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Flashlight for Pinterest – Visual Discovery on Steroids

Flashlight for Pinterest. This tool is visual search and discovery on steroids. Find out what the pros and cons are of using it for your business. Article by Vincent Ng of

This is truly exciting! When I heard what Pinterest was working on, I ran up to my wife and showed her. She thought it was the coolest thing to hit the world of Pinterest. This is how I felt when I discovered the new tool, Flashlight by Pinterest.


Back in February of 2015, Pinterest quietly announced at a conference that they were working on a new visual discovery tool called Flashlight, which I believe is still in the alpha stages of testing.

In my opinion this will change the way that Pinterest works and the world of visual search discovery.

What is Flashlight for Pinterest? 

Flashlight is a tool that allows you to drag your mouse over an object or area of  a pin and allow you to find pins that contain a similar object.

You can see the “Search Image ” button at the top. When clicked on, you will be presented with a selection tool as you will see in the picture below. The pictures bit blurry because it was taken off a YouTube video.

You’ll also notice near the bottom of the picture that the flowers have been highlighted. Once you select this area of the pin, real time results will show up on the right hand side of the pin that shows similar pins of that object.

Flashlight for Pinterest. Image and object based

Flashlight for Pinterest. This is visual search and discovery on steroids. Article found on MCNG by Vincent Ng

With Flashlight you’re able to choose the object and then Pinterest will provide similar results on the side so that you’re better able to discover similar or the same product and hopefully find the source of the product.

This Will Change the World of Visual Search and Discovery

Back in August of 2013, I wrote about why Pinterest was a better search engine that Google, and this is what I wrote as my first headline for the article “Pinterest is Grooming to be a Visual Recognition Search Engine.”

I have long advocated in my book that businesses actually need to observe the type of colors, shapes, and objects that are within popular pins of their competitors to help them be found in Pinerest search results and related pins.

With Flashlight quietly being worked on by Pinterest, there’s no doubt that this will change the way that search and discovery is done on Pinterest and the world of social media.

It’s time for businesses to start paying attention, not just to text based SEO (search engine optimization) for the Pinterest search engine, but to VSEO (visual search engine optimization) for their Pinterest marketing. This is why it’s important to ensure that you have a team member that understands how the Pinterest Search Engine works as a whole.

This means that you need to pay attention to creating images that are visually stunning on Pinterest, but also taking visual elements from the most popular pins on Pinterest to help your pins become more easily discovered and if you want to increase your chances of your pins showing up in Pinterest search results.

How this Changes the World of Business

The Good

Let’s say that you happen to see a pin that shows off a living room. You notice that in the living room there are these round little speakers, but you’re not too sure what they are, and they’re not mentioned in the pin description at all.

The worst part is that when you do click on the pin, you go to a website that’s irrelevant. Maybe because it lands on page about TVs.

Orb Audio

With Flahslight you can choose the speakers, and can find similar pins, and hopefully this will help you find the product page you’re looking for.

This can be great for businesses that have unique products that have a specific design that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Bad

For businesses, this can also mean bad news because people may actually discover your competitors. Savvy shoppers may find similar styles, colors of products that they like even better.

If you happen to be the owner of an e-commerce space, and you source your products from the same wholesaler as someone else, then this can provide some pretty stiff competition.

How You Can Prepare for Flashlight for Pinterest

I believe that Flashlight will become a reality. Pinterest rarely announces something to the public if they aren’t serious about it.

To prepare for the launch of Flashlight for your business, especially one that’s object based like electronics, purses, jackets, and cups, you need to start uploading a variety of product shots that are up close, and a variety of product placement shots in different environments.

This way when people do Flashlight your products within envrionments shots, they are able to see the close up object pins on Pinterest.

If you’re interested in learning more about Flashlight, you can check out this video, and make sure you sign up for my newsletter for great tips on Pinterest.


7 Costly Mistakes Businesses Make on Pinterest (P2P Episode 16)

@scalablesocial shares with us 7 costly mistakes that  businesses make on Pinterest, and find out how to use Pinterest to generate more leads quickly.

Welcome to episode 16 of the Pictures to Profits Podcast, in this podcast I’ll be interviewing Alisa Meredith, and she’s going to be sharing with us 7 costly mistakes that business make on Pinterest.

Alisa Meredith is the senior inboud marketer at Scalable Social Media, and is the Pinterest Fanatic at OverGo Studio, and she’s big fan of Canva, and is in love with Pinterest. The podcast is based on her article 10 Reasons You’re Missing the Boat with Pinterest.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 1: Too Much About Your Business

Making your Pinterest page all about your business. While this might seem like a good idea, it’s important to be able to have a Pinterest page that shares other pinners content. By sharing content that’s a resource to your audience, you’re able to gain more followers and become a valuable resource to your audience.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 2: Your Business is Getting TOO Personal

Don’t get TOO personal. When you’re a business it’s important to remember that you are a business. You want to ensure you’re not posting pins that may offend your audience, or may confuse about how certain pins are related to the business.

If you are representing a business, and you want to pin more personal topics like recipes and home ideas (and these are not your business) then start a personal account for yourself and go nuts.

Alisa states that if you are a solopreneur, then it’s okay to mix who you are with what your business is about as this can help show off more of your personality.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 3: Not Taking Care of Basic Housekeeping

It’s important to take care of the basics when it comes to your Pinterest marketing. This means ensuring that you’ve

Costly Pinterest Mistake #4: Overlooking What’s Needed for Your Business Account

Alisa also talks about overlooking the obvious when it comes to Pinterest marketing. This means that you need to verify your account and switching it over to a business account so you’ll have access to the New Pinterest analytics.

This also means taking the time to fill out your Pinterest profile, and to fill in  your board descriptions.

The new analytics from Pinterest provides wonderful data about how your Pinterest profile is doing, what the gender breakdown of your users are, and the top performing pins that are generating traffic to your site.

Also ensure that you fill out your Pinterest profile fully. People want to know who you are.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 5: Why Won’t You Let me Pin From Your Website?

This is when businesses don’t invite great pinning. A business needs to make it as easy as possible for people to pin from their website, this means having a pin it button on your website, and to ensure that your business also has a pinnable image.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 6: Ignoring Pinterest for Lead Generation

A big mistake that businesses make is to assume that Pinterest is not good for lead generation. She shares with us how Pinterest became the number one lead generator for her client by doing the following:

  • Used a variety of images as pins to lure leads to a landing page
  • Posting the pins on a variety of relevant boards and different times
  • Using group boards to help raise the exposure of the pins
  • Created different pins that focused on a different topics (eg. If there was a book about 7 smoothie recipes, she would create a different pin for each recipe.

Costly Pinterest Mistake #7: Using Boring Alt Text for Your Images

This mistake can easily be overlooked if you’re not careful and that’s not having a pinnable description in the alt text.

This is because for most pin it buttons, the alt text is used as the default description in the pin. Alisa suggests that you add the following for your alt descriptions

  • A great pinnable description that will make people either share, or click on the pin
  • Your Pinterst username such as @scalablesocial (this is what comes after, and the username is case sensitive).
  • Including your website, or a specific url you want to redirect people to.

Alisa Meredith

Links and Resources

10 Reasons You’re Missing the Boat with Pinterest

Alisa Meredith’s Twitter Account 

Manly Pinterest Tips (To Pin or Not to Pin)

Scalable Social Media

Scalable Social Media On Pinterest

OverGo Studio on Pinterest
hear us on Stitcher

Pictures to Profits on Itunes

Also, reviews on iTunes are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.

Popular Pictures to Profits Podcast Episodes:

5 Tips For Getting Your Pins Found in Pinterest Search Results
How to use Pinterest to Launch Your Etsy Business
How to Gain 28,000 Followers and Drive Traffic with Pinterest

The Pinterest SEO Checklist: 5 Essential Items to Maximize Your Organic Visibility

Find out the five essential items to maximize your organic visibility. Article written by Adam Bullock of MKG Media Group. pinterest-seo-checklist-5-essential-items-maximize-organic-visibility

Big thank you to Adam Bullock, Content Strategy Expert at  MKG Media Group, for this wonderful article. Read on to get your SEO Pinterest checklist.


Chances are you’ve taken the plunge into the beautiful visual world that is Pinterest. You’re not alone – (roughly) 69,999,999 other people have. Pinterest has shifted from “that one social network with boards” to a creative way to engage fans for brands and companies. As the world has shifted more towards visual media (just see recent interface updates from Twitter and Facebook), it only plays into Pinterest’s core strength of being highly visual.

It seems as if Pinterest is popping up more frequently in search result pages, which means it’s an incredible opportunity to capture another result for your company’s highly valued keyword! If you already own a highly coveted organic result, a Pinterest result only boosts your presence on a SERP. And if you’re having trouble having your website rank for a keyword, optimizing a Pinterest account or board can be just the ticket to breaking onto that first page!

So how do you optimize a Pinterest account for organic rankings?

Read on for the Pinterest SEO Checklist – five essential items to maximize your organic visibility (and, if you’re lucky, a bonus item or two!).

1) Board Name

It’s easy to create a wacky board name. Or a punny board name. But your board name is essentially a title tag. It’s that important! The keyword you’re looking to rank for needs to be in the title of the board and it needs to be at the beginning of the title.

Looking for a quick SEO win?

Find a long-tail keyword with not much competition and shoot for it.

Let’s say you own a boat company. And your boat company specializes in boat repair. Find a long-tail keyword with some traffic and go get that traffic!

Affordable Boat Repair: Fixing One Hull of a Problem

I like puns.

2) Board Description

If the board name is essentially a title tag, the board description is, you guessed it, essentially a description tag. It needs to be full of keyword-rich copy. Also, this bit of text will show up as the “flavor” text in the results on a SERP page, so include some kind of call to action. A good description using the board example above:

Pictures of our projects: affordable boat repair has never looked so good! McGill’s Boat Repair: we’ll repair your boat and get it back on the water in no time! Seas the day!

I have a pun problem.

3) Verify Your Website

Verifying your website with Pinterest gives you a little check mark next to your name in search results by pinner.

How to SEO Your Pinterest Account by Adam Bullock

This helps stand-out in search results,and it adds an extra layer of trust.

In addition, it gives you access to Pinterest Analytics. This gives you killer information like which pins of yours are getting the most repins (aka your model of which all future pins should be using), which pins are providing the most clicks (the next model all future pins should be using) and more.

Google Analytics is essential for your website. Pinterest Analytics is essential for your Pinterest account.

4) Use Keywords for Image Alt Tags

SEO professionals know that alt tags for images are prime spots for keywords. SEO professionals who know how Pinterest work PREACH about keywords for alt tags, and here’s why:

When somebody pins that page, Pinterest automatically places the alt tag as a pin’s description.

This is further linking your website with a specific keyword, which is a good thing!

5) Perform Pinterest Category Research

Like keyword research for SEO, you should be performing Pinterest category research. And not just category research, I like to start typing in keywords to see what Pinterest is going to suggest to its users to search.

Using the Search Box on Pinterest can help you find keywords

Because, when it comes down to it, you should be adding relevant pins and boards where Pinterest is funneling searchers.

And there you have it! Five essential items for maxi-

But Wait There's More

Bonus! 6) 200 Words is a Pin Description’s Sweet Spot

Dan Zarrella, social media scientist, performed analysis on 11,000 different pins and found that 200 characters is a sweet spot for pin descriptions. His post is one you should not miss!

Bonus! 7) Always Link Back to Your Site Whenever Possible

Before any SEO pros remind me that Pinterest is nofollow, yes, I understand that. But that doesn’t mean you should use link shorteners like or! Always link back to your site. Link shorteners can sometimes look spammy and nobody wants that. With a clean URL structure to a legitimate website, your links will get clicks and Google will like that. Always link back to your site whenever you can.

Pinterest SEO Checklist

Board Name with Keyword in Title
Keyword-Rich Board Description
Website is Verified
Your Website has Keywords for All Image Alt-Tags
You’ve Performed Pinterest Category Research
Your Pins have 200-Word Descriptions
Links to Your Site are Everywhere and Not Shortened

To recap: Pinterest is an awesome social network. It gives organizations a unique platform to engage and connect with their audience, especially with the right Pinterest strategy for business in place. In order to maximize the organic visibility at the same time, make sure each box is checked from the above Pinterest SEO Checklist.

AdamAdam Bullock is the Content Strategy Expert for MKG Media Group, a nimble digital ad agency out of San Francisco, California. When he’s not helping MKG clients amplify their awesomeness, he’s on Twitter at @OriginalAdMan rambling about Vancouver Canucks hockey or marketing.

5 Tips for Getting Your Pins Found in Search Results (P2P Episode 8)

Pinterest is becoming one of the world’s leading search engines. While people are using Google to help search for knowledge, people are using Pinterest to search for lifestyle choices. They use Pinterest to find new recipes, new exciting places to travel, and products that delight and wonder at the same time. Pinterest isn’t just a visual discovery tool, it is THE visual discovery tool.

5 Tips for Getting Your Pins Found in Pinterest by Vincent Ng.


Learn How to Get Your Pins Found In Search Results

And while many people discover inspirational pins by accident, many users use the search box within Pinterest to look for those inspirational pins. Learning what it takes to have your pins show up for those search terms or keywords are vital, it’s similar to showing up on the first page of Google. The one thing I love about Pinterest is that their their search results change more often than Google’s search results.

And when executed properly, there’s the potential for multiple pins to show up in search results for keywords and search terms.  In episode 8 of Pictures to Profits Podcast, I present 5 tips to help you get your pins found within Pinterest’s search results.

In episode 8 of Pictures to Profits Podcast I talk about…

  • 5 tips to help your pins get found in search results for Pinterest.
  • Whether single or pluralist keywords play a role in Pinterest’s search engine.
  • How pins that use no keywords can still show up in search results for Pinterest.
  • How Twitter is taking a back seat to Pinterest in the U.S. and how you can prepare for this shift.

Links and Resources:

The Manly Show by Jeff Sieh on YouTube

Rich Pins for Pinterest

Rich Pin Validator

Pinterest passing Twitter in popularity by Forbes. 


Pictures to Profits on Itunes

hear us on Stitcher

Also, reviews on iTunes  are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.

Some great news. I’ll be launching my own online Pinterest course that you’ll be able to take whenever you want. Thinkific and I are working together to provide an on demand Pinterest course that’s for small business in the next couple of months.

In the course I’ll teach you how to use Pinterest to help drive traffic to your business’ website, how to generate more e-mail sign ups, and the most up to date and best tricks for getting your pins found within Pinterest’s search engine.

I’ll keep you posted when all of that launches.

How Two Great Canadian Retailers are Using Pinterest

How to Great Canadian Retailers are Using Pinterest for their business. By Vincent Ng of To help celebrate Canada Day, I decided to take a look at two Canadian companies and how they’re using Pinterest.

Let’s start off with Lululemon. Lululemon is a famous for making yoga clothing around the world.  Lululemon actually started in my home town of Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver has actually been labelled as the third worst dressed city in the world, and that’s partially because Lululemon wear is so popular among the locals.

Lululemon’s Pinterest page has over 1.9 million followers, and people love the brand. The brand doesn’t pin that much, it actually only has about 2,200 pins, so the brand has a loyal community of following. The ability to develop a strong community and prescence can help boost the number followers your business has.

What Lululemon Does Amazingly well with Their Pinterest Page.

1) Create an Amazing Blog Like Lululemon

Most people may not see blogging as directly related to Pinterest, but it does have a big influence in the way that your website is found.

Lululemon creates amazing blog content that they find are relevant to their audience. They cover blog topics like, Five Reasons Why You Need Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Pantry, or Five Dry Shampoos For Sweaty Lifestyles.  Being a resource to your customers and potential buyers is vitally important.

Lululemon's Sweat Deodorant Blog Post

I find that too many companies focus on their products and services but neglecting to be able to provide great education to gain a person’s trust. When you’re able to create great blogging content, you’re also creating great pinnable content. But that means you have to create great pins.

2)Lululemon creates Customized Pins for their Blog Posts (Sometimes)

It’s quite interesting to note that Lululemon did a great job in creating customized images for Pinterest for two of their blog posts. These pictures were long and would pop up in the Pinterest newsfeed. I believe one of the main reasons that both those pins were repinned tremendously more than the other was because of how the pins stood out.

They were a bigger size, and did not use small horizontal pictures. However when Lululemon started using horizontal pictures, they still received repins, but I noticed that blog post pins that used predominantly horizontal images were shared around 200 plus times, compared to the vertical ones that had been repinned 500+ and 1900+ times.

How does Lululemon Use Pinterest/Horizontal Images for Lululemon

3) Lululemon Created a Lifestyle Pinterest Account, not a Lululemon Account.

It’s hard to describe how cohesive the Lululemon Pinterest board is. It’s a feeling that you know when a company has got it right. I find what I love about Lululemon’s Pinterest board is that they know who their ideal customer is and they cater their pins to that person. They do a healthy job of promoting products (without over promoting) and they share content from other pinners or sources.

They create boards about healthy foods, places to travel, and healthy exercises to do (that aren’t always yoga related). They share beautiful pins of people doing yoga poses and they rarely show only product shots. Instead, they show people using their products which adds a nice cohesiveness to their board and pin layouts.

What impresses me most about Lululemon, and is probably the X-factor when it comes to their Pinterest account is that fact that they are using Pinterest to promote a lifestyle. It’s about staying healthy, about being motivated and inspired, being trendy and travelling the world.  They’ve created a lifestyle account, not a Lululemon account. That’s pretty smart.

Welcome To Roots Canada – Former Provider of Olympic Clothing for the Canadian and U.S. Teams

Another well known retailer in Canada is Roots.  Roots creates athletic wear and leather goods. The truth is you may not have heard of Roots, but you most likely have seen their clothing.

One of Roots’ claim to fame is that they have designed clothing for the Canadian Olympic Team, and, yes, for the United States Olympic Team as well.  The company no longer designs Olympic clothing for political reasons. What is it that I really enjoy about their Pinterest account?

1) Creative Use of Canadian Passion

Kiss Me I'm Canadian Shirt

The company maintains their strong Canadian identity. I like their Oh Canada board very much. The board not only shows off some of their Canadian wear, but also shows off beautiful places in Canada. I think people who follow that board will have a particular passion for my country, and so when they post their Canadian clothing up, it draws in the right audience.

2) Cross Promote What’s Hot on Facebook onto Pinterest

Here was an amazingly cute photo showing a baby wearing a Roots hoodies. It’s absolutely adorable, and I’m not the only other person to think so. It was liked 501 times and shared 18 times on Facebook, but wasn’t shared on Pinterest.

Here was an amazingly cute photo showing a baby wearing a Roots hoodie. It’s absolutely adorable, and I’m not the only other person to think so. It was liked 501 times and shared 18 times.

Roots Facebook post showing off cute hoodie.

This type of photo received great feedback on Facebook, and should be on their Pinterest board, Roots for Kids. If people love it on Facebook, there’s a good chance that they’re also going to love it on Pinterest as well.

So make sure you’re not shy about cross promoting different visuals on your different platforms.

Lululemon and Roots should Add Rich Pins for Products To their Pinterest Page

When you have rich pins for business, it allows those pins to show up in the Gifts section of the Pinterest  . Non rich pins won’t qualify, so that’s an opportunity that’s missed.

I was a little sad to see that both Roots Canada and Lululemon didn’t have rich pins for their business. When you have rich pins for business it allows you to show up in the Gifts section of Pinterest. Non rich pins won’t qualify, so that’s an opportunity that’s missed.

Here’s the great thing about Product rich pins, when the price drops by at least 10% then people who have pinned the item may receive an e-mail notification regarding the price drop for the item. Isn’t it great that Pinterest does e-mail marketing for you?

Rich product pins also have bolded texts on the desktop version of Pinterest, which helps them stand out in the newfeed. Giving rich pins that extra edget compared to non rich pins.

That’s my two cents on two large and wonderful Canadian retailers.

And before I go, here are three Canadians that invented something that changed the world.

1) Basketball was invented by a Canadian. James Naismith.

2) The zipper was invented by Gideon Sunbeck.

3) Telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

To all my Canadian friends, happy Canada Day!


How Businesses Can Use Guided Search On Pinterest

How Businesses can Use Guided Search on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of

It seems like there isn’t a month that doesn’t go by where Pinterest doesn’t add a new feature, or tests out one. So after taking a vacation in Paris and Barcelona, and returning a week and half later, I wasn’t surprised to hear that there was a major update with Pinterest.

As a side note, I would like to happily announce that the main reason I was in Paris was to propose to the love of my life. I am now engaged to an amazing woman who I plan to spend the rest of my life with…but back to business.

After returning from my trip, I had a chat with Cynthia Sanchez from Oh So Pinteresting , and she informed me that Pinterest introduced a new search feature known as Guided Search, which is currently available on mobile to English users to start, but will be rolled out to desktop users and will most likely rolled out in other languages as well.

Guided Search On Pinterest - What this Means for Your Business

What is Guided Search on Pinterest?

Guided Search is a search function on Pinterest that offers additional recommendations that may or may not be related to a search term. These additional recommendations are based on popular and associated terms with the search term you typed in the Pinterest search box.

For example, on my Android smartphone I decided to type in the city, Vancouver. Other terms that were popular and associated with Vancouver on Pinterest, showed up. Search terms such as Canucks, Island, BC, Stanley Park, Cafe, Restaurant and so many more showed up.

How to make the Most of Guided Search on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of #Pintalysis

Another search term that was recommended that were associated with Vancouver was wedding. All you need to do is tap on the search term tile, and then Pinerest begins to load new pin results based on those combined search terms.

What I enjoy about using Guided Search is that it gives me more options for different types of searches, and offers a spontaneity factor when it comes to search. Adding that extra “unknown” factor can actually make search, dare I say, fun.

What will be interest to see is how the terms will change over time. As more Pinterest users jump aboard, the search terms provided by Guided Search will change as well. And of course, depending on the country and language Pinterest is being used in, Guided Search will bring back different results.

In the past I’ve called Pinterest the, “Accidental Discovery Engine” because users are discovering new ideas and pins by accident all the time. With Guided Search, accidental discoveries are going to be even more prevalent.

Pinterest is the Accidental Discovery Engine

I never thought of Pinterest as a search engine per se, but more as a lifestyle and discovery tool. I’ve written about 5 reasons why Pinterest is better than Google and why.

One of the main benefits that Pinterest has over Google is Pinterest’s ability to act as an accidental discovery search engine. When you go to Google, you’re going their with a specific intent, most likely to gain knowledge or collect knowledge to make an informed decision.

But with Pinterest, people discover pins and are presented a visual feast with a site that now has 30 billion pins, and growing by the billions each and every month.

You can type in the word pancakes in Pinterest search box and you get hundreds of pins about pancakes. You may have been so enamoured with the results that you may have forget what you were secretly, and unknowingly looking for.

But Guided Search suggests to us “what we don’t know” so that we do become aware of what we may want.

When I searched up pancakes, Guided Search suggested the words buttermilk, and fluffy. I love buttermilk pancakes, and love fluffy and light pancakes. But I didn’t know that that’s what I was looking for until Pinterest suggested the search term to me.

I landed on that suggestion and pins about fluffy pancakes by accident, simply by typing the word pancakes in Guided Search. And to me this was a GREAT accident. And the terms that are not relevant to me, such as healthy pancakes, well…I don’t click on them.

This means that more and more business pins are going to be discovered serendipitously. And since Guided search allows for more specific terms, this means that it’s going to be a more specific audience that’s interested in those pins. Guided Search is working hard on helping your business find the right customers, you just have to ensure you’re taking steps to do the same.

How to Make the Most of Guided Search for Your Business

The good news is that I believe the core Pinterest search algorithm hasn’t changed. This means using the right keywords in your pin descriptions, as well as the url of where an pin originates from matters.

It’s important to put in multiple keywords or search terms that you want your pins to be found for. If you’re trying to promote your pancake recipe site, you may want to add words like fluffy, healthy, and recipe along with the word pancake in a pin description to maximize exposure.

The key is to use the terms that have popped up with the main search term in Guided Search.

Here’s a great article written by Alisa Meredith about how to use keyword rich descriptions in pin descriptions to help maximize your search results with Guided Search.

Go Backwards, Not Just Forwards With Guided Search Terms

Let’s say you type in the search term, wedding, on Guided Search, notice what other words come up. When I typed in wedding in search results for my Android smartphone, it recommended search terms like dresses, ideas, hairstyles and more.

If you’re looking to get more exposure for your pins, I would suggest you reverse your keyword search.

For example, dresses, is one of the word tiles that shows up for the term wedding. I suggest that you wipe out the term wedding, and do a new search for the word, dresses. When I did this I noticed the search tile, “to wear to a wedding,” came up.

How to make the most of Guided Search on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of

For me this is actually quite fascinating, especially if I ran a wedding dress business. Since my core business would be wedding dresses, I would start a board that would help cross promote a local business that sells dresses to wear at weddings.

And in return, I would ask the business owners who does sell dresses for weddings to promote my wedding dresses on their Pinterest account. This way both businesses cross promote each other, without the need to compete in the same target audience.

The word casual is also another word that’s associated with dresses. So I may create pin descriptions that would have the words, casual dresses to wear at a wedding.

But it’s important to realize that keywords play only a part, not the whole picture (pun intended), and so it’s important not to just stuff keywords in pin descriptions. It will only go so far.

You’ll often find pins in search results that don’t have the keywords in them. This is because multiple search factors can play a role, such as the number of repins.

Local Businesses Need to Take Advantage of Guided Search

What’s been quite fascinating is that in the past, Pinterest often rolled out new features on the desktop version of Pinterest first, but this new feature was rolled out to mobile.

To me this is quite a shift in the way that Pinterest is thinking. Considering that 75% of daily usage on Pinterest comes from native apps, it may making the search function available on mobile first because it’s trying to make Pinterest incredibly appealing on a local level, similar to the way that Yelp is.

While Place Pins have been a big shift in helping promote local neighbourhoods and businesses, but it’s still far off. If I type in the search term cookies, and searched based on Place Boards, it doesn’t give me results of cookie places that are in my city. This is because it returns board results, and at this time there’s no way to get search results of just place pins.

When I typed in Vancouver in Gudided Search, words such as Aquarium, Cafe, What to Do, Stanley Park, and so much more came up. And what’s really interesting is that the results are visual results of pins, so this allows me to see pictures of the Vancouver Aquarium or Stanley Park.

Now are tourists, and locals going to start using Pinterest for local search the way they would use Yelp, or another other directory. I don’t know, I think at this time it’s a long shot. But what’s scary is that Pinterest’s mobile search may move into that field.

When Pinterest first started, nobody in their right mind would have thought that Pinterest would pose even the smallest threat to Google and other search engines. And yet, you can’t deny that it’s nibbling away at Google.

Pinterest’s mobile could do the same against Yelp. People search for Vancouver restaurants on Pinterest, and see the beautiful pictures. Click on the pin that leads to a blog post about the restaurant, find out it’s a good review and then eat there.

A more likely scenario would be that they may like the pictures they see on Pinterest and then go to Yelp to do more research about it. In this case Pinterest acts as supplementary information provider.

But with Guided Search, it may, because I haven’t tested this out, add supplemental search terms that are related to local businesses. If I type in Vancouver Restaurants, it may provide me with search terms like Chinese, Brazillian, Steak, and so much more.

This is why it’s important that if you have a local businesses to start putting in the name of your city in those descriptions. If you’re a restaurant in Chicago, you’ve got to put the word Chicago in there. After all, you never know if it’s going to be tourist, a local, or even somebody from a far away city that’s going to be bookmarking that pin on Pinterest.

If it seems like a stretch that this might happen, just remember how four years ago, it seemed like a stretch that Pinterest would be perceived as a potential competitor of Google.

What are you thoughts about Guided Search? What do you like or dislike about the new feature?

UTM Tracking Codes and Pinterest – How They Work

What you Need to know about UTM Tracking Codes on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of #Pintalysis
Pinterst announced that they were going to allow UTM tracking codes for pins. This is a major win for marketers and companies that rely on UTM tracking to get granular about what campaigns are working. This was a much requested feature.

What is a UTM Tracking Code?

A UTM Tracking code stands for Urchin Tracking Monitor, and it’s a type of a system that allows for bloggers, small business owners and marketers to know how well a specific campaign is doing to to drive traffic and/or lead to conversions using Google Analytics as the analytics platform.

This could be used to track Twitter ads, banner advertisements and now Pinterest!

All this information goes to Google Analytics, and so if you don’t have it for your website, and you’re a small business, you have to grab it. Extremely useful.

What’s the Benefit of a UTM Tracking Code on Pinterest

Pinterest is quite helpful in the sense that it already creates unique urls. Such as this pin’s that was created by Franscio Rosales from Social Mouths that discusses about Facebook marketing.

These unique urls allow you to know which pins are responsible for driving traffic to your site through Google Analytics. But it can get messy since a bunch of pins get tied up together.

With UTM tracking, split testing A/B pins is much easier, because each type of pin can be labelled for a specific campaign. You don’t have to sift through hundreds of pin urls.

With UTM, you’re able to label your campaigns with the campaign source (this is generally the referrer like Google, Yelp, March 2014 newsletter), campaign medium (banner ad, e-mail, or CPC ad) and campaign name.

What You Need to Know about UTM Tracking Codes on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of #Pintalysis

And so for me, the main benefit is that I’m able to do A/B split testing very carefully, and this way I can create two different pins and see which one converts better to drive people to my e-mail sign up page. For me this is truly exciting!

To find out more about how to create UTM for your website visit the URL Builder site.

If you would like more of visual format, I’ve explained how all this works with a YouTube video.

The Bad News About UTM Tracking…Kind Of

Rich pins and UTM don’t mix right away unfortunately. Let’s say you own a pin that is a rich pin, and you want to add the UTM tracking code.

The only way I’ve figured out how to add the UTM tracking code to a pin is to actually change it at the source of the pin. This can be done on the desktop version of Pinterest, by clicking on the pencil icon on the top right hand corner when you hover your mouse button over the pin.

If you need to know how to change the source of the Pin, the YouTube video below will explain that in detail.

What sucks about this is that once you change the source to include the UTM tracking code, your rich pin content doesn’t show up right away. It actually reverts back to a “normal” pin. However, if you refresh the pin in your browser or you wait a few minutes the rich pin will appear again.

It’s really rich pins playing possum.

Now I tried to pin directly from the site that had UTM code in the url, but unfortunately when I used a Pin it button, it stripped away all the UTM tracking code. I’m not going to lie, that made me sad, and generally I’m a happy guy.

HELPFUL HINT: I know some of you may be tempted to add the UTM tracking codes in the description area of pins, but those urls are long and ugly, and so they will work great on a desktop version of Pinterest, but in mobile it can really be annoying to read in the description. utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=Test%20A&utm_campaign=Pinterest%20Test%20for%20Fun

And keep in mind that 75% of the daily usage is happening on mobile platforms for Pinterest.

The Good News About UTM Tracking Codes

Here’s some excellent news about UTM. You’ll be able to know how far of a reach your pinning efforts have really gone.

UTM tracking codes will be in tact when users repin your content. This means you’re able to see the success of how your original pin did when you posted onto your own Pinterest account.

Let’s say you pinned about an e-book you’re selling, like my Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis, and you attached UTM tracking. You may want to know how successful a single pin that you pinned onto your board did.

Having a UTM tracking code can help differentiate whether it was a single pin you pinned went viral, and help differentiate it from whether it was someone who visited your website and pinned from there that led to all that traffic.

This is because when people repin your pin, the UTM tracking code remains. This means if someone ten degrees down has repinned your pin that contains your UTM tracking code, you know exactly how that all started.

This is an excellent use of group boards, and you may want to use a UTM to track the effectiveness of virality of a particular group board you’ve joined. You’re not going to know the total number of repins down ten degrees, but you’ll know how much traffic goes to your site.

Feeling like your head’s spinning a bit from all this geek talk?

For another great article that explains UTM in more detail check out this blog post at I highly recommend you to read it.


Clickable URLs Have Changed in Pinterest’s Pin Descriptions

UPDATE: Please note that Pinterest seems to have fixed the issue of clickable links. Before if you put a specific link in the description it would go to the source of the pin. This seemed to be happening for about 4 days before March 20th. Since this went on for so long, I believed that this was a permanent change, however this is no longer the case, the url that is written in the description will direct to that url. What is in this blog post is not applicable (at least for now). This was brought to my attention by Krishna De so please kindly disregard the rest of the article, unless you would like to read it for fun. Big thanks goes to Krishna for letting me know.

Tricky, Tricky. URLs in Pin Descriptions are Clickable but... by Vincent Ng of #Pintalysis
I first heard about this when one of the members of the members on the Google Plus Pinterest Marketing Community had asked the question regarding links in descriptions no longer leading the to the url that was typed in, so I decided to explore.

I’m going to say this right away, this is one of those blog posts that it’s just so much easier to explain through a video. So if you have three and half minutes to watch, then check out the video. If you’re at work, or reading this on bus then read on.


I don’t know about you, but it sure annoys me when I’ve worked hard at creating a pin, only to have some stupid bot (a type of software that automates) take my pin, change the descriptions and then add in their own website. I’ve seen it happen with my own pins dozens of times.

I want to tell people “Don’t click on the pin in the pin description! That’s not my site!” in the comments, but I just don’t have time to do that.

Well it seems like the good people at Pinterest have decided that enough is enough. They don’t want those nasty spammers to do that. And so those Pinterest engineers did something which I personally love. They make any url that’s in the pin descriptions clickable but it leads back to the source of the pin.

By the way, this is only for the desktop version of Pinterest since urls in descriptions are not clickable on mobile.

URLs in Descriptions All Redirect To the Source of the Pin

To prevent those bad shenanigans from spammers ever happening again, Pinterest has decided that ALL (actually there’s one exception that I’ll go into later) urls that are in descriptions will now redirect to the source of the pin.

Here’s what I mean by the source. Login to Pinterest on the desktop version, and then head on over to “Your Profile and Pins.” Now go and visit any board, and then hover your mouse on any pin that’s in the board’s collections. You should see something like a pencil popup, just like the one below of a pin I repinned from Melissa Taylor’s article about 8 types of Pinterest descriptions.

Tricky, Tricky. URL's in Pin Descriptions are Clickable but... by Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing. #Pintalysis

Once you click on the pencil icon, then what happens is a screen will pop up and you’ll see the source box that’s at the bottom. You can’t see the full url, but the url is for an article about Linkedin’s publishing platform on Social Mouths.

Tricky, Tricky. URL's in Pin Descriptions are Clickable but... by Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing. #Pintalysis

That means from now on all URL’s or websites typed in a pin description will all go to the source of that pin.

So if the source of my pin leads back to this url address:
but if I put in the description the url, when I click on that link, it will automatically redirect me back to the MCNG Marketing blog post.

What Does that Mean for Your Pinterest Marketing?

To me, I think this is amazing news, and here’s why. Before we needed to add the full links of a blog post or an e-commerce product in order for it to properly redirect to the source site. But now we can just put our own main website, and it will automatically get directed to the page that the pin is linked to.

No more long and ugly urls have to live in our Pin descriptions when people view them on mobile. And since they aren’t clickable on mobile, we might as well keep the urls as short as possible. I know for me, I’ll now be putting my main website, into every description.

The boldness of the url in pin descriptions in the main url will help it grab more attention.

Clickable URLs in Comments Go to the Source URL

I tell you, Pinterest thought of everything. I thought I could outsmart the system by putting in a customized url in the comments and have them redirect to the site I want.

Nope, that won’t work either. Any time you leave a url in a comment on any pin, that url will ALSO be redirected to the source link.

Score one for Pinterest users, and zero for those dreaded spammers who do auto commenting.

This Applies to All Links

This is pretty much a site wide change. This means that all your previous links that you’ve put in your descriptions will be affected.

There’s One Exception to the Rule

Based on what I can see there is ONLY one exception to the rule, and that is if you put in a url that involves Pinterest then it will redirect to that site. So if in your pin’s description you decide that you want share a url that’s from Pinterest, then that works out great.

So this can be the url of a pin, a url of a board, or another Pinterest user’s url, like this one for Fundraiser Help.

What are your thoughts, do you think? Do you like this change, or would you prefer the old way? Leave your comments below.