As a blogger, you’re probably already aware of just how important Pinterest is for driving traffic. And not only that, but for driving long term traffic. Pinterest can become a steady and reliable source for traffic and believe it or not, it’s not just for food and crafts anymore. In fact, some of my top performing Pinterest posts are autism, parenting, and finance related. Sure, some of the recipes have done fairly well but I get more long term traffic from those first three categories. That being said, I wouldn’t say that I’m a Pinterest guru or a power pinner; not by any stretch. I’ve just found what works for me and the types of pins that work for me. Still, I wanted to share some Pinterest tips for bloggers that could also work for entrepreneurs.
The Who, What, Why, and How of Pinterest
Who Uses Pinterest?
According to Pinterest demographic data, almost 70 percent of their users are women between the ages of 25 and 34, and about half of them have children. Pinterest users spend about 15 minutes using the service every single day. Pinterest users share a variety of “pins” and create pin boards or collections to share with others. The pins that get the most shares are visually pleasing and often shopping related.
How Do They Use Pinterest?
Men and women use Pinterest for the same reasons – to get ideas, to make wish lists or “vision boards”, and to keep track of resources they might want to look at later. But, women tend to wish more than men, who actually tend to buy more due to a pin. In other words, men generally pin things they will buy, while women pin things they want to buy or wish they could buy.
And of course, there are the everyday crafters and DIYers who go to Pinterest for inspiration. Or the home cook who’s looking for a new recipe to try, or a parent looking for a fun craft or activity.
Why Do People Use Pinterest?
* Bookmarking – People use Pinterest to keep track of items they plan to buy, or things they want to read or try later such as recipes or do it yourself projects.
* Inspiration – Looking at other people’s pins is a fun way to become inspired about something you want to do such as redecorate your home, cook a new recipe, or even get organized.
* Self-promotion – Many people use Pinterest to promote their business (and any business which has visual content should). On Pinterest it doesn’t matter if you’re a big business or a small business; you can use it for promotion.
* Social interaction – People love being social, especially online. Even introverts are social online. Part of the fun of pinning and re-pinning and commenting is that it’s a social activity that you are doing with others.
Why Should I Use Pinterest?
* Conversions – Compared to other social networks, Pinterest converts better. It’s something about seeing a product or solution visually that makes people want to try it. If you can convert some of your content to visual content in the form of infographics you’ll have more conversions.
* Traffic – Due to the highly visual nature of Pinterest, people are more likely to click through to see what’s behind the picture. The more traffic you get, the more conversions.
* Backlinks – You still need links to your site. Google Search still values links pointing to your website in its ranking algorithm. By creating valuable pins that link back to your site and having others share the pins, you’re creating good backlinks.
* Engagement – Users on Pinterest love to comment on pins as much as they love to share them. User engagement is fun and easy on Pinterest.
* Research – Pinterest is a fabulous research tool. You can find out what your audience is into by looking at the kinds of things they pin. You are likely to find many different solutions you can offer your audience using it as a research tool.
* It’s easy – Pinterest is really simple to understand and use. Plus it enables you to be more creative with images, infographics and content by helping you think of everything in a new way.
Building Your Blog or Business on Pinterest
Use Creative Imagery
If you’ve not been adding images to your blog posts, now’s the time to do it. Make the image relevant to your post. In fact, the image can also have words in it such as a quote from the content or a motivational quote. It helps to watermark your images too with your domain name or business name. You can use a program like Canva.com, PicMonkey, or BeFunky to help you create great images to accompany your blog posts.
When you are creating your images, try and go for a vertical image instead of a horizontal image. A title or text is not always necessary because sometimes you may draw more readers in with an eye catching visual and a killer description.
Make Infographics from Data
Deal with a lot of numbers? That’s great, because now you can create infographics that catch people’s eye and share them on Pinterest. If your infographic is compelling enough it will be re-pinned and shared across social media networks. Use Piktochart.com to create infographics fast and easily.
Create a beautiful invitations or announcements with graphics software like Pixlr.com and pin them on Pinterest to announce any upcoming events that you’re taking part in. Whether it’s an online event or offline event, you can use Pinterest to announce it. You can even use video to announce your event instead of a static image.
Create Themed Boards
Don’t just throw everything up on the same board. Instead, create themed boards. For instance, if you have a service-based business you could create a different board for each service. Think outside the box and pin the benefits of your services instead of what you actually do. For instance, perhaps you offer your clients freedom. What does freedom look like to your clients?
Re-Pin Other Peoples’ Pins
It’s only polite to stop the shameless self-promotion occasionally and re-pin someone else’s boards. Not only that, comment freely too. The more you re-pin and make relevant comments or additions to other people’s boards, the more they will do the same for you. A good rule of thumb that I’ve found is to have a 20:1 pin ratio. That is to say, for every 1 pin of yours that you pin to Pinterest, pin or repin 20 others.
It’s okay to have a little fun on Pinterest even when it’s meant to market your business. Be yourself – share freely about who you are, what your goals are, and your business, and you’ll be surprised at the snowball effect that is created.
Finally, don’t be intimidated if your blog or business isn’t easily image based. You can find ways to think outside the box to incorporate imagery to your business. Find out what lifestyle and interests your audience has and cater to those. You can also use Pinterest as mainly a research tool, and a way to organize your thoughts about products and services that you want to offer.
Sign up for a business account so you can access Pinterest analytics. This will give you some insight on your audience’s interests, demographics, and it can also be handy for seeing how your pins are performing (ex. repins, likes, comments).
SEO Tips for Pinterest
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is my favorite way of getting traffic. In the long term, it’s more profitable and long standing than any social media network. Combine some of the tactics for SEO with Pinterest and you have a powerful one-two punch for your blog or business. Here are 11 actionable SEO tips for Pinterest that you can start implementing today if you aren’t already.
1) Develop a Keyword Strategy for Pinterest
Before you make your first pinboard, think about what your goals are for Pinterest and how you want to appear to the world. You’ve likely already researched keywords and hopefully have hundreds to choose from. Set out your keyword strategy on Pinterest to match what you’re doing on your website and with other social media.
2) Optimize Your Username
On Pinterest you can choose a username that is a keyword. This will help a lot because if your username is a keyword for your niche, whenever someone inputs that term into the search bar, your pinboards will come up in the search. You’ll get a lot more followers without even trying if you put a keyword in as your username. Ideally, as a blogger, your Pinterest name should be the same as your blog name. If not, then you should at least optimize your profile and put in your blog name.
3) Create a Full Keyword-Rich About Section
Pinterest gives a generous-sized about section that you can use to fill with information, tell your story and use keywords within the text to do so. Don’t keyword stuff or force it, but using keywords within the about section is a smart idea as it will help your customers to find you when they search for those keywords.
4) Create Optimized Pin Descriptions
One of the best ways to improve SEO is to make use of the description area for your pins. You have a pretty big space to work with. Make them readable, but also include relevant keywords and URLs when appropriate. One way you can easily accomplish this is by copying and pasting your meta description into your ALT text (more on that in #7) or using a modified version of it so you aren’t over condensing your keywords.
5) Always Link Back to Your Website
You can link each pin that you create back to your site and back to specific pages of your site. Always take advantage of this and make sure they don’t always just go to the home page. Make pins link back to specific landing pages on your website that are relevant to the pin.
6) Watermark Your Images
No matter what you do, someone might take your picture and try to use it as their own. But you can watermark it with your logo and URL. Try to do so as unobtrusively as possible, but watermarking will help with SEO too.
7) Don’t Forget the ALT Text on Images
When you upload an image, or put an image on your website, you have something called an ALT tag or text. This is an area where you should use keywords to describe the image. Don’t just say “butterfly” – say something like “This is a picture of a monarch butterfly that I took using my Nikon D700.” This type of ALT tag would be relevant to a pinboard devoted to photography.
8) Make Your Website the Home for All Images
Everything starts and ends with your website. When you want to create pins and pinboards, first create a blog post with the image, infographic and post, then pin to the board from your website so that visitors always link back to your site.
9) Create Themes for Pinboards
Don’t just randomly post pins. Instead, create themed pinboards where the theme fits with your niche and is a keyword for your niche. This gives you more areas to include keywords and more in-depth information about your niche for your followers. You can think of pinboards as categories like you have on your blog if that helps.
10) Use Appropriate Hashtags
Like most social media today, Pinterest also supports hashtags. Use them well and they will pay off. Really give thought to what the hashtags should be and how they relate to your niche before including them.
11) Re-Pin Items That Carry Your Keywords
Look up your keywords, maybe one or two a day, and re-pin other people’s pinboards and pins that carry your keywords. In addition, follow them and their followers – just a few each day to help build your own following and interaction.
Using these tips to make your Pinterest SEO friendly will go far in helping you make the most of Pinterest as a marketing channel for your blog or business.
Pinterest is a powerful tool and beyond just another social media channel. Pinterest is similar to a search engine like Google, but with pretty pictures and visual aids. It’s distracting, and yes it can be time consuming. But, in my opinion, as a blogger or a small business- you cannot afford to leave Pinterest out of your digital marketing strategy.