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Pinterest is changing, and for the better.
In the past, Pinterest had a pretty lackluster, unhelpful search function. Sure, it worked on a very basic level. If you put in a keyword, and that keyword happened to be used in the metadata or description, you would find what you were looking for.
But Pinterest has a unique format, which presents unique challenges to overcome. How can you properly utilize the Pinterest search feature when so much of what people will be looking for is reliant on the visual element, and not only the data itself provided with that picture?
What happens when the person doing the pinning doesn’t know how to properly optimize their pin? And what happens if the people you want to see your pins don’t know how to find what you have posted?
At the end of August, the site announced Smart Feed, a new way of presenting and organizing content on the user’s home page. But it didn’t just create a new way of showing off pins from people they had followed, or interests they have shown an appreciation for. It changed the whole algorithm on the site, and so the way people search.
Making Search More Visibly Friendly
Smart Feed has implemented three new elements for boosting pins in search results:
- The quality of the pin itself, which is partially determined by how often it is put up on pin boards.
- The quality of the pin source, as in the third party site it goes to. If the third party site is a suspected or known spam source, or just not very high by SEO standards, it could dock the placement of the pin on the Smart Feed.
- The quality of other pins related to the pin. If other content has been brought up from the source, and they are doing well, Pinterest takes it into account.
With these three things in mind, you can begin to optimize your own content so it is more likely to come up in Smart Feed.
Every post on your site should have been enhanced with Pinterest search in mind at the time of posting it. If not, you should go back and update it so that it is. The more pins you get from your blog as a source, the better all content will begin to perform there.
Use only high quality and unique images on posts. Make sure they all contain metadata that includes keywords and rich descriptions that will come up in a Pinterest search. Put a Pinterest button on every post, and make it easy for people to share it.
Share as Part of the Community
Just having an active account sharing your own content isn’t enough. Pinterest is a social network, and one that rewards regular use. You want to become a member of the community, sharing other people’s content, pinning things to your own boards not related to your site, and becoming connected with other high quality sources.
This will bring people to your boards, giving them a chance to see your content. Once they start pinning and engaging with that content, it will give you a boost on Pinterest’s radar. Which then goes right back to your content, and makes it more likely to be seen.
Take Advantage of Pinterest’s Description Field
Pinterest is chock full of opportunities to exploit their text fields for your gain. The best example of this is the description area, which can be used for a number of purposes that will draw even more attention to you and your content.
For example, something for sale can have an official price tag, and lead to a shopping cart. A recipe can have an area for ingredients and instructions. Audio files from Soundcloud can be played right in the pin, with an introduction to the content.
Hashtags can also be used, but be sparing with these. No one likes over saturated descriptions with too many tags or keywords, as both look spammy and take away from the professional feel of the pin. Plus, it could give your blog a reputation as a spam source, and all your content will be flagged.
Be High Quality, Always
This is definitely the biggest tip, and one you should follow no matter what. On Pinterest, you are dealing with a visual platform. It gets people’s attention faster than a headline does. Add in the fact that the entire network is based entirely on saving pins for later viewing, and you have a recipe for something amazing.
Make sure every pin is beautiful, visually stimulating, and eye grabbing. That is the #1 rule of Pinterest: to be extraordinary.
Do you have some tips to share on ranking better in Pinterest search? Have an interesting case study to share? Let us know in the comments!
By Jessy Troy
Jessy Troy is the social media enthusiast tweeting as @JessyTroy