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.
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.
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-
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 bit.ly or owl.ly! 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.
Adam 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.