If you’ve spent anytime around Pinterest, you’ve likely heard the term Pinterest SEO or how KEYWORDS MATTER! But what does that even mean and what are you supposed to do with the keywords once you have them? More importantly WHY do keywords matter? 

Pinterest Keywords: What I wish I’d known before I got started

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I’ve been doing this Pinterest marketing thing for a while now, and I know one of the biggest hang ups people have is around keywords and Pinterest SEO. It’s one thing to understand SEO and why it’s important, but on Pinterest, where and how to use this to your advantage can get confusing. 

So today I wanted to dive into this topic and share with you what I wish I’d known when I got started. And that is, how keywords work on Pinterest and how Pinterest uses keywords to deliver search results. Because only when we truly understand how this all works can we truly begin to optimize our Pinterest profile and use keywords to our advantage.

How Keywords Work on Pinterest

The Confidence Score 

To get started, let’s look at what happens when a user searches on Pinterest.

Numero uno here is the Confidence score. The Confidence score is how Pinterest determines how relevant the keyword you’ve used is to the pin image itself. The higher the score, the more relevant it is and the higher your content will rank. They pick up MULTIPLE keywords per pin, and they need to see what keywords are the most relevant so they can rank your pin. And the overall ranking is based on the confidence score. This score consists of the keywords you use, the image you use, the text on your image, the language and even your website! 


Where to Use Keywords on Pinterest

Pin Image Text

Let’s take a look at an example. In this pin image below, the title of the pin is 6 Reasons to Hire a Pinterest Manager. Here we are trying to rank for the term “hire a Pinterest manager”. Since we want a higher confidence score for that phrase, you’ll see that we have used it in the text on the image.   

Pin Title

In the same example, we have also used the “hire a Pinterest manager” phrase in the pin title. This is another area Pinterest searches to rank the relevancy of your pin.

Pin Description

The pin description is hugely beneficial to your pin! This is a place we can not only write a description for our content or product, but Pinterest picks up keywords here as well. It should always be written in paragraph form with relevant keywords to your pin content.

Board name and Board Title

The next place Pinterest is going to look for keywords is in a board name and a board title. If you save a pin to a particular board, whatever that board name is and whatever keywords you use in that board description, those keywords become associated with that pin. This is why it is SO important that the first time you pin an image to Pinterest, you are pinning it to the most relevant board FIRST. When you do this, your content will rank higher. If you pin the image to a board that is vaguely relevant, meaning the keywords don’t match, Pinterest is going to think, “we’re not giving this a high confidence score because it isn’t relevant!”. 

Pin Images

Another source that Pinterest looks at are the actual objects in your image. Yes! They are looking at the image objects! So if your pin is about the best lamps for a modern boho decor style, but the image you use is of a couch, chances are, that pin isn’t going to get a very high confidence score for modern boho lamps because the image isn’t related to the text. 

Your website

Lastly, not only is Pinterest looking for keywords in all of the aforementioned areas, they are also looking at your website! Your URL, the page title, the body on the page, the page description and even the images on your page. 


Pinterest SEO Relevancy

When you have the same keywords that are relevant to the search, in all of these areas, Pinterest has more confidence that your pin is relevant in delivering your pin in front of that search because that user is more likely to click on that image. Bottom line, we are trying to make sure that Pinterest is CONFIDENT that your content is relevant to the search you are trying to rank for. On the contrary, if your using keywords related to quick weeknight meals, but your pin and the webpage you’re linking to is about how to travel internationally with kids, chances are, that pin isn’t going to show up in search results for EITHER topic. 

And that brings to me a quick tip. DON’T KEYWORD STUFF! Just like Pinterest can get confused when you’re using non-relevant keywords on your pin or in your description, the same can happen when you’re using TOO many keywords in the description. It’s better to stick to maybe 5 extremely relevant keywords than it is to put 20 somewhat relevant keywords. 


That is the gist of how keywords work on Pinterest and how the platform uses them to deliver your content in search results. If you want to learn more about keywords, and more specifically, exactly how to do keyword research, check out my post, 3 Easy Ways to do Pinterest Keyword Research!

In the meantime, happy pinning!