I've said it before and I'll say it again: Pinterest is "the new Google." Because here's the thing: people don't search Pinterest for general topics — just like when you search Google, you're likely searching for something specific.
You're looking for "leather pants," not "fall fashion."
"Activities for toddlers," not "board games."
"Avocado recipes," not "recipes."
Think about the different phases people are using Pinterest for — they could be "just browsing" because they've got a few spare minutes and want to look at some pretty pictures of living rooms, to "I know what I need" and will put the exact thing they want to find into the search bar.
When you're just browsing, you're usually scrolling down the feed and repinning things that LOOK beautiful or relevant to you. It's very aspirational. But you're saving those pins for later.
When you know exactly what you're looking for, you first hit up the search bar, and are more likely to not only pin things that are relevant to you, but click through to the website immediately to see the rest of the content. It's inspirational. More, immediate.
So in order to capture both of those mindsets in one pin (and create pins that are going to send you traffic more consistently), you need both an awesome image AND a search-optimized pin.
The following tips will help you nail both.
1. Long and lean — My experience, and those of others, have proven that tall, vertical images tend to perform better in the Pinterest feed. This is likely because you will see a tall image for longer as you scroll down so it catches your eye. My Pinterest images are usually 1000 pixels wide by 1500 pixels tall.
2. Text over (beautiful) images — Don't forget: an eye catching image is what draws people in, but they also need to know what your pin is about. So if you're NOT putting text over images, make sure your caption is very upfront about what your pin is about. Unless it's a collection of beautiful photos, you're probably going to want that text over the image.
3. Timing — Studies have shown that Pinterest is most active in the evening hours. Think about it — when are you most likely to be killing time? Probably after the kids have gone to bed. Get a platform like Buffer and try scheduling your pins to go up between the hours of 7PM and 1AM.
4. Lead times — Pinterest is where evergreen content thrives, and seasonal content goes "viral" early. I've found that seasonal trends start to pop up a solid two months before they actually happen, so you wouldn't be crazy to start covering and pinning your holiday content in October, or your spring content in February.
5. Optimize your Pinterest profile — Similar to Google SEO strategies, you want to use a lot of keywords in your Pinterest profile so that when people do search (on Pinterest or Google), you're more likely to show up. You don't just want to dump a ton of words into your description though — it needs to make sense to Pinterest's algorithms. Think quality.
For example, mine is "Launch Ladies teaches you how to turn your blog into a business, make REAL money monetizing with sponsored posts, growing traffic and owning social media." now that could probably use some work, but I've managed to get a bunch of keywords in there that I'd want to be known for.
6. Optimize your Pin captions — Similar to your profile, your pin captions should be VERY detailed and keyword rich, but also must read well. Another thing to keep in mind when writing your pin captions, is that they are rarely changed by users when they're repinned, so make it a good one. The more repins you have, the higher you'll rise in search.
7. Simplify your boards — I know how appealing it seems to create cute and pithy board names that really show off your personality, but when someone is searching, will they be searching for "Dollah dollah bills, y'all" or "How to Make More Money"?
Simplify and clarify your Pinterest boards, and use the same keyword-rich strategy in the descriptions of your boards as you're doing in your profile. For example, one of my boards is called "Make More Money Blogging" and the description is: "Make more money from your blog with these tips and tricks for sponsored posts, growing your email list, and monetizing social media." Full of keywords, and very descriptive.
8. Name your images — Where else could you possibly add in more keywords on Pinterest? Here's one: your images. When you save an image on your desktop, don't simply name it Pinterest-1.jpg. Use keywords here too! It's an old Google SEO trick that can help you both on Pinterest and on Google.
9. Grow your followers — Getting onto page one of Google takes lots of backlinks (or incoming links) to your site, a fair amount of traffic, and relevant keywords. Google considers this a thumbs up from the internet at large that you have quality content .
Pinterest has a similar methodology: the more followers you have on Pinterest, the more authority you have in their eyes. So in order to come in higher in Pinterest search, your goal should be to grow your followers and aim to increase repins, which is essentially the same as a backlink to a website.
10. Create a shared board — One of the ways you can grow your following is by partnering up with other bloggers and create a shared board. This allows your audiences to cross pollinate, and if you're collaborating on a board for a reason (gift guides for example), even better since you'll probably be promoting this board to each other's audiences.
11. Scour the popular feed — Likely the most popular way to find trending content is the Popular Feed. Check out the hot searches happening on the site right now and the pins that are getting some serious traction.
12. Scan the search drop-down — This handy little tool shows you the most popular search trends on the network. Because search trends change often, Pin any content you already have created to Pinterest for a quick boost. Be sure to use a descriptive and keyword-filled caption!
13. Get down with guided search — Did you know that Pinterest's Guided Search is actually showing you the most popular keywords associated with your search? If you hit up the popular feed and see that — for example — thigh tattoos are popular right now, drop that search term into your search bar and see what pops up.
The guided search results are actually in order from most popular related keywords, from left to right. So in this case, "thigh tattoo ideas" is hottest, followed by "thigh tattoo flowers" and so on.
Go back and look at a few of your Pinterest pins — is there room to optimize them? Change up the captions and add in keywords so that you're more likely to come up higher in search.
There's no bonus today, but I am working on a sweet downloadable for this post that I'll send out to you via the daily email so you can print it out and keep it within eyes reach at your desk.
We're halfway through the month, so let me know how you're doing — take my quick 4-question survey and leave a comment if you have any feedback or questions!