Pinterest is a visual search engine which many mistakenly call a social media platform. This is why I’ve heard a lot the question 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:
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.
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 personally prefer to use BoardBooster to schedule my pins (this is my referral link, so you can get a $5 bonus which equals to 500 pins). I explain in my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets video course why I use mostly BoardBooster, it has to do with Pinterest’s algorithm and with the way other schedulers work. But I also use Tailwind (you can get a $15 bonus if you upgrade to a paid plan).
How I Use Pinterest for My Own Online Business and my Results
My 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 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 Workshop
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