18 Tips for Optimizing Your Pinterest Images to Improve SEO

Pinterest is perfect for businesses with small marketing budgets, and you can improve SEO and drive traffic by optimizing your images.

22 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest Images to Improve SEOThe image-based social media site is an online bulletin board that lets you collect and share images by “pinning” them to virtual boards. It has been one of the fastest-growing consumer Web properties — according to comScore, it ranked 28th among U.S. Internet users in January, with about 30 million unique visitors.

Pinterest users spend more money, shop more frequently, and purchase items more often and in larger quantities than users on any other social network. If you believe that Pinterest is a viable social media marketing platform for your business and your initial attempt at using it hasn’t yielded the positive results you were looking for, it’s time to optimize your presence — starting with the images you post.

Maximize your Pinterest image optimization

Here are 18 great tips about growing your brand with Pinterest marketing through image optimization, brought to you by PinnableBusiness.com.

  • File names become your image titles, so name them accordingly. Names with lots of letters and numbers won’t rank as well.
  • Pin from a variety of different sources, not just from your own site. Re-pinning, liking, and commenting all play a role in where your image will appear.
  • Pinning gives you the best opportunity to go viral. Uploading is okay, but not as beneficial.
  • After you upload an image, you should edit your pin to add a link. Pinterest doesn’t automatically add any links to uploaded pins, so it’s important to do this to drive traffic.
  • Pinterest descriptions can be up to 500 characters, but longer ones annoy many users. Use a short caption that incorporates major keywords, and add more info in the pin’s comment section.
  • Research Pinterest to see what catches your eye and compels you to engage with an image, and try to replicate that feeling with your own images. More engagement leads to more followers, and more followers equals more power.
  • Remember that Pinterest is a social media platform, not an advertising platform. Comment, like, and repin other people’s images.
  • Create a variety of different boards and make sure the titles of the boards are keyword-rich. A board named “Stuff I Like to Do” isn’t as effective as “Birdwatching in Seattle”.
  • Add the “Follow” and “Pin It” buttons to your website. The key to social media is empowering people to share your content.
  • Be yourself and express your personality and that of your brand. Communicate your unique voice through the images you post.

Some image specifics

  • A typical e-commerce image is 300 pixels wide. But you can pin an image as small as 85 x 85 pixels.
  • The maximum horizontal width of pictures is 554 pixels. Anything wider than that will be resized.
  • Pinterest doesn’t limit the vertical size of images, but you should. Make them no longer than 5,000 pixels — if someone has to scroll down to see the whole thing, they aren’t likely to scroll all the way back up to pin the image or “like” it.
  • You can pin videos from YouTube and Vimeo. If you have produced videos about your products and services, Pinterest users can watch them on the site.

SEO considerations

  • Unlike Facebook, Pinterest allows search engines to crawl their site. Many boards are showing up in Google search results.
  • The title of your board will be used as part of your Pinterest URL. Use keywords in both your title and your description.
  • Most links on Pinterest are nofollows, but they are a strong social factor in search engine algorithms.
  • More repins means more links to your site, which brings you more traffic. A repin keeps the original source link.

This helpful infographic includes all the this information as well as figures about Pinterest referral traffic vs. other social media sites:

18 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest Images to Improve SEO

  • Dan

    Very good ideas, My business got a boost thanks to a SEO specialist. I like your ideea. Best regards !

  • Jeffrey Westerberg

    Hi Pam,

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been looking for a comprehensive guide to optimizing my SEO for Pinterest, and this is what I’ve been looking for.

    On some of the smaller niche pinboards, such as http://www.financepins.com, I guess the same points would apply because these sites are basically clones of Pinterest?



    • Hi Jeffrey,

      I’m not familiar with FinancePins.com so I don’t know any specifics, but yes — the same tenets should apply there and on other visual social sites.

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  • Very useful article, it’s amazing just how much we miss seeing and yet when shown to us it’s so simple. Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks for reading, Mike — glad you find it useful! Optimizing images is key to improving Pinterest SEO.