Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks, with 100 million active users losing themselves in this picture-perfect platform on a daily basis.
And, with these all important consumers regularly pinning and searching for new content (a recent report suggests average users stay on the platform for close to 15 minutes at a time), you’re missing out on a serious marketing and advertising tool if you don’t harness the power of Pinterest.
Because it’s about so much more than posting pretty pictures, isn’t it? Pinterest is an influential visual search engine… and, as such, this means you can optimize it for your own gain. That means making your content easily discoverable and catering to what your public wants.
Plus, with social media referrals now being responsible for at least 31% of website traffic, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of every social channel out there. It’s just common sense, right?
Oh, and did we mention? Nearly 75% of Pinterest users have purchased through the platform or directly because of it. You can’t fight with those figures.
That’s why we’ve put together these 10 simple tweaks to improve your Pinterest presence, optimize referrals and work wonders for your online business.
This is a guest post from Pauline Cabrera from Twelveskip. Thanks Pauline
Tip 1: Optimize your profile
First things first: you need to start at the beginning. And that means optimizing your profile so that it’s easy to find and screams professionalism.
Luckily, it’s pretty damn easy to do that.
- Get your Username right. Everything on your Pinterest should reflect your brand. It’s an extension of your business, so you need to keep this at the forefront of your mind when choosing your Username (this is what shows up in your URL). If your business name is taken, choose something that is close enough to it that users will still find it when searching for your profile. Keep it simple.
- Register for a Business account. Business accounts can instil more trust in the viewer. Why? Once Pinterest has verified your account (find out more about the process here), your profile will be given official Business status… basically, you’re making it clear to other users that you’re the real deal. Business accounts also give you access to analytics support, the ability to promote your pins and make use of Rich Pins (we’ll talk about this later on).
- Choose your Business name. Similar to your Username, your Business name needs to directly link to your brand. Consistency is everything when building your professional image online.
- Update your picture. Got a business logo? Use it as your profile picture. Use a professional headshot for all of your branding? Use that. Keep going back to the idea that this platform should be an integral component of your business matrix. Have it mirror your business identity.
- Add keywords to your description. With the Pinterest Interests function (which makes it easy to find pins centred around your interests), adding a few (relevant!) keywords to your description can make you easier to find when searching. Plus, when users DO land on your page they can immediately see exactly what your board is about… and if it matches their interests? Well, they’re more likely to stick around.
Tip 2: Optimize your boards
You want your pins and boards to show up to as many people as possible. That means you need to give Pinterest all the right information so that you crop up as high as you can in their search engine results.
Also? You want to make your presence a beautiful one. You want your profile to be aesthetically pleasing to visitors so that they can’t help but get involved with your content!
Do this by:
- Categorizing your boards. When you create a new board, set a category (otherwise Pinterest will put your board in Other – aka, Uncategorized). If a Pinner searches Pinterest by your board category, you’ll have more chance of showing up.
- Giving appropriate titles. As with all SEO, put yourself in the shoes of the user. What would they be searching for? Give descriptive but brief titles and take advantage of keywords when suitable. For example, rather than naming a board “Tasty and healthy” try “Gluten-Free Recipes.” The latter is clearer and much more specific… far more appreciated by Pinterest search algorithms.
- Writing board descriptions. They don’t only help Pinners see what your board is about, but they also improve your visibility in search engines. Again, insert keyword terms: but be sure to avoid keyword stuffing. The description should be natural and non repetitive. The Pinterest Smart Feed function (discover more about it here) focuses on the quality of your pins and profile. Countless hashtags and non-stop keywords are not considered high quality. It’s easy, really. Sprinkle a handful of keywords into an enticing slice of content. Pull the users in.
- Having attractive board covers. Your board cover should emphasize the very best of your content. Consider which pins sell your board the most effectively, and add them to your cover image by selecting Edit Board. Click Change next to Cover. Scroll through your board pins until you find the best of the bunch. Many pinners use colour themes across their boards to apply an extra layer of professionalism to their profile aesthetic.
- Rearranging your boards. Generally, you want to keep your most popular or important boards in the top rows of your profile: it’s the first thing that’s going to be brought your pinners’ attention. But you should also rotate seasonally, for holidays or for any relevant events. So, around Christmas time you may want to rearrange your boards so that anything holiday- or winter-related sits at the top.
Tip 3: Research keywords
We keep talking about adding keywords into your titles and descriptions, but how do you actually FIND the right keywords for your content?
There are a few simple hacks that will enable you to pull together an extensive list of relevant keywords for your area of interest. We suggest putting these all into a reference document to go back to as your profile grows and develops.
- Analyze specific keywords. See the performance of specific keywords on Pinterest by putting this formula into Google: www.pinterest.com “keyword”. You’ll be shown the most popular pins according to their search ranking against this keyword. Research which other keywords these pins are adding and use this to help optimize your own pins.
- Check your analytics. Which pins are sending the highest referrals to your site? Look at the keywords used on these posts and use these, plus related keywords, across more of your content. Go with what’s popular.
- Carry out your own Pinterest searches. Spend some time putting in words related to your content into the Pinterest search engine to see which results come up and the suggestions it gives you. Pinterest will automatically group together keywords that they deem to be relevant. This is a good indication of the most popular searches related to your pins. Here’s an example:
Tip 4: Get the image right
We know that Pinterest is all about the image: so it makes sense that to optimize your presence, your images need to be top notch.
There are a few features that Pinterest (and pinners!) favor when it comes to your pins.
- Use vertical images. 75% of all Pinterest daily traffic comes through mobile, so it makes sense to craft your content to mobile needs. Vertical images show up more powerfully on mobile and tablets and so will have more of an impact as users scroll through their feeds. The ideal image aspect ratio is 2:3 to 1:3.5. Here are some examples:
- Provide professional quality images. Your images should be high resolution, in focus and well composed.
- Be savvy with text. If you want to use a text overlay on your image, be sensible. Too much text is distracting and anything too small in size isn’t going to read well on a mobile screen.
- Get the size sorted. All your images (whether vertical, square or horizontal) should be at least 600 pixels wide. You can resize using Photoshop or a simple tool like Canva.
- Color is key. Very light or very dark images tend to not be repinned as frequently, with medium-lightness images having a 20 times higher repin rate than mostly black or white images. The same goes for images with a medium saturation, which receive four times more repins than those that are 100% saturated and 10 times for repins than those that are totally desaturated.
- Pin different types of image. For example infographics, GIFs, videos, tutorials… it gives variety to your boards, keeping your page fresh and dynamic.
- No selfies, please. Images without faces get re-pinned 23% more than those with faces.
Tip 5: Experiment with Rich Pins
We mentioned earlier that Rich Pins are an important benefit of having a Pinterest Business profile.
But what are Rich Pins? In short, they’re Super Pins: an enhanced version of a “normal” pin that provides extra information, helping to promote your business needs.
There are six types of Rich Pin: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. By setting one up, the pin will show metadata providing pinners with a more in-depth experience and helping to improve engagement. It adds an extra layer of value to your pin by making it genuinely useful to the pinner. See how the pin below automatically shows its price? That’s because the pinner added the Rich Pins feature on their website.
So, if your pin falls into one of the Rich Pin types, it’s well worth setting one up to see how much extra advertising it provides for your content. You can find out how to set up a Rich Pin here.
Tip 6: Have a plan
You wouldn’t start a business without a marketing strategy, would you? So why should your approach to Pinterest be any different.
You don’t just want to be posting without a plan. You need a method when it comes to making the most of this platform; these tips and stats can help you in forming that:
- Be regular and consistent. It’s social media 101: to increase your traffic and project yourself as a noteworthy source, you need to be active with your posting. Between 5 and 30 pins per day is peak, with the best times to post being 2:00 – 4:00am and evening hours every day, as well as 5:00pm on a Friday and 8:00 – 11:00pm on Saturdays. There are also various Pinterest tools for scheduling (such as Tailwind and Viraltag) that will help you work out the optimal times to post. This will also avoid you flooding feeds by posting all your pins in one go.
- Track performance. Use your analytics function to see how other pinners are describing your content and what they are pinning with it: this will help you when considering how to arrange your boards. Looking at the demographic of your audience is also important when planning future content.
- Fix broken links. Remember: Pinterest cares a lot about the quality of user experience. If your pins are featuring expired or broken links, this is clearly going to have a negative effect. Tools such as Board Booster or Pin4Ever can help you keep a close eye on this.
- Repin your top pins. Use analytics to discover your most popular content and repin it to other boards or group boards: not all new pinners will have found their way to your most impressive work yet.
- Get in on current trends and events. Pins related to trending topics receive a 94% click-through rate. Ensure you know what these top trends are by regularly looking at the Pinterest home feed and react accordingly.
- Post on the right day. Different days of the week have alternate “most popular” topics. Mondays are best for fitness, Tuesdays for tech, Wednesdays for quotes, Thursdays for fashion, Fridays for humor, Saturdays for travel and Sundays for food and DIY crafts. Does any of your content tick these boxes? If so, be sure to post on the appropriate day.
- Consider How-tos. Tutorials, DIY, recipes and guides get a 42% higher click-through rate than other pins. If you can take advantage of this, then do!
Tip 7: Have a Pinterest-friendly website
You’re working so hard to make your Pinterest as well optimized as possible to drive traffic to your website… but what’s the point if your website isn’t doing anything in return?
A handful of small changes to your site will make a huge difference when promoting your Pinterest account.
- Use Pin It hover. By adding the ‘Pin It’ button to your site images, your content immediately becomes all the more easy for potential pinners to engage with. And remember, high levels of engagement are key when giving you that important boost in the Pinterest Smart Feed. Currently, I love SumoMe’s social sharing buttons.
- Make your images pin-worthy. Follow the image requirements for pins when it comes to choosing the site and blog. Make them irresistible to pinners.
- Add a follow button. It’s obvious. The more followers you have, the more eyes on your content, and the more repins you will get.
- Fill out the ALT tag on your website images. This is the information that Pinterest collects for the Pin description: so something short, interesting and rich with keywords.
Tip 8: Consider contests
Contests are a brilliant way to drive engagement as they create mentions, interactions and referrals for your brand.
You’ll need to consider Pinterest business guidelines when setting up your contest, but some general tips on how to make your contest successful in promoting your page include:
- Only ask for one entry. Quality is more important than quantity on Pinterest.
- Use the pin to direct to a landing page. Create a landing page for your contest on your website. When pinners click on your image, it will lead them directly to it. Not only does this boost your traffic, but it avoids having to spam users by asking for comments on Pinterest.
Make it easy to enter and understand. Clearly lay out the rules and prizes for pinners so that all the important information is quick to find in one location. Here’s an example:
- Be creative. Use beautiful images with text to capture people’s attention. Think outside of the box when it comes to entries and prizes. Offer something exciting and different for users.
Tip 9: Join group boards
Group boards essentially work just like a regular board: the only difference is that multiple people can add their content to the board.
This can be a brilliant way to put your pins in front of people who may not have stumbled across them yet.
Group boards can be tricky to find, but there are brilliant (free!) resources such as PinGroupie that will do the work for you.
You can also collaborate with other influencers to create your own group board. For example, if you’re a wedding planner, perhaps you could link up with a local florist, a bridal boutique and a few other influencers to build a board that gives the pinner everything they could possibly want in one place.
Tip 10: Promote
Perhaps most important of all… you need to shout about your profile. The best (and quickest) way to do this is by cross promoting throughout all your social media channels.
- Connect all your accounts to Pinterest. Your followers on your other platforms will then be shown pins and redirected to your website every time you post.
- Create Pinterest albums on Facebook. Whenever you create a new board, add it as an album to Facebook with direct links to your Pinterest profile.
- Add a free Pinterest app to your Facebook. Simple and effective. Find out how here.
- Tweet and Instagram about your Pinterest regularly. Create a beautiful, tweetable image featuring your very best pins. Promote it as often as you can on your Twitter and Instagram.
- Feature top pins in your newsletter. Include your most popular pins as a screenshot in your newsletter. When readers click on the image, they can be taken directly to your board.
What do you think? Have these tips worked for you? Tell us what you think in the comments below!