This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won't pay a penny more, but I'll get a small commission that helps support this website and keep our content free. Thanks!
Pinterest SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
A term feared, admired and rarely conquered by most people in the online publishing world.
Pinterest SEO, however, is quite simple.
It is driven to help people find inspiring and informational content that people can also click through and BUY.
The intent to buy or click out is VERY high.
Whereas Google optimizes blog posts based on how useful they are on a number of ranking factors, Pinterest SEO is much less complicated.
Since you don’t really write blog posts on Pinterest but instead create pins, you need to make sure your pins are always search optimized.
Before we step into the world of Pinterest SEO let’s make sure the following fundamentals are in place:
⇒ Rich Pins Are Activated (skip if done!)
Rich pins essentially show the relevant details attached to a pin such as a title, the meta-description.
This can include the information that it is an article, a product, a recipe or an app.
Rich pins serve two major purposes:
- Help Pinterest understand what type of content is related to the image/pin: article, recipe, product, app.
- Help Google and Pinterest optimize your content for search results in either platform
A pin that has rich pins enabled looks like this:
You most likely have pins that look like this (without rich pins):
Even though for the end-user it doesn’t make a large difference, for Pinterest to understand what your content is all about and rank it, it does make a huge difference.
Over time, rich pins let Pinterest understand exactly WHAT your content is and how best to showcase it to the right audience.
If you have a website irrespective of what niche or business you are in, you WANT to have rich pins activated on your account.
Once you have set up your business account, you now need to connect your domain with rich pins and apply for validation.
This might need some steel nerves and a lot of patience, but I promise you it is so worth the struggle!
METHOD 1: HARDER METHOD
Step 1: Find out where you can add the code below to your <head> tag.
If this sounds like I am speaking Sanskrit, just add a simple plugin like this one to your WordPress dashboard and insert the code in the header. All you have to do is insert your blog post title to replace the default “exploring Kyoto’s…” in the code.
Here’s the code:
<head> <meta property="og:type" content="article" /> <meta property="og:title" content="Exploring Kyoto's Sagano Bamboo Forest - CNN.com" /> <meta property="og:description" content="A constant inclusion on lists of "forests to see before you die," here's how to see the real thing." /> <meta property="og:url" content="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/travel/sagano-bamboo-forest/" /> <meta property="og:site_name" content="CNN.com" /> <meta property="article:published_time" content="2014-08-12T00:01:56+00:00" /> <meta property="article:author" content="CNN Karla Cripps" /> </head>
If you also have recipes or products on your blog, you should add this plugin to automatically select rich snippets when you publish a recipe or a product post or page.
For Pinterest, it is enough to add the article code so that you can get validated first.
Step 2: Apply for validation.
You can go here and add any URL where you have added the meta tags above (ideally your homepage URL) and check the URL validation with this tool: https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/
Once you submit for validation, you should hear back from Pinterest within one working day. In case there is any issue, you can simply ask them via support to help you.
Pinterest support is surprisingly quick, even if difficult to get to at times.
METHOD 2: EASIER METHOD
Step 1: Go to your WordPress dashboard and then to the Yoast SEO Plugin. Click on “Social Tab”
Step 2: Enable Open Graph Meta On The Facebook Tab
Step 3: Submit your blog URL for validation.
You can submit any blog post link/ URL that pertains to your blog as the Open Graph Meta is now enabled for your entire site. It does not matter which URL you submit.
Link for validation: https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/
Done! Now all you have to do is wait for Pinterest to confirm your rich pins activation!
- Please make sure you only opt for one method until you receive your validation email.
- Once your rich pins have been validated and “activated” (look for an email from Pinterest), you can go ahead and remove the code from your header. To be validated means that Pinterest has understood that the pins are coming from your claimed website. To be activated means your entire website is now going to show active rich pins, both for previous and future pins.
- Please allow 24-48 hours for rich pins to start showing up after activation. In case this takes longer, reach out to Pinterest support and ask them to have a look. If there is a faulty technical implementation, the developer team will help you fix that.
How does Pinterest SEO work?
Although notorious for changing algorithms monthly, a couple of things have remained consistent when it comes to Pinterest SEO.
These things are:
- Domain Quality
- Pin Quality
- Pinner Quality
- Relevance of Pins
1) Domain Quality
This refers to the domain that you create pins from, aka your website.
How can you increase domain quality-
- Converting to a business profile
- Claiming your website
- Activating rich pins
- Be a consistent pinner
- Upload high-quality pins
Sounds easy right?
In reality, it’s harder to do than it sounds like. So far, we have set up a great foundation for your content and pin creation.
At this point all you need to do is to do MORE of the above.
2) Pin Quality
The quality of your pins is determined by the level of engagement your pin gets.
Think the number of saves, comments and click-throughs.
Lucky for you, Pinterest tells you all of this. All you got to do is observe!
Ideally, after 24 hours of uploading your pin you should have enough data to get a feel for how a pin is doing. The pin in this picture went viral less than 6 hours of going live. That explains the high number of saves and clicks.
What’s amazing is that when one of your pins pick up, so do all the others that refer to the same blog post. This gives Pinterest the signal that you have a high-quality pin which should then be distributed to more people.
How can you increase pin quality?
- Create amazing graphics
- Have click-worthy titles
You know this already, but drilling it down further for impact!
3) Pinner Quality
In order to drive more views to your blog, you need to be a high-quality pinner as well.
This means you need to-
- Be active on Pinterest throughout the day – We’ll talk about how you can do this with a scheduler in the next module.
- Save high-quality pins to your boards or popular pins that already have a high number of saves
- Increase follower engagement: Deep dive into your analytics and create more of what WORKS.
Lucky for you, Pinterest’s new audience insights is an AMAZING tool to figure out what kind of pins are most liked, saved or clicked by your audience.
We’ll talk more on it in the tutorial in the next module.
4) Pin Relevance
Last, but definitely not the least, Pinterest SEO takes into account pin relevance.
- Always pinning your pin first to the MOST relevant board.
- Making sure you have related content in all your boards and don’t add completely unrelated content in a niche board.
- Optimizing pin descriptions with keywords EVERYWHERE.
The last step cannot be stressed enough.
->>Your pins and the PIN TITLE need to be keyword optimized.
->>Your boards need to be keyword optimized. No using “cute stuff”, “XYZ” as board names.
->>Your profile and bio need to be optimized.
MAKING YOUR PINS & BOARDS SEO FRIENDLY
IN-CONTENT PIN SEO
An important element of optimizing your pins for SEO is not just when you are on the Pinterest platform but also when you add your pins to your blog.
But first, ARE YOU ADDING PINS TO YOUR BLOG POSTS?
At this point, I am going to assume that you do, but if you don’t, please go back to your blog posts and add at least 1 shareable pin/post at the end or beginning or middle of each blog post.
See an example here:
Why do you need to add your pins to your blog posts?
Remember the talk on being a high-quality domain.
Well, exactly that.
Humans are visual creatures.
When they come to your blog and read an interesting post they WANT the signal or the push to save it on their Pinterest.
This, in turn, tells Pinterest that you are a relevant domain for this particular topic.
How can you optimize in-post pins for Pinterest SEO?
This runs along the same lines of optimizing images for SEO on your blog.
When you do this you will be automatically double-optimizing your website pins for search engines as well as Pinterest.
Alright, how can you do this:
Step 1: Upload the Pin at a relevant section in your blog post
I generally put them in the end as an incentive for the reader to re-pin or re-share. You can definitely put it at the beginning or in the center. It’s entirely up to you!
Step 2: Fill out the image title tag and alt tags WITH KEYWORDS.
You can do this easily each time you upload any pin to your blog post.
I would also recommend you to do this for ALL your blog images.
Not only is this a great practice for Pinterest SEO but also for Google SEO.
Optimized Image Alt-Tags help google scan your content and show it up in results much faster.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s what happens when I google my own SEO optimized blog post.
1) I show up on Page 1 for Google in text searches for “cheapest countries to visit in Europe’.
2) I ALSO show up images in Google search.
And not just one image, but 3 of them from my website and Pinterest account show up!
If these two were not related, how can you explain this sorcery?
When you optimize your pins within your blog posts, you make sure that you are covering ALL your bases.
Most importantly you are covering, SEARCH & DISCOVERY.
Action Tip: Every time you write a blog post, add at least 1-2 relevant SEO-optimised pins to boost your shares and traffic!
PRO TIP: Don’t forget to add a “Call to Pin” before your pin within the post. People often need to be reminded to do an action. This can be as simple as:
- If you like the pin, save it for later!
- Like the post? Save the pin!
- Love what you see here? Save it!
THINGS TO DO NEXT ↓
LIKE THE POST? SAVE IT FOR LATER
I’m Shruti, the founder of Indian Girling & Digital Empires. I believe in creating a life that you don’t need a vacation from.
On this website, you will find tips on how to travel Europe, personal growth and how to become a blogger.