Does Pinterest Help with SEO?

23 September 2013

London: The crossing of organic search and Pinterest is in fact very small. Still, Pinterest does have a place in search engine optimization as a means to develop a site’s search result footprint, and organic search principles can also be influenced to pick up performance in Pinterest’s internal search.

Pinterest and Search Reputation Management
When customers search a brand on Google, the consequences color their insight of that brand. If that brand is in the middle of a crisis, depressing news reports can lead the rankings and further spoil the brand’s reputation one search at a time. In times like that, Pinterest can play a role in reputation management.

Building a strong stable of owned media – Pinterest content, Facebook content, Twitter Content, YouTube content, blogs – besides your primary eCommerce site improves the probability that your brand will rule more of the search results in a crisis.

From a SEO viewpoint, it’s doubtful that a brand’s Pins and Boards will position in the major search engines for competitive keyword phrases. Very few do, even among the larger eCommerce sites taking part in Pinterest.
The value of Pinterest to organic search lies instead in the ability of the brand’s Pinner profile to rank when consumers look for for the brand. In a brand crisis, the ability of that Pinner profile to rank for the company’s name means a negative result gets pushed off the first page of search results. You may not require it until that crisis hits, but when it does you’ll wish you had started earlier.

Pinterest to Earn Links
Prior to you get too excited, Pinterest discontinued passing link authority through its links to external sites long ago to limit link-stuffing spammers. Pinning links will not send link authority flowing back to your site.

However, as a channel to endorse content, Pinterest is actually a tool for earning links as well as traffic back to your site. Consider it this way: If no one sees your content, no one can link to it. But when you share content through Pinterest or any other advertising vehicle, some percentage of the people who see that content will change to sharing the content and some percentage will change to linking to the content. The more shares the content gets, the more people see the content, and the number of potential links rises as a result.

Pinterest as a Search Engine
In a lot of ways, social networks like Pinterest function as secondary search engines. To get your Pins in front of more Pinterest users, you must know how to optimize content for Pinterest’s internal search engine.

As with SEO for traditional search engines, the first step is keyword research. Sadly, there is no tool that exposes keyword demand in Pinterest. Use the Google Keyword Planner or your preferred keyword tool as a proxy for searches on Pinterest. Decide what keywords searchers use to find out products in your category or answer questions that point to needs your products may fill.

With keyword research in hand, it’s time to start creating and optimizing.

Optimizing Pinner Profiles. When signing up for a Pinterest profile, ensure to opt for a Pinner name that will stand for the brand well. The profile name will be utilized in the title tag and URL for the profile page, both of which will impact SEO for conventional search engines as well as Pinterest search. Complete the complete profile for maximum findability, including name and location keywords that may aid in brand and location searches. Ensure to use keywords in the description as well, and include the URLs to your eCommerce site, Twitter, and Facebook.

Optimizing Boards. Based on the keyword research, identify the content topics you’ll create Boards around. Give each a significant, descriptive title that includes the keyword the Board will target. This is where a lot of brands get lost. “Fall Looks We Love” is a terrible Board name for a brand that wants to be discovered in Pinterest for “sweaters.” Naming the board “Sweaters for Fall” would be better for search, and a clearer indicator of the Board’s content to browsers as well. As with profiles, the Board page’s title tag and URL will both contain the Board name, so the Board name needs to contain the target keyword phrase to give it any chance of ranking in traditional search as well as Pinterest search. Lastly, ensure to categorize the Board correctly to help increase visibility in Pinterest search.

Optimizing Uploaded Pins. Pins must also be chosen based on keyword research. Since Pins are the default view in Pinterest search, guaranteeing that Pins are strongly aligned with the phrases that people search for is critical to earning a place in Pinterest search results. Optimize Pins with strong descriptions that use the targeted keyword, but remember Pins with shorter captions may be more likely to be Repinned. Include details like a link to the product and the price. Use a short, descriptive file name when saving the image, containing the targeted keyword if pertinent.

Choosing the Visual. Searchers will judge Pins, Boards, and Pinner profiles by their visuals. Even if the optimization is ideal, without a likewise perfect image the Pin will fail. If the image doesn’t motivate the community, they won’t Repin it or Like it and the Pin will not rank well.

Earning Authority. Pins, Boards, and Pinner profiles that have more Followers, Repins, and Likes will grade better in Pinterest search. As with conventional SEO, even the perfect optimization cannot conquer a lack of authority.

Optimizing Ecommerce Sites for Pinterest. To this point the optimization tips have been centered on content the brand itself posts on Pinterest. You can also optimize your eCommerce site to cheer more Pins and make Pins more effective. The clearest step is to add Pinterest buttons or widgets to your product detail pages to make it simple for customers to Pin products to share with their friends. Additionally, use Rich Pins to automatically add details like pricing and accessibility when clients Pin your pages. Getting started with Rich Pins needs some development work to include meta tags into your pages and an application process.

Pinterest for Every Business?
The visual nature of Pinterest lends itself well to eCommerce sites and major brands. Businesses love the idea of using the photography and visuals they already produce for other marketing channels again to feed their search and social marketing programs.

But is Pinterest a good fit for your business?

The Pinterest community is particularly strong in home decorating, crafting, recipes and food, fashion and other highly visual categories. Sites with products clearly pertinent to these categories will find it simpler to share pertinent and valuable images and information that turn into Follows, Pins, Repins, and Likes.

Pinterest isn’t for every eCommerce site – B-to-B sites will likely find Pinterest a hard sell. Without a strong serving of creativity, B-to-C sites that sell dull or unattractive products will likewise be challenged.

Even so, there’s no scarcity of examples of feisty brands that made a splash with products you’d typically consider unexciting. Blendtec made expert blenders share-worthy. Old Spice recharged a men’s beauty product line with a YouTube video campaign. Search for ways to reveal the excitement in your product offering to gaining brand traction on Pinterest.

Is Pinterest a better vehicle than social media defaults Facebook and Twitter? That depends completely on your audience, your industry, and the visual appeal of the content your brand is willing to share. But it doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. Some of the content shared on Facebook or Twitter could probably be reworked with an ultra-visual angle to also share on Pinterest. From this point of view, Pinterest may just be an elegant way to stretch the use of existing marketing assets to reach more patrons.

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