Pinterest is a visual search engine which many mistakenly call a social media platform. This is why I’ve heard a lot the question on how to use Pinterest for business to grow website traffic and leads – even online marketers are very often confused by the mixed nature of Pinterest. This platform has lots of social functionality, that’s true. But over the years, the visual search and algorithms on Pinterest are getting better. Because SEO (search engine optimization) for Pinterest is a real and recommended thing now, the following numbers don’t matter much.
My experience with Pinterest tells me that it is the ideal time for a jump-start on this platform.
It has grown big audience enough for businesses to be interested in reaching out to this audience. Pinterest is building now the tools and functionality which make the platform attractive not only for bloggers as content-creators but also for business which is willing to invest and test advertising options on Pinterest.
Pinterest is getting into a phase when it’s mature but not too crowded yet – anyone can create an account on Pinterest today and drive traffic either for a fee or with ads, or both ways simultaneously.
One of the benefits of driving traffic from Pinterest is that the audience is not just hanging out there, as people do on Facebook scrolling the feed. On Pinterest, most of the users are actively looking for information and each user’s feed is based on his interests and previous searches.
According to the data on 1.01.2018, Pinterest has over 75 million users inside the US and about 100 million outside the US (1). And here are some additional demographics for you to understand the potential of Pinterest for businesses.
- Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram.
- 93% of active pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and
- 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest
- Average time spent on Pinterest per visit is 14.2 minutes.
Pinterest Marketing Basics
If you don’t anything about Pinterest and how it works, here are some terms to help your understanding.
Users create on Pinterest collections of images linked to blogs, products, and sites. These are called boards.
Images linked to all the stuff users like are Pins. Most of the times, these are vertical images (officially recommended size is 600*900 px) to make it easier for users to save the pages they enjoyed reading to their collections.
Pinterest is currently growing to include various categories, from art to technology. But it’s worth mentioning that the platform started as the biggest collection of ideas in DIY, crafts, recipes, fashion, home décor, art. Obviously, this happened because in these niches content-creators have plenty of visual material to share in the form of Pins.
For businesses and anyone who wants to drive traffic to a website, bloggers, and influencers, it’s important you sign up for a business account.
Since business accounts are created with a commercial purpose, there is a set of features only available for business accounts:
- Pinterest analytics;
- Pinterest ads;
- You can attach a website to your account and enable rich pins.
If you are creating a brand-new business account, you need to follow the link
If you are making a conversion from personal to a business account, use this page:
What is Pinterest? Understanding Pinterest Terms
When you start using the platform, you’ll understand pretty fast how it works. But for a jump-start, understanding the basic Pinterest terminology helps a lot.
- Pins. These all the images you see on Pinterest. Almost every Pin is linked to some webpage where it was found. The Pin is an invitation for the user to click through to your post, page or website and find more information. Every account on Pinterest can save a max of 200,000 pins within the lifetime of the account.
- Pinners are all users of Pinterest, more specifically, users who pin and repin images on the platform.
- These are collections of images created by users on Pinterest. Every user can have a maximum of 500 boards in the account’s lifetime (including group boards which belong to a user). What are the Group boards?
- Group boards are created by a user who then invites collaborators (unlimited) of other Pinterest users who can also pin on his board. The board owner can remove any of the collaborators and set up board rules. The pins added to a group board by contributors are not taking away board owner’s 200,000 pin limit as they are counted on contributor’s side as their pins.
- Smart (or Home) Feed.This is what you see when you log in to your account either at pinterest.com or at the app. Similar to Facebook or Twitter feed, it’s based though not only on whom you follow but on other factors as well (which searches your made on Pinterest, on which pins you clicked before and others).
- Hashtags on Pinterest. They work only for freshly added pins. Which means that if a user makes a search with a hashtag, for example, #xmasdecor, Pinterest will show pins in chronological order, first the most recent pins.
Enable Rich Pins
Rich Pins can be enabled only on business accounts and only after you verified your website on Pinterest. Why do you need rich pins and how do they help attract more traffic from Pinterest?
Rich pins bring additional data from your site to the pin. Rich pins of the Article type (most commonly used, especially by bloggers) have titles and descriptions fetched from your page or post, so they
- Attract more attention in the smart feed thanks to the additional text.
- Increase the text space to use keywords to help your pin rank higher in Pinterest search results.
Most of the bloggers use Article Rich pins, Recipe pins are also quite common (they are automatically generated for every post in which a recipe plugin is used).
Product pins are mostly used by companies and brands and marketplaces, like Shopify to show products.
Pinterest also has App pins, which allow sharing and downloading apps directly from the Pinterest home fee.
What to pin and how often?
Pinterest has a very comprehensive and regularly updated Best practices page (2).
This page will give you some basic understanding of the ways you can promote your content on Pinterest. For this article, I will just emphasize the essential recommendations.
1. SEO (search engine optimization) of your pins, posts, images, boards is the key to huge traffic from Pinterest. This is the best chance for you to learn everything about Pinterest SEO and attract the targeted audience from this platform for free.
2. Your first 5 pins on any particular day get priority in distribution. When does the day start and where to save your first five pins, I posted about it recently here.
3. Multiple pins for the same post are welcome on Pinterest! Many bloggers who are just starting to promote their content on Pinterest, are terrified by the possible penalties for “content duplication”. This term comes from Google. Pinterest is very clear about pins – you can have as many different versions of pins for each of your posts, as you like. Just make sure they have at least slightly different descriptions, so that you can target different audiences and user interests.
Keyword Research for SEO on Pinterest
There are some pretty simple ways to do keyword research on Pinterest. A little more complicated part is how you use these keywords because there are so many places where you can apply keywords to help your pins rank on Pinterest.
But even so, I find SEO for Pinterest way easier than SEO for Google. If you struggle to understand the basics of search engine optimization for Google, check this free training by Mike Pearson who has his Google SEO figured out and making over $10,000/mo with each of the two niche blogs he runs.
Let’s think about how we use Facebook, Pinterest, and Google. When you come to Facebook, you usually scroll down the feed to see some new post from your friends or pages you follow. You are just consuming whatever the feed offers you. And I can’t imagine anyone going to the Facebook search box and trying to find anything specific, a keyword or a search phrase. Unless you need to look for a brand’s page or your friend’s profile, you don’t even use Facebook search.
When users come to Pinterest, they might also consume some content from the Smart Feed, but a lot of times, they come with an intent and a question. They are looking for information, just like in Google.
The difference is that Pinterest is younger and I would say, no so smart search engine yet. But it is based on search queries, and user’s interests, just like Google.
I can assure you that since Pinterest is still learning, it’s actually quite easy to get traffic from it using the basic SEO principles. And you don’t even need to write 4000-word posts to compete on Pinterest.
Pinterest Automation with Schedulers
Some scheduling tools allow you automatically pin and repin content while you are asleep. If you plan to get into Pinterest game as a serious player, you will need to use a scheduler. Not from the day one because you will probably want to understand how Pinterest works before you start automating things. When you get to a point of saving 50-100 pins a day, doing this manually could be painful.
I use Tailwind to schedule my pins – this is an officially authorized Pinterest partner. I explain in my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets video course how I use Tailwind (you can get the first month for free if you sign up through my affiliate link).
How Does Pinterest Work for Business and my Results
When site is just a little over 1 year old, I started with a 0 following Pinterest account and by the 10th month blogging, I reached 172,000 monthly pageviews to my blog, with about 90% of traffic coming from Pinterest. I’m currently driving ove 250,000/mo visitors from Pinterest, and growing.
I started my second blog in Feb 2018, and the new blog momshealth.co already hit 74,000 monthly pageviews in less than 90 days! And again, about 90% of the traffic comes from Pinterest. And I didn’t pay a cent for it, this is all organic and targeted traffic from Pinterest. By the way, if you are wondering about all this blogging business and which tools I use for running it, here is my list of my preferred resources.
Free Pinterest Traffic Masterclass
Get more tips about Pinterest traffic by email.
Additional Resources Used in this Post
Did you know that Pinterest can drive to your website thousands of pageviews of free organic traffic primarily from the United States?
This is my Google Analytics report for one of my websites – you can see that Pinterest is my primary traffic source. Pinterest works like magic across so many niches and verticals of online business – it’s hard to believe!
In today’s post, I will show you why it works so great and how you can leverage Pinterest traffic for your business!
Why You Should Use Pinterest For Your Business
The main reason is that Pinterest doesn’t try to keep users all the time inside their platform. On the contrary, Pinterest lets you add a link to your website from every image you publish on your boards.
If you know anything about another very popular social network Instagram, you can only have a link from your profile and from stories. And stories don’t last more than 24 hours. So if you want to get some traffic from Instagram, you have to really hustle every single day and publish new stories.
The second reason why I think Pinterest is so great for businesses is that you are investing your time in long-term success. Each pin you saved on the platform, has a chance to go viral but not only that – it can also be found on Pinterest months and sometimes even years after you published the pin, in Pinterest search results.
And the other reason I have to mention here is that Pinterest could be the best option for a lot of businesses and people who are not ready to put themselves out there in other formats. Like if you don’t want to create a video because let’s face it, it is 100 times easier and faster to create an image for Pinterest than a video for Youtube.
If you don’t see yourself making Instagram stories every day just to get some likes and a few clicks to your website, then perhaps Pinterest which is something in between a social media and a search engine, is the best place to get traffic from in addition to Google.
And I have to tell you that Google, as much as I love Google traffic, is a tough-nut-to-crack! You will not get a ton of organic traffic from Google in the first year or two of building your website. You’ll need a lot of time and effort in building backlinks. On Pinterest, you can start getting a decent amount of traffic right away, literally from the first month being on this platform.
Niches And Businesses That Do Well On Pinterest
If you know a little bit about me, I became a Pinterest marketing expert through the experience I first gained on this platform running traffic to my blogs.
I’ve had months with over 300,000/mo pageviews and about 90% of the traffic was coming from Pinterest.
And lots of other bloggers (even complete beginners) are leveraging Pinterest traffic because you can get traction on this platform so much faster than on Google.
Pinterest works great for bloggers because it drives most traffic from the United States, and it helps to make more money for each 1000 of visitors to the site.
But that also means that whatever your business is, even if you are far from the blogging world, you can leverage Pinterest audience that’s so valued by ad networks because of their buyer intent and high average household income.
I’m not going to lie to you that every possible niche on Earth is a good fit for Pinterest. If you have a local car rental business, I think the best place for you is Google because people will not look for this type of service on Pinterest.
But let me show you some of the niches that are very popular on Pinterest.
If you have a Business Pinterest account, you can check this data and all the details for yourself too. So, we go to Audience Insights and then to the tab All Pinterest Users.
These are the top niches on Pinterest very broadly defined but on the right side, you can also see more specific topics inside of each niche.
So we’re looking at home decor as the biggest niche on Pinterest and then inside of it, you have home accessories, room decor, home accents wall, etc.
You can see that the subcategory is a very long list so it doesn’t mean that you have to target only the home decor niche.
If you scroll a little bit more on the categories, you’ll find more niches like entertainment, fashion, food and drinks, event planning, and more.
So you need to find your niche and if it’s somewhere on this list then chances are that you will get pretty good success on Pinterest.
Another very interesting thing we can learn here from audience insights on Pinterest is that you have mostly the female audience. About 70% of all Pinterest users are women.
We can see here that the majority of the users are on mobile devices only 24% are on the web. And on Locations, the biggest locations are Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. so we are looking mostly at the United States audience.
We’re looking now at the categories that are popular from my audience – for people who follow my account and engage with my pins.
An important note here that we’re looking only for the last 30 days so if let’s say a year ago I had a viral pain about healthy food, then healthy food so food and drinks would go much higher on this list.
Now we can go on the Compare tab and we can compare now the total audience from my account and the total audience for the Pinterest platform to see on average how much people are engaging with different categories.
First of all, for my audience I even have a high percentage of women – it’s 82 versus 70% so that means that I’m actually targeting women and I have a significantly higher percentage of people that are between 18 and 24 years old.
And in the categories, we can see here that entertainment event-planning is significantly higher than average.
There are a lot of times where people who represent eCommerce asked me whether or not Pinterest only worked for bloggers. Well, it definitely doesn’t only work for bloggers. A lot of your competitors are already on Pinterest and doing very well there.
I found this big site here—Zazzle. They have a reach on Pinterest over 10 million and if you click from this pin you’ll land on an online store with so many categories of products.
We can see even from the boards what kind of products they’re selling. We’re also noticing here that they’re following something that I’m often talking about: you need to follow trends. So they’re creating boards around holidays around specific holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Morgan’s Valentine’s Day, etc.
Right now, we are looking at one of their pins which is actually not the best example of a pin for an eCommerce site.
In my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets Course, I have a module specifically talking about what is the best design for eCommerce sites and how you can start competing against bloggers because that’s basically the biggest struggle of eCommerce – they don’t understand how to create images that will drive clicks from Pinterest.
As I’ve said, this pin is not the best example because it’s a square image. Also, the only text overlay of this image is the text that we have on the mug itself but it would also help if they explained what they’re trying to sell here.
But you don’t have to be an eCommerce giant like Amazon to succeed on Pinterest, you can have a pretty small family eCommerce website like this one:
You can see they have over 4 million monthly viewers on Pinterest and that is probably translated to a lot of free traffic to their store. And you can see that they are selling products that are popular on Pinterest and I’m sure that they are getting a lot of qualified visitors that are actually converting into sales on their site.
Or let’s say you are in handmade business and you want to get more orders for your items, you can connect your Pinterest account to both – your own website and to your Etsy shop. And there are lots of very successful accounts that are focused on very narrow handmade products like quilting.
Or let’s say you have a blog about pets or even more narrow – about dogs. We’re looking now at an account with 10+ million reach that’s dedicated to dogs. They even have holiday-related boards and this is the best example of leveraging Pinterest potential to the max.
For bloggers and for websites that are making money with advertising, I can find examples of super successful Pinterest accounts almost in every niche. I actually get a lot of questions from travel bloggers about them not being sure if this niche can be successful on Pinterest.
This is a travel blogging account with 7.6 Million viewers on Pinterest.
But you don’t have to be a huge informational website to get traffic from Pinterest. You can be a personal development coach and drive just enough traffic from Pinterest to be booked months in advance with new clients. I’ll show you a few examples of how people successfully do it in this niche:
Now that I showed you that there are lots of niches that do really well on Pinterest, I need to also mention what kind of business can hardly be a good fit.
If you are promoting events that are happening only once in a specific place, like concerts for example, Pinterest is not going to help you much because as a search engine, it will take time to index your new pins and start ranking them. By the time you can get any traffic from your pins, the event will be history.
Anything that is heavily targeting the male audience and would hardly be interesting for women, will also struggle on Pinterest because about 80% of the users on this platform are women.
If you are selling some items that could be interpreted as gifts for husbands, boyfriends, fathers or sons, then you could probably get a little more traffic during the holiday season as women could plan on Pinterest gifts for the family.
But in general, it is harder to promote content and products targeting only men on Pinterest.
Things To Remember If You Want To Be Successful On Pinterest
My main tip for you to be successful on Pinterest is: Don’t think of it as a typical social media platform.
What do I mean by this?
First, your account’s following numbers have very little effect on how much traffic you will get from this platform. I have a video about followers on Pinterest in which I explained why it works this way:
Basically, if you have 5000 followers you can get as much traffic from Pinterest as an account with 25,000 followers, just because you treat Pinterest as a search engine and you make pins that generate clicks.
But remember this first rule: don’t evaluate your success on Pinterest by the growth of your Following numbers.
The second vanity metric that people often chase on Pinterest is the monthly viewers number that is shown next to your profile name. Why is this a vanity number?
Well, it’s not entirely useless because it can indicate the overall account quality but the problem is that monthly viewers don’t always reflect the traffic you get to your site.
This number includes both – the pins linked to your site, and the pins that you shared from other accounts. And I have seen it many times by now on different accounts as I work with students in my Pinterest course, and with clients, that you can easily have a viral pin you just repined from another Pinterest account that generated over a million monthly viewers on your account in the last 30 days, so you’ll see that extra million monthly viewers in your profile that have nothing to do with the traffic to your site.
The other reason why I consider this as a vanity metric is that if your pin was seen on Pinterest 100k times, and even if it was saved to hundreds of boards, it doesn’t mean that a lot of people clicked from your pin to your website.
I have another video on my channel which I think is extremely important for people who run a business and like to spend their time efficiently on any platform they use. It’s called “How to Get More Clicks on Pinterest – The Worst Pin Mistakes That Kill Your Traffic”. You might want to check it out!
How To Be Successful On Pinterest
Let’s imagine you are creating a Pinterest business account. How should you treat it? Should you have some of your personal boards on it? What should you write in the profile description?
The main goal of your Pinterest profile is to give people a quick idea of what your account is about and give them a reason to follow you. When you use Pinterest for business, you basically need to speak about that business and use the keywords which could help your profile be found on the platform.
Don’t save anything for your personal use on a business account, especially on the public boards because it’s going to confuse the algorithm. Ideally, you should have a separate personal account on Pinterest if you want to use it for yourself. But if you hate the idea of switching between the accounts, you could create Secret boards and keep all the pins you save for yourself, not related to your business goals, in those secret boards. There is a setting in every board on Pinterest for this.
The next step would be verification of your website on Pinterest and it will work a bit differently depending on the type of website you have.
To verify your website, you will go to Settings in your profile >> Edit Settings >> Claim.
If you have an eCommerce business, in most cases, they are very well optimized for Pinterest. To get verified, just Google your platform name and website verification on Pinterest and you most probably will find an official instruction from your platform that shows how you can verify your store – basically, it’s just adding Pinterest’s verification code in the head section of the site. You would have to do the same thing to verify your site with Google Webmaster tools, for example.
In the settings of your business account on Pinterest, you will see a lot of possible integrations. They help you claim your Youtube account, your Instagram account, and even your Etsy store. All of these verifications are done with just a few clicks. You have to be logged in to your account on these platforms and this button will help you connect them.
You can see that I claimed my Youtube account, right? So what does it give me? In my Pinterest analytics, I will see the stats for my pins linked to Youtube separately, and for my website separately. If I didn’t claim my Youtube account, this data wouldn’t be available for me and I couldn’t find out how many viewers Pinterest brings to my videos.
Yes, once you have a Pinterest business account, you will see all these analytics as well. And the main thing I recommend everyone to focus on is how many clicks you get from Pinterest.
Clicks on each separate pin are also not the best indicator of your success because they show only how much traffic this specific pin image is driving and only in the last 30 days.
So if last year this pin, for example, was viral, a year ago it could be showing 3000 clicks. But in the last 30 days, this particular pin wasn’t trending or popular, so I will see only a few clicks from it. Should I consider this pin unsuccessful? Of course not, it was actually a viral pin a year ago.
If you want to get a fast track for success on Pinterest and you want me to guide you step-by-step, you can sign up for my signature program Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets Course.
With my paid course you have invested in yourself and you will definitely do your best to get the most out of the program and out of your investment. Plus, in my course, you will get access to me in the private Facebook group for members of the program only.
Something people often don’t realize about my program is that you’re not just watching the videos and trying it all on your own. You can always reach out to me in the private Facebook group with a screenshot or with your pin with a link to your Pinterest profile and ask a specific question or doubt that’s bothering you.
If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Marketing board to check the post later when new updates are announced.