For most of our established readers and customers, both topics of Pinterest and SEO should ring a bell or two. I know I have personally tackled the subject of SEO before, and I have been aware of Pinterest’s value in SEO, but I haven’t given it the attention it deserves until now.
So let’s talk a little about Pinterest SEO and how to use it to your advantage
What is SEO?
For those who are new to the idea of SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization, a very fancy way of saying editing done on your webpage in order to become more visible on the Internet by playing different Search engines algorithm game. As I said on previous occasions, SEO is a must in today’s online marketing, and to be completely honest, building and strengthening a business and/or personal brand.
From content marketing and mobile viewing optimization to social networking marketing and engaging influencers, SEO has been inevitably becoming a highly important part of modern marketing practices and will continue to do so until it becomes a core feature in every business’ long-term marketing strategy, whether in its current form or more probably so in a modified, more integrated and intertwined form spanning over what we today know as SEO, content marketing and social media marketing.
A Brief History of Pinterest
As for Pinterest itself, one should take a look at it from a broader perspective than simply as a social network on the constant rise. It is a powerful tool used by businesses and influencers, similarly to Instagram or Vine, only more powerful in several areas of marketing and internet visibility among a certain population.
Plainly speaking, if you are still unfamiliar with this 5-year-old addition to the Silicon Valley, the basic concept is so simplistic that it is genius. It is incredibly easy to use, and the more one visits Pinterest, the more addictive it becomes.
What users of Pinterest do is pin or collect images from various sources on the Internet and create their collections called pinboards. Users can have innumerous pinboards with different names and contents. Some may think of their Pinterest page as a modern-day scrapbook or a highly visual wish-list. Others may use it for blogging purposes or personal promotion. What it basically is, is visual online bookmarking.
Now, statistics show that most active Pinterest users are female (around 85%), making it a strong female social platform. However, with its recent digital ascent, Pinterest has lured more users, including some more men. As it usually goes, whatever is growing on the Internet is soon to be transformed into something to make money off or get filled with porn, or both. Luckily, Pinterest has been very clean and very controlling of its content, so many consider one of the most family friendly social networks, which worked wonders for its image and credibility.
A vast majority of pages are dedicated to areas of interest predominantly considered to be female like fashion, style, accessories, recipes, furnishing, homemaking, gardening, DIYs and other creative outlets. Some of the best style-related pages (recommended by my very stylish friend Vanja Milicevic, featured here) include StyleCaster, The Cut, WWD and Who What Wear, who have more than 600 thousand combined followers and around 200 boards with 135 thousand pins. Those 4 style pages alone.
Imagine the business potential for retailers on a platform serving mostly well-off women interested in fashion, accessories, home decoration and design. The possibilities here are endless, from free advertising, to better brand recognition, to boosting your traffic by linking Pinterest images on your blogs or webpages.
However, with many power users having had used affiliate links to earn money, mostly including style bloggers, Pinterest has found its interest lie elsewhere, and decided to ban the affiliate links on their website, recommending that power-users find other ways of earning money off of their pinning expertise, either by curating pinboards for Pinterest or creating content for different brands and businesses. This comes in light of the company trying to make more money itself, with its new deals with Apple and Stripe and their soon introduction of the buy button.
Still, that doesn’t mean that one can no longer make money on Pinterest.
By using image-based social networks marketing as part of their business model, companies that work in apparel and beauty products retail, which rely on strong visual presence in product promotion, have found their web haven on Pinterest. Hence, many established businesses, including the likes of Neiman Marcus and Sephora, and very notably Whole Foods, are running extremely successful Pinterest pages. People at Nordstrom have gone a step further and decided to incorporate the social feedback into their retail practice.
In addition, just boosting one’s online profile and visibility can be worth ten times the investment in running a social networks page.
Even though I tried to stay very short and on-point, I think we would agree that we’ve established The Importance of Being on Pinterest.
How To Use SEO With Pinterest?
So, how exactly to adapt what you know of SEO into using Pinterest with business success? If you are a small business, all you need to worry about is being more creative than your competition, right? No need to fret about it. The basics are quite easy and graspable.
Optimize Your Profile
First, get the username you want. It will act as your domain, just like on Twitter. Make it uniform with your other social networks usernames. Use either your business’ name or some abbreviation that has become synonymous with it, if the name of your business is inadequate or already taken. Think carefully before you make one up, if you are just preparing to start a brand new business. Your name, as well as your username, needs to stand out and to become instantly recognizable in time.
Go for a more cohesive brand image on all of your social network accounts. It is highly recommendable to use the same visual identity across the web, as well as using the same keywords in descriptions and similarity in update and posts. The same applies to content, which should be consistent with the brand image you are trying to create, but definitely not the same on all of your social pages.
Alongside keywords, which need to be adjusted in order to best describe your business, products and services, special attention need to be paid to the cover you use. Think of your social network covers like billboards that are reaching for a certain target group. In addition to that, your avatar needs to be consistent, with several variations in size or shape. Empirically, it is best to use the brand logo or a picture of your most recognizable product. Additionally, make sure that the file name of the image used as avatar is your business’ name or a slogan, since it will be included in Search Engine results.
For ensuring the followers will hold you credible, add your website link to your Pinterest page and verify it. It is easier than you might think. Also, be sure to link your other social network pages to Pinterest, as well as your website. Ideally, this will lead to more visits of your own pages. Try to interlink them, but do not exaggerate. Apart from the obligatory webpage, include links only to one more or perhaps two social networks on your Pinterest page. An interested customer will find links to other social networks on your Facebook or website.
If you are a local business, use it to your advantage. Use your location place to attract more visitors. Not only that, you can use local keywords in the description space, making you more SEOptimized for local searches.
Now that you have set up your profile, you need to post some brand-image-related content.
Optimize Your Boards
You start off by creating boards, which is easy, but it is important to use all the opportunity and optimize them. Use the keywords that are relevant to your business or profession to make up-to-20-characters board names. If there is more to say about your boards, do not worry. There are 500 characters available for you to write a description of a board’s topic. Make sure you use enough of the proper keywords. This way you can attract more users to your page.
Pinterest categories are something that can be of incredible help if used the right way. When you choose a category for your board, all the pins on that board will appear in the named category page, with the opportunity to be seen and repinned by huge numbers of Pinterest users. The more your content is fresh and original, the more new hits all your interconnected webpages will be getting.
If the board name and its description weren’t enough, there is still room for placing some more information about the products or the lifestyle you are offering by filling in the pin description and, yet again, using keywords to be more visible. If you are pinning from your own site, which you should definitely do, try to include the full link in the description if possible. When you repin any posts, try to do the same.
Optimize Your Webpage
That is not all there is to SEO and Pinterest. In addition to optimizing your Pinterest page for Web, you should optimize your webpage for Pinterest as well.
The next thing you need to do is name the images on your website in a manner that will make them relevant. Perhaps the name should even include a keyword or two. When someone pins or repins that image, you will get a better presence and better business results.
In addition to that, include Pin It buttons on all your images, and in that way increase your own web traffic immensely, since they link to the original source of the image after the image has been clicked on, meaning your own site. The Pin It button is also very user-friendly and it is expected out of modern businesses to have it installed.
Wrapping it up
Last, but not the least, is interaction. You must, at all costs, engage with your followers. Having a Pinterest account for business makes no sense if no one is visiting your page or repinning. However, interaction with followers is a complex topic we will have to leave for a separate article.
With a clear trend of great success, Pinterest is here to stay. This dark horse of the industry has become as important and inherent part of social media marketing as Facebook and Twitter. It is still growing at a fast pace, so if you want your business to boom, boom alongside Pinterest.
If you really like this article, pin it!