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The Beginners Guide to Using Pinterest for Business
If you haven’t already heard, Pinterest can be a great tool for marketing your blog or business. So if you’re a blogger or online business owner and your target audience is on Pinterest, then you need to be on Pinterest, too!
When I first started as a mom blogger, I took an awesome online course on how to use Pinterest to grow traffic to my blog and business. (You can read my full review of the course here). Even as a new blogger, I was able to reach 10,000 pageviews within a month of implementing the Pinterest strategies I learned in the course. I also gained 200 email subscribers in that month!
I have since started helping other bloggers and online business owners use Pinterest to grow their businesses. And even though I stopped focusing so much on my blog, I’m still able to get most of my traffic through Pinterest (with a little help from a pin scheduler – Tailwind).
So if you know how to use Pinterest in the right ways, you can bring tons of traffic to your business and make passive income on autopilot. Sounds great, right? Well, I’m going to help you get started with using Pinterest for business. But first…
What is Pinterest?
Many people think of Pinterest as a social media site. Those who aren’t familiar with Pinterest might even think of it as a “click bate” site. However, similar to Google and Bing, Pinterest is a search engine. The big difference, on the other hand, is that Pinterest is a visual search engine. And with Pinterest, you can easily save (AKA “pin”) your results for later. Therefore, it’s a great place to get tips and inspiration on various topics.
Although Pinterest is a little more social than other search engines, one of the main goals when using it for business is to try to rank high in its search engine. Therefore, learning Pinterest search engine optimization (SEO) skills is key.
How to get started with Using Pinterest for Business
The first thing you need to do in order to use Pinterest to grow traffic to your blog or business is to either open a business account or convert your personal account to a business account.
This can be done on the Pinterest sign in page, or you can convert your account under Settings>Account Settings within your account.
Next, you want to fill in the information under your Settings.
Be sure to include a clear profile picture. Either a close headshot or the logo associated with your business will work. A
When writing your profile display name and “About your profile” section, try to use keywords related to your niche.
You can find Pinterest keywords by typing a topic in the search bar. The word boxes that come up across the top of your screen are keywords.
You’ll also want to claim your website under your Settings tab. This will give you access to more Pinterest analytics. In order to do this, paste your website URL into the space provided under Settings>Claim, click “Claim website,” and follow the instructions. Here are more detailed instructions on how to claim your website if you use WordPress or Squarespace.
You’ll also want to set up “rich pins” so that your pins look more professional. Here’s a great guide on how to set up rich pins.
Once you have your profile set up, it’s time to create some boards to pin your content to.
To create a new board, click on Boards>Create Board. Be sure to include keywords within your title using the keyword search method I showed you above.
You can set your board to “Secret” until you have 10-20 pins in that board. (Pinterest doesn’t like boards with fewer than 20 pins).
After you create the board, go into the board’s settings, fill out the board description, and select the most relevant category. The description is very important! It will help your boards rank higher in the search engine. Therefore, be sure to include relevant keywords in your descriptions, and write your descriptions in sentence-form (3 sentences is a good length).
Try to create 15 boards related to your niche. Your first boards near the top of the page should be boards that you can pin your own content to. After that, you can include boards that your target audience would be interested in, even if you don’t have relevant content to pin to them.
Your very first board should be a featured board that contains only your own content. When you’re first starting out with Pinterest, you should follow the 80/20 rule for all other boards (pin 80% other people’s content/20% your own content).
Once you have at least one relevant board to pin your content to, you can start creating pins.
In order to create a pin, go to Pins>Create Pin or click on the “+” sign in the top right-hand corner of the page. You can also pin the image directly from your website if you have the image uploaded to the page you are pinning.
Then, upload your pin graphic. You can use Canva to create free Pinterest graphics. I also like Picmonkey, which costs about $8 per month but offers a free trial (affiliate link). Long, vertical images with a 2:3 size ratio (like 600 x 900 pixels) perform best on Pinterest. Therefore, it’s recommend that your images be no shorter than a perfect square.
Be sure to include keywords in your pin titles and descriptions. Your pin descriptions should be written in sentence form, telling viewers what your pin is about and enticing them to click on it. You can also use 1-3 hashtags after
When coming up with a title for your pin, you don’t necessarily have to use the same title that you used for your blog post. But try to come up with a title that draws your target audience in and shows them that you’re going to give them value. “How to” posts and list posts (“The 10 Best….”) are good examples.
Depending on your niche, you might post a lot of images without titles for your content. For example, if you’re a photographer, you’ll be pinning a lot of
Pro Tip: Pin to your most relevant personal board first, not your featured board. This will tell Pinterest what your pin is about, which will help its performance.
Once you have your profile and boards set up and some of your own content pinned, the work has only just begun. You want to keep pinning content daily while following the 80/20 rule. Generally, it’s good to aim at pinning at least 30 pins per day. And the pins should be spread out throughout the day.
Now, you want to create fresh content consistently. Pinterest loves fresh content. And you don’t even have to write a new blog post or create a new product to qualify as fresh content… You can simply create a new pin image and description for an old or new post.
Try to create 2-5 different images for each pin. This will help you test out which images and titles work best. You should also create a new pin description each time you pin a new image, as the new combination of keywords might help you rank higher in the search engine.
Joining group boards is a great way to get your content shared, especially if you’re rather new to Pinterest. You can pin your own content to the group boards that you’ve been accepted to. Just be sure to follow each board’s rules to avoid getting kicked out.
It’s best to apply to group boards within your niche, rather than group boards that cover a wide range of topics.
You can find group boards to apply to within Facebook groups focused on business, blogging, or Pinterest. You can also search for group boards based on keywords related to your niche using pingroupie.com. Furthermore, you can take a look at the Pinterest group boards of other business owners in your niche.
It can take a while to hear back from some group board owners, so don’t feel discouraged. In order to increase your chances of getting accepted into larger group boards, it can help to first join boards with fewer than 1K members. Once you finally start getting accepted to larger boards, you can leave the smaller boards or stop pinning to them if you’d like.
Preparing Your Website to Use Pinterest for Business
In addition to what you’re doing on Pinterest, there are some things that you can do off Pinterest in order to advance your Pinterest efforts.
Essentially, you want to get your website ready for people to pin your content. That means that you’ll want to have social sharing icons on each blog post and other website pages. And you should include a Pinterest icon with the other icons.
You’ll also want to upload a nice long, vertical image that people can pin on each of your blog posts. And it’s important that you have a Pinterest Save button available that shows up when someone hovers over an image on your website. You can install a plugin like JQuery to get this feature.
When using Pinterest for business or blogging, you have access to Pinterest analytics. This is a great resource if you know how to use it to your advantage.
But… Impressions? Saves? Clicks? Where do you even start?
Generally, it’s important to know that your analytics will fluctuate from day to day. So you want to look for a long-term upward trend in your analytics.
Clicks are perhaps the most important to pay attention to within your analytics because they indicate the number of times people are clicking through to your website.
Paying attention to your pins with the most clicks can help you identify which types of images and titles are working best for you. And knowing which boards tend to achieve the most clicks will help you identify which topics you should continue writing or pinning more about.
Tips for Success in Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Business
- Know your target audience. This will help you create pins and boards that draw them in.
- Use long-tail keywords when possible instead of one or two keywords. For instance, instead of using “Chocolate Cakes,” you might use “Easy Chocolate Cake Recipes.”
- Don’t get too personal. While you can share “behind the scenes” tidbits and personal inspiration stories related to your services and products on social media, Pinterest works a little differently. Pinterest users tend to not care about that personal stuff. They’re looking for what’s going to give them value (like tips, hacks, ideas, and inspiration). So instead of pinning a photo of the actor who inspired your most recent product, write a blog post featuring 10 reasons why your audience needs that product.
- You don’t have to just pin your products, services, or blog posts. You can also link to social media posts, videos, affiliate products, and email opt-in freebies.
- Don’t go on pinning sprees. If you’re going to pin 30-50 pins per day, try to spread the pins out throughout the day instead of doing it all at once. Pinterest and your followers will consider pinning sprees as spammy.
- Make sure you have enough of your own content on Pinterest before investing in a scheduler like Tailwind or a Pinterest Manager (unless you have the money). Why waste your time and money pinning only other people’s content? Instead, make sure you have at least 3-5 meaty pillar blog posts or pins that will give your target audience a ton of value first.
Common Questions/FAQ’s About Using Pinterest for Business
- How can I tell if I have rich pins enabled?
- When you click on one of your pins, you’ll see a small thumbnail of your profile picture, as well as your Pinterest name and website in bold by your pin image. (See the image below as an example).
- Are group boards still relevant? I heard they don’t help as much anymore.
- Yes. They are particularly helpful for you when you are in the beginning stages of using Pinterest for business. As you gain more followers, you might find more success with creating more niched-down personal boards instead. However, right now you should definitely focus on joining and sharing your content to group boards.
- Why are my average monthly viewers down? I’ve been working so hard on Pinterest, so shouldn’t they be going up?
- Average monthly viewers reflect the number of people who saw your pins in the last 30 days. The number of average monthly viewers and average monthly engaged tends to fluctuate a lot, especially during holidays and slower seasons for your business. Therefore, it’s important not to get too stressed out about these numbers and to focus more on your click-throughs. However, you should hopefully see a general upward trend in the numbers long-term.
- How do you get accepted to group boards? I’ve applied to a bunch of them and hardly anyone has invited me to join!
- As I mentioned above, it can take a while to hear back from many board owners. And you might have to join smaller boards before larger boards are willing to accept you. But keep searching for and applying to group boards. Ask around in Facebook groups or search “Pinterest group board” within Facebook groups using the search bar. (See Group Boards section above for more tips).
- Does it matter whether I pin from Pinterest versus my website?
- It’s best to pin directly from your website as often as possible so that your content will be seen as a new pin instead of a repin of your own content. However, scheduling your content to Tailwind from Pinterest is acceptable (affiliate link). You can also upload pins onto Pinterest when necessary. Just try to avoid repinning from one board to another as much as possible.
- Which is better for driving traffic to my business: manual pinning or using a scheduler (i.e. Tailwind)?
- Both involve discipline. However, I have found that manual pinning requires a lot more discipline, as well as a plan and strategy that you can stick with. Plus, Tailwind knows exactly when your target audience is seeing your pins and then schedules your pins to go out during those optimal times.
- It’s good to do at least some manual pinning so that you’re using the Pinterest platform and keeping up with it. But overall, using Tailwind helps you to save time, which you can put into other areas of your business.
- The meta-description from my post image shows up when I pin my content instead of just my pin description. Is that OK?
- Yes. Don’t worry… Your pin description that you worked so hard on optimizing is there too. As you can see from this image, the meta-description from your site shows on top, while your pin description shows up below. That often happens when you have article rich pins enabled.
- How do I get more followers?!
- Although followers will help you spread your content, don’t get super hung up on them. Focus on consistently creating and pinning fresh, high-quality content, and the followers will come.
- Some tips: 1. Add a “Follow Me” board widget to your sidebar (ex. Milo Tree). 2. Link to your Pinterest profile at the bottom of your emails to subscribers and ask for people to follow you. 3. Promote your Pinterest profile on other social media channels.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Using Pinterest for Business
While you might have nailed social media marketing on other platforms of using the Pinterest app for your own leisure, using Pinterest for business is quite different.
Setting up your Pinterest business account and then managing it consistently can be challenging. It requires knowledge of Pinterest marketing, as well as a good bit of time. (Related Post: The 13 Best Tips to Save Time on Pinterest Marketing).
(P.S. If you need some help with starting, reorganizing, or managing your account, I’m here to help! Check out my Pinterest services here).
Nonetheless, Pinterest can be a fantastic tool for driving tons of traffic to your business for FREE.
What other questions do you have about using Pinterest to drive traffic to your business? Let me know in the comments below!