Now the third-most popular social network (LinkedIn is number four), Pinterest has seen a 145% increase in daily users since January 2012. With about 1.5 million visitors each day, the addictive social media site could be an extremely effective marketing tool if used correctly.
That being said, if you do not have an engaging image associated with your article, it might not work for Pinterest, since the site is so visually oriented. Even though Pinterest is a social media site, SEO still plays an important role. When you do have the right image, make sure to follow the SEO tips for Pinterest included below.
I regularly see pins that are just not visually engaging. It might seem like common sense, but if you were trying to link to an article of yours about Banana Republic‘s catalog, it would be more effective to pin this photo:
than to pin this photo:
Currently, the top categories are Home, Arts/Crafts, Style/Fashion, Food, and Inspiration/Education. See a trend there? All these categories are evergreen and have the potential to have interesting and unique pictures attached to them.
Search engines tend to follow web users’ interests. If this craze with Pinterest doesn’t fade, the more that web users show interest in Pinterest, the more we will see it in the engines.
It is no secret that the web is going visual–think of Instagram, Pinterest, and the increased number of pictures and videos in Google. Social media is already playing a big role in search. If one of your connections +1′s a piece of content, it is likely to rank in search results for that topic. Also, how many times a piece of content is liked, retweeted, and shared are taken into account in the SERPs. Pinterest results are certainly appearing in Google and as high results in Google Image searches.
Once you are confident that you have a picture that is engaging, incorporate these SEO tips for Pinterest to gain more visibility in search engine results:
1. Add a bio and a link to your profile. Include a short bio of what you’ll be pinning in the About section with relevant keywords that will make other users find you. The profile is another section that gives “link juice” (adds value in the search engines to help increase your article’s rank). Add a link to your website in addition to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
2. Add specific, keyword-specific board names. “Furniture” is not going to perform as well as “living room designs.”
3. Add a description to each pin. You can add a description each time you pin that can be up to 500 characters. Use as many characters as necessary to create keyword-dense descriptions of your linked-to article or image.
4. Add links to your pin descriptions. URLs that you add to images when you edit your pin are no-follow; these links will not increase your rankings in the search engines and are ignored by search engines. However, you can put URLs in your descriptions. Those currently are do-follow, meaning that these links have SEO value and will contribute to your rank in the search engines. Pinterest went primarily no-follow in March 2012 to help fight spam.
5. Add keywords to the file name of your image. If you upload your own image, make sure the file name of your image contains your targeted key phrase. “DSCN53563498694.jpg” is not going to rank as well as “green-multi-striped-bowtie.jpg.”
6. Ensure your profile is visible to the search engines. Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines should be switched OFF in Settings.7. Include keywords in your username. Your username is included in your URL and can be found by the search engines: www.pinterest.com/XXXXXXX. You may edit this from Settings. 8. Share your pins with your social media networks. Encourage engagement by letting your friends know that you’re on Pinterest. As with any social media network, people with more followers and more activity will have more power. If you’ve linked your Facebook and Twitter, you will have the option to share your pin with those accounts.
9. Be yourself. Pin and re-pin what you like; this will lead to more people following your pins. Have a well-balanced account and pin from a variety of sites. Don’t just pin your own content.
10. Be active! Re-pin, comment, and like pins that align with the themes of your boards. Pinterest is social media and not just a place for you to advertise yourself. Success will take time. Engage with other pinners: Just like on Twitter, add @ mentions and hash tags.
Strategically select a username with keywords based on what you will be pinning to increase the likelihood you will rank highly for that keyword.
Look around on Pinterest to see what types of images catch your eye and what compels you to engage with an image. Make notes of those kinds of images so that you can upload similar types of content. Analyze: Which of your pins had the most likes, comments, and re-pins? Repeat.
If your article does not have a striking image you’d like to pin, you may upload a photo and add a link directly to that photo. While on Pinterest, select Add+ from the top right corner of your screen and then Upload a Pin. Once you have uploaded a pin and included the link in the description, press Pin It but edit the pin to add a link to the photo itself.
Haven’t had enough of Pinterest yet? No problem! If you have an account on Skyword, view some more of our tips and a guide to use Pinterest here.
Please see here for general image SEO tips (created by yours truly).
Adam Vavrek is a sports enthusiast with an addiction to ice cream. He is also the Manager of Skyword Writer Services, and he loves SEO and social media.