If you don’t already follow Kate M Colby, you should. Click on the image above to see a guest post I’ve written for her website about Search Engine Optimization. It’s bound to be a good time!
The more I learn about all the ways I can or should be promoting my website, the more I feel overwhelmed. I currently work for an SEO company, and now I can see why other business pay us to do all this work for them.
Here, I will show you some simple and fun ways to use Pinterest each day to promote your website, whether you’re addicted or just getting started.
1. Understand Pinterest
It can be hard to use Pinterest if you haven’t even used it before. Basically, Pinterest is a glorified version of bookmarks. If you use bookmarks to remember important websites, then you understand in part how Pinterest functions. Users search for images very much like Google images. They can save them to their account by pinning them.
They can hold them all in one place, or they can create Boards to categorize the images by topic. For example, I have a board for funny images and I have another one for recipes. Each image that they find usually links to another website. It’s understood that if they click on the image, it will take them directly to the image’s source.
Pinterest earns the stigma of catering primarily to women. Truth be told that just about anyone can find something interesting on Pinterest. For example, Travis uses Pinterest to enjoy Star Wars fanart. Ultimately, no matter your audience that you’re attracting to your website, you will find them on Pinterest.
Pinterest becomes helpful to you when you pin something to your account, and other users “repin” it. That means, they’ve saved your image/blog post to their own account. Any of their followers can see that pin, and they can either visit your website, or also repin it. It’s a great way for people to pass along your content to others that they know.
2. Create “Pinable” Content
So in order to harness the power of Pinterest, you have to know what makes shareable or “pinable” content. Sift through the blog posts you already have. What would people find interesting enough to tell their friends about? They probably won’t share any sort of update posts, but if you offer tips about your craft, this is a great start.
Pinterest is image-heavy. So find some images that will pique their interest. Use your own photos or use quality stock photos. Unsplash is a great source for free, quality stock photos. There are other sources of images out there.
The image will only take you so far. Many bloggers put the title of the post directly on top of the image. Try to do this as often as possible. Often, Pinterest users will pin something for later. As in, if they’re looking for a recipe, they might pin it and then wait until they want to try the recipe to look at the website for instructions. If you pin a great image, they might just like the picture and not bother checking out the website.
If you put the title on the image, they will know that there’s more to learn and they will likely check out the website to further read the content. It also helps to put your main URL on the image as well; if users save the photo on their desktop and don’t pin the image, they will still know where the content came from.
Pinterest also has a description box that appears under the image. You can use this box to write a quick summary of what readers will find if they click the image.
3. Spruce Up Your Profile
Here are some things you should do or know whether or not you already use Pinterest. Unlike other social media platforms, you don’t need a professional, separate account. You can keep personal stuff mixed with “business” stuff. That way, people can get to know you as a person, and you don’t appear like you’re only using Pinterest to sell something.
For example, I only have three boards that have to do with my writing: one with tips that I find from other writers, a group board shared by writers (more on that), and one for our writing group. The rest have to do with anything else but writing.
Also, don’t let your pins get out of control. A board with over 1,000 pins is really hard to navigate. Weed out pins that you have pinned more than once, or the pins that you will probably never use. It just shows that you update your content , and it helps users find things that they actually want to pin. It’s frustrating to scroll through an eternity of the same pins. Just a personal opinion, though.
Don’t forget to put your main URL on your profile page!
4. Make a Board for Your Craft/Website
When you create a board, Pinterest will ask you to select a category. This makes it easier for users to find your content. Pinterest will also let you pick an image to highlight on your board. In this board, you can pin all of your blog content, as well as the content you find useful from other users.
To pin your own content, simply go to the actual URL. If your website has all the social media buttons after each post, then this part is easy. Click on the Pinterest icon (the fancy P), and select the image you want users to see. It should be the image with the title and URL on it. You can edit the description below, pick the board it should fall under, and then you’re good to go! You can also find plugins that allow users to pin your content by hovering over the image and clicking a “Pin It” button.
Your followers will automatically see the pins in their home feed—if they follow someone, they will see what they pin. It’s like using email to contact your followers.
5. Utilize Group Boards
Group boards are awesome. You can join one or create one yourself. You use them in the same way you use other boards, except you tend to garnish more followers. For example, I contribute to the Writer’s Sandbox, a group board with over 450 contributors and over 2,400 followers.
This is a shameless plug for your stuff, but it’s a great way to be a part of your community. See what others are pinning. What aspects of your craft do they want to better understand? If you’re ever wondering what you can write about on your blog, here’s a great place to get ideas.
You can also utilize good karma to garnish more followers and visitors. If you follow another blogger, chances are they will follow you back. It’s win-win. It takes time to build up, but it creates lasting followers to your account on Pinterest as well as your main website, which is the whole point.
My Pinterest Experiment
So I’ve been changing my Pinterest game. I’ve tested these tips myself. Last month, I updated the SEO aspects of all of my posts so that they would be easier to find on Google. I also added Pinterest-friendly images to my shareable content. I then pinned them to my own board as well as the group board. here’s what happened:
- I got 4 repins and 2 likes on the posts I added to my author board. That’s better than zero, right?
- Then, I got 86 repins and 6 likes for the posts I added to the group board. Now we’re talking!
What does this translate to? It means that there are more opportunities for like-minded bloggers to visit your website and learn about you. The 86 repins means that 86 people liked the content enough that they want to look at it later or share it with their followers. If you’re wondering how many page views it translated to, check out this screenshot from my WordPress dashboard:
The two main spikes early on in the stats represent the page views I got for posting new content. The stats towards the end are Pinterest users reading the content I had already posted throughout the year. All it needed was a Pinterest-friendly photo to garnish some attention.
Know that these kinds of results are based on the time you spend daily or weekly using social media. You won’t get awesome results overnight. I’ve used Pinterest since 2013, and our website has been live since July 2014. Under 80 views a day is baby stuff for many bloggers I’m sure. But this shows that mastery of social media can direct people to your website.
Do you have questions about Pinterest? Has it helped you gain more online attention? Tell us in the comments below!