Can Pinterest Help with Your SEO Link Building Strategy?

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 15, 2014

Sure, we know the conventional SEO wisdom: social media marketing and search engine optimization are two totally different animals. But as the search engines take more and more of an interest in social signals when determining search rankings, it makes sense to use social media to drive more consumers to your website. And Pinterest is a great site for doing just that.

Now, before you get ideas about Pinterest pins boosting your PageRank, keep in mind that all links from Pinterest to your site (or any other site) are “nofollow” links. They won’t bestow “link juice” on the pages they point to. However, Bing already uses social signals in its rankings and Pins in image searches, and Google probably won’t be far behind.

Why do you need to rank well in Pinterest searches?

Also, though you might not think of it as a search engine, Pinterest gets millions of searches per month. And if you do the work to get your content to rank well in Pinterest searches, that’s more pins for your images — and possibly more clickthroughs for your website, if you play your cards right.

But, you might ask, what kind of content can you post on Pinterest if your business isn’t artsy-craftsy? Plenty — especially infographics. Just do a search on Pinterest for “SEO” and you’ll see what we mean.

Tips to optimize your Pinterest profile, pins and boards

Pinterest gives users a way to organize links that matter to them or are useful to them, whether it’s a great infographic of industry statistics or a recipe for chocolate meringue pie. So whatever your company does, use these tips to get the most out of your Pinterest account:

  • Install a Pinterest “Pin It” button wherever you have other social media buttons — such as on your blog, the header of individual web pages and product pages, the footer of each page, and/or the sidebar — depending on what works with your page layout. Also, put a Pinterest pin in close proximity to images that users might want to pin.

  • Add the Pinterest app from to your Facebook page. (The app is free.)

  • Add a “Follow me on Pinterest” button after your email signature line.

  • If you want your Pinterest activities to show up on Facebook, go to Account Settings and use the slider bar to choose “Post your activity to Timeline.”

  • Also in Pinterest Account Settings, be sure to move the slider to “No” where it says “Keep search engines (ex: Google) from showing your Pinterest profile in search results.”

  • Use keywords wisely, everywhere you can — such as in your descriptions of your Pinterest boards and Pins. Rename photos from whatever your camera named them so they have a descriptive name that contains a keyword or two (don’t overdo it). Keywords can also find their way into your Username (where your job description can accompany your actual business name), About section, Board titles, Board descriptions, and the description of each individual Pin. That means there are lots of SEO-worthy keyword opportunities on Pinterest to let Pinterest know what your Pins, Boards and profile are all about so it can rank you higher in its results.

  • Include a URL in your image descriptions to drive more traffic from Pinterest to your website.

  • Add the Pinterest for Business Profile Widget or Board Widget to your Pinterest account to show more of your Pins or to show the Pins from a specific board in a more visually appealing format.

With so many established SEO practices now frowned upon by Google and an ever-increasing emphasis on content quality, it makes more sense than ever to increase your engagement on Pinterest and other social media sites — where your content can go viral and drive more traffic to your site. Optimize your Pinterest pins, profile and boards, and see how much more traffic you can drive to your website. Pretty soon all the search engines will likely take notice, too.