Pinterest Keyword Research in 2021
In this blog I am discussing Pinterest keywords, including why they are important and how to perform Pinterest keyword research.
Please note that my blog posts sometimes include affiliate links, which means if you click on them and then go on to make a purchase I’ll receive a small commission. (Thank you for your support if you do choose to use one of these links). I only recommend products that I have used or have experience with for my business.
Why Pinterest Keywords are Important
Pinterest is a visual search engine. People use Pinterest to search for products, ideas, inspiration and other content.
According to Pinterest
- 97% searches are unbranded
- Nearly 75% of queries are just 1–3 words
- On average, people scroll through the search results to view an average of 60 Pins per search query
This means that, in general,
- Pinners are making relatively simple and open-ended searches. They are looking for inspiration and guidance to help them narrow their search or decide what they actually want.
- Pinners are not searching for a specific brand. They are open to discovering and learning about new products, ideas and solutions
Thus why Pinterest often describes themselves as a search and discovery platform.
The open mindset of pinners is part of what makes Pinterest unique in comparison to other platforms and search engines.
In order to get your content ranking in the search results for a specific search query, you need to use Pinterest keywords strategically and effectively.
'There are various factors which impact whether your pin will show up for a particular search phrase at all, as well as how high it ranks in the results. One of the most important factors is how effectively the pin is ‘keyword optimised’, which I will explain below.
Performing keyword research and determining which keywords you want your content to rank for is the first step towards Pinterest SEO optimisation.
Pinterest Keyword Research Tools
There are a few methods and tools that you can use when doing keyword research
1. Pinterest Autocomplete Search
As you start to type a phrase into the search bar, Pinterest will display some predicted search phrases to help pinners quickly autocomplete their search phrase (similar to how Google autocomplete works)
These predictions are based on the current trending and popular search phrases at that time. They are also a great tool for researching long tail Pinterest keywords.
In the example below, typing in the phrase ‘crystals’ (short tail keyword), brings up a list of relevant search phrases related to crystals. Each of these are an example of a long tail keyword.
Bonus tip - These suggestions can also provide inspiration for content creation (eg new blog content, Pinterest boards or Pinterest pins).
Using the above example, say you are a crystal supplier and you type ‘crystals’ into the search bar. You can see from the drop down list that one of the trending search phrases is ‘crystals for protection’.
Based on this information you may want to
- Write a blog post about the top 5 crystals for protection (and create a relevant pin image linking to the blog post)
- Create a board titled crystals for protection
- Share an idea pin educating about the top 5 crystals (which you could also reuse for Instagram or FB stories)
- Create a video showing the top 5 crystals (which you can also share to YouTube, embed in the blog post, share on other platforms or in an email).
2. Pinterest Guided Search
(Please note that Pinterest has made significant changes to the user interface in 2021, and as a result guided search has been removed for many users. Therefore this section will not be relevant to some readers. I still had access to guided search up for Pinterest keyword research until a few days ago so have left this section in for the time being. Please ignore if not relevant (ie you don’t have the coloured search tiles)
When you type a search phrase into the search bar and hit enter, a number of coloured tiles will appear under the search bar. These are the Pinterest guided search suggestions. Each tile represents a potential long tail keyword (ie. a more specific search phrase).
The purpose of these suggestions is to help the pinner filter the search results and ‘guide’ them to find exactly what they are looking for. These suggestions are based on common search terms as well as a particular users activity history
As a content creator, you can use the guided search to note down relevant Pinterest keywords for your keyword research. Each tile is ‘clickable’ and will lead to a different set of search results, and in some cases, more coloured tiles. These tiles represent even more specific search phrases and lead to another set of search results.
The volume of related keywords (coloured tiles) gives an indication of how popular the initial search term (short tail keyword) is.
The order of the related keywords (coloured tiles) indicates the popularity of the long tail search phrases (the most commonly searched phrases appear on the left hand side, then the ranking decreases as you move across).
How to do Keyword Research on Pinterest
You will need somewhere to record your keyword research so that you can refer back to it later. I prefer to record my keyword research in a spreadsheet.
Keyword research has the potential to send you down a Pinterest rabbit hole. If you are just starting out with Pinterest, keep it manageable. Aim to find 10-20 relevant keywords for your niche that you can start using in your board and pin titles/ descriptions. You can always come back and go deeper with your keyword research at a later time.
Per Pinterest, 75% of searches are 1-3 keywords long. Use this as guidance when creating your initial keyword list .
Pinterest Keyword Research Steps
1. The first step is to brainstorm some possible search terms that people might use to find your product, service or content.
- Start with simple and broad (1-2 word) search terms [These are called short tail keywords]
2. Type one of these search terms into the search bar
- Before you hit enter, take note of the autocomplete suggestions and note down any that are relevant in your spreadsheet [These are called long tail keywords]
- Click on any of the autocomplete suggestions to explore further. Carrying on from the above crystal example, you can see below that clicking on ‘crystals for protection’ leads to further autocomplete suggestions, which are even more specific. Take note of any that are relevant*.
*It is best to only use the search terms that are actually relevant to your content. Don't try to incorporate search phrases that aren’t relevant for your specific content just because they are popular search phrases.
You don’t want your content to rank for irrelevant search terms as this won’t provide a good user experience. Pinners will be less likely to engage with your content as it’s not what they are searching for - which sends a negative signal to the algorithm.
- **If you have access to the guided search tiles** you can also explore these. Consider how many coloured tiles appear below the search bar. If there are only a couple it’s likely to be a less popular search term. If there are lots (sometimes you may need to scroll across the screen several times) then it’s likely to be a highly searched term. Take note of those that are most relevant to you.
3. Go back to your original brainstormed list of keywords and repeat step 2 with a different search term.
Where to Use Pinterest Keywords
Once you have your initial list of short and long tail keywords you can start incorporating these in your titles and descriptions. The next blog post cover how and where to use keywords on Pinterest.