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Pinterest Marketing: Why You Shouldn’t Bother Tracking Keywords

By Sam Osborn

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For brands beginning to market on Pinterest, it may be tempting to follow prior experience with other platforms and rely on keywords to track performance. And that would be a mistake.

Keywords on Pinterest come from two sources: your pin’s description, and the comments that users leave on your pins. If your pin comes from a website (as more than 90% of pins do), your Pinterest keywords will automatically populate from the existing product description. This makes keyword optimization largely redundant, as the product description will remain exactly the same no matter how many times that image is pinned. And if you’re planning to adjust your content strategy based on tracking keywords in customer’s comments on your pins, don’t bother; less than 1% of all pins ever receive even a single comment.

So while keywords play a role in search on Pinterest (as opposed to Twitter or Instagram, which build conversations around hashtags), if you focus too much on them, you risk ignoring key elements that will have a much greater impact on your brand’s success on Pinterest. Here’s why.

Content Discovery is Fundamentally Different on the Visual Web

Keyword based search is designed for a text-centric internet, not the visual web. Pinterest is about being inspired by what you see, not what you read. The content that rises to the top will be beautiful images that consumers see, love, are inspired by, and share with their friends.

This is corroborated by the recent updates to Google’s Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird search algorithms. These changes shift away from keyword stuffing, instead rewarding quality, original content that real users are interacting with. This is great news for Pinterest marketers, as Pinterest allows Google’s search to crawl their site, and as a result many boards are showing up in Google search results.

The bottom line is that content trumps keywords, so focus on producing and optimizing fantastic, quality creatives! Good creatives inspire action, and action is what you really want on Pinterest.

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Fans love to engage and interact with quality, beautiful photos of products that they love.

What Pinners Do is Even More Important than What They See

Pinterest can be a marketer’s best buddy, driving four times more money per click than Twitter and 27% more than Facebook, reflecting the extraordinary level of engagement of consumers on the platform. So rather than spending your time focusing on keyword research for Pinterest, dig down and see who is really interacting with your content. As we’ve talked about before, your brand has legions of people who love you. These are real people, with real friends, and they are talking to those friends about your products. Focus on engaging with these “Brand Advocates,” harvesting their invaluable feedback, and using it towards optimizing your brand’s Pinterest content strategy.

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Great content connects to passions. These beautiful wedding pins inspire consumers to engage with products that they love.

A final takeaway for marketers is that on Pinterest, keywords are like movie tickets. They get you in the theatre, and make sure you’re in the right seat. But when the lights go down, the big show isn’t the stub in your pocket, it’s what you’re looking at on the screen.

About the data: This data is based on original research from Piqora’s data science team.