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Pinterest SEO: Best Practices & Tips For 2021

Pinterest is one of the biggest social media platforms, with over 300 million active members (yes, that’s more than Twitter), 10 billion Pins published so far and a huge following with women. With all that said, don’t get it confused with its “competitors”.

The platform is much more than a social network site; it’s also a huge search engine, helping people find products and businesses to shop from. If you own a business or have an ecommerce website, Pinterest can be one of the most important sites for driving traffic–and customers–to your website.

In this guide, we’ll discuss all of the tips, best practices and steps to take to boost the number of Pinners visiting your profile and pins. With this, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your website at a much greater rate than you were able to before.

Intro To Pinterest SEO

Pinterest is an image-heavy social network that often gets overlooked by marketers. There are powerful potential SEO benefits if you know how to reap them. If your service or product requires visuals to be effective, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of Pinterest SEO.

SEO on Pinterest incorporates not only your profile but also your pins, descriptions, hashtags and the keywords that you use throughout all of these. In contrast to search engines, your rank on Pinterest is much more influenced by engagement than it is through technical SEO or off-page tactics (e.g. link building and guest posts).

While we’re going to break things down further to give you a better guide on the do’s and don’ts, keep in mind this. Having great, high-quality content is the most important aspect of building your organic visibility on the social platform. Without it, your numbers will never skyrocket.

Pinterest Search & Smart Feed Algorithms Explained

It’s important to fully understand how Pinterest’s search algorithm works before you take any further steps into your Pinterest SEO journey. The engine is very different from those you’ll find on Google, Facebook, Twitter and so on. It is first and foremost a visual search engine.

When you first log in and hit your home Pinterest board, what you’re seeing is your Smart Feed. This home feed is based on your previous search history, as well as general categories of pins you’ve previously saved. This is different from how it used to be before 2014, where you would often see Pins that you’d have no interest in viewing.

Once you decide to start searching on the platform for inspiration, ideas, etc., the search engine will determine what pins to show based on several factors. While the platform has never explicitly laid out what factors it takes into consideration, we’ve found that there are at least four factors that seem to be considered. These are, in no particular order:

    • Domain Quality
    • Pin Quality
    • Pinner Quality
    • Topic Relevance

For each ranking factor, we’ll break them down as well as provide any insightful tips or best practices that you should be putting in place.

Domain Quality: Tips & Best Practices

Like other search engines (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), the quality of your website/domain has some effect on your ability to pull up organically through Pinterest. This will primarily be driven by the engagement on your pin activity.

Some additional ways you can further improve this is by making a business account and claiming your domain through your account. Claiming your website will allow you to first and foremost let Pinterest users access your site from your profile.

Along with that, you’ll receive analytical data on the Pins that are on your site through Pinterest Analytics. You’ll also be able to pull in your Pinterest profile picture to all of those Pins. You can enable Rich Pins once you claim your site too. What that does is pull more information into your Pins to create a better user experience.

Once you have all of those things in place, it’s important to take a look at your published Pins, and what you can do to improve your output.

Pin Quality: Tips & Best Practices

Pin quality is affected by the popularity and engagement of your Pins. The more Pinterest sees users interacting with your pin (saves, repins, click through to the site), the more favorably the algorithm will favor your images. With that said, there are several best practices you should be utilizing in order to generate great engagement on your Pins.

    • Use High-Quality Pins: 1,000 x 1,500-pixel image size at minimum
    • Utilize Tall Images: 2:3 Aspect Ratio
    • Text Overlay: Use them creatively to convey necessary information
    • Logo: Make sure you incorporate with every published Pin
    • Pin Descriptions: Add your website URL, as well as keyword-rich descriptions

These are the main ways you can help influence the amount of engagement you receive from your Pins on the platform. If you’re a blogger or have a blog on your site (whether that be ecommerce or not), make sure you’re creating a captivating title that’s encouraging users to go off-site to yours.

Of course, you should be continuously keeping track of your Pins’ activity. Don’t publish 10 Pins with the same type of layout/imagery if the first one you published didn’t garner much engagement. The more new content you publish, the better you’ll get at understanding what’s going to provide your business the most traffic and conversions.

Pinner Quality: Tips & Best Practices

For this, Pinterest is calculating your level of engagement on their platform and evaluating you based on that calculation. It isn’t enough to create and publish great Pins – you have to be actively engaged with Pinterest in order to be seen more often.

Take a look at how often you pin, what you repin (if you currently do so) and what you save as well. Make sure that your publishing schedule is consistent and regular. We typically recommend that users post around 15-25 times a day. While the best times to post on Pinterest are between 8-11 pm and 2-4 am, you’ll likely want to post at a more staggered interval throughout the day to maintain consistency.

To go along with this, you should be creating new pins all the time. To help alleviate this workload, we recommend either using a handful of templates that you can pull from to create or hire an experienced social media agency to ensure your Pins never get stale and boring with your audience.

Make sure that you’re not just focusing on your Pins either – save other profiles’ Pins to relevant boards that you’ve created. Like we said earlier, it’s not enough to just publish your own Pins, you have to be actively engaged as well.

Topic Relevance (Pinterest Keywords): Tips & Best Practices

The final SEO tips we have on Pinterest are going to revolve around topic relevance, or what you’ll commonly refer to as keyword research.

Pinterest is entirely focused on providing a good search experience for the end-user. That means it’s going to show people what they’re most likely to engage in and what’s relevant to their search query.

Conduct keyword research by searching actual queries your customers are likely to search for. To give an example, let’s say that you’re a business that sells Tuxedo rentals online. The first keyword your target audience is likely to search is “Tuxedo ideas”. Once you enter that query, you’re going to see several bubbles below the search bar – these are related searches that other people searched for when they looked up “Tuxedo ideas”

Make sure you take note of these terms and you also take note of what Pins pull up for those terms. What colors are they using? How are the images laid out? Is there a template that you could create from the Pins you’re seeing? Make sure you’re also looking into the Pin descriptions for additional keywords that these profiles might be targeting.

Don’t just stop there either – if you find a competitor that’s consistently showing up for searches that you want to pull up for, check out what they’re doing. What type of content is garnering them saves, repins and shares? Make sure your board names and board descriptions align with any relevant keywords you’re finding as well.

All of this may take time to fully research, but once you do this you’ll have a much better understanding of what it’s going to take to make sure your brand gets high organic visibility on the search results.

Takeaways: PINning Is Your SEO Strategy – Start Thinking Visually!

To summarise; Pinterest is a search engine unlike any other. While there are some characteristics of it that can be translated from Google, Facebook, etc., its visual-centric nature requires you to think about it differently.

Make sure your Pinterest search engine optimization encompasses more than just your published Pins. It takes optimizing your website, profile and Pins (along with engaging with other posts on the platform) to be able to show up on the organic search results.

For marketing heads at businesses or business owners themselves that don’t have the time to dedicate to a Pinterest marketing strategy – fear not. Our team of experts ranges from social media to SEO. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation where we can discuss your goals and more.