How Important is SEO to Your Pinterest Success



I’d like to take the “woo-woo”out of SEO, and make it accessible for the everyday blogger…SEO has a reputation for being like ‘bro-in-a-basement’ who became an SEO rockstar. 


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  SEO  is everything you do that makes your website rank higher in search engine results.  This may sound like SEO is difficult to achieve.

It doesn’t require technical skills or even advanced degrees to be successful at SEO.  SEO is simply “marketing to humans.”

In this post we are going to examine how SEO and Pinterest work together.  Here’s the most important thing you need to understand about Pinterest.


Pinterest is a search engine.

Pinterest is one of the top search engines, along with Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and many others.  However, Pinterest is used much differently than Google.  Pinterest uses its own ranking factors and algorithms to determine which pages rank higher in their searches.

Understanding this, what should our SEO strategy for Pinterest look like?

Include SEO into Your Pinterest Strategy

You have to understand your searcher’s intent.  People search Pinterest for many reasons.  These can include discovery, aspiration, and transformation.  They look at Pins and they make plans for change.  Discovery is what should be drawing people to your content.  Then you need to introduce action steps that you want them to take.

Start by brainstorming things that you will be addressing in your content.  Are you going to answer questions?  Will you be teaching a skill?  Do you have a great recipe that others will enjoy.  You need to address the issues that people are searching for.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why is someone looking for this content? (Discovery)
  • What are they looking to get out of it? (Aspiration)
  • How can I help them do that? (Transformation)


Focus on your images.  In searches, Google focuses on text, Pinterest focuses on text along with visual cues in their search engine.  Pinterest decides which Pins to show you based on visual relevance to your search terms.  These visual analysis tools come into play not only in Pinterest searches but also in the Pinterest Smart Feed.  Images are important in acheiving your overall Pinterest strategy.


Isolate your keywords.  This does not contradict the previous point. While Pinterest does focus on visual cues, using keywords in your Pins, Pin descriptions, board descriptions, and the original text is still important.  Do not under estimate the importance of using great keywords.  Google will use these keywords to drive traffic to your Pins.  As a matter of fact, Google has its own tool to assist you in choosing keywords to use.

Google Keyword Planner Tool is a tool, that while originally developed for advertisers, can be very helpful in knowing which keywords are ranking higher in searches. This will allow you to choose the top most searched keywords and include them in your text.

There are some cautions to keep in mind when working with Keyword Planner: it is not particularly user-friendly for bloggers, and you need to be sure to cancel your ads before you are charged for them. They will ask for credit card information when you sign up. You can cancel them by going into your account settings in the upper right corner and canceling them.

When using the Google Keyword Planner Tool, be sure to use some variance as you are searching keywords. For instance, don’t just search “dog bed”, but also “bed for dogs”.

How to Decide on Some Keywords?

Here’s a checklist for using keywords:

  • Put them on your image before uploading the image
  • Put them in your Pin description near the beginning
  • Use keywords in your Board name
  • Use them in your Board description
  • Use a keyword in your profile name
  • Use them in your “About” description
  • Use one in your content URL if applicable
  • Use them in your text whenever it makes sense to do so


It is important to use variations of keywords in your text. Change up the order of the words. And example would be, “Increase your Pinterest traffic by using these SEO techniques.” A variation on that could sound like, “Follow these 3 SEO tips to gain more Pinterest traffic.”

You’ve found your keywords, and you are trying to use them in all the ways listed above…but how can you be consistent with keyword usage in order to rank higher in Pinterest searches?

Categorize Your Posts

Categorizing your posts correctly makes them easier to find, and it also gets them to rank higher in the Pinterest search engine and in the Smart Feed. A category example might be “Chicken Recipes.” That sounds very generic, right? That’s where the next step comes in…

Title Your Boards

If you want your boards to stand out from the crowd, you need to give them titles that will make them do just that.  Use your keywords in a unique way, while still making complete sense.

Titles could be considered your “sub-categories”. Your board titles are what draw people in.  When people get drawn in, you have engagement; and engagement is what causes higher rank in Pinterest’s search engine.  Without engagement, your Pins will not show up in searches or in the Smart Feed. An example of a board title using the chicken example above might be “One Pan Chicken Dinners”. Now you’ve got their interest, so get them to click onto your board with this next step…

Use Keywords in Your Board Descriptions

Because Pinterest tends to show up so well in Google’s own search engine, use those Board descriptions to get more keyword usage.  Write an engaging Board description, using keywords strategically throughout, but not overusing them.  Write naturally, knowing you can always edit it later if you aren’t pleased with it. By using your keywords of “chicken”, “dinner”, and “one pan dinners” in your Board description, the reader knows exactly what the Board will contain.

In order for your Pins to consistently rank higher on Pinterest, remember these points:

  • Use Pinterest well
  • Use Pinterest often
  • Provide valuable content (not just your own)
  • Use Pinterest the way it is designed to be used
  • Be a good contributor to the Pinterest community
  • Enable Rich Pins on your website*

*Keep in mind that in order to use Rich Pins, you must have a Pinterest Business account. If you haven’t converted your account to a business account, you need to do so right now!


There is one more very important tip to keep in mind as we label our images for Pinterest…

Don’t use ALT tags for your images!  Pinterest wants you to use their own HTML code to label your images.  This benefits you, because you will rank higher in Pinterest searches if you are using their systems.


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