It’s hard to believe Pinterest has been around for over a decade! Live in 2010 and picking up several years later, as more and more content creators began to see the value in creating profiles for their brand. From information to products, Pinterest launched a platform where users could get creative, searching for ideas for future endeavors. My favorite all-time Pinterest data point, well worth repeating, is that 97% of searches on the platform are unbranded. This means users go there with an open mind, ready to be inspired by blogs, products and content creators they’ve never heard of before.
Your first step is to build a Pinterest strategy for your website and the next is to make sure Pinterest is driving traffic back to your website. As a content creator, you should always be thinking of how your goals connect to revenue. You can have all the followers or the likes in the world, but if you don’t make money from that in some form, it ultimately doesn’t matter. As long as your content is monetized, pageviews driven to your site by Pinterest should be your main performance indicator of your efforts on the platform.
part one: Getting your content to pinterest from your website
To get from from Pinterest, you first have to get your content on Pinterest.
1. Pin it For Later call out
A trend that has been on the rise over the last year is a static ‘pin for later’ call out within the post that links directly to the pin on Pinterest.com. It doesn’t have to be directly above the image, I see them placed at the bottom or within the post body also. You can find examples of this strategy on Kalyn’s recipe posts, she adds hers at the top of the post, right above the image.
Pinterest is such a visual place, an image that gains the attention of the user should be a top priority. Customizing pingraphics to add to your blog posts is one of the best ways to get users to pin. Here is an example of SHE Media partner, AstroStyle’s new pingraph design: “Love Match: Aries + Gemini”.
Vertical, not horizontal (1000px x 1500px minimum)
Text overlay (typically the article title) – should be search-friendly
3. Share buttons on your content
Readers need an easy way to pin your content. There are different options for social share buttons. In some site designs, you’ll see social share icons on the bottom or top of the post, but not on the images. This isn’t optimal, as the user is the most likely to pin at the time they see the image. Having the Save button on the image itself is best practice (also in the screen shot above). There are many plugins that will do this for you, but Pinterest also offers a widget builder that will give you the code to embed on your site. Adding the code directly will avoid the weight of another plugin.
4. Consistently publish high quality content
In order to be pinned, the user must like your content so much they want to save it to return back to later. Make sure you’re frequently publishing evergreen content (example: recipes, how-tos, listicles, roundups, video tutorials, DIY, etc.) that thoroughly covers the targeted topic.
Part of being high-quality is being interesting and unique. This will help you gain brand awareness and loyal audience.
5. Images throughout your content
Images encourage people to pin, that’s the nature of the Pinterest game. Most blog posts have a feature image at the top, but consider adding another to the body of the post. One option would be the pingraphic, mentioned in number two above, but if you don’t do that, another normal image in the text is still ok as long as it has the Save button. There are many benefits to adding post images, aside from just Pinterest. They tend to keep readers engaged and scrolling, which increases RPM.
part two: Getting users from pinterest to your website
Your strategy should also include a plan of action for yourself. To get your content on your boards, you need to also be creating individual pins for them. Users will pin your content directly from your webpages, but you can’t rely on them to optimize the pins perfectly for their algorithm. Here are the best practices you should follow as you create the pins on your boards.
6. Pin consistently
Consistency will get you everywhere on Pinterest so make sure you come up with a schedule. Many of our SHE Media partners use scheduling tools, but you can pin (and schedule pins) directly from Pinterest. If you publish new content twice a week, make sure you’re pinning on those days as well. You can also re-pin. Re-pinning is when you’re already on Pinterest and you share, or in other words, pin again to another board or area of Pinterest. Don’t overdo the re-pins or your account may be flagged for spamming.
It’s better for you to pin less, but consistently, over a period of time than for you to pin 30 times in a day and then not again for a month.
When you create your pins, include hashtags. Users commonly include hashtags as part of their Pinterest search and by incorporating them into your pin description, you’re basically telling Pinterest what terms to match your post with. And either by searching via hashtag or clicking on the hashtag in the description, users will then see a feed with all the most recent pins that use that particular hashtag.
Be specific and descriptive, using the terms people actually search for vs. anything too cutesy. And only use hashtags that are relevant to the pin.
8. Search-friendly Pin headlines and descriptions
When someone pins a piece of content directly from your site, it will automatically pull in some sort of meta data to populate the pin title and description. You can implement rich pins to semi-control what is populated in those fields, but when you’re creating your own pins, make sure they’re optimized.
Your pin title should be kept to under 100 characters. This is the bold text that appears with your pin image. These should include the key phrase or main topic of the post. It’s important (and required!) that you add one to give context to what the content and pin graphic are about.
The pin description is the snippet of copy shown underneath the pin image. The description should help the user understand what the pin is about and ultimately, what they will get if they click through to your site. This is where you can really sell your content, so make sure they are unique and interesting, created with search in mind. You have 500 characters worth of room, 1-2 sentences should suffice. And don’t forget the hashtags!
9. The pin image
Your pin image is perhaps the most important part of your overall pin. Pingraphics, like detailed above in number two, are still the best option and because Pinterest is cracking down on the re-pins, consider creating several different options. We use Canva to create our pingraphics. If you don’t use a pingraphic, consider at least re-sizing a basic, high-quality image to be in the vertical size. 2:3 ratio far out performs square or horizontal sizes.
10. Optimize your boards
Create boards that align with your main content verticals. Make sure the board is optimized to include search-friendly terms and descriptions. You can pin your content to multiple boards and reorganize the boards throughout the year to showcase relevant interests to your users. For example, if Halloween recipes drive a lot of traffic for you, it would make sense to have a Halloween Recipes board and to move it to the top in September and back to the bottom in November.
Now get to it, start building your Pinterest plan! We’ve given you all the tips you need for a successful strategy, but if you need any more information, Pinterest has excellent resources available here.