The Ultimate List of Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing on Pinterest

3. Key Words and Hash Tags Drive the Search

*Updated January 2018 – For business accounts, Pinterest now displays your post title and hashtags with your image instead of your pin description in the main feed. When the user clicks on your pin to enlarge it, they will see your pin description. Be sure to include hashtags with your description!

Now let’s talk pin descriptions. Because Pinterest is a search engine, your pin descriptions should be clear and include key words. Think about what phrases you would use to search for your image, product or post. That is what you want in your description. After your description, include several hashtags that a reader might use to search for your topic.

Do include descriptions for every pin

When you upload a pin to Pinterest, do not leave the pin description blank or assume that the title of your image is good enough for a pin description. The pin description drives traffic! The image and the description are each an opportunity to attract customers to your site. Potential customers who scroll the Pinterest feed looking for ideas will be drawn to your images. Potential customers who search Pinterest using the key word search will find you based on your pin descriptions.

Consider this image and the pin descriptions below (and yes, I recgonize that my photography is not stellar!):

You'll never believe these amazing Lemon Pound Cake Cupcakes are gluten free! An irresistibly moist and delicious dessert recipe! {}

Bad pin description: These cupcakes look so good!

(The description isn’t specific enough. Cupcakes is too general a keyword. The pin will get lost in a sea of cupcake pins.)

Don’t do this: gluten free recipe, lemon pound cake, easy recipe, lemon, spring ideas, best recipe ideas, glutenfree, simple recipes

(Don’t just stuff the description with every key word you can think of.)

Better: I can’t wait to try these lemon pound cake cupcakes!

(Now the key words are more specific to include lemon pound cake.)

Best: You’ll never believe these amazing lemon pound cake cupcakes are gluten free! Check out the easy recipe.

(This description creatively includes several key words — lemon pound cake, cupcakes, gluten free, and easy recipe.)

Best: Gluten Free Lemon Pound Cake Cupcakes Recipe for Spring | Easy Recipe Idea

(This description also includes the same key words, but it is organized into a more formal description.)

Very Best because of new Pinterest changes: You’ll never believe these amazing lemon pound cake cupcakes are gluten free! Check out the easy recipe! #glutenfree #lemonpoundcake #glutenfreerecipe #cupcakerecipe

(This description also includes keywords which will show up with the image and are now searchable in Pinterest. The most recent — and popular — pins with relevant hashtags will show up first in the search.)

Do use key words correctly

When including key words, do use hashtags. Hashtags are now searchable on Pinterest. Definitely use them, but use them well. Don’t add fifty hashtags to every pin. Choose several that best fit your topic, and include them with your keyword-rich pin description.

Keywords are formatted with spaces in between the words. Putting other characters like +, – or _ between the words makes your descriptions harder to read and might make your keywords harder to find. Think about it. When you put keywords in a search bar to search for something online, do you use + signs, or dashes? Other people don’t either. You’re just making your pin description look weird.

Try it. Search for something in Pinterest. The most popular pins with those key words will show up in your feed. Look at the pin descriptions. Do you see + signs and dashes? Nope. Don’t use them. Do you see descriptions that are random numbers and letters (like those assigned to name the picture from your camera)? Nope. The people who get traffic from their pins use good, solid descriptions on every pin. You should, too!

The best strategies to optimize your images and keywords to market your website and brand on Pinterest! {} #pinterestmarketing #pinteresttips #pinterest

That’s it! I hope these ideas inspire you to better use Pinterest as a tool to drive traffic to your business. Do you have any other Pinterest marketing strategies to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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  1. I have been using my Pinterest as social media. You’re right though, it def. could be considered more of a search engine, and I could change up my tactics to increase traffic. It’s one of my favorite places to visit, and I’m happy to have read this information.

    • I guess it depends on your purpose, Rosey. If you are trying to get traffic to your blog, then you should definitely step away from social media strategies on Pinterest. Good luck.

  2. These tips are excellent, especially for beginners. I have heard plenty of success stories regarding marketing on Pinterest, but certainly have more to learn.

  3. These are great tips! Pinterest can be very confusing. It is something that I am working on.

  4. Some really great tips and suggestions. I love Pinterest and fun to learn a little more about it and how useful it can be.

  5. I have been wanting to up my Pinterest game and this is a huge help. I am going to follow some of your tips for sure.

    • Me too, Robin. It’s one of those sites I love to visit for myself, but as far as my blogging goes, haven’t really tweaked to work in an optimal way. I do have plans to up my Pinterest involvement too though, eventually! I def. appreciate coming across articles like this one that will help.

  6. This is helpful! Pinterest is the account I struggle most with, so I will keep these tips in mind for sure.

  7. Thanks for the info! This is really helpful. I’m trying to up my Pinterest involvement.

  8. These are great tips! I did not realize how big Pinterest was for my business until the last couple of months and boy has it made a difference in my traffic!

  9. This is all great advice. Treating Pinterest like a search engine and not a social media platform is definitely one of the most important things to remember. Adding alt-tags to images also helps with Pinterest SEO.

    • Thanks, Nellwyn. Adding alt-tags to images is really important. I should have included that! When I upload an image to a post, I always add a keyword rich title, alt tag and description. (The same thing for all three.)

  10. Man, I’m doing Pinterest ALL wrong. Sigh.

    Time to work on that and get my graphics up to snuff!

  11. I think pinterest is not that confusing we just have to figure out how it works. This is such a good guide especially for those who are just starting out or those who would like to improve their page.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I agree. It’s not confusing. You just have to treat it as a search engine. As long as you use great vertical images and strong key words, you’ll be a success.

  12. How cool! I think it’s nice to have a guide like this especially since I don’t use pinterest for marketing. I should really start studying how it works.

  13. Pinterest is something that I have not paid much attention to. I think it’s awesome that you shared this with us. I learned a lot while going through the pages.

  14. I don’t focus all my marketing on pinterest but it’s great especially when you’re running a business. I’d love to bookmark this guide that you shared!

    • Thanks, Amanda. I wish I knew which spot to focus the most attention on for marketing. I’m sure it’s different for every business. For me, Pinterest sends me the most traffic.

  15. We use Pinterest and I absolutely agree with everything you said. A lot of people are using it wrong. Hope that you will reach some of them. ;)

    • Thanks, Igor. It sometimes makes me sad when I see people trying really hard to get people to come to their website, but they don’t know the techniques that really work. I hope I reach them, too. No one likes to put in work that gets them nowhere!

  16. Wow such helpful tips! I was not aware of how helpful Pinterest is!!

  17. Agentszerozerosetter says:

    These tips are really interesting! I’ll sure follow some of them to grow my Pinterest account!

  18. I have been using Pinterest to pin my recipes and its not helping me much. May be I need to learn more about Pinterest.

    • Hi, Asih. Sometimes it’s tough to get started with Pinterest if you don’t have many followers. I would suggest focusing on posting great vertical photos, and then try to get yourself added to some group boards. That way, you can reach more followers.

  19. Great tips! I personally love using Canva to do all my blog images, which makes it easy to do those long pins you mentioned. Thankfully making my pins look like the ones I like to see has worked for me!

  20. These are great tips! I’m starting to use Pinterest as one of my social media for blog, but yah, still learning. But for my photos, I so love to use Canva for posts, either blog graphics or social media posts, and again, still learning.

  21. Blair villanueva says:

    Thanks for your tips! I’ll need to give time and focus on updating my Pinterest and incorporate it to my blog.

  22. I agree, Pinterest is much more than social media. Powerful images are more important

    • Definitely, Sapana. If an image doesn’t catch the eye, no one will want to repin it. They might not even notice it. (Then all the time you spent creating the image is just wasted.)

  23. I think Pinterest is a good tool. I usually use it as reference source.Thanks for your tips, they are so usefull.

  24. We use Pinterest and I absolutely agree with everything you said. Now I’m learning how to use it correctly.

  25. These are great tips. I really need to work on my Pinterest account. It is definitely lacking in all aspects.

    • Thanks, Ashlea. Good luck with your pinterest account. I still have a lot to clean up in my boards to make them more useful, too. (But that’s a different article for another day.)

  26. A very well said statement, Pinterest is not social media. Completely agree with you. Great tips.

  27. Thanks for this Pinterest guide. I have been growing my twitter and facebook followers but have been procrastinating on using a Pinterest account. It’s because I find it more complicated than facebook and twitter. Facebook we just post to our page, and Twitter we just tweet on our profile. With Pinterest, there are different category boards and settings to allow others to post in your boards. It’s like analysis paralysis. I need to make a firm action plan to start posting on Pinterest soon. My articles have infographics which I feel could be shared well on Pinterest.

  28. I love stock photos! They make my life so much easier! I love advice on the description. I still dont understand the difference between ALT text and description either!!!

  29. I always thought pinterest was a social media site. It’s been on my agenda to create an learn how market on there.
    Do you use a business account for your website or a personal account on Pinterest?

  30. I always love Pinterest and Twitter. Both of these platforms are great ways to get instant traffic to brand new websites. I will surely use these tips to grow the traffic and brand awareness of my websites.
    Thank you very much for this resourceful post :)

  31. Thanks Heidi for this post!

    I’m actually thinking about publishing weekly infographics about healthy eating and nutrition to grow my followers on pinterest!

    Thanks again and have good day!

    John Fitt

  32. thanks for sharing these greate tips. I will surely use these tips to grow the traffic and brand awareness of my websites

  33. thanks forsharing these greate tips. If you are trying to get traffic to your blog, then you should definitely step away from social media strategies on Pinterest.

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