Pinterest – what a surprise to be writing about this as someone who can offer up advice! A few short months ago I felt completely clueless about this platform and how to make it work for my blog – but I was aware the rewards could be massive and was keen to learn how to increase Pinterest traffic. Fast forward just 60 days and I have seen huge benefits and am regularly being asked how did you do it?
So just precisely what have I achieved since I got to grips with the social platform everyone wants to nail?
- Increased my followers by 500% in 3 months;
Doubled my traffic in one month.
Not bad if I say so myself.
But How Did I Achieve These Epic Results?
I already shared some super basic Pinterest tips with you in Blog Like a Boss: The Blog Admin You Need to Nail, but what else?
I read voraciously, devouring everything I could find on how to successfully utilise the platform, and then I set about the tedious task of putting it all into place. In this post I’m going to go through the basics of how to use Pinterest (assuming you already know you should be pin pin pinning regularly, and have a ratio of one of your own pins to significantly more of other people’s stuff), and then I’ll be following up with a subsequent post about the revelatory scheduling tool which has changed the way I use Pinterest and taken away the headache.
I’ll warn you now, this is a long one. I considered breaking it up into separate posts, but it’s all equally relevant so you’ll just have to bear with me. Ready? Grab a cuppa and a notepad and let’s get to work on bossing Pinterest!
How to Increase Pinterest Traffic – The Basics
1. Make Pins Tall/Vertical/Portrait Images
I consider this to be about as basic as it gets, but it still amazes me how many people don’t yet do this. Pinterest is most often accessed via mobile phone, and to that end tall images are favoured by the platform – because they look better visually. Crucially, they also perform better, and that’s what’s important.
2. Apply for Rich Pins
First you’ll need to make sure you have a business Pinterest account. This is simple to do and doesn’t cost anything, it simply allows you to take you account to the next level and start using it to drive traffic to your site like a pro.
Next, you’ll need to apply for rich pins. You can consider your new improved rich pins to be ‘super pins’ – they will update automatically as your website does and they will display your business name and logo beneath. If you want to stand out from the crowd and look like a professional, this is an essential step in whipping your account into shape.
3. Brand Your Boards
By which I mean, look at your boards and see which you organically pin to most often. Any boards you don’t tend to use very often – delete. Or if you can’t bear to do that then hide them. Same goes for anything which is irrelevant to your blog.
Be discerning: your boards should be an extension of your blog, they don’t have to be entirely regimented in terms of theme, but they should at least have a loose thread tying them together.
As an example, a parenting blogger may include recipe boards if you write lots of recipes, but if your niche is motorcycles then recipes would not be such a good fit.
4. Arrange Your Boards With Care…
And note that even when you have them perfectly set out, this is not the way they should remain indefinitely! You need to move with the trends and rotate your boards accordingly. I have now hidden my Christmas board because it’s January and nobody cares any longer. Come September time I’ll be bringing it back to the top of my page – because people tend to start pinning around three months in advance.
Also be sure to have a blog board on which all of your pins can be found – and keep it as the first one on your page.
5. Use Keyword Rich Descriptions
Pinterest doesn’t use hashtags, so you can drop those now. Instead, think about how people type search terms into the search bar.
These are the keywords you should be including in your descriptions – as many as possible, as naturally as possible.
6. Use Alt Tags Wisely
Those long pin descriptions will pull through to Pinterest automatically if you simply enter them on the image on your blog as an Alt tag. Boom.
7. Use the Pinterest Button Plugin
Use WordPress? Get this plugin and it makes it super easy for people to pin directly from your posts.
8. Make Your Pins Pretty
I use PicMonkey, but there are many other options available. Initially I always used the same font, to try to retain some consistency – but that’s not the best approach IMHO. I now go for what looks good – which is likely to change dependent upon the pin/subject, etc. I’ve also noticed that colourful pins look better than black and white images, but that’s just my personal preference. I’d certainly suggest colour stands out more and apparently some colours do convert better than others.
But it’s not just the aesthetic of the pin itself that’s important. In terms of your blog, you also want to ensure it looks good on the page, and there are different schools of thought on this. As I’ve mentioned already, your pins should be portrait, but as (I hope) we all know – images on your blog look much better landscape – so how to get around this problem?
I used to hide my pins, so that copying the url into Pinterest would show the pin, but it wouldn’t be unsightly on my post. However, what this means is that you’re losing opportunities for people to pin the work of art you’ve created – or they just pin a landscape image instead which has not been optimised in any way and is definitely not the one you want pinned!
Some people place their pins at the very end of their post and make them large and proud. This doesn’t work for me because that’s where I put my subscribe box (which does work).
I’ve chosen to break up my posts with my pin in a smaller size than my other images, but this is one for you to figure out for yourselves.
Incidentally, the smallest sized pin you can get away with, without it showing up on Pinterest very tiny, is 238 pixels wide. And the html you’d need to hide pins should you choose to do so is as follows:
<div style=”display: none;”>
9. Be Selective and Creative
When encouraging me to work on Pinterest, this is the best piece of advice the fabulous Mim gave me: don’t bother creating pins for everything. It’s a pointless task which will have you metaphorically sticking pins in your eyes: nobody on Pinterest cares about the annoying sales assistant you encountered yesterday or why you like your new shoes.
So what do Pinterest users care about? They browse the platform looking for inspiration and advice. They want to see: how-to’s, recipes and such like.
Does that mean the majority of your posts will never convert to page views? It depends how clever you are. Here’s an example:
I wrote an inspirational (I like to think) post about parental responsibility, namely the duty versus the privilege. If I’d simply created a pin using the title of the blog post, I imagine it would have failed miserably. Instead, I called my pin ‘How to Be a Better Parent …By Simply Changing Your Mindset’.
Now in fairness I’ve only just added that pin to my boards today – but I expect it to do well because every good parent wants to know the secret to being a better parent – particularly if they don’t have to actively change anything beyond their way of thinking. The pin is designed to appeal on several levels – I’ve attempted to cover all bases here: motivational, how-to, advice. (Okay, you’ve got me, it’s not a recipe, unless you want to call it a recipe for successful parenting..? Cringe. I take that back.)
10. Use Boardbooster
This last tip is the most prized weapon in my Pinterest arsenal: BoardBooster. (Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link – but I genuinely love it as it’s been oh so worth it.)
Since I started using it my blog has gone from strength to strength. That’s right, forget my Pinterest account – the ultimate goal, always, is our blog, right?
Finally, I’d like to thank Aby of You Baby, Me Mummy for the brilliant tip she shared about saving your pin to multiple boards without it repeatedly showing up in your followers’ feeds. The way to achieve this is by saving to your blog board, and when the box pops up reading ‘see it now’ click this and repin to another board, continuing the process until you’ve pinned to all relevant boards. This will mean you already start off with several repins which looks better on your boards, plus it’s immediately viewable in all the places you want it be!
Did you find these tips helpful? Please pin the article!