Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December of 2011 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Backlinks are still a major part of SEO and an integral part of organically raising search engine rankings. Yet the practice of collecting and generating backlinks seems as tedious and easy to mess up as ever. Since search engines now prioritize topic relevance and user experience so highly, no longer will the washed-up, Free-For-All (FFA) backlink practices cut it.
Comment spam is also well on its way out of the SEO repertoire; following Google’s ‘do or die’ philosophy is a pain, yet a necessary evil, and the task of exposing your content and/or website can feel a lot like running in place. Fortunately, the success of so many platforms and channels provides a perfect opportunity to generate backlinks. Pinterest is a perfect example of a platform that’s had a lot of success in a short amount of time, and with a tactical approach, you’ll have an opportunity to gather bunch of backlinks, in a short amount of time, while boosting your site’s worth in the process.
If you’re wondering why you should even bother putting together a Pinterest strategy when you already have other social channels, here are a few compelling facts:
- There are 150 million active users on Pinterest; 176 million registered users total
- 55% of U.S. online shoppers pick Pinterest as their favorite social media platform
- 47% of U.S. online shoppers bought something as a result of a Pinterest recommendation
- The half-life of a Pinterest Pin is about 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pinterest is the golden goose of free marketing for businesses. It’s the perfect platform to share content, get backlinks, and participate and exist among your audience. With the implementation of a few best practices, your business can strategically use a Pinterest presence for SEO.
Some things to keep in mind about generating backlinks on Pinterest:
- Images are paramount in establishing the feel of an article or product when a visitor comes to your site. Having poorly tagged images is firstly embarrassing, and secondly costs you organic rankings. Pinterest is a visual platform, and the images you use bridge the gap between users and your content/products/website/whatever. To generate backlinks on Pinterest, you’ll need to make sure you have appealing, eye-catching images attached to Pins.
- Choose the ‘create new pin’ option and enter the URL of your website or blog. From there, Pinterest will scan your site and yank all available images (even affiliate banners) for you to choose from. Once you select your image, the page it came from will automatically be appended to the image. Give your image a small description that includes the keyword of the page where the image lands and a direct link to the page. You’ll earn 2 deep backlinks that will bolster the credibility of your site-and that’s just from one Pin.
Bad Pinterest Image:
- Like any social platform, optimizing your profile is an important part of earning high quality backlinks. With a half-completed profile, you run the risk of looking fraudulent or lacking in credible. Users should have access to plenty of your business or brand information simply by viewing your profile.
- Start by making sure your username is concise and easy to follow. It should reflect your brand or business and will ultimately serve as your keyword, so make sure it’s congruent with the identity you want to have and maintain on Pinterest. The About, Location, and Website fields should all be filled with your current brand information, and a relevant profile picture should be added as well.
- The Pinterest boards you have should be a fully functioning archive of links, visuals, and concepts that reflect the values and offerings of your brand. Pins/Repins from users are nice, but getting a user to follow you depends heavily on the kind of content you populate your boards with.
- Create several well-themed boards and populate them with a diverse array of Pins, both from your site and elsewhere. The goal is to relate to your audience and exist among users, so search for keywords that are relevant to your industry and Pin content that your users would want to see and that inspires and complements your brand.
Remember, when used correctly, Pinterest has a lot of potential as a resource. It’s an ideal platform for generating backlinks, but it’s also a highly trafficked, user-friendly place to position your brand as an authority with your audience.