10 Ways To Optimize Your Pins For Traffic And Pinterest Search

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Optimize Pinterest For Traffic and SearchBy Sara Thompson

So you finally heeded everyone’s advice and created your Pinterest account. Way to go! And, if what you’re pinning is share-worthy, you might be starting to see some referral traffic.

What you might not be seeing, however, are your pins popping up when you use Pinterest search. Many frustrated users ask, “Why aren’t my pins showing up?!” Well, there are a number of things you can do to make your pins more searchable, and subsequently spike your referral traffic. Here are ten of them:

1. Use Keywords In Your Pin Description.

This is the key to making your pins searchable. So, if you have an image of chocolate chip cookies to go with your blog post for a chocolate chip cookie recipe, use the term “chocolate chip cookie recipe” in your pin description. Hashtags and keyword stuffing won’t help, as Vincent Ng of MCNG explains, and neither will pinning the same pin over and over as Pinterest changed their algorithm so as not to reward spammers.

2. Use Exact Keyword Matching.

As someone who writes for SEO, I have a hard time even typing that sentence. But, when we’re strictly talking about Pinterest, the best thing you can do to rank for a specific search term is to use that specific search term in your pin description. Small nuances like plurality are ok because Pinterest’s algorithms aren’t as sophisticated as Google’s, but other differentiations won’t do you any good. For example, if you want to rank for “Pinterest Strategy,” using the term “Pinterest Strategies” will work, but “Strategy for Pinterest” will not.

3. Include Your Location In Your Description.

This is especially important for local businesses. If someone is looking for an item they’d like to buy locally, including your location will help your pin appear in search results for that user.

4. Be Detailed, But Be Brief.

If you’re worried about how much wording to include in your pin descriptions, it turns out there might actually be a best practice. According to Dan Zarella of Hubspot, the golden description length is about 200 characters. After 300 words, it seems re-pin odds drop off significantly.

5. Use Keywords to Name Your Image Files.

When you create and save the images you’ll use for your website and social media, it’s a good idea to use the associated keywords you’ll be targeting with the related content. When the image is then captured by Pinterest, the file name will help Pinterest recognize what the pin is about and include it in the appropriate search results. Just make sure the file name is still describing what is in the image, otherwise you may compromise your reputation with Google.

6. Use Keywords In The Image’s Metadata.

Another way to optimize your pins from the “back end” is to include keywords in the image’s title, alt text, and description when you upload them to your website. (Again, make sure you’re still describing what’s actually in the image.) When you’ve done this and someone pins the image using their “Pin It” bookmarklet, your optimized image description will automatically populate in the pin. While users will have an opportunity to change this, most of them won’t as long as the description is short and sweet.

7. Pin From an Optimized URL.

One of the other factors in Pinterest search results is the website from which the pin originated. If you’re pinning that cookie recipe from your blog, make sure the blog post’s URL includes the keyword you’re targeting, e.g. www.bakersbliss.com/chocoloate-chip-cookie-recipe/.

8. Work In Your Web Address.

For traffic purposes, it’s a great idea to include your web address whenever possible. Some users are unaware that a second click of the image will take them to the originating web page, so a URL in the description is a smart move. Additionally, images that originated from one source will often get stolen and used to pin competing content. To combat theft, consider pasting your domain on the images you expect to pin.

9. Verify Your Website.

If you want your web address to appear on your profile or on your pins in search results you’ll want to verify your website in your profile settings. When following the prompts, you will be asked to use either an HTML file or metatag to complete your verification. Verify Website In PinterestThis will not only drive traffic and trust, but protect your brand name from being used by imposters.

10. The Re-Pin For The Win.

When targeting super competitive keywords like “recipe” or “decorating” the number of times a pin has been re-pinned (i.e. it’s popularity) will affect it’s placement in search results. So, if you want to see the pin for your design idea appear at the top of the results for “decorating” make sure to create the kind of eye candy that will get pinned over and over again.

Well, my pinning peeps, these are just a few ideas you can use to help pinners find your individual pins. There are other ways you can optimize your boards, but that’s a whole other blog post!

Do you have any other ideas for optimizing Pinterest for marketing? Leave them in the comments below!