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How to Search Engine Optimize Your Pinterest Page

SEO for Pinterest I’ve noticed that Pinterest isn’t just dominating the social media scene, but it’s starting to dominate quite a few of Google’s search engine results.

Many brands and online marketers are missing the opportunity to rank high for long-tail keywords through the use of Pinterest.

What are long tail keywords? I’m going borrow the definition of a long tail keyword from an article from Search Engine Watch:

Essentially, long-tail keywords are less popular keywords because they have less search volume and less competition to rank for. Consider the following two examples: “home remedies for bed bugs” or “how to get rid of depression.” These are each considered long-tail keywords as compared to trying to rank for the much more competitive search terms “bed bugs” or “depression”.

Why would you want to use Pinterest to rank higher for keywords?

Some long tail keywords may have low competition but your website may be new and find it hard to compete for them still. The good news is that you can piggy back off of Pinterest since it is a strong domain authority site.

A strong domain authority allows for pages to show up higher on search results for relevant searches. This gives your business more visibility and higher chances of people clicking on your Pinterest. If you have some great visual content on that particular board, then it will help drive web traffic to your business website or e-commerce site.

How do you exactly use Pinterest to rank higher for the keywords you want? Here are three tactics for marketers that want to get their Pinterest page, and boards, to rank higher in search engine results.

1) Name Your Boards with Long Tail Keywords

If there’s a long tail keyword that you would like to rank well for in Google, consider naming your board with that particular keyword without sacrificing the brand.

For example the keyword, funny advertisements, has an estimated global search on Google of about 2,900 times a month for that exact term. When I type in that keyword on Google, there is only one Pinterest board specifically titled as “Funny Advertisements” that shows up on the first page of results. At the time of this writing, it was the only Pinterest board that uses that exact keyword, which is why it ranked so high. There was no competition from other pinners.

The exact url of that board looks like this:

pinterest.com/appltncre8ve/funny-advertisements

With the board containing the keyword and also having low competition, that specific Pinterest board is on the first page of Google. When I searched for it, it was ranked number 6 in the first page of results. And yes that’s my article on 17 Funny Advertisements that’s ranked number 4.

PinterestSEO

Pinterest allows you to create up to 350 boards, though I don’t recommend you maxing the number of boards for the sake of SEO. I would suggest no more than 20 to start off since it can be time consuming to manage all. This allows you to compete in Google for 20 + additional keywords that may be harder for your own website to compete with.

2) Ensure Your Board Descriptions are Keyword Rich

One of the biggest pet peeves I have about brands that use Pinterest is their sheer laziness to fill in the description of their Pinterest boards.

This is one of the Pinterset boards from Starbucks titled, “Real Food.” From an SEO perspective, titling the board Real Food isn’t the best since most people are not searching up the term for real food. However, the name of the board needs to be aligned with a company’s brand, and it’s understandable they titled it Real Food.

What’s an absolutely travesty is that the description of the board is left blank. This can easily be corrected when you click on the edit button on the board, and to fill out the description with keywords. To help with their search engine optimization, Starbucks could have stated in the description:

“Delicious Starbucks pastries, sandwiches, and food that we love. Our board also contains some of our favourite foods and pastries that we would love to try and eat.”

Starbucks Pinterest

This would have helped their Pinterest board be found for keywords such as Starbucks pastries, Starbucks sandwiches, and Starbucks foods on Google and other search engines.

Starbucks isn’t the only one that’s guilty of this, many social media blogs tout how great Whole Foods is using their Pinterest page, which they are when it comes to posting visual content, but when I clicked on four random boards of theirs, not one single one of them had their descriptions filled in.

Always fill in the descriptions of your Pinterest boards with keywords that your business wants to rank for.

3)Put Keywords Into Pin Descriptions

This technique most likely isn’t going to get you anywhere close to the first page of Google results for keywords, though it is possible depending on the search term, but it is still an excellent practice as it can help your Pinterest boards show up on the second and third page of Google search results for keywords.

Ensure that keywords that you want to rank for are in the pin’s description, as Google search engines do crawl the descriptions of pins, and takes it into consideration for search results. The website that shows up in the search engines for those pin descriptions will not lead directly to that specific pin’s address, instead it will be list the Pinterest Board’s url on which the pin is located.

A specific pin’s url will look like this:
http://pinterest.com/pin/246290673344396313/

And a board address looks like this:
http://pinterest.com/mcngmarketing/pinterest-tips/

Here’s an example of how this works. I typed into Google the following words, “Funny pins on Pinterest.”

Here are the first six results that showed up for my search:
Pinterest search

The determining factor that the Pinterset board, 1000 repins, showed up on the first page of the results because of a single pin’s description. The actual board name doesn’t contain any of the search words, nor the actual description of the board itself, but because one of the pins had contained the words “Funny” in it, it was able to show up as result number 6 for the search words “Funny pins on Pinterest.”

Funny Pins on Pitnerest

In order to maximize your Pinterest page and boards on Google, ensure that your social media marketing team isn’t taking short cuts. Have the boards titled after long tail keywords that your organization wants to rank well for, as well as ensuring that descriptions are keyword rich.

Do you have any suggestions or tips on how to rank your Pinterest page higher in search engines?

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Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing, and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis and the host of the Pinterest podcast, Pictures to Profits. You can grab your free e-book on How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines."

Latest posts by Vincent Ng (see all)

  • http://www.actualseomedia.com/ Search Engine Marketing

    nice information here you share with us. Now i just want to say i have got new idea to drive traffic for a website using Pinterest. Thanks

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks for leaving such a wonderful comment. I would love to hear how the tips have helped out with your S.E.O.

  • T. Moore

    I know a bit about SEO, and i was totally surprised to find a pinterest page near the top for a local search. It won’t be long before the IM’s take advantage is this sleeping giant.

    • Vincent Ng

      I couldn’t agree more, right now I feel that Pinterest is going through it’s adolescence, where people understand that it’s growing but choose to give it special attention. The results and speed of ROI is phenomenal, I wish more businesses would jump on.

  • http://www.zaddle.co.uk Liam @ Zaddle

    Hey Vincent

    Fantastic blog packed with some great Pinterest tips and ideas.

    With regards to the SEO on pin boards & pins I wonder whether Google applies a similar rule to normal SEO in that it will often only show ONE result from Pinterest for a keyword / keyphase? Within SEO if people cut and paste a manufacturers description into an e-commerce site then essentially every page across the internet with the same description will be competing against each other and only ONE would show (if at all) – this is usually down to the domain authority or page authority of the website.

    This would make sense otherwise Google would suddenly be dominated by Pin Boards as a) pinterest has a high domain authority and b) the social signals coming back from popular pins would be immense and therefore show more pinboards on Google’s first page.

    So the very long winded point I am trying to make(!) is that it would be worthwhile looking at what the competition IS before trying to rank for a long tail keyword – i.e. what shows up for “best boots to wear in the snow” (no idea why I came up with that phrase in summer!) – low competition = fill your boots literally (provided you think you have a large enough audience to create your board etc)

    Pet Health Tips still has to be one of the best examples of the power of Pinterest SEO BTW!

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks for the detailed comment Liam. I believe you’re right on the ball, I remember seeing at most two Pinterest results for keywords, but as the months have passed by I’ve noticed that that has dwindled down to one to be able to provide the user with a variety of websites instead of just Pinterest. At the moment there are so many Pinterest sites that do use the description, but those that get linked too a lot are by higher PR ranks will probably do better in the rankings. And you’re absolutely right about researching the competition, no use in trying to rank for Organic Food for kids, since that’s probably going to be really really hard to rank for with Pinterest or for any site.

      But what’s really cool, is the opposite is that if there is a long tail keyword that has very low competition, then using Pinterest to help rank for it can help out so much. And I’ve found (but not saying it’s for sure), is Pinterest boards that are first to have exact match keywords as their board name will stay up longer for those words. For example I discovered that someone ranked on the first page for Sacramento SEO using Pinterest because it was a low competitive word.

      I’ve always felt you’ve got to go where the crowds don’t go. Great comments Liam, and wonderful suggestions.

      P.S. I could use a little snow in Vancouver, it’s getting pretty hot here.

  • http://www.BaileyNatureGallery.com Doug Bailey

    Hi Vincent, many thanks for your great post! I’m on the same Group at Linkedin, which is how I found this post. Just launched on Pinterest so all education is truly appreciated. Thanks again.
    Regards,
    Doug.

    • Vincent Ng

      Thank you Doug for the kind words. I love how we’re all connecting through different social networks like Linkedin and through blogs. If you ever have any questions about Pinterest, feel free to let me know.

  • Anna

    Vincent, you are are so on top of things. I admire your constant research and testing with Pinterest and finding more and more reasons business owners should be on Pinterest. Great job.

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks so much for the kind words Anna. I really appreciate, I love Pinterest so much and there’s so much to learn from it still. But many business owners should be on Pinterest. If they had the chance to see the results many of them would go, “Why didn’t I join earlier?”

  • http://www.pinterestpro.tv Anna

    BTW You don’t know hot. Come to Florida. :-)

  • http://www.uraaw.ca Adam @ Uraaw

    I’ve just created a new Pinterest account for my business, and want to set it up correctly, and need all the help I can get. Thanks very much for this detailed overview, it’s extremely well done!

    Cheers,

    Adam

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks for the kind words Adam, I’m glad you found the article helpful. If you ever have any questions about Pinterest, feel free to let me know.

  • http://howimadeculturepop.com CP

    Great information here, thanks Vincent!

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks CP, I’m really happy that you found it useful, and for taking the time to write a comment! Happy pinning.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/vintagesparkles jill miller

    I wonder if google kicks out pages that have constant repinnned items since they are repetitive? For instance if starbucks chococlate chunk cookie keeps getting repinned, won’t google block it because it does not like duplicate content and will exclude it from search results?
    I love your article.. it was soooooo informative!!!!

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks for the kind words about the article Jill, it brought a big smile to my face. As for duplicating content. I’ve heard of one case study where too much keyword stuff actually did drop a Pinterest page from their search results, but that was only one board and it doesn’t seem to have affected other results, but as long as other people are repinning the content onto to different boards, space it out every few days, and ensure that there are a variety of other pins on the board then it should be fine. The danger comes in repinning the same stuff over and over again and then the Google “crawler” reads that it’s really the same material but different order, and it may be punishable. Based on my readings, there hasn’t been too much testing with that. But repin content often, just make sure it’s spread out.

  • http://www.pinterest.com/bestqheadphones/ Micca@Best Quality Headphones

    Thank You!

    Just downloaded your E-Book, very informative and a big help for me. Because I’m trying to do Pinterest Marketing and know how is it effective. This is a good start for me by using your E-Book as my guide.

  • http://www.treeoflifejewellery.com Tree of Life

    Hi Vincent,

    Reading this has been quite inspirational for me – I have read a few other blogs about how to use Pinterest to SEO benefit but they seemed to be ‘airy fairy’ without any real substance whereas your information was down to earth and to the point with ‘actual example’. I like to see these examples, makes me feel more confident about the validity of what you are telling us.

    I am new to Pinterest – signed up because it was a ‘have to’ but really had no idea what benefits it may bring and more importantly how best to utilize it for the best results.

    Again – great blog, well done,
    Mike

    • Vincent Ng

      Thanks for the kind words Mike, I’m really glad that you enjoy the blog and you were able to find something concrete. It’s nice to be able to get nitty gritty details, especially if you’re running your own business. Feel free to let me know if you have questions about Pinterest. Happy Pinning Mike!