The best place to start understanding how to improve your pin and board ranking in the Pinterest search results is with tips direct from the Pinterest team. We'll start there and then add a few observations of our own.
Here's what the Pinterest team has to say:
Now, when pinners come a-pinning, the pin they end up with is easy on the eyes, and it links to the right page. Best of all, it comes preloaded with a smart, helpful description, which pinners love almost as much as search engines do. This means beautiful pins from your pages are going to do much better in search results!
Let's break this down into two bite-sized pieces.
1) Helpful Pin Descriptions
The first point of interest that the Pinterest team mentioned is "helpful pin descriptions."
So how do we make descriptions helpful? Well written descriptions get right to the point and give us enough information to make a decision on weather to click through to find out more... or not.
If you're pinning from the web, Pinterest will help you out by automatically adding the title tag that they find in the HTML of the page you're pinning. If you're publishing an image from you're computer, you're on your own. In that case, follow their lead by adding the title of the page you're pinning in the description box.
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Write descriptions for people rather than search engines. Keyword stuffed description boxes might get people to your pin, but they won't be as interested when they do.
2) Search Engine Friendly Pins
The second thing they mentioned is that pinners and search engines need to love your pins. So, what's the common element? It's keywords. Both people and search engines want to know what it's all about in a few well chosen words.
Let's pretend you're about to publish a fashion tip pin. The title of your web page is "Fashion Trends for Teens." Add the title. If your image shows a young girl in a wool coat, you might consider making the description more enticing by adding details about the coat and the season it should be worn. If you're are a local business hoping to find new customers through Pinterest, it's a good idea to include your city too.
Here's an Example:
Fashion Trends for Teens | 100% Pure Wool Coats for Winter 2015 - TeenThreads.com, New York City
3) Board Titles and Descriptions
Another big factor to consider are board titles and descriptions, as people can also choose to search "Boards." Board titles and descriptions should be chock full of keywords too. Think about how someone might search for your board, and use those keywords in the title and description of your board, or see what other pinners are doing. Usually the biggest fish in the pond has the recipe for success.
Spy on the competition. It's fun, and will reveal tons about how they got where you want to be.
4) Great Image Names Make for Searchable Images
While no one knows every factor in Pinterest's search algorithm, their search engine does seem to be scanning the websites that pins link to. The reason we feel this is true is that some pins don't have the keywords that you typed in the Pinterest search box in their description. The search algorithm must be considering keywords on the external website. If it's doing that, it makes sense to carefully consider image file names as well. You don't need to go to town with a full description like you did for your pin description, but you should include a few of the more important words.
The Pinterest Team also recommends the use of image tags. Adding an alt tag or a helpful description to your image provides you with one more advantage in search.
Here's an Example:
5) Pinterest Analytics
Did you ever wonder why Pinterest would build a really expensive analytics tool and offer it for free? We've wondered that too, and we believe that there are two reasons for that.
1) Pinterest Analytics is offered for free so every Pinterest marketer has a tool to help them optimize their account.
2) More importantly, the data they collect about your pin and board performance helps them to select the best pins and boards for the Pinterest search results.
Pinterest Analytics profiles your account, measuring impressions, views, clicks and repins to name just a few. Like Google, Pinterest values the popularity vote. Google measures this with links. Pinterest does it with repins and likes. It's what drives pins to the top of the search results almost every time. Google has also outwardly stated that they value "large and well established websites." The Pinterest search engine values pinners with a strong following.
If your still small potatoes in the Pinterest world, don't give up. Pinterest is a business after all, and they just want to show the best content because that's what visitors are looking for. Just keep working to build your followers, stay active on Pinterest, and add optimized images that people can't help but be attracted to.
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