The 2021 Guide to Pinterest Keywords

There is no doubt that Pinterest is one of the most underappreciated platforms out there. The potential is limitless and most businesses should not only have an account, but also be actively pinning.

Like many Pinners, you might be frustrated after spending significant time creating beautiful pins only to see very few site visits via Pinterest. While Pinterest is a very visual platform it is also a search engine. This means that it acts like a search engine in understanding the content posted as well as content searched for.

How do we communicate with a search engine? Pinterest keywords!

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is alive and well on Pinterest and today we are going to learn about

  • Pinterest keywords
  • keyword research on Pinterest
  • where to use keywords
  • and what are Pinterest hashtags and do I need them?

This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission on purchases made through the links. This is at no additional cost to you and helps keep the site running.

What are Pinterest keywords?

Similar to the keywords for webpages, Pinterest keywords are simply words or short phrases to describe a topic. This can be as broad as “healthy recipes” or as specific as “easy healthy recipes on a budget”.

Keywords are created out of the relationship between creators and users. Individuals dive into topics of interest by typing in keywords into the Pinterest search bar while creators then use them to promote their relevant content. As Pins are clicked and saved, Pinterest determines which content matched the user intent, similar to Google.

Popular content that users tend to save and share is then pushed to the top of the page for relevant keywords.

How to do Pinterest keyword research

Keyword research is finding the relevant keywords for your work. Finding and properly utilizing your relevant keywords will help get your content in front of your ideal audience.

Pinterest keywords can be found in four areas:

Pinterest Bubbles

You have probably already seen these colorful bubbles on Pinterest below the search bar. These are Pinterest keywords! Collected from the most popular search terms around a topic.

Above you will see I entered “healthy recipes”. Because it is such a broad category (keyword) there are many sub-categories that appear in the bubbles below.

When doing this for yourself make a list of all of the keywords/topics that you write about. This includes the broad terms and specific niches. Enter each of these words into the Pinterest search bar and make a list of the bubbled results.

I also advise that when you are clicking between bubbles to also view the type of content that ranks at the top for each one. This will help you understand if your content is matching what Pinterest says should be there.

*Troubleshooting* If the colored bubbles do not appear for you, next to the search bar change All Pins to Videos.

Search Bar

The Pinterest search bar is another resource to help find keywords. If you have an active Pinterest account simply click in the search bar and a drop down menu should appear.

Here you will find topics that are popular on Pinterest. Browse for relevant content then click to open. Once the page opens you will also be given the bubbled keywords (when available). This is a great technique for businesses and creators in beauty and fashion, home decor, and food.

As you are browsing this content, add relevant keywords to your list.

Search Suggestions

When you type something into the Pinterest search bar, but before you click Enter, there will be search suggestions. This is very similar to how Google works.

Here you will find keywords that are being searched on Pinterest. Also below you will see some of the top accounts within these topics. This can be a great way to see what your competitors are doing.

Add any new relevant keywords from this process to your list.


Pinterest Trends is a great resource for browsing all of the hottest trends on Pinterest. At the moment it only covers search trends in the US, UK, and Canada.

On the front page you can browse all of the latest Pinterest trends to see if there are relevant topics to click through and browse. It is also possible to type in search terms into the box to see search volumes over time.

*Troubleshooting: If you are outside of the US, UK, or Canada and want to see Pinterest Trends then go to your Pinterest profile and change your location to the US. They will then appear.

The above photo shows results before clicking Enter.

Once you hit Enter on a search term you should see the page shown below. Here you can see over time how a trend is progressing as well as related terms and popular Pins.

Pinterest Trends also allows you to compare search terms so you can compare the volume of each search. This is incredibly useful so that you avoid keywords with very low search volume.

Above you can see “healthy eating” “healthy recipe” vs “healthy recipes”. While you might discuss healthy eating habits on your blog you can see that healthy recipes is trending at the moment so it is a great opportunity to capitalize. Push your content that is relevant or create new content just for Pinterest.

Pinterest Predicts

Each year Pinterest releases Pinterest Predicts which highlights a range of trends Pinterest has seen a rise in and expects to continue throughout 2021. Eight out of ten of their predictions in 2020 were correct so it is worth keeping an eye on to be ahead of the curve.

Topics can be filtered by Audience (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, or Boomers) or by Category (Beauty, Celebrations, Fashion, Finance, Food and beverage, Hobbies and interests, Home, Parenting, Travel, and Wellbeing).

Some of the top Pinterest predictions for 2021

  • car date night
  • face yoga exercises
  • poke bowl sauce
  • neon room
  • manifestation techniques
  • aesthetic embrodiery
  • branding your business
  • breakfast charcuterie boards
  • cocoon sweater
  • colored glassware
  • Japanese carpentry


Download this FREE workbook to find the perfect keywords and a content strategy that will put your business in front of your dream customers.

How to use keywords on Pinterest

Now that you know what keywords are and where to find them we can discuss how to use keywords on Pinterest.

Keywords are used anywhere, but this does not give you an invitation to stuff them into every sentence. No one wants to read that.

Integrating keywords into your text, often referred to as optimizing, is an art form. It will take practice but once you are familiar with the process it will get easier and easier.

Sit down with your top ten keywords and try to craft several interesting sentences with each of them. Try to avoid stiff language that doesn’t feel natural or as if keywords were “stuffed” into the text. Now try writing a call to action with your keywords. The more you write the easier it will become.

Let’s dive into where those keywords need to be used!

Optimizing your Pinterest profile

Remember how earlier when I put a keyword into the search box and profiles that matched that term appeared. This is because their profiles were optimized for those keywords.

There are several elements to the Pinterest profile that can be optimized. One place that you can take advantage of is your display name. There is enough space to also include your specialties or niches along side your name.

Sally to the Rescue | Virtual Assistant + Digital Marketing

Pinning Pam | Pinterest Specialist Extraordinaire

Above are examples of what this could look like. Just dropping any keywords from your research will not be useful. Truly consider what your business is offering to readers and speak to that.

Below your title is space for a description. You get enough space for about one to two sentences so make it count! If you are just getting started, use this opportunity to introduce your business.

Sally to the Rescue might write “I offer bespoke digital marketing solutions to scale your business from the comfort of my sweatpants. Book a free call -link to a landing page-“

Pinning Pam will want to push her Pinterest expertise and services so her description might look like this: “Pinterest marketing strategy for busy people. I help online businesses increase traffic and sales.”

This task is not easy but I promise it will be rewarding. Being able to communicate what you do and what problems you solve in one to two sentences will be a game-changer.

If you have a call to action (CTA) for readers to sign up to your mailing list, a course, or book a service be sure to include a landing link at the end of your description.

Pinterest boards and keywords

After you finished optimizing your profile it is time to optimize your Pinterest boards with keywords.

Based on the keyword list you made before, paired with your website content, you should have at least five Pinterest boards that you can optimize.

We will continue with our previous topic of healthy recipes. Five potential boards you could use would be Healthy Dinner Recipes, Healthy Snack Ideas, Healthy Baking, Simple Salads, and Quick and Healthy Lunch Recipes.

These titles are concise and not very original sounding but they communicate efficiently with readers and most importantly, with Pinterest. Inside your board, you can also provide a description – which you should definitely do.

The description is a great opportunity to introduce the topic of the board and include all of keywords that you will be using to guide its contents.

For the board Healthy Snack Ideas a good description would look like this:

Healthy snack ideas for kids and adults, quick and easy snack recipes, weight loss friendly, and perfect for on the go. Find healthy snack recipes that are low carb, keto, and vegan.

Keywording your Pins

Finally, and probably the most important is keywording your Pinterest Pins. This involves the title and description of the Pin that appears when you view a Pin – not directly on the Pin image.

While the Pin design is important to entice readers to click through or save, the title and description help Pinterest determine where that Pin can be found. Treat Pin descriptions similarly to meta descriptions for blog articles. This text communicates with Pinterest and with the reader. It is your pitch to convince them to click through to read more.

It is good practice to make the copy compelling, concise, and communicate what that content can do for the reader all while being optimized with relevant keywords.

The Pin description is a great opportunity to sprinkle in related keywords. Describe what is in the content; utilize headings, keywords, and a call to action.

Organizing Pinterest Keywords

I have created a template that you can use in Excel or Google Sheets to organize all of your Pinterest keywords and important information. The document includes three sheets.

Analytics: Pinterest analytics are limited. I use this sheet to track important information that can be found in the analytics part of Pinterest. You can track daily, weekly, or monthly. It is also useful to keep notes in the final column about anything that could affect numbers (algorithm change, took a break from pinning, strategy change, etc.).

Pins: This is one of the most valuable sheets you will create. Each article or page that you will be promoting on Pinterest should be on this sheet with the appropriate information. This will help infinitely with making fresh new pins in no time.

Keywords: A Pinterest keyword tracking tool to organize your keywords. The structure of this sheet follows the instructions for Pinterest keyword research above.

The document also includes notes about how to use each page or where to find the data requested. As they say, work smarter – not harder.

How often should you do keyword research?

There is no exact time limit to when keyword research expires but I do suggest checking at least every 6 months. If you are Pinning regularly you will get a feel for how things progress on the platform. Depending on your niche there may not be many changes, but it is good practice to check occasionally.

If your Pins are not performing well it might be time for keyword research. It isn’t the only reason – it can be the design, the content, or even the time of day you are posting.

Pinterest and SEO: Best Practices

That was a ton of information so let’s review the major points of interest.

  • Pinterest is not a social media platform but a search engine. This means that content should be optimized to communicate with the search engine (SEO).
  • Keywords are categories, topics, or niches.
  • Pinterest keywords can be found in the search bar, colored bubbles above search results, or within trends.
  • An optimized profile and Pinterest boards are the foundation to Pinterest success. Be sure to be consistent and use the appropriate keywords in your titles and descriptions.
  • Pinterest Pins also need to be optimized and include keywords in the title and description.
  • Keyword research for Pinterest should be done once or twice a year to update current trends.

Best of luck optimizing your Pinterest profile and doing keyword research. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

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