Are you seeing your competitors doing great on Pinterest? Do you also want to drive traffic and sales from this platform to your eCommerce site?
But from what I see all over the place is that eCommerce site owners really struggle with understanding how to approach Pinterest. They make a ton of mistakes and often miss a lot of opportunities because they are trying to apply the same strategies they have used on other platforms.
In this post, I will show you how your marketing on Pinterest should be different and will cover the most typical mistakes eCommerce sites make on Pinterest, that can cost them wasted time and effort, lost traffic, and sales.
So if you have an eCommerce site and you don’t see how Pinterest could work for you, you should look around better – a lot of shops in your niche might be already on Pinterest.
And you could probably miss a huge potential because the majority of Pinterest users are in the United States, so it’s an audience with a purchasing power above the global average, and 83% of weekly active Pinterest users said they made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest. That’s right, 83% (!) of the weekly active users. Meaning they are using Pinterest platform at least once a week.
I promised you to show the biggest mistakes eCommerce sites make when they start their Pinterest accounts.
And the first mistake is very common:
1. Applying Strategies from other platforms on Pinterest
Ok, I might sound like a boring school teacher now but if you are not ready to invest your time and effort into Pinterest because for you, it’s yet another platform, and you just hope to set a Pinterest account in half an hour, automate some stuff and forget about it for the next 6 months, you better close this video now.
You are going to waste 15 minutes watching my tips and you will not implement anything and will not get any results on Pinterest if you treat it like your last priority on the list of other platforms to market your products.
So, most of the mistakes eCommerce sites make on Pinterest are just the consequence of this very first mistake. People assume it should not take any time and effort but at the same time they somehow expect extraordinary results. And when they don’t get them, they say oh Pinterest is useless – it doesn’t work for our site or our niche. Well, most probably YOU didn’t make it work. Which is good for your competitors, they will get more traffic and sales from Pinterest.
2. Using “BAD” Images that Don’t Work on Pinterest
I will explain what I mean by this. You can’t imagine how strong is the push back I receive from eCommerce site owners when I say you have to create images optimized for Pinterest – high-quality vertical images, and ideally they should have a text overlay in the top part of the pin.
eCommerce site owners send me emails, ask me questions on Youtube, on Facebook, even some students who already enrolled into my paid Pinterest course, are still doubting they should add the text overlay and they should make vertical images.
Well, I get it. It’s so much easier to just set some kind of semi-automatic image posting of product photos from your eCommerce site. But easy doesn’t mean you’ll get great results.
A lot of times, the product images on eCommerce sites look like this:
You can see here a lot of the images in the search results are horizontal, small pictures linked to product pages on eCommerce stores. People look at these pins and know for sure if they click they’ll land on a sales page. When you scroll down this page, which pins catch your attention? These small ones that look all like one another? Or maybe these vertical pins with text overlay that by the way showed up in the top search results.
In most of the cases, these “bad” pins are even placed on a white background and users can’t see how this particular product could fit into their life. For a sofa, it’s best to place it in a interior of a living room I guess. For some clothes, it’s best to show them in a lifestyle photo or on a model rather than just a specific shirt on a white background.
I’m almost sure that most of these small images ended up on Pinterest because the site owners set up Pinterest catalog feature that is automatically posting their product pins from the site the platform.
It’s not so bad to have this set up given this functionality is available on Pinterest but don’t expect amazing results when you are automating your Pinterest marketing to a point when you don’t even create or upload any pins – you just send whatever images you have on your site automatically.
So this account has the catalog set up but they are still creating vertical images as well.
By the way I get a lot of questions about how to set up a Shop tab for an eCommerce store. I’m not planning to publish this tutorial because it’s too technical and most of the shop owners do this with their web developers. Also the exact implementation often depends on the eCommerce platform you use.
You can start from this page.
And you will see that you have to add a Data source from your site.
Moreover, this feature doesn’t seem to be available in all the countries yet.
If you click on Learn more, you’ll see that currently this features is only available in these 6 English-speaking countries and is being tested in a few European languages.
Anyway a data source is a file that contains a list of your products and their corresponding attributes, may also be called a product catalog or product feed.
If you dig deeper through this page, you’ll find here what are the supported file formats and which are the required product fields.
As you can see, for every eCommerce platform or store the implementation might look different so making a generic tutorial on this topic doesn’t make any sense. And anyway most of the website owners will not be able to implement this without the assistance of their web-developers.
3. Using Images without any Text Overlay
This is part of the image design but I though it would be really worth mentioning as a separate point. Because I’ve see shops that invested some extra time into creating vertical lifestyle images for Pinterest as opposed to small horizontal product photos on a white background, which is already a big step forward. But then they don’t add any text overlay to their pins.
What happens with pins that don’t have any text overlay – usually they might even get a decent amount of saves because people like the image or the idea, but these images generate less traffic to your site. Users have no reason to click-through if you don’t give them any reason in your text overlay.
In my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets course I have a module specifically for eCommerce sites, and there I show examples of text overlay that will help you generate more clicks your pins. The idea behind adding a text overlay is showing the user what they should expect on your site when they click, and also giving them a call to action.
In this module, I also show you other ways how you could get more traffic form Pinterest, and how to solve the problem of having a limited number of product pages. It’s something eCommerce sites are often worried about. They keep asking but how can I consistently pin so many times a day if I only have 25 or 50 products on my site.
Well, there are several solutions for you guys, if you want to learn more, I’ll give you a link to my course in the top right corner and in the description below this video.
4. Ignoring the Power of Pinterest SEO
I’ve seen a lot of eCommerce sites on Pinterest that have no more than 10-15 boards. So they have very broad board titles and nothing specific.
So they might have boards with titles “Home décor”, “Interior Desing Ideas” but no boards that help some of their specific product categories rank on Pinterest.
For example, they could have boards that define different types of products:
“Lighting for Living Room”
or something even more specific like “L-Shape Couch Ideas”
They could also create boards based on the styles. In case of the home décor niche, we could be looking at
“Luxury interior décor” or “Mid-Century Décor”
It take more time and work to create boards with more specific keywords in the titles and descriptions, and also to save relevant pins to them. But that’s how you leverage Pinterest SEO and rank your pins for many different keywords and not trying to compete just for a few generic keywords that define your niche.
5. Lots Pins with Broken Links
It’s not common for other types of websites to have so many error pages, but with eCommerce sites this happens over and over again. They have a collection of products, then they remove some products, others are out of stock or out of production. But your pins on Pinterest are still linked to those broken pages.
Pinterest is very smart at identifying these problems – I’ve seen it many times when Pinterest accounts suddenly face a huge drop in traffic and impressions on Pinterest. This often happens when your Pinterest account has a lot of pins linked to broken pages.
Pinterest doesn’t want to show pins that go to error pages and get frustrated users, so they reduce distribution of the pins from your account, basically your account gets a mild penalty. It’s not suspended or blocked, but usually you can see a significant drop in your account’s performance very fast.
To avoid this, as an eCommerce seller you need to be pro-active and if you know that some product is gone, don’t leave that page empty. At least redirect it to your home page, or to a category page that shows similar products so that Pinterest users when they land on your site, don’t feel completely lost, or deceived by your pin.
Here’s another tip for you: 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.
If you want to move your Pinterest strategy to the next level, I’ll be happy to help you inside my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets course program or you could also get a 1:1 consultation with me – it’s when I will go through your Pinterest account, will analyze your niche and your website, and will tell you specifically what you can improve to get more traffic and sales from Pinterest.