19 | Pinterest 101; a search engine with Jen Stanbrook

Jen Stanbrook is a Pinterest Guru, we’ve known each other for years. We met at blogging events and as many blogging partnerships do, we spoke digitally before that via social media.

Conference speaker
7 years interiors blogger at Love Chic Living
Pinterest coach for business owners and bloggers
Pinterest to Power Hour is a bespoke agenda for your site
I’ve signed up to her awesome newsletters & can vouch for her awesome, easy to follow steps!
How Pinterest can Help your SEO
Firstly, if we step back and think about why using Pinterest is useful to grow for SEO opportunities, that’s because it offers links to your site and thus, grows the authority of your pages. It boosts the visibility of your website by offering natural links. Then, your images are more likely to show up in Google’s image tab because Pinterest is already an authoritative site so it’s more likely to show up for queries, especially if you’re just a blogger or site that’s starting out. Pinterest’s visibility on Google is fantastic so Pinterest is a through-way to your site because although traffic goes there, it’s more likely to get click-through to your site and pages by offering you a relevant audience.

Now that we have the SEO bit (outside of the platform) out of the way, here’s why Pinterest is a Search Engine itself and how you can get traffic and grow sales using it!

Where to start to get traffic from Pinterest?
It’s not a social media tool, it has an algorithm that offer imagery (and video in some cases) to the user’s query just like a search engine.

To get started you need to be pinning things but before even that you need the right setup. You must optimise your profile, which needs to be thought-out and relevant. Have a think about the keywords that you’re using in your boards and description. It may seem overwhelming at first but it’s just a few steps to getting the setup right, then you can get pinning. Don’t start without this thought as you may be pinning fruitlessly!

Choosing Pinterest Boards
Choose the right set of boards that are relevant in your niche. Showcase your brand in the best way and keep thinking about how you can answer the question that a user might have, you should even provide to the lifestyle of the person that visits your profile. For example, if you’re creating for home décor, what else might they be into? Maybe they enjoy food, fashion etc. Understanding your customer and audience because search engines understand the intent, so then surface content (your imagery) for the right query at the right time.

Next, think about your branding when creating your pins, think about the font and colours and message you use when you’re creating boards and pins. Pinterest feed is super busy with 250 million monthly users! It’s exciting but difficult to stand out as well. So, make the text on the image readable and help them along. Help them find you by making everything easy and optimised.

Top Tip: Make sure that your boards have good descriptions and don’t use hashtags but you need something descriptive. It helps searchability and for them to follow it through not only on your pins but your boards too. Put boards in a category too, it’s good housekeeping.

Pinterest Keyword Research & Intent
The words that you use on the Pins are super important.

Keyword research, like any search engine are crucial. Use the guided search on Pinterest, start with a broad topic that covers the content you’re sharing then see what it feeds out. Pinterest can offer keyword phrases and topics around the broad topic you’ve included underneath, which helps you understand what people are searching for in the platform itself. That way you’ll be able to know what to showcase and what to include in the wording.

Top Tip: Text in the description on the pin and boards is powerful and useful but a lot of people forget it.

The ultimate goal is to get people to click on the pin and browse so use a call to action on the pin or maybe ask a question to encourage them to click through.

It’s important not to be sales-focused, don’t try and sell but people are ready to buy on Pinterest and understand you’re selling products. Users know that they’re clicking away from the platform when they click on your image but people don’t like the hard sell. Keep it organic and natural and use your relevant keyword research.

Make your board names searchable and easy to understand rather than making up new names or using your brand as a prefix. Make it…

“Sensible and searchable”

Should I use Hashtags on Pinterest?
There are a lot of conversations happening about hashtags at the moment. There are questions around whether competitors can steal your traffic, nonetheless do start using them. You can use up to 20 hashtags on pins but Jen recommends 5 or 6 as it doesn’t look spammy.

Use both broad and niche hashtags and always remember to include your brand name as one of those. Hashtags enables people to click away from you but branded hashtags are a good way to keep users browsing. Use a mix of different types of hashtags and see what works for you.

Pinnable Images on Websites
Jen is an interiors blogger and has Pinnable imagery on her site. You will rank higher if you have a lot more imagery being pinned from source. So, if people are finding your content and Pinning those onto Pinterest naturally, it helps you rank higher on Pinterest. It also offers easy access to content, like a bookmark but using images. Then, add keywords into the image alt text, helps SEO further. Jen understands that some people don’t like to do this though, particularly if you’re a blogger who enjoys portrait imagery.

Top tip: share about 80% of your own pins to 20% of sharing other people’s content.

Be consistent with pinning and think about starting low, around 10 pins a day. Increase at busy periods but this is a great place to start. Use your own imagery but don’t forget you can reshare your pins multiple times in different boards for example.

Pinterest Strategy
Pinterest is all about the long game so be patient. Create a plan and work at it, regularly and consistently. Usually it may take a few weeks before you see some clicks and traffic gain but once you do there’s no going back. If you start a new account then it may take longer. It’ll be 3 or 4 months before a solid return can be seen and to really develop the account.

After some months you’ll then be able to see what is working well for you, what pins and keyword are bringing traffic. Analyse the results and looking at statistics, of course analyse the pins that work well too and do more of that.

Top Tip: You don’t have to interact to rank on Pinterest!

Pinterest analytics tends to be volatile. People get upset when it goes up and down with the graphs but not always a clear indication of what’s working. You can see the amount of people you’re reaching but not the traffic. For example, there are high impressions but low traffic and vice versa so Jen prefers Google Analytics. One thing that is useful though is allowing to dig into demographics of people and content they like to see. So, when you’re saving and rePinning other people’s content it can help you identify what content you should be including. Sharing other content puts you higher in search result too if it has engagement so it’s well worth digging into analytics. You aim for 90% of pins with interactions for a great account.

Building the brand awareness and showcasing the lifestyle that your brand or service might fit into is a great way to target the right people with the right message. You’ll get the right kind of traffic this way and they’re more likely to sign up to your newsletter or buy your product. It enables you to build that trust with someone who may not have seen your products before; that’s why Pinterest can be so powerful!

Top Tip: It’s a legal requirement that you must have the rights to the photography you share and images you Pin but there are many sites that offer free from rights imagery, such as Pexels.

Music credit: I Dunno (Grapes of Wrath Mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/56346 Ft: Jlang, 4nsic, grapes.