I’ll be answering all these questions today. And more…
So first, let’s try and understand what Pinterest.com is all about
Towards December 2009, a team of developers commenced working on the idea of an“image vision board” that would allow social sharing of photos.
This concept evolved into multimedia sharing and discussion engagement.
What originated as a fun-filled idea in Cold Brew Labs (Palo Alto, California) is set to become a business-friendly multimedia sharing platform, driving server-blasting streams of traffic to those websites that do Pinterest SEO wisely.
And it’s actually only in it’s Beta atm (invite only — let me know if you need a Pinterest invite), still evolving!
A couple basics.
# 1 : Interaction mode
A Pinterest user can curate image boards using their accounts. These boards are backed mostly by a common theme which is followed by those who find it interesting and engage with it, pulling image collections into discussions. The discussions allow more sharing to follow.
# 2 : The “Pin It” feature
This button is used to “pin” your photos, videos, discussion scribbles and even monetary gifts you may dedicate to people, onto a sharing board.
Once a topic starts to spread and becomes pervasive within different people’s shared discussions and media, it can be held in relation to a bunch of different pins(analogous to “posts”).
This relation allows users to keep their pins stored as a collection (a board) on Pinterest.
# 3 : Website Accessibility
Like G+ has it’s “+1″ and “badges”, Pinterest provides webmasters with two buttons:
“Pin it” Button
Allowing visitors to pin the website either as an interest in their Pinterest accounts OR as a bookmark added to the desktop bookmark bar.
“Follow Me” Button
This is a bit different from the twitter one. Also Pinterest can be integrated with facebook and twitter, which most users do at startup, the activities followed will relate to the discussions a user initiates on Pinterest.
If a marketer decides to build brand value using videos on the blog that are being followed by a Pinterest user, then the nature of Pinterest SEO is such that this video would start to go viral extremely fast – probably three times as fast than if you were leave it on a mass sharing platform or simply upload it on a video sharing service!
The virality occurs over different pin collections on the Pinterest site, while at the same time gets communicated to the user’s youtube and facebook accounts to leverage extra sharing power, if the user allows it.
And this is all because of the “follow me” button.
# 4 : Suggestions
Pinterest will allow you to suggest others what activity, user, collection or website to follow. This again, is more powerful over the classic suggestions you get over other networks.
Here, the suggestions come with an association of media and interest specific graphic content. Even if it’s an article or discussion, it’s bound to lead into a lot of links going to media sources and images.
As a result, the suggestions get more value and attention from a serious Pinterest user, partly because thier mind is focused on a particular type of data.
And partly because the users of Pinterest aren’t there to tweet their everyday activity but to know if there’s any real pin, or board collection that would help them advance their interest, knowledge or brand value.
The suggestions on Pinterest are given in the form of “Tastemakers”. These are pages appearing when you log in that suggest other users within your domain of interest/activity to follow.
# 5 : The Pin Feed
Similar to your stream on G+ and updates or timeline that comes from facebook.The major difference being that here, you follow targeted activity among common“topic boards”.
You follow not people but pinners who are giving content you like. So the Pin Feed is heavily personalised.
You cannot game the system very easily. Like other social platforms see how much content gets posted and then how much of it gets engaged, here it’s the same way, but a pre-filter of interest applies on everything that flashes on the feed, with regard to the collection where thingsg et pinned.
2 things happen:
1) It’s easy for you to do build social trust and profile-to-profile links.You’ll get traffic and convert if you know exactly what your consumers want.
2) It’s difficult to beat others who are already getting interest and response, as there are no search rankings but user interest and appeal instead.
But SEO is about getting traffic and not beating someone else’s business.
# 1 : Instant Consumer Targeting
Pinterest is slowly building an impact over external search results that you’re competing for on google.
It’s excellent for solution based marketing. Since the system serves to people’s changing interests, a quick look at their pin collections and commonalities between them will help you identify groups of people who’d be willing to visit your site.
# 2 : Local business Marketing
It’s much easier to spread word about a local event or video messages to the interested crowds of local leads and consumers, than it is to battle it out over keywords on youtube where you’ll still lose a lot of visitors within the first 10 seconds of your video.
The pin-collections make it easier for people to identify your marketing and since pin-collections are topic specific, they can be made location specific by shifting the focus of the topic to a location.
# 3 : Appeal and Product Image
This is one point where you must observe caution.
Many businesses would be tempted to put images of their entire product line in HD quality on their profiles so that it appears on as many feeds as possible.
While that would usually get marked as spam, when done correctly, it raises site traffic.
What you ideally want to do is have a portfolio that gets mentioned whenever a discussion or media share raises questions about services or products you maybe offering. Don’t hammer the feed with images from your launch videos.
Instead provide your media as a related solution to people’s problems at places where it’s worth mentioning. If it’s worth, it’ll go viral on its own. No pushing needed.
This simplifies social SEO, and also sends high quality links from discussions back to your site/blog. The link quality is not because Page Rank flows (as Pinterest links have become “no follow”), but because each link coming to your site has had a series of comments and pin-ups associated to different users.These different users are “valuable searchers” too.
# 4 : Infographics as an advantage
Pinterest will allow you to share a lot of graphical media that carries information or heavily informative service descriptions. These descriptions get spidered well and indexed!This is triggered towards expanding businesses who wish to boost their brand building on a budget.
Use your brand image as a profile picture and let the Pinterest account become your new brand channel. Then, optimise your Pinterest boards around the keywords that your site is optimised for! These boards are going to get indexed very quickly.
The useful part is — not only do the descriptions get indexed, but any discussions, video-backlinks or responses sparked by your brand image that appear across other people’s blog posts as high-weight content right in the centre of their feed.
What this means is that any links you place within such weighted content will prove to have excellent link bait potential, even though it’s not on your site. The reason – the image is already generating a good degree of response. You can use it in getting links from your partners or other important brand websites, by offering a mention/link in such infographics related discussions.This benefits both sides, as your own business links will overcrowd the discussion, but a related brand being mentioned will get you good links (from them) outside.
# 5 : Analytics Advantage
Using Pinterest for Social SEO has the unbeatable positive of offering better reporting in Analytics. You will see in your Analytics report, which item of Pinterest content earned a referral click and you can directly see that item from your dashboard.
You’ll be able to track people who promote your content, interact with them and map out a better promotional strategy with feedback and analytics stats from them on what kind of content they can promote best!
Okay, so now that we have a fair idea of what Pinterest.com is and how it can be a business benefit, let’s see a couple of methods to implement Pinterest SEO correctly…
Your purpose is to get people to re-pin your content and post unique original interest inspired images or videos of your products on their own.
If you’re running ads through a CPA network, it would be advisable to pull in a couple affiliates to help with the re-pinning. Once initiated, it picks up quickly if the descriptions given are good with most re-pins.
The Nature of Pinterest links
Every pin links back to the page where the media was posted within Pinterest OR to the actual website location where it is shown, using “no-follow“linking.
This difference is governed by exactly “how” you did the pinning.
Opening the image in a separate window and then using the Pinterest Bookmarking feature will create a link to that picture location and pin it on your profile.
But, if you pin the blog post where the image was present, then the linking stands to benefit that blog entry as well as the reputation of the blog in general.
Ideally, use the second type of pinning to help your website.
The Pin feature and Social SEO
An image pinned will be a no-follow link of it’s own. On the top of the image is a source defining “From” link, which is no-follow again and finally there can be a text link in the pin description which would act as an engagement boost.
Note: the Image is a pin, but it’s <alt> attribute cannot be modified.
Pins also come with a custom embed code, which others can use for easy syndication on their websites, creating automatic backlinks to your pin page!
Even though links are no follow, there’s heavy benefit from it when it comes to Pinterest Social SEO.
14 Link building tips for your main blogs and social optimisation within Pinterest
Here’s what to keep in mind with Pinterest SEO and link building:
1. There is a possibility that people are already talking about you but are not linking back to your portfolio or website. Well, Pinterest allows you to reclaim any link that you deserve!
2. So you can fast-track your link building by having people talk about you naturally and claim every good link that will help your PR.
3. The linkable image assets on Pinterest give it the form of an aesthetic network. So identify the aesthetic content you are creating that people may want to share.
4. Identify the top 3 keywords associated with each of your pin-able media,which raise your value within Pinterest.
5. Divide your images into 3 to 4 keyword categories and pick keywords associated with each category to associate with the aesthetic images. It’ll make life simpler.
6. Search the Pinterest network and the results will show listings that will have tags for your images/media.
7. Identify which of these tags are relevant to your business or launch and segregate them into “active links” and “no link-backs”
8. Make sure you see that the tag was a sharing act of information pertaining to you and not a casual act of sharing on the part of the pinning person.
9. Request a reclaim. Get as many tagged links as you can. They carry the entire weight of any discussion happening around them as well, irrespective of how many unique links were there in the discussion. This will get reflected in your click-tracking reports in analytics.
10. Contact users directly if you need to. You can get them to change links directly, if it’s not a very big hassle and if the number of tags is few.
11. Once you’ve reclaimed most of your idle shares and tags, you can start to offer benefits to other businesses that lie within your pin-board. It means they have a service similar to yours and are possible affiliates/social media partners.
12. After identifying promotional partners, allow your portfolio descriptions to actually link to images for their Pinterest accounts/product portfolios. Give them a benefit.
13. But also, make sure they give you a positive set of links from one of their high PR sites. This means, they get link-value from your Pinterest.com portfolios and you get promotion/backlinks from their blogs that are already scoring well in search. There are no link loops or leaks of PR as Pinterest is “no-follow”.
14. Use the discussion scribbles to your advantage. These are similar to the documents you can produce in a G+ hangout, except that they are not live. But experiments have shown that with Pinterest’s rising PR, these discussions can pop-up in organic search, being at least as valuable as the media descriptions themselves.
And the best part is that you can have multiple users spreading your word on multiple boards, without any of it being treated as spam, because it’s bound to occur in the course of a natural conversation!
Some Best Practices
Try not to spread misinformation with your pins, which would include affiliate links. Don’t link to their sales pages, but to their portfolios instead, which do not pass through an affiliate tracking system and do not desperately need link-juice.
Let them use analytics to determine how much traffic you sent them, instead of linktrack.
Next, when someone changes an image pin, the re-posts are not affected and their pins remain the same as the original content.
So, if you’re planning to leverage the value created by your existing pins for something new, this can be both good and bad.
Your best bet is to encourage people to add new links in the old re-pin descriptions pointing your new pin. And for now, keep it separate from the original pin even if the new image is related. Your content remains within Pinterest and uses its social value, but doesn’t look like you’re hammering changes the moments someone modifies a pin.
Let them fall into the same pin-board until Pinterest makes modifications to their re-pin updating code.
Make sure that any pins you created are intriguing and at least generate some excitement in the user, to make them “want” to engage and spread it. Else, all optimisation effort and building of social trust will fall flat in a few days.
With that said, it’s time for you to go out in the open and do some Pinterest SEO for yourself. Remember, it’s still being tested and a lot of new methods of increasing your traffic remain in store.
Goodluck and don’t forget to add me so I can follow your Pinterest Boards
[UPDATE 29÷2÷2012 — In view of all the concern over Pinterest and getting sued by owners of the images I posted a little help guide on Google Plus for organisations that will help ease their customers minds]
note — windows