Pinterest Marketing hacks

You’re Doing Pinterest Keyword Research Wrong: Here’s PROOF

Most Pinterest keyword research articles I read leave out something I think could be important.

They don’t do their research incognito. They’re logged into their account.

Why does that matter?

Because Pinterest can use your account’s search history, saves, pins and more to tailor the results to you. Even if you log out, your browser still saves your cookies and browser history.

These may affect your keyword search results sometimes. The extent to how much depends on a number of factors. But to ensure you don’t chance getting skewed results, it’s best to do your research incognito.

In this post, I’m explaining why doing keyword research while logged into your account can change the results. Then we’re explaining how you may see a different set of keywords.


What’s Incognito?

Incognito mode AKA private browsing is a web browser feature. When you use it, it doesn’t save any local data.

After you’re done browsing the web and hit exit, your cookies, temporary files or other data are deleted. The main benefit for many people is that it doesn’t save your browsing history.

When you do keyword research incognito, it isn’t using any of your data.

If you’re using Google Chrome, you can select File > New Incognito Window

You’ll know it’s an incognito window because the screen says “You’ve Gone Incognito” and it will be a dark color.

Pinterest keyword research and strategy, pinterest incognito

Most other major browsers have a similar feature, whether it’s called “private” or “incognito” window.


How Does Pinterest Use Search History to Interfere with Keyword Research?

My Dog Pinterest account only pins and saves dog related content. But if I use that account to search a pasta recipe, I’ll see pasta recipes on my home feed or in my keyword suggestions when I’m typing afterwards. Why?

Because Pinterest wants to give you want you want to see. It’s in their best interest for you to be on the site for longer. To do that, they use some data to curate what you see.

When we do keyword research while logged into our account, it’s possible that Pinterest is using our account data and browser history to curate our results. That means that we may get keyword research results that are accurate to us or people who search similar to us—but not the general population or our niche necessarily.

For example, a good keyword research trick is to type in a keyword and use the recommended boxes at the top to see what other people are searching for. Based on this, you can shape your keywords or content.

When I do my keyword research using this trick, the results are different depending on whether I’m logged into my dog Pinterest account or incognito.

The top 5 suggestions on my dog account are:

  1. Peanut butter
  2. Easy
  3. Healthy
  4. Sensitive stomach
  5. Pumpkin

 Pinterest keyword research and strategy, pinterest incognito


My incognito top 5 suggestions are:

  1. Easy
  2. Peanut butter
  3. Pumpkin
  4. Liver
  5. Healthy

Pinterest keyword research and strategy, pinterest incognito

The results are somewhat similar. However, consider that liver was #4 incognito while on my account, it wasn’t even listed. It’s like my search results knew there was no way in hell I was cooking liver (sorry if you like liver, but it’s creepy to me). With that being said, I now know that despite my dislike, other people are searching for it a lot. I wouldn’t know that if I stuck to keyword research in my account.


How to Do Pinterest Keyword Research Incognito

It’s not the easiest to do keyword research incognito.

That’s because Pinterest sometimes pushes you to login before it shows you the search bar.

Pinterest keyword research and strategy, pinterest incognito

One option is to get a “fake” account you just use for keyword research. However, that’s not a great idea after the first time because the account gains search history, which, again, will affect the results.

So here’s the workaround.

Type your general subject + Pinterest into Google.

Pinterest keyword research and strategy, pinterest incognito

For example, if I’m writing about dog food I’ll just type in “dog Pinterest.”

Google will give you a link to Pinterest search results for “dog.”

… And you’re in!

Pinterest keyword research and strategy, pinterest incognito

You can use the search bar without the pesky login popup or trying to find the search bar in your un-logged-in homepage.

Type in whatever topic you need keywords for. These results aren’t based on your own data.

This way, your results are less likely to be skewed.

Somebody could argue that their account’s data would be similar to their customers so the research should be accurate while their logged in. It’s true that your data could be somewhat similar if you and your customer had similar interests and you weren’t logged into a personal account. However, consider that what you search within your niche may not match the most popular preferences (as with my liver dog treat example).

Depending on your search history, this may not play a big factor. But since it’s hard to be sure, the best way, in my opinion, is to go incognito.


Summary on Doing Pinterest Keyword Research Incognito

Doing keyword research on Pinterest is essential to having well-performing pins. However, doing that research while logged into your account or in your regular browser can skew the results. That’s because Pinterest uses your data to tailor your search results. To prevent this and get more accurate and different results, do keyword research incognito.

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