Hashtags on Pinterest: Are they hurting your account?

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

One of the biggest questions with the Pinterest-sphere is “Are hashtags on Pinterest still a thing?”.

Let me give the full update on what’s happening with the Pinterest algorithm and if they are still relevant to Pinterest marketing today.

Are Hashtags on Pinterest still relevant?

The short answer is no but let me explain. Back in the day, Pinterest would recommend you would add hashtags to your pins to get noticed by more of your audience. However, things have changed, and hashtags are no longer a strategy to get noticed on the platform.

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Now, will they hurt your account if you use them? Not really but they won’t do anything for your account so it’s better to leave those hashtags for Instagram. 

What are hashtags on Pinterest?

Hashtags are commonly used on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok. They help categorize content and display content in the topics that the user is looking for. 

For example, if a user is looking for content on nails on a social media platform they might write #nailideas within the platform to find some great ideas.

Why did hashtags on Pinterest not work?

Hashtags on Pinterest didn’t work and would have never worked in my opinion, because Pinterest is simply not a social media platform, Pinners do not search via hashtags, they search via keywords instead. 

Pinterest is not a community-building platform, we go there to search for ideas and inspiration as we do with a search engine.

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Similar to Google and other search engines out there we use keywords to search for topics instead.

HASHTAGS ON PINTEREST: ARE THEY HURTING YOUR ACCOUNT?
Photo by Fahim Reza on Unsplash

What’s a Pinterest keyword?

A Pinterest keyword could be one word or a long-tail keyword which is a string of words. These are more uncommon on Pinterest and more common on the likes of Google.

For example, a keyword is

‘Nails’ or ‘Travel 

A long-tail keyword is:

‘Nail ideas’ or ‘travel destinations’

This is how users are searching for ideas on Pinterest in 2022. Instead of a search engine that provides words, Pinterest is a visual search engine meaning that images (pins) are shown instead to inspire the pinner to take action.

How do I get noticed on Pinterest? 

What should you do instead of using Pinterest hashtags and how can you get noticed on Pinterest? It’s using keywords! 

It’s quite simple, if you want to show up in front of your target audience you have to use the language and words they are searching for. 

For example, if I’m creating a pin on the topic “best things to do in New Zealand’ some keywords my target audience might be typing to get that kind of results could be:

  • New Zealand travel
  • Things to do in New Zealand
  • NZ travel
  • New Zealand 

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How did I find those keywords? Those I just guessed based on what I would type into Pinterest if I was searching for ideas on what to do on Pinterest.

But there are more concrete ways to find those search terms and I would highly recommend not just guessing.

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If you would like to do the keyword research yourself there are a few ways to do this. You can simply search for a keyword you think pinners might be typing and you’ll see some suggestions pop up below. If you press enter you should then see some coloured tiles which are also suggestions.

Another way is to go to the ads manager and find keywords like you’re creating an ad. 

Where should I put keywords on Pinterest?

I would recommend not just putting them in your pin descriptions but also:

Pin Title

Try to have at least 1 highly searched keyword within the pin title. Your title needs to grab the attention of the pinners when scrolling so make it good, juicy but to the point. Don’t add fluff.

Some examples of great headlines could be:

  • 5 ways to reorganize your kitchen today
  • 10 Must-visit travel destinations
  • The best butter chicken recipes you’ll ever make

Numbers within titles do well on Pinterest as well as words like ‘must-visit’ or ‘best’. 

Pin description

For every pin, you crate you should be creating a description for them. If you want to create a pin description easily, grab my free pin description formula here. 

Within the pin description, you need to have keywords within so that you give your pin the best chance to rank for multiple keywords. I recommend having at least 5 keywords, hopefully, more. BUT this is important; DO NOT KEYWORD STUFF. 

This is when you copy and paste a bunch of keywords that don’t form sentences, and this is not a good thing to do on Pinterest. You may get some success at first however it might be short-lived, and you could seriously hurt your account.

A pin description should be descriptive and lead people to want to know more. here’s an example of one of my pin descriptions:

“When it comes to blogging, you need a tool that will help your blog professionally. A laptop is an essential piece of equipment when building your blog business. Consider these factors before making any purchase. Laptops are expensive and it’s one of the most important blog resources. Don’t buy one without thinking about what features are most important for your needs and budget”

The bolded words are all keywords that pinners are actively searching for, and I know this because I did some keyword research.

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Pin design

Yes, use your main keyword within the heading of your actual pin if you are overlaying text on your pin. Since Pinterest is a visual search engine it takes cues from your actual image and not just your title and description.

So, if your header is related to your actual bit of content and what you’ve described within your title and description, you’re more likely to rank on Pinterest.

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Alt text

The alt text is used for the visually impaired to explain the image to them. When you save your design on Canva (and if you’re not using Canva then get it now!), put your keyword in the name of the jpg or png as well as explain the photo and its content. 

Profile name & description

 Now bigger picture you also need to optimize your Pinterest account. 

The two places you can insert the keyword that relates to your overall niche is your name and your profile description. In these two places, you should be able to insert a few keywords within, so that your profile is searchable if your target pinners are trying to search for a profile in your niche.

This also helps Pinterest to know where your pins fit in and what you’re an expert in. It makes Pinterest’s job easier to know exactly what topics you should be popping up for.

Board name and board descriptions

Board names should be keyword focused with no fancy name or symbols because you want to make your boards searchable. If I was in the candle making business, I might create boards such as:

  • holiday candles
  • candle decor ideas
  • candle holders
  • home decor candles
  • book candles

These are keywords those pinners are typing into Pinterest so this is the kind of board I could create to attract those pinners to my business.

You should write a board description for every board you have that include lots of keywords in there. Describe what topics your board focuses on and who the board is perfect for!

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This is an example of one of my board descriptions:

“Welcome to my Albania travel board! Here you will find the best places to visit in Albania, the best Albania beaches to visit, Albania travel tips and Albania travel guides including Ksamil, Sarandë, Tirana, Vlore, Dhermi, Pogradec, Berat, Valbona, Kruja and more. I’m Anita, a travel blogger of 9 years and I help people who want to travel to underrated destinations and give them practical up-to-date travel itineraries, travel tips and travel guides. To learn more, go to www.anitahendrieka.com”

Within this board description, I have described what kind of content pinners can expect to find on my boards and when you search for the keyword ‘Albania travel’ and filter to see boards, I’m in the top 3. That is because I have used keywords that relate to that subject and I’m actively pinning content that’s relevant to that board.

I hope now you understand that hashtags are no longer relevant to Pinterest and what you should do instead.

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