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For a lot of bloggers, Pinterest is our main source of blog traffic. Having a good Pinterest strategy in place will make a huge difference when it comes to growing your traffic.
Pinterest has become incredibly popular + useful to marketers like you and I, for several reasons.
Pinterest is a user-driven platform, meaning that all of the content on Pinterest is created by its users.
Google, and other search engines, use what are known as crawlers that scan & collect all the information they can find online, then index that information and show it to users when they search for a topic.
Google’s algorithm determines which content to show and in what order on the search results page by cross-referencing keywords, and determining which sites have the most relevant and highest quality content.
It’s way more complicated than that, and only a few people in the world actually know how these algorithms work.
But unlike Google, Pinterest doesn’t pull content from outside sources when a user searches for something on Pinterest. All of the content that a user sees when they search for something on Pinterest is content that was only published on Pinterest by creators like you and me.
I think one of the reasons that we love Pinterest so much is because it is very user-driven. They’ve given us the power to create, curate, and share content in a way that makes sense to us as humans. Which in turn, makes sense to other humans as well.
I mean, Pinterest is addictive, right? When I’m not working on my Pinterest strategy, I love to find fun new ideas + inspiration on Pinterest.
What that means for you as a creator is that mastering Pinterest SEO and using it to drive traffic to your website is not as difficult as learning how to do SEO for Google.
Pinterest is a powerhouse when it comes to growing your blog. With 291 million users in the first quarter of 2019, Pinterest isn’t slowing down any time soon. It’s the best and most efficient social media platform for bloggers to gain traffic, in my opinion.
So what is the Pinterest strategy that is going to explode your traffic?
First, you need great content that provides a solution and offers the reader an incentive to share it.
It all starts with your content, in my opinion.
But writing amazing content is only half the battle. The worst thing you can do is write a killer blog post and just let it sit there, waiting to be found.
You’ve got to give your content a little push, get it in front of as many eyes as possible.
Marketing is all about statistical probability.
The more people that see your pins on Pinterest, the higher the possibility that more people will click on them and read your blog.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your Pinterest account is set up properly.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you can easily convert your existing account to a Business account from your settings.
Settings>Account Settings>Convert to Business Account
You can also set up a separate account specifically for your blog, which is what I did. I have a personal Pinterest account, where I pin things like recipes, interior design and beauty (all things that are not relevant to my blog niche).
I set up a separate Pinterest account for my blog because when you’re using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, you want to make sure that all of your boards and the content you’re sharing on them is relevant to your niche/topic.
This helps Pinterest to understand what your account is about and what types of content you share, which helps your own content perform better.
One of the first things you should do is set up your profile by adding a bio and a username.
To help people find you + know exactly what your niche is, you want to use keywords in both your profile name and your bio.
Here is an example of my own profile:
Enable Rich Pins
“Rich Pins are a type of organic Pin that automatically sync information from your website to your Pins. You can identify Rich Pins by the extra information above and below the image on closeup and the bold title in your feed. If something changes on the original website, the Rich Pin updates to reflect that change.” –Pinterest
Don’t skip this step! It’s important to enable rich pins so that the information from your website syncs up with the corresponding pins on Pinterest.
Start by creating some boards based on topics that are relevant to your niche and audience.
If you’re a food blogger, you would perhaps create boards such as Breakfast Recipes, Kid Friendly Recipes, Cakes + Pies, etc.
You want to keep your boards fairly specific. Don’t try to fit too many topics into one board.
It is perfectly okay and even a good idea to create separate boards for very specific topics within the same niche.
For example, my niche is blogging + social media tips, and I have boards titled: Pinterest Marketing, WordPress Tips, Best Blogging Tips, Make Money Blogging, Social Media for Bloggers, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers, The Business of Blogging, and more.
You can see how I’ve created very specific topics for my boards, rather than just grouping all of those topics under one general ‘blogging’ board.
You don’t have to think up all of your board names at once. As you are using Pinterest and pinning content, you can create boards as you go.
Give your boards a good title + description
Using keywords in your board titles and descriptions is important for Pinterest SEO.
You want to make it very clear what your board is about and what types of content you will share there. Let Pinterest and other users’ know what your board is about by placing keywords within your title and description.
For the board description, find and use both short and long-tail keywords as well as other relevant terms that someone might search for if they are looking for that content.
I try to use my keywords in the most natural way possible, so I don’t sound like a robot or like I’m just keyword stuffing.
Even though you want to use keywords in your descriptions, you also want the people reading them to understand them + understand what value your post has for them.
You can find keywords on Pinterest by simply searching for your topic. As you begin to type in your search terms, Pinterest will auto-populate some recently used and/or popular terms searched by other users.
Use those suggestions to build your keyword phrases.
In addition to using the auto-suggestions, Pinterest gives you even more ideas for keywords based on your search terms.
Another great way to find even more keywords on Pinterest is to use the promoted pins tool following these steps:
From your Pinterest homepage, find the ‘Create‘ button > ‘Create Ad’
Pinterest will ask what your ad goal is (brand awareness, traffic, etc) + what your budget is
Leave these blank + move onto the next step
Scroll down until you see the Keyword tool
From here, you enter a keyword and Pinterest will show you tons of new suggestions for related keywords. Use the + to add these keywords to a list on the left-hand side, which you can then copy and save for later use.
You can also find keywords by using tools such as Ubersugget.
Pin Content to Your Boards
Before you start adding your own content to Pinterest, you should pin at least 30 high quality, topic relevant pins to each of your boards.
Without getting into anything too complex or scary, I want to talk a little bit about Board co-occurrence and session co-occurrence to help you understand why this is an important step.
In order for Pinterest to understand what your pin is about and what content it links to, it uses something called co-occurrence.
There are two types of co-occurrence: board co-occurrence and session co-occurrence. Basically, Pinterest uses a complex algorithm to find related pins based on either a) the other pins already in X board and b) the other pins a user saves to X board during a single session.
This is why you see ‘Related Pins’ on Pinterest.
When you first upload a pin that you created, Pinterest assigns it a certain set of data. It uses information from the board that you save it to, and the pins within that board, to assign data to your pin. (this data is how Pinterest tracks, organizes, and groups pins)
At first, Pinterest assigns your pin temporary data. About a week later, it gets its real data, but that initial data is VERY important to the success of your pin.
This is why it’s important to build strong Pinterest boards FIRST, and then upload your own content to them.
This is also why it’s really important to save your pins to YOUR OWN most relevant boards first- boards that you created, not group boards. You can’t control the content within a group board, so in order to get maximum results and make sure that the initial data that Pinterest assigns to your pin is accurate, you need to save your pins to your own relevant boards first.
If you want to read more about board co-occurrence, check out this article on Medium.
The thing you really want to focus on is pinning high-quality pins only. These are pins that have nice, vertical images and don’t lead to spam or a broken link.
Consistency also plays a huge role when it comes to your Pinterest strategy.
I use a combination of manual pinning and scheduling my pins with Tailwind in order to create the most consistent stream of content.
Since you can’t be on Pinterest all day long manually pinning, Tailwind is a great way to save time and make sure that you are still ‘pinning’ consistently throughout the day.
I do not recommend utilizing a scheduler to do all of your pinning for you, though. I think that manual pinning plays a huge role in making this Pinterest strategy work.
Pinterest wants you to use the platform, and I fully believe that your pins will perform better if you use a combination of manual pinning + scheduling out pins.
Follow accounts in your niche
Finding and following other users with the same interests is a great way to find new content to share + build your own following.
Use this feature to find new accounts to follow:
This is also a great way to find group boards to join, which we will talk about further down in this post.
Now that your account is set up properly + you’ve set up your boards and started to pin content to them, what comes next?
My favorite tool to design Pinterest pins is Canva. I use the Pro version (for just $12.95/mo) which gives me access to some amazing resources like premium images, custom fonts, a brand kit + much more.
A group board is a board on Pinterest where multiple users contribute content to the board.
At the time of this writing, I am a contributor to 90+ group boards that I regularly share my content to.
Group boards are a great way to get your pins in front of a larger audience and increase your clicks, views, and repins.
I only share my own content to group boards, I don’t add content to a group board that is not one of my own pins. I do share from the group boards because group boards wouldn’t work if everyone was only pinning their own content to the board and never sharing anyone else’s.
Basically, I pin my own content to my group boards using Tailwind scheduler. I repin content from my group boards to my own boards.
You can find group boards a few different ways:
Searching for them on Pinterest (search for your keywords, change the parameters to Boards in the drop-down menu on the right-hand side)
Stalking other bloggers accounts to see which group boards they are in
Tailwind has a feature called Tailwind Tribes. If you’re not familiar with tribes, here’s a brief explanation straight from the source:
“Tailwind Tribes is a tool that enables you to meet and grow with other marketers, just like you! Tribes will also help you with two key problems that social marketers face everyday:
Having a steady supply of high-quality content to share
Getting your posts seen and shared by the right people
With this tool, you will be able to add your own content to a Tribe and have others view, schedule and share your content to their own audience. This is so helpful because not only are you sharing your own content, but you are leveraging the collectively large audience of your peers.” – Tailwind
You can find tribes by searching for them on Tailwind, or even by searching ‘Tailwind Tribes’ on Pinterest. Lots of bloggers have published lists of great tribes to join.
Use Board Lists
Tailwind has another great feature called Board Lists.
Here you can organize all of your Pinterest boards into separate lists, which makes it easy to keep track of which boards you are sharing your content to. It also helps make sure you aren’t sharing the same content to the same boards over and over, and that you are only sharing the same content to no more than 10 boards.
Pinterest recommends that you only share a pin to at most 10 boards at a time. Using the Board Lists feature on Tailwind helps you keep track of all this easily.
Add Social Media Share Icons to your Blog
Having social media icons on your blog post is a must if you want to increase your Pinterest shares and clicks.
If you’re using WordPress, there are many social icon plugins available that will add social media share icons to your site.
Make sure your icons are visible + attractive to encourage sharing. I have mine at the top of each post, as well as at the bottom.
Use Pinterest Pin It Hover Buttons
Another great way to encourage readers to share your post on Pinterest is to install a plugin that adds a Pin It button when a user hovers over your images. This makes it easier for readers to share your blog post on Pinterest, which will increase your shares.
I hope you’ve picked up some great Pinterest tips from this post. Pinterest marketing can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy to implement and keep up with.
I will continue to update this post as my Pinterest strategy improves + I learn new things.
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