If you want to increase your organic traffic, then look no further than Pinterest. Pinterest will drive traffic to your blog like nothing else, but you have to learn how to use Pinterest for business, which is different from your personal Pinterest account.
I will walk you through the steps to setting up Pinterest for Business today, and in my next Pinterest post, I will give you the basics of how Pinterest Analytics works and how you can find the information that you need to tweak your profile and improve your stats.
Try to think of Pinterest as a visual version of Google. When people search for something in Google, they are taken to a page of words for search results. In Pinterest, the search results are graphics, in the form of tall “pins” that people save FOREVER.
You can use this to your advantage once you learn how! You will also want to use all the best practices for SEO that you would use to be found on Google.
I am here to help so let’s get started!
Create or convert your Pinterest account to a Business account
You want to have a business account because this gives you access to Pinterest Analytics, and analytics will tell you what you need to know to tweak what you are doing on Pinterest.
Sign up here. Pinterest makes this simple and straightforward.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account you can easily switch it to a business account. In the top right corner, click the 3 horizontal dots and choose SWITCH TO BUSINESS. Follow the instructions.
If your personal account has a lot of pins that are not related to your niche, then consider creating a new account just for your business. If you only have a few pins that are unrelated, you can create a “secret” board for them so that they are not on your main feed; more on secret boards below.
Apply for Rich Pins
Having Rich Pins will improve your ranking with Pinterest. If you are already creating your own meta descriptions for your blog posts, Rich Pins will add this information to your pins, because Pinterest is a search engine and this is helpful information for visitors.
Once you have updated your website or at least one post with metadata, you can apply for Rich Pins by using the validator here https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/.
You will want Rich Pins for all posts that you are promoting on Pinterest, so if you are not using an SEO plugin to create your meta data, you will have to do it manually. Prioritize your most popular pins if doing this manually, just to get started.
After you get Rich Pins, you will see that your pins have a “bold” description underneath them, giving visitors more information about your pin. This is where you give them an incentive to click through to your website and sign up for your newsletter.
Optimize your profile with keywords
Pinterest is a search engine so any SEO that you can do, the better. This includes using keywords that you want to rank for within your main profile.
In Pinterest, go to your profile picture in the top right corner and click it. Choose SETTINGS. Scroll down to PROFILE. Where it says Business name is where you put your keywords.
After the name of your account (your name or your blog or website name), you will have to entice visitors. Choose the keywords that people would search for in your niche to find you.
You can separate the sections with the vertical “pipe” icon but try to make the keywords look natural. If you are stuck on how to word your profile, try searching one of your keywords and look at what others in your niche are doing.
You are not locked in here, and you can tweak any part of your profile any time that you want and as often as you want, so do not sweat it. As you start “working” the Pinterest system, you may find yourself drilling down into your niche a bit more, to stand out from the crowd.
Add a nice head shot (no selfies!!) to your profile. Try to use the same photo of yourself across all of your social media accounts, your website and Pinterest so that visitors know they are in the right place.
You can also use your logo if you want people to identify you with that.
In the About You section, you can add some personal details to give visitors a bit of information about you and how you can help them.
Set up your boards with keyword rich descriptions
On your main profile page, under your bio, you will see PINS BOARDS TRIES. Choose Boards.
From here you can now create boards for your profile. These should match the headings for your website topics, because you are going to put your blog posts in here. You also want to use keywords in the board descriptions for extra SEO punch.
Ideally, you want boards that match the categories on your website, and any sub-categories, but start with the main ones. You will not do yourself any favors naming your boards “Yum!” or “projects”, even if that is what you have named the categories on your website. You need to use real live searchable keywords so that people will find you when they search.
The first board that you should create can be called “best of” or “(your blog) blog roll”. In this board you will put ONLY YOUR PINS.
You can create pins for each of your blog posts that link back to your website, and this is where people will come to find out more about what you have to offer them.
Pinterest likes long pins (600 x 900 pixels as of March 2018). The slots on your feed are designed for long pins, so use Pinterest guidelines for creating pins that work. Canva also comes with a Pinterest pin template, which works well.
I created one board and called it my “community” board. This is where I save all the pins that are related to my niche. I go through it when I can and sort the pins into other niche specific boards if I need to.
This is also the board that I use to send pins to other people’s boards using Boardbooster (this is an affiliate link. See my disclosure at the bottom of the page).
You can now also create a board for your random stuff, and then make it secret. Secret means that only you can see it, and putting random pins in here means that you keep the pins but your visitors do not see them. Just click the pencil icon from the board and scroll down and toggle the switch to “secret”.
Make board covers for your main boards
And move them into prominent positions. Your main blog board should go to the top, so when visitors come to your profile they will see your board with your pins first.
The next two boards are your next most prominent. In my case, I have “Learn to blog” and my “community” boards next because I want to be known for helping new bloggers to learn about blogging; and my community board is pins sourced from other “learn to blog” bloggers.
It may seem optional, but having board covers makes your profile look more professional and visitors can instantly see what you have to offer. The easier that you make navigation, the longer people will stay on your profile and check things out, and possibly find a pin that will go viral.
And it is also a great time to shine! Bring out your personality and add some bling to your profile page with board covers that elevate you from the crowd.Show us who you are!
Also, if you want to attract the attention of other professionals in your niche, then you want your profile to look good. All the people “in the know” with Pinterest have board covers, so if you do not, your profile will instantly stand out, and not in a good way.
Using Canva or other photo editing program, create custom board covers for each of your boards (500 x 500 or 600 x 600 pixels works), and make them all visually similar.
You can simplify this process, as well as creating pins, by making a template in your photo editing software of choice and just re-using it over and over. Use your brand colors and the same two or three fonts, and just switch out a photo every now and again.
You can also create some “odd” boards for random pins, but do not make a cover for these unless they are related to your niche. As I mentioned above, “drag” these odd boards to the bottom.
Source pins from within Pinterest and start filling up your boards
The latest “rules” about Pinterest are that you should be pinning 10 to 12 pins per day. Evenings and weekends are the best time (as of March 2018).
If you want to watch your analytics climb, then pin at least 10 pins daily, every day during these times. This is usually do-able for most people, and following Pinterest best practices ensures that you will benefit with improved stats.
Put all of the pins that you create for each of your blog posts into your boards. Only put your pins in here.
Then start filling your other boards with other people’s content. I will caution you to not save pins unless you follow them through to their website. Some pins look awesome and have a great Rich Pin description, but the link is broken.
Or worse, it takes you to a cheesy landing page for who-knows-what. This will be a negative for you if you pinned this stuff, and is bad SEO practice because crappy pins bring down your profile. After a while you will be able to spot the “fakes”.
*Pro Tip: Choose one of your board topics and type it into the Pinterest search bar. When the search results come up, your search bar will have changed and now has a down arrow button at the right end that lets you choose ALL PINS, YOUR PINS, PEOPLE, BOARDS. Choose Boards.
From here you can follow other bloggers in your niche and (hopefully) get better quality pins. Do this for all of your boards except your “best of” board. You do not have to follow to save their pins.
Experiment with following 20 to 50 other profiles a week, and check to see if any of them follow you back. You need to give people time to follow you, but having followers helps your “brand recognition” when applying for group boards (see below).
When you find someone that you want to follow, go to their profile page and look to see how many pins they have and how many followers. Try to follow some people who are really popular influencers in your niche and pin some of their pins.
Your visitors will find the other person’s high ranking pins on your board and that will help your traffic as well, especially if they click through or save the pin because it is now linked from your profile. Plus you can learn what the pros are doing and emulate it! Win-win.
Find some Pinterest group boards
This can be tricky and there will be some trial and error involved. My advice is to just go for it and learn from the experience. I applied to about 20 in one day, and got accepted to about 5 right away, and then a few more that week. Some people never messaged me back.
If you are in any Facebook groups for your niche, there are likely people with Pinterest group boards in there. If not, consider starting your own group.
A lot of people who sell blogging courses have Facebook groups, and if the course is related to Pinterest the group board will come with daily threads for sharing pins, following others, or following new group boards that people have created.
Take advantage of any of these that you can find as you try to build up your profile, but be careful of who you follow. If you are following someone who is not in your niche, you will get their pins in your daily feed. This happened to me and I ended up with countless pins for Vegan recipes. I am not vegan lol.
You can also Google group boards because some people have blog posts with “100 group boards that you can join today!” and you may find a few that are a good fit.
You can apply to quality boards but they may not accept you, because you do not have enough pins, or followers, or whatever. Keep trying until you have at least 10 group boards, so that you can learn how they work, or may not work, for you.
You may apply to what you think is a quality board, but no one is pinning to it except you (not good! No other blogger activity means no one sees your pins).
You may find an awesome board that is now no longer accepting new pinners. It is all trial and error, so keep trying!
You can search Google for group boards, but not all of them will be worth belonging to. This is not a problem if you are not using a pinning scheduler like Boardbooster , but once you start automating, you want your pins going to quality boards, where they will be seen by many, and saved by many.
I took a screen shot of each board that I applied to, because they have rules for applying and if you get accepted you do not want to risk getting kicked because you were spamming the board with your pins or pinning the wrong kind of pins.
Some people use a spreadsheet to keep track. Use what works for you to keep on top of the rules. When you start using a pin scheduler you will only have to set up your schedule with the rules for each board once and then forget it.
Pinterest is the most under-utilized search engine out there because so many people are not using it to its full potential, which makes now the best time to get on board. When the rest of the world figures it out, you will already be set up to receive them into your sales funnel!
People save pins forever and your pins can go viral at any time. This is the beauty of Pinterest. I have read countless stories of people who pinned something a couple of years ago, and that pin went viral and now they suddenly have 300 new subscribers. Stories like this are the reason I wanted to learn more about Pinterest, and to share what I know with you.
Even if you never use a scheduler (and you really do not have to if you have the time to pin), you should consider learning how to use this massive powerhouse to your advantage.
If you are new to this whole Pinterest thing, why not try this tutorial and come back and tell me what you thought of the whole process. What questions do you have about set up? What do you want to know about Pinterest for Business? I look forward to reading your comments 🙂
Related Post: Pinterest Ninja – I can go on and on about this, but you should just go ahead and read it.
Related Post: Pinterest Strategies – The April updates had Pinterest abuzz. Here is the scoop.