When I visited Pinterest HQ, one of the things that the Community Manager said that really struck a chord with me is that you don’t have to even have a Pinterest account to get traffic to your site from Pinterest, because your readers will pin your content themselves if they like it and you’ve made it easy enough for them. That’s pretty crazy, isn’t it?
So if you want to start driving crazy amounts of traffic to your site from Pinterest, the first thing you should do, before even creating your own Pinterest account, is to optimise your site for pinning. Follow the steps below and you’ll see your site getting pinned in no time.
Above image courtesy of Pinterest for Business
1. Create ridiculously useful content
If you’re creating blog posts or site pages, no one is going to start pinning anything from your site unless you’re offering up content that people will want to save to their Pinterest boards to reference into the future. You need to create this type of content anyway in you want to grow your blog, as I talk about this post about the 4 types of blog posts that help to grow your blog, so the FIRST thing you should start doing in order to get people to start pinning from your site is to create useful and inspirational content. If you don’t do this, the following steps will be useless!
Need some help with creating useful and interesting blog posts that will help grow your blog? These are the 4 types of blog posts that will do just that.
2. Include a Pinterest-optimised image or graphic
Did you know that the pins that get the most engagement are vertical ones? This is because the majority of Pinterest users are using the mobile app, and vertical pins are much easier to see on a tall and long phone screen than a horizontal pin. Even though the typical Pinterest user may not be that bothered whether they pin a vertical or horizontal pin to their board, their pin will have a higher engagement rate (and therefore a higher chance of virality) if you can get them to pin a vertical pin.
So… how do you do this? The best way to get them pinning vertical images from your site is to include a Pinterest-optimised graphic on the post or page that you’ve created yourself— like I did in this blog post (see the graphic above list point #1.) As Pinterest users are used to seeing those types of graphics on the site now, they’ll be reminded to save the post if they like it, and they’ll be most likely to pin that graphic to their board.
Pinterest HQ has said that the best pins are ones that have high-quality images and include a text overlay of what the post is about. They also recommend you to include your branding and to have consistency across your pins so that they are recognizable. Keep this in mind when creating your custom graphic.
While you’re at it, read up on the 10 Pinterest Myths You Should Stop Believing (According to the team at Pinterest HQ).
3. Include a Pin It button on your site
When I went to Pinterest HQ a few weeks ago, this was the simplest thing that they told us that completely slipped my mind— make sure you have the “Pin It” button installed on your site. There are plenty of ways to do this, you can either use the code they provide for you or you can find a plug-in to use— I’m using Frizzly for this site, which pops up when readers roll over my images.
4. Tell them to do it
Sometimes we all forget that they easiest way to get our readers to do something is to suggest to them that they do it! You’ll see at the bottom of my Love and London posts, like this one on how to take better travel photos, that I include a Pinterest-optimised graphic and just before it I say something along the lines of “Pin this for later”. It just reminds people to use that graphic that I made especially for them to pin it to one of their boards so they can look at it whenever they’d like.
5. Create a post explaining how to use Pinterest
Depending on your audience, your readership may not fully understand Pinterest yet, even if they are on it and using it— similar to how over 50’s are starting to use Facebook a TON, yet they are not savvy with how it works.
So tell them how they can use it to help make their lives better, and tailor it to their interests. For example, a food blogger should explain how to use the Pin It button so when they find any recipe that they want to save, they’ll know how to do it. A travel blogger can create a post explaining how to use Pinterest for various stages of trip planning.
By showing your readers how they can use Pinterest, and using examples from their own site, you’ll make your readers’ lives easier (which they’ll fully appreciate) and will also encourage them to start pinning from your site. That’s what ya call a WIN-WIN situation.
How to see if your readers are pinning from your site
Ok, so once you’ve followed all of the steps above, you’ll want to see if it’s working! There are two ways to do this, the first and easiest being to type “pinterest.com/source/yoururl.com”, replacing yoururl.com with your site’s URL, and a page like the below image will appear, showing you all of the pins that have been created from your site. It’s pretty cool to see that people besides yourself are pinning your content!
Once you have a Business account set up for Pinterest (you can do that here) you can then dive into your analytics and get an overview of the pins being created from your account as well. The benefit of using the “Activity from your site” tab in your analytics is that you can see which of those pins are driving the most traffic to your site, which pages are getting pinned the most, and more.
Are you struggling to get your readers to pin from your site? Let me know in the comments below what your experience has been so far.