Social Media and SEO have undoubtedly become more intertwined than anyone could have ever imaged and more important for your business than ever. Google now owns YouTube and Google Plus, Facebook search is powered by Bing, and we see Twitter profiles, Pinterest boards, and LinkedIn pages appearing in more and more search results everyday. To have a strong SEO strategy, you'll have to look deeper and start diving into the many missed opportunities for search in social media. Pinterest is one place to start. My friend John Rampton has used Pinterest to generate tens of thousands of dollars of revenue for his e-commerce sites every month. Pinterest has many unique qualities that make its ability to influence search undeniable.
"Make sure your website is mobile friendly. If you do all of this work and your website is not mobile friendly, you're wasting your time," Cynthia Johnson, RankLab's director of social media, said at PubCon Las Vegas.
Verify Your Website
Verifying your website only takes a few moments to complete and will have a large impact on how well Pinterest can help you in search. Take a moment to think about it--other than Pinterest, the only social media platform that allows you to verify your website is Google Plus. Also, Pinterest only allows you to verify the website on one profile. This allows the search engines to trust the link and the content coming from that profile.
File Names Will Become Your Image Title
Search engines cannot read images, but they can read the names and Alt tags. When you upload your pins to Pinterest, be sure to change the file name to something relevant. You want to avoid file names like "Screeen-Shot-738623r76" and instead use something descriptive, like "how-to-paint-two-drawer-dresser." Don't skip this step, because it will affect the visibility of your image.
Map Your Pins
Pinterest recently partnered with Foursquare and added mapping capability to pins. If you are a local business, this is a great opportunity to highlight your location and expand on your reach in your local area. Can't find your pin? No problem! According to Cynthia Johnson, you can simply "go into Foursquare, add that location to the app, and then you will be able to pin it."
Additionally, when mapping your pins within a board, don't map your exact location only. Map the city you're located in and your exact location. This will help bring internal Pinterest traffic to your boards and pins when users search for the city.
Share Your Boards
Sharing your boards will do two things. First, it will place your board on another user's profile page. Second, it tells the search engines that multiple people support the board, and that helps reaffirm that the content within the board is what it says it is. When boards are shared and have multiple content sources, the value and trust that search engines have for the board increase rapidly. You will see these types of boards ranking for keywords in Pinterest and on search engines.
Adjust Your Pinterest Strategy to Support Mobile Traffic
Research done by Luth Research for ExactTarget recently discovered that 40.1 million U.S. consumers will use Pinterest via a device at least monthly this year. They also discovered that 75 percent of Pinterest's traffic is via a mobile device and 83 percent of all mobile visits to Pinterest will be via a smartphone. No other online property included in the study saw a larger gap between the two devices. We must go mobile!
Here are some tips to increase your mobile strategy:
- Keep your four best boards in the first four spots on your profile page. These are the only four boards visible on a smartphone, and only the first two boards are completely visible.
- Keep your most important information in the first 75 to 100 characters in your pin descriptions. The only viewable information in your pin descriptions on iOS are 75 to 100 characters and 100 to 125 characters for Android phones.
- Size your images for optimal viewing. The best image ratios for pins before the "expand pin" feature on a smartphone are 3.67:1 for iOS and 2.55:1 for Android.