For a very long time, too long, I stood in the “Pinterest Doesn’t Work for My Kind of Blog” Camp. Then one day I woke up. I started doing those things the madly successful bloggers were doing. Within twelve months, I have increased Pinterest traffic to this blog from under 1,000 page views per month to over 113,000! And thankfully, Pinterest results can be seen quickly.
I’m not paying for Promoted Pins – though I have seen great results when I have done them. I’m not paying for some expensive software – though I do pay $5 per month for a really cool tool you will learn about below. I’m not spending all day Pinning – though I do make a regular appearance.
Pinterest, like every other social marketing platform, isn’t about hitting the lottery. It’s about strategy. It’s about finding what works and doing it ritualistically for as long as it works, because things will change. Here are some of my top ways to increase your Pinterest traffic starting right now.
Optimize your profile, boards and pins for SEO. Google is loving Pinterest right now. If you can’t get on Page 1 with your site, sneak in there via Pinterest. My keyword research tool of choice is KWfinder, but you can also use Google Keyword Planner if you need to start out free.
Every day you should be promoting some of your most popular, evergreen content. Use Google Analytics to identify these posts, optimize and update them with a strong call to action (like signing up for your newsletter), give them a fancy Pinnable image. Great posts never die.
Use befunky to create your images. You can search for free images available through Pixabay and they have social media-ready templates to get your started. Make sure your images are vertical not horizontal. Some of you have asked me where I get my images. Here are a few of my favorite sites as they don't require attribution and they allow commercial use. It's so important to learn these terms.
Clean up your boards. Get rid of the useless nonsense or make those boards Secret.
Join a few highly active Group Boards for promoting your most popular pieces. There are several Facebook Groups devoted to Pinterest Collaborative Boards and you can also use Pingroupie. Make sure the boards are being updated frequently and are receiving Likes and Pins. We don’t want to waste our time.
Make your own Group Board and invite bloggers in your niche that are Pinning high-quality content. Don’t go overboard with Group Boards. Quality over quantity. Always.
Sign up for BoardBooster. For just $5 per month they will schedule 500 Pins to post at optimum times. These is the best – and thankfully cheapest – Pin scheduling tool I have found to date. It will also let you know which of your boards get the most Repins and Likes so you can better focus your time. My favorite feature with BoardBooster is Campaigns. I have it set up to Pin my latest and greatest blog posts to my most popular Group boards over 30 days and always at the most trafficked times of day.
Get signed up for Rich Pins.
Take advantage of the fact that Pinterest is a search engine these days. When I want to know how to do something, I don’t turn to Google. I search Pinterest. Use your keywords.
Take advantage of seasonal trends and trending topics. People are hitting up Pinterest daily for things like holiday crafts, holiday recipes, budget-friendly shopping and event planning. Check out the Popular tab frequently.
Don’t just Pin your own stuff. If you want to reap the benefits of any social platform be a participant, not just a user.
Don’t give away the farm. Those long informative infographics may get a lot of Repins but there is little reason to actually visit the site they came from then. I learned that the hard way. Tease them and make sure they have a reason to come over.
Set up Goals in your Analytics so you can see how Pinterest traffic is converting for you and make necessary tweaks. I have a Goal currently set to track new newsletter subscribers. I’m happy to report my Pinterest traffic is currently converting at 14%. Search traffic is at a stinky 3%.
Every month when you sit down to tally your monthly blog stats, don’t forget to include your Pinterest numbers. Use a nifty custom dashboard like this one to make it easy to track your top posts on Pinterest for further promotion. I use one of hers and it's a huge time-saver.
When and if you do run a Promoted Pin campaign, pay close attention to those analytics for creating future content.
Make sure you have Pin It Buttons installed on your site. It shouldn’t be left to your readers to figure out how to share your content. Make it easy.
Make sure your Pinterest account is a Business account. This gives you access to analytics and may provide more pull in their search results.
Fill out that Alt Text space when adding your images to your posts. This is what Pinterest pulls in most cases for the Pin description. Make it short, compelling and keyword-rich. If your image already has the post name, don’t waste this space repeating it. Give a little intro instead or ask a question. I've also had great success with using words that cause excitement (ex. Awesome list of ways to increase Pinterest traffic)
Don’t bait-and-switch. Nothing is more disappointing than a great-looking Pin that leads to something other than what was promised.
Ask for followers frequently in your emails, favorite social media Pages or Profiles and a button on your site.
Pinterest is such a fast-moving environment there’s no reason not to split test. Try two or three different images or titles for each post to see if one is outperforming the others.
Hashtags are a waste of space. Don’t bother.
That first row of Boards showing up on your profile is prime real estate. Make it count.
Pin from your post, not your home page.
Either spread your Pins out over time or use a good 5-to-1 ratio (5 Pins from others for every 1 of yours) if you are pinning a lot of your own posts at one time. Yes. It still to this day floods your followers’ stream despite what you may have heard.
Don’t Pin blindly. Just because an image looks nice doesn’t mean it actually goes to the right place, or anywhere at all. Make sure it hasn’t been hijacked before giving it your vote of approval.
Include Pinnable images (visually appealing, tall with text) in every post. Your readers will not create images for you. If it isn’t there for them, you aren’t getting Pinned.
Do a little search to see who’s pinning your content and further engage them. See what they are saying in their descriptions or what boards they are pinning to. Nothing is more enlightening than seeing how your audience is putting your words to work.
Make sure your boards are correctly categorized and filled out. This is easy to overlook if you are creating boards on the fly.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. A lot of people find themselves overwhelmed and unable to keep up because they are keeping separate business and personal accounts. Why? As a follower or fellow blogger I want to find that personal connection. Have boards for your personal interests too. It’s certainly going to help you keep that self-promoting ratio in check.
Remember you can follow individual boards as opposed to a full profile. Cut down on the feed clutter by following only those that are of interest.
Your Pinterest success begins and ends with images. Did I say that already?
Pinterest is a wish list. Find out what your readers are striving for and dreaming about and provide it. Don’t know? Ask.
Install the Pinterest app on your phone. I get the most interaction at night and on weekends. Therefore when I’m watching television at night or on the weekends I Pin a few things during commercial breaks, while I’m waiting in line, etc. We talked about being a participant above. Work it the same way everyone else is for best results.
Expand your reach by participating in a Pinning tribe. Tailwind has a new Tribes feature that I love.
Now don’t forget to Follow Me on Pinterest. And leave your link and favorite tips in the comments so we can follow you too.
P.S. You should probably also Pin this post. 😉
P.P.S. Find out the exact strategy I have used to increase my blogging traffic and income so greatly this past year in Primp My Post.