Pinterest is more than just a place to find interior design inspiration or recipe ideas. It can also be a great place to generate leads, drive website traffic and reach your ideal customer. Here’s the thing….if you do it right, Pinterest can be your SEO bestie. While we think of Pinterest as a social media channel, is is actually more of a search engine.
Think about the way we engage with social media—scroll, like, comment. Compare that with the way we behave on search—go to search engine, type in what we are looking for, click on relevant links, land on someone’s website. Pinterest behaves much more like the latter, but with some of the engagement of social (saves, shares and likes).
Why you should consider Pinterest
- Drive more traffic to your website: All pins have a link attached to them. You can drive people
- Repurpose existing content: if you are already creating content, Pinterest is another way to get more out of each piece of content.
- Longer shelf life for your content: social media posts have a short shelf life (we’re talking minutes and hours here). A single Pinterest pin can continue to drive traffic to your site for months or even years.
- Branding: Pinterest can be a great place to promote your personal brand and drive brand awareness.
- Go “viral”: Did you know that 80% of pins are repins? A re-pin is when someone adds your pin to their board. The ripple affect of those repins and shares means you can easily be exposed to a larger audience thanks to other people sharing your content.
Is my client on Pinterest?
Pinterest users are majority female mothers ages 25-44 with an average household income of $100K+. Is that your ideal client? If so, you should be excited about creating a Pinterest strategy for your business.
Not exactly your ideal client? You can still use Pinterest to your advantage. Why? If your ideal client isn’t necessarily spending a lot of time on Pinterest, there is still a benefit to using Pinterest. It will allows you more chances to own the search results when your client is searching on Google.
For example, if someone is searching for “email marketing strategy”, my Instagram posts about email will not show up in Google results, but my Pinterest pins on the topic may. If you look below, you can see my website, Facebook and Pinterest show up in the search results. The other cool thing is that, since your Pins all have an image associated with them that also have the SEO connected to them, you can show up well in image searches, too.
How The Pinterest Algorithm Works
Pinterest has made some big changes this year that can actually be an advantage if you are just starting a Pinterest strategy, or looking to get back into the pin game. Here are some highlights:
- Pinterest is prioritizing “fresh” content. They will now serve fresh content up first, not just pin with lots of repins, clicks, etc. This can be new blog posts, new products or new pins. But the cool thing here is what Pinterest considers “fresh”. Fresh can be as simple as a new image linking to an old blog post. So if you have evergreen content, you can spend a little time creating Pin images (more on that later) and creating a Pin to link to that blog post.
- More is not more: If you pin too much in one day, Pinterest can see you as a spammer. So if you are playing catch up, don’t do it all in one day. Spread your pinning out throughout the week or month.
- Focus on pinning your own content. It used to be that you needed to balance pinning your own content with repinning others’ content. That’s not the case anymore. Again, fresh is best, so whether you are pinning your own content or someone else’s it is seen the same to Pinterest, so you might as well pin your own content. From a community aspect, still pin other’s content when it is relevant and helpful to your ideal audience, but don’t stress about percentages.
- The 80/20 rule doesn’t apply. Since you don’t have to worry as much about curating other peoples’ content, you can spend more time creating your own content, graphics and—ultimately—leads.
- Don’t pin to EVERY board. You can still pin the same pin to multiple boards, but make sure it is relevant and only pin 1 pin to a max of 10 boards.
How To Use Pinterest For Business
Let’s get started with how to actually set up Pinterest for business, how to create Pinterest-worthy graphics and optimize your pins.
How To Set Up A Pinterest Business Account
Creating a business account is an important step so that you have access to analytics and insights into your audience and what content is working.
You can link an existing personal account to a business account, create a new business account, or convert a personal account to a business account. Here’s how to do each of those:
Add a business profile to your Pinterest account
- Log in to your personal Pinterest account and click in the top right corner
- Click Add a free business profile
- Follow the prompts to create your business account:
- Choose at least 1 topic that describes your business
- Interest in advertising
- Business type
- Business name
- Business email
- Business website
- Claim your Instagram, Etsy, or Youtube accounts
- Download the Pinterest browser button
- Copy boards from your personal profile
Create a new business account
If you don’t want to have your business account linked to your personal account, you can create a standalone business account. Keep in mind that you’ll have to sign in to your personal and business accounts separately.
- If you have a personal account, log out
- Go to pinterest.com/business/create/
- Fill out your email, password and business name then select a business type
- Click Create account
Convert a personal account to a business account
- Log in to your account
- Go to pinterest.com/business/convert/
- Fill out your business name and website then select a business type
- Click Create account
Creating Pin-Worthy Graphics
Pinterest is a visual platform first and foremost. If your pin doesn’t stand out among the other pin images, you won’t see traction. The good news is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer or photographer to be able to make beautiful pin-worthy graphics. My favorite tools are are:
Canva has pre-designed Pinterest graphics you can use and customize to create graphics for your pins. Canva also has its own library of stock images, or you can upload your own photos or photos downloaded from royalty-free image sites like Unsplash and Pexels.
I recommend finding 6-10 templates that you like and customizing them for your brand. That way, when it is time to create new pins, you can quickly and easily swap out image and titles without having to start from scratch.
Pinning Your Content
Once you have the content you want to pin (i.e. a blog post), and the graphic, now it is time to actually pin your content. It is really simple to do.
- Go to your Pinterest business profile
- Click the “+” icon in the top right corner
- Choose “add a pin”
- Upload the pin graphic you created
- Add your URL
- Write a title and description for your pin
- Select the best board for the subject
- Click publish (or choose to publish later if desired)
Optimizing Your Pinterest Strategy
Whether you are creating content often, or just once a month, you can still use Pinterest to help support, diversify and expand your marketing reach. I know the thought of adding one more thing can be overwhelming. And knowing what to prioritize can be daunting. But when you think about the longevity of the life of your content on Pinterest, spending a little time each week to add your content to the platform is a good use of your time.
The other nice thing? Since Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media platform, you don’t have be constantly in the app engaging with your community which is a big time-saver.
So, what are some best practices for optimizing your content for Pinterest?
- Create content that appeals to your ideal client
- Keep it positive. Pinterest is where people go to escape—it’s their happy place. Keep the headlines and language positive. For example, instead of “The Worst Travel Mistakes You Can Make”, the title should be “5 Travel Secrets To Know Before Your Next Trip”.
- Create multiple pin graphics for each piece of content. This way you can test what images and layouts perform best. For example, for 1 blog post you could create pins with:
- Title only (no images)
- Title + a photo of you
- Title + a stock photo (can create multiple of these to test images)
- Post title + a subtitle
- Post title + subtle th
- Quote from the post
- Infographic of the main takeaways
- Do keyword research. Remember…Pinterest is a search engine. Search engines rely on keywords. Pinterest is no different. You want to include the keywords your CUSTOMERS are using when looking for your products or services in your title and description.
How to optimize Pinterest keywords
People search on Pinterest differently than search. So it is a good idea to use Pinterest itself for keyword research. There are two places on Pinterest you want to look for keywords: the Pinterest search bar and the Trends section.
- Navigate to the homepage
- Begin typing in what your ideal client or customer might search for
- As you type, Pinterest will suggest searches based on popular searches
- Select a relevant search
- When you are on the results page, you will see a lot of additional keyword phrases and terms that you can use as well
- Don’t forget to look at the pins that are showing to see how other people are using these keywords as well.
Pinterest search bar for keyword research.
Find more relevant keyword ideas in the suggestion bubbles below the search bar.
This new section found under the Analytics tab. This will show you current search trends on Pinterest. This is where you can really nerd out. You can see overall trends on Pinterest, and also drill down by keyword to see the number of searches over time, related searches, and top pins for a particular search. Pretty cool, right?
Create a list of keywords that you want to use on Pinterest. You will use these keywords in these places:
- Board titles
- Board descriptions
- Pin titles
- Pin description
- In your Pin graphic
When pinning, make sure that you are providing value and giving your audience something in return for clicking through to your website. Make sure that the page you are sending people to works and delivers on what you promise in your pin. We have all been there—you find something on Pinterest that was just what you are looking for, and then the pin takes you nowhere. So frustrating. Don’t be that pinner.
Pinterest can be a great to tool drive website traffic, build your brand and grow your email list and other lead generation tactics. If you are already creating content that is relevant and valuable to your ideal customer, Pinterest is just another way to distribute that content and grow the know, like and trust factor with your audience.
Pinterest has made lots of changes, so if you haven’t been on the platform for awhile, it’s definitely worth taking another look and dedicating some time to utilizing it for your business.
If you want to talk more about how you can use Pinterest for your business, let me know. I have been having a lot of fun diving into Pinterest strategy and would love to use what I am learning to help you.