Own Pinterest Optimization: Understanding Keyword-rich Descriptions

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SEO: The Most Important Acronym Online

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Usually, when you think about SEO, you think about all the ways to add essential keywords for big search engines that appeal to your audience. The idea is to have your page rank higher than all the other pages with keywords like yours appealing to your audience as well. Anyone who has been blogging or working with websites can probably tell you a few tricks about SEO you didn’t know about because there are lots of tricks when it comes to SEO.

So what is SEO for Pinterest? We like to call it Pinterest Optimization. And what does Pinterest Optimization mean? Well, just like you would want your post or page to be SEO-ready for Google and other major search engines, you want to make sure your content on Pinterest is also optimized for searches for keywords related to your pin. Because Pinterest is a search engine. A visual search engine, yes, but Pinterest also relies on other factors to deliver results for your query. A big one is keywords. Learn how to expand your online presence from White Label Reviews.

There is a lot to learn about Pinterest, which is why I decided to share some knowledge to help everyone get the most of Pinterest. Today let’s dive into an overview of the most important aspects of using Pinterest’s SEO to your advantage which is owning your descriptions from top to bottom.

Is your Pinterest account ready to promote your blog?

If you plan on taking advantage of Pinterest for business, then it’s in your best interest to optimize your whole Pinterest account. Since Pinterest is, in fact, a search engine that provides visual results, you want to make sure that your Pinterest account is rich in keywords that are being searched for. Each aspect of your account should have relevant keywords. That means in your pins, in your boards, and your profile itself should include Pinterest optimization with the use of keywords.

First, let’s verify that your Pinterest account is set up to promote your blog. If you need help setting up your Pinterest business account, check out my step by step guide which has a free printable checklist!

Briefly touching on perfecting your account, you want to first have a business account. Can I get a check if you’re with me?
You want to verify your website. Can I get a check if you’ve verified your site?
You might want to clean up your profile, especially if you’ve just converted your personal account into a business account. Can you check that off?
You can make your profile and boards more appealing by branding your boards and learn why you should on Brilliant Business Mom’s post here.  Then check to make sure your profile has a description that has a few keywords that call your target audience right to your Pinterest account and website link right in that description. Let’s get these all checked off the to-do list!

Descriptions are the glue that binds your pins to Pinterest’s search results.

So now you should have a Pinterest business account, your profile says who you are, and it contains a description that draws your audience to you. Next, you want to make strong descriptions for your pins.

This highly visual search engine operates on delivering search results in the format of images, but having text is still quite important. It’s crucial to SEO actually. A beautiful picture worth a thousand words, but with zero words in its Pinterest description isn’t likely to be found twice. So give my beloved Pinterest a hand and include some descriptive text in everything you pin to help it better understand what the pin is about.

Your description should clearly state what a user would find by clicking through to your site. It’s not a good idea to throw URLs in descriptions, or to stuff keywords all together just to have the most keywords you can. Your description should contain well-researched keywords that flow naturally in a sentence or three.

*UPDATE* Pinterest just announced at the end of August that Hashtags are now acceptable on Pinterest! They appear in a blue clickable link!! Say what!!  #Pinterest4Biz

Understanding what it means to research keywords for Pinterest use.

Descriptions for pins will help the search engine improve its results and, more importantly, it will help your audience find you. People who are not even your followers (yet) can find your pins in a search because your text describes what they are looking for. Using keywords in your description will help even when users narrow down their searches using Pinterest’s Guided Search.

What’s Guided Search? I’m glad you asked! This awesome search engine has the knack of finding things you didn’t know you were looking for until you stumble on a search suggestion that fits perfectly. They do this by visually listing additional keywords for you under your initial query up at the top of the page. These keywords play an important role in helping you select relevant keywords to use in all of your own descriptions. These suggestions are actual searches being performed by others on Pinterest, and they go from left to right by order of popularity. When you select one of those keywords, other keywords are shown that are relevant to the new search with the selected keyword. Doing your research here can both help you narrow down and expand what you want your description to say.

Do more research.

You may already know a thing or two about selecting keywords for your website’s blog and it’s similar when creating descriptions for your pins or boards. You definitely want to do some research on good old Google for your keywords to see what results are pulled as well. Try to include keywords that may already be traffic drivers to your site. A guide to local citation building is very helpful in this respect.

Still, try to keep your description legible for humans and not for the search engine alone. That means no keyword stuffing. If you’re a blogger, I expect you to know how to write!

On-Site Pinterest Optimization

You can also add a description that populates on a pinnable image right from your website. You won’t have to rely on your visitors to make keyword-rich pin descriptions for you! Adding a description to pinnable images on your blog is easy as pie. All you need to do is add in an alt text to your featured image on WordPress. Fun fact real quick; did you know that alt text isn’t just for helping your SEO on Pinterest, but it’s to help those who are visually impaired understand the image using descriptive words? You learn something new every day, right? Anyways, if you’re on WordPress, you can find the alt text for your image under Media>Library>Select image and edit details. You can also add in that alt text when you initially upload the picture to your site.

Digging back into writing strong, keyword-rich descriptions: Pinterest allows for 500 characters in a description. So don’t limit yours to only 5! A good goal to set for all your pins is to use at least half the allowed amount. Or you could set a word count goal of about 200 words. Just make sure your descriptions are easily read and include the keywords that you have researched for the content you are promoting on Pinterest.

Use the most relevant keywords at the beginning of the description. Why? Well, Pinterest has begun shrinking down the entire description so that only 3 lines are visible unless you click for more. You might have even noticed that rich pins don’t even show the description unless clicked on to enlarge the image. Things are changing all the time on Pinterest. Roll with it! On a side note,  Rich Pins are also a great way to get your pins recognized. Future post. I promise.

Your Boards Should Reflect What Your Blog or Biz Is About

Since Pinterest uses your boards to understand how to categorize your content, you want to use this as an opportunity. First, make sure your boards do have a chosen category to describe your board for Pinterest’s board searches. Your boards should also use keywords that are easy to understand as your board name.

Inside each board is another opportunity to include a keyword-rich description. Don’t shove in all the keywords at once. Instead, try to make it enjoyable to read while being informative of what your board is all about. Try to include your target audience and sprinkle in keywords into this 500-character-limit description. You can investigate boards similar to yours on Pinterest to gauge the competition and find a few keywords to use in your own board description.

All of your boards on your Pinterest business account should be relevant to your business. I suggest again to look into Pinterest users who are in your niche to see what kind of boards they have that are relevant to their business to get some ideas if you’re stuck. You definitely want a board just for pins from your website. You can break those down by categories if you pin different categories from your site.

Since I blog for entrepreneurs who want to make their website top-notch, you’ll find relevant topics as my boards: Fonts for Websites and Designers, All Things WordPress, Pinterest4Biz, Blogging $$$, and Color Schemes & Color Palettes. Since Pinterest is not only great for promoting your blog but it’s also great fun to create boards, it’s good to know that you can also have secret boards which do not show up to other users.

Tips to take away

Remember to add a description to your profile. Describe your boards. Describe each and every one of your pins. Don’t be a lazy pinner, you want to make sure each image you pin (even if it’s not your own) has some keywords relevant to the image and to your target audience. It takes 5 seconds to erase an irrelevant description from an awesome pin you found, and 5 more to make sure it’s filled with a few keywords relevant to your board, your brand, and your audience.

You’re not done pinning!

A big key to Pinterest is to, well, pin! To increase your pin’s visibility in search rankings you have to understand that pinning your blog post once isn’t going to cut it. Although Pinterest is known to have an evergreen algorithm, it’s important to get your pin onto as many boards as you can so that others will begin to find your pin and repin to their boards.

Pinterest rewards active pinners, and active pinners are those who pin on a regular basis and throughout the day. Knowing that you don’t have time, or maybe just the memory, to pin your post to every board you can every time you go to the bathroom every day for a year, there are services that can help you easily become a Pinterest master. Two of the most popular services for scheduling pins are Tailwind and BoardBooster. Both are very cool and each has their own advantages. Tailwind is what I personally use and recommend and it’s an official partner of Pinterest. What I want you to use these services for is to make sure your pins are active on Pinterest by scheduling so many to go out each day. With the help of either of these scheduling tools, you can plan them out way in advance. There are also social media managers out there who can assist you with these tasks for a small fee, like me!

Getting a grip on scheduling your pins to go out will free up time for you to write a new post or even create your own products.  More pins of your keyword-rich content will help others find your blog post, they’ll pin your stuff to their boards, and someone else that follows that person has the potential to see your pin and pin it again. Keep circulating your pins to help with repins from others.

And don’t forget to have fun. Creating descriptions may seem tedious, but you can still have fun with it!


Get your Pinterest business account set up for success today with a free checklist I created with you in mind:



6 thoughts on “Own Pinterest Optimization: Understanding Keyword-rich Descriptions

  1. This article was so helpful. I think so many people forget how important keywords are. I didn’t know anything about them when I started out and I had so much to fix later done the line.

    1. Thanks so much, Magen!
      I know what you mean. I had been using Pinterest for personal use for years and was often guilty of being a lazy pinner and leaving HORRIBLE descriptions that the person before me left. I’m much better at keywords now!
      Happy pinning!

  2. Great article! I’m trying to up my Pinterest game for my blog and these ideas should definitely help. I especially like the tip to use the pin description to its full potential, not just put a few words in there.

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