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21 Smashing Optimisation Tips, Ideas And Free Tools For Pinterest

Lenka Istvanova

by Lenka Istvanova on 20th September 2013

Pinterest ribbon resizedFollowing on from my previous post which showed 18 Social Media tricks that can help you boost your SEO potential, today I’m going to have a closer look at Pinterest and how to make it work for your business, whether it’s big or small.

With 70+ million users, Pinterest is definitely one of the fastest growing networks which isn’t going to disappear anytime soon and to be honest, Pinterest is one of my favourite social networks out there (a list on which Facebook is not at the top). Not only is it one of the top referral traffic sources for many small as well as big businesses but Pinterest users have better purchasing power than Facebook users (source).

If you’re still not convinced have a look at the numbers as they never lie:

Bigger Ecommerce power than Facebook

The latest study by Gigya, a social login provider, showed that Pinterest shares account for 41% of Ecommerce traffic which is 4% more than Facebook.

Pinterest users spend the most

When it comes to social sales, Facebook has a higher conversion rates than Pinterest or Twitter. However, the average order value is highest among Pinterest users. Business Insider got it right by saying that “Pinterest users are rich, female and like to spend”.

The fastest growing platform

According to ComScore data Pinterest broke this record by hitting 10 million monthly unique visits in 9 months.

More active users than Reddit

Reddit’s latest numbers showed that out of over 73 million Reddit users only 2million were logged in. According to a recent study by Semiocast over 20 million Pinterest users are active, meaning that in June 2013 they pinned, repined or like a pin.

A pin lives longer than a tweet

This study shows that the average tweet lasts for minutes but a pin lasts and is click worthy for more than a month.

Follow Or NoFollow?

All links from Pinterest used to be ‘nofollowed’ meaning you would not get any SEO power from them, however a recent test from Takeshi at KeshKesh, where he used Open Site Explorer, showed that these links have started to appear as do-follow links. As soon as I saw this post I went to check it too and I’ve checked the incoming Pinterest links on a couple of my clients as well as on my personal website.

Looking into Open Site Explorer as well as at the page code itself I couldn’t find any ‘nofollow’ tags. Hurray!

A Screenshot taken from my personal shows no signs of ‘nofollow’ tag:

Pinterest Links Are Not NoFollow Anymore

Well, that’s another good reason why your business should start pinning. Even if these links become ‘nofollow’ again the referral traffic can still help your brand get noticed. From my experience, Pinterest can be a very good source of traffic especially you update your profile on a regular basis.

5 Best Ways To Optimise Pinterest For Search

1. Get the basics right and get verified

When it comes to creating a profile on any Social Media site, you should leave yourself some quality time to set it up. Getting the settings right is crucial for your Social Media success.

Forget about leaving any fields empty and make sure you fill out all the information they ask you for including;

  • Full Name and Nickname or Display Name
  • About section – Watch out as you have only 200 characters so make sure the copy is enticing and shows the value you offer. Don’t forget to include your main keywords as this part gets indexed by Search Engines and it can be shown when somebody searches for you or the products you sell.
  • Location
  • Your Logo/Image
  • Website URL
  • Adding/Syncing your other Social Media profiles

Unlike to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram where there is enough just to list your website’s URL, with Pinterest you need to verify the ownership.

Learn from other mistakes here; EveryDay Health has over 3.8 million followers on their Pinterest account but they made a big mistake by not listing and verifying their website;

EveryDay health - no link on their pinterest profile

There is no link which means a lot potential website visitors being missed (Big Fail!). There are two ways you can do this; either by uploading an HTML file or a META tag.


If you want to go with the first option you need to have FTP access to your site in order to upload the HTML File to the root of your domain.


The second option is easier especially if you use WordPress as your CMS. You can either do it manually by copying and pasting the piece of code Pinterest provide before the closing head tag </head>;

Step 1: In your WordPress Dashboard click on ‘Appearance’ and select ‘Editor’

How To Verify Website On Pinterets In WordPress

Step 2: In the Editor window click on ‘Header’ and look for the closing head tag </head>  – paste the code just before it:

How To Verify Website On Pinterets In WordPress - 2

Alternatively, you can download a plugin that will do the job for you, such as Pinterest Verify Meta Tag. You can also verify your Tumblr or Blogspot blog. For more info on how to do it, check out these Pinterest’s handy guides

2. Be smart and place your board effectively

It’s been shown that the placement of your Pinterest boards does matter. Mashable and EyeTrackShop conducted a very useful eye-tracking study to explore people’s eye movement when looking at Pinterest pages.

Top Tips from this study:

  • Place your top and most popular boards at the top (top 2 rows) and center as these are seen by the most of the users
  • Set up and verify your Pinterest account and be active as your potential customers are more likely to purchase something from you. The study showed that people like brands better after checking their Pinterest profiles.

If you want to dig deeper and would like to know what the results were for specific category pages such as Travel and Places, Home décor, Women’s Apparel, Hair and Beauty and more.; check out Mashable’s gallery for this study.

3. How many? Pins and Boards in numbers

If you’re just starting aim for the following numbers to make sure you don’t have any incomplete top rows and that your boards are worth following. 

  • Pinterest Boards – at least 20-25
  • Pinterest Pins – at least 8-10 in each board

Most important of all strictly avoid 1-2 pin boards!

4. Optimise for search

Increase the chance of your pins appearing in search results by following these tips:

  • Give your board a ‘searchable name’ – For example, I would use “Top SEO Tips” instead of “SEO Craziness”
  • In your board titles, use exact match keywords you want to rank for – so for example, if your key term is “Italian Furniture” you can title your board as “Italian Furniture Collections”
  • Include the keywords in the pin as well as board descriptions. However, make sure you target one keyword per pin, don’t overdo it by keyword stuffing.
  • Use your keyword with a hashtag (#) in every pin as it can have a positive effect on your rankings. A good example is Carrie Morgan who uses her main keyword, ‘az_seo’ with a hashtag in each board description as well as in every pin, giving her Pinterest board the 3rd position in SERPS for AZ SEO.

Use Hashtag In Every Pin

  • Don’t forget to name your image properly with a descriptive name that includes the keyword. Remember that you can always download the image first, rename it and then upload and add a link. This gives you the option of including your keyword in the image file name.

Upload A Pin - Pinterest Optimisation Tips

Lastly, the number of followers matters when it comes to higher ranking positions. Therefore, make your pins and boards work.

5. Get Local

Adding you location to your Bio section is the first thing to do to help add local relevance. However you can go beyond that and create a board specific to your location, city or a region. A good example would be a board about the latest events and shows in your city.

5 Smashing Ideas To Turn Your Existing Content Into ‘Pinteresting’ Boards

What should you do when you don’t have interesting images on your website? Well, first of all go through your pages and find places where you could add more images. The next thing is to check the list of ideas below and pick and mix. Simples!

Idea #1 – Tips and Tutorials

Take a look at your blog posts (if you have any) and pick those where you give some advice to readers. Now turn this advice into shareable tips that you can easily pin to your Pinterest. Then take a look at the below tools that will help you re-purpose text/words into a pin-able image.

If you don’t have blog on your website then have a look at your social media profiles or go through reviews and emails to find some ideas on how you can help you customers.

Idea #2 – FAQ and Glossary Terms

Similarly to the above; create a board with your FAQ for your key terms. Don’t forget to include CTA’s in your pin descriptions such as “Click here for more Tips / Answers etc”.

Idea #3 – Inspiring Quotes and Thoughts

Everyone likes these so why don’t you create a board out of your favourites. This is a great idea especially if you’re a personal trainer or work in the fitness industry. Take a look at Country Living Magazine’s Pinterest and their ‘Inspiring Words’ board to learn how to master it.

Idea #4 – Testimonials and Reviews

If you have a database of your customers’ kind words about your business why not share them on Pinterest.  Create a dedicated board that displays testimonials, video reviews or any other customers’ stories.

Here are few good examples on how to do it:

This is also a nice way to sell your product without it seeming like you are being overly promotional.

Idea #5 – Go behind the scenes

This is a great way to add a face and personality to your Pinterest account. If you sell services this is a great tactic too. Allow your customers to look behind the scenes by creating boards dedicated to your staff or local environment. A good example is Rocket Clicks as well as our Koozai Pin board

Top 11 Pinterest Tools that will make your ideas happen

Here are my top free tools that will help you boost your efforts on Pinterest:

Shotpin is a Chrome extension that will allow you to take a snapshot of any image or anything else you see on your screen and pin it to your Pinterest in just 1 click. Pinterest’s Pin It Button will only enable you to pin images that are recognised so this tool is definitely useful especially if you don’t have any screen grab programs.  I use Shotpin myself every day.

Share As Image is another great Pinterest tool as it let’s you highlight any text on the web and convert it to an image. This way you can, for example, pin your customer’s reviews or testimonials.

Quote Picture Maker comes as a free Google extension and it is very similar to Share As Image. It allows you to share quotes as photos which you can then share on Pinterest as well as other Social Media profiles.

Pinstamatic I think that Pinstamatic is the best tool you can use for your Pinterest strategy. It’s free, extremely easy, and it doesn’t require any installation or editing software skills. If you have run out of ideas on what to pin this tool will definitely help you with your creativity.

With the Pinstamatic dashboard you can pin anything such as:

  • Quotes
  • Snapshots of websites
  • Sticky notes
  • Spotify tracks!
  • Twitter profiles
  • Calendar dates
  • Places with address – great for local business
  • Photos with captions

Wishpond Contest For Pinterest – Want to run a competition on your Pinterest? This tool will enable your followers/customers to upload their boards and allow others to vote on them. The only downside is that it’s a paid app although you can try it for free.

Pin4Ever – Protect your Pinterest ‘valuables’ by backing up all of your boards and pins.

Shopinterest is great for e-commerce business and any sellers as it allows you to create an online retail store from your Pinterest boards and pins.

Pin Search – is a great Chrome extension that will help you find content to create your boards. It’s basically a Google image search for any pin so you can find related content/images.

Postris (formerly Repinly) – with this you can stay on top of the latest Pinterest trends. You can explore what topics or images/pins are trending and maybe try to predict what comes next.

Pin Alerts works on the same basis as Google Alerts; you can get an alert in the form of email notifications whenever somebody pin an image from your website. The best thing is that these alerts will tell you who pinned your image so you can go and follow them back or thank them. I setup these alerts for all of my domains.

Pinvolve automatically sync your Pinterest account with Facebook. If you want to share/display your pins on Facebook you need to install Pinvolve app. You can also embed it to your website or blog.

What other ideas, trick or tools do you use for successful Pinterest strategy? I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions – feel free to share them below:

Image Source

Pinterest Ribbon via BigStock

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka has a wealth of experience in the creation and management of Social Media, SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing campaigns. She has a strong passion for all things Digital and Sport related; when she's not competing in marathons she can be found blogging about digital marketing in sport.


  • Diana 20th September 2013

    Thank you for the article. Very thorough and sound advice.

    Reply to this comment

  • Karthik 20th September 2013

    Really nice one.. and i m gonna start implementing and surely tell the results.. :)

    Reply to this comment

  • Ydeveloper 20th September 2013

    Pinterest itself is a most interactive tools for marketing for any business. I love to use this tools.

    Reply to this comment

  • Rob Willox 20th September 2013

    It’s clear the importance of Pinterest particularly for ecommerce sites is growing and the study referenced highlights that.

    Posted back in Feb 2012 about the importance of Pinterest for seo and highlighted that the links, when the application first launched, were ‘follow’ links: http://blog.web-media.co.uk/social-media/pinterest-is-it-a-useful-business-tool/ but had to revise the post when they changed to ‘no-follow’ not long afterwards.

    Will now have to go back and revise the revision (probably take opportunity to repost) thanks to this post! And, I mean ‘thanks’ as would not have realised it had changed again!

    Also, interesting is that it is not only the on-pin Visit ‘site’ link that appears to be ‘follow’ but the main board display links ‘Pinned by’ are the same giving some link juice to the pinners page as well.

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 20th September 2013

      Thanks Rob! Agree with you, Pinterest and ecommerce belongs to each other. Look at the new tool I mentioned above – Shopinterest – it’s made for ecommerce businesses.

      I’m really glad that Pinterest links are now back to ‘dofollow’ again as I like Pinterest and use it very often for my clients, an excellent traffic driver!

      Thanks again!

      Reply to this comment

  • Nick @ Wishpond 20th September 2013

    Hi Lenka. Thanks for including our Contests for Pinterest App!

    I’ll add one idea To Turn Your Existing Content Into ‘Pinteresting’ Boards:

    Create boards of the best products and techniques for a specific activity, such as a family picnic or campaign trip.

    This has 2 benefits:

    1. It’s a great way to give users ideas on how to use your products

    2.It drive clicks from users searching for those activities who don’t know your brand

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 23rd September 2013

      Thanks, Nick. What a great idea, thanks for sharing it. I will add it to the list of ideas if that’s ok with you.
      Many thanks!

      Reply to this comment

  • Metz 20th September 2013

    We all wanted our page to be productive and we should know the different tactics to maximize it. To tell you honestly, your tips and ideas in Pinterest are relevant as I can see.
    In addition, I suggest in your landing page, you must provide a consistent experience, send people to a relevant and targeted page, focus the visitors attention with a clear and concise headline and experiment with different media types and a lot more.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

    Reply to this comment

  • Elle 23rd September 2013

    Great post! I finally managed to verify my blogger blog using your instructions / link to instructions :) Will have a thorough read of the post later and ensure I follow all the tips!

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 23rd September 2013

      Thank you, Elle! Glad my article helped you to sort out the website verification.
      Let me know how you get on with the tips or if you spot any other useful ideas or tools worth mentioning.

      Reply to this comment

  • Samantha Noble

    Sam Noble 24th September 2013

    Wow, epic post! I have bookmarked this for future reference Lenka. Great to have all this in one post.

    Reply to this comment

  • Noman Ali 25th September 2013

    Will try the #hashtag, this thing i never used before.

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 26th September 2013

      Hi Noman, thanks for the comment. The hashtag is really useful tip and it does work – tried and tested on my Pinterest. I can already see that my board’s rankings have improved.

      Reply to this comment

  • Vincent Ng 26th September 2013

    Hi Lenka, really enjoyed the Pinterest article and I’ve read hundreds of them to date, and this one is quite amazing.

    1) A great tool I always recommend is PicMonkey. It’s free to use, and no registration is required. This way people can add texts to photos very easily to create more repinnable content.

    2) To rank higher for search results within Pinterest’s search engine there are some interesting ranking factors.
    a) The number of recent and frequency of repins
    b) Keywords and how early they show up within a Pinterest description.
    c) The domain name that the pin is hosted on.
    d) How similar the pin is to other pins that have the keyword in it. I wrote an article about SEO within Pinterest’s search engine.

    3) I also believe the no follow links are back. :(

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 27th September 2013

      Thank you, Vincent. I’ve read your post, very useful and definitely take some tips on board. I’ve briefly checked PicMonkey and it looks good, will give it a go.

      Have my eyes on these Pinterest links and let you know when they change them again.

      Reply to this comment

  • Kerry Kimone 26th September 2013

    This article is very informative. Just created and deleted a few new boards based on your suggestions.

    Reply to this comment

  • Michael 28th September 2013

    Hi Lenka, A lot of Pinterest goodies in your post. Let me just add that a couple months back I started optimizing my site halfheartedly and already I have seen a huge spike in traffic coming from Pinterest vs. all the other popular social site. So I’m very happy to have come across more information to continue on my journey thank you.

    Cheers Michael

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 30th September 2013

      Thanks, Michael! Glad to hear that. Do you have any other tricks/tips that worked for your and I haven’t mentioned them? I’m a big Pinterest fan so Would really love to hear them :)

      Thanks a lot!

      Reply to this comment

  • Mike Campbell 19th June 2014

    Thanks for all the pinterest goodness in this post, lots of great suggestions and tools here. I am beginning to see more and more how Pinterest can be of value in ranking for specific keywords and started a strategy a couple of weeks ago.

    Reply to this comment

  • vinay kumar 5th July 2014

    Thanks for sharing seo tips !

    Reply to this comment

  • Mike Brunt 13th August 2014

    Thanks – these were really helpful – as well as those from the posters above.
    and the social signals to the algorithm from having good content shared is only going to become more and more important

    Reply to this comment

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