Complete Pinterest SEO Checklist For 2022 (29 Steps)

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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through one of my affiliate links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

If you want to go viral on Pinterest and get lots of eyes on your pins, understanding and implementing Pinterest SEO is essential for that success.

Pinterest SEO can sound confusing and seem overwhelming at first. However, that’s why I created this all-inclusive checklist — to outline the exact steps you need to do to optimize your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins.

I’m confident that if you stick to this Pinterest SEO checklist, your results on Pinterest will skyrocket! Whether you’re new or not to the Pinterest game, making these easy and quick changes will be a life-saver.

**Want to print out this checklist or have it on-the-go? Fill out the form below and I’ll send this checklist straight to your email so it’s always accessible to you! (PLUS, I also include some valuable BONUS tips that have taken my Pinterest accounts from zero to SUCCESS!)

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What is Pinterest SEO?

Pinterest SEO is optimizing your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins with relevant and searchable keywords to get your pins to appear in Pinterest search results and other user’s home feeds. 

In a nutshell, Pinterest SEO tells Pinterest exactly what a profile, board, or pin is about so the algorithm can then show it to an audience that may be interested in it.

Why is Pinterest SEO important?

Pinterest SEO is important because it helps Pinterest to rank and distribute your content to users on the platform. 

The goal of Pinterest search results is to provide users with the most relevant pins to their search query. Likewise, the goal of Pinterest’s home feed is to show users pins that align with their interests.

When Pinterest fully understands what your pins are about, they are more likely to show your pins in these two places (which are the two of the main places where pins are found), which will help your Pinterest account and business to grow.

The ultimate Pinterest SEO checklist

There are 3 key parts of Pinterest SEO that are essential to skyrocket your Pinterest account:

  1. Pinterest profile SEO
  2. Pinterest board SEO
  3. Pinterest pin SEO

However, the real secret to good Pinterest SEO is good keyword research. 

Without knowing how to find popular keywords for your business, your pins likely will not perform as well as you hope. 

Many of the Pinterest SEO tips in my checklist will require you to use keywords, so I highly suggest you know how to find the best keywords for your business. 

(Luckily, I have an in-depth Pinterest keyword research guide that will teach you 8 easy ways to find keywords directly on Pinterest!)

Part 1: Pinterest profile SEO

Your Pinterest profile is the “parent” of all your boards and pins. Creating an optimized profile will help Pinterest know you and your business and will help to distribute your content!

Here are the basic parts of an SEO optimized Pinterest profile:

1. Have a business account

One of the most important steps when it comes to Pinterest SEO is to create a (free) Pinterest business account.

Business accounts provide you important tools to track your growth and establish you as a business in Pinterest’s eyes.

It’s important to create a new business account and NOT convert an old personal account. 

Also, make sure that your business account is used only for business purposes. Anything that doesn’t align with your business should be saved to a personal account instead.

2. Choosing a niche

Believe it or not, your niche will play a large role in your Pinterest SEO.

Although a niche is not completely necessary (but I always recommend it), having one helps Pinterest to understand exactly what your content is about and what you’re an expert in.

If you have a niche (or multiple niches) on Pinterest, keep all of your created and saved content related to them. Sticking to one or a few certain topics can help Pinterest to distribute your content to users interested in that content.

Like I said, you don’t need to select one niche. There are many successful multi-niche and lifestyle users.

3. Profile display name

Your display name on Pinterest is the perfect place to squeeze in some keywords.

Not only is this good for telling Pinterest who you are and what your content is about, but it also shares that with users who come across your profile!

Plus, the display name is what can help your account be suggested to users in Pinterest search. (And if you rank there, you can pull in a lot of followers from that!)

Think of your display name as your “introduction” to other users. Since the display name is in a large font, it’s often one of the first things seen when someone clicks on a profile.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • Who are you and what do you have to offer?
  • What are you an expert in?
  • What is your content about? What is your niche?
  • What is your business name?

You have a maximum of 65 characters to write your display name, so you’ll have to keep it short and sweet!

While everyone chooses to write theirs differently, most users choose to include at least one of the following:

  • Business name
  • Their name
  • Keywords about their content, job, or niche

Here’s an example on Harman from Your Girl Knows‘s Pinterest account:

Pinterest profile title examples

And another example on Rachel from Rachel Phipps‘s Pinterest account:

Pinterest profile title examples

Choose what feels best for you and your business.

4. Profile description

While I related the display name to an “introduction,” the profile description is to go more in-depth on exactly what your business is about and what you offer.

It’s another great place to squeeze in some keywords while telling Pinterest and other users who you are and what your content is.

It’s important to keep your profile description in a sentence-like structure. It’s best to make it easy to read and keep it to the point.

Here’s a great example of a profile description on Sophia from By Sophia Lee‘s Pinterest account.

Pinterest profile description example

Some users even suggest including a link to a freebie or course that you offer to your audience. (You have to promote your stuff everywhere you can, ya know!)

Take a look at Ana from The She Approach:

Pinterest profile bio example with freebie

5. Profile picture

Profile pictures may not directly impact your SEO, but I 100% believe they play a large role in the conversion of users into followers (and having targeted and engaged followers can definitely help your SEO and the performance of your pins).

When choosing a profile picture, I suggest you choose either:

  1. Your brand logo
  2. A picture of yourself

If you are the “face” behind your brand, showing your face is always a great thing to do, and it can actually help you to gain more of an audience.

Did you know that on Instagram, users who show their faces are more likely to get more engagements?

An article by Content Savvy gives many reasons for this, such as:

  1. It’s great for brand recognition.
  2. It humanises your brand.
  3. It builds trust.

Showing your face to your audience can help to build authority and trust with them. (Two things that are essential to running a profitable business!)

The same is true for Pinterest.

If you choose to use a photo of yourself, make sure it’s a light, high-quality photo where users can clearly see your face.

A professional-looking profile is much more likely to convert to followers, sales, page views, or more than one that looks all over the place!

6. Username

This one is definitely not essential, but it doesn’t hurt to mention and can only help.

If you can, try to include a keyword from your business in your username.

(For example, my Pinterest username is @leahmariemarketing. And since my blog is about Pinterest marketing, this may help Pinterest to better understand what my account and content are about.)

Your username should be based on your business or website name. If it includes a keyword in it, then great.

But if not, don’t worry about it!

Accounts can be extremely successful without that, and many users also choose to just use their name too. (Your name can also be your brand!)

7. Website URL

Make sure you have a website on your Pinterest profile page. This allows users who come across your profile to click on that link and go to the URL destination. (Which is great when you’re trying to get page views, sell a product, make affiliate sales, etc.)

Similar to your Pinterest username, including a keyword in your website URL (which will most likely be linked to many of your pins) may help Pinterest to better understand your account.

(Again, this is not needed in the slightest, but if you haven’t started your account or business yet, it may be a good thing to keep in mind.)

Some users who don’t have a website choose to link to other sites such as Instagram, YouTube, Etsy, Linktree, and more. If you choose that instead, that’s also completely fine!

8. Website claim

If you can, it’s very important to claim your website on Pinterest!

This process can be a little bit technical, so here’s a super easy tutorial on how to do it.

When a website is claimed, a sphere with a check will appear next to the URL on your profile, which looks like this:

Claimed website Pinterest

When users come across this, they’ll be able to tell that your website is legit and the real deal!

Claiming your website is important because:

  1. You can directly see how pins linked to your site are performing
  2. You can enable rich pins
  3. Pins saved from your website will be connected to your profile (which you definitely want if one of them happens to go viral!)

If you choose to link alternative websites such as Instagram, YouTube, Etsy, Linktree, or anything other than your own website, you will not be able to claim these websites. (However, users will likely know that those are legitimate sites.)

9. Claim social media accounts

Did you know that in addition to claiming your website, you can also claim some social media accounts too? (This is different than claiming your website.)

Pinterest currently lets you claim 3 social media accounts:

  1. Instagram
  2. Etsy
  3. Youtube

Two of the main benefits of claiming your other social media accounts are:

  1. You can view the analytics of pins that link directly to these individual social media accounts
  2. Any time that someone pins content from one of your claimed accounts to their Pinterest account, it will automatically connect to your own Pinterest account

If you have any of these for your business, I’d highly suggest claiming them — it can only help!

You can connect them by going to your Pinterest account settings, clicking on the “Claim” option, then selecting accounts you wish to claim.

Claim accounts Pinterest

10. Enable rich pins

Enabling rich pins is another extremely important part of your Pinterest account because it can improve user experience and increase your engagement.

There are many great benefits to having rich pins enabled. Some include:

  1. They stand out much more in the feeds.
  2. Your pins are automatically updated when you update information on your website.
  3. They boost user experience by providing more information about an article, recipe, or product.
  4. They can help to increase conversion rates.
  5. It helps with brand visibility by adding your brand profile picture and name next to pins.

You can learn more about rich pins and their benefits in this article.

Setting up rich pins requires a bit of work on the technical side. (But I promise, it’s not too tedious.)

Here’s a good step-by-step tutorial to help you activate them in no time at all! (Note: You will only be able to enable rich pins if you are able to claim your website URL.)

Also, there are 3 different types of rich pins, so make sure you enable the correct kind for your website or business.

  1. Article rich pins (In most cases, the best option for bloggers.)
  2. Recipe rich pins
  3. Product rich pins

If you want to scale your growth on Pinterest, rich pins are a must.

So, it’s safe to say that you want to get these ASAP!

11. Who you follow

This is another thing that may help Pinterest to better understand what your account is about.

I always suggest finding and following accounts that are in your own niche. It’s just another way to narrow in on exactly what your Pinterest account’s niche is!

Part 2: Pinterest board SEO

Board SEO can be easily overlooked but it’s SO important! (Arguably, it may be the most important part of Pinterest SEO.)

Trust me, you don’t want to get lazy with this part. It’s time to perfect that board SEO!

12. Board title

Board titles should be a few words long and be a keyword in your niche that is searchable. It should also explain what the entire board and the content on it is in a nutshell.

All of your boards and their titles should be related to your niche(s). As previously mentioned, more personal boards should be on a personal account — not your business account.

It is important to avoid cutesy board title names that Pinterest won’t understand. (Like “baby fever” instead of “trendy newborn clothing.”)

For example, a food blogger’s Pinterest may have boards like:

  • Family dinner recipes
  • Healthy breakfast recipes
  • School lunch recipes for kids

13. Board description

Creating a keyword-rich description is essential to boost the reach of your pins.

With 500 characters and solid keyword research, you should aim to fill as much as you can and include as many relevant keywords as possible in multiple sentences.

Tell Pinterest exactly what your board (and the content on it) is about!

Here’s an example of how you can use multiple keywords in a board description:

Pinterest board description example
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14. Pin relevant pins

The pins that you pin to each board MATTER.

Boards group similar pins together, so when you pin something to a board, Pinterest associates that pin with all of the other pins on it.

You want to make sure you pin the most relevant and high-quality pins to each board so Pinterest knows exactly what each board and pin is about.

So whenever you go to pin something, make sure you evaluate what board is the perfect fit for it.

Part 3: Pinterest pin SEO

Pins are the most important part of Pinterest. It’s what Pinterest is made up of, and they’re what drives in the pageviews, clients, followers, affiliate sales, and product sales. 

So, you want to make sure yours are found as often as possible.

The key to this is optimizing your pins for SEO so that Pinterest understands them and distributes them to an engaging and interested audience.

Here’s how to fully optimize your pins:

15. Create searchable or popular content

Does this directly impact Pinterest SEO? Maybe not, but it definitely plays a huge role on how your pins will perform and how users will engage with it. (And if you didn’t know, engagements are a huge part of Pinterest SEOgood engagement rates mean that pins will be distributed more into home feeds and ranked more in searches!)

In order to get engagements, you need to create content that Pinterest users are interested in and want.

Does your content have an audience on Pinterest? Is it something people are interested in, or will it just sit there and get stranded in a sea of millions of pins?

The first step to creating pins and content is knowing if it will perform well on Pinterest.

Luckily, doing some keyword research and looking at Pinterest demographics should help you to determine this.

You want to know whether there’s potential for your content to perform well on Pinterest, or else you may just be wasting your time.

16. Optimal pin sizes

Having an optimal pin size is crucial to pin success. (Think about it, how many times have you seen square-shaped or horizontal pins ranking in Pinterest searches? I’d say very rarely!)

In fact, Pinterest even says “Other ratios may cause your Pin to truncate, or may negatively impact performance.”

Pinterest says in their creative best practices that pins should be vertical and have a 2:3 aspect ratio. Pinterest also says the image size should be no less than 600 x 900 pixels. 

(My favorite pin size is 1000 x 1500 pixels. I occasionally experiment with others, such as 1000 x 1750 pixels.)

17. Pin title

The pin title should tell Pinterest exactly what the pin (or rather, the destination of the pin) is about and include keywords relevant to the content. 

What value are you providing? What question are you answering? What is the pin about? What will users find on the other side of the link?

18. Pin description

Having a key-word rich description is one of the most important parts of an optimized pin. 

The 500 character description is a great place to include lots of relevant keywords that will help Pinterest to understand exactly what the pin is about. Each description should aim to use multiple keywords in one or more complete sentences.

Having good, relevant keywords is SO important on Pinterest. My FREE e-book, Pinterest Keyword Goldmine, teaches you exactly how to find the BEST keywords for your blog or business to skyrocket your results and get your pins to rank!

Here’s a great example of a keyword-rich pin description:

Pin description example

19. Saving new pins

As noted above, it really matters where you save your pins.

New Pinterest pins should be saved to the most relevant (and SEO optimized) board.

Using group boards has been up in the air recently, but I believe there are more cons than pros when it comes to using them. I’d recommend sticking to your own optimized boards (at least for the most part).

20. Alt text

I always say to include keywords wherever Pinterest gives you a chance to! It doesn’t hurt, right?!

I usually add a short word or phrase with my keyword for the alt text. It may play a role in SEO, it may not, but I think it’s best to assume it does.

Where to add alt text on pins

21. Pin image

Since Pinterest is a visual search engine, Pinterest can (literally) understand the images on your pin.

For example, if you have a picture of flowers on your pin, Pinterest will likely associate your pin with flowers.

How can you tell?

When you click on a pin and scroll down to “More like this,” many pins with similar visual features will appear.

Here’s an example of a Stitch cake (from Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch”). When you scroll down to “More like this,” other Stitch cakes appear, and some other cakes that seem to fit the theme. (Notice that they’re all blue and purple, too!)

More like this pins examples

Sure, keywords can play a role too.

Another way we can tell that Pinterest understands what our images are is when they automatically tag products on pins.

This is an issue that popped up a while ago. For example, if you posted a pin on Pinterest with a woman wearing a yellow shirt, Pinterest would sometimes automatically tag a yellow shirt as a product. (This hurt some bloggers and businesses because it prevented users from being able to click through the pin, but that’s a story for another time.)

Either way, it shows us that Pinterest understands what the images are on our pins.

So, make sure you use images that are relevant to the topic of the pin. (If you have a pin about European cuisine, include pictures of food, not destinations in Europe!) 

The best images to use on pins

And while on the topic of pins images, it’s important to note that many users report that pins using stock photos or personal photos perform better than pins using free stock images.

Many users use free stock photos, such as from Canva, but investing in paid stock photos may be the most beneficial for your business.

Some of my favorite stock photos are from Ivory Mix. If you join the Ivory Mix membership, you get access to THOUSANDS of stock photos, 100 new monthly photos, and thousands of dollars worth of valuable products.

If you want to invest in some stock photos, definitely check out the Ivory Mix stock photos.

Also, did you know that certain images help pins to perform better?

As mentioned by Buffer in this post, studies have found that some important elements of well-performing pin images are…

  1. Warmer colors (such as pink, red, and orange) compared to cooler colors (like blue, green, and purple)
  2. Lighter image compositions compared to darker images

So, take these things into consideration the next time you go to pin!

22. Pin text overlay

Believe it or not, Pinterest can supposedly READ the words on your pin! (Crazy, right?)

Be intentional about the keywords and phrases you include on your pins. 

Making your main keywords large and bold may help, and it may also be best to refrain from using script fonts (at least for main keywords) that can be difficult to read.

In fact, sometimes it can be better for users to use less script font because if users can’t read the script, they are less likely to engage with your pin.

23. Pin file name

Some people claim that including your keywords in your pin file name may help with SEO. While it may help, it likely doesn’t play a large role.

In all honesty, I often forget to do this, but if I remember then I try to. When you name your pin files, try to remember this but it is definitely not an end-all-be-all!

24. Website destination

The URL destination can impact the performance of pins.

Pinterest’s creative best practices even says “If your Pin includes a link, check that the link is active and loads quickly. Your Pin’s creative tells people what to expect when they click. Make sure it matches your destination site’s topic and imagery.”

Make sure you don’t use broken links or links that take a very long time to load (as it makes for a bad user experience and may hurt the performance of your pin).

Also, a factor that helps pins to be distributed is long clicks. Pinterest defines long clicks as clicks that are 30 seconds are longer, which usually signals a positive user experience. (And since Pinterest wants to give users the best user experience, these signals are favored in the algorithm.)

So, this is another reason that the website URL should lead to a good page and quality content.

Some Pinterest users say that pinning the same URL too often if bad for SEO. While I’ve never had a personal issue with this, some users have reported that they have. Therefore, diversifying how often you pin URLs is a good idea.

25. Allow comments

Pinterest users will occasionally comment on your pins, and this is GREAT engagement! (And remember, you want all the positive engagement you can get.)

Sometimes Pinterest automatically turns commenting off on certain pins. You don’t want to block your pins from this potential engagement, so double-check that you have commenting enabled!

26. Hashtags?

Using hashtags has been a debate on Pinterest for a while.

For a while, Pinterest promoted using hashtags. However, that stopped a while ago and Pinterest has hinted that hashtags may be spammy. 

Plus, users don’t even search for hashtags usually. 

With all that said, I don’t really recommend using hashtags.

Additional Pinterest SEO tips

For the most part, Pinterest SEO can fall into the 3 categories above: profile SEO, board SEO, and pin SEO.

BUT, there are some other tips that can also help improve your Pinterest SEO.

27. Optimize your website pages

Having optimized website pages can also help Pinterest to better understand your content.

Here are some things you can focus on doing:

  1. Optimize your meta descriptions
  2. Optimize your page or post titles
  3. Optimize the content on the page

28. Encourage others to engage

As I’ve said many times, engagement is HUGE for Pinterest SEO.

So, encourage others to engage with your content and profile with a call-to-action!

Whether it’s saying “Follow for more” or “Click to read on,” leading your viewers to engage can help your Pinterest account so much.

Remember, Pinterest users will want to engage with anything that provides them some sort of value and brings them an emotional appeal.

One of the best ways to encourage others to engage with your content is to create GOOD titles on your pin images. (Seriously, this can be a game-changer.)

Carly from Mommy On Purpose has an INCREDIBLE (and affordable) course on creating pin titles that covert called Pinterest Title Traffic Hacks For Bloggers.

In her course, Carly goes in-depth on her brilliant Pinterest title hacks and pin design tips that bring OVER 150,0000 page views to her blog PER month!

This is one of my absolute favorite courses, and I definitely believe that it can change your pinning game. Learn more about Carly’s course here.

29. Add pins to blog posts

If you’re a blogger, don’t forget to add pins to your blog posts!

Also, add share buttons! (You can do this with plugins. I use the Grow by Mediavine plugin.)

I like to stick mine at the end of my post and use a simple call-to-action (I say “Save for later!”) to remind readers to pin it!

If you don’t do this, it could be a missed opportunity to get some new repins.

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Conclusion

Pinterest SEO is essential to get your pins found and to grow your Pinterest account.

I hope that this Pinterest SEO checklist helps you to easily optimize your Pinterest account and grow it exponentially!

And again, if you want to download this Pinterest SEO checklist, fill out the form above and I’ll send it straight to your email!

Learn anything new? I’d love to hear what stood out to you in the comments!

If you want more valuable Pinterest information so you can skyrocket your success, read more on my blog or join my email list (I provide some of my MOST VALUABLE INFORMATION to my email list!)

I hope to see you around again soon. Thanks for reading!

Leah Marie

PIN FOR LATER!

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4 thoughts on “Complete Pinterest SEO Checklist For 2022 (29 Steps)”

  1. Can you tell me if a pin is considered “fresh” if it has the same url as another pin? And if so, how far apart should I pin these fresh versions?

    1. Hi Dawn!

      A fresh pin is essentially a pin with a completely new pin image and a new title/description. A pin can be a fresh pin even if it has the same URL as another pin. (I constantly create new pins for the same URL!) Different people will tell you different things in regards to how long you should wait to pin the same URL. I personally try to wait at least 3 days before creating a new pin for the same URL.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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