If you want to stand out on Pinterest, you’re going to need to be strategic when writing your pin description and picking hashtags. The BEST way to do this is by using a few simple tools on the platform to do Pinterest keyword searches. I’m going to show you two easy-to-implement strategies to do keyword searches on Pinterest in order to maximize your SEO.
First, let’s get some terminology clarified.
Keywords and Pin Descriptions
When you open up a pin, you’ll notice some writing that accompanies the image. That is the pin description. When you’re writing the pin description you want to be cognizant of the keywords you want your pin to be associated with in order to get on page one of the Smart Feed.
Keywords are words or short phrases that align with what people are searching for when they’re looking for products or information. Think of like the words you might top in the search bar on Google. When you’re looking for something online, you type in something like “healthy dinner recipes” and see what results come up.
“Healthy dinner recipes” is your keyword (or phrase in this instance). That cues the search engine to give you the top results for that keyword. Your goal, as a creator, is to be one of the first pins people see when they look for specific words and phrases.
Because Pinterest is a visual search engine, it operates in a similar way to Google in terms of deciding which pins get seen first. One way you can improve your chances of being among the first pins that pop up for a given subject is by strategically incorporating keywords into your pin descriptions and hashtag selections.
What does that look like?
Here’s an example of a pin from my sobriety blog that highlights what I’m talking about.
The pin description is in the lower righthand corner. This is a rich pin so the snippet you see on the top is from my website. I’ll zoom in a little closer so you can see what I’ve written.
After going through the steps I am about to show you, I was able to come up with some keywords I wanted my pin to rank for which I then included in my pin description. They’re highlighted. Notice that my description still sounds coherent and useful. You want to integrate them into your message, not just randomly stuff keywords into sentences.
The second place I incorporated keywords were in my hashtags. Sometimes we use hashtags to be playful on our Facebook or Instagram profiles. That’s not how they work on Pinterest. Hashtags should reflect the words and phrases people are searching for when they use the platform.
How do you find these keywords? I’ll show you three quick and easy steps to do keyword research on Pinterest.
Pinterest Keyword Search Tip #1: Pretend To Make An Ad
In the upper lefthand corner of your Pinterest Business account’s homepage, you will notice a drop-down menu for ads. Click on it.
From there, you want to click “create ad.” (Don’t worry, you won’t accidentally buy an ad.) Once you do that, you’ll reach this screen.
There will be several other options listed below “Awareness campaigns” but this one is fine for our intended purpose. Click on “Promote.” From there, you’ll get this screen:
Once you scroll down, you’ll arrive at the tool you’ll be using for the rest of your Pinterest keyword search.
On the far right, you will see a box with “potential audience size” written at the top. This will tell you approximately how many active Pinterest users search for a given term per month.
The boxes to the left of this feature are where you will input your keyword ideas and see what the potential reach could be if you incorporated them. Obviously the higher the reach, the better! A great thing about the “Extend your reach” box (which I use the most) is that it will give you related keywords and their monthly reach as well. This is incredibly useful if you’re stuck for ideas.
Let’s look at how this actually works. I typed in “healthy recipes” into the search and got the following results:
As you can see, this search term is VERY broad. While you have the potential to reach a lot of people with it, chances are that bigger, more established Pinterest users are going to take up that much-sought-after first page. It doesn’t mean you can’t use it. It just means you shouldn’t rely on it exclusively.
Notice below that related searches with their monthly reach are listed for you. This is where you decide which keywords you can add to your list for this particular pin.
Once you decide which keywords you want to use in your description or turn into hashtags, you can close out this window and you’re finished with strategy #1!
Pinterest Keyword Search Tip #2: Pretend To Do A Search For Your Topic
An even simpler way to get keyword ideas (though you won’t get the monthly reach) is to do a simple search in Pinterest and see what comes up.
I searched for “healthy dinner recipes” and got the following results:
What you see in that automatic drop-down menu are related keywords that other people search for on Pinterest when looking for healthy recipes. This will help you get ideas for more narrowed keywords, which increases your chances of getting your pin in front of the exact right audience.
Once you enter your search term to get your results, TWO more resources will show up on your screen.
If you’re a regular Pinterest user, you’re likely familiar with the little icons on the top. They’re showing you related searches that you can click into to find additional, related results. The words inside of those boxes are clues to additional keywords.
I can see here that “healthy recipes for weight loss” is going to get me a lot of views. I could also do “easy healthy recipes.” It really depends on what your post and pin are specifically about.
If you scroll down further into your results to the actual pins, you’ll notice one more convenient keyword search tool
Pinterest has added a “searches to try” feature which gives you additional ideas of topics you may be interested in. Consider these additional keyword recommendations.
Pinterest Keyword Search Tip #3: See What Pinterest Suggests For You
The last Pinterest keyword search tip is short and sweet. When you look at your own boards you will notice that Pinterest will make additional suggestions for you. You can find them under the “more ideas” tab on your board profile. It looks like this:
Those little boxes on the side? You guessed it! These are topics that Pinterest is telling you relates to your board’s topics. You’ll only get these suggestions for terms that receive a significant amount of searches, so you already know that they are good keywords to use.
Applying These Tips To Your Pinterest Account
If you’re feeling excited and thinking to go back and edit old pins, let me stop you right there. Once the pin is out there, it’s out there.
Pinterest is fond of new content, which is what its feed prioritizes. Adding hashtags to a post from three months or three years ago is going to do you little good.
What you SHOULD do is continue to add keywords and hashtags to all pins starting today. It takes no more than five minutes of research and the return on investment is well worth the extra step.
If you want to save yourself some time, keep a list of keywords for specific topics you write about in a notebook, Google doc, or spreadsheet. This will save you LOADS of time when you’re creating pins. Just make sure you mix it up. Using the exact same sequence of hashtags on your posts can be viewed as duplicate content, especially if the pins are all linked to the same article or landing page.
Need Some Help With Your Pinterest Account?
If you’re looking for someone to take over a lot of this work for you OR need to outsource certain aspects of your Pinterest Business account management to a professional, take a look at the various packages and services I offer! I offer Monthly Management services, A La Carte Services, and DIY or Custom packages.
Not sure what you need? Feel free to reach out to me.