Pinterest SEO in 2019
Pinterest SEO for 2019
How’s your Pinterest Strategy doing so far this year? Have you figured out the changes yet? Some are already right in front of you if you spend any amount of time on your smart feed! If you’re just as confused about the updates and changes Pinterest has made as a lot of other bloggers are, I’m gonna tell you all about Pinterest SEO in 2019….right here….right now!
Pinterest in all reality is NOT a Social Media platform….It’s a search engine! A VISUAL search engine. Just like Google, except with pretty pictures (Pins)! SEO is just as important on Pinterest as it is on Google….remember that!Pinterest is NOT a Social Media Platform, it's a Visual Search Engine! Click To Tweet
There are over 200 Million active users on Pinterest, over 100 Billion ideas, and over 2 Billion searches are done monthly….on Pinterest! That’s a crap ton of potential readers and subscribers to your blog (and potential buyers)!
Pinterest drives tons of traffic to your blog, store, business, whatever you own or operate. Pinterest users are there ready to read, get inspired, find tips, recipes, they look for things to BUY, you name it, you can find it on Pinterest!
How do you get this traffic? You MUST incorporate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into everything you do on Pinterest in order to get FOUND and have your Pins rank higher in the smart feed. And, do it correctly! That means using SEO on your Pins, Profile, Descriptions, and Boards. It’s not that hard once you get the idea!
If you follow my guide here, you can potentially get unlimited amounts of traffic to your blog…..FREE TRAFFIC! Free Traffic is often referred to as “Organic traffic”, in case you didn’t know that! So are you ready to dive in?
*This post contains Affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you happen to click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for your continuous support in making it possible to bring you this awesome information!
New Things in Pinterest for 2019
The Following Tab
Have you noticed it? Last year Pinterest started introducing the “Following” tab. This is where you only see content from people that you are Following on Pinterest. How cool is that? Have you started following some big name bloggers or companies and could never find their content? Now you can! Just click on your Following Tab and you’ll find everything Miss Betty Blogger has pinned on Pinterest recently.
But there’s a catch…..
Only your first 5 pins after midnight will be put in the following feed. Meaning, the first 5 pins that you pin after 12 am on any given day, will be seen in the Following feed, until after 12 am the following day. How many of you figured this one out?
The Smart Feed
The Smart Feed is Pinterest’s algorithm and this is what they use to determine what you see in your feed. Pinterest used to display pins in real-time, but not anymore. Pins are now shown as “Best” first rather than “Newest” first. The Smart Feed prioritizes and ranks pins based on quality, and that quality is determined by Pinterest’s algorithm.
Pinterest chooses Pins from three different variables to display in your Smart Feed, they are: The pins you save from people you follow, Related Pins, and what your interests are (that explains that stray crochet pattern in your feed!). It is these three variables that determine what you see in your Smart Feed. Have you ever noticed that when you click on a pin for a close-up or even click through to the source….your Smart Feed all of a sudden starts displaying different pins with similar content? Yep….guess what….you just told Pinterest that you are now “interested” in learning how to make mudpies! (just an example!). The algorithm changed to show you what Pinterest has learned about YOUR seemingly new “interest”!
Hashtags are relatively new on Pinterest (Pinterest hated them!). Now you can Hashtag away to your heart’s content, but make sure you use RELEVANT hashtags and only add them to your new pins. I wouldn’t even bother spiffing up old pins with new hashtags because Pinterest’s hashtag feed will only prioritize fresh pins (new). So don’t waste your time on the old pins, but simply make NEW pins for the same content as your old pins, and you should be golden! Just make sure to do your KEYWORD research and use top ranking keywords with your Hashtags.
The Pinterest Search Algorithm
How does it work? Pinterest’s algorithm can be hard to understand because it is constantly changing. Just when you think you’ve mastered it, it up and changes on you again…making you come up with another strategy. But never fear, it usually doesn’t take long to figure it out!
Pinterest uses a few factors to decide (or influence) if your pin will show up in the Smart Feed…..they are:
- The quality of your Domain
- The quality of your pin
- The quality of YOU (the Pinner)
When you work on your Pinterest SEO, understand how to Optimize, and Master it (it ain’t hard!), you will start to see a spike in traffic to your blog! Yay!
Let’s get to work making you a Pinterest SEO Master…kickin’ ass and takin’ names!
Improving the Quality of your Domain
What does this even mean? Well, Domain Quality is how Pinterest views the Quality of your website! I know what you’re thinking….you’re thinking that there’s some guy sitting behind a desk at the Pinterest office looking through everyone’s Blogs and rating them. LOL! Nooooo! What this actually means is Pinterest can see the popularity of pins from your website, and over time, Pinterest figures out that you are a source of great high-quality content.
So what does it mean to “improve the quality” of your Domain?
There are 5 Rites of Passage for every Blogger, Business, Entrepreneur, or anyone wanting to gain traffic….
- You must have a Pinterest Business Account! Don’t use your personal account!
- Claim your Website! Be legitimate!
- Enable Rich Pins
- Pin Consistently
- Create high-quality pins from high-quality content that gets tons of saves and comments!
Covert your personal account to a business account, then claim your website/blog! If you don’t want to convert your personal account, then create a business account that you use for your website/blog ONLY! You’ll be pinning pins that you think would help your AUDIENCE, and not you (it’s all about the readers after all!).
Enable Rich Pins! Rich pins add extra content or descriptions to your pin from your blog. This helps to improve your ranking and when you update the info on your blog, Pinterest will pull it and add it to your pin! This is especially helpful if you’re a Food blogger as it’ll pull your ingredient list from your recipe! Cool huh? Rich pins are also clicked on more often than regular pins….so there’s that!
You want to be consistent in your pinning strategy as well. Try to pin around the same number of pins every day. If you pin 20, then pin 20 the next day, and so on. It doesn’t matter how many, as long as you’re consistent. Don’t pin 20 one day, skip a day or two, then pin 5, then a few days later pin 30. That’s not consistency. I pin between 20 and 50 times a day. I pin my own pins and other pinners pins as well. As a matter of fact, I pin others’ content more than my own…every day! Use an 80/20 rule, which is pinning 20% YOUR content, and 80% OTHERS’ content.
This can be very time-consuming!
Don’t feel you have to spend hours on Pinterest pinning and pinning all in one shot! Spread it out! Or better yet, sign up for Tailwind and schedule it to do the work for you! Here’s what I do, I manually pin in the evening (I work all day) and occasionally during the day when I have time. Then, I schedule on Tailwind in the evening to pin for me throughout the next day. So it seems as if I’m pinning all day when in reality, it’s 50% Me and 50% Tailwind! I’ve had huge success doing this! This is what works for me and my very busy schedule, and you’ll find what works for you as well…just experiment and develop a strategy that gives you the best results.
Improve the quality of your Pins
This isn’t what you think! It’s not really about the quality of the pins you’ve created. You see, Pin quality is calculated by the popularity and engagement of your pins. Meaning, if people click your pin for a close-up, click through to your site, save, or even add images or comments to your pin, THAT is what Pinterest views as a high-quality pin!
Pinterest will look at ALL versions of your Pin to calculate a high-quality Pin. If you save a pin to another board, Pinterest will add up all the comments from that one pin and combine it with the total comments from other versions of that one pin to determine the quality. If you’ve ever noticed, all of the comments and images will show up from all of your versions at some point in time, and be shown on the original Pin. TIP: Make multiple Pins for every Blog post. My suggestion is anywhere from 2 to 5 Pins per post!
But what about the quality of the Pins themselves?
There are a few ways to create high-quality looking Pins!
- Create well written, long form, and compelling Blog Posts! The longer the better! The more detailed and informative the better! You’re wanting great engagement that make people want to stay on your Blog and click around to read more….and hopefully fill out that lonely Opt-in form!
- Create eye-catching headlines! You want people to click through and actually read the post that you worked very hard to create, so create a headline that will make them want to click through to your Blog post. This will also get people to save your Pin and even comment on it!
- I’ll tell ya, you could have written an award-winning article that is Pulitzer Prize worthy, wrote a better headline than your most popular newspaper, BUT if your graphics are horrible or even ugly, your Pin is going to fail on Pinterest. You may get some engagement, maybe even a save or two, but without the beautiful graphics that an incredible high-quality pin needs to survive, your Pin will perish!
Do you want a high-quality pin that will capture the eyes of Pinners and make them want to engage with your content? Follow these guidelines:
Use a beautiful high-quality image
Use a Pin template that is taller than it is wide
Use text overlay directly on the image
Use multiple images on your Pin
Add a mock-up of your “Freebie” and add it to your Pin to give it even more value
Use the Pin size of 600×900 px, Pinterest says that this is NOW the recommended pin size and that taller Pins won’t be distributed as much or as well as the smaller size.
Keep a Watch on your Group Boards
If your Pins aren’t doing well in your Group Boards, not getting many saves or clicks, then it’s time to think about leaving. That goes for your personal boards as well. A way to confirm this is by going into your Pinterest Analytics and checking the engagement stats. Always check your clicks and saves so you don’t leave a board that’s giving you positive engagement to your pins!
Facebook Group share and like Promos
There are some Facebook Groups that will have Promo days on certain days of the week where you can post a link to your pin and ask for saves, and it may give your pin a boost. However, some Bloggers may debate if this is really beneficial. Here’s what can happen when you participate….
- More saves make you look better to Pinterest.
- Your pin gets in front of a larger audience (reach).
These are good right?
There’s also a negative side…
- Your pins could be negatively affected if saved to a board that’s not relevant to your pin.
- Your Pinner Quality rank could be negatively affected by saving poor quality pins that don’t really fit in your niche.
- It’s pretty time-consuming.
Is it beneficial? No. It is recommended that you don’t participate in these types of exchanges because the majority of them cause you to pin things you normally wouldn’t, and that can get you penalized by Pinterest.
What you should do is participate in promos with other people in your Niche/Industry who would be genuinely interested in your content. There are Niche/Industry specific groups on Facebook where you can promote your pins and have others in the same Niche share and exchange with you. That way you are pinning content that is similar to your content. We pin content that we think our AUDIENCE would like and benefit from, not for ourselves. That’s what our personal boards are for.
A good example of a share exchange type group is Tailwind Tribes. Join Tribes in your own Niche and pin and share high-quality content to your Tribes, and you should see wonderful results from your efforts (more reach=more traffic!).
How to increase Pinner Quality
Pinner quality is what Pinterest thinks of YOU as a content creator. How well is your content received by your audience? Are you getting a good amount of clicks, comments, and saves? Are you active on Pinterest? How often do you pin, and how much? Are your pins made from high-quality content?
This is how Pinterest determines YOU as a Quality Pinner.
If you’re missing these qualities or even some of them, what can you do to improve your Pinner Quality ranking?Bloggers write for their AUDIENCE and not for THEMSELVES! Click To Tweet
Be active on Pinterest through the day!
You can Manually pin, but seriously, who has time to do that all day! Try a scheduling tool such as Tailwind! You can upload and schedule your pins in as little as an hour or less, and even schedule them throughout the week. Take advantage of Smartloop to keep your EVERGREEN content flowing through the smart feed all year round. Join some Tribes and get your content in front of other Bloggers audiences, that can get you more saves and comments!
The analytics on Tailwind are awesome for researching which of your pins and boards perform the best so you can up your strategy to get even more saves and comments! Take advantage of it and use it to your benefit!
Pin content that is already popular!
You have several different options to find the most Popular pins, here are a few:
Check out the POPULAR catergory on Pinterest.
Perform a search on the topic of your content, and the first pins in the Smart Feed are the most popular pins. These pins usually have tons of saves, like THOUSANDS (a couple of my pins have over 25k saves!)! You may not be able to see the save count, switch to the mobile Pinterest app and you should be able to see them there.
There’s a website that will let you see the most popular saved pins on Pinterest broken down by category, and this is Repinned.net.
Explode your follower engagement!
This is where you can use Pinterest Analytics to your advantage! Practically all of the information in the Analytics section can be used to your advantage, if you know how to use it *wink*.
You’re going to use Pinterest Analytics to see what your top performing pins are. This is going to be the content that your audience is most interested in.
Here’s what mine looks like as of today:
Well now, my audience is interested in the Keto and Anti-Inflammatory diets. So guess what I’m going to do? Yep, I’m going to create more posts on these two categories and promote the heck out of them! This is your audiences way of telling you “Hey! We like this stuff, write more!” The more you create posts on your popular subjects, the more traffic, engagement, clicks, saves, and comments you’re going to get. Simply because this is what your AUDIENCE WANTS from you!
What to do with Keywords on Pinterest
If you know anything about SEO, then you know that the only way for any search engine to know what your content is about is through the KEYWORDS that you add. Pinterest is a search engine just like Google (except with pretty pictures), and your keywords determine the relevance of your content. Your content won’t get in front of your audience if it isn’t relevant to their interests or searches.
KEYWORDS tell Pinterest what your CONTENT and PINS are ABOUT!
How do you use keywords to tell Pinterest what your Content and Pins are about and relevant to your audience?
Keyword Research on Pinterest
The best way to do Keyword Research for your Pinterest content is actually on Pinterest itself! There is no special Keyword tool built specifically for finding top ranking keywords to place on your Pins, Boards, etc.
When you type in a search word or phrase, you’ll see that Pinterest will start giving you “suggestions”, much like Google does. These are popular searches and words that are popular on Pinterest at the time of your search.
After you’ve done your search, you’ll see a colorized search bar with Keywords in them, starting with the most popular first. See my example below! What this does is help you narrow down your search even further. These are your KEYWORDS! The Keywords you want to add to your pins and hashtags.
But hold on a second…..there’s more to it…..
Pinterest, as well as Google, both love long-tail keywords, which are phrases, i.e. “Chicken” vs. “Roasted Chicken Dinner Recipes”. The latter is a long-tail keyword phrase. Try to use the long-tail form vs. the one word Keyword. There’s a ton of competition for the general one-word Keywords, so you want the long-tails to get as specific as possible.
Now that you’ve researched some great Keywords, what the heck do we do with them?
Well, I’ll tell ya…..
Optimizing your Pinterest Profile with Keywords
There are basically three places where you can add Keywords to your Pinterest Profile, and they are:
- Your Business Name
- Your User Name
- Your Bio
To add a Business name to your account you’ll need to upgrade to a Business account (it’s free!). This is where you can Claim your Website/Blog, have access to Pinterest Analytics, and use Promoted Pins.
Your User Name is what makes up your URL on Pinterest. You can use long-tail Keywords that are relevant to your site, or even use your Business name. I have seen some use their personal name in their URL, this is quite okay if you want to do this, but remember, this is your business, so unless your Business name is your actual name, I’d advise against this.
Pinterest gives plenty of space for you to add Keywords in the Business Name field, so add Keywords right after your Business name so Pinners will know what it is you do! For example, if you are a Blogging Coach, then you would put that right after your Business name (keywords baby!).
Your Pinterest Bio is another place where you’ll add Keywords. This is where it gets a little challenging because you want to say awesome things about yourself and your Business and tell the world what you do! BUT, you’ve only got a 160 character limit! So you’re gonna have to get down and dirty with those Keywords and get straight to the point! Be specific, use words such as “inspire”, “help”, include a call to action, load it up with Keywords!
Here is a great example of what I’m talking about. This is Melyssa Griffin’s Pinterest Profile Bio:
Here you can see how she has SEO Optimized her Bio using Keywords and a great call to action at the end. There’s also an example of how to Optimize your Business name. Her Business name is actually her real name, so now you see what I mean about using your actual name in the Business name field.
Optimize your Pinterest Boards with Keywords
You are going to want to use great Keywords that describe the board using a couple of Keywords or a long-tail Keyword. You want to use them in both your title and descriptions, and I’ll tell you why…..
Pinterest wants you to save your content to your most RELEVANT boards first, this is because the keywords of the board stay with your pin and helps Pinterest in categorizing and distributing it where it finds the pin most relevant. BIG TIP: Never, and I mean NEVER, give your boards cutesy names! Save that for your Personal Account. Giving your boards cute little names like, “Nom Nom” or “Bloggin’ the WWW” is a good way to get your boards in front of NOBODY! Boards with these cute names will never show up in a search, and neither will the pins. Be professional, this is your BUSINESS! Use titles like “Blogging Tools” or “Healthy Meal Plans”, these will get seen and shared, as well as the Pins inside of them!
When it comes to your Board descriptions, you want to try to use as many relevant Keywords as possible, but also remaining “user-friendly”. You need to categorize your Boards efficiently also. You don’t want to save Recipes to a Board about Blogging Tips, this will confuse your followers and Pinterest, and can actually hurt the way your content is distributed.
Optimize your Pin Descriptions with Keywords
Pinterest did an experiment not long ago with how much of the pin description and title will be shown in the search and smart feed. While writing a captivating pin description that you think will engage your reader and entice them into clicking through to your post is awesome….it’s not enough! Most pinners won’t even see your description unless they click on your Pin!
So what do you do?
You need to be using KEYWORDS IN YOUR PIN DESCRIPTION! The captivating description is what gets your audience to click through to your post, but without those important KEYWORDS, your Pin will not be found in a search! This is where your Keywords research comes in (remember what I talked about earlier?). Research Keywords to find the most popular, and then incorporate them into your Pin description.
Optimize your Blog Posts with Keywords
This is a no-brainer! I think we all know this one as this is usually the very first thing that most Bloggers learn about SEO. You want to use Keywords in your Blog Post Title AND the Body of your post. By using Keywords in your Blog post title and body, Pinterest will transfer these over if you’ve enabled Rich Pins.
Another important thing to optimize is your Meta Description, this will captivate Pinterest Users to come back to your Blog. If you don’t use the Meta Description field, then you can optimize the first few sentences in your post as Pinterest and Google will pull this and use it as your Meta Description. Personally, I prefer to set a separate Meta Description that’s Keyword rich and has a great “call to action” at the end. This is way more enticing than the first few sentences of your post!
Using “Buyable” Pins and Hashtags
If you’re using Buyable pins, make sure that these are optimized like your regular pins using Keyword-rich descriptions. TIP: If you’re promoting an Amazon product, never ever put the price of your product on the pin or in the pin description (not allowed by Amazon), and make sure to disclose your affiliation.
Like I mentioned earlier, Hashtags are relatively new to Pinterest. Always use Hashtags that are relevant to the content you are sharing. Use my advice from above about finding the perfect high ranking Keywords on Pinterest and add them after your pin description. I typically use between 4 and 10 hashtags, but I’ve read that you can use as many as 30 (unconfirmed).
Optimizing the Sections within your Boards
Did you know that you can have “sections” within your boards? They act like little “shelves” where you can keep your pins organized by subtopics. They also give Pinterest more information about your Boards and Pins, so you’re going to also want to use good Keywords for these as well.
Pinterest doesn’t mind if you create sections within your boards if fact they are encouraged. One typical rule to follow is that if you’re going to use sections, make sure you section boards that cover a broad topic. For a board called “Blogging”, you can have sections like “Tools” and “Plug-ins”. Sectioning a board that is on a specific topic like “Beef Dishes” probably won’t work so well as they are all “Beef Dishes” hopefully (I hope you’re pinning what’s relevant to your boards lol). Sectioning your broad topic boards is also a fantastic way to improve your SEO!
Pinterest Courses and eBooks I Recommend
These are some of my favorite Courses and eBooks on Pinterest Strategies and SEO that I highly Recommend! Take a gander, you’ll never find another Finer bunch of Bloggers with such AWESOME INFORMATION as these people here! *Why don’t I have an eBook or Course on Pinterest SEO? I’m working on it! It’s lack of time more than anything, I also work full time and have a home to take care of! Wonder Woman I am NOT! (I wish though!)
Finally the WRAP-UP…
Whew! That’s a crap ton of information!
Pinterest, just like Google, is constantly changing and evolving right in front of us. Strategies that worked this week may not work next week! Your job is to pay attention and evolve your strategies with the changes.
In this very long post, I showed you how to use Pinterest SEO to boost your traffic in 2019. No one can predict the changes that will happen this year, but if they follow what Google does then we may see penalties for duplicate content, pinning irrelevant content to your boards, and even Keyword “stuffing” (there’s really no benefit from Keyword stuffing anyway, so don’t waste your time!). Just keep using your great Keywords, do your Keyword research, use hashtags, optimize EVERYTHING, and keep putting out quality and valuable content that engages and helps your audience. Use beautiful images (optimized of course), and proper pin sizes….and Pinterest will LOVE YOU and reward you by putting your content front and center for all to enjoy!
Have you been Optimizing your content on Pinterest, your Profile, Boards, and Blog Posts? How is it working for you? What have I included in this post that you didn’t know about? Have I left anything out? Any questions can be answered by filling out the Comment section at the bottom of this post!
Want to learn more about Pinterest and SEO? I’m a Pinterest Expert with nearly Ten years of Pinterest experience! Joint the Gang here at She’s Everything Tipsey and get a jump start on your Pinterest Game (or tweak it!)
Are you wondering what that cute little Pop-Up was when you came to my Blog? Well, it was Milo Tree! You can check it out below!