Struggling to get traffic to your website?
Pinterest Marketing Guide
To understand how to grow traffic on Pinterest you must first understand how Pinterest works. Pinterest is a search engine with a social media algorithm. This means that both SEO efforts and account growth will help improve traffic to your website.
Pinterest has a search function that works much as Google does. Showing users predictive keywords and searches similar to the original query. Like Google Pinterest has an AI that helps improve the search experience. Pinterest rating and source quality are listed as the two major factors in ranking for a search.
- Pinterest Rating: Image quality and description quality relating to the intended search
- Source Quality: website domain authority and click-through rate
Pinterest accounts work using boards. You can create as many boards in your account as you like. Think of these boards as content silos. Users on Pinterest can either follow your entire account or a single board. Boards can also be turned into group boards and improve the chances of your content being shared by simply adding more Pinterest users to contribute to the board.
To increase traffic to your website using Pinterest there are three major steps.
Step 1: Create and Optimize Your Pinterest Account
Create a Free Business Account
To get started make sure your Pinterest account is set as a business account. There are a few different ways to set up a business account. You can start from scratch and sign up for a business account, upgrade your current personal account, or create a business account and link it to your personal account.
To convert your personal account:
- Tap your profile picture in the bottom-right corner
- Tap the gear icon in the top-right corner and select account settings
- Select Unlock business tools
- Click Upgrade Account
- Fill in your information
- Tap Done
To link a personal account to a business account:
- Open the account settings menu
- Under Account changes, click Get started next to Linked business account
- Click Create a linked business account
- Fill in your business information
- Follow the prompts then select the focus of your account
- Select your business type
- Choose whether you want to run ads
- Finish your account
Creating a Pinterest business account allows you to tag and show up for all content that is shared from your website (content attribution) and add additional pin insights through product and page tagging. A business account also allows you to see pin insights not available on a personal account.
It is a personal decision whether you wish to convert a personal account or create and link a new account. If you already have followers that relate to your industry I would suggest switching your current account. If you wish to continue using Pinterest on a personal level you should create a separate business account.
Optimizing Your Account
When setting up your business account make sure you have a logo in place, a proper business name, and a website URL.
Your account description is a one or two-line description that explains your product or service. It is important to use keywords in this section but be careful not to stuff it. Use the top two or three keywords for your whole account and make sure you have boards that relate to these keywords.
Your account has a company description with a max of 500 words and each board and pin allow you to add a description of 200 words.
A pin and board description should include important keywords in each description and general hashtags at the end (average 5 hashtags per pin - max 20). Do not leave descriptions empty.
Using Keywords in Your Account
Keywords on Pinterest are more important than on any other social network. Use keywords on board names, pin descriptions, your account description, and pin descriptions to improve your chance of making it on a user’s “picked for you” page and to show up in search results.
Tips to improve keyword use on Pinterest:
- Don’t get fancy with board names instead make them clear using keyword suggestions from your research or keywords found in the Pinterest search
- Each pin should have 3 - 5 keywords in its description
- Use those pin keywords in 5-10 different pin descriptions to improve the account overall
Use Pinterest search to help narrow down broad keywords good for hashtagging and narrow keywords to help with board names and description. Broad keywords should mainly be used in hashtags and well-defined keywords should be used everywhere else to give users an accurate understanding of what the board or pin is about.
For example “marketing” would be a broad keyword while “SEO marketing” would be more defined and “how to do SEO” would be specific. Try to mix up broad and specific keywords in each definition section to help people understand what they get out of your pin or account.
To find out how many people follow a particular interest (keyword) you can type http://www.pinterest.com/explore/(your-words).
Applying For Rich Pins
You can only apply for rich pins with a Pinterest business account. Rich pins allow your pins to have a logo, a bigger headline, and a link directly in search.
Types of rich pins:
- App Pins
- Movie Pins
- Recipe Pins
- Article Pins
- Product Pins
- Place Pins
To get rich pins, you have to go through a validation process. Pinterest provides a guideline on how to get started.
Step 2: Create Relevant Pin Worthy Content
Create a strategy or outline on how often you will share internal and external content on your boards. It is advised to share one piece of internal content a week and fill the rest of the week with products or services that fit the board and pair well with your offering.
Use strong images but make sure the content is worth sharing. Do not simply write content to post it make sure it has at least one solid takeaway for the user.
Re-pinning is just as important as posting your own blogs. Use the 80/20 rule and post 80% of content that is not your own to build up your account following. Take the time when starting your account to find accounts and products that pair well with your content and industry that are not in direct competition. Make a list that you can easily go to later for re-pinning.
Pin Image Guide
Pin images must be 32 MB at a 2:3 ratio or 1000 PX by 1500 PX.
Tips for a perfect Pinterest image:
- Look for images with vibrant colors and lots of white space
- Keep logo usage to a minimum
- Use high-quality images
- Images must match pin content
- Include text in your image to help your pin stand out
To keep your account active use a scheduler to help you pin every day at a minimum for best results. Scheduling platforms like Buffer, Tail Wind, and Viral Tag all allow you to schedule pins and re-pins.
While planning content make sure your website is optimized to be shared on Pinterest. Use a tool like Social Snap that allows users to easily share your blog posts to Pinterest (from WordPress) with an easy save button and a predefined description. This tool allows you to control how the pin looks when shared.
Pinterest also has its own integration allowing you to add a pin button and a follow button for free on your website.
Tips to create a sharable pin:
- Use keywords in your title that are specific to the content being shared (avoid general or pun-based titles)
- Make sure the URL works and is relevant to the image or blog (image and link must match) it helps to have the pin image on the webpage to give users a seamless experience
- In the description keep keywords relevant to what the user will see in your pin do not stuff the description but do use around 5 (max 20) hashtags for general related terms
Step 3: Grow Your Following
Growing your account will help bring in more traffic to your website by increasing the visibility of your pins. Your pin click-through rate helps improve how often your pin shows up on the for you page as well as in search. The more followers you have the greater chance of improving your click-through rate on pins and your follower count on boards.
The faster a pin gets re-pins the stronger that pin will perform, however, a pin can have a much longer life than a social post on Twitter or Facebook and will still slowly grow over time.
People may see your pin more than once. Pinterest suggests changing the title and image of older pins to increase the engagement on that pin. Changes to your pin will not decrease your engagement but will help increase the possibility of future engagement from those not interested in a previous image or title.
Growing Your Audience
Set up a follow strategy to improve your reach. Pinterest allows you to follow 300 new accounts per hour. Take some time each day to increase your following. Focus on people interested in your niche. Use competitors and common boards to find the right users to follow. It is a general rule around 5% - 10% of users will follow you back so you can expect 15 - 30 new followers a day with around 20 - 30 minutes of work.
Following active users will increase the odds of better engagement. When following users make sure they are using an image and have some followers.
Pinterest does not allow the use of automation for follower growth and if they catch you using it you will be banned and your account will be removed.
Using Group Boards
Group boards are boards that have multiple contributors. Group boards are a great way to have your pins seen by a larger set of people as they commonly have more active followers. Take the time to find and join group boards that relate to your content and post your pins on these boards to get more traffic.
To find group boards that fit your industry check out: PinGroupie.com
Once you find a group board that fits your needs there are a few ways to join.
- Network with the board creator and request to be added to the board
- Check for invite instructions in the description (not all boards allow invites)
- Get invited by a group member
If a group board does not exist for the content you wish to share or you cannot easily join one you can create your own.
To create your own group board:
- Create a new board, click yes to collaborators and add other pinners or companies that will lead to a great experience for your boards topic
- Or invite new users to an already existing board you own to make it a group board
Keep your boards well organized and focused on one content silo, be careful that boards don’t get too off-topic. If they do take the time to clean them up and make new boards with off-topic pins if there are enough.
Pins that are underperforming (linked to your website) should get a new image, title, and description. Allow a pin a few weeks to perform before making changes as they can pick up at a later date. The best way to continue to improve your account is to look at the oldest pin you have (not re-pins) and try updating the pin to give it new life.
High-performing pins should also get improvement but only minor improvements like an updated image so it does not become stale in the search. It is also important to either avoid date-based pins or set up a schedule to keep them updated. If a pin is seasonal do not delete it just allow it to pick back up during the next season. Because of search your pins will not go stale and do not negatively affect your account when underperforming.
Using hashtags in a description sends a strong indication to Pinterest that your pin should be included in that keyword search. Hashtags are commonplace in the description section for pins and boards. It is best to use at least 5 hashtags (limit of 20 by Pinterest). Use niche or highly specific keywords in your description and use both general and defined keywords for hashtags at the end of the description. Try for a mix of 1 - 2 well-defined keywords and 3 or more general keywords.
Hashtags appear in descriptions as bolded text and always create a clickable link to that hashtags search on Pinterest. Hashtags are a great way to create long-term growth on pins and boards as they allow your account and pins to show up in more search results. Take the time to research some hashtags that will work well for your pins and don’t be afraid to use more tags if they are relevant to the content you are sharing.