Simply pinning content isn’t enough to be truly successful on Pinterest. It’s also important to be sure you’re optimizing all of the content you pin for the Pinterest search engine to make it easy to find.
A lot of users make the mistake of choosing a random image for their pin, but this is a huge mistake. The image is the most important element of a pin, because it is ultimately what will make people pay attention to the pin, click it, and perhaps re-pin it.
Be sure you select the very best image to represent your pin, make it interesting, unusual and most importantly sharp.
Pinterest image sizes:
- Profile images: 165 x 165 pixels.
- Pins in feed: 238 pixels x adjusted to height.
- Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height.
- Pin boards complete size: 238 x 284 pixels.
- Cover image: 217 x 146 pixels.
- Tiny thumbnails: 51 x 51 pixels.
The second huge mistake people make when they pin content is leaving the description blank or adding only a small bit of text, such as “pizza recipe”. You should always include a good, keyword rich description that will help users find your pin and also encourage them to visit it.
Be sure to include your main keyword first, as keywords that appear early are given the most weight.
Here’s an example:
Pizza Recipe – The world’s best pizza recipe, including homemade pizza crust, homemade pizza sauce, and complete how-to instructions with pictures!
Hash tags, for those who aren’t savvy with social media, are those keywords you see with the # sign in front of them. They look like this:
They can be used on Pinterest, but because their algorithm doesn’t really recognize them the way many other social sites do, they aren’t particularly advantageous. You may see some users putting hash tags in their descriptions, but they aren’t essential and may actually make it more difficult for people to find your pins.
The only time you might want to use a hash tag in a pin description is if you’re using a really popular, trending hash tag that you think people might be searching for. So just using the keyword without the hash tag is just fine in most pins.
1. Optimizing Your Profile
For obvious reasons, make sure your business’ name is in the account name and user name. Write a strong description about your business; include a good number of searchable keywords, but make sure it reads well.
2. Verify Your Website
Verified Pinterest accounts have more authority in Pinterest search. This page has instructions about how to complete the process
3. Installing Pin It Buttons
Encouraging users to pin content from your website primes the Pinterest search pump. The more good pins you get, the better your authority and the higher your posts will rank.
4. Writing Strong Descriptions
Make sure to fill the descriptions with searchable keywords that describe the product or page. But avoid sounding ‘spammy’, because the descriptions serve as captions. They are rarely changed by Pinterest users sharing them, but are less likely to be re-pinned or clicked upon if they aren’t appealing to humans. Also avoid using hashtags, which serve no Pinterest purpose. And by using too many, you’re content might be demoted by the Pinterest search engine.
You should also take the same approach with descriptions in the names of Pinterest boards. And when naming boards stick with straightforward, simple names – short, punchy and memorable.
5. Setting Up Rich Pins
Rich Pins, similar to Twitter Cards, are a way to pull structured data from your site and display it on Pinterest. Depending on the type of Rich Pin, they can show price and availability for a product, ingredients for a recipe or address, phone number and a map for a place. Such content seems to rank higher in Pinterest search. It also make it more visible in Pinterest users’ feeds and therefore gets a higher click-through rate.
Setting up Rich Pins for your site also should improve your results and rankings with Google and other search engines. It also pays to remember that the same algorithm Pinterest uses is adopted to generate rich snippets that display within ‘off-Pinterest’ search results.
6. Checking Your Links
Make sure Pinterest isn’t sending traffic to deleted or expired pages. 404 errors hurt a site’s search ranking and anger users. If you have a product that’s out of stock, add related items to the page.
7. Getting More Followers
Add the follow button to your site, on as many pages as possible. Promote your Pinterest account on other social accounts, put links on your website or blog, in fact share it wherever you can. Because the more followers you have, the higher authority your profile and boards can achieve, the more likely your Pins will rank highly in Pinterest search.
8. Finding Your Niches
Although Pinterest seems to be dominated by pins regarding fashion items, travelling and cooking, there are untold opportunities to target other topics and niches. Take ‘BuzzFeed’ for example, they had great success by sharing its humorous content, gaining thousands of followers in months. If your topic is competitive, try looking for sub-niches that have a high volume of searches, but a lower volume of content, such as father of the bride attire in the wedding category.