by Krista LaRivier
Just when you thought you had your social media strategy and web presence under control, yet another social networking site is becoming mainstream. Seven months ago it was Google+, now it’s Pinterest and it is gaining momentum in popularity as well as relevance in organic search.
Pinterest is a social photo sharing website that has also been described as an online pin board. Its more than 10 million registered users, over 2 million of whom log in every day, “pin” photos, graphics, and videos into categories they create based on their own personal interests. Pinterest users also share their pins on Facebook and Tweet them.
“Their own interests” may indeed include images that represent your brand. Pinning images is how your visitors, prospects, clients and fans want to visually socialize your organization.
Here are eight SEO reasons to add Pinterest to your web presence and how to get started.
Pinterest content is being crawled and indexed by Google, therefore it will impact your SEO rankings. Think of it as an opportunity to outrank a competitor for a keyword. If you are pinning on behalf of your organization, take the time to optimize Pinterest photo comments with important keyword phrases. If you have control over image file names when originally published, take the time to optimize photo descriptions for keywords as well.
2. Backlinks & Referrals
Every image pinned to a Board has a link back to its original published source. These are valuable backlinks and can provide referral traffic as well. Capitalize on this. Posting your product and service images and videos is a great place to start. However, keep in mind that it’s important to avoid being blatantly self-promotional – remember to provide value to your audience by sharing quality content that is relevant to their interests and worth liking, commenting on, and re-pinning.
3. The Pinterest Search Box
With millions of visitors to Pinterest every day, people are looking for brands via the Pinterest search box. Is your brand available? Does your Pinterest presence represent and reinforce your brand to a prospect who might be searching?
4. Web Presence
Pinterest is yet another web presence point. Simple as that. Just like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, Pinterest has gained enough momentum and significance that excluding it any longer may negatively impact your web presence compared to your competitors.
Pinterest is unique because it is the only social networking site focused solely on sharing images. You likely do not have to go far to find an inventory of photos, graphics and videos in your organization. For example, design and architecture firms have projects, real estate agents have listings, product companies have products, services companies such as vacation and leisure have snap shots of places, artists have art, sports-related companies have action shots, non-profits have people and places and event pictures, technology companies have conferences and infographics, and so on.
Get creative and start thinking about how to build your inventory of photos.
6. Social Signals
We know that social signals are factored into Google’s and Bing’s organic search algorithms. Pinterest provides yet another opportunity for your visitors, prospects and customers to generate social signals (Tweets, Likes, Shares, Google +1’s, and now Pins). Social signals indicate to Google that people want to socialize your content with people they have relationships with, which signals that your content is relevant.
Your competitors are likely using Pinterest already. This is a grand enough reason to get started. But better yet, if they are not, you can take advantage of the situation and start building out your Pinterest presence before they do.
8. Pinterest is not going away in the near future.
In December 2011, the site became one of the top 10 largest social networking sites, according to Hitwise data, with 11 million total visits per week – this number increased to 21.5 million visits for the week ending January 28, 2012. According to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the U.S. behind Facebook and Twitter, having surpassed LinkedIn.
And the Pinterest team is serious about their business. Recently they raised an additional $100 million from some noteworthy investors.