Today I will teach you how to drive traffic with Pinterest, the third largest search engine.
This post has been updated from 2018 to be current. Instead of doing strike-throughs, which would be distracting to read because of Pinterest changes, it’s been completely re-written.
This post was originally published April 24th, 2018 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.
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What is Pinterest?
You may think that Pinterest is confusing or pointless but then you would be underestimating the reach that you can get with this search engine.
The Pinterest platform allows you to promote your business to the Pinterest audience of…millions…for free.
Where Google search is text-based and YouTube is video-based, Pinterest is the visual search engine.
Think about the power of that type of resource.
There are two types of people on Pinterest:
- Creatives – People who create product pins (bloggers etc)
- Pinners – The folks who are saving those pins while they comparison shop. These people are mostly ready to purchase something and they need your pins to push them to hit the buy button
So your best chance of success is great copy on visually-appealing pins.
Some helpful statistics if you’re on the fence about using Pinterest:
“67% of pinners say they’ve discovered a new brand or product from business content on Pinterest”.
That right there is a compelling reason to sign up.
How about this stat: “93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases”.
Wow. People are searching for a solution and many are ready to buy something.
- 60% of the Pinterest audience is women
- Male pinners are up 50% year over year
- Gen Z pinners are also up 50% year over year
- Millenial pinners are up 35% year over year
Okay, so that’s who is on the platform. But what are they doing while they’re on Pinterest?
- 85% of pinners say Pinterest is where they go to start a new project
- 98% of pinners report trying new things they find on Pinterest
- 89% of people on Pinterest use it for purchase inspiration
You just have to get in front of them!
Pinterest has been doing a bunch of updates since they went public.
And they’ve added new features to the platform to give you more options to showcase your products (yours or affiliate).
They also gave us new tips on how best to pin. This is going to be the basis of our strategies today.
If you are not set up on the platform, I have a guide to help How To Use Pinterest For Business. ,b
What Are Pinterest “Strategies”?
Pinterest was a bit easier to figure out in 2018 when I started using it. Back then we had a pin scheduling app called Boardbooster.
The combination of regular pinning and using the Boardbooster app skyrocketed my traffic.
And then Boardbooster was shut out of Pinterest because it was not an approved tool. Sigh.
There has been a lot of debate since Boardbooster left on whether a scheduling tool is necessary.
- On one hand, you have people who manually pin (no scheduling tool)
- Or use the other popular scheduling tool, Tailwind
I use both right now.
Thanks to Pinterest’s latest guidelines, we need to be more strategic in how we pin. Pinterest will bring the audience, but we have to do our part to use their guidelines effectively.
The same two basic principles are the same:
- Create beautiful pins
- Pin often
Pinterest counts on the creatives (us) to keep pinning daily, which gives pinners something to pin. Seems easy enough?
The information in this post was taken directly from two recent Pinterest articles:
I paraphrased and edited the content to make it easier to read quickly as well as combining information from both articles into one point for clarity.
Pinterest Marketing Strategies
You have multiple options for pin creation: standard, video, and story. Use the style that works best to showcase your products.
1. Pin new pin images daily.
If you want to grow the potential number of visitors to your website, you must get your pins out there.
You can create as many pins as you want for each piece of content you are promoting, but the pin images need to be different for each pin.
2. Consistent daily pinning is preferred over mass once-a-week pinning.
Pinterest will reward your consistency by moving you up the feed faster. Spread your pins out throughout the day. You can use your mobile phone for easy pinning.
An excellent course that teaches a technique for this is Manual Pinning Simplified. Read my review post for more info.
3. Create multiple pins that point to the same URL.
I will caution you to not upload a ton of new pins with the same URL on the same day or Pinterest may think it is spam. Spread it out.
However, you can pin your new pins to a few relevant boards daily.
4. There is no penalty for having tons of pins
Make multiple pin images for the same posts. Change the copy, fonts, font colors, and images to create masses of pins that point to your popular posts.
Having a sale? Create new pins. Updated the post? Create new pins.
Pinning To Relevant Pinterest Boards
5. It’s important that your new, daily pins are going to the right boards.
When you upload your pin, be sure that the board chosen most accurately represents what that pin is about. This helps Pinterest show it to people searching for that term.
Then pin that pin to the next most relevant board, and so on.
6. Name your boards wisely
Make sure that they are specific and relevant.
Use keywords that people would search for in your niche. You can search terms using the Pinterest search bar.
Be sure to toggle the down arrow to “all pins” and then check results.
The colored tiles you see in the search results are showing you the top search terms/keywords. You can use these terms to name your boards.
In this example, you should have a board called Lawn Care for Beginners.
You can sub-divide boards into sections so inside your “Fashion” board you can have “purses”, “shoes”, “dresses” etc.
Board covers are not necessary, however they act like pins so put an awesome description in yours to help people find your topic.
7. Fill up your boards with quality pins.
You do not need a lot of them if they are of good quality. What you want is to find the influencers of your niche and try to find their most popular pins to save to your boards.
Their success will be your success.
If you are a beginner, be sure to follow the pin through to the website to make sure that it is not spam before you pin it. After a while, you will be able to spot fakes.
Also, if you take any courses from people who pin a lot be sure to pin your review post pins to their boards or try to make them aware of your pin.
Most will gladly re-pin your pin if it is positive review. Then people will find your pin on their board and that will give your pins some extra legitimacy! Win-win.
8. Join group boards
Look for influencers in your niche and then look at the group boards that they belong to. Look for any that are accepting new members and apply.
Apply to lots of boards because not all will accept you, and some take weeks to respond to your email.
Be aware of the group boards rules for pinning and re-pinning and pin strategically so that you are pinning your 10 to 12 a day at the right time.
Avoid generic group boards (‘best pinners board!”). Instead, look for-niche specific boards. You will get pins in your feed from these groups. Make sure that you’re getting useful pins to save and share.
If you do not belong to any groups, there is no penalty.
How To Make Popular Pins
9. Lean into Trends
Just like it says. Seasons, holidays, events; pinners look to Pinterest for whatever they may want for something upcoming in their lives.
Pinterest has a “trends” option to help you see what is popular currently, as well as the top-100. Check it out for inspiration.
Pinterest recommends being 45 days in advance of the event or holiday. You can start pinning for Christmas in September.
10. Use Your Pinterest Analytics
Your analytics are in a handy spot in the top left of your account. Click the down arrow and choose OVERVIEW.
On the left side menu, choose a date range (90 days is good). Scroll down to CLAIMED ACCOUNT and choose your website.
In the center section, scroll to TOP BOARDS. Choose LINK CLICKS to see your top performing boards, so you can create more content for them.
Then scroll down to TOP PINS. Choose LINK CLICKS again to see your most popular pins.
Use this information to plan upcoming content.
Pinterest Analytics Terms:
Impressions: The number of users that Pinterest has shown your pin to
Clicks: Someone clicked on your pin, either on purpose or by accident
(You need Google Analytics to see who clicked through)
Link Clicks: Number of users who clicked through to your post/page. When you see this happening, try to repeat what you did because it is working.
11. Always include links
Link your pins to the appropriate page/post. Do not try to trick people into going to a sales page if your pin implies they will be reading a blog post.
Pinterest will prioritize click-throughs with low bounce rate, so be sure that your pin image is also on your landing page or blog post and that your pins description matches the page’s content.
Pins that lead to 404 pages or have broken links will be penalized.
12. Get the save button browser extension
Use it to make sure that your blog post contains useful pinnable images. You can use it to save other peoples pin images to your Pinterest account.
13. Pins should represent actionable, inspiring ideas.
People come to Pinterest to find ideas and they want pins that help them to give something a try or do something new. Use this to your advantage.
Avoid “busy” images on your pins. 80% of pinners use mobile so make sure that your pin message is easy to digest and that the text is legible in the feed and on close up.
*Hint: Check your pins on mobile right after you upload. Make sure that your call-to-action is prominent.
14. Pins are organized into columns on Pinterest
An ideal aspect ratio is 2:3, or 600 px wide by 900 px high.
If you like square images 600 x 600 px. Square images used to be kind of a no-no, but they’re making a comeback. Try different sizes to see what your people like.
15. If you are getting strange pins in your feed then Pinterest cannot understand what your pin(s) is/are about.
Try testing some pins without images and just text and do not use light colored text that is hard to read.
Also try more specific keywords with a clear call-to-action (CTA).
And be sure to brand your pins in some way such as putting your websites URL in the pin (usually at the bottom).
Avoid the corners since Pinterest is using this area to read your pins and you do not want to block that.
16. Make sure that your pin is “actionable”
Give people a reason to click through by telling them to do just that.
Words like “shop”, “buy”, “make”, “find” are all actionable words that you can use to encourage people to take the next steps.
Pins with a strong call to action have a 35% higher click through rate! (This tip courtesy of Carly at mommyonpurpose.com)
If your pins are getting a lot of engagement, they stay in the smart feed longer and have a better chance of being seen by more and more people.
More Pinterest Tips
17. Use hashtags
Or not. This was a big deal when it first came out, but since many creatives adopted it, you can too.
Add up to 20 relevant hashtags into your pin description to help people find your pins and then your website.
Hashtags should act as broad search terms, not niche humor. (#springfashion is great but #ilookterribleinhats is not)
18. You can now use video on Pinterest
They are recommending that you make sure your videos are designed for mobile and are either square (1:1) or portrait (9:16)
Shorter length videos tend to work best when you want pinners to discover your idea – ie goal awareness or storytelling.
Go longer when you want people to do something with your idea – ie tutorial or education.
Either way make sure your message comes across even when the sound is off.
19. Share, share, share
Social media, email or whatever distribution channel you use. Put the words “pin it” or “pin me” in the alt tag of your media within blog posts.
Hopefully you are using some kind of social sharing plugin for your website. I am using Social Warfare (free) and I love it.
It also allows you to choose the image that goes out to social media sites, so you can upload a website banner and hide a pin on your post and then you can choose which of these images goes to which type of site you are using.
20. Do NOT delete pins.
The experts at Pinterest suggest that there is really no reason to delete pins ever. If the pin is not performing well, then change the font, colors, keyword or create a brand new description to use on a NEW pin.
And there are a million stories out there of people whose old/ugly/under-performing pins going viral. You just never know what people will like from day-to-day.
Try not to edit old or under-performing pins. Also do not bother to add hash tags to old posts. Just move forward with this new information.
It takes time to get decent traffic from Pinterest. But in my experience it is measurably faster than search engine SEO. Ideally, you should do both.
If you wake up to a viral pin, which is suddenly bringing you a ton of traffic, do these 2 things:
- Make sure the viral pin is being used in your blog post as a MAIN image (creators put one pin image in their posts and can hide many more)
- Be sure that the post has clear CTA’s for the reader. This could be an opt-in form or an affiliate link. Give people things to do on your site to keep them there longer or to get into your funnels in some way.
Need help with copywriting? Use my Copywriting Checklist to write compelling call-to-action text for your pins. Encourage readers to come to your site for more information. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get all my PDF printables for bloggers in my Resource Library.
Happy Blogging, and follow me on Pinterest! And sign up for my free weekly newsletter of tips, deals, and freebies for bloggers.