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Blog Post

How to Rank On Pinterest

October 1, 2018
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Utilizing a Pinterest Keyword strategy can help your content rank higher and faster on Pinterest. Pinterest often gets labeled strictly as a social media channel, but in rank, it operates like a search engine, meaning a data-backed strategy can help your content reach more viewers. Pinterest combines the power of social media with the results of a search engine, meaning your content can reach people that do not follow you, but users may still choose to follow your page to see all of your content on their feed. Unlike standard search engines like Google and Bing, Pinterest holds true to its’ creative social media roots by requiring a visual for every post.

Pinterest received over 2 billion searches every month. However, unlike Google, users are not looking for only one solution and spend over 34 minutes on the platform on average. Could you image scrolling Google for 34 minutes? Most users don’t move past page 1. A main differentiator for Pinterest compared to other social networks is the length of time a piece of content can be valuable for. On Twitter, a single post may only be valuable and gain reach for a few minutes, possibly a few days at the most if it truly goes viral. Content on Facebook can last for a few months with a strong viral push, although unlikely.

For most social media platforms, your content is the most valuable the day you publish it, and it will decrease in value over time. This is not the case with Pinterest. On Pinterest, your content can gain value and traction over time, as it continually gets repinned throughout the platform. Think about the holidays, for example, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you want to post the day or week of the holiday to get the most involvement/traction, but on Pinterest you want to post 1-3 months before the holiday. If you were to launch a Christmas-themed post to Instagram in October, your followers would be incredibly confused, but on Pinterest that may be the perfect time.

Related: Pinterest Features 101

Curious about how your content can rank quickly on a platform that combines social media and a search engine? Our unique Pinterest Keyword strategy can help take the guesswork out of your pin descriptions and push your content to the top of the Pinterest feed!


If you are completely new to the world of Pinterest and just starting to dip your toes into marketing your business on the platform, check out our related articles, Marketing On Pinterest — How to Use Pinterest For Business and How to Setup & Promote Your Business on Pinterest

which may provide you with some extra information and context of Pinterest before diving into the realm of keyword strategy.

Developing a Pinterest Keyword Strategy

Pinterest ranks content on a variety of factors including your board name, board description, pin description, text on creative, and link destination. This means, while coming up with cutesy board names might seem like the right route for a social media platform, it isn’t going to be valuable to you in your Pinterest strategy. Every part of your Pinterest page can help lead to an increase or decrease in overall rankings, so it is important to consider more than just your Pin Description when writing optimized content.

In order to develop optimized descriptions for your boards, we recommend using standard keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner. Similarly to Google, not all individuals search the same way. For example, say someone is searching for pain medication for their dog –  Person A may search “dog medicine,” while Person B may search “remedies for canine pain.” The same goes for Pinterest. You need to anticipate every version of your target keyword that a person may search. Keyword planning tools can help you do this. Additionally, you’ll want to use Pinterest’s proprietary keyword functions by using the automated search string. This is what shows up when you initially type a word in Pinterest and it shows you other relative search terms. While it helps an individual narrow in on what they’re looking for, it can help you figure out trending keywords to associate with your topic.

We recommend looking at your Pinterest keyword strategy like a tree in order to develop an all-encompassing strategy that maximizes your results. In this scenario, your board name would be the entire tree. It needs to encompass a variety of different, yet relative, content categories. If it is too specific, you will be too limited in what you can pin to that board which can stunt the board following growth. Your board description would then be your tree trunk. This description needs to be a thorough outline of everything that will be included in the board it is the overarching support of your board. From there, every brand would be a different content cluster.  These content clusters need to be the focus keyword you are wanting to rank for (referring to our previous example, “dog medicine” would be our content cluster). Every unique pin would be a leaf on your branch. They are directly connected to your branches (or board topic) and include the various search terms that users would use. We typically recommend using at least 5 different pins for every content cluster (i.e. 5 leaves on every branch!).

For Example…Here is How We Could Build a Tree for a Fashion Brand:

Board (Tree): Fall Fashion Trends

Board Description (Tree Trunk): Our favorite fall fashion trends of 2018 include destroyed/ripped denim, boyfriend jeans, moto boots, chunky knit sweaters and more! (Note: every unique item listed in our board description will be a content cluster, for this example, we’ll focus on ripped jeans)

Topic Cluster 1 (Branch): Ripped Jeans

Pin 1 (Leaf): Ripped Jeans Outfits | Denim Trends for 2018

Pin 2 (Leaf): Style Your Destroyed Jeans | Ripped Denim Trends for 2018

Pin 3 (Leaf): 5 Tips for Styling Ripped Jeans in 2018

Focus keywords: Ripped, destroyed, denim, jeans, 2018, style, tips, trends

Related: 5 Tips to Leverage Pinterest to Support Your Paid Social Media Strategy

You would want to continue to build out the branches and leaves for your Pinterest tree for boyfriend jeans, moto boots, and chunky knit sweaters. Make sure you complete keyword outreach to find the appropriate keywords to focus on for each leaf. Keep in mind that the keywords can be used (and repeated for added benefit) not only within your description, but on the image as well! We suggest testing purely lifestyle shots and images with writing and monitoring what ranks and performs better for your brand.

Related: Power Digital Pointers: Social Media Tips and Tricks

Who Should Be on Pinterest

While Pinterest is an amazing social media platform because you have so much opportunity to reach an outbound audience, it does not make it the perfect platform for every brand. We recommend Pinterest for brands that either have an active blog with engagement-based content and/or have a wide collection of lifestyle imagery. As for industries that should be on Pinterest, the most common (and top performing industries) are those that users can “plan” their future with, for example:

  • Weddings
  • Home decor
  • Travel
  • Children
  • Food and Drink
  • DIY

However, this doesn’t mean that Pinterest is only limited to those industries! Many brands use quotes on Pinterest to connect with a larger following. B2B companies can get engaged on Pinterest by sharing articles and resources like infographics. Whatever the industry, if you have blog posts, lifestyle shots, or a strong design team, you can easily develop a thorough Pinterest strategy to start gaining more followers and driving new visitors to your website.

Related: How to Gain More Pinterest Followers

Ready to get started on a Pinterest keyword strategy for your brand but not sure where to start? We can help!


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