Boost Your Traffic with Pinterest Keywords – Fundamentals of SEO for Pinterest

So, if you’ve read my other articles on Pinterest, you should know by now that it’s actually a search engine more than a social media platform – it’s a visual search engine.

If you want to drive traffic to your business, SEO for Pinterest is something you 100% need to be thinking about.

FREE SEO FOR PINTEREST CHECKLIST | Are your Pins optimised for Pinterest SEO? Where should you put your Pinterest Keywords? An introduction to Pinterest marketing to drive traffic to your blog. Pinterest SEO tips that you can start to use right now. Includes Pinterest SEO tips cheat sheet #PinterestMarketing #PinterestForBusiness #PinterestTips

When you’re writing blog posts most likely you’ll want them to come up on web searches. You optimise your articles for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) by putting relevant keywords in targeted places throughout your article.

Because Pinterest is a search engine, Pinterest SEO works similar to Google and your Pins have a better chance of getting under the right eyes and showing up in searches if you follow a few fundamental rules and Pinterest SEO tips.

In this article, I’m going to talk about the importance of Pinterest and SEO and how to dig out the best Pinterest keywords and where to put them.

I’ve also created FREE handy checklist which features everything I mention in this article. You can download your Pinterest SEO guide here.

Let’s get stuck into these fundamentals of SEO for Pinterest that you can start using today.


What you can expect in this article...

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The fundamentals of SEO for Pinterest

Where to find Pinterest keywords?

So you might be wondering where to find the best keywords for Pinterest in the first place. The best way is by using Pinterest itself.

Unfortunately, Pinterest keyword research isn’t quite as sophisticated as keyword research tools like Keysearch, which tell you the search volume, difficulty and a whole range of other metrics but you can still get a pretty decent insight into what keywords Pinterest is favouiring.

In the search bar at the top, type in the main keyword of the topic that you are searching for, then similar to Google search, it will try and complete the sentence for you.

For example, if I type in ‘easy cookie recipe’ as my keyword at the top, Pinterest will try and guess what I am looking for based on trends and other phrases users have searched for.

Pinterest will try to complete the phrase you are looking for based on what's been searched before

If you click on that ‘easy cookie recipes’, you’ll see a series of coloured bubbles at the top, which will refine the search even more. All of these things are phrases Pinterest used to complete your initial search question, and the suggestions in the bubbles are all relevant keywords that Pinterest associated with the topic and what you should be using to get seen.

These are your Pinterest keywords! Make a note of all these keywords somewhere because you’ll need to refer back to them.

Everything in the bubbles at the top are relevant keywords to your initial search

Here's where to add keywords to Pinterest

Below are eight tried and tested Pinterest SEO best practices. If you follow each of these steps you’ll be giving your Pins a good start at getting seen. Although there’s a whole load of things you should be doing as part of your Pinterest strategy, this introduction to Pinterest SEO is a great place to start.

Don’t forget to download your FREE checklist one Keyword optimisation on Pinterest.

1) Put the keyword in the image filename

The first place you should put a keyword or phrase, even before going onto Pinterest is in the file name of the image or Pin you’re uploading.

I’ll use the example of the cookie recipe I mentioned earlier. You might have a photo of the cookie, perhaps uploaded straight from your phone, probably in the format of 02092020_1001.jpg. This is great for searching by date, but pretty much useless when it comes to Pinterest keyword targeting.

It’s a good habit to get into, to save the file with a relevant name that means something on Pinterest and utilises a keyword, for example, ‘pile of chocolate chip cookies.jpg.


To keep track of all of the Pin designs and images I upload to Pinterest I give them all a unique number.  This is becuase I use a spreadsheet to keep track of what I’ve uploaded, along with the keyword and information associated to it. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, something like 001, 002, 003.

2) Use keyword variations in your titles

Just like you would do with the main title (your H1) of your blog post and probably the most obvious place to put your keyword is in the title,

When you’re scrolling your Pinterest feed, the title shows up in the bold writing under the Pin, however, I’m always shocked by how many Pinners skip this step. The title of the Pin also shows up in bold when you click to view the Pin.

Pinterest gives you 100 characters for your title. Depending what my article is on, quite often I use the same title as I have on the actual blog post if it’s got the same keywords that I find while doing my keyword research within in Pinterest.

However, this is also a great way to get creative with titles to try to cover as many keywords as possible. So for example, I might upload 3 different Pin designs, I could use 3 different variations on a title such as;

      • 4 ingredient chocolate chip cookie recipe
      • How to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies
      • Simple Chocolate chip cookie recipes for kids


All of those contain different keywords but appeal to a wider range of potential readers. They would all lead to the same article, but with a slightly different angle used.

3) Using Pinterest keywords in your Pin captions

Pinterest allows you to use up to 500 characters within the description section. That might sound quite a bit, but bear in mind that those 500 characters need to give enough information about the Pin, a CTA (Call To Action),  contains a selection of keywords and phrases as well as a few hashtags (more on hashtags in a mo). That’s quite a big punch those Pinterest Pin descriptions have to give!

One way of doing this is to put your CTA or any vital information first, something like ”click here to read more’ – obvs, you can get a bit more creative about it but the start of the description is a great place to put your CTA and essential info as on peoples feeds, they’ll only be able to see the first 50 characters while the rest of the description get’s cut off.

After this, write a couple of descriptions about the article which contain a selection of the keywords you found. For example, ‘Learn how to make 4 ingredient chocolate cookies’, ‘Chocolate chip cookie recipe for kids’. You can always add a couple of extra keywords at the end of the description.

Then add a couple of related hashtags to the end (I go into more depth on the next point). #chocolatechipcookie #perfectcookies

An example Pinterest Pin description will end up looking something like the image below.

This is a great example of an optimised Pinterest description

4) Pinteret hashtags could give you an extra boost

The hashtag on Pinterest is an ever-evolving debate. At one point (back around 2017) they said they weren’t important, then they changed their minds and said it was good practice to use a few. Now, in 2020, the hashtag doesn’t seem to have much of a bearing at all.

Previously you were able to search how popular a certain hashtag was within Pinterest, this statistic was taken off the desktop version and then more recently Mobile. So it appears that hashtags aren’t that relevant right now in the eyes of the Pinterest gods. #eyeroll

That said, I still do include a couple in each of my descriptions, although I do keep them quite generic and based on what’s trending across other platforms or a potential topic I would want my Pin to appear under. #What #You #Don’t #Want #ToDo #Is #StuffYour #Description #With #TooMany #Hashtags.

5) Pinterest is checking what's on your Pins

That’s right! Pinterest’s AI is ‘reading’ what’s on your image. Even though it’s saved as an image, Pinterest is checking what things, including keywords, are actually on the Pin.

I tested this out. I created a Pin, the main image I used was a super cute pug on a laptop. The content on the Pin had nothing to do with dogs (it was actually an introduction to marketing). After uploading it, my feed and suggestions were filled with everything dog-related, despite me not mentioning in writing anything to do with dogs. Pinterest assumed I was interested in dogs based on the image I used. Moral of the story, keep everything you Pin, relevant to your keywords.

A great app to create visually stunning Pins on is Canva.

The Pinterest gods figured my Pin featuring thsi image meant I was interested in puppy training

6) Make sure your boards are optimised for keywords

Whenever you create a new board for your Pins, be sure to optimise your board for SEO. This is another one of those easy Pinterest SEO tips, which often gets overlooked.

What things are you specifically going to be Pinning on this board? Now go back to the search bar at the top and find as many relevant keywords that could be used to describe that board. Again, like with the description on your Pin, you’re limited to 500 characters. Although keyword stuffing is generally forwned upon, this is one place where it doens’t really matter. You need to put in as many keywords and phrases linked to the content of this board in here.

All of these phrases come up when you search for the word 'Croatia'

7) Don't forget to optimise Pins on your website

Outside of the Pinterest bubble, and on your website, it’s just as important to remember to include your Pinterest keywords. This is the information that Pinterest will pull if someone shares it from your website.

Get into the habit of including a keyword or phrase to the following places;

  • The filename of the image you upload
  • The alt-text
  • The description

8) Your Pinterest profile

When you’re setting up your Pinterest profile, you need to tell Pinterest and your readers, what your profile is about. 

There are two places you should be putting relevant keywords;

  • Your display name (up to 65 characters)
  • About your profile section (up to 160 characters)


In these two relatively short pieces of Pinterest real estate, you need to tell the world what you are about. It’s a good idea to put both your name and your business name in the display name section. 

In the ‘about your profile’ section, try to include an overview of what your business is about. Don’t get too specific here (you can include more specific keywords and phrases on your boards and Pins). 


Final notes on SEO for Pinterest and Pinterest Keywords

So now you’ve learnt some of the best practices for Pinterest SEO which you will be able to go and implement right away.

Like with Google, it can take a while for your SEO Pinterest efforts to kick in, but if you’ve followed these rule you should start to see your Pins showing up under the right eyes which in turn, should lead to more people visiting your business.

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If you found this article on using Pinterest keywords useful, or know someone who will then don’t forget to spread the word.

Got a question or comment? I’d love to hear so pop it below and I can get back to you.

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