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Earlier this month, marketers from around the world joined the latest LocalU virtual conference, put on by Local University.
The symposium topics were filled with local marketing tips from top experts on everything from handling fake reviews, to SEO forecasting, and more.
Attendees engaged in lively discussions on Twitter throughout each session, highlighting the speakers’ most helpful and tangible tips.
Below are the top takeaways from each speaker and their respective session.1. Write For Customers First and Google Second Charli Hunt, ProofContent
“If you just write content for Google’s algorithm (and not users first), you will be knocked off your top rankings perch.”
Include local identifiers based on what customers are already searching for. Whether that’s neighborhood, county, city, etc.
Create dedicated pages for top FAQs from your customers. This alleviates the need to answer these questions again and again.
Identify your unique selling points (USPs). If you’re unsure of what these are, speak to your customers to help identify them.2. Disputing 1 Illegitimate Review Is Equivalent To 11 Positive Reviews Curtis Boyd, The Transparency Company
It pays off to dispute fake reviews. Illegitimate reviews are harmful to ratings, which is proven to hurt revenue.
Removing legitimate negative reviews is not the goal. Earned reviews are good; purchased reviews are not. Silencing real customers is not good or legitimate. That’s not what this is about.
Your boss should not be asking you to review the company, unless it’s on Glassdoor. The top types of fake reviews are from vendors, business owners, current employees, untruthful customers, and 3rd party and review clusters.
Dispute fake reviews on the mobile app vs. a desktop. Having data to show the reviews are fake have approximately a 380 times greater success rate of being removed.
If you’ve been hit with a negative review cluster, it’s best to work with a Google Product Expert using the GBP Help Forum.3. Work Smarter With Practical Google Data Studio Uses Amanda Jordan, RicketyRoo
With GDS, you’ll spend less time reviewing your data. You can create local SEO reports that are easily digestible not only for you, but for your clients. There are plenty of templates created for you to plug and play with your data.
“Use Data Studio to find and categorize keywords, and find new ways to utilize data they’re providing.”
There are many free connectors with GDS to help integrate your data, such as Google Analytics, BigQuery, Google Sheets, Search Console, and more.
Additionally, there are free tool connectors for GDS, including Ahrefs, ContentKing, DeepCrawl, SEMRush, and more.
Use data controls in Data Studio. They allow you to manipulate data by date, visitor type, device type, and more.4. Be Strategic With Your Spam Fighting Efforts Joy Hawkins, Sterling Sky
The percentage of fake listings varies greatly by industry. Garage Door Repair, Junk Cars, and Personal Injury were the top industries with fake listings.
“87.6% of Garage Door Repair listings were spam. This is incredibly damaging for brands, and why spam-fighting can help legitimate brands.”
Spam fighting is not a long-term strategy, but it is something you should try to pursue. Spam can always come back, and Google doesn’t always enforce all their guidelines.
If there are duplicate listings, don’t delete one. Merging listings can actually help them to rank.
If you are in an industry with moderate amounts of spam listings, then it’s probably worth your time to report.5. We Only Buy From People We Know, Like, and Trust Matthew Hunt, Automation Wolf
It takes 7 hours with 11 different interactions, in 4 different locations to earn the trust of a user, in order to create opportunities to work with and sell to them.
Leverage LinkedIn with short-form content users can discover. Then, create long-form content where there is some sort of interaction (course, webinar, etc.). From there, create a community of trust so users continue to come back to you.
Make sure you have a personal profile, not just a company page. Create a compelling personal headline showcasing who you are and what you do.
The winning formula for a personal headline: Role + Expertise + Value.Noah Learner, Two Octobers
Build your content based on client goals, gathering data, cleaning the data, then creating topics based on this data.
Market what is most profitable for you. Make sure to ask your clients what their biggest money-makers are during your onboarding process.
Google has a difficult time knowing what to show, which is why it’s important to make it crystal clear what your content is about.
There’s a big difference between search trends from Google SERP auto-suggest and Google Trends. Auto-suggest is personalized, while Trends is not.7. Proximity Is Much More Important With The Vicinity Update Yan Gilbert and Colan Nielson, Sterling Sky
The closer you are to a business listing, the higher the chances that listing will rank.
The vicinity update has allowed many more business listings to rank, thanks to the variety in the map packs.
Keywords without location were impacted the most.
Keywords in your business name are not as straightforward as it used to be. Don’t use keyword
stuffing as a strategy. Google is attempting to balance spammy GBPs while allowing real businesses to rank.
The top action items from the vicinity update are:
Focus on explicit keywords
Create more GBP real estate
Go after a wider variety of keywords to minimize damage8. SEO Forecasting Can Help Answer Key Business Questions From Stakeholders Andrew Shotland, Local SEO Guide
The key questions stakeholders want answered are:
How much am I going to get out of this?
How long is it going to take?
What’s the ROI?
SEO forecasting needs to take the individual business’ uniqueness and goals into consideration. Do more than using your own experience and your own data to forecast.
Sometimes accurate forecasts don’t matter, as long as you’re being realistic setting good expectations. Don’t falsely inflate forecasts to look good and get budget approval.
A good scientific method is the RICE Score. (Reach x Impact x Confidence)/Effort = RICE Score.
However, a good RICE score may not return a lot of revenue, even if it’s easy to implement. Determine what is more important: high revenue or a high RICE score?9. You Have An Obligation To Make Sure Your Reviews Are Genuine Mike Blumenthal, Near Media
The business is responsible for how the review platform works, as well as the SEO and reputation management firms’ behaviors.
The new FTC business marketer guidelines include:
No review gating
No selective review display
Positive and negative reviews must be treated equally
Incentives must be made explicit
Review suppression doesn’t work. Customers can see the difference between your site and the Google reviews.
You do not have to publish offensive or inappropriate review content. Ensure you have a clear TOS published on your site explaining the FTC guidelines, and publish everything that meets those guidelines.Summary
The LocalU virtual symposium focused a lot on real updates that impact businesses, as well as content tips that can help anyone who has a physical business or listing.
If you’d like more detailed information on the sessions, be sure to join the #LocalU conversation on Twitter and connect with the speakers. You can also purchase instant access from Local University here.
At the end of the conference, Local University announced its return to in-person events. They will be hosting LocalU Advanced in Denver, CO on July 28th. If you’re interested in attending, be sure to stay up-to-date with Local University for more information.
Featured Image: MaDedee/Shutterstock
You're reading 9 Local Seo Tips From Top Experts
One of the first questions a lot of businesses have about local SEO is: Do I really need it?
And I get it. You’re busy – your time, budget, and energy are precious resources.
Do you really need another thing to keep up with?
If you want to attract in-store traffic, online or phone orders, appointment bookings, clinic visits, or other business from local consumers, the answer is a definitive YES!Who Benefits From Local SEO And Why?
All types of businesses that interact with and service customers in a specific region can benefit from local SEO.
This includes retail stores, service businesses, restaurants and hotels, hospitals, banks, construction companies, and more.
Here are a few examples.Lawyers And Law Firms
One of the biggest benefits of local SEO for these clients is that Google shows a call button directly in the local search results on mobile phones.
So when a potential client pulls out their phone and does a search for [(type of) attorney], they will see targeted results for their particular location.
When done right, local SEO will push the attorney to the top of the search results for that location, and the dominant call to action will be the “call us” button.
The reason why this is such a huge benefit is that anyone who has been in an accident or has another issue will be on the phone attempting to find attorneys who offer free consultations.
This one avenue offers a way to get in front of those consumers exactly when they need an attorney.Doctors And Medical Practices
When someone is searching for a medical professional, they’re often searching for a [doctor nearby] or a [doctor near me].
Most people don’t want to go out of their way or travel several hours to visit a doctor. They want a nearby doctor who can see them regularly.
If you reference the screenshot below, using the search [doctors near me], there are several benefits of this large local pack result.Plumbers
When someone has an emergency involving plumbing, are they going directly to a store?
No, they usually go to Google to search for [plumber near me].
The Google search results provide an easy way for someone to call a plumber directly, read reviews, and access local plumbers immediately if they have such an emergency.Who Won’t Benefit From Local SEO?
While we would love to see everyone benefit from local SEO and sell these services to more clients as SEO professionals, the reality is that some businesses just don’t lend themselves well to local SEO efforts.
Businesses like online only ecommerce shops, businesses that don’t want to share their local information, and private online sellers who want to keep their information private are likely not great candidates for local SEO services.Local Search Still Needs Organic SEO
Local search rankings appear in the form of the Map Pack on Google, but your site’s organic ranking is an important factor, as well. This helps Google understand your overall prominence, which is one of the three main categories of local ranking signals.
SEO tricks and tactics are long gone, and search has evolved exponentially.
Nowadays, user experience signals, E-A-T, high-quality content, high-quality links, and much higher quality UX rule the game.
But make no mistake: There are still locally enhanced factors of SEO that you need to get right, including:
Finding the right keywords and topics to target as part of your campaign.
Making sure your technical SEO is top-notch.
Ensuring the highest quality content possible.
Earning links to make your website stand out enough in Google’s eyes.
Double-checking and implementing your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information is accurate across many linking sites.
Optimizing for local ranking signals.
With a local focus, many of your standard organic SEO methods may change slightly compared to the more traditional methods that are used for ranking.Local Search Can Be Voice Search, Too
Now that people have more access to devices like smartphones, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, voice search has become a preferred way for many to find local information.
It’s easier to say “find a doctor near me” or “find a plumber near me” for most people than it is to type.
Thus, it isn’t surprising to see a rise in local queries based on conversational voice search.
If your industry is service-oriented, try out keyword variations that include questions.
Semrush’s topic research tool, chúng tôi and AnswerThePublic all provide ways to see questions people are searching for, along with their search volume.
This is an excellent way to target keywords that have local intent.
If your industry is a local brick-and-mortar, service-related business, like a restaurant or an attorney or lawyer, try keyword variations with a conversational tone and focus.
You may be surprised by the search volume you can achieve when you do keyword research in this way.Local Search Is Mobile Search
We know that a sizable portion of local searches happen on local devices, and that mobile-friendliness is a Google ranking factor.
What do these facts and the mobile-first index mean for your local SEO strategy?
Google has done the work of optimizing Map Pack listings for mobile searchers. But it’s up to you to create that user-friendly, convenient experience on your website – and to ensure Google understands that via good technical SEO.
Search Engine Journal’s Roger Montti shares an overview of what that entails in ‘7 Ways a Mobile-First Index Impacts SEO,’ part of SEJ’s free Advanced Technical SEO Guide.Local SEO Needs A Dedicated Strategy
But, that doesn’t mean it needs to take up a lot more of your time.
In the next chapter, you’ll find a nine-step checklist to guide your new or improved local SEO strategy.
Then, we’ll dig into the various aspects of it and you’ll find experts tips and tools to bring it all together.
Download the full guide for free here.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
Feedly is nice and all, but it’s basic. It’s great if you’re looking for a well-designed, minimal reading environment. But when you ask for pro functionality, Feedly quickly falls apart.
Inoreader, on the other hand, welcomes you with open arms. Want to create smart filters? Go ahead. Geek out over keyboard shortcuts? Why not. Customize every single detail of the web UI. Of course.
It seems simple, but there’s a lot of stuff Inoreader can do. And trust me, even with this article, we’re only just starting to dig in.1. Import OPML File From Feedly
In Inoreader, go to “Preferences” and select “Import/Export.” Here, upload the file and choose “Import.”2. Enable Dark Mode 3. Disable Images and Customize Article View
If you’re trying to save bandwidth or you like a minimal reading environment, you might want to switch to a text-only mode in Inoreader by disabling images.4. Learn the Most Important Keyboard Shortcuts
There are keyboard shortcuts to send the current article to other services as well. “Y” for Pocket, “I” for Instapaper and “E” for Evernote.5. Load Readability View 6. Use Tags
Now that article will always be available in that tag across all your devices. You can also generate an RSS feed for each of your tags.
Tags basically help you take the favorite or read-later feature found in most RSS readers to a whole new level.
Using the same menu from “Preferences,” you can create a new folder and add your existing subscriptions to it.7. Create a Rule
Create a new rule, and you’ll see the following screen.
Here I’ve created a rule to send me a notification on my Android phone whenever a new article containing “Reddit” in its title shows up.
But you can do much more. A rule can match text in the title, URL, content, author and more.
And once a match is found, you can assign actions like automatically filing it to a tag, sending to a service like Evernote or sending a notification.8. Check Out Bundles
As you might already know, Inoreader tries to bring in the discovery element to RSS. When you first sign up, you need to select categories and sites you’re interested in.
“Bundles” is its natural progression. This is where you just tell Inoreader that you’re interested in X. Inoreader will then create a folder in Inoreader with all the relevant articles from relevant feeds. This stuff only stays in that particular folder and doesn’t mess up your normal feeds. Bundles are a community project. You can subscribe to bundles created by others or submit your own.9. Use the Inoreader Companion Extension
Check out the Inoreader Companion extension for Chrome and Firefox.
Most features in Inoreader are free. You even get a taste of the pro features. But if you’re looking for features like unlimited rules and search, you’ll have to sign up for a paid account that starts at as little as $1.25 a month.
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer. He’s always trying out new apps, tools and services. He is platform agnostic. You’ll find an iPhone 5 and a OnePlus One on him at (almost) all times.
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At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas the SEJ team had the opportunity to catch up with Jake Bohall of Virante, and Joe Youngblood of Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, about SEO trends.
Jake discusses how he’s starting to see a shift towards SEO being integrated into all company practices, while Joe discusses some interesting new ways to build links.
Hear them explain more about this in the videos and recaps below:SEOs Tools: An Interview with Jake Bohall Here are some key takeaways from the video:
Jake believes the future of SEO is shifting more towards using tools and having people on your team who are capable of using those tools, instead of some of the more specialty skill sets people have.
Technical SEO will always be there, says Jake, but certain aspects are becoming more integrated within other business units in a company. For example, link building has become more of a PR strategy with a growing focus on outreach and relationship building.
Jake thinks the days of writing content by following an SEO on-page checklist are going away in favor of using tools like nTopic to help you create authoritative content.
To clarify, SEOs will never be replaced. SEOs bring a very valuable skill set to the technical side, whereas developers don’t have that strong marketing sense when they’re building a site. Adhering to Google’s guidelines is not as much of a concern for developers as it is for SEOs.
Jake says our role as SEOs is going to be more based on the technical side, and then taking that technical expertise and building innovative tools that companies can use in house.
As SEO becomes more and more complex you’re starting to see more SEOs specializing in individual areas, like keyword research, or local search, etc.
Jake says the biggest thing an SEO can do right now is identify what their core competency is and focus on that. For a company, the best thing you can do is find a way to educate your staff about SEO practices so you can integrate it throughout your organization.Quality Link Building: An Interview with Joe Youngblood Here are some key takeaways from the video:
Stop being so afraid of building links, Joe says. A lot of site owners try to take the shortcut of buying links due to the instant gratification, rather than putting in the work to try to earn links.
Instead of asking “What if I do this content marketing thing and I don’t get any links out of it?”, site owners should be more concerned about angering Google by taking the easy way out, and having your site buried in the search results.
Link building takes time, but you have to stop being afraid to do it.
One of the biggest concerns Joe sees from site owners is the thought that they might invest a lot of money into creating content that doesn’t gain any traction.
Instead of second guessing yourself, just start putting in the work. You’ll never see if it works if you don’t do it
Something Joe pushes a lot is a tactic called “scholarship link building.” You can do a scholarship for as little as a few thousand a year and hand over the management to an entirely separate company, then you’ll get a number of high authority links from universities.
Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.
Google has updated their Image Publishing Guidelines and it’s a vast improvement.
The new version offers actionable information that could make your images rank better, position them to appear in rich results, make them voice assistant friendly, and bring more traffic to your website.
This updated support page has a lot to offer.Image Search SEO Tips
Google has provided useful image search SEO tips. Here are the actionable takeaways:
Provide good context: Make sure images are contextually relevant because the text of the content is going to influence how Google interprets what the image is about.
Optimize Image Placement: This means to place images so that text that is relevant to the image is nearby. The surrounding text will be picked up by Google to help it understand what the image is about. Adding a caption is an additional good way to do this. Adding an important image close to the top of the page is another tip.
Create informative and High Quality Sites: Google considers the quality of the content as part of the image ranking process. The content is also used to generate a meaningful snippet for the content. So it helps for the page content to relate with the image content.
Create Device-Friendly Sites: Google revealed that users search for images on mobile more than they do on desktop. This means it’s important to be mobile friendly in order to rank better and capitalize on the traffic.
Create Good URL Structure for Your Images: This is an interesting SEO tip. Google revealed that they use the file path and the file name in order to better understand and rank images. This is an actual ranking factor Google is sharing. This is a very useful tip for ranking images. For example, if your images are of different kinds of products, instead of dumping them all into a generic “/assets/” or “/images/” folder, you could in theory create a more organized structure to organize the images into something more meaningful like, /mens/ and /womens/ in order to organize images of men’s and women’s clothing.Technical SEO Tips for Image Search Check Your Page Title & Description
While it was previously understood that title tags were important, it’s an interesting revelation that the meta description tag plays a role. Here is what the new Google Image Search Support page says:
“Google Images automatically generates a title and snippet to best explain each result and how it relates to the user query… We use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the title, and meta tags “Add Structured Data
This is a very interesting addition to the new support page. Structured data plays a role in rich results and although it’s not mentioned in this support page, we also know that structured data plays a role in voice assisted search, which is an important area of search. Google’s Voice Assistant is now embedded in over 5,000 devices including in automobiles.
Here is what Google’s support page states:
If you include structured data, Google Images can display your images as rich results, including a prominent badge, which gives users relevant information about your page and can drive better targeted traffic to your site.
From the Google Support Page about Badges:
“If you’re publishing recipes, add Recipe markup on your page, for products, add Product markup, and for videos, add Video markup.”More SEO Advice for Image Search
Google ends the support page by highlighting the following SEO tips for image search:
Optimize image size for speed
Optimize photos for sharpness
Use descriptive titles, captions, descriptive alt text, file names, and surrounding text.
Use an XML Image Site Map
Safe Search SEO: Segregate adult content into it’s own image folder
The Google support pages Danny Sullivan is credited with feature a similar usefulness as this support page. The previous Image Publishing Guidelines didn’t have as many actionable SEO tips.
I don’t know if Sullivan had a hand in crafting this new image publishing guideline, but it needs to be noted that this is an excellent and useful page. Read: Google’s new Image Publishing Guidelines.
Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author
Pinterest is a powerful yet highly underrated platform when it comes to generating traffic for bloggers and businesses alike.
While often associated with recipe articles, DIY how-tos, and travel blogs, Pinterest covers a wide range of topics and is a significant driver of organic traffic across many industries.
Boasting over 442 million active users per month, Pinterest presents an untapped opportunity for business owners and SEO professionals looking to boost their traffic numbers.
As a refreshing alternative to Google, Facebook, and Amazon, Pinterest provides ample room for creativity and storytelling while priding itself on being a unique platform where Pinners can discover new ideas, businesses, and blogs.
While it differs from Google or Bing, many time-honored SEO tactics still hold true.
In this guide, you’ll discover some tried-and-true Pinterest SEO tips, as well as some future-forward strategies to help you make the most of this dynamic platform.What Is Pinterest SEO?
Pinterest SEO involves optimizing your Pinterest profile and website in order to generate more organic (and, if you wish, paid) traffic from Pinterest.
The main ways in which Pinterest SEO differs from Google SEO is how target “keywords” are identified and then utilized to optimize one’s profile.
Additionally, the ranking factors on Pinterest relate more to engagement metrics and social shares than backlinks and technical SEO.
However, these remaining elements are often natural byproducts of great content.
With that in mind, below are 12 tips for optimizing your Pinterest profile for SEO success.1. Get Started with the Basics
Before we hop into the more exciting aspects of Pinterest SEO, first, some housekeeping.
You’ll need to ensure the following aspects are in place before you can start pinning:Create a Business Account
Start by creating your Pinterest Business account.
(If you already have a personal account, you can simply convert your personal account into a business account.)
This will give you access to Pinterest Analytics and the Pinterest Ads Manager.Choose an SEO-Friendly Username
Your username will be included in your profile’s URL, so it’s worth considering what your audience might be searching for.Optimize Your Profile
Fill in the “about you” section with relevant details and include a high-resolution company logo.
This will make it easier for people to locate and save your Pins.
You will also want to optimize this section with relevant keywords (more on this later).Create at Least One Board
To get started, you will need at least one “board.”
Consider the type of content you plan on posting when deciding what you want to name your board (for example: “Marketing Hacks” or “DIY SEO”).2. Prepare Your Website
As with many other platforms, you can take data from your website to feed more targeted Pinterest campaigns.
You can also send people through to your website, so it’s essential to link these two assets together.
This requires a few simple but fundamental steps.
Get all of these in place if you want to report accurately on your Pinterest SEO efforts.Add the Pinterest Tag
The Pinterest tag is a fundamental part of setting up an organic or paid campaign.
Set up conversion events on your website.
Segment your audience.
Report reliably on your profile’s performance.
A full guide can be found here and your Pinterest or agency team will be able to help you implement it.Add the Save Button
This one requires just a short piece of HTML code and will allow you to increase the reach of your campaigns beyond Pinterest.
Once installed, users can save images on your site or app to their boards.
There are two options: The button can appear automatically or when users hover over the top-left section of an image.
There is also a Pinterest Chrome extension that will allow visitors on your site to convert your images into Pins.Verify Your Site
A few easy steps will verify your website, which will add your profile picture to all of your Pins.
Again, this only requires the addition of a few lines of HTML code.3. Set Traffic & Conversion Goals for Your Business
Keep in mind that lead times on Pinterest can be much longer than you’re used to on Google or Facebook.
However, Pinterest still proves itself to be an effective lead generation tool.
In order to see success on this platform, you first need to determine what Pinterest means for your business and set appropriate goals.
How does Pinterest fit into your wider marketing strategy?
Does your target audience actively use Pinterest to find content like yours?
Once you’ve determined that Pinterest is the place for you, you can use the Pinterest tag to set up a wide variety of conversion events on your site.
Pinterest has a pretty detailed guide on creating conversion campaigns to aid in your lead generation efforts.
I recommend starting with metrics like impressions, traffic, and re-Pins before layering conversion goals on top of these.
You can gather a significant amount of data by simply following your traffic numbers and seeing what’s already working for your profile.
I also recommend that you avoid pushing overtly commercial messages until you’ve earned the trust of both Pinterest and your audience.
With Pinterest, slow and steady often wins the race.4. Conduct Keyword Research
While you may not be able to use your usual keyword research tools when it comes to Pinterest SEO, there is still a lot of validity in carrying out keyword research on Pinterest.
As a search engine, Pinterest curates their “feed” based on what a user is searching for and how those key terms are used in the Pins being shared by content creators.
These tips should help you uncover the right keywords for your Pins and boards.Use Guided Search
Guided search on Pinterest helps users narrow their focus and find more relevant results.
After searching for your target term, Pinterest automatically suggests semantically related modifiers.
These are a pretty good indicator of the most popular search queries for each topic.Test out Promoted Pins
The idea here is similar to how SEO professionals use AdWords to trial certain keywords to see how they perform before launching an entire SEO campaign.
Here, you can take your best-performing keywords on Google and use Promoted Pins to see if they’ll succeed on Pinterest.Explore Niche Topics
Fortunately, Pinterest already categorizes and sub-categorizes topics to make it easy to find keywords for your particular niche.
Your goal should be to explore all topics relevant to your business to see how ideas are categorized, as well as how your competitors are targeting specific keywords.5. Organize & Optimize Boards
Your keyword and consumer research for Pinterest should be a core consideration when you start to create boards.
Boards provide a great opportunity to tell Pinterest’s search engine how you categorize your products and/or organize your content, which will only aid visibility.
They are also the first thing users will see when they come to your profile, so you’ll want to make your board titles super clear and your images particularly eye-catching.
Below is an example of how I’ve organized my Pinterest boards based on the top search terms for my niche, including “Blogging 101,” “Work Online Jobs,” and “Blogs to Follow.”
I have also created custom board cover images to quickly identify what the boards are about.
While keyword optimization and board cover images are important parts of Pinterest SEO and engagement, boards need to be populated with high-quality Pins if you want to gain popularity.
You can’t skate by with poor content!6. Know the Anatomy of a Pin
Creating the perfect Pin takes finesse and a keen eye for what’s trending on the platform and in your industry as a whole.
In fact, I see Pin structure, fonts, sizes, wording, and images change all the time, you’ll need to stay on top of your game.
That said, there are still some clear rules of thumb that we should all follow when it comes to creating SEO-friendly Pins.Aim for Long Images
The optimal Pin size is 1,000px by 1,500px, or a ratio of 2:3.Use Eye-Catching Colors
Don’t let your Pins fade into the background.
Use high-contrast colors to catch users’ attention and stand out from the sea of competition.Include Enticing, Keyword-Rich Titles
Aim for “10 SEO Hacks for More Traffic,” not “SEO Tips” or something equally generic.7. Be Descriptive
As with your titles, it’s important to get descriptions right for SEO on Pinterest.
Including detailed descriptions (ideally with your target keywords), helps Pinterest locate and show your images in relevant searches.
Tell your audience how the content will benefit them, what they will learn, or, if you’re posting a product, an interesting fact that sets your product apart from your competitors.
A couple of sentences of around 100 characters in total is sufficient to provide some good detail.
You might also consider adding hashtags to your description to increase your visibility for these search terms.8. Schedule Pins with Tailwind
Tailwind is the #1 Pinterest scheduling app on the market and is a powerful (and affordable) tool when it comes to growing your Pinterest traffic.
With the desktop or mobile app, you can use Tailwind to your Pins to be re-Pinned on a regular basis to a variety of boards.
You can also select Pins from other creators to be shared to your boards in hopes of broadening your reach.
This app can save you hours of time compared to pinning manually.
Plus, the new addition of Tailwind Create allows you to transform your photos into personalized Pin designs so you can create, publish, and pin all in one place.9. Aim for Engagement
User engagement is super important on Pinterest.
This is due to the fact that more engagement can increase your Pin’s (and your profile’s) visibility in search, increasing your traffic, and, inevitably, your website conversions.
Use the following tips to improve your engagement and increase your search visibility:Link Your Pinterest Account to Your Other Social Media Accounts
This will increase awareness among your existing followers on other platforms.Invite Relevant Pinterest Influencers to Collaborate on a Board to Grow Your Own Following
If an influencer re-Pins one of your Pins, your content will be shown to a wider audience.Include Text as an Overlay on Your Images
As we can see for a search for “SEO,” Pins with a text overlay tend to rank well.Use a Website Like Canva to Create Multiple Pin Images
You can design different templates and test performance for each of your designs.Pin on a Consistent Basis
Buffer recommends pinning at least 5 times per day in order to see the widest reach.Follow Relevant Boards
Doing so will help you grow your network and push your Pins to a larger audience.Track Performance
Pinterest analytics will give you a lot of insight into how your profile is performing in organic search.10. Join Group Boards
Group boards are boards hosted by other creators who allow Pinners like you to pin your own content, plus the content of other members on the board.
Each group board is likely to have its own unique set of rules, but the general idea is that each member shares Pins from the other creators in order to broaden everyone’s reach.
Group boards are easy to identify by the fact that they will have multiple users associated with each board:
Once you have joined a few group boards, you can use a scheduling app like Tailwind to Pin your own content and re-Pin members’ content automatically.
This is a great way to double your traffic (or more).
Tailwind published a complete guide on how to find and join group boards, so I highly recommend following this resource if you’re struggling to find group boards on your own.11. Optimize for Visual Search
Pinterest’s Lens technology is a market leader in visual search.
By pointing a smartphone camera at a household item or piece of clothing, Pinterest can identify the object and suggest related Pins.
Lens is a fascinating piece of technology that’s skilled at understanding the components of an image in order to suggest other related posts.
With the ability to “read” an image, this technology encourages creators to think about aesthetics as well as keywords.
In creating your Pins, consider using high-quality images that are related to the content in your blog post or on your product page.
That way, you Pin could get shown to users who are searching for “Related Items,” even if you don’t include the actual search term in your text.12. Try Your Hand at Pinterest Ads
For better or for worse, nearly every other Pin today is a “promoted” Pin, which proves that many creators are paying to play.
Pinterest offers a variety of ad formats to choose from.
The most popular ones include:
Carousel: Users can scroll through multiple images.
Collections: Mix photos with product images.
Consider which ad format makes the most sense for your brand.
For example, if you’re an online clothing retailer, you’ll certainly want to have images and Shopping pins.
If you’re a YouTuber, promoting video clips may be the move.
Another idea is to create product demo videos and promote these on the platform.
In any case, you will want to test performance to determine what works best for your audience and brand.
Like Google SEO, Pinterest SEO shifts and changes all the time, so you’ll want to stay on top of current trends and monitor your analytics to fine-tune your personalized SEO strategy.
All screenshots taken by author, November 2023
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