Can Pinterest provide value to a business’s SEO marketing strategy? The short answer is absolutely, if you use it right. This is the same Pinterest that the women in your life likely use to find great recipes, cute decorating ideas, and crafts. You may find this hard to believe, but Pinterest can indeed be a useful resource to promoting your business online.

Why Pinterest?

Pinterest can be a powerful tool to promote your business for several reasons. First, Pinterest attracts a large amount of internet traffic. It remains the third most-popular social network in the United States, behind Facebook and Twitter, and data shows that the website will hit 50 million active users in 2016. This year, Pinterest has also attracted an average of 48 million unique visitors to its website each month with its simple, visually appealing content.

Another big reason to use Pinterest is its high conversion rate. In other words, compared to users on other websites, people who use Pinterest are more likely to go out and buy something they saw on Pinterest. The website boasts a 50% higher conversion rate than other social networks. In addition to the high conversion rate, Pinterest users typically spend more money on those purchases than users on other social media websites.

Finally, Pinterest makes a great addition to an SEO strategy because it allows business owners to specifically target products. With Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, users follow brands and people, but Pinterest allows its users to follow the products they are most interested in. Instead of receiving irrelevant or uninteresting Facebook posts and tweets because they followed a business, users pin and return to the items they want to make or buy.

How to Optimize Your Pinterest Account

Not only does Pinterest offer small businesses the benefits listed above, but it’s also very easy to use. Do not, however, let that fact lull you into false confidence or hasty/lazy pinning practices. Take the following tips into consideration if you decide to use Pinterest as a business owner:

  1. Carefully choose your username. Make sure your username is straightforward and relates closely to your business. If your whole company name fits, use it. If your business name does not fit, be strategic about the username you choose. Keep it relevant, keep it keyword-conscious, and make it easy to remember and spell. The username is limited to 15 characters, so use those characters wisely.
  2. Optimize your profile. Many search engines will crawl more than just your content; they will crawl basic information in your profile as well. Search engines see your username, which is just one more reason to select the most relevant name that you can. Your Pinterest board will also have an “About” section, where you have a chance to let pinners know who you are and what you do. Use your target keywords in this section as well.
  3. Use high-quality images. Pinterest is a visual social media platform, so you are going to need high-quality pictures. Do not post any low-resolution pictures, and adjust the size of your images so they fit in the Pinterest platform. While Pinterest does not have any restrictions on image height, it does restrict the width to 554 pixels, so format your pictures accordingly.
  4. Choose more descriptive image file names. When you post pictures, make sure you optimize them. Search engines crawl the text associated with pictures, so don’t leave your picture with an auto-generated file name. Choose a descriptive and keyword-rich file name for your image.
  5. Include detailed image descriptions. You are limited to 500 characters in your image descriptionso use that space well. Use keyword-rich descriptions, but do not add in so many keywords that the content sounds spammy. Also, try to keep your descriptions between 200 and 300 words. Although you do have up to 500 available characters, a recent study found that the most re-pinned and commented-on items had descriptions ranging from 200 to 310 words.
  6. Pin your own content. With Pinterest, you do not need to post a link to your website along with each image. If you use the Pin It button, your pin will automatically include a link back to your website when you post a picture. Furthermore, once you create that link, other Pinterest users will create other backlinks when they share or re-pin your content. So it’s important to pin your own content instead of just re-pinning other people’s content. Not only will you reinforce your image and increase brand recognition, but the pin will provide a direct link to your website for purchasing your products.

Start with these suggestions to get more traffic out of your Pinterest account. You can also search online for other pointers as you begin to use Pinterest to your advantage.

Pinterest is not just a place to find great craft and clothing ideas. Pinterest has grown to become one of the most relevant social networks, and when used correctly, it can definitely benefit your business. Look forward to more traffic and higher conversion rates when you invest in Pinterest.