Pinterest seems to be the one social media channel that nobody can quite put their finger on. Sure, it’s a little mysterious, and at times, pretty puzzling, but there are plenty of reasons you really, really need to be on Pinterest.
First of all, the amount of traffic it can generate for your site isn’t necessarily proportional to your following. If you only have 600 followers, but a few people start pinning your pin, and create a snowball effect, this can send thousands of visitors to your site! (I know, because this happened to me with this post right when I started blogging–and because of that ONE pin years ago, it’s still one of my most popular posts of all time.
Second–on that same point, Pinterest is the only social media channel where your posts live on forever. The life of a tweet or Facebook post is a few hours, but Pinterest is pretty much forever. The reason for this is because people treat Pinterest more like a search engine than a social media channel–so if your pin is a popular one, it’s going to keep coming up over and over again in user’s Pinterest searches!
Okay, you get it–so how can you take advantage of Pinterest? What can you do to drive more traffic to your site? Try these 8 tips, and don’t be surprised if you’re traffic doubles! (I know, it did for me!)
1. Set up Pinterest for Business
By setting up Pinterest for Business, you’ll get access to helpful analytics (think Google Analytics, but for Pinterest) and the ability to set up rich pins, and even promote pins. Having a business profile set up for your site vs a personal page also establishes your brand as an authority. Click here for a step by step tutorial on how to set up Pinterest for business. You can also read this article about how to convert your personal account to a business account right here.
2. Create pretty graphics.
Yeah yeah yeah, we’ve all heard this one before–but if you aren’t creating Pinterest graphics, I don’t think you truly understand how important they are.
I know, they’re a PAIN in the ass to create. They really are. They take a lot more time than just uploading a photo, but guess what–they’re worth it.
This is a hair tutorial I did recently. You can see the step by step graphic I created on the left, and two other pins I pinned of just individual photos on the right.
The graphic got re-pinned ONE HUNDRED AND THREE times, and the others got pinned just 2 and 4 times!
Whaaaaatttt? (Do you believe me now?)
Both Blair and I use Adobe Photoshop to do this (it’s only $10 per month when you get the subscription, and it comes with Lightroom!) but there are also other resources that you can use for free and can be a bit more intuitive to use, like BeFunky.
(Updated note–it looks like a few of you guys were wondering how to upload a graphic to Pinterest that you don’t want in your blog post–that’s easy too! Just go to your Pinterest page, and look in the upper right-hand corner. Click on the plus sign (+) next to your profile photo, and click “upload from computer.” Make sure to pop in your link, and then you’re done! You can also manually upload to Tailwind (more on that below) to schedule your pin in advance.)
(Psssttt…we also made a handy Pinterest Audit Checklist to help you do just this! Click below to get it, as well as access to our Free Resource Library with other helpful downloads, too!)
3. Delete your unpinned pins
This sounds weird, but I promise, it really works.
When someone searches a term in Pinterest’s algorithm, it pulls the best pins from the most reputable pinners to show up first. Part of how it assesses “reputable pinners” is what your repin ratio is. If you have a ton of pins that aren’t pinned–guess what? Pinterest isn’t going to give you much love. But if you have a high repin ratio, it’s going to boost your pin much higher in the search results.
So, how do we fix that? Go through all of your pins, and delete all pins that haven’t been re-pinned at least once. I just learned this trick recently, and although it was a REAL pain to do, it really paid off. After going through my boards and weeding through the unpinned pins, I noticed that I’ve been receiving a LOT more repins on my images on a consistent basis!
If you have a ton of boards to tackle, start with your most popular boards first (Tailwind or Pinterest Analytics can tell you this–more on that below!) and then eventually work your way through all of them. This is a great activity to do while watching Netflix 😉
4. Sign up for Tailwind
Blair and I both recently signed up for Tailwind and cannot even TELL you how much of a difference it’s made. It has nearly doubled my following in just a couple months, and I’m seeing a lot more traffic from Pinterest. Sitting down just once per week allows you to schedule your pins for the entire week. (I try to schedule around 50 pins per day–and a mix of both my content and other content.) It’s really quick and easy, and gives you the recommended times to pin, so your content is most likely to be seen by your audience. Yes, it is a paid platform, but it will quickly pay for itself!
5. Ensure sure all your boards are relevant to your brand
This is a common mistake I made in the beginning–I had random boards that had nothing to do with my brand. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger and cover nothing but style, your Pinterest boards should only cover style. If you’re a food blogger, your boards should be things like “breakfast,” “lunch,” “dinner,” “vegan,” “gluten free” “appetizers,” “quick meal ideas,” “meal prep,” etc. NOT “breakfast,” “lunch,” “dinner,” “what’s in my closet,” “beauty routine,” and “travel.” Make sense? You want to ensure you’re attracting an audience that will love all of your content, not just a tiny portion of it!
6. Remember to pin from your individual blog post, NOT from your homepage.
This is a detrimental mistake that can leave TONS of traffic on the table, and it’s really easy to do if you aren’t paying attention. Make sure you’re pinning from your individual blog post, not from your home page. If you pin an image from your homepage, and someone clicks through it two years later, they aren’t going to find what they’re looking for, and they’re going to get frustrated and leave–never to return again.
If they click through two years from now and find the post they’re looking for, there is a much higher chance they’re going to fall in love with what you have to say, and be a return reader.
7. Set up “Rich Pins”
What are rich pins? They’re essentially pins that include a bit more information than normal pins–dramatically increasing the chance that they’ll be clicked and repinned! They pull in your headline, blog logo and blog name, in addition to the caption. These work especially great for recipes, where they pull in the list of ingredients as well! Setting up rich pins can be a little bit tricky, but this is a great tutorial that walks you through how to do it the easy way!
8. Name your blog photos with keyword rich descriptions
This takes a little bit of extra time, but makes a big difference in the “searchability” of your pins. Before you upload your photos into your post, name them with keyword-rich descriptions. Not only will this improve your site’s SEO overall, but when you go to pin your images to your boards (or readers go to pin images from your website onto their own boards) the description will show up as, “denim off the shoulder top” for example, instead of say, “IMG_8690.” If you haven’t been doing this, start with your most popular posts, then move on to your recent posts, and go from there. You can change the image description in WordPress itself by clicking on “edit image” and then updating the “alternative text.”
What other questions do you have about Pinterest?
What success have you seen with this platform? What is still a mystery to you?
Make sure to join our resource library (click here, or the graphic below for access!) to get our free Pinterest Audit Checklist and boost your Pinterest traffic in no time!6