Pinning Your Interest: The Potential SEO Value of Pinterest

Two months into the SEO sphere, and I’ve come to learn a lot about the value of links, best practices for outreach and search queries that make any previous Google search by me look like chopped liver. My latest SEO exploration is of (Pin + Interest, get it?) and the potential value the site might have for SEO geeks like myself. I’ve been a fan of this “virtual social pinboard” since the summer, as it allowed me and millions of users to “pin” images off the web into different, organized “boards” that I can easily share with everyone. From there, users can re-pin images that they feel inspired by onto their own boards, causing a domino effect for millions of random graphics off of the internet.

As an average consumer, I’ve been using Pinterest for my own personal blog by finding fashion/pop culture images, interesting infographics and random phrases of inspiration to post on a weekly basis. Recently though, I’m (with the much appreciated help from Wil Reynolds) starting to see a new side and use for this popular social media platform from both a client and an SEO side. No drumroll necessary, but read on to find out more!

The Art of Tagging
Pinning an image requires users to tag their image with an applicable description, allowing the site’s search box to easily categorize every upload. As you can see from the image below of Wil, links from the image source and the comment area are all followed links. Creating your own company account and pushing out infographics or images from a client’s site, as well as making relevant comments with a link back to a client’s site on other Pinterest user’s images, may be an idea worth delving into because of the potential link juice coming from that Pinterest page. With the correct descriptions and keywords, your images will get re-pined by a number of users and thus increase the reach of your original link.

Easy to add a pin, URL and description!

Highlighted in Green are the followed links!

Content, Content, Content
Pinterest is a hub of content, just waiting to be found and used for the right client. A simple search term in the top, left hand box will produce ideas and images that could all be easily created into content for a client’s guest post or giveaway. I searched the term “DIY” and got 182,079 pins of images and 109,575 boards that users have created dealing with do-it-yourself projects and crafts. For any client looking for a great blog post to create on their own site, inspiration from current Pins may just be what the SEO doctor ordered. Make sure to take a look at the images with the most comments and re-pins to create an accurate judgment on just how “hot” the image or idea may be for your own site. The highlighted chalkboard frame below had over 1,500 re-pins by users and 7 comments from users on that one image—imagine how many more comments from interested users you’ll find on the rest of the re-pined chalkboard frames!?

"DIY" search results

Clients that may already have a following on Pinterest or would like to create a following of fans interested in their industry can easily add a “Pin It” button to their website or blog. Similar to any social media button for users to share content with, the “Pin It” button can be added to any product page or (blog) posts for Pinterest addicts to quickly share their favorite image AND your website URL. Take one step ahead of your competitors and add this button next to your Facebook and Twitter icons for an increase in brand awareness.

Blogger Outreach
Contacting bloggers is something I do on a daily basis for clients. Disseminating a client’s brand, message or product is a key factor in any company’s marketing strategy. Now, add Pinterest into that mix and you’ve found a creative, new way to find and contact bloggers interested in your client’s product or brand. For example, we have a client here at SEER in the wine industry that occasionally partakes in giveaways and competitions for products on their site. Pinterest came to mind as a great way to reach out to people interested in the wine industry, and more importantly, interested in winning wine accessories and prizes. One simple search of “wine” and 36,528 pinned images with the tag of wine and 2,712 boards from users showed up in the results. Bingo!

"Wine" search results

Other than linking to a user’s individual blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts, Pinterest also allows other users to send messages to one another. The next step would be sending the right outreach method for this wine giveaway–something along the lines of “Hey Melissa, I saw you that you had a really great Wine board on here and would love to invite you to‘s upcoming giveaway for free wine accessories!” Now, your client’s promotional message is targeted to the correct, and socially active, party!

In Summary
Think of Pinterest as the ocean for your client’s link bait. You have the hook, man power, and incentive as an SEO. With Pinterest, you now have a new and relevant platform for outreach and a resource for building and sharing quality content. Try out some of the above methods and let me know how it works out for you and your clients!