Is it a search engine or a social media platform? Why not both? Pinterest certainly has more social elements than sites like Google or Bing, but it’s not exactly the same as Facebook or Instagram.
Regardless of whether it’s a social media platform or a search engine, we know that it can be a big driver of website traffic and e-commerce sales. It’s not the right platform for every brand, but if it’s right for you, you need to learn a little bit more about search engine optimization (SEO).
The Initial Pinterest Setup
Like any social media platform, you first have to make sure you have a business account on Pinterest. It’s free but a business account offers tons of tools and insights that you’ll want to take advantage of.
When setting up your profile, you’ll want to make sure you fill out all the information. The “About” section is one place that you can fill with keywords. Some people also use their username as a place for extra keywords but you can also use it as your business name. For instance we might set our username to “squishypeanutmarketing” instead of just “squishypeanut” to make sure people searching for marketing tips find us. We decided to keep the page as “squishypeanut” for now (we honestly don’t use it much) but we might adjust that in the future.
The Pinterest Tag
If you’re someone who runs ads on Facebook, you might have heard of the Facebook Pixel. Pinterest provides something similar. It’s the Pinterest Tag. Now, this is an article about SEO but having your analytics set up properly can help you tell how your Pinterest is performing. It’s an important step to make sure you know where traffic is coming from.
There are other tools like verifying your site or adding an option for website visitors to save your pages and photos as pins. These will also help drive traffic but we won’t go much into those here.
Do Some Keyword research
Like you would with any SEO undertaking, you need to start with research. The easiest place to start is to simply search on Pinterest and see what comes up.
In this search for “leather bags,” I can already learn a few things. First, I can see a promoted pin. That pin will give me more information about how brands are describing their pins and what keywords they are using. I can also see the various titles of these pins and gather some information about keywords beyond just “leather bag.” Maybe I now want to focus on the keyword “crossbody leather bag” or “leather backpack” to add a bit more description to my pins. This will help me stand out for what people are searching for.
Similarly, when I type in the words “leather bags,” there are some options that come up automatically. This shows me things that are commonly searched and will help you identify some other keywords that you might want to include.
Another way to explore pins related to your business is through the topics. If it’s been a while since you used Pinterest, these have moved. You can go to your profile and from there you can select topics.
There will be a wide variety of topics to choose from. Start looking through ones that are related to your industry. You’ll see what’s being posted, what’s popular, and what words are being used to describe things.
Pinterest is a way for people to organize their thoughts. Perhaps they want to remodel a bathroom so they’ll make a board for bathroom remodeling. As a company, you should think about what types of boards your ideal clients will be making. Then, you can make something similar. When the bathroom remodeler sees a board on your feed called “Bathroom Remodeling Ideas,” they will go straight to it because it will provide what they were looking for.
Keep in mind, that you can also make your boards include more trendy keywords. For instance, “Bathroom Remodeling Ideas Under $500” would appeal to a very specific audience. Don’t be afraid to niche down.
Descriptions Help Pinterest SEO
When you’re posting pins from your website, the description of the pin itself is a key factor in your Pinterest SEO. You get up to 500 characters to play with so feel free to add some details or extra keywords that you didn’t use in your title for the pin.
Like other social media platforms, Pinterest will reward you when people start engaging with your pins. Make sure your current audience knows about your Pinterest account. Provide things that they might like to use as well.
Pinterest is a platform you have to maintain regularly. It’s recommended that you pin between 5-30 times a day. Not all of those pins need to be from your own website though. You can curate things with business partners or companies that you think your audience would also like (so long as they aren’t direct competitors).
Pinterest Can Read Image Text
One new thing that Pinterest introduced is the ability to read the text you put on an image. That means you again have another place for SEO keywords.
Take a look at this pin. While the title includes “closet organization hacks” the image says “closet organization ideas.” Both are potentially key phrases that people might search so this company has decided to include a title on both the image and the pin itself.
Evaluate and Readjust
As with any marketing strategy, but especially with SEO, you should constantly be evaluating how your SEO is doing and readjust based on what you find. Search engines, Pinterest included, update constantly and the tactics you used before might not work forever.
If a pin didn’t go over how you thought, use a new image or change the description. You can always try again to see what will work the way you want it to.