Optimizing For Pinterest Success

Welcome back for the second part of our series on how to get your Pinterest account open for business! If you remember, the last post focused on the technical steps of getting your business account started, claiming your website, and enabling Pinterest Rich Pins. If you were overwhelmed by the technical steps last week, you don’t have to worry! We will not do any of that this week as we work on optimizing for Pinterest success.

To help you with the process of optimizing for Pinterest success, I created a checklist for you to use as you work through the process. It includes the steps from last week’s post, this week’s post, and even some Pinterest strategy tips that I’ll discuss next week! You can get the checklist for free by using the sign-up form below.



Before you work on identifying keywords for your small business or blog, it’s important to understand what they are and why they are important.  Keywords are the words that you want to be identifiers for your small business. These are the words people search and your website or blog appears in the results. Identifying those keywords and strategically using them throughout your website and blog postings can improve your ranking for those keywords in search engines (like Google and Pinterest).

There are two different types of keywords and it’s important to understand the difference between them. The two types are general keywords and long-tail keywords.

General Keywords

General keywords are very easy to understand, because they are what your site or post is generally about. They would be the words that you use to describe your business in everyday situations, like your elevator pitch. The keywords might be your big blog categories. For example, let’s pretend you have a mom blog. You might have categories like parenting, marriage, and taking care of a home. Your blog posts will generally fall into those three categories, and those could be general keywords for your blog.

Your turn: Identify the general keywords for your business. You should have three to five of them. Write them down, because you’ll need to know them for the next section.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are different from general keywords. These tend to be short phrases that include the general keywords. They are more specific, and they are wonderful for SEO ranking. Because they are more specific, it is somewhat easier to rank for the long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords can be a little confusing, so let’s go back to our example of the mom blog.

As you know, there are many, many, many mom blogs out there. A lot of them talk about the categories mentioned above. It can be very hard to get into the first page of Google results for “parenting” or “marriage.” Since Google (and Pinterest) use algorithms that favor traffic, links, interactions, keywords, etc., it can be VERY challenging to get a high rank for those general keywords, especially as a new blogger.

Long-tail keywords can make it a little easier to get noticed. Focusing on the keyword “parenting,” let’s get more specific. As the images below show, there get to be fewer and fewer results as we get more specific. That means there are fewer websites to compete with, so it is more likely that someone can rank faster. 

Parenting – 258,000,000 results

screenshot google results for parenting


Parenting Boys – 44,800,000 results

Screenshot Google results for "Parenting Boys"

Parenting Pre-school Age Boys – 3,010,000 results

Screenshot of Google Results for "parenting pre-school age boys"

While you see, it’s still not easy to be seen in the results for “parenting pre-school aged boys,” it’s definitely easier than getting noticed in the 258 million results of “parenting.”

Pinterest also uses long-tail keywords, and it’s easy to identify good ones to use. I’m going to show you how to identify ones for your business, and then you can find your own!

On Pinterest, I can enter the main topic, “parenting,” at the top. This is what I see:

screenshot Pinterest results for Parenting

Notice right underneath the Search bar, there are buttons that give suggestions for more specific searches. You could use any of those on to “parenting” to make long-tail keywords. These are suggestions of popular ones that people search for. Notice “Boys” is listed relatively close to the beginning of the list.

When I click on the “Boys” button, I get these results:

screenshot of Pinterest search results for "parenting boys"

As I scrolled across, there was no button for “pre-school,” so it’s not one of the more popular searches that people look for. 

I did search it, just to see what I would get, but the results weren’t as specific.

screenshot of Pinterest results for "parenting pre-school boys"

For Pinterest, I would probably choose “parenting boys” as long-tail keywords, and maybe “parenting toddlers,” instead.

Your Turn – For each of the general keywords you chose, identify two to three long-tail keywords to use when optimizing for Pinterest success!

How to Create a Profile That’s Optimizing for Pinterest Success

Once you’ve chosen your general keywords and long-tail keywords, it’s time to get to work optimizing your profile. There are two parts of your profile that you can optimize by including keywords. Those are your Business name and the About You section. It is important to use keywords that let people know what your business is about, but you do not want to stuff so many keywords that they don’t make sense.

Business Name

Optimizing your business name can be a little tricky. On Pinterest.com, you only get 30 characters for your business name. Adding what you want within those 30 characters is difficult. Luckily, right now (July 2018), you can add more characters to the business name in the Pinterest app. Here is an example of my Business name on my Pinterest account. Notice there are more than 30 characters.

screenshot May Virtual Assists Pinterest Business Name

The Pinterest algorithm actually searches these, so you want to try to add in keywords, if you can. Notice I have VA and Pinterest Management, which are both keywords that I want to include.

Your turn Using the Pinterest app, go in and add keywords to your business name.

About You Section

The About You section should also use keywords. It is important to use keywords in a conversational manner, not by just listing them. You want people to feel that you’re writing for them, not for the algorithm. Here’s mine:

I have the keywords: virtual assistant, Pinterest, small-business strategies, and WAHM (work-at-home mom) life. Those are all keywords that I want to try to rank for on Pinterest. I’m not there yet, but, hopefully, someday.

Your Turn – Write or rewrite your About You section, using keywords. Be sure to keep a conversational tone, instead of just listing your keywords.

How to Create Boards that are Optimizing for Pinterest Success

There are two important parts of your boards that you need to focus on when optimizing for Pinterest success. The process for each is a little different. The Pinterest algorithm does not look for keywords in the board names, so you don’t have to work to include your keywords in those. It does, however, use board names in identifying your pins, so be sure to use my tips below when naming your boards.

Board Names

When naming boards, it is VERY important to be clear in what the board is about. Pinterest uses the board names to figure out what the content of the pins is. Therefore, it is super important that you state what the board topic is in the name. When I first started using Pinterest, back in 2009, I did like everyone else and gave my boards cute names, like “Get in my Belly” or “Oh, Baby.” While they’re fun board names and people might like them, those are not names that would help the Pinterest algorithm know that I share recipes or baby ideas. Clear names like “Favorite Recipes” and “Caring for Baby” would make it a lot easier for Pinterest to get that new pins are about those topics. 

You also want to be sure that your boards and board names focus on topics within your niche. It is important to include variety, but the goal is to attract an audience that will benefit from your content. For example, my audience is small-business owners and bloggers who might be starting out. Since I am a VA and Pinterest manager, these individuals might not need my services now, but they could in the future. I include boards that would benefit them. Some of my boards include: Blog tips, SEO, WAHM Life, Managing a Home, WordPress, Squarespace, Scheduling, Small-business info, Organization, etc. 

All of these topics are important to individuals in my niche, and they are topics that I write about. The goal is for each of my blog posts to go on 5-7 different boards, so I need some overlap without being the exact same topic. 

**As a beginning Pinterest user, it’s a good idea to have 20+ boards to start off with.

Your Turn – Using your categories and keywords, create at least 20 boards and board names that fit in your niche. You should also choose categories as you are creating the boards. Don’t forget that you want some overlap!

Board Descriptions

The Pinterest algorithm looks for keywords in the board descriptions, so you definitely want to make sure that you include them in those descriptions. These descriptions don’t need to be long, but they should tell what the board is about. 

Here is my Design Time board description:

Screenshot of board description for Pinterest Board from May virtual Assists

Notice I have bloggers and small-business owners, which are keywords I’ve chosen.

Your Turn – For each of your boards, write a description that contains some of your keywords. Make sure they make sense. Don’t feel that you need to do all of your boards at once. It is totally fine to do a few a day, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Remember that Pinterest is a long game, so you will not end up with thousands of followers on your first day, and that’s ok!

Pin Descriptions

The final place that Pinterest looks for keywords is in the pin descriptions. Again, you do not want to just stick a bunch of keywords in a list in the description. It should make sense as you read it. 

Here is an example of my Pinterest pin for my last blog post. Notice the Rich Pin description at the top, which is pulled from the meta-description in Yoast, is different from the pin description at the bottom with my keywords.

Pinterest pin example

The description at the bottom talks about growing your business, Pinterest, and Pinterest business account. All of those are keywords that I focus on, so I can eventually get ranked for some of them.

Your Turn – Choose one post or page from your website that you need to work on. If you know how to create a pin or you have created a pin already, add it to the correct board on Pinterest. If you don’t know how to create a pin and add a description, just write it down somewhere. I’ll show you how to create pins next week.

On Your Way to Optimizing for Pinterest Success

Once you know the spots where you need to include your keywords and the best practices for finding and including those keywords, you are off to a good start at optimizing for Pinterest success!

As a reminder, I explained the following things, so be sure to go back if you need a refresher.

  • Identifying keywords and long-tail keywords
  • Optimizing your business name and About You section
  • Creating board names and optimizing board descriptions
  • Optimizing pin descriptions

Once you’ve finished optimizing your Pinterest account, please share the link on my Facebook page. I would love to see your hard work and highlight your Pinterest account. 

You can also check out the next post to learn everything you need to develop a solid Pinterest strategy!

Of course, if you need help with anything, feel free to ask. You can comment below, ask me on Facebook, or you can check out my Pinterest account. I have lots of resources from many different sources on how to do these very things!

Until next time,

pint name with logo, website, and tagline for May Virtual Assists

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