If you want to increase the visibility of content on any search engine, you have to optimize it. With social media, it is no different. Instead of just optimizing for Google search, you are optimizing for social search algorithms as well. In this post, we’re going to teach you how search optimization works and how it can be applied to your Pinterest profile to 10x your traffic.
An Overview of Pinterest’s Search Marketing
Like most businesses that generate revenue online, Pinterest relies on search engines likes Google to send traffic to their website. According to SimilarWeb, almost 40% of their traffic comes from organic (unpaid) search results.
Semrush estimates 399.4 million visitors discover Pinterest in organic search results via 29 million keyword search queries. Some of the top keywords Pinterest ranks for in search include funny memes, aesthetic wallpaper, anime girl, and target.
In the last several months, they have used paid ads through Google targeting over 1,900 keywords.
Moz’s free Domain Analysis Tool gives Pinterest a Domain Authority of 94 with 7.4 million linking domains. In other words, thanks to Pinterest’s strong link profile, they are 94% more likely to outrank competitors in search results.
Pinterest as a Search Engine
According to the Pinterest Newsroom, Pinterest is a visual discovery engine.
“Today, more than 400 million people come to the platform every month to explore and experience more than 240 billion ideas that have been saved.”
Pinterest Seasonal Insights revealed the following behavioral habits of Pinterest users.
- 97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded.
- 98% of Pinners have tried new things they discovered on Pinterest.
- 83% of Pinners made a purchase after seeing a brand’s content on Pinterest.
Businesses can find popular search terms with the Pinterest Business Trends tool. While it doesn’t give estimated search volumes and other technical details, it does let you know what terms are trending in popularity in the US, UK, and Canada.
In addition, Pinterest’s publishes the Top 100 trends and annual predictions for upcoming trends. Altogether, these tools assist Pinterest marketers in creating campaigns Pinners search for, save, and re-pin.
Like Google, Pinterest has an algorithm that organizes how content is displayed throughout the site. This includes Pinterest search results, the newsfeed when users login, and the newsfeed for posts from accounts the user follows.
Factors that influence the Pinterest algorithm include content quality, recency, and engagement value. Continue reading to learn how these play a role in optimizing your Pinterest content.
On-Site Search Engine Optimization
On-site SEO allows you to make specific changes to your web pages in an effort to boost their rankings in search results. These changes make it easier for search engine crawlers to discover your web pages, fully access them, and analyze what they are about.
To optimize your web pages for search, place your target keyword or keyword phrase in the following areas.
- The Title tag of the page, which often appears in search results as the hyperlinked text for the web page.
- The Meta Description, which often appears as the descriptive text about each link in search results.
- The URL of the page, which appears below the hyperlinked text for the web page.
- In the filename, descriptive ALT text, and Title tag of any images on the page.
On Pinterest, you can control these areas on your own profile, pins, and boards. We will show you how later in the post. But first, you need to identify your target keywords and phrases?
Keyword Research 101
Keyword research is the process by which you discover the search terms most often used by your ideal customers. For example, if your business sells gardening tools, you could enter gardening in the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to discover the most popular terms related to gardening. Or you could try an SEO tool like Semrush for more details about keywords including search volume and 12-month trends.
You will want to keep a list of popular keywords ready, or ask your search marketing team to share their keyword research and top priorities. It will be useful in optimizing your Pinterest profile and content.
Keywords should be categorized for commercial versus informational intent. A Pin of one of your products or services, for example, would be optimized with commercial intent keywords – those searched by users who are interested in making a purchase.
A Pin of an image from a blog post, on the other hand, would be optimized with informational intent keywords. Those are searched by users who are interested in learning about something related to your products or services. The goal isn’t to send a user to a sales page, but rather to demonstrate your expertise in your niche.
To help you organize what keywords to place where, think about their natural hierarchy in user search. A Pinterest user who starts a search for gardening may end up narrowing it down to various styles of gardening: container gardening, raised bed gardening, etc. Once the user understands each style from the informational content provides, they can choose the best fit and begin looking for more information as well as supplies.
Therefore, you have to organize your keyword list based on how users would search, from braid to specific. This will be the structure you use to determine the best keywords and phrases for board topics, board sections, and Pins.
Competitor Research 101
Next, you will want to find your top competitors. On Google, you would search for the keyword or phrase you are targeting to see who ranks on the first page in paid search ads, the local search map, and standard (organic) search results.
On Pinterest, they are the Pinterest users whose profiles and Pins appear at the top of the page when users do the following.
- Search for specific keywords or phrases, like those discovered during keyword research.
- Click on an interest category that includes your target keywords or phrases.
- Visit their newsfeed after engaging with other users and content similar to yours.
To find your competitors, observe the Pinterest accounts that appear at the top of the page for all three of the above activities from your own personal Pinterest. These are your competitors on Pinterest. They will also be your inspiration for optimizing all aspects of your profile and content.
Once you find competitors who are active on Pinterest, read their profiles and look at their content.
- How did they write their profile bio?
- How often do they Pin new content?
- Are their pins original, repins, photos, graphics, videos, or a mixture?
- How do they organize their content?
- What keywords do they use that you missed in your research?
- Which Pins have the most comments?
- What boards have the most followers?
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Account
Now that you know the importance of optimization and why Pinterest is such a powerful search tool, it’s time to talk about how to optimize your Pinterest profile!
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Profile
On social media networks, every profile field and setting is important. But when you look at the formatting of Google search results from Pinterest, you can see what sections of your profile are important.
- The SEO title from your Pinterest profile is constructed with your profile name and username, followed by – Profile | Pinterest. This text is linked to your profile. Example: BorrowLenses (borrowlenses) – Profile | Pinterest
- The Meta Description from your Pinterest profile is constructed with your username, followed by your profile statistics and bio. Example: BorrowLenses – 3.8k Followers, 22 Following, 2357 pins | Online photo & video gear rentals shipped directly to you or available for pick-up at our headquarters.
If you want to increase profile visits from a qualified audience (those likely to buy from you) and convert them into followers, and ultimately customers, here is how to optimize your Pinterest profile to appear at the top of search results for your target keywords and phrases when users search for new accounts to follow.
- If you haven’t already, convert your Pinterest personal account to a business account for access to business analytics, tools, and advertising.
- Use the name and username field on your Pinterest profile for branding so people can find you by name.
Include your top keywords and phrases in your Pinterest profile bio.
- Add and verify your website domain.
- Add your additional social profile links.
- Add a profile photo with a keyword-optimized image by including your top keywords or phrases in the filename of the image.
- Create optimized Boards for the top keywords and phrases you are targeting (learn more about Board optimization next).
- Review your profile’s Privacy settings and make sure your profile is set to be visible to search engines.
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Boards
The title of your Pinterest boards appear in Google search results and are important for your Pinterest SEO in two ways. One, it allows you to add all of your main keywords and phrases to your profile, helping optimize your profile for those keywords and phrases. Two, it helps people find and follow the boards themselves.
Both will help boost the visibility of your Pinterest profile and Pins. Aim to create one board for at least your top 10 keywords and phrases to start. You can also add a keyword-optimized image as your board cover along with keyword-organized sections within your boards.
Next, add optimized Pins to each board.
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Pins
To optimize Pins, include one target keyword or phrase in the Pin’s title, description, destination website URL (https://your site.com/keyword-phrase-included/), image filename, and ALT descriptive text. Be sure to include a keyword-optimized hashtag as well to help you reach more users interested in that topic.
This will help them gain visibility on Pinterest and Google. The following Pin is number one for easy drawings, which receives an estimated 550,000 searches per month.
In addition to the on-site optimization fields, you also have to encourage engagement to impress Pinterest algorithms. The more you post, the more likely you are to post the right content at the right time for the right Pinterest user. One who will save it, repin it, or click through to your website from it.
To ensure you build engagement through consistent posting, create a social media calendar to plan your posts in advance and track your progress. Find out how to add Pinterest to your MeetEdgar account for easier publishing.
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Story Pins
If Pinterest Stories follow the trend of Instagram Stories, you may get to “pin” them to your profile one day as highlights. Think of those as additional keyword optimized posts for the first 24 hours, and a possible benefit to your profile in the future if Pinterest allows longer-lasting Story posts.
When you create a new Pinterest Story Pin, you will get the following fields to optimize with your keywords and phrases.
Be sure to use them all to get the most visibility when Pinterest allows others to discover Creators.
By optimizing your Story Pins, you stand a better chance at being featured to other Pinterest users with similar interests.
How to Optimize Pinterest Pins from Your Website
Want to help other Pinterest users share optimized Pins with your website content on Pinterest? Use a customized Pinterest Save Button for the images on your website content, sales pages, and blog posts.
This button allows you to customize the title and description of the Pin for your website visitors who want to save an image to one of their Pinterest boards. Although the user has the chance to change the text you suggest for these fields before they save the Pin, there’s a strong chance they won’t.
Think of it as a way to help Pins from your website rank well on Pinterest and a way to give your users a better experience by making the pinning process simpler by prefilling the details.
If you’re lucky, the Pinterest user who saved the image from your website will get additional engagement. So much so that they return to pin more content from your website in the hopes that it will also engage their followers. Both you and the person who pinned your image wins!
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Presence with Off-Site SEO Tactics
To further boost your Pinterest presence, consider off-site SEO methods. Acquiring links (a process known as link building) to your Pinterest profile and Pins from external websites could help boost their visibility in Google search results.
Why is this important? When someone searches for your name or business on Google, you want to have pages that you control or are otherwise favorable on the first page of search results. If you can rank your Pinterest profile for your name or business, it can be one of the next things potential customers see about your business, after your website.
Pinterest content often ranks well in Google search results for specific keywords and phrases, as mentioned earlier. If you want your Pins or Boards to appear in search, they could use some external links as well.
The easiest links you can build to your Pinterest is from your website. You can add a link to your Pinterest profile from your website to encourage your website visitors to follow you. Of course, Google doesn’t give much value to sitewide or footer links, so you should also add your Pinterest profile link to your contact or about us page as another way to connect with your business.
As for your Pins, you could create a Pinterest page on your website that shares your top pins with your website visitors. Farmhouse Living and many other sites do this to build larger audiences on Pinterest.
From there, always be on the lookout for opportunities to include a link to your Pinterest profile. If you have other social profiles and listings on local directories, review networks, and professional listing sites, see if there is a section where you can add links to your website and additional social profiles.
For those who write content on other websites (guest posting or blogging), include a link to your Pinterest profile along with your website. If you are invited to be a guest on a podcast, provide expert insight in an interview, speak at a conference, etc., see if you can include a link to your Pinterest profile along with your website in the show notes, in your introduction, or on your speaker page.
Outreach can help you build valuable links as well. See if there is an article with the top Pinterest accounts to follow for a particular interest group, such as the 50 Pinterest Accounts Every Creative Should Follow. If you have high-quality Pins and an e gaged audience, you could email the author of the post to see if they think your Pinterest is a good fit for their audience.
Start by letting the author of the article know you are a fan of their content or that you at least enjoyed the list. Then let the author know why your account would be an excellent addition to the list by sharing a link to your top Pins board or a board that closely matches the article topic. You may be able to score a valuable link to your Pinterest profile and website.
If you apply basic SEO concepts to your Pinterest profile and content, you will be able to grow your reach, following, and results on Pinterest. Publishing high quality, keyword-optimized Pins on a consistent basis will help elevate your presence on Pinterest, Google, and beyond.
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