Joined Pinterest as a business? What do you do next?
Pinterest was launched to enable users to create a virtual pinboard for sharing their favorite images with everyone else. But soon businesses realized its potential for promoting their products and brand values with their fan base using strong visual content – and the Pinterest business page was born!
If you are a company, you can now sign up for Pinterest as a business and harness the visual prowess of this online tool for social media marketing, boosting traffic to your website and reaching out to your existing and future customers.
As an individual Pinterest user, you might not be concerned about being indexed by search engines, however as a business “being found” is of utmost importance so that you show up in search results and can be discovered via the internet. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into the picture.
So, HOW do you optimize your Pinterest business page for SEO? Take a look at these 10 simple tips.
1. Choose an optimized “Business Name” and “Username”
The first step in creating a Pinterest business account is choosing a “Business Name” and a “Username”.
The business name is the name your customers and target audience are familiar with.
Choose a straightforward business name (basically your company name) with no frills. The maximum number of characters allowed for this field is 38 and I think most businesses will have no problems in mentioning their entire name here.
The username is your Pinterest URL. Since Pinterest limits the length of this field to 15 characters, this could be a challenge for businesses whose complete names span a greater number of characters.
Assuming an ideal situation (where your full name fits) you can use the same name for both the business and username fields (such as “thenewyorker” for The New Yorker magazine). However, if it doesn’t, then choose something which is keyword conscious and closely associated with your business.
For example, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine’s username is MarthaWeddings since their business name is obviously too long for the confined space of the username but it clearly includes the word “weddings” to capitalize on related search traffic.
2. Include keywords in the “About You” section
The “About You” section provides you with 160 characters to describe your business and this space is another chance for you to include keywords specific to your company profile and target audience.
Use this space wisely to include a clear, concise and keyword-rich description of your business. However, don’t overdo it with the keywords! Keyword stuffing is not as good an idea as it may seem because this could actually lower your search engine ranking.
Below is an example from the Yogi Times online magazine’s profile page. The description is a simple “Lifestyle guide for the modern yogi” which pretty much sums up what Yogi Times is all about. Target keywords? I would say, “lifestyle guide” and “modern yogi”.
3. Verify your website
After adding your website’s URL don’t forget to verify it.
Click on the “Verify Website” button and follow the steps to verify your website. This process certifies that you or your business is the owner of your website and allows you to access Pinterest Analytics.
Verified websites show up with a checkmark in search results.
4. Let your business page show up in search results
The primary reason for optimizing your Pinterest business page for SEO is for you to show up in organic search results. While as an individual you may want to stay away from yourself from being located by search engines, as a business you only want to be found!
Make sure your “Search Privacy” is set to “No” in your account settings. This ensures that your business profile will ALWAYS be visible to search engines.
5. Use keywords in “Board” names and “Board” and “Pin” descriptions
Yes, the importance of keywords cannot be stressed upon enough!
Once again, Pinterest allows businesses to use even more keywords while naming and describing their “Boards” and “Pins”.
When you create a board you will be asked for a title name (mandatory) and a description (optional). However, for SEO purposes, I would say, both are very much mandatory for your boards to show up in Pinterest and web search results. The board name can be 100 characters long but only the first 26 characters show up when users visit your profile.
So, make sure the first few characters which are visible are able to convey the intended purpose of creating the board in the first place. This is what people are going to see at first glance when they chance upon your profile.
The board description with a 500 character limit can certainly be keyword rich so make complete use of this space by providing explicit content. To gain more perspective on what the consumer is searching for and to gather diverse ideas on presenting your board descriptions, do a few local searches on Pinterest and global searches using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Pin descriptions are not to be neglected either. Just like board descriptions, individual pin descriptions have a 500 character limit that can be used to define the pinned image up to its entirety.
You can include step-by-step instructions, backlinks, location and usage information, credits for other vendors and so on and so forth in this space. Needless to say, this is where you should use clear-cut keywords with relatable context to reach out to your customers.
The board and pin descriptions are the perfect places to leverage the long tail keyword (targeted search phrases containing 3 or more words).
As an example, take a look at this pin (DIY Christmas Tree Basket) description from Style Me Pretty, a popular wedding website. The description contains relevant keywords (which immediately give us an overview of what the pinned image is all about), a link back to the original post on their website (where you can find more information about the image) and the hashtag #SMPHolidays.
Search engine optimization also applies to images that you upload to the web.
Search engines cannot read the images by themselves, what they read are the file names and alt tags. You might have noticed when you do a Google search and click on “Images” you get a series of aptly named images matching your keywords.
So, instead of uploading an image with the default name such as DSC1098.jpg on your website, make sure you provide a search-friendly, descriptive name such as “5-tips-on-how-to-use-pinterest-for-social-media-marketing“.
Additionally, make sure the image alt tag has a suitable description as well. The more specific you are, the more the chances of your image being found via organic search on the web and within Pinterest.
Another factor to keep in mind while pinning images is that Pinterest does not place any restrictions on the height of an image, but limits its width to – 236 pixels on the main page and boards and 600 pixels when expanded.
For an in-depth analysis on how to get more pins and repins on Pinterest check out this infographic by Dan Zarrella. Dan’s studies are based on information gathered from over 11,000 pinned images.
An important takeaway: Taller images are more repinnable.
Obviously the goal here is to drive more traffic to your website – so undoubtedly you will be doing a substantial amount of “image pinning” from the source (which is none other than your website) to achieve the purpose. Hence a high quality, well formatted, optimally named image with a descriptive alt tag is the key to rising above the competition and staying ahead in image search results.
Hashtags are next to keywords when it comes to being found on social media and are certainly no longer only for Twitter! Even Facebook and Instagram have incorporated hashtags to categorize and simplify their searches so why should Pinterest stay behind?
Use hashtags in your board and pin descriptions to make them more searchable within the site. The ultimate purpose – to group boards and pins by a specific theme or campaign so that users searching for related images can locate you instantly.
8. Keep your most popular “Boards” towards the top
When someone stumbles upon your Pinterest profile page, this is what they see in a standard browser – a total of 8 boards with 4 on the top row and only a portion of the 4 on the bottom row (the board name and a part of the cover image).
You may have numerous other boards with lots of relevant content but they won’t show up unless an interested customer scrolls down all the way towards the end!
So, how do you make sure this accidental stumbler remains interested? By keeping your most popular boards on the topmost row.
Here are a few ideas;
If you have seasonal products to promote then it is a good idea to rotate your topmost boards as the seasons change, for example, Whole Foods Market has the following boards on its topmost row (as I write this post) – “Holiday Festivities” and “Creative Christmas Projects” to promote seasonal content.
Style Me Pretty, a popular blog for wedding inspirations and ideas has the following boards on top – “Brides” and “Wedding Bouquets” because they know that wedding planning is one of the most common uses of Pinterest and the demographic of its users is mostly female.
If you are running a marketing campaign such as a Pinterest contest then keep the contest board right on top for more exposure.
Whenever you pin an image from your website make sure you link back to the post where the image has been used.
Although Pinterest has a nofollow rule (which means that repins do not count towards your inbound links and does not bump up your SEO) you should always include the full URL in the source and description fields so that pinners can be directed back to the actual post your site.
Yes, it may not provide you with direct SEO results but would certainly help in building your brand awareness and increasing traffic back to your site. Also, stay away from using shortened links (such as bit.ly, which are more appropriate for Twitter due to its 140 character tweet limit).
10. Make your “Pins” stand out
Pinterest has added special features to some of the most pinned image types to make them more useful and calls them Rich Pins.
Rich Pins are pins enhanced with metadata allowing businesses to add extra information to the images they pin. As of now, there are six types of Rich Pins – App, Place, Article, Product, Recipe and Movie . More information on Rich Pins can be found here.
For example, if you are a retail brand the Product Pin will enable you to add real-time pricing, inventory availability and a link to the product images.
“This added data not only provides relevant information to the consumers who are pinning these products but also means a lot of new marketing opportunities for retailers and a strong way to directly connect pins back to the retailer’s site. – Digiday.com.”
Furthermore, the real-time pricing feature proves to act as a very valuable free email marketing tool. If a customer pins one of your Product Pins and after a week the product’s price goes down, Pinterest sends a notification email to the customer informing him/her about the price drop. So, even if the customer is not on your email list he/she will receive this price change notification via Pinterest and could possibly end up in making a purchase.
Some more examples of Rich Pins.
If you blog about cooking and share recipes online, you might consider adding the Recipe Pin to display extra details such as ingredient list, cooking time and serving info along with your image.
If your business deals with the travel industry you can add the Place Pin to your images which include a map, address and phone number to help users locate every destination with all relevant details.
Other ways to make your pins stand out are to include audio and video pins on your boards rather than just images. Coming back to the recipe blog example…you could dedicate some of your boards exclusively for pinning videos of how you cooked up some of your favorite dishes.
Here’s an example of a Recipe Pin from The Kitchn, a daily web magazine celebrating kitchen design and home cooking. The pin displays extra information such as serving size and ingredient list as opposed to a standard pin displaying a recipe.
Pinterest has quickly gained importance as a social media marketing powerhouse and businesses have started tapping into its available resources for further brand recognition. These 10 ideas should definitely help you get started.
What did you think of these SEO strategies to make the most out of your Pinterest business profile? Let me know in the comments below.