Pinterest SEO is dead like Pinterest just doesn’t work. You might’ve heard people say this, in fact, maybe you believe it yourself.
But I’m here to tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. With just a little optimization and strategy, Pinterest can be a great way to drive traffic to your site, build an audience and grow your business.
Let’s dive right into how to optimize your Pinterest content. In this article, I’ll be breaking down how Pinterest works and what it wants, how to optimize your account in boards, how to optimize your pins, and common mistakes to avoid.
And be sure to stick around to the end, because I’ll be sharing what to do when you have a pin that falls flat.
Let’s Sart with Understanding How Pinterest SEO Works.
Similar to Google, Pinterest Is a search platform. So they want their users to have an amazing experience.
Just like Google, Pinterest indexes the pin. That means that it goes to the pin, it reads all of the data on the pin, but it also goes to the destination URL to find out what’s there.
They wanna make sure that what’s at the destination matches what’s on the pin. Now, why does Pinterest do this? Well, it’s because they wanna be a trusted source.
They wanna be that number one place that people think, geez, I’m looking for an idea, I’m looking for a solution, I’m gonna go to Pinterest.
Imagine if you went to Pinterest And you clicked on pins and they didn’t go where they said they would, or you clicked on pins and you got to sites that just had a bunch of spammy content or maybe the content was really thin. You wouldn’t wanna go back.
So guess what? That means that optimization is insanely important. Let’s take a look at how all these different parts of Pinterest work together to help the machine of Pinterest SEO to understand what your pin is about.
Imagine that your Pinterest Account is like a store.
If you go into a hardware store, you would expect to find hardware in the store. You wouldn’t expect to turn the corner and find a shelf of apple pies.
In this magical Pinterest store, your boards are your aisles, these are the rows that you go down within the store, and those are organized in a certain way, around a particular topic or theme.
And then your pins are like the items on the shelves themselves. And so all of those things work together to help Pinterest understand what your pin is about.
This is why it’s so important to optimize your account, and that includes your boards, your profile, and your pins.
Optimizing your boards
Now when you first go and create a board, Pinterest lets you just create the board, all you need is the board title.
You’re gonna have to go in afterward and optimize that title with keywords that you’ve researched and add a description.
When you create the board, Pinterest doesn’t give you the option to add the description. So this is something you’re going to have to go in and do after the board has been created.
Next, look at all the content on the board, does all that content fit underneath the topic that the board is about? You wanna make sure that everything makes sense together.
So if we go back to my hardware store analogy, you wouldn’t expect to find bricks in the plumbing aisle.
Now, what happens if you find that you have content on that board that does not fit? There are three options within Pinterest, you can move that content to another board, copy it, or delete it. I recommend that you just move it to the most relevant board.
Optimize Your Pins
The first thing you have to do to do that is keyword research.
The keyword research we do to optimize your pins is the same keyword research you can do to optimize your boards. There are three ways to do keyword research on Pinterest.
The first way is by using the search bar, go up at the top of your screen on Pinterest, click on the search icon, and from there you can type in whatever it is that you are looking for.
Pinterest will auto-fill with suggested keyword combinations in a drop-down menu. Pretty similar to what we experience on Google.
Once you select one of those options, Pinterest will give you three different types of results. The first way is with additional keyword bubbles underneath the search bar.
You can use these additional keywords as suggestions for combinations to put with the term that you searched.
Another type of search result you’ll get is just a screen of pins. And then the third result would be an explore tab and a shop tab.
Where else can you look for keywords? Pinterest rolled out their trends tool, and they’re still building it out, but it’s become more and more robust.
You can use a Pinterest trends tool to see how a keyword has performed over time. And you can compare keywords to one another.
When you type a keyword into Pinterest trends, it will suggest other keywords that are relevant to that main keyword.
You can use this to gain insight into other keywords to use on your pins or to use on subsequent pins that go to the same destination.
But here’s something to keep in mind, the numbers on the graph are comparative, so that means that the peak performance is the peak performance compared to the performance of that own term and compared to other terms in the graph.
So it might be a little difficult for you to get a handle on how many people actually are searching for that term per month. It could be five, it could be 4 million.
So how do you get insights into those numbers? That’s where ads come in. Now you don’t have to be running ads right now to use the Pinterest ads tool.
Click the ads option in the menu at the top of your Pinterest account. Click continue to go to the second screen and from there you can choose the keywords.
This will give you a ballpark volume of how many searches are being done for that keyword per month, and on the upper right-hand side of the screen, you can see the audience size that is searching for that term.
With this keyword research that you’ve done, you’re gonna use those to create engaging titles for your pins and engaging descriptions.
Now here’s one thing to remember, when we’re using keywords, we’re using those to communicate with the machine of Pinterest.
But we also have to write for the human, so we need emotional words, power words, and things like that to help engage them, get their attention, and help them understand what this pin really is about.
Now you have up to 500 characters to describe to users and Pinterest what to expect from this pin.
At the Pinterest creator festival, Pinterest said that they prefer that your description be one to two sentences.
That’s not a lot of room to put a lot of keywords. So you’re gonna need to be creative and succinct in how you communicate what your pin is about. You might have noticed that people are using hashtags in their pin descriptions.
Hashtags used to be clickable and functional on Pinterest, but they don’t work that way anymore.
If you really wanna use them and test their efficacy, then use UTM codes and track your results.
The next element of the pin is probably the one that you’re most excited about, which is the image, right? That’s what we love about Pinterest, it’s a visual search engine.
Pinterest has an AI called Pixie that can actually read your image. What it does is scans the image to try to figure out what it’s about.
We need Pixie to nail it when it comes to our image, but sometimes it doesn’t quite work that way.
What’s appetizing to the human eye isn’t always easily understandable to Pinterest.
For example, I uploaded a slice of lemon meringue pie to Pinterest and it thought it was a Bundt cake. I don’t want that pie going out to people that are looking for cake.
So how can you find out if Pinterest is reading your images correctly before you create the pin? Well, here is an expert tip for you.
Create a secret board, I call mine Test, and you can upload your images to that test board to see how Pinterest reads them.
I like to upload the image before I’ve done any editing, without any additional information, because I want Pinterest to focus just on the image and see what it thinks my pin is about.
Do those images below the pin in the related section match the pin that you uploaded? If they didn’t, then Pinterest Probably didn’t nail it.
I recommend doing this at the time that you’re creating your images, if at all possible. Stop your photoshoot, upload a couple of those images to your secret test board on Pinterest and see what it thinks.
This will help you choose the right images to communicate your message to both the machine of Pinterest and the humans looking for your service.
So you’ve got this beautiful image, now you wanna put some words on it to communicate more about what it’s about.
Use your keywords to communicate what this pin is about, especially if it’s not readily clear from the image itself.
Pick the Right Font
Script fonts can be really difficult to read. So try to focus on SansSerif and really bold fonts. To kick it up a notch on your images, you can add calls to action, arrows, and other things to call out what is special about your pin.
This is gonna help it stand out in the feed. Remember, Pinterest is showing your pin to people who are interested in that idea, but it’s also showing everyone else’s pin about the same idea to those people.
So how is your content special? Use part of your graphics to call that out.
The next element is your URL
This is the destination that you are sending people to. Does your destination URLs content deliver on the promise of the pin? That’s what Pinterest wants to know.
Now you’re probably super excited and ready to optimize your content, build your boards, create pins, but before you get started with that, I have a few mistakes I wanna share with you so you can avoid making these costly errors.
Pinning to the wrong board
The first mistake I see tons of brands make is they put their pins on board that tell Pinterest nothing special about the pin.
And what I mean by this is a best of, our top products, all things my products boards, and you’ve really not given Pinterest all the information it needs to properly categorize and label that pin.
And remember, if Pinterest Doesn’t label the pin correctly, it’s going to tank performance for its whole lifetime.
You might be thinking, well, I don’t really have to write pin descriptions because when I pin from my website, Pinterest just pulls my metadata in.
Meta Data Isn’t Optimized for Pinterest SEO
I see this with a lot of bloggers who use plugins like Yoast SEO, but that meta-description is optimized for Google and not Pinterest, and it doesn’t give you a lot of characters.
Or I see people rely on their shopping cart to pull in all the data from their products. If you’ve ever seen an Etsy pin on Pinterest, and you’ve seen this huge block of ugly text, you know that that is not optimized.
Using Untested Images
Another mistake is not caring how Pinterest reads the image. Put the time in to do that imaging test that we just shared.
Using Irrelevant Images
This mistake is using stock images or images that don’t really convey information about the destination URL.
If you’re going to use stock images, let’s face it, some of us just have to make sure that you’re using the Pinterest lens tool or visual search tool to see other instances where this same stock image has been used on Pinterest.
This will give you a lot of insight into whether or not you should be using that stock image as well.
Creating Generic Pins
The final mistake that I want you to avoid on Pinterest is not calling out what makes your pin, your content, your product extra special.
Remember that when people are looking at your result in the search feed, they’re looking at similar results. You’re competing with all of them.
Make sure that you’re saying what’s the special feature? What’s the transformation? What do I want you to do? Where’s the call to action? Use things like buttons and arrows to really call attention to your pin.
Now, what do you do if you’ve done all of this work and nothing’s working?
Well, I have some good news and some bad news for you.
The bad news is once the pins are on Pinterest, it’s done, editing a pin isn’t going to revive it, Pinterest has already filed it away and labeled it.
The good news is you can learn a lot from what happened with this pin. Typically I don’t look at the pins that performed poorly.
I like to look at the pins that performed well and then try to optimize my next pin based on what has been doing the best for me. And here’s the thing, Pinterest wants fresh pins, they want new images, new ways of presenting those ideas on Pinterest.
So you have lots of opportunities to keep refining the process. Now you might be thinking, geez, I don’t want this low performer on my account.
So first, the only person that can see analytics on pins is you.
Second, pins have an infinite life on Pinterest.
As time goes by, Pinterest is collecting data on user behavior, interaction, et cetera. Pins that are three, four, five years old can take off years later. So resist the temptation to delete pins, it doesn’t help you at all.
Let’s look at some common situations for pins that didn’t perform
Now, this list is not all-inclusive, but it’s gonna give you a jumping-off point for what to do to solve this problem.
High impressions, low save, or clicks.
This can mean that Pinterest didn’t classify your pin correctly. So what do you do? On the next pin, you refine your keyword research, check the image, and start again.
It could also be that your call to action or the promise of the pin is weak against the competition.
Search for the keywords that you’re targeting and compare your pin to the ones that are showing up at the top.
What makes those stand out? Low impressions overall, what’s happening? It might just be that that term doesn’t have a big audience or that no one’s searching for that right now.
You can also examine the boards the pin has been saved to and check if they’re keyword optimized.
Now we just discussed a couple of different analytics situations, but if you wanna go even deeper, check out this playlist where we talk all about Pinterest SEO analytics.
I hope guys get my points on how to optimize Pinterest SEO, if you follow this step comment me if this works for you.