Pinterest SEO: How to maximize your business’s potential

Pin it to win it

Thinking about marketing on Pinterest? It might be hard to see how — or if — it’s even worth it. Let’s talk about why it is, when it isn’t, and how to get started maximizing your business’s potential with Pinterest SEO.

Does Pinterest marketing really boost SEO?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer about Pinterest SEO involves research from Millward Brown Digital that tells us 93 percent of U.S. users looked at Pinterest when planning to make a purchase. Another 87 percent made a purchase as a result of using the platform. The data also shows 47 percent of Pinners were more likely to experience major life events in the next six months.

This means users like millennials increasingly use Pinterest to help plan big life (and spending) events like weddings, home buying and decorating, having a baby, taking a vacation, buying a car or planning parties.

That supports the case for marketing on Pinterest, but what does it mean for SEO? Instead of becoming a big player on the search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google and Bing, Pinterest is becoming a whole new animal in the search game. Search Engine Watch even poses this question: Is Pinterest the “next” search engine?

It sounds like Pinterest is good for SEO in all the traditional ways. It allows for more backlinks, gives you more chances to show up in the SERPs, and can earn you lucrative referral traffic.

But it’s more than that. Pinterest could become a competitive search platform in and of itself — especially among small business owners, retailers and other businesses in the consumer goods game.

How to get started marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest SEO Potential

Pinterest SEO is a long game. The more great content you create, curate, and pin, the more rewards you’ll reap via sales through Pinterest and organic traffic to your site.

Here’s how to get started.

1. Create an account

When you create your Pinterest account, make sure it’s a business account. You’ll also verify your website and install a Pinterest Save button so visitors can pin content from your site directly to their own boards.

2. Familiarize yourself with Pinterest Principles

It’s a different platform with a whole new set of rules, so get familiar with what makes good Pinterest pins, what kind of pins get noticed by what kinds of users, and the basic structure of boards and pins you’ll be using to organize your content.

3. Set up your boards

How you do this is up to you, and it could take some trial and error. Depending on the nature of your business, you could set up a board for:

  • Product categories (e.g., Women’s Formal, Men’s Shoes)
  • Campaign or product lines (e.g., Fall Collection 2017, Winter Collection 2017, Demi Lovato Collection)
  • Topics of interest to potential customers (e.g., Backlinking 101, Blogging & Writing, Pinterest SEO)

Be sure to fill up board names, descriptions and pin descriptions with keywords.

4. Apply for rich pins

Pinterest SEO Rich Pins
Photo: theilr via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

Rich pins are special pins with extra information included in the pin itself for content like articles, apps, movies, recipes, places and products. Apply for rich pins if your content falls into any of these categories, so it’s easier for users to digest content and get referred back to your website for more.

5. Grow your following

Whether it’s through Pinterest automation tools, searching up influencers in your industry, or finding and engaging with people who have pinned your content in the past, building a slow and steady following will pay dividends in your Pinterest SEO strategy.

6. Pin away

Make sure you’re pinning eye-catching images tagged with useful information. Use a post scheduling app like Tailwind if you want to up your pinning game while staying efficient and organized.

7. Measure and manage

How do you know if it’s all worth it if you’re not measuring results? Measure the ROI of your efforts (Tailwind does this, too!) so you’ll know exactly how your time on Pinterest translates to better sales and SEO.

Pinterest SEO mistakes to avoid

As with any other platform, there’s a learning curve. Keep these Pinterest best practices in mind when starting your quest for better Pinterest SEO:

  • Quitting too early — It takes time to see results from marketing on Pinterest, so resist the urge to quit before you’ve gained enough momentum to see a payoff.
  • Not pinning consistently enough — It’s not just about how long you’ve been on Pinterest. It’s also about how often you pin. Just like any other platform, you’ll see better results when you’re pinning a steady stream of helpful and catchy content.
  • Not curating enough — The Pinterest crowd is highly sensitive to the presence (or absence) of aesthetically pleasing content, so don’t be surprised when pinning less-than-gorgeous content doesn’t reap you the engagement you’re looking for. Whether it’s pinning your own content or someone else’s, stick to a refined collection of crisp, bright and creative images.
  • Pushing your own content too much — A steady stream helpful and pleasing content from yourself and from others is the key to positioning yourself as a genuine brand on Pinterest.

When shouldn’t you market on Pinterest?

You shouldn’t put too much time and money into Pinterest SEO if:

  • You haven’t yet settled into a good SEO game with the bigger social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Your business is more B2B than B2C.
  • You’re too invested in direct marketing and short-term results to appreciate the indirect marketing approach and long game of Pinterest SEO.

What if none of these guidelines apply to you? Well, why not give it a shot? A few months of testing out the impact of Pinterest SEO could be all you need to figure out if it’s right for you and your small business.

Image by: __MaRiNa__ via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Tim Dugan
Tim Dugan is founder of Web Services CT, a digital marketing firm specializing in SEO and web design for small businesses throughout Connecticut. He is also the director of natural search for Zero Gravity Marketing located in Madison, Conn. Tim has a genuine passion for helping small business owners succeed through effective SEO and digital marketing strategies. When he’s not optimizing for the latest algorithm updates, he enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.