Oh, sweet sweet Pinterest. Oh how I love thee.
Seriously though, Pinterest is in my humble opinion the best ‘social media’ platform out there. I put social media in quotes there as Pinterest is really at its heart a visual search engine.
That being said, to truly understand Pinterest and how to grow traffic to your blog or website, you must always regard Pinterest as a visual search engine and not a social media platform to simply share things you like.
Understanding this concept will help you skyrocket your blog traffic, grow your email list, and grow a dedicated following in ways Instagram and Facebook can’t do.
I want to share with you my five hacks to setting up your profile, boards, and pins to get 150 000 Pinterest views in your first month without using Tailwind or any other scheduler.
I’ve also put together a four-step Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Your Pinterest Profile that will walk you through creating a Business Account, SEO research, and the steps for setting up your profile to start gaining followers and engagement in no time! Click here to sign up for the FREE PDF!
Table of Contents
- Our First Month on Pinterest
- Hack 1: Optimize your Profile for Success
- Hack 2: Optimize your Boards for SEO
- Hack 3: Create Clickable Pins
- Hack 4: Join Group Boards
- Hack 5: Follow the Rules of Pinning
Our First Month on Pinterest (July 10 to August 10, 2020)
Before I delve into my 5 hacks to get 150 000 views on Pinterest in one month, I want to give you a quick overview of our Pinterest in the first month of launching our blog where we got 158 660 views.
I started seriously pinning on July 15th and 16th. As you can see from the graph below we spiked to 23 000 impressions in one day when we had just started on Pinterest.
Off to a great start, right? Yeah, I thought so too. The next day we only got 449.
When I say that our first month on Pinterest was a rollercoaster I mean it literally. Just look at that graph! If you look at our impressions since July 16th, we took the long trek up to the top of the rollercoaster and the long drop down followed by twists, turns, loops and more. I’m nauseous just thinking about taking that actual rollercoaster ride.
It’s been an experience learning how to use Pinterest to market and drive traffic to our blog. I’ve learned a lot and am still learning. As I explore Pinterest I will continue to share blogs on what I’ve learned and what has worked and what hasn’t.
Please note, that I can’t guarantee these five hacks will get you 150 000 views. This is just what I did and continue to do (we now have 400 000 views after two months) and no matter how many views it gets you, all of these hacks will create a great foundation for your Pinterest account and help you to start growing impressions and engagement.
Hack One: Optimize Your Profile for Success
Your profile is the foundation for everything you will do on Pinterest. You can have the most beautiful clickable pins out there, but if you haven’t set up your profile properly people may not find you or be interested in following you.
1) Set Up Your Business Account
If you haven’t already, open Pinterest and change your account to a Business Account. This is the easiest thing you can do with the biggest impact. A Business Account will give you access to Pinterest Analytics as well as other tools like Pinterest Ads. The Analytics are huge. You can see what pins and boards are doing well, track impressions, saves, and clicks and really understand if your pinning efforts are getting you the results you want.
2) Profile Name and Description
Okay, now I’m going to throw out the word many of you have been dreading – SEO (aka search engine optimization). I know, it looks scary, but I promise you that SEO is not as difficult as one first thinks. Pinterest makes it very easy to see what keywords are trending and which ones people are using.
Just start typing into the search bar to see what terms come up. From the search bar you’ll see great long-tail keywords (longer search phrases, ie. how to get followers on Pinterest) you can use. You can also use the bubbles to see other keywords that people are searching. I always use the search bar and bubbles to find keywords when writing pin or board descriptions. Try to incorporate as many applicable keywords as you can into your descriptions and titles to rank for multiple keywords.
A quick way to see how to rank your profile is to look at the people ranking in your niche and see what terms they are using.
Ideally you want to rank on the profile search section for your specific niche, and correct SEO will help you in your ranking. After some time search your keywords and see if and where you are ranking. It is a good way to see if your SEO is working.
a) Profile Name
Make sure your profile name is very specific about what you do and who you are. Your profile name should have your business/blog name, niche specific terms, and a description of what you do. When writing your profile name think of about 3 to 4 search terms that you want to show up under.
Here is our profile name for Bibliomavens that contains the main keywords we want to rank under and also explains what we do:
Bibliomavens | Book Reviews and Discussions Blog | Writing Prompts
Your description is another place to put single or long tail keywords to help optimize your profile. Here you can be more specific about what you do and what people can expect from you. This is like a mini sales pitch to convince people to hit that follow button or click through to your website.
Here is our description for Bibliomavens:
Two book lovers who blog about book reviews, recommendations, discussions, lists, writing tips and prompts, Bookstagram, and social media tips for bloggers.
While similar to our profile, I’ve added more keywords as well as long tail keywords like ‘social media tips for bloggers’.
3) Claim Your Website
Make sure you claim your website. This is good to do for two reasons: it will display your URL prominently on your profile and it will give you access to analytics for Pins published from your website.
Hack Two: Optimize Your Boards for SEO
Let’s talk SEO again. It’s not just important to SEO your profile as people may also be searching your keywords in the Boards section of the search. So, it’s important to make sure that your ideal followers are able to find your boards in the search.
You know how some people have super fun and cutesy board name titles like “Things that make me smile” or “Finger lickin’ good”. While they look fun, people aren’t searching those terms. Use your board title as a place for more keywords. It will help optimize your profile while also making your boards searchable.
This applies to the descriptions of your boards. The description is a great opportunity to use long-tail keywords and expand on the title of the board. You have a lot of characters to work with in the description so have fun with it.
Hack Three: Create Clickable Pins
1) SEO Your Pins
SEO! SEO! SEO! I’m chanting it now cause it’s seriously so important and can single handedly change your entire Pinterest presence. Like your profile and boards, you need to SEO your pins so that people can find them when they search your keywords. To find the right keywords use Pinterest’s search bar to see what people are searching. Also, look at the titles and descriptions of the pins that are ranking for your search and see what they are doing.
The title is the first point of contact that someone will see. This needs to be engaging and grab their attention. Use your primary keywords here that you want your pin to show up under.
The description is where you can add more long-tail keywords and other things people might be searching for related to your pin. Its a great place to entice people to click on your link as well.
So, with all this keyword and SEO talk, you may have asked – should I use hashtags?
I know this is a debated topic on Pinterest – to hashtag or not to hashtag. I personally say no.
Pinterest isn’t like other social media platforms. We hashtag on Instagram because that helps people find our posts, but we don’t need the ‘#’ symbol to be searchable on Pinterest. Every word we type in becomes a search query on its own. So, use your space in the description to fill it with long-tail keywords, not just a list of #keywords. In my research I have found that Pinterest itself is encouraging a move away from hashtags and focusing more on quality keywords.
2) Design Clickable Pins
Creative, attractive, and clickable pins are key to any Pinterest strategy. If your pins aren’t attractive to users you won’t get traffic back to your blog or website. There are a few key elements all pins should have:
- A catchy SEO optimized title
- A related visual (Pinterest indexes your images for SEO)
- Branding elements (your brand colours, logo, fonts, etc.)
- Call to Action (Click here, Check out my blog, Find tips here, etc.)
- Your URL
One strategy I recommend when you first get on Pinterest is to look at what the pins in your niche look like. Pinterest’s algorithm will compare you to other pins and you want to make sure you fit in so Pinterest is more likely to show your pin. What colours, visuals, and fonts are used? When you look up terms it’s easy to see that the top ranked pins have multiple things in common.
Not all of us are designers, but there are many options out there for creating beautiful looking pins. I personally use Canva for absolutely everything. We take many of our own photos, but when needed Unsplash is our go to for royalty free images.
To create pins efficiently, the best thing to do is make 4 to 5 templates. Then for each blog post you can create multiple versions that you can continue to post over time (this creates fresh content which I will talk about more later).
Hack Four: Pin to Group Boards
I’ve noticed that people basically love or hate group boards. I personally love them and attribute them to a large part of our success when we first started. In our niche – book blogging – group boards are very active. It may no be the same for all niches, but it has worked for us.
Group boards are a great place to find other people in your niche. It’s a community spot on Pinterest where you can find followers and see what other people are doing.
They are also a great place to get your pins on people’s screens. It’s basically guaranteed impressions cause you know people are following that board and others are in there pinning. Since most boards work on a 1:1 pinning rule, you’re more likely to get engagement and your pin will spread.
Group boards are also a great way to curate other pinners’ content for your feed that fits your niche.
I do recommend that you try to avoid joining group boards with a lot of contributors. If hundreds of people are in there pinning, your pin is likely to get lost in the feed and people won’t see it.
Hack Five: Follow the Rules of Pinning
1) Fresh Content is Key
If you’ve been around Pinterest for a while, you may have noticed that Pinterest is pushing towards pinners creating fresh new content.
So, what is fresh content?
This doesn’t mean always creating new blogs or content on your website to link to, this just means creating new graphics. Instead of focusing on old pins and repinning those, Pinterest’s algorithm likes when you show up with new content for the platform. They like having new things to show users.
A general rule of thumb is to create fresh content at least once a week. If you’re a blogger posting multiple blogs a week this is easy to accomplish.
What I do when creating pins is create 4-5 pins for each blog post. I then spread out when I post those and with posting 4 blog posts a week, I’m able to post 4 to 6 fresh pins a week using blog posts from that week and new pins for old blog posts.
2) Pin Consistently
If you want people consistently coming to your blog or website you need to be pinning consistently. It’s important to show up daily to Pinterest. There’s a lot of advice out there on how much you should post everyday. I personally try to post 15 to 25 pins everyday with 50% being personal content and 50% being other pinner’s content. So far this method has worked really well for me.
Most people use Tailwind or another scheduler to create a consistent schedule. I prefer to do all my pinning manually. Pinterest does actually offer a scheduling option with Business Accounts that I use. While it lacks in functionality a bit (can only link to published blogs, one pin at a time, and two weeks in advance) it does help to schedule a lot of our pins ahead of time.
Manual pinning doesn’t need to take a lot of time. I typically spend 20 to 30 minutes a day doing this by going through group boards and pinning to them while pinning other content.
3) Dont Spam your Pins
A word of warning, don’t spam your own content. Be careful about repinning the same pin over and over again to a bunch of boards. Pinterest will see this as spam and it also doesn’t create a good aesthetic on your pin feed. If you’re looking to save the same pin to multiple boards, spread it out over a couple days. You don’t want Pinterest to tag your account as spam and put you in Pinterest jail.
4) Pin to Most Relevant Boards First
Another tip to help with the SEO of your pins is to pin to the most relevant board first. If you’re pinning a book review, post it to your book reviews board, if you’re pinning a Thanksgiving recipe pin it to your Thanksgiving recipe board. This categorizes your pin amongst Pinterest’s algorithm and makes sure your pin shows up where it is supposed to. Another tip is to look at your analytics and see which boards are performing the best. If your pin could apply to a bunch of relevant boards, pin to the best performing ones first.
At the heart of any successful Pinterest strategy is SEO. You need the right keywords to be found by the people you want to find you.
Pinterest can be a huge traffic driver to your website or blog. It accounts for 75% of traffic to our blog and has been a big success for us. I implemented the hacks above from day one on Pinterest and as of writing this we just broke 400 000 views in two months.
Following these quick easy hacks to create a strong foundation for your account and start driving heavy traffic to your blog.
If you’re just starting on Pinterest or looking to audit your account, four-step Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Your Pinterest Profile here.
Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks you use to help drive views and traffic? I’m always looking for new and better ways to do things and would love to talk with other Pinterest users!