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Ask anyone what makes Google searches work and they will likely talk about keywords.  Yes, SEO is a complicated beast with a lot more to it than just the right phrase but at the heart of everything are keywords.  They are the little signposts that tell Google what your content is about.  But Pinterest is a social media site and it doesn’t use keywords, right?

Wrong on both counts.  Not only is Pinterest not a social media site, it does use keywords and there are whole volumes written about Pinterest SEO.

But I’m not going for a volume or two – just a straight forward introduction to the topic and some pointers about how to find keywords on Pinterest and also where to put them.

What is a keyword?

Let’s start by just quickly going over the keyword basics – they are much the same on Pinterest as on Google.  A keyword is a term you use to search for something – let’s say you want to look for cat beds.  So, you might type ‘cat beds’ into the bar along the top of the Pinterest app or website.  You will also see a list of potential further keywords under the search to help you refine it and find what you really want.

Pinterest keywords

If you are looking for something a little more specific, you might search for ‘faux fur cat beds’ or ‘extra large cat beds’ and these are known as long tail keywords because they are longer and result in more specific answers.  They are also better for SEO purposes but that’s another story.  When you search a long tail keyword, you might not see a further list of keywords under it.

long tail Pinterest keywords

When you do that search, you will also notice that there are four options under the search bar – all pins, your pins, people and boards.  Remember them for later on.

Choosing the right keywords

As we are here to talk about using Pinterest for business, let’s think about keywords from that perspective, the cat bed seller rather than the cat bed buyer.

You probably already have a good idea about the keywords that you want to rank for on Google and use these on your website.  It never hurts to check they are relevant to Pinterest and also to get some additional tips to help you optimise for keywords, the next step in the process.  For me, Pinterest tips would be a top keyword that I would want to use for my site and business.  When I run that through the search bar, I get additional long tail keywords that represent the most search keywords on Pinterest relating to the term such as:

  • For business
  • And tricks
  • Tutorials
  • Numbers
  • How to use
  • For bloggers
  • Followers
  • Ideas
  • Organising

And lots of these kind of sum up the point of the blog – which is good.  It also helps me focus on the kind of keywords to use in all the important places to ensure that when people search for Pinterest tips and related long tail keywords, I’ve got a good chance of showing up.

Optimising your account

Armed with this information, you can then set about optimising your Pinterest profile to help you show up in one of those four categories we noticed earlier – people.

To show up in the People part of the search results for your keyword, you need to have your most important keywords in two places – your business name and your bio.  That means in mine, I have the terms Pinterest tips and management services in my business name alongside my name and the business name.  I also have the following bio:

Pinterest tips for bloggers wanting to use Pinterest for business, tricks and ideas on how to use the site | Pinterest manager services for business owners

Now some people do include a link in their bio and it’s a subject of debate because it isn’t clickable.  It’s up to you if you add a link but it will use your character count up and there’s only 160 to start.  Maybe you want to try with and without, see if anyone clicks by using a UTM code on it (and a link shortener like Bit.ly).

Pinterest keywords and boards

The next place you need to use your Pinterest keywords are in your board descriptions – but note, only use the keywords relevant to that board, not your general ones.  So if the board is about Facebook, don’t use a load of keywords mentioning Pinterest in it.

Again, there are different ideas about how to write these descriptions.  But the content writer in me always tends towards properly written things so I write as I would in a blog post.  I use the same search bar system to look for keywords relevant to the board and then make them into a description.  Add it to the board with the edit feature (the little pen icon) and this will help your board show up in another of those four sections – Boards.

Keywords and Pins

The final layer of keywording is for your actual pins and again this should be specific to the content of the pin.  No point keywording for a dog bed when you are Pinning a cat food bowl – people won’t like it and neither will Pinterest.

Think of your Pin description as a little advert for your blog post.  Make it interesting, feature relevant keywords in a natural way and make sure it automatically populates when people Pin from your site.  There are a few ways to do this that we’ll go into more detail about later but the quick and easy way is to put your Pin description in the ALT text box of the image when you add it to the post.  And these descriptions will help you show up in the All Pins section of the search as well as the Your Pins area (a good way to check your descriptions are doing their job).

Test and change

One of the great things about Pinterest is that you can test and change things.  I definitely recommend creating more than one Pin for each blog post and you can then try different descriptions with different, relevant keywords in them.  See which one does best and look for patterns – is it the design or the description?  You can always change the description if certain keywords do better than others!

If you find this is a bit of a nightmare for you, don’t worry!  I offer a range of Pinterest management services and can help you get the hang of it all – or even do it all for you.  Reach out to me on my contact form and we can chat about what you need!

Pinterest keywords are as crucial as search engine keywords - they tell Pinterest about you, your profile, your boards and your pins. Here's a look at the basics of Pinterest SEO and how to optimise your Pinterest profile with them.

Grab some practice – Pin for later!