Although basic, when you optimize your Pinterest profile you’re helping yourself be found.

This article originally appeared on Bloggerly.co.

It does seem pretty basic, and if you’ve optimized your Pinterest profile in the past, there isn’t any any reason you shouldn’t take some time to do it again.  You should always make sure you’re doing best practices – and we all know, Pinterest changes them a lot! 

If you’re new to Pinterest and looking to optimize your profile, then you’ve also come to the right place.  

1. Have a Pinterest Business Account

If you haven’t signed up for a Pinterest Business Account yet, don’t worry, it’s easy!  And will give you access to so many features that you don’t have with a personal account.  

Go here to set up your Pinterest Business Account.

You’ll get access to some great features like:

– Company Name: You’ll be able to use your company or blog name rather than your personal name in your Pinterest Profile. 

– Website Verification: You’ll be able to verify your website so that you can use rich pins and your website URL will show verified on your profile page. 

– Analytics: When you have a Pinterest Business Account you’ll gain access to Pinterest Analytics.  With this, you’ll be able to see how much your pins are getting seen and track which pins are doing the best – as well as driving traffic to your website or blog. 

2. Complete your Pinterest Profile

Let’s go through each profile setting step-by-step.

Photo: There’s a big question here as to what photo you should use for your Pinterest profile photo. Some think that you’re better off using your company or blog logo for brand recognition. Others say that you should use your own photo so that you’re relatable rather than just a business/blog. The truth is, it’s up to you – whatever you feel more comfortable with. I personally use our logo – because I want people to recognize the logo and hopefully be interested in our brand and what we have to offer.

Display Name: There used to be talk of adding keywords to your Pinterest Profile name. However, As of May 2019, Pinterest does not allow you to add any keywords to your display name. If you do attempt to add keywords to your display name, you’ll get a pop up saying “Oops! Please stick to your name, or the name of your brand.” so you will have to just stick with your brand or blog name.

Username: If you already have an established business account on Pinterest, then your username is probably already set. If you’re setting up your Pinterest business account for the first time, you’ll want to choose a username that aligns with your brand or blog. This will be your permanent URL for your Pinterest profile. If your brand or blog name is already taken, a good way to get around that is to add “pins” or “co” at the end of your name. This way your URL for Pinterest will still be easily recognizable, and easy for people to remember when they think of your brand or blog name.

Profile Description: Your Pinterest profile description is limited to no more than 160 characters. That means you have to be succinct and direct in how you describe your brand or blog. You’ll also need to be aware of adding keywords into that short description. But we’ll talk about that more later.

Location: Depending on the type of brand or blog you have, you may want to add your profile location. Adding a profile location is really helpful when you’re looking for local customers, or hoping that people find you that are local. If you’re not worried about that, my suggestion is not to fill it out. And Pinterest has no problem if you leave it blank.

3. Claim your website

If you haven’t claims your Pinterest website yet, now is definitely the time to do it. It can get a little technical, but I promised we’re going to walk you through it step-by-step. If you already have your website claimed on Pinterest, then go ahead and skip to the next section. If you’re ready to set it up, here we go.

To claim your Pinterest profile website, simply add your brand or blog URL in the box, and hit claim. It will ask you to add a small piece of code to your website. If you’re using WordPress, there are a few ways that you can do this.

  1. Depending on the theme that you’re using, there may be an area to add a header code. If there is, simply copy the code from Pinterest and paste it in this area. Don’t forget to hit save. Then go back to Pinterest, and quick verify. Pinterest tells you that it could take up to 24 hours for Pinterest to verify your website URL, but in my experience, it takes less than an hour typically.

  2.  If the theme that you’re using does not have an area to add a header code, there are two other options. The first, is to add a plug-in called headers and Footers. This plugin will allow you to add custom header and footer codes, like the one you need to paste in your sight for Pinterest. Simply download the plug-in, activate it, and paste your Pinterest code into the header area. Then go back to Pinterest and hit verify. Your second option is to download the Yoast SEO plugin. Within that plug-in, there is an area to paste your Pinterest code. I recommend using this plugin, as it helps with SEO as well as Pinterest verification. Then, as the other methods, go back to your Pinterest account and click verify.

That’s it! If you have problems with this, feel free to shoot me an email and I’m happy to help! You can reach me at hello@pinnerly.co.

4. Use a keyword-rich Pinterest Profile description

If you haven’t yet filled out your Pinterest profile description, or it’s been awhile, you definitely want to fill it with keywords. If you’re not sure what keywords are, let’s dig into it a little bit. Keywords are descriptive words that define would your brand or blog is about. You want to use keywords in your Pinterest profile so that people who are searching for things related to your brand or blog, find you when they searched. For example, Pinnerly is all about Pinterest, so we saved Pinterest marketing, Pinterest tips and Pinterest management.

I’ll give you a great, easy way to find keywords that align with your brand or blog. There is an awesome, free online tool called Ubersuggest that can help you come up with relevant keywords, plus see vital stats about your website.

Simply type in your website URL, or something that you write about and it will give you a bunch of other topics and keywords that you can use both in your own website, and on your Pinterest profile description.

5. Include keywords in your Pinterest board names

The Pinterest board names are exactly that. They’re what you name your boards on Pinterest. You want to make sure that each and every board you create on Pinterest include the keyword or two. You want them to be easy to find, and attract the right people. So make sure you don’t use slang, or terms that most people might not be familiar with. For example, if you have a board that is full of recipes, you would want to call it something like “Delicious Recipes”. You wouldn’t want to call the board “Yummy Foods” as that may not bring many people as they are probably searching specifically for recipes.

 Just take a step back and think about what you would type in that search box when you’re looking for what that board you’ve created is about. That is the easiest way to figure out keywords for your board names.

6. Write keyword-rich descriptions for your Pinterest Boards

This is the most overlooked optimization technique for your Pinterest profile. Boards are an essential part of your profile, so when you’re looking to optimize your Pinterest profile, do not overlook writing keyword-rich descriptions for your Pinterest boards.

I think one of the biggest reasons that this is overlooked is because when you create a new board, Pinterest does not automatically ask you to write a description. You have to go back into the board once it’s created, and write the description.

Pinterest board description is a little bit longer at 500 characters. So you’ve got a lot more space to fit in keywords and talk about what the board is about. You’re definitely going to want to take advantage of that. Make sure that you use as close to 500 characters as possible. Even if you could write a shorter description, try to make it longer and use some more descriptive keywords so that you could potentially reach a larger audience.

Additionally you can choose a category for your bored. This helps Pinterest place your content into specific categories and can further your reach substantially.

7. Take advantage of secret Pinterest boards

The truth is, anyone with a Pinterest business account, doesn’t solely use it for business. Let’s be real, we all get sidetracked sometimes and that includes us marketers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Pinterest for work, and found myself looking at something completely unrelated to work. And a lot of times, I’ll find something that I want to save. So what do I do? I save it to a secret board.

Now I know there has been some talk that secret boards can actually hurt your Pinterest profile, especially if they don’t align with what your business profile is about. However I have no data to back that up. Even according to Pinterest, when you make a secret board, they won’t appear in your home feed, and search, or anywhere else around Pinterest. Additionally anything that you pin to a secret board, does not affect that pins total pin count, and the owner of the pin does not get notified that you pin it.

So until I see some concrete proof that this can actually hurt your Pinterest profile, I say go ahead and pin away to your secret boards.
Another great way to use secret boards, is if you hit it or shift what your blog or brand is about. Let’s say that you’ve been blogging for 6 months and you’ve suddenly decided that the traffic you’re getting on your recipe posts is dwindling compared it to your other content. So you decide that you’re going to drop recipe is altogether. 

However you’ve got boards that are designated as recipe boards. With that you could do one of two things. One, you could continue to pin to them because your audience is still someone interested in recipes. Or two, you could turn that board into a secret board, and that way no one will see it, and you won’t be penalized for deleting the board and you won’t lose any followers.

8. Consider your Pinterest profile picture

So we talked about this a little bit in number one, but I want to dig into it a little bit deeper. I want you to keep in mind that your profile picture can be changed at any time, and that you may want to consider testing out using your personal picture, and then using your logo and seeing it has any type of impact on your Pinterest performance.

Believe it or not, much like Google, no one has the search algorithm all figured it out. And also like Google, Pinterest is constantly updating their algorithm, because they want to serve their users as best as possible. Even since they’ve gone public, their focus will still remain on their users.

So I think changing your profile picture say every 30 days, is a great way to A/B test what works best for you and for your Pinterest profile.

9. Organize your Pinterest boards with purpose

If you’ve been using Pinterest for a while, you know that boards can get overwhelming. You’re sitting there trying to pin the best content, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, and suddenly you’ve created a hundred boards and you don’t know what to do. It can get out of hand really quick. But the great thing is you can organize your Pinterest boards with a purpose. When organizing your bored, you definitely have more than a few options. Pinterest gives you a few ways to sort your boards automatically. You can sort them by:

  • last saved to
  • A to Z
  • Newest
  • Oldest

Or, you can sort them manually. Luckily, Pinterest offers a drag-and-drop way to do this. Manual sorting is the way I recommend, especially because you’ll probably want to change the way that they’re sorted more often than not. 

Why would you want to change the way they are sorted? +

The biggest reason is that when someone visits your Pinterest profile, more often than not they only look at the top two rows of your Pinterest boards. So you want to make sure that those first two rows Include the top content that you want people to see or find, an anything that is seasonal. For example if we’re coming up to Christmas, and you have a Christmas board, you want to make sure that Christmas board is in those first two rows because that’s what people will be looking for most likely. 

So my suggestion to you is to revisit your board organization once a month at least. This way, you can make sure that your Pinterest profile board always stay relevant and well-organized. 

Additionally, you may want to consider taking advantage of Pinterest board sections. So we’ll get into focused boards in the next section, but using Pinterest board sections to segment the pins within a general area is a great way to add additional organization. It will also help people that come to your board find the right information in the right area more easily. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to add a description to a section of a Pinterest board, so make sure that when you name that section it’s named appropriately.

10. Consider adding more focused boards

Chances are, you have one or more boards that aren’t really focused boards. What I mean by focused boards, is that they represent the ideals and priorities of your brand or blog. Essentially, you want to think about your audience, or your customers, and take him to consideration what they would want to see from your brand. What kind of emotions are you portraying? What kind of Lifestyle are you portraying? Think about this and align your boards to fit with those ideas.
You might be thinking that your blog or brand is about a straightforward topic. Well that may be true, that doesn’t mean you can’t expand the idea or ideals one or two steps further. To give you an example, let’s say you own a blog all about de-cluttering, organizing and cleaning. You may think that those three topics have enough for boards by themselves, but the truth is people that are interested in those topics also have additional complimentary topics that they would be interested in. You might create a board for creating your own cleaning supplies, or organization products that you recommend or those are good to donate and what items you should just throw out. I think you get the idea.
You want to create at least 24 focused boards, each board should include at least ten pins if not more. But by all means go above and beyond that. If you have ideas of what your audience could be interested in that is similar to what content you produce, then keep creating. Just make sure that you create boards that you can actually be active with.

11. Be thoughtful with your Pinterest Pin designs

Yes, pin designs are one of the services that we offer here at Pinnerly, but I promise I’m not trying to sell you on anything right now. Because the truth is in order to be effective on Pinterest, you’ll lunch create attractive pins. Not only do attractive pins get clicked on more and save more, but you’ll be able to create a specific look and feel for your Pinterest profile and boards. If you do anything with Instagram, you probably know the importance of branding your Instagram feed. And because your Pinterest feed shows on your profile, you want to make sure to Brand your profile as well. Which means, every pain that you create and every external pin that you can, should have a similar look and feel, have valid links and be aligned with what your brand or blog is about.

12. Understand pin descriptions, keywords and hashtags

When I first started using Pinterest years ago, I couldn’t understand why I never got traffic to my blog and why my pins were never seen. It was because I never took the time to really understand Pinterest pin descriptions. For some reason in my head I thought that Pinterest could decide what my pin was just based on what it looks like. And while that would be great in theory, Pinterest is a search engine just like Google and Pinterest is only as good as what you tell it. That means, you need to make sure that your Pinterest pin descriptions are well-written, keyword-rich, and include hashtags. 

Now if you were gasping at the thought of using hashtags on Pinterest, don’t worry. It’s easy. In Pinterest itself has gone back and forth on the topic of hashtags, a few years ago people were using hashtags regularly on their pin descriptions, and then Pinterest took them away and now they’re back. Will they be here to stay? I don’t know, but what I do know is that they’re not widely used yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. And I figure it’s better to be prepared and do the work ahead of time rather than having to go back and try to scramble to optimize again. 

So when you write a keyword-rich pin description, you want to include the following information:

1. What the pin is about – in other words, what the article is about that the pin is linking to.

2. And make sure to add keywords, like you would use in your post tags and categories.

3. Add hashtags that are relevant to the content and pin.

13. Be intentional with who you follow

Like any other social network, if you follow or connect with too many people, it can be overwhelming. Plus as a business, you want to make sure you make the best use of your time, so if you’re following a bunch of people that talk about things that does not revolve around your business or blog content, then you’re essentially wasting your time when you’re on the platform. instead, you want to follow people that you can engage with, that you enjoy their content, and that their content is relevant to your brand or blog. So while it might be tempting to follow back everyone that follows you, don’t do it. Luckily, Pinterest isn’t really big on the follow unfollow thing, so people don’t seem to get as upset if you don’t follow them back. Plus, as a business using Pinterest, your follower count doesn’t directly correlate with the audience that you can reach. Talk about bonus!

14. Pinterest is all about planning ahead

I’ll be honest, I use Pinterest unsuccessfully for my first year or two. It wasn’t until I started digging in to what really worked on Pinterest that I started seeing results. And the biggest thing that I realized is that people who use Pinterest, are planners. And they used Pinterest for planning. Which is why Pinterest will probably grow to be a great eCommerce platform. But I digress. What this means for you is that you need to be a planner too. let me give you a concrete example. With my lifestyle blog, I talk about everything from healthy living, to food, make up, hair and beauty. And I began writing content that was 3 months earlier then when I would have normally written it. To give you an idea of what I mean, let’s say we’re in the month of June. In June, I would be writing articles about fall recipes or fall drinks or even fall beauty trends. Why? Because within the next 30 days, all those Pinterest planners would start planning for fall and what would they find? Yep, you guessed it. They’d find my content for fall. So when writing content, and pinning content, do your best to be a planner and always try to create content that is two or three months ahead of schedule. That way, Pinterest users will find your content now instead of waiting until next year when it’s relevant again.

15. Follow the 80/20 rule

So this might be the easiest one, and one you may have heard of already. But you want to break up the content that you pin on Pinterest so that it aligns with the 80/20 rule. And that means the content you post should be 20% your content and 80% other people’s content.
Maybe you’re thinking why in the world would I want to do that? And there are a number of reasons that you want to do that.

1. Other users can see when you pin their content. And that means you might just get an additional like or a repin of your own from that user.

2. People appreciate when you pin their content, plain and simple.
You aren’t spamming your followers with just your content. 

3. Your followers are following you because they believe you know something that they don’t. They believe that you’re a thought leader, they believe that you know what you’re talking about and they believe that you’re going to share and pin content that they’re interested in. and the truth is, they aren’t just interested in your content.

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