Pinterest marketing: social link building for search

Pinterest is not a typical social media platform. Users don’t message each other, and sharing is often for personal use. Pinterest is used as a tool for gathering and saving ideas for later; the mobile and tablet apps are used heavily.

Pinterest should therefore not be treated like a broadcast channel such as Facebook or Twitter, and this is the underlying principle which makes Pinterest a social link building tool to strengthen a search engine marketing strategy.

Social signals

Search engines are primarily concerned with the authority of a website; a trusted source is preferred to something new or untested. Links are sound signals that a website is trustworthy, based on the principle that links from trusted sources across the web act as a ‘vote’ or a ‘thumbs up’.

Pinterest is, by nature, a trusted source and a global brand name. Users who find images and pin them to a board are in fact giving the image, often with an attached link or source, a ‘thumbs up’.

With a user base in the tens of millions, Pinterest is essentially democratising the process of link building – the quality of the images and the links attached to them come from the masses.

DIY Pinterest link building

A common pitfall of Pinterest marketing is to upload an image from a computer or device to a Pinterest board. From a search perspective, this is not ideal – an image has been uploaded and the source is essentially unknown.

Instead, Pinterest marketers should be adding images to boards via the ‘add by link’ feature, or indeed the excellent ‘Pin It’ extension which can be attached to browsers as bookmarklets.

Not only does this speed up the process of adding images to Pinterest, but it attaches a link source to each image pinned. This, in turn, provides a link to the website it came from, which acts as a ranking signal for search engines.

To make the most of your limited time as a busy digital marketer, use the following checklist to stay on top of your Pinterest marketing:

  • Make sure your website images can be pinned. If a user (or Pin-it bookmarklet) can’t find your image, speak with your web developer
  • Install a pin-it bookmarklet and pin images form your website to your Pinterest board(s)
  • Write unique descriptions for each image pinned – use a keyword that’s relevant to your search strategy
  • don’t abuse the system – pin naturally and avoid keyword stuffing. Cutting corners doesn’t work!

If you would like to learn more about Pinterest marketing, contact a member of the Rooster team today.

Posted by Kath Sellwood on 20 May 2015