Did you know that Pinterest is now ranked as the 3rd largest social media network?
In fact, now my 1st referral source for social traffic.
Pinterest wasn’t really my favorite marketing tool back in 2013, since my niche is focused on “marketing” & “tech” which are not ‘so’ visually-oriented subjects.
But after conducting some research, I’ve learned how there are so many ways you can be creative even if you’re in a boring industry.
So I jumped on the bandwagon, then boom! Pinterest traffic started rolling in and has been increasing steadily.
It takes time, but it’s worth it. And heck, we all know that the majority of people are visual learners. So we have to do what it takes to please our blog readers, right?
Why Pinterest Really?
Detailed benefits of Pinterest for your blog:
1) Boost referral traffic. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest brings twice the site referral traffic of Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn – combined for referral traffic.
What’s more, the content you upload in Pinterest has a longer lifespan than Twitter and Facebook. And that means, the more followers, repins and clicks you get, the more traffic you’ll receive.
2) Drive traffic from search engines. Like other social networks, Pinterest works as a SEO tool. Remember, Google quickly indexes pages from websites with heavy traffic, your pins could show up in top search results if your account is properly optimized.
3) Generate more ideas to blog about. Leverage your traffic by creating content related to what’s trending and what your audience are pinning.
4) Reduce expenses. Pinterest is free, and you’ll probably spend only around $5-$10/month for some app to keep your Pinterest updated.
In other words, Pinterest is one of the social media channels for marketing your blog, especially if your target audience is women or the younger generation. But you’ve got to use solid strategies to make it work for you. You need to know how to be searchable and make people like your content to effectively funnel traffic to your blog. And that’s what I’m going to teach you in this post.
Let’s get started!
How-To: Use Pinterest Effectively
#A: Enhance Your Profile
This is the chance to show readers who you are and of course, this is how you make a killer first impression. Not only that, optimizing your profile can make you look follow-worthy and can help you show up in search engines (even in Pinterest search results). So make sure you don’t leave any information blank!
- Add keywords beside your name. Be easily found in Pinner search results. For example, you’re an event planner, you can add “Event Planner” beside your name. Take a look at this example, I was searching for “social media” pinners and these came up in the top results:
- Include links to social networks. Let people know you’re active in other social networks too. Plus, you gain more followers and connect with people across networks.
- Verify your website URL. Aside from getting additional traffic, verifying your site will make you look authentic. In addition to that, you get access to Pinterest Analytics. Sounds awesome right?
- Create a custom URL. Use something that shows what you are representing.
- Upload a profile photo relevant to your industry. Recommended size is 165 X 165 pixels. Include keywords in your photo’s filename for SEO.
- Add important keywords in your bio. Whatever you deem necessary to help you show up in search results.
- Add your location. Boost local traffic.
- Turn off your “Search Privacy” settings. You want your pins and boards to be indexed by search engines so make sure you’re searchable. You can do this through your account settings.
Important: Don’t abuse keywords. You don’t want to look spammy so make sure your keywords flow naturally through your profile.
#B: Organize & Optimize Your Boards
You also need to optimize your boards to attract more followers and to be easily discovered in search results. Here’s how:
- Use enticing cover photos. Grab people’s attention by choosing the best cover photo for each board.
- Create specific board title. Place important keywords in your board title to rank higher in board search results. Keep it to 20 characters or less. For example, instead of naming your board “Party Ideas”, you can name it as “Sweet 16 Party Ideas” or “Party Ideas for Girls”.
- Write clear description and add relevant keywords. Let people know what your board is about. Get in the search results more often by incorporating plenty of keywords to your board description.
- Add enough pins in each board to make them look complete. Make sure to add them in the proper board. You can either pin from your blog, search for pinners related to your board niche or pin from your favorite sites.
- Create “Top Pins” board. Besides showing off your most popular pins, this is a great way to tell people “You should repin this because… “this is useful”, “your followers will love this too”, “this will touch your life”.
- Put your best boards to the top row. Re-arrange and move the boards you want to be easily seen or ‘noticed’ to the top row of your page. It can be your most popular boards, most updated boards or boards related to current events. For example, during Christmas season, you can add your boards that contain pins related to Christmas.
Smart Tip: When you’re about to create a new board and you plan to load it up with a chunk of pins, it’s better to use a secret board first so you can avoid flooding your followers feed. You can make it public when it’s ready to be launched. (Borrowed from Jeff Sieh)
#C: Pin Like a Pro
You have to be a little more creative with your pins in order to get noticed. I remember what Paul Bruemmer said.. “It’s not just about pinning, but about optimizing with a purpose.” By optimizing, you make your pins more findable, so more people can discover you. Here’s how:
- Write a valuable description. Be awesome. Craft a meaningful message or share a story to add some value to your pin. You have 500 characters so use it wisely.
- Optimize your pin description. In addition to creating a valuable message, you need to optimize your pin for SEO purposes as well as to spark engagement on your pin. Here’s how: use keywords / mention people / insert a clear CTA (e.g. ask for comments or feedback / include your blog or page URL).
- Use large, tall and eye-catching images. Your pin must be at least 600px wide for best results. Bright images are pinned more often than plain ones. Preferred colors are red, orange and brown. Here are some tools to make your pins look even nicer: PicMonkey / PiktoChart / Canva. Remember to include a watermark!
- Add the correct source URL. This will make your pin “clickable”. So if you own your graphic, ALWAYS link back to your page URL. If you don’t own the content, add the original source link.
- Never use URL shorteners. Pinterest is blocking link shorteners such bit.ly, goo.gl, etc.
- Use search-friendly filename for images. Improve your searchability by using readable words that contain keywords in your images filename. For example, instead of using “loo095928473.png”, use “how-to-grow-pinterest-followers.png”.
- Use rich pins. Make your content more informative. Using this feature will automatically show extra details such as the author name, recipe, ratings, story description and much more. You may need a web developer or a plugin to implement this function. Read Vincent Ng’s tutorial here.
According to Hubspot, including CTA (call-to-action) to your pin description will pump up engagement by 80%.
#D: Pin Strategically
Be smart too when pinning visual content! Here are some ingredients to boost your chance to make your pin go viral.
- Pin regularly. Being active and consistent will increase your chance of gaining traffic and will make you a trustworthy source. According to Susan from Ahalogy, around 15-30 pins is optimal. The best times to pin are: 2-4PM EST and 8-1AM EST.
- Schedule your pins. This way you avoid flooding your followers’ feeds while keeping your account fresh and updated. I recommend TailWindApp or ViralTag to schedule your pins.
- Add more pins that your targeted audience will love. Think of what will interest people who would visit your blog. Determine your audience interests, and pin accordingly.
- Repin from different places. Don’t just pin from Pinterest alone. Add the “Pin It” button to your browser so you can easily share useful things you find on the web – without having to manually upload content. Here are some other useful places to find pins: Stumbleupon / Tumblr / Visual.ly or from your favorite sites. This way you can keep your “board” fresh.
- Stalk the influencers in your niche. See what they are pinning and their most popular pins. This will give you an idea what kind of content to pin (or repin).
- Get influencers with huge following to pin your content. This is one of the best ways to get your pin to go viral. You can do this by following them, sharing their content regularly and mentioning them in a not annoying way. And of course, you must have amazing content. You can also reach them outside Pinterest – through email or other social networks.
- Test which content gets the most repins. And learn from them. You can add similar pins and expect similar-ish traffic in return. Use your Pinterest web analytics to determine the “most repinned”.
- Share pins related to current trends or events. Boost your click-through rate by 94% when you pin related to current trends. For example, it’s Valentines day, create or repin some content related to it.
- Create content related to popular trends in Pinterest. Look for the popular pins and the top categories in Pinterest and see how you can make your own content related to them.
- Pin multiple types of content. Vary your content, pin other visual stuff such as videos and animated gifs.
- Repin older content to other relevant boards. Some of your followers don’t follow all your boards so they can’t really see what you pin to the other boards. Plus, not everyone will see your pin the first time around. For example, I can repin my “Google+ Tips” infographic from “Google Plus Tips” board to “Social Media Tips” board. You get it.
- Avoid self promotion. According to Pinterest, “Pinterest is designed to share content you love, so don’t use it purely as a tool for self-promotion.” In fact, pinners preferred images without human faces. It’s 23% more likely to receive a repin.
Interesting stats to help you determine what to pin:
- 42% higher CTR for DIY/Tutorias/Recipe pins (Hubspot)
- 36% more likes on pins that include prices (Hubspot)
- 1/3 of U.S. women use Pinterest (Mashable)
- 80% of users are female (comScore)
Make use of Pinterest apps for mobile to avoid sitting at your computer all day.
- Be responsive. Since getting is as important as giving. Reply to comments, or like pins of people who repin your content. Just a few minutes a day should be enough.
- Collaborate. Invite contributors to pin on your board or join group boards. Try to hook up with popular pinners to expose yourself to a larger audience. Use PinGroupie to find group boards of a specific niche.
- Connect your social media accounts to Pinterest. So your Facebook and Twitter friends can see your stuff. You can automatically publish your Pinterest activity on your Facebook Timeline.
- Follow people in your industry. Especially people who are influential and who provide quality pins.
- Run a contest directly on your site. Here’s another superb way to spread your content in Pinterest and gain more traffic. But be sure to follow their contest rules to avoid being penalized.
Here’s how you can find people related to your niche: Login to your Pinterest account, use some keywords related to your niche on the search bar and click “Pinners”.
#F: Use Pinterest Widgets on your site
Take advantage of Pinterest widgets, make it easy for your readers to share your content and to follow your account. Here’s how:
- Use a “Pin It” hover button to your blog.. Make your blog post images pin-able by installing a “pin” button to your images. I am currently using SumoMe‘s Image Sharer plugin. Try to hover on any image within this post, see how you can easily share my images to Pinterest?
- Add a PIN it button. You can use this along the “Pin It” hover button to make your post easier to share. I recommend using SumoMe‘s social sharing buttons which include a “PIN it” button. See that pin it button floating at the left side of my content?
- Embed a board widget. Make your Pinterest content easily accessible. It can be on your sidebar or footer.
- Embed a pin within your blog post. Create “pinnable” content related to your blog post and pin it on your account, then “embed” the pin to your post. See example embedded pin at the bottom of this article.
#G: Use a business page
If you don’t have a Pinterest business business page already, consider switching to one today. If you started using Pinterest for personal reasons, you probably have a personal account now.
However, if you are a business, big or small, you should set up a Pinterest Business Page. Its benefits include access to valuable analytics, which will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t on your Pinterest account!
Follow Pinterest Business Blog to receive updates about their products and tips about improving your business.
What about you? Which Pinterest strategy do you use to drive traffic to your blog?