reflect what your photo is about. Edit a “09345.jpeg” file name to something like “kidsinsprinkler.jpeg” (if your image is about kids in sprinkers).
Additionally, check your ‘alt’ tags when you are uploading your file to your own website. That way it already had the descriptions if you are pinning directly from your site.
Pinterest SEO Tip #13: Include Prices
Pins with prices get 36% more likes than pins with no prices. When you are pinning products, include your price. You can do this by simply including the price in your description. Or, you can photoshop it onto the image itself.
Pinterest has recently introduced Rich Pins. You need to apply to get this feature. Your website also needs to meet certain requirements. But, once you do have it, one of the benefits is that it automatically crawls your site for prices and availability. It shows your product prices on your pins. And it’s optimized for mobile.
Pinterest SEO Tip #14: Include Pin-it Button on Your Website Pages
The Pin it Button is an essential Pinterest feature. You’ve undoubtedly seen these buttons on numerous sites and pages:
The buttons are very simple to set up: go to the Pin it Button site on Pinterest, and complete the information. You choose the Pin it image you want, submit your URL, paste your image file, and build it. Copy and paste the code onto your website landing pages.
They can be a bit of a pain, as - at the moment - you have to set up a Pin it Button for each page.
Also, include cross-promoting options like a Pinterest tab on your Facebook Page.
Both of these techniques help with SEO, as they promote sharing. In general, the more your pages are shared, the better you rank in search results.
Pinterest SEO Tip #15: Use Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest recently introduced its own analytics! You no longer have to use a third party to determine what pins are generating the most repins, impressions, and clicks.
Get your Pinterest analytics, and use them! Check your dashboard for graphs that are broken down into pins, repins, impressions, and clicks. Tweak your strategies, monitor the changes, and keep improving your reach and SEO.
Can you really call yourself a marketer and not love using free analytic tools? To read more, and to learn how you can better use the tools, check out How Sephora uses Pinterest Analytics to Create Amazing PinBoards (and you can too!).
I hope you found these Pinterest SEO guide useful and that you’ll include them in your Pinterest SEO strategy. Pinterest can be a remarkable platform to market your wares on a global scale. Now that you know how to get your products found, you’ll want to learn more about marketing on Pinterest. Read these articles and resources to add rocket fuel to your pins:
- Top 9 Most Common Pinterest Marketing Mistakes
- How to Use Pinterest to Increase Sales
- [Infographic] Why Pinterest is Good for Business
- Pinterest Contest App
- 25 Creative Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Use Today
What do you think? Do you use Pinterest for marketing? What Pinterest SEO strategy do you follow? Are there any SEO tips you can share?
Wishpond's Facebook Contest Apps make it easy to create sweepstakes, photo contests, Instagram hashtag contests & more.