If you hang around me for long, you’ll know that I think Pinterest is one of the best marketing platforms for online businesses. Because at its nature Pinterest is a search engine, with the right techniques and strategies, you can gain amazing traffic almost immediately.

I began doing some affiliate marketing on Pinterest a few weeks before I started my blog. It was a new Pinterest profile with only about 25 followers at the time. However, I was able to make $90 in sales the first week because I’d managed to get my keywords right and find a few group boards that helped my pins go viral.

That kind of success is totally possible. However, if you don’t know the little secrets to getting traffic and finding the right buyers for the products you promote, you can spend a lot of energy doing work that doesn’t yield much of a return.

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of my links, I may receive a commission or credit at no additional cost to you. For more info, please read my disclosure policy.**

Marketing is a numbers game. The more eyes you get on your offers, the more chances you have to make a sale. But when you’re first starting out with new social media profiles, you don’t have very many followers, and it seems like an impossible feat, or at least a huge uphill climb.

That’s why I love Pinterest so much. Even as a newbie to Pinterest you can get some amazing reach. So if you don’t have many Pinterest followers, don’t despair. If you’re not getting the traffic you want, no worries! Not making sales? It’s okay.

With a little work we can get your profile hopping! So let’s get started!

Screen shot of Heart My Life's Pinterest Profile with text overlay reading Click Here to Follow Me On Pinterest

#1 Embrace the visual search engine

The reason I love Pinterest so much is that it’s more than a social media platform. It’s a visual search engine. Key word here being search engine. While I find keywords and SEO as tedious and boring as the next blogger, I also realize that in this instance, it’s a huge benefit to the newcomer because it levels the playing field in so many ways.

Pinterest runs on algorithms that catalogue people’s searches and takes note of their interests. Once Pinterest gets a feel for what a person likes, the platform curates a feed of pins that are related and relevant to their previous sessions on Pinterest.

The platform is like a matchmaker, learning what each Pinterest user likes and then offering them more content just like it.

All you have to do is help Pinterest determine exactly what your pins are about and Pinterest will help you market the heck-fire out of your pins!!! The algorithm shows your pins to anyone who has been searching similar terms.

Pinterest's search engine is a huge benefit to newbs because it levels the playing field. Get instant traction for your online business! Click To Tweet

It’ll suggest your account to people who’ve viewed similar accounts. Pinterest will recommend your boards to viewers of similar boards. This adds up to massive amounts of free advertising and incredible marketing assistance.

No other social media platform does this like Pinterest!

The way you help Pinterest find the people who will be most interested in you and your message is through SEO (or search engine optimization) tactics and keywords. If you use proper keywording and SEO tactics throughout your profile, you can get your pins in front of a HUGE audience almost immediately.

#2 Find your keywords

The best place to find keywords for your account is on Pinterest itself. Set aside a few hours to do some research. Grab a pen and paper because you’ll want to take notes on your findings.

Open up your Pinterest account and start investigating. It doesn’t hurt to visit a few profiles on Pinterest and check out what terms people in your niche are using. Make a list. Look at some of the industry leaders’ pins and see how they’re optimizing their descriptions. Check out their boards and descriptions and see how they’ve incorporated keywords.

You can learn from their examples, and maybe you’ll spot a few mistakes you don’t want to emulate.

Next, use the search bar to explore your topics. Start with really general terms that relate to your niche. Take note of the terms that Pinterest suggests as you’re typing in your keyword—you know that drop down that appears with suggestions before you hit enter. Write down anything that seems relevant.

Screen shot of Pinterest search feature with dropdown containing popular search terms.

Now hit enter and let Pinterest pull up results on your search. Notice colorful boxes just below the search bar contain words that people commonly use with your search term. Some of them are more specific or suggest related areas that your audience might be interested in. Do any of those fit your niche?

Pinterest search results showing more search terms.

#3 Explore Your Niche

Just because you like a search term, doesn’t mean it will bring the results you want. Sometimes a search term result can yield radically different results than you expect. You need to make sure you are using terms that put your pins firmly in your niche.

Take a look at the pins that popped up in the search results. If you use this term as one of your keywords, these are the pins that will appear alongside yours. Do they cover the topic in the same way you intend to?

Pins in Pinterest search result

If your keyword is too broad, you may find a large mix of pins, many of which don’t cover your topic. Keep digging, narrowing, and finding the focused terms that fit you and your business.

Develop a list of keyword terms or phrases that represent your niche well. These terms will come in handy every time you create pins!

#4 SEO Your Profile Name

Your first introduction to Pinterest users is your profile name. I promise you it pays to make the most of this real estate! This is your first opportunity to promote yourself and let people know what your account is all about.

Whether you’re using a business name like “Heart My Life” or basing your account and branding on your personal name, don’t be afraid to use some keywords in this area if you have extra room. Those keywords may help you get found in searches for profiles that focus on specific topics.

If you use proper keywording and SEO tactics on Pinterest, you can get your pins in front of a HUGE audience almost immediately. Click To Tweet

When I’m looking for accounts to follow or considering whether to follow back my new followers, I am much more likely to click that follow button if the account has a keyword that relates to my niche. I know immediately the account will contain information that is relevant to my Pinterest focus.

So how do you incorporate keywords into your profile name?

Maybe you’re really smart and used some keywords in the name of your business. (Oops I didn’t do that.) If you didn’t either, use a symbol to separate your name from one or two keywords. I added Work From Home to my business name and now get ranked on the first page of results of profiles with that keyword.

To change or update your profile name, click on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen. A drop down appears and you want to choose “Settings.” The field you want to adjust is labeled “Business Name.”

Screen shot showing where to click to change profile settings

Profile Name Hack:

If you set up your business name on your desktop you have 30 characters to work with. But I have a hack to get you more characters! Download the Pinterest app to your phone and use the phone app to add to your business name. For some reason Pinterest allows 65 characters in your business name in the app. This gets you more than double the real estate to add keywords that will draw your ideal customer to your account.

Screen shot showing a Pinterest profile name and description

#5 SEO Your Profile Description

Next we’ll turn our attention to your profile description. That’s the short paragraph up there at the top of the page just under your name.

In the “About You” field of the “Settings” you have an opportunity to share a short paragraph telling what your business is about. Write a couple sentences and condense your message into 160 characters or less using as many of your top-pick keywords as you can. Make the sentences sound natural while getting the point across with some good SEO.

You may have to rewrite it a few times to get it just right, but you’ll be glad you did the extra work when your ideal customers are finding your account because you did such a good job making it easy for them to seek you out.

#6 SEO Your Board Names

We all get a smile out of those cutesy board names, like “Fuzzy Furballs” that feature cat pins. However, if you want to see cat pictures, you’re going to search for the term cat pics or cat photos, right? Think like your customer and ask yourself, if I wanted to find this information, what terms would I type in a search box?

Brainstorm a list, then head over to Pinterest and test out your ideas. Search for the terms you came up with and see what kind of results you get. Use the dropdown to see what boards come up under those terms.

Screen shot showing how to use the search to find similar boards

Are the boards coming up similar to the one you created? Is that search term swamped with thousands of boards? Can you narrow the parameters to rank a little higher in a search?

Play with the search until you find a mix of terms you’re happy with. You have up to 180 characters to name your board. That’s a lot of terms. Start with the most common and add other keywords and phrases, dividing them up with commas or vertical bars like this one |.

#7 SEO Your Board Descriptions

Pinterest allows for 500 characters in your board description, which is a lot of real estate! Take full advantage and give as much info as possible with keywords terms and phrases about the information you collect on that board. You’ll probably start feeling like you’re repeating yourself, but don’t slack off cuz this is super important.

You know how when you’ve just pinned something to a board and Pinterest pops up those messages that say, “We added that pin to the board you requested, and hey, you might also like this board that we think is similar to that one.”

Pinterest determines which boards are similar and bases recommendations on your board name and description. Want to get referred often? This is how you do it. Make use of that valuable space to clearly convey what your board is about and Pinterest will have all the info it needs to help you find interested people to view it.

Screen shot of Pinterest board description

#8 SEO Your Pin Image Name

The SEO importance of image names is often overlooked. If you’re using an online image creator like Canva or Picmonkey to create your Pinterest images, your images are probably being assigned a name by your design program that looks something like this:

f65lfs599li.jpg

That image name is not SEO friendly. Before you upload the image to your blog or Pinterest, take a moment to rename it. Include at least one juicy keyword that will help the search engines identify what your image is about.

This will give the search engine a term to catalogue, and it gives you one more advantage in your SEO strategy!

#9 SEO Your Pin Image Description

You already know you need to write a compelling pin description to accompany your beautiful image that you’ve worked so hard on.

I cringe when I’m pinning from my group boards or selecting pins from my Tailwind Tribe and I see a pin with little or no description. So much wasted potential!!! Your pin descriptions are the primary information Pinterest uses to catalogue what that pin is about and determine how best to help you share that pin with people who might also be interested in the topic.

Weak pin descriptions will get weak results on Pinterest. Do yourself a favor! Take an extra 90 seconds and write an engaging pin description with complete sentences full of long-tailed keywords and phrases that your ideal customers will be searching for to find information on the topic.

Do your Pinterest SEO and research your keywords then write a description of at least a few sentences and up to 500 characters that invites your viewers to learn more. Don’t slack on this step! This is the part that makes Pinterest do your marketing and find your audience for you.

Screen shot of a Pinterest Pin description with hashtags

#10 SEO Your Hashtags

Within that description you can add hashtags too. Pinterest recently began encouraging the use of hashtags, but don’t go hashtag crazy like you do on Instagram. Pick your top five to eight and go with those.

Ideally, one of your hashtags should relate to your branding—a term unique to you and your business. I use #heartmylife on every pin I create. If someone were to click on that hashtag or search that tag in the search feature, they’d get a list of all my pins. Nifty, right?

Is Pinterest seo Worth The Work?

I recently set aside two days and worked my way through my Pinterest account, updating my Pinterest SEO. The next week I saw a 12K rise in views on my account without any change to my strategy or pinning frequency. And my views continue to rise about 1,000 views per day.

I got 103 new followers completely organically the next week. That was a 30% jump in followers over my average simply due to SEO strategies!

Traffic to my website also jumped about 30% in the week following my Pinterest SEO overhaul. So it’s definitely worth taking the time to optimize your profile to work with Pinterest’s search features and algorithms.

I hope your efforts will yield similar results! Happy keywording!


Looking for more tips to take your Pinterest marketing to the next level? Join my 10-Day Pinterest challenge that gives you easy, actionable steps that help you get the most from your Pinterest marketing efforts!

Take my free 10-day Pinterest Challenge and turn your profile into a profit magnet!

Author: Lisa Mills

My name is Lisa Mills and I heart my life! I'm a wife, mom, and blogger who loves the freedom of working from home. I believe every person deserves a life they're passionate about, and I want to help you build yours if you're ready. Check out my Free Resources page to get started!

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