by Shelley Webb | Featured Contributor
With over 70 million users and 2.5 billion monthly page views, Pinterest has proven to be a great social media platform for almost all businesses. Studies have shown that consumers who engage with your small business on Pinterest are more likely to do business with you and spend more money in the process. When using Pinterest, you’ll want to optimize your experience as much as possible in order to gain the most benefit. Here are 14 tips.
1. If you are a business, sign up for a business account rather than a personal account.
This allows you to take advantage of business offerings such as verifying your website and applying for Pinterest’s “rich pins”.
2. Optimize Your Profile.
As on any other social media platform, your profile is the first impression anyone has of you so make it count. Your Pinterest user name and the about section underneath it are picked up by search engines so be sure to include who you are, what you do and the specific keywords that are used in your niche.
3. Create Focused Boards With Catchy Titles.
Make your boards specific and remember to use your keywords. So for instance, if you sell kitchen cabinets, rather than creating a board with the title KITCHEN, you might create “White Kitchen Cabinets”, “Oak Kitchen Cabinets”, “Modern Cabinet Hardware”, etc.
Try to keep your titles under 28 characters so that the full title is visible.
4. Create Keyword-Centric Pin Descriptions.
Many people choose not to add a description to their pins but descriptions can have great SEO value. Pinterest allows a huge amount of space for a description but per Hubspot, studies have shown that 100-200 character descriptions seem to work the best. Use your keywords but in addition to that, know your target market and know how to captivate them with your descriptions. Consider using appropriate long-tail keyword descriptions, as well.
Hashtags are also being used again on Pinterest although searching by a word is easy enough. Remember to use them sparingly.
5, Organize Your Rows.
Just as you would on your website, place your most important boards above the fold in the top 2 rows. Studies have shown that the eye tends to see towards the middle so position the boards that you want to be seen most in this area.
6. Share Unique Content From Your Website Onto Your Boards.
I think we all know the importance of having images attached to our blog posts, but when pinning from your website, you want to be sure that the images you use are interesting, clear and large enough to be seen well on Pinterest. Images should be at least 750 pixels wide so when purchasing your images, keep this in mind. They don’t need to appear this large on your site; they just need to appear that large in your media url.
When folks are using the Pin It button from your site, be sure that your image populates correctly with the title of your post/page and your website name. For more on that, check the Pinterest article here.
When folks are using the “Pin It” button in their browser to pin your images, it usually populates with whatever is in the “Alt text” box. This actually distresses me because the purpose of the Alt tag is to describe the image for those readers who are visually impaired. I’ll leave it to you to decide what is best.
Once you pin an item from your website, go back to the pin on Pinterest and edit the pin to be sure it redirects to your post or website. You will find the edit pencil on the upper right hand corner of the image. Do NOT edit other pins from other websites to redirect back to your own. I know that you wouldn’t, but it has been done.
7. Make sure that your boards are visible in “Search”.
Under Pinterest settings, which can be found on the drop-down menu under your name, there is a category called “Search Privacy” and if set to “yes” will “Keep search engines (ex: Google) from showing your Pinterest profile in search results”. This needs to be set on “no”. It is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.
8. Place the “Pin it” button on your website to make it easier for others to Pin your images.
You will find instructions for this here.
9. Pin great content from other sources.
Just like on other social media platforms, it’s a mistake to make it all about you. Choose images and content that parallel your own content or that shows some of your personality. Some popular Pinterest niches are Food, Family, Home Decor, Photography, Design, Crafts, DIY, and Weddings. Pinning in these categories is a way for people to get to know you and then your business.
This is also a good way to position yourself as an expert in your niche by curating great content.
When you do pin other content or repin it, check to make sure that the link to the pin actually works. There is nothing more frustrating than finding a delicious looking recipe, clicking on the pin to get to the recipe and finding either no link or just a link to the homepage of the site.
10. Build followers.
Use the search box to find Pinterest users with similar interests or those who would might be a potential client and follow either their whole Pinterest account or the certain boards that are of interest to you..
11. Accept invitations to join “group boards”.
This is one of the fastest ways to gain followers and extend the reach of your content. Participating in group boards allows you to share your content on the group board and thus it is repinned by many of the participants onto their own boards. Every time a pin is repinned, it is a “shout-out” the search engines by creating a backlink to the source page. The more a pin gets shared, the more backlinks are created within Pinterest. These backlinks are said to be “no-follow” so they don’t add SEO value to your site. The links in your pin’s descriptions are “dofollow”. I am NOT an SEO person so hopefully that made sense.
12. Take advantage of the “Gift” category.
Pinterest recently launched this new Gift category. Whenever a price is added to a pin, it will appear in this category. So whether you sell products or services, if you create an original image and place a dollar amount in the description, you’ll gain extra marketing exposure by having your pin fall into this category.
So there you have it. Which are you favorite ways to optimize your use of Pinterest? Can you share any tips that you have used successfully?
Shelley Webb – Social Influence Expert
Shelley Webb is founder of On The Webb Social Media, an agency devoted to teaching professionals how to position themselves as an expert in their field using the power of social media.
Having worked as a registered nurse for over 30 years, Shelley suddenly found herself as the soul caregiver to her father who suffered from dementia. She began writing a blog in order to support other caregivers and just by using the power of social media, rose from a simple nurse to an award winning blog owner, “social media rockstar”, sought after speaker and expert writer for Dr. Oz.
People began asking her if she had a publicity agent. Her response: “social media is my publicity agent”. Soon, requests for social media assistance came flooding in and so in January of 2012, Shelley founded On The Webb Social Media Services.
Born in Canada, raised in southern California, she currently resides in a small town in northern Idaho with 2 dogs, 2 tortoises and about 35 chickens.
On The Webb Social Media blog
The Intentional Caregiver blog
Twitter: @ShelleyWebbCSO and @ShelleyWebbRN
Facebook: OnTheWebbSocialMedia and TheIntentionalCaregiver
Google+ – Pinterest