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Pinterest has been a huge game changer for my business and website traffic ever since I started really using it in the start of 2018. (Which was also the start of my business blog.) This “social media” platform may not seem like much from the first glance, but it is so much more than you may think. Pinterest is technically a visual search engine, and a powerful one at that. From the first few months of using it, it quickly became one of my top two referrals for website traffic.
In this post, I’m going to show you how I use Pinterest to my advantage to really explode my website traffic. Plus, I’m going to show you how I do all of this without paying a dime! I’ll share some additional paid resources which can help improve your strategy, but if you don’t have the budget, don’t worry! Gaining great traffic from Pinterest can be done for free. Let’s get started!
How to Explode Your Website Traffic with Pinterest
OPTIMIZE YOUR BUSINESS ACCOUNT
When you sign up for Pinterest, you have the option to create a Personal or a Business account. If this is for your business, you’ll obviously want to create a business account so you can access the awesome features like your profile & pin analytics, claiming your website, and even have the ability to create ads. If you already have an account, you can also convert it to a business account. Once you have your business account created, you’ll want to do a few things to really optimize your account for searches:
1. Grab your business username
Since this account is for your business, make sure you grab the username for your business instead of a random username. This will make it easier for your audience to find you if they decide to search for you in Pinterest! For example, my username is Pinterest.com/TarangoVisualStudio
2. Upload a good quality profile picture
Make sure you upload an appealing, high quality image as your profile picture. Some like to use their logo for their profile picture, and I think that works more for eCommerce and product based businesses. But, if you’re a blogger, course creator, or you provide services to others in your business, like I do, I think using an actual photo of yourself helps you better connect and appeal to your audience. If you’re unsure of what to use, first determine who your actual Target Audience is for your business, then go with what you think they would want to see or what your competitors are doing.
3. Create a keyword-rich Display Name, Profile Description, & Boards
When editing your profile and creating boards, it’s important to add keywords into all of your Pinterest Boards, your Profile Description, and even your Display Name. Don’t just put your business name, add what you do and who you help. Make sure to include your most important keywords in the descriptions, (remember Pinterest is more like a search engine – it has it’s own SEO) but don’t go overboard by overstuffing them.
4. Claim your website & other accounts
If you go to your Account Settings (click the three dots on the top right when you’re signed in), you’ll find an area labeled, “Claim.”
From here, you can claim your website, Instagram, Youtube, and even Etsy account so that when someone creates a pin from any of those areas that you own, it will automatically be attached to your account. When someone creates a new pin from any of your claimed areas, it will show up under the Activity tab on your Profile. You can enable this to be visible to the public if you’d like as well!
5. Setup Rich Pins
Rich pins show additional metadata about your pin in addition to its Pinterest title & description. This can let your audience know more about the pin when they click on it to see it fully. There’s 4 types of Rich Pins. In order of priority there are App Pins, Product Pins, Recipe Pins and Article Pins. This step may be a bit more difficult to setup depending on which platform your website is built with.
If you’re using WordPress + Yoast, you’re covered as Pinterest automatically pulls the type of metadata it needs from your website to create your rich pins. All you need to do is enable the “Advanced Settings Pages” within your Yoast settings. After you do this, just visit this page to validate your Rich Pins.
For instructions on how to setup and validate your Rich Pins on other platforms, visit this guide from Pinterest. As an example, here’s one of my Product Rich Pins which also displays the product price:
• Related Reading: 7 Reasons Why You Should Choose WordPress Over Squarespace (& Wix!)
6. Create a Featured Board
On your Pinterest profile, you can now feature one, or multiple boards as the header of your profile. Make sure to create a board specifically where you pin all of your own content to and set this as your featured board. That way when anyone visits your profile, your content is the first thing they see.
7. Follow relevant accounts in your niche
You need to make sure you’re pinning quality content, so the first way to get that content on your feed is to follow other accounts who pin content that is within your niche. Use the search bar and search for a few keywords of pins that are relevant to you and your business. From here, you’ll see the top results. Check out those profiles and follow their boards, or even the whole account so you can start seeing some great content on your feed on a regular basis. They may even follow you back!
OPTIMIZE YOUR PINS
When creating your pin images, there are definitely some best practices to consider. Kimi Kinsey has a great course, Get Pinned Academy, which goes over a ton of best design practices to make appealing pin images that get you clicks! Here’s some general rules to follow:
1. Use a 2:3 Ratio
It is proven that vertical pins get more clicks than square pins (stay away from creating horizontal pins – they display very small in the feed) so Pinterest recommends to stick with the portrait ratio of 2:3 for your images. For best quality, make sure your images are at least 600px wide by 900px tall. I like to make mine 900px wide by 1100px tall for better clarity. If you need to make your pin images a bit taller, that’s okay too! Usually taller images will display fine, just make sure you have the minimum dimensions and double-check to see that it crops properly when you pin them!
2. Text is easy to read
Most people are probably skimming Pinterest on their phones so it’s important that your pins are easy to read. Every single one of your pins should have a headline with a font that isn’t too small or feels too crowded. Try sticking with a sans serif font like the type of font I use for this blog post! If you want to include subtext that’s great, just again, make sure it isn’t too small and is easy to read on a mobile device.
3. Pin imagery appeals to your audience
It’s important to make sure that every pin image you make is on brand with your business’ branding as in colors, fonts, imagery, etc… Studies have shown that pin images with more warm colors like red & orange perform better than those with cool colors like blue & green, but my findings have been slightly different as my blue pins with a pop of red sometimes outperform my red or yellow pins.
As for images, I don’t think they’re completely necessary and I choose to use icons / graphics instead which works for my brand. Go with what you think looks appealing to your target audience and stick with colors that are in your business’ branding. Also be consistent with your image style so your audience can recognize your pins better when they show up in their feed.
3. Create at least 2 pins per post / product / service
When creating your pins, it’s best practice to create at least 2 variations to appeal to a wider audience. I like to create 3 – 4 images for whatever I’m pinning and I like to change up the headline for each image as well. Headlines may appeal differently to different people in your audience so it’s best to create as many variations as you can think of.
I created 3 pin variations with different headlines for one of my most recent posts and a quote image which got me over 30,000 reach, 200+ repins, and over 200 clicks to my website in the first 10 days!
Pro Tip: When creating multiple pins, you don’t want every single image to display on your blog post or page. If you need to hide any of your images, but still have them pop up when someone pins your URL all you need to do is add this code to your page and place your image (s) inside:
4. Pin Description is keyword rich
When you insert your images into your post or page, you need to write a description that goes along with the pin so that when someone is saving your page to Pinterest, the pin description will automatically populate. This description should be at least a sentence length, includes organic keywords that flow in the text, as well as two hashtags. Your Pinterest description can be up to 500 characters in length, so make sure you use it! Do not put your pin description in the image’s alt attribute, instead use the data-pin-description html attribute for your images:
OPTIMIZE YOUR PINNING STRATEGY
Last, but certainly not least is to optimize how you’re pinning. To make the most out of the platform and work with the algorithm, here’s what I do to really grow my website traffic:
1. Join group boards
Group Boards are Pinterest boards that have more than one contributor. Usually each group board has a set of guidelines to follow to join the group and to stay in the group. To find group boards, search for your competitors that have a large amount of monthly viewers. (You can see this by visiting their profile. It should show underneath their display name.) Scroll through their Boards and you’re likely to find multiple group boards within your niche. You’ll know it’s a group board if it has a small circle above the Board name with profile pictures in it. Here’s my group board the Online Business Collective.
Usually the person running the Group Board will require you to follow them and email them your Pinterest account information so they can add you as a Contributor. Send a friendly, but short, email telling them why you’d love to join and link to your profile. More often than not, they’ll invite you in so you can start sharing your awesome content!
2. Join Tailwind Tribes
Tailwind is an awesome premium Pinterest scheduling tool that allows you to save time and schedule pins in bulk so you don’t have to pin manually. Tailwind has saved me a ton of time as you’re able to pin in bulk for weeks to even months in advance! Even though the scheduler isn’t free, they offer another amazing resource that is. Tailwind Tribes are basically like Pinterest group boards, but better Users are going specifically to Tailwind to schedule new pins and fill up their calendar with great content so this is the ideal place to add and promote your pins!
You can join Tailwind for free and you’ll receive a free trial to schedule your first 100 pins and join 5 tribes with 30 submissions per month! This is where a lot of my repins come from and I highly recommend joining Tailwind and making use of their free Tribes!
3. Pin your content to multiple boards
When you’re ready to share your content, be sure to pin it onto multiple boards. First, pin it onto the most relevant boards. For example, for this post that you’re reading, I’m going to pin it onto my boards Social Media Marketing Tips, Pinterest Marketing Tips, General Marketing Tips, Successful Business Pro Tips, Blog Tips and finally Tarango Visual Studio Small Business Tips. After, I’ll pin it onto all of my relevant Group Boards. But, make sure you space out your content with pins from others in between as well so you’re not spamming your audience with the same pin over and over again.
4. 80/20 Rule
I like to pin my own content as much as possible, but when I don’t have anything new to share (or anything that’s ready to get re-pinned & start re-circulating) I’m constantly sharing other peoples’ content. A good rule of thumb that many experts say to follow is the 80/20 rule. That is to pin about 80% of other peoples’ content and 20% your own. It’s okay if you don’t have much content and you’re sharing stuff mostly from other people. Any activity in Pinterest is good and the more active you are, the better.
I like to share about 10 – 15 pins per day. With Tailwind, scheduling 15 pins a day is a piece of cake, but with manual pinning, it can get a tad more tedious. What I like to do is just pin a couple of pins on my downtime like when I’m waiting in line at the store or even when I’m in the restroom (don’t act like you don’t do it!) The more content you’re pinning on a regular basis, the better and you’ll start to see your monthly viewers will really start to increase with you being a more consistent pinner!
After you follow all of these steps and get to pinning on a regular basis I’m confident you’ll start seeing results and an increase in your website traffic with Pinterest marketing! Have you started using Pinterest more for your business? I’d love to chat in the comments below!