Pinterest’s New “Visual Search”: Current & Future Opportunities for Brands

Pinterest recently launched a new feature enabling consumers to search using pictures instead of text, dubbed as “Visual Search.”

Now, when a user sees something within a Pin that they’d like to learn more about, they can “tap” a search tool. Pinterest will then display Pins similar to what was tapped. Pinterest uses the example of a user tapping a lamp within a Pin, and then discovering that the lamp is from Restoration Hardware. Users can find products in different sizes, colors and more:


Image from Pinterest


Pinterest has been viewed as a social media site, but refers to itself as a “vertical search site.” If Pinterest is indeed a vertical search site, this may change how brands approach it.

Search keywords have always been the best way to determine consumer intent, as the searcher is telling your brand exactly what they’re looking for. But searchers are moving well beyond search keywords in the discovery process. They’re relying on context, voice, and images—like in Pinterest Visual Search—to find what want.

Pinterest’s new feature can significantly impact the way brands understand and deliver upon consumer intent. Brands must ensure that their owned Pinterest pages and Pins are optimized for search. This will increase the likelihood that Visual Search will return a result for your page when users want it—in the moment. It’s basically SEO for Pinterest:

  1. Profile Optimization & Content: Create a description about your brand and optimize it with relevant keywords. Write detailed descriptions of the images you upload and make sure they contain relevant keywords. Leverage SEO learnings from your native site (e.g. keywords, copy) to build keyword lists for optimization.
  2. Verification: Verify your account as a brand account using this page, courtesy of Pinterest.
  3. Pinning Content: Promote pinning! Get users to Pin your images. The more pins, the higher your authority.
  4. Increase Followers: Place the follow button on your website, as you would for Twitter or Facebook. That way, you’re providing your consumers with easy access to click through to your Pinterest page.
  5. Links: Make sure all your links on your Pinterest page are up-to-date. If you’re publishing expired links or sending consumers to the wrong page, this will likely negatively impact your Pinterest ranking and authority.
  6. Take Advantage of Rich Pins: Set up Rich Pins to display pricing and information on products you’re displaying. This gives consumers more reason to click through if they’re interested in a product they come across in Visual Search.


You can imagine that Visual Search may soon feature a paid search capability. For instance, a lamp retailer could show a Sponsored Visual Search Pin when a user taps a lamp to see where it’s from. Depending on Visual Search adoption, this capability could be relevant for many brands.

Furthermore, Visual Search may—in the future—help brands obtain deeper insight on what searchers are looking for. With Pinterest’s capability of indexing what users are interested in, what they’re inquiring about, and what fixates them, brands may soon be able to grasp these insights for other advertising purposes, like re-targeting.

To learn more about Pinterest’s Visual Search tool or optimizing your Pinterest page, contact your Performics account team today.

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