This is How You Pin It: How Pinterest Can Increase the Value of Your SEO Strategy Rebecca Miller Published: September 21, 2012 3 min read Categories: SEO Since the site launched as a closed beta in March of 2010, its mission has been to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. Well, Pinterest has delivered. Although many believe the site to be just another procrastination tool for women to plan dream weddings or find new recipes, Pinterest has a definite practical side. The site captures one of the most powerful aspects of the Internet; the visual element. The photographic feast it provides users on its digital bulletin board has a subtle feature that provides increasing SEO value. However, there is much that is still unknown, and many companies are looking to tap into this beneficial SEO resource. Supplement Your SEO Referral Traffic Since January 2012, the number of users who visited the site grew by an impressive 145%. In addition, it was recently reported that Pinterest has 12 million active users. Companies are still recognizing the importance of tapping into this new ‘social media sweetheart’. While Pinterest allows marketers to increase brand or product visibility and express the company personality, it benefits SEO by providing the opportunity to increase referral traffic and boost the number of inbound links to a company site. Which, at the same time, would theoretically increase the potential for sales/conversions and push up website rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs). Google’s current algorithm doesn’t read the visual content of pictures, yet photos often contain product or brand information relevant to keywords that a company is trying to rank for on SERPs. Using Quality Content to Engage with Users To see any sort of results, it is important that the first step for any company is to pin interesting, engaging content that your target audience will find relevant and valuable. For both B2C and B2B, companies should create boards that are industry-specific, and then upload or re-pin quality product images, infographics, company photographs, videos, or anything else relevant. Our clients often ask if they should use their own photos, or include content from other sources. With any social media site, the purpose is to share content that will foster collaboration and connection. For example, it’s never advised that a company should constantly send tweets that only link to their site. So to truly get the most out of any social site, like Pinterest, the best strategy is to share your photos in addition to relevant content from other sources. Link Opportunities Once an interesting pin captures a user’s attention and they click on a photo to re-pin it, clicking on the photo again will bring them to the URL that it was originally pinned from. This is when a picture literally becomes a thousand words, because one photo can link to an entire blog post. It should be noted that when you pin content from your site Pinterest, automatically includes a link back to the original source. On the other hand, when you upload a pin from a file source, Pinterest does not automatically include a link. However, it is possible to edit the URL on either type of pin: Find the desired pin Mouse over the top-left corner, and click on the ‘Edit’ button On the Edit page, add the desired URL to the Description or Link box Click on the ‘Save Pin’ button The link in the ‘Description box’ (or pin comments) will show up underneath the pin, while the link put into the ‘Link box’ will be activated when a user clicks on the enlarged image after their initial click to re-pin. As of March 2012, all links on pins that are posted and re-pinned are ‘no-follow’ links, although the link on your actual Pinterest profile page is a ‘do-follow’ and can pass link juice to your website. Using Pinterest for Quality SEO Pinterest provides free publicity to companies who want to catch consumer attention and drive traffic to their products or their content. However, companies have to be careful because Pinterest is not intended solely for commercial purposes, and should not be used for spamming or for the sole purpose of getting links/self-promotion. It’s also important to keep in mind that while social media sites are the perfect place to engage with users, only make a profile if it is right for your business. You have a clear idea of how your efforts will benefit your SEO campaign. Use your Pinterest profile to reap the benefits from properly investing time and effort into a powerful social site, such as gaining genuine followers and building connections for targeted link building. Focus on getting links from other users as much as you try to get links from Pinterest to your site! Pinterest is a great tool that can supplement and boost most SEO efforts. Now get pinning!