You probably already know Pinterest is not a typical social media site.
In fact, it is a visual search engine and a powerful tool for reaching prospects ready to purchase when they find what they want.
Pinterest offers over 250 million active users looking for inspiration, fresh ideas and answers to their problems each month. But online traffic isn’t the only consideration for hopping on the Pinterest bandwagon. It’s also excellent for business.
Pinterest users are ready to buy and their shopping carts ring up at $58.95 on average. That’s more money than people spend from Facebook or Twitter.
Leveraging Pinterest SEO and other capabilities to the fullest can provide you with substantial amount of free traffic to your site. This is traffic that is ready to buy.
Before diving into the details of perfecting Pinterest SEO, it’s important to understand some of the basics about how the platform works:
The Pinterest Algorithm
Like other search engines, Pinterest has its own search algorithm called the “Smart Feed”.
This algorithm allows you to see the best pins for your specific search phrase. So instead of seeing the newest pins first, you’ll see the best pins first.
The algorithm determines the quality of the pin, rates the pin, assigns interests, and places the content in front of people who are looking for it.
New Ways to Be Found on Pinterest in 2019
The Pinterest algorithm has been tweaked and updated over the past year and there are now several aspects involved in being found on Pinterest:
· The Following Tab
· Hashtag Feed
· The Home/Smart Feed
The Following Tab:
Have you ever wished you could just see content from people you follow? Pinterest has made that possible now. Pinterest started rolling out the following tab in 2018, which only shows content from people you’re following.
Hashtags on Pinterest:
Hashtags are relatively new to Pinterest, and the way you get your content into a relevant hashtag feed is easy – just use hashtags relevant to your content and audience.
The hashtag feed is ordered by freshness, so adding hashtags to old pins won’t have any effect. Simply add hashtags to new pins from today going forward.
The Pinterest Home/Smart Feed:
The “Smart Feed” is the primary algorithm Pinterest uses to determine what a user sees in their Pinterest home feed. Here are the basic elements:
Pinterest wants to show you a mix of content you care about. Content they believe is good. The kind of content that will have you clicking and coming back again and again.
Pins used to be seen in real-time, however, that’s not the case anymore. Pins are shown as “best first” rather than “newest first.”
Pinterest’s Smart Feed is responsible for prioritizing and scoring pins based on their quality, with overall quality being determined by their algorithm.
Here’s a fun thing to factor in when Pinning: Your first five pins of the day (starting at UTC midnight) are prioritized for distribution in the following feed. The old way of just having the newest Pin up first has been phased out.
There are three different content pools of content that your home feed is drawn from:
· Saved pins from users you’re following
· Related pins
· Pins from your interests
Pinterest chooses pins from each of these three pools to display in your Smart Feed.
How the Pinterest Search Algorithm Works
To be honest, only Pinterest knows how they decide which pins to choose and how they select them. Like any search engine algorithm, Pinterest’s algorithms are complex and hidden safely behind a secure server and a small number of trusted employees.
However, there are 4 main factors which are known to influence how your pins show up on Pinterest:
Domain quality is Pinterest’s idea of the quality of your website.
Pinterest can see how popular pins from your website are and it learns whether your site is a source of high-quality content over time.
Pinterest views a pin as “high-quality” if a lot of people share, click through, save, add a photo or comment on your pin.
It’s especially important that your followers are engaged with your pins. Pinterest recently updated their Best Practices Guide to say:
“We distribute your content to your followers first to figure out what’s resonating. From there, we distribute your best performing Pins to other people who are looking for ideas like yours.”
Pinner quality is Pinterest’s estimation of you as a content curator. Does Pinterest trust you to curate the best and the most relevant content?
Pinner quality is largely based on how well your content is received.
· Do you receive a lot of saves and comments?
· Do you pin content that Pinterest already rates as high quality?
· Are you an active Pinterest user?
· How often do you pin?
Let’s say you are doing well in proving to Pinterest that you understand how they gauge your quality and authority. Good on you. Here’s the missing element: They won’t show your pins to their users unless they think your pins are relevant to them.
Relevance is how closely your pins fit your audience’s overall interests, specific searches, and recent search history.
If you know much about SEO, you’ll know that the way a search engine knows what your content is about is with keywords. Just like on Google, keywords influence what appears in searches on Pinterest.
While domain quality, pin quality and pinner quality tell Pinterest how important your pins are, keywords tell Pinterest what your pins are about. Consistent use of your top keywords in your profile, boards, pin descriptions, test overlays on images, blog posts, buyable pins and hashtags.
Once you understand how to optimize each of these four factors, you’ll be well on your way to driving consistent traffic with Pinterest.
This is a huge subject with a number of details to focus on. I’ll do a deep dive into them in a new post soon. Keep your eyes open.
Pin with a Purpose
In closing this post, it is good to share the overview that long-term success on Pinterest revolves around core principles about Pinning with a purpose and following these key steps:
· Define your ideal customer
· Know what your customer wants
· Bring your personality to the table
· Offer information of value to your customer
· Know where Pinterest fits in your overall marketing strategy
Marketing on Pinterest can be fun, but it can only boost your bottom line when you know how it works and put in the time. Don’t hesitate to use this post and others on this site to help keep you on track.