How To Optimize Your Pins For 2018 Changes – Detailed Guide

How To Optimize Your Pins
how to optimize your pins
via Brandon Gaille

If you want a winning strategy for Pinterest then you should know how to optimize your pins. As the New Year of 2018 approaches, I strongly suggest you do that. All the bloggers should know that Pinterest made some major changes in 2017. This guide will show you Pinterest SEO and best practices for 2018.

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The very first thing you should know about Pinterest is that it isn’t a social media site.

It’s a search engine.

There are over  billion monthly searches on Pinterest.

You may think that only DIY, food recipes, and mom bloggers are doing OK on Pinterest.

Actually, Pinterest is a huge driver of website traffic across all industries, responsible for about 5% of all referral traffic.

Well, traffic isn’t the only consideration for jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. It’s also good for business.

You should know this – Pinterest users are ready to buy. While surfing their Pinterest feeds, shopping carts go up at $58.95 on average. That’s more money than people spend from Facebook or Twitter.

Pinterest also represents a huge opportunity to overcome your competition, as many online businesses are using Pinterest all wrong, or not at all.

How To Optimize Your Pins Using Smart Feed Algorithm

OK! Let’s then start introduction of how to optimize your pins, with 2017 Pinterest algorithm change.

The Smart Feed is basically the name of Pinterest’s algorithm. It really determines what a user sees on their Pinterest home feed.

It works like this:

Pinterest shows you a mix of content that you care about. Good content. The kind of content that will have you clicking and coming back for more.

The pins that are used to be seen in real time won’t be seen like that anymore. Pins are shown as Best First rather than the Newest First. The Pinterest’s Smart Feed is now responsible for this kind of prioritizing and ranking of pins based on their quality. The quality is being determined by their algorithm.

There are three different content pools that your home feed is being drawn from.

How to optimize your pins 1

  • Repins from the users you are following
  • Related Pins
  • Pins from your interests

Pinterest chooses pins from each of these three pools to display in your Smart Feed.

But how does Pinterest decide which pins to choose? Well, like any search engine algorithm, Pinterest’s Smart Feed algorithm is complex and those guys from Pinterest are not just gonna share it with us.

However, there are 4 main factors which are known to influence whether or not your pins show up on Pinterest:

  1. Domain Quality
  2. Pin Quality
  3. Pinner Quality
  4. Relevance

Once you understand how to optimize your pins following these 4 factors, you’ll be well on your way to driving consistent traffic with Pinterest!

Let’s begin with how to increase domain quality.

Increase Your Domain Quality

Domain quality is Pinterest’s idea of the quality of your website.

Pinterest can see how popular pins from your website are, and it learns whether your site is a source of high-quality content over time.

How do you improve your domain quality ranking and get Pinterest to trust you?

Step 1. Convert to a business account if you haven’t already done so.

Step 2. Verify your website to show Pinterest that you are a legitimate pinner.

Step 3. Enable rich pins on your account.

Rich pins add extra information to your pins directly from your blog. The best part is that if you update the information on your blog, it’ll automatically transfer across to Pinterest. The added information helps to improve your ranking.

Step 4. Create and pin high-quality content that gets many repins and likes.

It’s easier said than done, right? Don’t worry, I’ll explain how to optimize your pins to get more repins and likes.

Increase Your Pin Quality

Pin quality is determined by the popularity of your pins.

If a lot of people repin and hit the “Tried It” button on your pin, Pinterest will view that as a high-quality pin.

Pinterest also looks at all versions of your pin when determining pin quality. So if you repin one of your pins to another board, Pinterest adds up how many repins and “Tried It’s” that pin received as well.

How do you improve your pin quality?

Step 1. Write compelling blog post titles.

The entire point of a blog post headline is to get people to read the next sentence. Similarly, a juicy or compelling headline goes a long way towards getting repins and likes on Pinterest.

Step 2. Create pin-worthy graphics.

You can have the best post in the world, best written with a great headline, but if your pin graphic is ugly it isn’t going to do well on Pinterest.

Here are some best practices for creating pin-worthy graphics:

  • Make sure your image is taller rather than wider. For example, I like images to be 800 X 1500 px.
  • Use a high-quality image.
  • Overlay your blog post title on the image.
  • Use multiple images in your pin. This works well for food, DIY, and craft bloggers who can show the steps in their process. It also works well for outfit posts, roundup-style posts and before/after transformation posts.
  • If you have a free download you’re giving away with your blog post, create a mock-up of it and add it to the pin. People like to see what they’re getting and it shows that your post is packed with even more value.
  • Use longer images. They take up more space in the feed and get more engagement.
    NOTE: As of November 2017, there are reports from some users that long pins are truncated in the feed – this change hasn’t rolled out to all users yet.

Step 3. Monitor your Pinterest boards for repins and clicks

If your pins aren’t being repinned from your personal boards or your group boards, consider leaving (or deleting) them. However, also check for clicks to your site in Pinterest Analytics – you don’t want to leave a board that’s getting you clicks! How to optimize your pins is very important. Make sure you follow all these tips.

How To Increase Pinner Quality

Pinner quality is Pinterest’s estimation of you as a content curator.

Does Pinterest trust you to curate the best and the most relevant content? Or not?

Pinner quality is largely based on how well your content is received. Do you receive a lot of repins and Tried Its? Do you pin content that Pinterest already rates as high quality? Are you an active Pinterest user? How often do you pin?

So, how to optimize your pins and how do you improve your pinner quality?

Step 1. Be active on Pinterest throughout the day.

You can Invest in Pinterest scheduler like the BoardCommander to save time. This keeps your account active on Pinterest throughout the day, without spending your entire day behind the computer.

Step 2. Pin already popular content to your boards.

Here are several ways to find already popular pins:

  • Check the “Popular” category.
  • Check out for the most repinned Pinterest pins by category.
  • Do your research on your topic on Pinterest. Usually, the first pins that come up are the most popular ones with lots of repins

How To Optimize Your Pins by Adding Keywords to Pinterest

Now you know how to increase your authority in Pinterest’s eyes. Even if Pinterest sees you as a good quality pinner, they won’t show your pins to their users unless they are sure your pins are relevant to their users.

Relevance is actually how your pins fit your audience interests, searches, and recent search history.

If you’re a person who know a lot about SEO, then you will know that the only way for a search engine to know what your content is about is with specific keywords. Exactly like in Google, keywords decide what appears in searches on Pinterest as well.

While domain quality, pin quality and pinner quality tell Pinterest how important your pins are, keywords tell Pinterest what your pins are about.

How exactly do you use keyword to show Pinterest that your content is relevant?

Step 1. Do Your Pinterest Keyword Research

When it comes to your Pin optimization, you may wonder whether there is any good Pinterest keyword tool that you can use.

The question how to optimize your pins is to do keyword research for Pinterest itself.

Here is how you do it:

When you’re typing in a search query on Pinterest, you’ll notice that it auto-suggests keywords to you. Similar to the way Google does. These suggestions are popular search phrases.

How to optimize your pins 2

After you’ve typed your words, a set of suggested keywords appears beneath the search bar for you to narrow it down even further.

How to optimize your pins 3

Similar to Google SEO, Pinterest SEO is also all about long tail keywords. It’s actually multi-word phrases rather than single words. There is big competition for general keywords. Single words, so the key is to get as targeted as possible with long tail keywords.

It’s not good that there is no way to know the exact number of searches on Pinterest. However, if you are interested you can check out at Pinterest Categories and drill down into topics to actually see how many people are interested in a certain topic. This may give you an idea of how popular any keyword is.

Using only these tips and tricks you are way ahead of your competition. You do still need to know what to do with them. Where and how should you add these keywords? There are following steps that show just that.

Step 2. SEO your Pinterest profile

It’s not only important to know how to optimize your pins. You have to optimize your profile too. There are three places you can add keywords to optimize your profile:

How to optimize your pins 4

  • Username
  • Your business name
  • Your bio

Username determines the URL of your Pinterest profile. You can use this to add one of your keywords, or your business name.

To add a business name, you do need to upgrade to a business account.

Pinterest gives you plenty of space in the business name field to add keywords. Add keywords right after your business name to show people what you do.

Next what you want to do is to add keywords to your bio. You have 160 character space to fill with your bio. Make sure you are concise, mission focused. Add keywords and call to action there as well.

Step 3. SEO your Pinterest Boards

You want your boards to be found in the search, right? Optimize them with some intelligent keywords. In title and in their description.

Step 4. SEO Your Pin Description

Don’t forget to optimize your pins. It’s very important to know how to optimize your pins. Add keywords to the description. As of 2017, Pinterest has updated their platform to only show titles in search and feed.

Step 5. SEO Text Overlay And Make Relevant Image Choices

One of the changes that Pinterest made in 2017 was the introduction of Lens, a visual search function that allows you to take a photo of a product and Pinterest returns pins it thinks are a match.

This means what?

If you happen to sell a physical product, make sure it’s front and center in your image!

In case you don’t sell physical products, this is still relevant to you because:

  1. Pinterest has a capability to read your text overlay
  2. Your images can be seen by Pinterest and it’s making associations with similar ones.

Make sure to use keywords in your text overlays. Also, use relevant images.

Step 6. SEO your hashtags “#”

Hashtags are new to Pinterest, but that’s no reason not to use them! Make sure you’re choosing hashtags that are relevant and specific to your content.

When you save a pin, if you type the ‘#’ sign and start entering in a potential hashtag, Pinterest will give you a list of possible words that show how many pins are within each hashtag.


In this short guide, I showed you how to properly use Pinterest SEO to boost your blog traffic in the following 2018. You have seen the new Smart Feed Algorithm, and how you can optimize your pins so they will show up in searches.

It’s your turn now to go out there and do the job on your own.


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