Promote your site with Pinterest to boost visitors

The best ways to use Pinterest to increase website visitors

For many many website and blog owners, Pinterest is their number one source of traffic. It can work brilliantly and some people get millions of views on the service, and thousands of clicks through to their site.

Here’s an overview of how to boost visitors to your site using the service. There is more to Pinterest than most people realise and there are various ways to make it work better. It is hard to say what it is and it started out as a social network, but these days it is more of a search engine, but it still has social elements. It also targets personal users and businesses.

Here I will just cover the basics to get you started and there is more information elsewhere in other courses on RAWinfopages. For example, see the course Secrets to social media promotion, especially the module Use Rich Pins for standout shares.

Create a Pinterest business account

Anyone can join Pinterest and there are personal and business accounts. If your blog or website makes money in any way, you should have a business account. Most sites have some form of income, like ads, affiliates, sponsored posts and so on, so a business account is best.

There are actually three ways to get one and the most common way is to convert a personal account to a business account.

  1. Log into your account using browser on your computer (it’s easier than with a phone)
  2. Click the little down arrow (v) in the top right corner to show the menu
  3. Click Settings
  4. Click Account settings in the sidebar
  5. Look for Account changes and click Convert account

You can create a standalone business account. Make sure you are logged out of Pinterest, then go to www.pinterest.com/business/create and fill in the form.

You can also create business account that is linked to your personal account:

  1. Log in to your personal Pinterest account
  2. Click the down arrow (v) in the top right corner
  3. Click Settings on the menu that appears
  4. Click Account settings in the sidebar
  5. Look for Account changes and click Get started next to Linked Business Account
  6. Fill in the various bits of information like the business name, email, profile photo and so on
Create a Pinterest business account at the Pinterest website
Create a Pinterest business account to get analytics information

You might not think you need a business account, but it works just the same as a personal account. The big advantage is that it provides comprehensive statistics and analytics showing how many people view your pins, click on them, share them and so on. You can even see what device they use, like a computer or phone. This is valuable information for anyone trying to build their Pinterest account. You can see which pins perform best and create more like them.

Pinterest analytics showing pin impressions
Use Pinterest analytics to see viewer numbers

Verify your website

You will need to verify your website to get the maximum benefit from sharing pins and this can be done in several ways. For example, you can download a file from Pinterest and upload it to your site or put some code in the header. If you have a WordPress plugin that can put code in the header, like Headers and Footers, then copy your Pinterest verification code and paste it in.

  1. Log in to your Pinterest business account
  2. Click the down arrow (v) in the top right corner
  3. Click Settings on the menu that appears
  4. Click Claim in the sidebar
  5. Click Claim next to Websites
  6. There are several methods, like downloading a file or copying a bit of html. Choose an option and follow the instructions

For a more detailed guide, read Use Rich pins for Standout Pinterest shares in the course Secrets to successful social media promotion.

Create a great profile

Pay careful attention to your Pinterest profile. Make sure your profile image is good and remember that it is cropped to a circle. The display name and and description (about your profile) should describe your content and use keywords in your website or blog niche.

Every part of your profile (and board descriptions), should be geared towards search. Ensure it contains keywords and phrases that people might search for. If you are a real business, address, phone and email details can be added, but leave them blank if you are not, such as a blogger.

Choose the right Pinterest pin size

If you look at the pins on Pinterest you will notice that they have a particular size and shape. They are tall and narrow. Sizes can vary and Pinterest will resize them to fit if they are not right, but the minimum size of image you should be creating is around 1,500 pixels tall and 1,000 pixels wide.

Pinterest pins are tall and narrow
Pinterest Pins should be tall and narrow

Text considerations

Pinterest wants really big pins, but the size a pin actually appears on the page at Pinterest is around 240 pixels wide. It is shrunk down to thumbnail size when displayed.

For this reason you need to make any text in the image huge so that it is still readable when shrunk to a thumbnail. Set the font size to 72 point or more. It depends on the size of the image and larger ones are shrunk more, so need bigger text. To get an idea of what your pin will look like, set the zoom in your photo editor to a small value like 25%.

Stick to a theme for your pins

It is a good idea for your Pinterest pins to all use a similar design or theme. Not exactly the same, but the same font, color, size and positioning for the text. Use the same border color or background, and so on.

Do not go too far and make them too similar or people will not be able to tell one pin from another without staring hard at the text. They should be different, but obviously related, perhaps with your business or site logo or brand.

Add meaningful descriptions

When creating a pin, make sure there is a description for each one that is neither too long nor too short. It should contain keywords and phrases that people might be searching for because Pinterest is a type of search engine.

Searching at the Pinterest website
Use Pinterest auto-suggest to see the most popular search terms

Try typing keywords into Pinterest to see what suggestions it comes up with and it will give you ideas for what to use in a pin description. Suggestions are the most common searches by users.

Pin regularly and often

Pinterest works best if you pin regularly, like every day. You don’t need to log in every day and post pins because daily pinning can be achieved by scheduling. Pins can be scheduled when manually adding pins in Pinterest or using a third party service like Tailwind.

Some people pin as many as 50 times a day, but that is old advice that may not apply these days. If you pin too much you may get a penalty and then you cannot post for while, so don’t go overboard. You don’t need to pin that much and some people have reduced the number of pins to less than 10 a day and are still successful, so maybe Pinterest likes fewer, but better pins these days.

More old advice is to pin other people’s content or save other people’s pins to your boards. At one time it was said you should pin more of other people’s content than your own. For example, for every pin of your own content, pin five items from other people. That may not be the case these days and some people have found the opposite works – pin 5 items of your own to 1 of someone else’s.

Why promote other people’s content? Pinning great pins to your boards can attract people to your boards. Once there, they may click some of your pins. Also, it encourages people to pin your own pins to their boards.

Follow other people

Find other people in your niche and follow them. People like to be followed on Pinterest and often they will return the favour and follow you back. This helps to build your followers and this increases the number of views of your pins.

Commenting on other people’s pins in your niche can also be beneficial and the more you engage with others, the more they will engage with you.

Join group boards

A group board is created when the owner invites other people to post on it. Open one of your boards, click the pencil icon at the top to edit the board and there is a Collaborators box that enables you to invite other people by name or email.

When several people are pinning to a board and sharing and promoting pins, it gains many times more pins and views. Some group boards are very popular indeed.

If you are new to Pinterest it can be hard to get a group board going, but it is one option to consider.

Another option, and the one that many people prefer, is to join an existing successful group board. Open a group board and the first person in the list of members is the owner. You must contact them through Pinterest or email and ask if you can join. They then send you an invitation. Accept and you can then post pins to the board.

Pingroupie Pinterest group boards

Pin Groupie’s list of group boards is useful and comprehensive, use it to find group boards to pin to. Pinning to group boards used to be very popular, but is less so these days. Group boards are worth trying and may or may not help. Try them and check your analytics a month later and see if there is a noticeable improvement in impressions or clicks.

Third party tools

There is really just one tool that almost everyone uses for automating Pinterest pinning – Tailwind. Some other tools can post to Pinterest, but this is the main one to look at.

Many people consider Tribes to be Tailwind’s best feature. It enables you to create and to join groups of like-minded people. For example, if you are a food or a fitness blogger, you can find and join food or fitness tribes.

Tribe members share pins and web content to the tribe and as a member, you can then pin it on your own boards. Tribes are basically collections of pins you can reshare. You can add your own pins to the tribe so other people can share your content as you share theirs.

Here is a video showing how Tailwind Tribes work.

There is still more to learn about Pinterest, but the information here will get you started.

Pinterest is changing

Pinterest is constantly changing and old methods that worked well at one time may not do so in the future. I see a trend towards fewer pins, fewer group boards, fewer pinning of other people’s pins and fewer repins of your own pins.

What seems to work is pinning a small number of unique pins daily. Pinterest sees more value in new pins than repinning old pins.

Action points

  • Create a Pinterest business account or switch from personal to business. It provides useful statistics and analysis
  • Choose the right image size for a pin – tall and narrow, such as 1500 x 1000 pixels
  • Text on your pins needs to be big enough to read when the image is shrunk for display on Pinterest
  • Stick to a visual theme for your pins. It becomes your identity or brand and lets people recognise you at a glance
  • Pin a lot, but not too much. It is best if you pin unique pins regularly
  • Follow other people in your niche, they may follow you back
  • Join group boards, they may offer a quick way to boost exposure
  • Consider third party tools like Tailwind, but bear in mind it doesn’t work for everyone

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