If you want to increase your blog traffic, one of the best ways to do this is by using Pinterest.
I absolutely love Pinterest. Pinterest is unlike any other platform out there. Did you know that Pinterest isn’t a social media network (although it gets labeled as such)?
Instead, it’s a visual search engine. When you go to the Pinterest website, you’re not going there to connect with other pinners. You’re going there to search for things. I often find myself heading over to Pinterest as opposed to Google when I’m looking for recipes, DIY projects, etc.
When it comes to using Pinterest as a method for increasing your traffic, most bloggers simply add a pin when they publish a new blog post and then wait for the traffic to roll in. Unfortunately, for those bloggers, Pinterest doesn’t reward passive behavior.
To succeed on Pinterest you have to understand what Pinterest is looking for when trying to provide a great experience for their users.
How to Get Traffic With Pinterest
Here are the topics we’ll be covering in this post:
- The Pinterest user experience.
- What people look for on Pinterest.
- The principles of a great pin.
- What Pinterest looks for.
- The home feed.
- Pinterest SEO (pins and boards).
- Gaming Pinterest.
1. The Pinterest User Experience
It’s in Pinterest’s best interest to provide a great user experience. This is because if people go on Pinterest daily and discover that Pinterest is showing them pins that they do not care about they will stop coming to Pinterest.
To succeed on Pinterest, you should be appealing to two audiences:
- Pinterest algorithms
If you just focus on one over the other, I don’t believe that you will get the most you can out of Pinterest.
Once you understand how to do the things that both audiences are looking for, you will start to see an increase in traffic.
2. What People Look For on Pinterest
Let’s start off by talking about humans. We are visual creatures. If something is bright and shiny we are drawn to it.
That means you need to have good looking pins in order to do well on Pinterest. Sure, there are some ugly pins that do well from time-to-time, but the majority of super pins look really good.
So let’s get into the principles of a great pin.
3. The Principles of a Great Pin
All Great Pins Are Vertical
Due to how Pinterest lays out their pins, it is to your advantage to ensure that your pin is taller than it is wide.
The ideal pin size is 735 x 1102 pixels, or somewhere around there. If you need a bit more room feel free to make it taller, but going any wider than that won’t do anything due to Pinterest’s restrictions. I size my my pins at 700×1050, and do well with those dimensions.
So why vertical pins? Well, when you make pins that are short, they easily get lost in the plethora of vertical pins around it. If you want your pins to stand out, vertical images are the way to go.
All Great Pins Use Great Images
The images are the main draw when it comes to pins, so make sure you have an image that draws the eye.
If you are looking for high quality images that are free to use, I really love the Pexels website. You can find more sites that offer free to use images by checking out my post Where to Find Free Images for Your Blog.
All Great Pins Are Legible
Some niches don’t require words (like the fashion niche). However, if you aren’t a fashion blogger, you’ll want to make sure your pins are easy to read.
Don’t be scared of using large font sizes that stand out. When people are quickly scrolling through their Pinterest feed,they focus on pins that have words that are easy to scan.
If you are working with a very light image and want to use light text then be sure to put an overlay over the image to help darken the background up a bit. For more tips on creating images for Pinterest, be sure to read my post How to Create Pinterest Graphics Using PicMonkey.
All Great Pins Have a Good Headline
Successful bloggers understand the importance of a great headline. Sometimes it can make or break your blog post. If your headline is dull, there’s a good chance that less people will bother visiting. However, if your headline is enticing, that alone can make a post go viral.
Almost every great pin on Pinterest has an actionable headline. Here are some examples popular headlines:
- How To…
- 10 Ways…
- Why You…
The reason these types of headlines work so well on Pinterest is because the Pinterest audience is constantly on the lookout for solutions.
If I’m on Pinterest looking for “how to get traffic from Pinterest” then I probably won’t click a pin with the headline “Pinterest is awesome and you can get traffic from it”.
However, if I see “33 Ways to Get Traffic From Pinterest” then you can be sure that I’m clicking on it.
If you have a couple of good headlines don’t hesitate to create multiple pins to see which one works the best. Pinterest is a great test bed for seeing what headlines really attract your audience.
4. What Pinterest Looks For
Pinterest becomes a lot easier to dominate when you start to understand the principles of SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is the practice of getting your site ranked highly in search engines.
Pinterest uses an easy to understand version of SEO to find the best pins. Combined with other metrics (people you follow, repins, likes) it is able to craft a home feed that is perfectly tailored to your tastes.
On Pinterest, there are two main ways that people come across pins:
- Their home feed
- The search feature
If you can ensure that your pins show up prominently in both then you are going to be successful.
5. The Home Feed
The Pinterest home feed may seem mysterious, but it really isn’t. If you’ve ever wondered where Pinterest gets these pins from here is your answer:
- Topics you follow
- Boards you follow
- People you follow
There are also some pins that Pinterest will show you that are labeled “Picked For You.” These pins show up based upon your Pinterest activity. If most of the topics you follow are based around cooking, but you have been clicking on a lot of wedding pins lately, then Pinterest will show your more wedding pins in your home feed.
If I were you, I wouldn’t focus too much on the “Picked For Your” label. What you want to focus on is conquering the 3 “follows” listed above.
Adding followers to your profile isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be thanks to the home feed, but you still want as many relevant followers as possible and the best way to add followers is by getting people to repin your pins.
That means you need to show up under the topics that people follow and in search results.
This is where understanding Pinterest SEO comes into play.
6. Pinterest SEO: Pins
Let’s use a simple example. Someone is searching for ways to build a chicken coop. When they perform the search on Pinterest they expect that Pinterest will only show them pins on how to build a chicken coop.
When Pinterest pulls up your results, they are relying on the text that is associated with a pin. That means the pin’s title and description play a heavy role in how Pinterest sees the pin.
If you have a pin with the following information, then you have a good chance of showing up in the search results for “how to build a chicken coop”:
Title: The Easy Way to Build a Chicken Coop
Description: A tutorial showing you how to build a chicken coop easily.
See? Nothing fancy. I just made sure the keyword “build a chicken coop” was in both the title and description for the pin.
7. Pinterest SEO: Boards
I see too many bloggers using cute board names in their profiles. This is a waste because nobody searches for cute board names.
Remember, Pinterest is a platform for helping people solve problems.
If they want to find paleo recipes then your board “Fred Flintstone Meals” isn’t going to show up anywhere for them.
The same principles apply to boards as they do with pins. Choose board names that people search for and make sure to include these keywords in the board description.
For example, if someone wants to lose weight in a week then what do you think they are going to search for on Pinterest? “Lose weight in a week.”
That means it would be pretty useful if you had a board with the following information:
Title: Lose Weight in a Week
Description: Looking to lose weight in a week? This board offers weight loss tips, diets, and exercises to help you lose weight in a week quickly.
Again, none of this is rocket science. It’s just not fun or creative, but neither is not getting any traffic to your blog.
8. Gaming Pinterest
If you take a step back you can look at Pinterest as a game that you are trying to beat. People are searching for pins around certain topics and it’s your job to get your pins to rank for those topics.
The better you get at it, the better your Pinterest profile will perform which leads to an increase in traffic.
The great thing about Pinterest is that you don’t have to start over every month. The work you put in last month will be the foundation for the work you do this month.
While following the principles laid out in this post will help you do well on Pinterest, if you are just starting off you want to make sure that you also join relevant group boards to help expose your pins to a broader audience. For more information on group boards, you can read my blog post How to Find Group Boards on Pinterest.
Related Post: How I Dramatically Increased My Traffic With Pinterest
I hope this post has helped you understand how to better use Pinterest to your advantage. Do you have any tips for increasing your traffic with Pinterest?
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