PinterestSo, you’re using Pinterest. It makes you one of 70 million users, which is a phenomenal number. And here are a few more numbers to contemplate – there are over 30 billion pins on Pinterest and some 750 million pin boards. Does anyone hear alarm bells ringing yet? Yep, that’s a lot of pinning going on, so how the heck do you make sure your pins get seen?

The good news is pins tend to remain relevant for some time (unlike tweets and Facebook posts that are so transient, unless you’re incredibly lucky to go viral!). About half of all Pinterest visits occur several months after the content was first pinned, so the possibility of your pins being discovered for months to come are pretty good. And the reason for this is that Pinterest acts like a visual search engine – and what is the first rule of getting a good ranking on search engines? Optimisation, of course!

So how do you optimise your pins?

Using a couple of keywords within your pin description will naturally increase your chances of being found in a search. Make sure that you choose popular keywords that are relevant to your business and, if possible, load the beginning of your pin description with those keywords. If you’re not sure how best to do this, why not take a look at pins in the most-pinned categories – you can learn a lot from what others do. And if you’re struggling to decide what your keywords should be, test them out by typing words into the search box that relate to your business sector – other popular suggestions will then also show up.

Remember that your pin description is like the headline on a poster, it needs to grab attention immediately. Much of Pinterest’s traffic comes via smartphones, so your description needs to work within limited space – the first 125 characters are key (not too tricky if you’re a Twitter regular!) 🙂

Optimising your business name is also a clever trick. Don’t just rely on your brand name. Edit your profile (in Settings) and add keywords that will help your business by found in searches.

Participating on Group Boards can be a good strategy. Many have thousands of followers and it’s a great opportunity to get your pins seen by an already engaged and targeted audience in a relatively short space of time. A little more challenging is starting up your own group board, especially if there are no existing board that seem like a good fit. Invite pinners that you follow to join your group board and see what happens.

Keep adding those pins

And just as Google thrives on fresh content, so Pinterest will work better for you if you pin regularly. Not surprisingly, a consistent approach is more likely to achieve results and increase the number of followers you have. Some Pinterest experts advise pinning up to 25 times a day, which might be a big call for the busy small business owner, but if you can pin 5-10 times a day you won’t be doing too badly. The worst thing, of course, would be to go all out for a couple of weeks adding loads of pins, only to run out of steam and then do nothing for months. Sound familiar?!

Test out different times of the day for adding pins. After all, pins are visible 24 hours a day and you may be trying to attract global audiences, as well as a more local following. Look for trends regarding days and times when your pins are mostly liked and repinned and then exploit that knowledge.

And don’t be afraid to repin old pins – your followers won’t have seen every single one of your pins and for new followers your old pins will be totally new to them. And whether a follower has seen that pin before or not, it’s sometimes good to remind them of that information!

The more repins and click-throughs your pins receive, the higher they will show up in Pinterest searches. Using some of these tips will help you achieve this goal.