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Three Reasons Why “Pinning Means Winning” – in an SEO World

Growth of Pinterest by ComScoreHave you started using Pinterest yet?  If not, then I highly recommend you start!  According to a March 2012 comScore report on the state of the internet, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site in both unique visitors and clicks on search engines.  The report also states that Pinterest buyers spend more, buy more items, and conduct more transactions than other social media buyers.  More recently, in a September 2012 analysis of U.S web activity, comScore included Pinterest in its top 50 web properties, as it surpassed 25 million visitors for the month.

In case you haven’t already engaged in the online community, Pinterest describes itself as a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share images, articles, and videos you find while browsing the web.

You can create a variety of boards and “pin” to a specific board as you browse away on the internet. All it takes is installing the “Pin It” button to your browser and you can begin pinning away.

Pinterest is more than just the latest fascination in the social media world.  It actually has some very important search implications that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Why Pinterest Matters to SEO

I never understood the hype around Pinterest until recently when I purchased a condo and began looking for ideas on how to decorate my new place.  I’d enter queries on Google related to ideas on decorating my condo and many of the results that were pulling up were directing me to Pinterest pages.  For instance, when entering the query “ideas for my condo,” you will notice that four of the five top results are directing to Pinterest pages.

Pinterest in SERP

  1. SERP indexing: Pinterest boards are being crawled and indexed in search engine results pages. So a Pinterest user can create a board within their Pinterest account and include relevant keywords that could potentially appear in the search engine result pages. Not only are the descriptions of the “pin” being indexed, the number of comments and links that are added to the Pinterest board image are also appearing in search engine results pages.
  2. Referral Links: Pinterest presents a huge opportunity to capitalize on creating more links to your website. Although Pinterest includes the nofollow attribute, which means brand sites won’t gain any link juice from Pinterest, there are still key opportunities that the social site can offer…specifically referral links from other Pinterest users. All pins posted to Pinterest include links to the site it was pinned from. Brands can take advantage of this by posting images to Pinterest that contain links to their brand sites, which will hopefully be re-pinned by other Pinterest users with similar interests.
  3. Increased Awareness, Site Traffic & Click Thru Rates: One of, if not the most important benefit of Pinterest is the brand awareness it creates. The more people are pinning about your brand, the more likely you are to see an increase in brand awareness, and therefore, traffic to your site.

Pinterest images can also help to improve click-through-rates, since images are indexed in both Google and Bing Images. Online users can browse Google and Bing images, find a picture that’s on Pinterest, and click through directly to the Pinterest profile that the image came from.

Pinterest Optimization Tips

  • When posting images, Pinterest allows you to describe your pin in up to 500 characters. These descriptions are what will appear in the SERPS, so be sure to use specific keyphrases you want to target when developing these pins.
  • Add a Pin It button to your product pages. is one example of a site that is making good use of Pinterest. On every page that a product is showcased, the user has the option of pinning the image to their Pinterest board.
  • Engage with your target consumers on Pinterest by pinning images that you think will appeal to them and result in them repinning the image. It’s also important to know your demographics and to only build out content on or directing to Pinterest if your consumers are the target audience that engages with Pinterest (i.e. Pinterest users are predominantly women between 25-44 years old.)
  • When developing any social media strategy, there is no question that engagement with Pinterest is sure to have strong SEO value to your site, and should definitely be considered.

    Does your brand or a brand you like use Pinterest in a creative way? Share the story in the comments below.

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    5 Responses to Three Reasons Why “Pinning Means Winning” – in an SEO World

    1. Clayburn says:

      I don’t know how to use Pinterest because I’m a guy. :(

    2. Elena Alioshina says:

      Great post, Michelle! Although Pinterest sometimes gets overlooked in SEO strategy because of the nofollow attribute, your piece is spot on about how we can’t ignore it because it drives traffic. TechCrunch recently posted an article about Pinterest being #4 largest traffic driver worldwide:

    3. anujadar says:

      Great article Mich.. you write so well!

    4. KcB says:

      Great read. Pinterest recently launched business accounts: (Even more reason to incorporate Pinterest in an SEO Strategy)

    5. David says:

      I recently noticed in my Google Webmaster Tools metrics that I received a backlink for one of my sites. Turns out, someone months ago had pinned one of my images. This has me thinking about using Pinterest to achieve backlinks and attract traffic.

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