Making Pinterest Work for You

by Adrienne Erin January 14th, 2013 

Pinterest Panorama

You can't deny Pinterest is a power-player in social media. Despite only launching in 2010, it's the third-most used social media site in the United States. A visually-oriented medium seems like a no-brainer for brand building and indirect marketing, but no one seems sure how best to capitalize on Pinterest's popularity.

Part of the problem lies with the search engines. No one knows how much weight Google gives Pinterest boards, or what types of boards meet with its approval. What we do know is Google responds to user interest, and right now millions of people are expressing interest in Pinterest. With this in mind, here are some common-sense strategies to optimize your Pins.

Create Unique Boards

When you create a Pin board, give it a specific, keyword-rich name. Not everyone does this. Need proof? Run a search for "Things I Love" boards. You'll find thousands of them, making the term useless for search engine optimization.

Instead of "Things I Love," give your board a name reflecting the images pinned on it. "Luxury Bathroom Accessories," "Mosquito Trap Review Images" or "Retro 1960s Fashion" are well-named boards with appropriate keywords, so those boards are more likely to show up in search engine results.

Edit Your Descriptions

Edit the description of every image on your boards. Editing gives you the opportunity to add links and descriptions to your Pins.

Links have obvious advantages. You can link to company websites, blogs, and other social media feeds. Pinterest also provides space for a 500-character description, which you can pepper with keywords. Well-written descriptions will get your Pins ranked on Google Images.

Optimize Image Names

Does your image filename give a clear indication of the image, or is it a jumble of letters and numbers like d676ewe_89hh_uyter.jpg? If it's the latter, you need to change the name.

Strings of letters and numbers tell search engine algorithms nothing about the image, and no one searches on them. Instead, use strong keywords to name the image file. Rename a picture of a chocolate-covered strawberry to chocolate-covered-strawberry.jpg.

Make Repinning Easy

As of this writing, we have no evidence Google considers likes, followers or repins when considering your Pinterest presence. Expect this to change. The search engine already considers the "social presence," or how connected a website is to social media feeds.

The number of people following your boards and repinning your images is a direct measurement of your influence on Pinterest. Chances are good Google's search algorithms will eventually reflect this. So make it easy for people to repin and follow you by adding Pinterest buttons to your website, just as you use Facebook Like and Share buttons.

Play the Pinning Game

Social media campaigns work best when companies avoid direct advertising, opting instead to increase brand reputation and start conversations with their target audience. In this respect, Pinterest is no different from Facebook.

Repin, share and comment on other people's boards. Follow boards relating to your interests and brand, and allow people to post on your own boards. Companies using Pinterest solely to advertise won't catch people's attention, and Google's canny enough to notice.

If you like this post, you might also enjoy 7 How To's I Learned About Pinterest  

Adrienne Erin

Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in social media marketing.

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4 Responses to “Making Pinterest Work for You”

  1. Thanks for the inspiring post, Adrienne.

    Totally 100% agree (that's a first, methinks). If something is helping to return better search results or aiding their existing algorithms, you can bet Google is gonna incorporate those practises in an update sooner rather than later.

    Moreover, I think if some bloggers implemented your strategies to their writing, as well as their Pin Boards, they'd fare better also.

    Concise post, written and summarised perfectly and all makes perfect, logical sense, Captain, thank you.
    Zebedeerox. x

    • Adrienne Erin says:

      Thank you Jason, that's very kind! I think we're going to continue to see a lot of exciting things emerge from Pinterest and the new trend of image-based social media.

  2. Rank Watch says:

    It amazes me to see how Pinterest has arrived on the social media platform in a jiffy in the last couple of years. With Google's panda and penguin updates killing the earlier link building and black hat measures that web masters used to generate better search results, and with the stress now on more of quality content generation, Pinterest has stamped it's authority as a powerfull medium for the social media marketing (especially with "Infographic" thing in trend now).